Chapter twenty-four is one of the shortest chapters of the book; only chapters 45 and 47 are shorter. As with the almond tree and boiling water in chapter one, God used a common object (either literal or in a vision) to reveal a truth to Jeremiah. In this case Jeremiah saw two baskets of figs in front of the Temple; one basket contained good figs, the other nearly rotten figs. This vision took place after the second captivity (597 B.C.), when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jehoiakim/Jeconiah and set up Zedekiah in his place.
God told Jeremiah that the baskets of figs represented two groups of Jews. The good figs represented those taken away into captivity. God made a wonderful promise that he would care for them there and would return them to the land of Israel. The bad figs represented “King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and the people who remain in Jerusalem or who have gone to live in Egypt.” They remained under God’s curse for their wickedness and would be utterly destroyed.