But the people of Jerusalem said, "The Lord has abandoned us! He has forgotten us."
So the Lord answers, "Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.
Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
"Those who will rebuild you are coming soon, and those who destroyed you will leave.
Look around and see what is happening! Your people are assembling - they are coming home! As surely as I am the living God, you will be proud of your people, as proud as a bride is of her jewels.
"Your country was ruined and desolate - but now it will be too small for those who are coming to live there. And those who left you in ruins will be far removed from you.
Your people who were born in exile will one day say to you, "This land is too small - we need more room to live in!'
Then you will say to yourself, "Who bore all these children for me? I lost my children and could have no more. I was exiled and driven away - who brought these children up? I was left all alone - where did these children come from?' "
The Sovereign Lord says to his people: 1 "I will signal to the nations, and they will bring your children home.
Kings will be like fathers to you; queens will be like mothers. They will bow low before you and honor you; they will humbly show their respect for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord; no one who waits for my help will be disappointed."
Can you take away a soldier's loot? Can you rescue the prisoners of a tyrant?
The Lord replies, "That is just what is going to happen. The soldier's prisoners will be taken away, and the tyrant's loot will be seized. I will fight against whoever fights you, and I will rescue your children.
I will make your oppressors kill each other; they will be drunk with murder and rage. Then all people will know that I am the Lord, the one who saves you and sets you free. They will know that I am Israel's powerful God."