Mourning Turned to Joy
1 “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.”
“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:
“The One who scattered Israel will gather them and keep them
as a shepherd keeps 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 over the bounty of the LORD—
the grain, new wine, and 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 fill the souls of the priests abundantly,
and will fill My people with My goodness,”
15 This is what the LORD says:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.” b
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.
‘You disciplined me severely,
like an untrained calf.
Restore me, that I may 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,
I still remember him.
Therefore My heart yearns for him; d
I 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 shelter e a man.”
23 This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “When I restore them from captivity, f they 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.”
The New Covenant
26 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 seed of man and of beast. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, to demolish, destroy, and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD.
29 “In those days, it will no longer be said:
‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the teeth of the children are set 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 the land of Egypt—
a covenant they broke,
though I was a husband to them, g”
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,
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 iniquities
and will remember their sins no more.” h
35 Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day, who sets in order 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 “The days are coming,” i declares the LORD, “when this 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 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.”
3 a Or The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying
15 b Cited in Matthew 2:18
18 c That is, the northern kingdom of Israel; also in verse 20
20 d Hebrew My bowels yearn for him
22 e Or will surround or will return to
23 f Or restore their fortunes
32 g Hebrew; LXX for they did not abide in My covenant, and I disregarded them ; see also Syriac.
34 h Cited in Hebrews 8:8–12 and Hebrews 10:16–17
38 i Literally Behold, the days ; alternate MT reading Behold, the days are coming