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 <<  Yeremia 31 >> 

1At that time, says the LORD, I shall be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.

2These are the words of the LORD: A people that escaped the sword found favour in the wilderness. The LORD went to give rest to Israel;

3from afar he appeared to them: I have dearly loved you from of old, and still I maintain my unfailing care for you.

4Virgin Israel, I shall build you up again, and you will be rebuilt. Again you will provide yourself with tambourines, and go forth with the merry throng of dancers.

5Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria, and those who plant them will enjoy the fruit;

6for a day will come when the watchmen cry out on Ephraim's hills, “Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.”

7For these are the words of the LORD: Break into shouts of joy for Jacob's sake, lead the nations, crying loud and clear, sing out your praises and say: “The LORD has saved his people; he has preserved a remnant of Israel.”

8See how I bring them from a northern land; I shall gather them from the far ends of the earth, among them the blind and lame, the woman with child and the woman in labour. A vast company,

9they come home, weeping as they come, but I shall comfort them and be their escort. I shall lead them by streams of water; their path will be smooth, they will not stumble. For I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my eldest son.

10Listen to the word of the LORD, you nations, announce it, make it known to coastlands far away: He who scattered Israel will gather them again and watch over them as a shepherd watches his flock.

11For the LORD has delivered Jacob and redeemed him from a foe too strong for him.

12They will come with shouts of joy to Zion's height, radiant at the bounty of the LORD: the grain, the new wine, and the oil, the young of flock and herd. They will be like a well-watered garden and never languish again.

13Girls will then dance for joy, and men young and old will rejoice; I shall turn their grief into gladness, comfort them, and give them joy after sorrow.

14I shall satisfy the priests with the fat of the land and my people will have their fill of my bounty. This is the word of the LORD.

15These are the words of the LORD: Lamentation is heard in Ramah, and bitter weeping: Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.

16These are the words of the LORD to her: Cease your weeping, shed no more tears; for there will be a reward for your toil, and they will return from the enemy's land.

17There will be hope for your posterity; your children will return within their own borders.

18I listened intently; Ephraim was rocking in his grief: “I was like a calf unbroken to the yoke; you disciplined me, and I accepted your discipline. Bring me back and let me return, for you are the LORD my God.

19Though I broke away I have repented: now that I am submissive I beat my breast; in shame and remorse I reproach myself for the sins of my youth.”

20Is Ephraim still so dear a son to me, a child in whom I so delight that, as often as I speak against him, I must think of him again? Therefore my heart yearns for him; I am filled with tenderness towards him. This is the word of the LORD.

21Build cairns to mark your way, set up signposts; make sure of the road, the path which you will tread. Come back, virgin Israel, come back to your cities and towns.

22How long will you waver, my wayward child? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth: a woman will play a man's part.

23These are the words of the LORD of Hosts the God of Israel: Once more will these words be heard in the land of Judah and in her towns, when I restore their fortunes: The LORD bless you, abode of righteousness, holy mountain.

24Ploughmen and shepherds with their flocks will live together in Judah and all her towns.

25For I have given deep draughts to the thirsty, and satisfied those who were faint with hunger.

26Thereupon I woke and looked about me, and my sleep had been pleasant.

27The days are coming, says the LORD, when I shall sow Israel and Judah with the seed of man and the seed of cattle.

28As I watched over them with intent to pull down and to uproot, to demolish and destroy and inflict disaster, so now I shall watch over them to build and to plant. This is the word of the LORD.

29In those days it will no longer be said, “Parents have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge”;

30for everyone will die for his own wrongdoing; he who eats the sour grapes will find his own teeth set on edge.

31The days are coming, says the LORD, when I shall establish a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.

32It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, a covenant they broke, though I was patient with them, says the LORD.

33For this is the covenant I shall establish with the Israelites after those days, says the LORD: I shall set my law within them, writing it on their hearts; I shall be their God, and they will be my people.

34No longer need they teach one another, neighbour or brother, to know the LORD; all of them, high and low alike, will know me, says the LORD, for I shall forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I shall call to mind no more.

35These are the words of the LORD, who gave the sun for a light by day and the moon and stars in their courses for a light by night, who cleft the sea and its waves roared; the LORD of Hosts is his name.

36Israel could no more cease to be a nation in my sight, says the LORD, than could this fixed order vanish before my eyes.

37These are the words of the LORD: I could no more spurn the whole of Israel because of what they have done, than anyone could measure the heaven above or fathom the depths of the earth beneath. This is the word of the LORD.

38The days are coming, says the LORD, when Jerusalem will be rebuilt in the LORD's honour from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.

39The measuring line will then be laid straight out over the hill of Gareb and round Goath.

40All the valley and every field as far as the wadi Kidron to the corner by the Horse Gate eastwards will be holy to the LORD. Never again will it be pulled down or demolished.

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