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.
Again, I will build you up, and you will be rebuilt, virgin Israel. Again, you will play your tambourines and dance with joy.
Again, you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; farmers will plant and then enjoy the harvests.
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!"
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!"
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.
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.
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.
The LORD will rescue the people of Jacob and deliver them from the power of those stronger than they are.
They will come shouting for joy on the hills of Zion, jubilant over the LORD's gifts: grain, wine, oil, flocks, and herds. Their lives will be like a lush garden; they will grieve no more.
Then the young women will dance for joy; the young and old men will join in. I will turn their mourning into laughter and their sadness into joy; I will comfort them.