18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God.
19 After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD.
21 “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, Virgin Israel, return to your towns.
22 How long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The LORD will create a new thing on earth— the woman will return toa the man.”
23 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity,b the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The LORD bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.’
24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks.
25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.
27 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals.
28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD.