30:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 2 “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll. 3 For I, the Lord, affirm that the time will come when I will reverse the plight of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors, and they will take possession of it once again.’”
4 So here is what the Lord has to say about Israel and Judah.
5 Yes, here is what he says:
“You hear cries of panic and of terror;
there is no peace in sight.
6 Ask yourselves this and consider it carefully:
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 a woman giving birth?
And why do their faces
turn so deathly pale?
7 Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is!
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.
8 When the time for them to be rescued comes,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
“I will rescue you from foreign subjugation.
I will deliver you from captivity.
Foreigners will then no longer subjugate them.
9 But they will be subject to the Lord their God
and to the Davidic ruler whom I will raise up as king over them.
10 So I, the Lord, tell you not to be afraid,
you descendants of Jacob, my servants.
Do not be terrified, people of Israel.
For I will rescue you and your descendants
from a faraway land where you are captives.
The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.
They will be secure, and no one will terrify them.
11 For I, the Lord, affirm 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.”
12 Moreover, the Lord says to the people of Zion:
“Your injuries are incurable;
your wounds are severe.
13 There is no one to plead your cause.
There are no remedies for your wounds.
There is no healing for you.
14 All your allies have abandoned you.
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.
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.
16 But 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.
17 Yes, I will restore you to health.
I will heal your wounds.
I, the Lord, affirm it!
For you have been called an outcast,
Zion, whom no one cares for.”
18 The Lord says:
“I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob.
I will show compassion on their ruined homes.
Every city will be rebuilt on its former ruins.
Every fortified dwelling will occupy its traditional site.
19 Out of those places you will hear songs of thanksgiving
and the sounds of laughter and merriment.
I will increase their number, and they will not dwindle away.
I will bring them honor, and they will no longer be despised.
20 The descendants of Jacob will enjoy their former privileges.
Their community will be reestablished in my favor,
and I will punish all who try to oppress them.
21 One of their own people will be their leader.
Their ruler will come from their own number.
I will invite him to approach me, and he will do so.
For no one would dare approach me on his own.
I, the Lord, affirm it!
22 Then you will again be my people,
and I will be your God.
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.
24 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has fully carried out his intended purposes.
In future days you will come to understand this.
31:1 At that time I will be the God of all the clans of Israel,
and they will be my people.
I, the Lord, affirm it!”
2 The Lord says:
“The people of Israel who survived
death at the hands of the enemy
will find favor in the wilderness
as they journey to find rest for themselves.
3 In a faraway 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.
4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel,
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.
5 Once again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria.
Those who plant them
will once again enjoy their fruit.
6 Yes, a time is coming
when watchmen will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,
“Come! Let us go to Zion
to worship the Lord our God!”’”
7 Moreover, the Lord says:
“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.
Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard.
Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people.
Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’
8 Then I will reply, ‘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.
9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.
I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance.
I will lead them besides streams of water,
along smooth paths where they will never stumble.
I will do this because I am Israel’s father;
Ephraim is my firstborn son.’
10 “Listen to the Lord’s message, 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.’
11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.
He will secure their release from those who had overpowered them.
12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.
They will be radiant with joy over the good things the Lord provides,
the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,
the young sheep, and the calves he has given to them.
They will be like a well-watered garden
and will not grow faint or weary any more.
13 The Lord says, ‘At that time young women will dance and be glad.
Young men and old men will rejoice.
I will turn their grief into gladness.
I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.
14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions.
My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.’
15 The Lord says:
“A sound is heard in Ramah,
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.”
16 The Lord says to her,
“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears.
For your heartfelt repentance will be rewarded.
Your children will return from the land of the enemy.
I, the Lord, affirm it!
17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity.
Your children will return to their own territory.
I, the Lord, affirm it!
18 I have indeed heard the people of Israel say mournfully,
‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke.
You disciplined us, and we learned from it.
Let us come back to you and we will do so,
for you are the Lord our God.
19 For after we turned away from you we repented.
After we came to our senses we struck our thigh in sorrow.
We are ashamed and humiliated
because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’
20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.
They are the children I take delight in.
For even though I must often rebuke them,
I still remember them with fondness.
So I am deeply moved with pity for them
and will surely have compassion on them.
I, the Lord, affirm it!
21 I will say, ‘My dear children of Israel, keep in mind
the road you took when you were carried off.
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.
22 How long will you vacillate,
you who were once like an unfaithful daughter?
For I, the Lord, promise to bring about something new on the earth,
something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’”
23 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says,
“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.
When I do, they will again say of Jerusalem,
‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,
the place where righteousness dwells.’
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.
25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary
and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint.
26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep
when I wake up and look around.’
27 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished and brought disaster. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted. I, the Lord, affirm it!
29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’ 30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb.
31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” says the Lord. 33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”
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.
His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
36 The Lord affirms, “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.”
37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all that they have done.
That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured
or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,”
says the Lord.
38 “Indeed a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt as my special city. It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown, and all the terraced fields out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far north as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
32:1 In the tenth year that Zedekiah was ruling over Judah the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. That was the same as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
2 Now at that time, the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse attached to the royal palace of Judah. 3 For King Zedekiah had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, “Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, ‘I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it. 4 King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians. He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face. 5 Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him. I, the Lord, affirm it! Even if you continue to fight against the Babylonians, you cannot win.’”
6 So now, Jeremiah said, “The Lord’s message came to me, 7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled as my closest relative to buy it.”’ 8 And then my cousin Hanamel did come to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse in keeping with the Lord’s message. He said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me. 9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it. 10 I signed the deed of purchase, sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase. I weighed out the silver for him on a scale. 11 There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase. The other was left unsealed. 12 I took both copies of the deed of purchase and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 13 In the presence of all these people I instructed Baruch, 14 ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, “Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come.”’ 15 For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’
16 “After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, 17 ‘Oh, Sovereign Lord, you did indeed make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. Nothing is too hard for you! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands. But you also punish children for the sins of their parents. You are the great and powerful God whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. You see everything people do. You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do. 20 You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt that have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day. 21 You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt. 22 You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors. You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do. So you brought all this disaster on them. 24 Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city in order to capture it. War, starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it. Lord, you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place. 25 The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. Yet, in spite of this, you, Sovereign Lord, have said to me, “Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed.”’”
26 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah: 27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me. 28 Therefore I, the Lord, say: ‘I will indeed hand this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army. They will capture it. 29 The Babylonian soldiers that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops. 30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me from their earliest history until now and because they have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. I, the Lord, affirm it! 31 This will happen because the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now. They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove it from my sight. 32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness—they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem have done this wickedness. 33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. I tried over and over again to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction. 34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple that I have claimed for my own and defiled it. 35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do. It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’
36 “You and your people are right in saying, ‘War, starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’ But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city: 37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I have exiled them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 40 I will make a lasting covenant with them that I will never stop doing good to them. I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that they will never again turn away from me. 41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them firmly in the land.’
42 “For I, the Lord, say: ‘I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them. 43 You and your people are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians. But fields will again be bought in this land. 44 Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the foothills, and southern Judah. For I will restore them to their land. I, the Lord, affirm it!’”
33:1 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 2 “I, the Lord, do these things. I, the Lord, form the plan to bring them about. I am known as the Lord. I say to you, 3 ‘Call on me in prayer, and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things that you still do not know about.’ 4 For I, the Lord God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings of Judah that have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians: 5 ‘The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians. But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath. That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on this city on account of the wicked things they have done. 6 But I will most surely heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health. I will show them abundant peace and security. 7 I will restore Judah and Israel and will rebuild them as they were in days of old. 8 I will purify them from all the sin that they committed against me. I will forgive all their sins that they committed in rebelling against me. 9 All the nations will hear about all the good things that I will do for them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.’
10 “I, the Lord, say: ‘You and your people are saying about this place, “It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it.” That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places. 11 Once again there will be sounds of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” For I, the Lord, affirm that I will restore the land to what it was in days of old.’
12 “I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, say: ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep. 13 I, the Lord, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold. They will do this in all the towns in the hill country, the foothills, the Negev, the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.’
14 “I, the Lord, affirm: ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant of David.
“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety and Jerusalem will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” 17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy the throne over the nation of Israel. 18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’”
19 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah another time: 20 “I, the Lord, make the following promise: ‘I have made a covenant with the day and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people could break that covenant 21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me. 22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands that are on the seashore.’”
23 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah another time: 24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: ‘I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth. 26 Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, I will restore them and show mercy to them.’”