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Jeremiah 31 (New International Reader's Version)

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1 "At that time I will be the God of all of the tribes of Israel," announces the Lord. "And they will be my people." 2 The LORD says, "Some of my people will live through everything their enemies do to them. They will find help in the desert. I will come to give peace and rest to Israel." 3 The LORD appeared to us in the past. He said, "I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. I have kept on loving you with faithful love. 4 I will build you up again. Nation of Israel, you will be rebuilt. Once again you will use your tambourines to celebrate. You will go out and dance with joy. 5 Once again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria. Farmers will plant them. They will enjoy their fruit. 6 There will be a day when those on guard duty will cry out. They will stand on the hills of Ephraim. And they will shout, 'Come! Let's go up to Zion. Let's go up to where the LORD our God is.' " 7 The LORD says, "Sing with joy because the people of Jacob are blessed. Shout because the LORD has made them the greatest nation. Make your praises heard. Say, 'Lord, save your people. Save the people who are left alive in Israel.' 8 I will bring them from the land of the north. I will gather them from one end of the earth to the other. Even those who are blind and those who can't walk will be among them. Pregnant women and women having their babies will be among them also. A large number will return. 9 Their eyes will be filled with tears as they come. They will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water. I will lead them on a level path where they will not trip or fall. I am Israel's father. And Ephraim is my oldest son. 10 "Listen to my message, you nations. Announce it on shores far away. Say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather them. He will watch over his flock like a shepherd.' 11 I will set the people of Jacob free. I will save them from those who are stronger than they are. 12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion. They will be joyful because of everything I give them. I give them grain, olive oil and fresh wine. I give them the young animals in their flocks and herds. Israel will be like a garden that has plenty of water. And they will not be sad anymore. 13 Then young women will dance and be glad. And so will the men, young and old alike. I will turn their sobbing into gladness. I will comfort them. And I will give them joy instead of sorrow. 14 I will satisfy the priests. I will give them more than enough. And my people will be filled with the good things I give them," announces the Lord. 15 The LORD says, "A voice is heard in Ramah. It is the sound of crying and deep sadness. Rachel is crying over her children. She refuses to be comforted, because they are gone." 16 The LORD says, "Do not sob anymore. Do not let tears fall from your eyes. I will reward you for your work," announces the Lord. "Your children will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So I am giving you hope for the years to come," announces the Lord. "Your children will return to their own land. 18 "I have heard the groans of Ephraim's people. They say, 'You corrected us like a calf you were training. And we have been trained. Bring us back to you, and we will come back. You are the LORD our God. 19 After we wandered away from you, we turned away from our sins. After we learned our lesson, we beat our chests in sorrow. We were full of shame. What we did when we were young brought dishonor on us.' 20 Aren't the people of Ephraim my dear children? Aren't they the children I take delight in? I often speak against them. But I still remember them. So my heart longs for them. I love them with a tender love," announces the Lord. 21 The LORD says, "Put up road signs. Set up stones to show the way. Look carefully for the highway. Look for the road you will take. Return, people of Israel. Return to your towns. 22 How long will you wander, you people who are not faithful to me? I will create a new thing on earth. A woman will guard a man." 23 The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "I will bring them back from the place where they were taken. The people in Judah and its towns will say once again, 'Holy temple in Jerusalem, may the LORD bless you. Sacred mountain, may he bless you.' 24 "People will live together in Judah and all of its towns. Farmers and shepherds will live there. 25 I will give rest to those who are tired. I will satisfy those who are weak." 26 When I heard that, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant. 27 The LORD announces, "The days are coming when I will plant the nation of Israel and Judah again. I will plant it with children and young animals. 28 "I watched over Israel and Judah to pull them up by the roots. I tore them down. I crushed them. I destroyed them. I brought horrible trouble on them. But now I will watch over them to build them up and plant them," announces the Lord. 29 "In those days people will no longer say, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes. But the children have a bitter taste in their mouths.' 30 Instead, everyone will die for his own sin. The one who eats sour grapes will taste how bitter they are. 31 "A new day is coming," announces the Lord. "I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel. I will also make it with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their people long ago. That was when I took them by the hand. I led them out of Egypt. But they broke my covenant. They did it even though I was like a husband to them," announces the Lord. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with Israel after that time," announces the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds. I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God. And they will be my people. 34 A man will not need to teach his neighbor anymore. And he will not need to teach his friend anymore. He will not say, 'Know the Lord.' Everyone will know me. From the least important of them to the most important, all of them will know me," announces the Lord. "I will forgive their evil ways. I will not remember their sins anymore." 35 The LORD speaks. He makes the sun shine by day. He orders the moon and stars to shine at night. He stirs up the ocean. He makes its waves roar. His name is The LORD Who Rules Over All. 36 "Suppose my orders for creation disappear from my sight," announces the Lord. "Only then will the people of Israel stop being a nation in my sight." 37 The LORD says, "Suppose the sky above could be measured. Suppose the foundations of the earth below could be completely discovered. Only then would I turn the people of Israel away. Even though they have committed many sins, I will still accept them," announces the Lord. 38 "A new day is coming," announces the Lord. "At that time Jerusalem will be rebuilt for me. It will be rebuilt from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line will reach out from there. It will go straight to the hill of Gareb. Then it will turn and reach as far as Goah. 40 "There is a valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown. That whole valley will be holy to me. The side of the Kidron Valley east of the city will be holy to me. It will be holy all the way to the corner of the Horse Gate. The city will never again be pulled up by the roots. It will never be destroyed."
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