Jeremiah 30; Jeremiah 31; Philemon 1 (Common English Bible)

THE SCROLL OF COMFORT

Healing and restoration for my people

1 Jeremiah received the LORD's word: 2 The LORD, the God of Israel, proclaims: Write down in a scroll all the words I have spoken to you. 3 The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will bring back my people Israel and Judah from captivity, says the LORD. I will bring them home to the land that I gave to their ancestors, and they will possess it. 4 Here are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah: 5 The LORD proclaims: I hear screams of panic and terror; no one is safe. 6 Ask and see: Can men bear children? Then why do I see every man bent over in pain, as if he's in labor? Why have all turned pale? 7 That day is awful, beyond words. A time of unspeakable pain for my people Jacob. But they will be delivered from it. 8 At that time, I will break the yoke off their necks and remove their shackles. Foreigners will no longer enslave them, declares the LORD of heavenly forces. 9 They will serve the LORD their God and the king whom I will raise up for them from David's family. 10 So don't be afraid, my servant Jacob, declares the LORD, Don't lose hope, Israel. I will deliver you from faraway places and your children from the land of their exile. My people Jacob will again be safe and sound, with no one harassing them. 11 I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD. I will put an end to all the nations where I have scattered you. But I won't put an end to you. I won't let you remain unpunished: I will discipline you as you deserve. 12 This is what the LORD says: Your injury is incurable; your illness is grave. 13 No one comes to your aid; no one attends to your wound; your disease is incurable. 14 All your lovers disregard you; they write you off as a lost cause, because I have dealt harshly with you as an enemy would, because your guilt is great and your sins are many. 15 Why cry out for relief from your pain? Your wound is incurable. I have done these things to you, because your guilt is great and your sins are many. 16 Yet all who ravage you will be ravaged; all who oppress you will go into exile. Those who rob you will be robbed, and all who plunder you will be plundered. 17 I will restore your health, and I will heal your wounds, declares the LORD, because you were labeled an outcast, "Zion, the lost cause." 18 The LORD proclaims: I will restore Jacob's tents and have pity on their birthplace. Their city will be rebuilt on its ruins and the palace in its rightful place. 19 There will be laughter and songs of thanks. I will add to their numbers so they don't dwindle away. I will honor them so they aren't humiliated. 20 Their children will thrive as they did long ago, and their community will be established before me. I will punish their oppressors. 21 They will have their own leader; their ruler will come from among them. I will let him approach me, and he will draw near. Who would dare approach me unless I let them come? declares the LORD. 22 You will be my people, and I will be your God. 23 Look! The LORD's anger breaks out like a violent storm, a fierce wind that strikes the heads of the wicked. 24 The LORD's fierce anger won't turn back until God's purposes are entirely accomplished. In the days to come, you will understand what this means. 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 The LORD proclaims: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness. As Israel searched for a place of rest, 3 the LORD appeared to them from a distance: I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. And so with unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself. 4 Again, I will build you up, and you will be rebuilt, virgin Israel. Again, you will play your tambourines and dance with joy. 5 Again, you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; farmers will plant and then enjoy the harvests. 6 The time will come when the watchmen shout from the highlands of Ephraim: "Get ready! We're going up to Zion to the LORD our God!" 7 The LORD proclaims: Sing joyfully for the people of Jacob; shout for the leading nation. Raise your voices with praise and call out: "The LORD has saved his people, the remaining few in Israel!" 8 I'm going to bring them back from the north; I will gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the disabled, expectant mothers and those in labor; a great throng will return here. 9 With tears of joy they will come; while they pray, I will bring them back. I will lead them by quiet streams and on smooth paths so they don't stumble. I will be Israel's father, Ephraim will be my oldest child. 10 Listen to the LORD's word, you nations, and announce it to the distant islands: The one who scattered Israel will gather them and keep them safe, as a shepherd his flock. 11 The LORD will rescue the people of Jacob and deliver them from the power of those stronger than they are. 12 They will come shouting for joy on the hills of Zion, jubilant over the LORD's gifts: grain, wine, oil, flocks, and herds. Their lives will be like a lush garden; they will grieve no more. 13 Then the young women will dance for joy; the young and old men will join in. I will turn their mourning into laughter and their sadness into joy; I will comfort them. 14 I will lavish the priests with abundance and shower my people with my gifts, declares the LORD. 15 The LORD proclaims: A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and wailing. It's Rachel crying for her children; she refuses to be consoled, because her children are no more. 16 The LORD proclaims: Keep your voice from crying and your eyes from weeping, because your endurance will be rewarded, declares the LORD. They will return from the land of their enemy! 17 There's hope for your future, declares the LORD. Your children will return home! 18 I hear, yes, I hear Ephraim lamenting: "You disciplined me, and I learned my lesson, even though I was as stubborn as a mule. Bring me back, let me return, because you are the LORD my God. 19 After I turned away from you, I regretted it; I realized what I had done, and I have hit myself— I was humiliated and disgraced, and I have carried this disgrace since I was young." 20 Isn't Ephraim my much-loved child? Don't I utterly adore him? Even when I scold him, I still hold him dear. I yearn for him and love him deeply, declares the LORD. 21 Set up markers, put up signs; think about the road you have traveled, the path you have taken. Return, virgin Israel; return to these towns of yours. 22 How long will you hem and haw, my rebellious daughter? The LORD has created something new on earth: Virgin Israel will once again embrace her God! 23 The LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: When I bring my people back from captivity, they will once again utter these words in the land and towns of Judah: The LORD bless you, righteous dwelling place, holy mountain. 24 Those who live in Judah and its towns will dwell together with farmers and shepherds. 25 I will strengthen the weary and renew those who are weak. 26 Then I woke up and looked around. What a pleasant sleep I had! 27 The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will plant seeds in Israel and Judah, and both people and animals will spring up. 28 Just as I watched over them to dig up and pull down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and plant, declares the LORD. 29 In those days, people will no longer say: Sour grapes eaten by parents leave a bitter taste in the mouths of their children. 30 Because everyone will die for their own sins: whoever eats sour grapes will have a bitter taste in their own mouths. 31 The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 It won't be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant with me even though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 No, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the LORD. I will put my Instructions within them and engrave them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 They will no longer need to teach each other to say, "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 wrongdoing and never again remember their sins. 35 The LORD proclaims: The one who established the sun to light up the day and ordered the moon and stars to light up the night, who stirs up the sea into crashing waves, whose name is the LORD of heavenly forces: 36 If the created order should vanish from my sight, declares the LORD, only then would Israel's descendants ever stop being a nation before me. 37 The LORD proclaims: If the heavens above could be measured and the foundation of the earth below could be fathomed, only then would I reject Israel's descendants for what they have done, declares the LORD. 38 The time is coming, declares the LORD, when the city will be rebuilt for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 Its boundaries will extend to the Gareb Hill and around to Goah. 40 The entire valley defiled by corpses and ashes, and all the fields as far as the Kidron Valley and the Horse Gate on the east, all this will be set apart for the LORD. And the city will never again be dug up or overthrown.

Greeting

1 From Paul, who is a prisoner for the cause of Christ Jesus, and our brother Timothy. To Philemon our dearly loved coworker, 2 Apphia our sister, Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church that meets in your house. 3 May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Paul’s prayer for Philemon

4 Philemon, I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers 5 because I've heard of your love and faithfulness, which you have both for the Lord Jesus and for all God's people. 6 I pray that your partnership in the faith might become effective by an understanding of all that is good among us in Christ. 7 I have great joy and encouragement because of your love, since the hearts of God's people are refreshed by your actions, my brother.

Paul’s appeal for Onesimus

8 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to command you to do the right thing, 9 I would rather appeal to you through love. I, Paul—an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus— 10 appeal to you for my child Onesimus. I became his father in the faith during my time in prison. 11 He was useless to you before, but now he is useful to both of us. 12 I'm sending him back to you, which is like sending you my own heart. 13 I considered keeping him with me so that he might serve me in your place during my time in prison because of the gospel. 14 However, I didn't want to do anything without your consent so that your act of kindness would occur willingly and not under pressure. 15 Maybe this is the reason that Onesimus was separated from you for a while so that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave—that is, as a dearly loved brother. He is especially a dearly loved brother to me. How much more can he become a brother to you, personally and spiritually in the Lord! 17 So, if you really consider me a partner, welcome Onesimus as if you were welcoming me. 18 If he has harmed you in any way or owes you money, charge it to my account. 19 I, Paul, will pay it back to you (I'm writing this with my own hand). Of course, I won't mention that you owe me your life. 20 Yes, brother, I want this favor from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. 21 I'm writing to you, confident of your obedience and knowing that you will do more than what I ask. 22 Also, one more thing—prepare a guest room for me. I hope that I will be released from prison to be with you because of your prayers.

Final greeting

23 Epaphras, who is in prison with me for the cause of Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as well as my coworkers Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. 25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
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