See, Jeremiah knew that everything was hopeless, because way back nine years earlier, at the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign, during one of the previous wars with Babylon–the one where Nebuchadnezzar took King Jehoiachin hostage, Jeremiah had had a dream.
In that dream, there were two baskets of figs offered as sacrifices to God. One basket was full of ripe, succulent fruits. The other, with rotten ones. As Jeremiah contemplated the figs, God told him that most of the people of Judah were like those bad fruit, bound to die and rot.But those few who would be purified by exile would be like the good figs, and God would gather them and return them to the Promised Land.