Bible: Jer 30-31

Introduction to the Book of Consolation

30:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 1  30:2 The Lord God of Israel says, 2 Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll. 3  30:3 For I, the Lord, affirm 4  that the time will come when I will reverse the plight 5  of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors 6  and they will take possession of it once again.’ 7 

Israel and Judah Will Be Delivered after a Time of Deep Distress

30:4 So here is what the Lord has to say about Israel and Judah. 8 

30:5 Yes, 9  here is what he says:

“You hear cries of panic and of terror;

there is no peace in sight. 10 

30:6 Ask yourselves this and consider it carefully: 11 

Have you ever seen a man give birth to a baby?

Why then do I see all these strong men

grabbing their stomachs in pain like 12  a woman giving birth?

And why do their faces

turn so deathly pale?

30:7 Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! 13 

There has never been any like it.

It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob,

but some of them will be rescued out of it. 14 

30:8 When the time for them to be rescued comes,” 15 

says the Lord who rules over all, 16 

“I will rescue you from foreign subjugation. 17 

I will deliver you from captivity. 18 

Foreigners will then no longer subjugate them.

30:9 But they will be subject 19  to the Lord their God

and to the Davidic ruler whom I will raise up as king over them. 20 

30:10 So I, the Lord, tell you not to be afraid,

you descendants of Jacob, my servants. 21 

Do not be terrified, people of Israel.

For I will rescue you and your descendants

from a faraway land where you are captives. 22 

The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.

They will be secure and no one will terrify them. 23 

30:11 For I, the Lord, affirm 24  that

I will be with you and will rescue you.

I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you.

But I will not completely destroy you.

I will indeed discipline you, but only in due measure.

I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 25 

The Lord Will Heal the Wounds of Judah

30:12 Moreover, 26  the Lord says to the people of Zion, 27 

“Your injuries are incurable;

your wounds are severe. 28 

30:13 There is no one to plead your cause.

There are no remedies for your wounds. 29 

There is no healing for you.

30:14 All your allies have abandoned you. 30 

They no longer have any concern for you.

For I have attacked you like an enemy would.

I have chastened you cruelly.

For your wickedness is so great

and your sin is so much. 31 

30:15 Why do you complain about your injuries,

that your pain is incurable?

I have done all this to you

because your wickedness is so great

and your sin is so much.

30:16 But 32  all who destroyed you will be destroyed.

All your enemies will go into exile.

Those who plundered you will be plundered.

I will cause those who pillaged you to be pillaged. 33 

30:17 Yes, 34  I will restore you to health.

I will heal your wounds.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 35 

For you have been called an outcast,

Zion, whom no one cares for.”

The Lord Will Restore Israel and Judah

30:18 The Lord says,

I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob.

I will show compassion on their ruined homes. 36 

Every city will be rebuilt on its former ruins. 37 

Every fortified dwelling will occupy its traditional site. 38 

30:19 Out of those places you will hear songs of thanksgiving 39 

and the sounds of laughter and merriment.

I will increase their number and they will not dwindle away. 40 

I will bring them honor and they will no longer be despised.

30:20 The descendants of Jacob will enjoy their former privileges.

Their community will be reestablished in my favor 41 

and I will punish all who try to oppress them.

30:21 One of their own people will be their leader.

Their ruler will come from their own number. 42 

I will invite him to approach me, and he will do so. 43 

For no one would dare approach me on his own. 44 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 45 

30:22 Then you will again be my people

and I will be your God. 46 

30:23 Just watch! The wrath of the Lord

will come like a storm.

Like a raging storm it will rage down

on the heads of those who are wicked.

30:24 The anger of the Lord will not turn back

until he has fully carried out his intended purposes.

In days to come you will come to understand this. 47 

31:1 At that time I will be the God of all the clans of Israel 48 

and they will be my people.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 49 

Israel Will Be Restored and Join Judah in Worship

31:2 The Lord says,

The people of Israel who survived

death at the hands of the enemy 50 

will find favor in the wilderness

as they journey to find rest for themselves.

31:3 In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them.

He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.

That is why I have continued to be faithful to you. 51 

31:4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel, 52 

so that you will once again be built up.

Once again you will take up the tambourine

and join in the happy throng of dancers. 53 

31:5 Once again you will plant vineyards

on the hills of Samaria. 54 

Those who plant them

will once again enjoy their fruit. 55 

31:6 Yes, a time is coming

when watchmen 56  will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,

Come! Let us go to Zion

to worship the Lord our God!”’ 57 

31:7 Moreover, 58  the Lord says,

Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.

Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations. 59 

Make your praises heard. 60 

Then say, Lord, rescue your people.

Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’ 61 

31:8 Then I will reply, 62  ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north.

I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth.

Blind and lame people will come with them,

so will pregnant women and women about to give birth.

A vast throng of people will come back here.

31:9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.

I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance. 63 

I will lead them besides streams of water,

along smooth paths where they will never stumble. 64 

I will do this because I am Israel’s father;

Ephraim 65  is my firstborn son.’

31:10 Hear what the Lord has to say, O nations.

Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.

Say, “The one who scattered Israel will regather them.

He will watch over his people like a shepherd watches over his flock.”

31:11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.

He will secure their release 66  from those who had overpowered them. 67 

31:12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.

They will be radiant with joy 68  over the good things the Lord provides,

the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,

the young sheep and calves he has given to them.

They will be like a well-watered garden

and will not grow faint or weary any more.

31:13 The Lord says, 69  “At that time young women will dance and be glad.

Young men and old men will rejoice. 70 

I will turn their grief into gladness.

I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.

31:14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions. 71 

My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”

31:15 The Lord says,

A sound is heard in Ramah, 72 

a sound of crying in bitter grief.

It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children

and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” 73 

31:16 The Lord says to her, 74 

“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! 75 

For your heartfelt repentance 76  will be rewarded.

Your children will return from the land of the enemy.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 77 

31:17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. 78 

Your children will return to their own territory.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 79 

31:18 I have indeed 80  heard the people of Israel 81  say mournfully,

We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. 82 

You disciplined us and we learned from it. 83 

Let us come back to you and we will do so, 84 

for you are the Lord our God.

31:19 For after we turned away from you we repented.

After we came to our senses 85  we beat our breasts in sorrow. 86 

We are ashamed and humiliated

because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’ 87 

31:20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.

They are the children I take delight in. 88 

For even though I must often rebuke them,

I still remember them with fondness.

So I am deeply moved with pity for them 89 

and will surely have compassion on them.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 90 

31:21 I will say, 91  ‘My dear children of Israel, 92  keep in mind

the road you took when you were carried off. 93 

Mark off in your minds the landmarks.

Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back.

Return, my dear children of Israel.

Return to these cities of yours.

31:22 How long will you vacillate, 94 

you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? 95 

For I, the Lord, promise 96  to bring about something new 97  on the earth,

something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’ 98 

Judah Will Be Restored

31:23 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 99  says,

I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.

When I do, they will again say 100  of Jerusalem, 101 

‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,

the place where righteousness dwells.’ 102 

31:24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns

as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks. 103 

31:25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary

and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint. 104 

31:26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep

when I wake up and look around.’ 105 

Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated

31:27Indeed, a time is coming,” 106  says the Lord, 107  “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 108  31:28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted. 109  I, the Lord, affirm it! 110 

The Lord Will Make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah

31:29When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’ 111  31:30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb. 112 

31:31Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, 113  “when I will make a new covenant 114  with the people of Israel and Judah. 115  31:32 It will not be like the old 116  covenant that I made with their ancestors 117  when I delivered them 118  from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” 119  says the Lord. 120  31:33 But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel 121  after I plant them back in the land,” 122  says the Lord. 123  “I will 124  put my law within them 125  and write it on their hearts and minds. 126  I will be their God and they will be my people. 127 

31:34People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. 128  For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” 129  says the Lord. “For 130  I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”

The Lord Guarantees Israel’s Continuance

31:35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.

He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day

and the moon and stars to give light by night.

He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll.

He promises it as the one who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 131 

31:36 The Lord affirms, 132 The descendants of Israel will not

cease forever to be a nation in my sight.

That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights

were to cease to operate before me.” 133 

31:37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel

because of all that they have done. 134 

That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured

or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,” 135 

says the Lord. 136 

Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged

31:38Indeed a time is coming,” 137  says the Lord, 138  “when the city of Jerusalem 139  will be rebuilt as my special city. 140  It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 141  31:39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 142  31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown 143  and all the terraced fields 144  out to the Kidron Valley 145  on the east as far north 146  as the Horse Gate 147  will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. 148  The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”

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