I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with tambourines.
Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria and eat from your own gardens there.
The day will come when watchmen will shout from the hill country of Ephraim, 'Come, let us go up to Jerusalem a to worship the LORD our God.'"
Now this is what the LORD says: "Sing with joy for Israel b ! Shout for the greatest of nations! Shout out with praise and joy: 'Save your people, O LORD, the remnant of Israel!'
For I will bring them from the north and from the distant corners of the earth. I will not forget the blind and lame, the expectant mothers and women about to give birth. A great company will return!
Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and not stumble. For I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my oldest child.
"Listen to this message from the LORD, you nations of the world; proclaim it in distant coastlands: The LORD, who scattered his people, will gather them together and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock.
For the LORD has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them.
They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the many gifts the LORD has given them -- the good crops of wheat, wine, and oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone.
The young women will dance for joy, and the men -- old and young -- will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
I will supply the priests with an abundance of offerings. I will satisfy my people with my bounty. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)