The LORD spoke his word to me again. He said,
"Son of man, take a stick and write on it: 'For Judah and for the Israelites who are associated with it.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'The stick of Ephraim, for Joseph and for all the people of Israel associated with it.'
Then join both sticks together so that they will be one in your hand. Your people will say to you,
'Tell us what you mean by this.'
Then say to them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will take Joseph's stick, which is in Ephraim's hand, and the tribes of Israel associated with it, and I will put them with Judah's stick. I will make them into one stick. They will be one in my hand.'
When you hold the sticks in your hand, let the people see them.
"Then tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they've gone. I will gather them from everywhere and bring them to their own land.
I will form them into one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule all of them. They will no longer be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
They will no longer dishonor themselves with their idols, with their detestable things, or with their rebellious acts. I will forgive them for all the times they turned away from me and sinned. I will cleanse them so that they will be my people, and I will be their God.
"'My servant David will be their king, and all of them will have one shepherd. They will live by my rules, and they will obey my laws.
They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They, their children, and their grandchildren will live in it permanently. My servant David will always be their prince.
I will promise them peace. This promise will last forever. I will establish them, make them increase in number, and put my holy place among them permanently.
My dwelling place will be with them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Then the nations will know that I, the LORD, have set Israel apart as holy, because my holy place will be among them permanently.'"