Mourning Turned to Joy1 “At that time,” declares the LORD, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be My people.” 2 This is what the LORD says: “The people who survived the sword found favor in the wilderness when Israel went to find rest.” 3 The LORD appeared to him ▼
▼ LXX; Hebrew mefrom afar: ▼
▼ Or In the past“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving devotion. 4 Again I will build you, and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out in joyful dancing. 5 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant and enjoy the fruit. 6 For there will be a day when watchmen will call out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Arise, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God!’” 7 For this is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations! Make your praises heard and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, the remnant of Israel!’ 8 Behold, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, including the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor. They will return as a great assembly! 9 They will come with weeping, and by their supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk beside streams of waters, on a level path where they will not stumble. For I am Israel’s Father, and Ephraim is My firstborn.” 10 Hear, O nations, the word of the LORD, and proclaim it in distant coastlands, saying: “The One who scattered Israel will gather them and keep them as a shepherd guards his flock. 11 For the LORD has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from the hand that had overpowered him. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will be radiant in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine, the fresh oil, and the young of the flocks and herds. Their life will be like a well-watered garden, and never again will they languish. 13 Then the maidens will rejoice with dancing, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy, and give them comfort and joy for their sorrow. 14 I will refresh the priests with abundance, and My people will be filled with My bounty,” declares the LORD. 15 This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, [and] refusing consolation, because they are no more.” 16 This is what the LORD says: “Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for the reward for your work will come, declares the LORD. Then [your children] will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So there is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children will return to their own land. 18 I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me severely, like an untrained calf. Restore me, and I will return, for You [are] the LORD my God. 19 After I returned, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck [my thigh] in grief. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ 20 Is not Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? Though I often speak against him, surely I still remember him. Therefore My heart yearns for him; ▼
▼ Hebrew My bowels yearn for himI have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD. 21 “Set up the roadmarks, establish the signposts. Keep the highway in mind, the road you have traveled. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to these cities of yours. 22 How long will you wander, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the land— a woman will surround ▼
▼ Or will protecta man.” 23 This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “When I restore them from captivity, ▼
▼ Or restore their fortunesthey will once again speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities: ‘May the LORD bless you, O righteous dwelling place, O holy mountain.’ 24 And Judah and all its cities will dwell together in [the land] , the farmers and those who move with the flocks, 25 for I will refresh the weary soul and replenish all who are weak.”
A New Covenant26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been most pleasant to me. 27 “ . . . The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the offspring of man [and] of beast. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear them down, to demolish, destroy, and bring disaster, so will I be attentive to build them and to plant them,” declares the LORD. 29 “In those days, it will no longer be said: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and this has set the children’s teeth on edge.’ 30 Instead, each will die for his own iniquity. If anyone eats the sour grapes, his own teeth will be set on edge. 31 Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt— a covenant they broke, though I was a husband to them,” ▼
▼ Hebrew; LXX and Syriac so I turned away from themdeclares the LORD. 33 “But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will each man teach his neighbor [or] his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity and will remember their sins no more.” 35 Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day [and] orders the moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD of Hosts is His name: 36 “Only if this fixed order departed from My presence, declares the LORD, would Israel’s descendants ever cease to be a nation before Me.” 37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above could be measured and the foundations of the earth below searched out, would I reject all of Israel’s descendants because of all they have done,” declares the LORD. 38 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the city will be rebuilt for [Me] , from the tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line will once again stretch out straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn toward Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and of ashes, and all the fields as far as the Kidron Valley, to the corner of the Horse Gate to the east, will be holy to the LORD. It will never again be uprooted or demolished.”
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