The word of the LORD came to me:
"Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites1 associated with him.2' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.'
Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.318
"When your countrymen ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?'419
say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph--which is in Ephraim's hand--and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.'520
Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on
and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.622
I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.7 There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.823
They will no longer defile9 themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding,a10 and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.1124
" 'My servant David12 will be king13 over them, and they will all have one shepherd.14 They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.1525
They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived.16 They and their children and their children's children will live there forever,17 and David my servant will be their prince forever.1826
I will make a covenant of peace19 with them; it will be an everlasting covenant.20 I will establish them and increase their numbers,21 and I will put my sanctuary among them22 forever.2327
My dwelling place24 will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.2528
Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy,26 when my sanctuary is among them forever.2728' "