While Jeremiah was still confined1 in the courtyard2 of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time:3
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"This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth,4 the LORD who formed it and established it--the LORD is his name:5
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'Call6 to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable7 things you do not know.'
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For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege8 ramps9 and the sword
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in the fight with the Babylonians: 'They will be filled with the dead bodies of the men I will slay in my anger and wrath.10 I will hide my face11 from this city because of all its wickedness.
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" 'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal12 my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace13 and security.
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I will bring Judah14 and Israel back from captivity15 and will rebuild16 them as they were before.17
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I will cleanse18 them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive19 all their sins of rebellion against me.
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Then this city will bring me renown,20 joy, praise21 and honor22 before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble23 at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'
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"This is what the LORD says: 'You say about this place, "It is a desolate waste, without men or animals."24 Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted,25 inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more
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the sounds of joy and gladness,26 the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings27 to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good;28 his love endures forever."29 For I will restore the fortunes30 of the land as they were before,31' says the LORD.
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"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'In this place, desolate32 and without men or animals33--in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks.34
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In the towns of the hill35 country, of the western foothills and of the Negev,36 in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand37 of the one who counts them,' says the LORD.
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" 'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise38 I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
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" 'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous39 Branch40 sprout from David's line;41 he will do what is just and right in the land.
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In those days Judah will be saved42 and Jerusalem will live in safety.43 This is the name by which it will be called:44 The LORD Our Righteousness.'45
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For this is what the LORD says: 'David will never fail46 to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,
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nor will the priests,47 who are Levites,48 ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.49' "
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The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
"This is what the LORD says: 'If you can break my covenant with the day50 and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time,51
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then my covenant52 with David my servant--and my covenant with the Levites53 who are priests ministering before me--can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.54
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I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless55 as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.' "
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The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
"Have you not noticed that these people are saying, 'The LORD has rejected the two kingdoms56 he chose'? So they despise57 my people and no longer regard them as a nation.58
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This is what the LORD says: 'If I have not established my covenant with day and night59 and the fixed laws60 of heaven and earth,61
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then I will reject62 the descendants of Jacob63 and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes64 and have compassion65 on them.' "
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