The Lord Will Turn Mourning to Joy1 a“At that time, declares the Lord, bI will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”
2 Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
cwhen Israel sought for rest,
3the Lord appeared to him ▼
▼Septuagint; Hebrew mefrom far away.
eI have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore fI have continued gmy faithfulness to you.
4 hAgain I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
iAgain you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
and shall go forth in jthe dance of the merrymakers.
5 kAgain you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
in lthe hill country of Ephraim:
m‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.’”
7 For thus says the Lord:
n“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for othe chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
p‘O Lord, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.’
8Behold, I will bring them qfrom the north country
and rgather them from sthe farthest parts of the earth,
among them tthe blind and the lame,
the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
9 uWith weeping they shall come,
vand with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
I will make them wwalk by brooks of water,
xin a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
for yI am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is zmy firstborn.
10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will aagather him,
and will keep him abas a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11 acFor the Lord has ransomed Jacob
and has redeemed him from adhands too strong for him.
12They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
aeand they shall be radiant afover the goodness of the Lord,
agover the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
ahtheir life shall be like a watered garden,
aiand they shall languish no more.
13 ajThen shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
akI will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14 alI will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
declares the Lord.”
15 Thus says the Lord:
am“A voice is heard in anRamah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
aoRachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
apbecause they are no more.”
16 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and aqthey shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 arThere is hope for your future,
declares the Lord,
and your children shall come back to their own country.
18I have heard asEphraim grieving,
‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined,
like an untrained calf;
atbring me back that I may be restored,
for you are the Lord my God.
19For after auI had turned away, I relented,
and after I was instructed, avI struck my thigh;
awI was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 axIs Ephraim my dear son?
ayIs he my darling child?
For as often as I speak against him,
I do remember him still.
azTherefore my heart ▼
▼Hebrew bowelsyearns for him;
I will surely have mercy on him,
declares the Lord.
21 bb“Set up road markers for yourself;
make yourself guideposts;
bcconsider well the highway,
bdthe road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.
22 beHow long will you waver,
bfO faithless daughter?
For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth:
a woman encircles a man.”
23Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, bgwhen I restore their fortunes:
bh“‘The Lord bless you, biO habitation of righteousness,
bjO holy hill!’
24 bkAnd Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and blthe farmers and those who wander with their flocks. 25For I will bmsatisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
26At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
27 bn“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when boI will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with bpthe seed of man and the seed of beast. 28And it shall come to pass that bqas I have watched over them brto pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, bsso I will watch over them btto build and to plant, declares the Lord. 29In those days they shall no longer say:
bu“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30 bvBut everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
The New Covenant31 bw“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make bxa new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when byI took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, bzthough I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 caFor this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: cbI will put my law within them, and I will write it ccon their hearts. cdAnd I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ cefor they shall all know me, cffrom the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For cgI will forgive their iniquity, and chI will remember their sin no more.”
35 Thus says the Lord,
who cigives the sun for light by day
and cjthe fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
ckthe Lord of hosts is his name:
36 cl“If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the Lord,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”
37 Thus says the Lord:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
cmthen I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
for all that they have done,
declares the Lord.”
38 cn“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord cofrom the Tower of Hananel to cpthe Corner Gate. 39 cqAnd the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40 crThe whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the csbrook Kidron, to the corner of ctthe Horse Gate toward the east, cushall be sacred to the Lord. cvIt shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”
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