Jeremiah 31

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 This is what the LORD says: “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.”
3 The LORD appeared to us in the past,[a] saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
4 I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.
5 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.
6 There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.’ ”
7 This is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, ‘LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’
8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return.
9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.
10 “Hear the word of the LORD, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
11 For the LORD will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the LORD.
15 This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
16 This is what the LORD says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD. “They will return from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the LORD. “Your children will return to their own land.
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 to[b] the man.”
23 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity,[c] 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.
29 “In those days people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.
31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to[d] them,[e] ” declares the LORD.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
35 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name:
36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.”
37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD.
38 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
39 The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah.
40 The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the LORD. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”

Images for Jeremiah 31

Jeremiah 31 Commentary

Chapter 31

The restoration of Israel. (1-9) Promises of guidance and happiness; Rachel lamenting. (10-17) Ephraim laments his errors. (18-20) The promised Saviour. (21-26) God's care over the church. (27-34) Peace and prosperity in gospel time. (35-40)

Verses 1-9 God assures his people that he will again take them into covenant relation to himself. When brought very low, and difficulties appear, it is good to remember that it has been so with the church formerly. But it is hard under present frowns to take comfort from former smiles; yet it is the happiness of those who, through grace, are interested in the love of God, that it is an everlasting love, from everlasting in the counsels, to everlasting in the continuance. Those whom God loves with this love, he will draw to himself, by the influences of his Spirit upon their souls. When praising God for what he has done, we must call upon him for the favours his church needs and expects. When the Lord calls, we must not plead that we cannot come; for he that calls us, will help us, will strengthen us. The goodness of God shall lead them to repentance. And they shall weep for sin with more bitterness, and more tenderness, when delivered out of their captivity, than when groaning under it. If we take God for our Father, and join the church of the first-born, we shall want nothing that is good for us. These predictions doubtless refer also to a future gathering of the Israelites from all quarters of the globe. And they figuratively describe the conversion of sinners to Christ, and the plain and safe way in which they are led.

Verses 10-17 He that scattered Israel, knows where to find them. It is comfortable to observe the goodness of the Lord in the gifts of providence. But our souls are never valuable as gardens, unless watered with the dews of God's Spirit and grace. A precious promise follows, which will not have full accomplishment except in the heavenly Zion. Let them be satisfied of God's loving-kindness, and they will be satisfied with it, and desire no more to make them happy. Rachel is represented as rising from her grave, and refusing to be comforted, supposing her offspring rooted out. The murder of the children at Bethlehem, by Herod, ( Matthew 2:16-18 ) , in some degree fulfilled this prediction, but could not be its full meaning. If we have hope in the end, concerning an eternal inheritance, for ourselves and those belonging to us, all temporal afflictions may be borne, and will be for our good.

Verses 18-20 Ephraim (the ten tribes) is weeping for sin. He is angry at himself for his sin, and folly, and frowardness. He finds he cannot, by his own power, keep himself close with God, much less bring himself back when he is revolted. Therefore he prays, Turn thou me, and I shall be turned. His will was bowed to the will of God. When the teaching of God's Spirit went with the corrections of his providence, then the work was done. This is our comfort in affliction, that the Lord thinks upon us. God has mercy in store, rich mercy, sure mercy, suitable mercy, for all who seek him in sincerity.

Verses 21-26 The way from the bondage of sin to the liberty of God's children, is a high-way. It is plain, it is safe; yet none are likely to walk in it, unless they set their hearts towards it. They are encouraged by the promise of a new, unheard-of, extraordinary thing; a creation, a work of Almighty power; the human nature of Christ, formed and prepared by the power of the Holy Ghost: and this is here mentioned as an encouragement to the Jews to return to their own land. And a comfortable prospect is given them of a happy settlement there. Godliness and honesty God has joined: let no man think to put them asunder, or to make the one atone for the want of the other. In the love and favour of God the weary soul shall find rest, and the sorrowful shall find joy. And what can we see with more satisfaction than the good of Jerusalem, and peace upon Israel?

Verses 27-34 The people of God shall become numerous and prosperous. In ( hebrews 8:8 hebrews 8:9 ) , this place is quoted as the sum of the covenant of grace made with believers in Jesus Christ. Not, I will give them a new law; for Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it; but the law shall be written in their hearts by the finger of the Spirit, as formerly written in the tables of stone. The Lord will, by his grace, make his people willing people in the day of his power. All shall know the Lord; all shall be welcome to the knowledge of God, and shall have the means of that knowledge. There shall be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, at the time the gospel is published. No man shall finally perish, but for his own sins; none, who is willing to accept of Christ's salvation.

Verses 35-40 As surely as the heavenly bodies will continue their settled course, according to the will of their Creator, to the end of time, and as the raging sea obeys him, so surely will the Jews be continued a separate people. Words can scarcely set forth more strongly the restoration of Israel. The rebuilding of Jerusalem, and its enlargement and establishment, shall be an earnest of the great things God will do for the gospel church. The personal happiness of every true believer, as well as the future restoration of Israel, is secured by promise, covenant, and oath. This Divine love passes knowledge; and to those who take hold upon it, every present mercy is an earnest of salvation.

Cross References 121

  • 1. S Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 30:22
  • 2. Numbers 14:20
  • 3. S Exodus 33:14; S Deuteronomy 12:9
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 4:37
  • 5. Hosea 11:4; John 6:44
  • 6. S Jeremiah 1:10; S Jeremiah 30:18
  • 7. S 2 Kings 19:21
  • 8. S Genesis 31:27
  • 9. S Exodus 15:20
  • 10. S Jeremiah 30:19
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 20:6
  • 12. Jeremiah 33:13; Jeremiah 50:19; Obadiah 1:19
  • 13. S Isaiah 37:30; Isaiah 65:21; Amos 9:14
  • 14. S Isaiah 52:8; S Isaiah 56:10
  • 15. ver 12; S Deuteronomy 33:19; Isaiah 2:3; Jeremiah 50:4-5; Micah 4:2
  • 16. S Isaiah 12:6
  • 17. Deuteronomy 28:13; Isaiah 61:9
  • 18. Psalms 14:7; Psalms 28:9
  • 19. S Isaiah 37:31
  • 20. S Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 23:8
  • 21. S Genesis 33:13; S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Psalms 106:47; Ezekiel 34:12-14
  • 22. Isaiah 42:16
  • 23. Ezekiel 34:16; Micah 4:6
  • 24. S Ezra 3:12; Psalms 126:5
  • 25. Isaiah 63:13
  • 26. S Numbers 20:8; S Psalms 1:3; S Isaiah 32:2
  • 27. S Isaiah 40:4; S Isaiah 49:11
  • 28. S Exodus 4:22; S Jeremiah 3:4
  • 29. Isaiah 49:1; S Isaiah 66:19; S Jeremiah 25:22
  • 30. S Leviticus 26:33
  • 31. S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 50:19
  • 32. Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:12
  • 33. S Exodus 6:6; Zechariah 9:16; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 48:20
  • 34. Psalms 142:6
  • 35. S Psalms 126:5
  • 36. Ezekiel 17:23; Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 40:2; Micah 4:1
  • 37. S Psalms 36:8; Joel 3:18
  • 38. S Numbers 18:12; Hosea 2:21-22; Joel 2:19
  • 39. ver 24; S Isaiah 65:10
  • 40. S Song of Songs 4:15; Isaiah 58:11
  • 41. S Isaiah 30:19; S Isaiah 62:5; Isaiah 65:19; John 16:22; S Revelation 7:17
  • 42. S Isaiah 61:3
  • 43. S Isaiah 40:1
  • 44. Psalms 30:11; S Isaiah 51:11
  • 45. ver 25
  • 46. Leviticus 7:35-36
  • 47. S Psalms 36:8; S Isaiah 30:23
  • 48. S Joshua 18:25
  • 49. S Genesis 37:35
  • 50. S Jeremiah 10:20; Matthew 2:17-18*
  • 51. S Psalms 30:5; S Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 30:19
  • 52. S Ruth 2:12; S 2 Chronicles 15:7
  • 53. Jeremiah 30:3; Ezekiel 11:17
  • 54. S Job 8:7; Lamentations 3:29
  • 55. S Jeremiah 30:20
  • 56. S Job 5:17
  • 57. Jeremiah 50:11; Hosea 4:16; Hosea 10:11
  • 58. S Psalms 80:3
  • 59. S Psalms 95:10; S Jeremiah 8:4; Ezekiel 36:31
  • 60. Ezekiel 21:12; Luke 18:13
  • 61. Ezra 9:6
  • 62. S Psalms 25:7; S Jeremiah 22:21
  • 63. Lamentations 3:33
  • 64. S Isaiah 44:21; Hosea 4:4; Hosea 11:8
  • 65. S 1 Kings 3:26; S Psalms 6:2; Isaiah 55:7; Isaiah 63:15; Micah 7:18
  • 66. Ezekiel 21:19
  • 67. Isaiah 35:8; Jeremiah 50:5
  • 68. Isaiah 52:11; S Jeremiah 3:12
  • 69. ver 4
  • 70. S Jeremiah 2:23
  • 71. S Jeremiah 3:6
  • 72. Isaiah 43:19
  • 73. S Deuteronomy 32:10
  • 74. S Jeremiah 30:18
  • 75. S Genesis 28:3; S Numbers 6:24
  • 76. S Isaiah 1:26
  • 77. S Psalms 48:1; S Isaiah 2:2; Zechariah 8:3
  • 78. S Jeremiah 30:18; Zechariah 8:4-8
  • 79. S ver 12
  • 80. S Isaiah 40:29
  • 81. John 4:14
  • 82. Zechariah 4:1
  • 83. S Jeremiah 16:14
  • 84. Ezekiel 36:9-11; Hosea 2:23
  • 85. S Job 29:2
  • 86. S Deuteronomy 29:28
  • 87. S Jeremiah 18:8; Jeremiah 44:27
  • 88. S Deuteronomy 28:63; S Deuteronomy 30:9; S Jeremiah 1:10; Ezekiel 36:10-11; Amos 9:14
  • 89. S Genesis 9:25; Deuteronomy 24:16; Lamentations 5:7
  • 90. Ezekiel 18:2
  • 91. S 2 Kings 14:6; S Isaiah 3:11; Galatians 6:7
  • 92. S Deuteronomy 29:14; S Isaiah 42:6; S Isaiah 54:10; Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel 37:26; S Luke 22:20; Hebrews 8:8-12*; Hebrews 10:16-17
  • 93. S Exodus 24:8
  • 94. Deuteronomy 5:3
  • 95. Jeremiah 11:4
  • 96. S Isaiah 54:5
  • 97. S Exodus 4:15
  • 98. S Deuteronomy 6:6; S 2 Corinthians 3:3
  • 99. S Jeremiah 11:4; Jeremiah 24:7; Hebrews 10:16
  • 100. 1 John 2:27
  • 101. S Isaiah 11:9; S John 6:45
  • 102. Psalms 85:2; Psalms 130:4; Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 33:8; Jeremiah 50:20
  • 103. S Job 7:21; S Isaiah 38:17; Micah 7:19; Romans 11:27; Hebrews 10:17*
  • 104. Psalms 136:7-9
  • 105. S Genesis 1:16
  • 106. S Exodus 14:21
  • 107. S Psalms 93:3
  • 108. S Jeremiah 10:16
  • 109. S Job 38:33; Isaiah 54:9-10; Jeremiah 33:20-26
  • 110. Psalms 89:36-37
  • 111. S Job 38:5; Jeremiah 33:22
  • 112. Jeremiah 33:24-26; Romans 11:1-5
  • 113. S Jeremiah 30:18
  • 114. S Nehemiah 3:1
  • 115. S 2 Kings 14:13; S 2 Chronicles 25:23; Zechariah 14:10
  • 116. S 1 Kings 7:23
  • 117. S Jeremiah 2:23; Jeremiah 7:31-32
  • 118. S Jeremiah 8:2
  • 119. S 2 Samuel 15:23; John 18:1
  • 120. S 2 Kings 11:16
  • 121. S Isaiah 4:3; Joel 3:17; Zechariah 14:21

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Or Lord"has appeared to us from afar"
  • [b]. Or "will protect"
  • [c]. Or "I restore their fortunes"
  • [d]. Hebrew; Septuagint and Syriac "/ and I turned away from"
  • [e]. Or "was their master"

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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