Jeremiah 31:1-6

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!"

Jeremiah 31:1-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 31

This chapter is connected with the former, respects the same times, and is full of prophecies and promises of spiritual blessings; of the coming of Christ; of the multiplication of his people, and the increase of their joy; of the conversion of the Gentiles; of the covenant of grace; and of the stability of the saints. It begins with the principal promise of the covenant, confirmed by past experience, of divine goodness, and with a fresh declaration of God's everlasting love, Jer 31:1-3; an instance of which would appear, in planting vines or churches in Samaria, the metropolis of Ephraim or the ten tribes, under the ministry of the apostles, the watchmen, on Mount Ephraim; whereby the Israel of God would be built, beautified, and made to rejoice, Jer 31:4-6; yea, it would be matter of joy to all that heard of it; since, notwithstanding distance and other difficulties, a great number should come to Christ, and to his church, drawn by the Father's love to them, and as owing to the relation he stands in to them, Jer 31:7-9; redemption out of the hands of Satan, and every spiritual enemy, must be published among the Gentiles; which would cause great joy, and give great satisfaction to the priests and people of the Lord, expressed by various metaphors, Jer 31:10-14; and though, upon the birth of the Redeemer, there would be an event, which might tend to damp the joy of saints on account of it, the murder of the infants at Bethlehem; yet some things are said to encourage faith, hope, and joy, and to abate sorrow and weeping, Jer 31:15-17; Ephraim's affliction, and behaviour under it, his repentance and reception, are recorded, Jer 31:18-20; backsliding Israel are called upon to return, in consideration of the birth of the Messiah, Jer 31:21,22; the happy and flourishing estate of the people of God is promised; all which were made known to the prophet by a dream in the night, Jer 31:23-26; and fresh promises are made, that the Lord would do them good, and not punish the children for their fathers' sins, but everyone for their own, Jer 31:28-30; and then an account is given of the new covenant of grace, as distinct from the old, and of the articles of it; the inscription of the law in the heart, spiritual knowledge of the Lord, and remission of sin, Jer 31:31-34; then follow assurances of the everlasting continuance of the true Israel and church of God, Jer 31:35-37; and the chapter is concluded with a promise of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, and of the holiness of it, and of its abiding for ever, Jer 31:38-40.

Jeremiah 31:1-6 In-Context

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.

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