Jeremiah 31:7-20

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.

Jeremiah 31:7-20 Meaning and Commentary


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.

Cross References 50

  • 1. S Isaiah 12:6
  • 2. Deuteronomy 28:13; Isaiah 61:9
  • 3. Psalms 14:7; Psalms 28:9
  • 4. S Isaiah 37:31
  • 5. S Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 23:8
  • 6. S Genesis 33:13; S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Psalms 106:47; Ezekiel 34:12-14
  • 7. Isaiah 42:16
  • 8. Ezekiel 34:16; Micah 4:6
  • 9. S Ezra 3:12; Psalms 126:5
  • 10. Isaiah 63:13
  • 11. S Numbers 20:8; S Psalms 1:3; S Isaiah 32:2
  • 12. S Isaiah 40:4; S Isaiah 49:11
  • 13. S Exodus 4:22; S Jeremiah 3:4
  • 14. Isaiah 49:1; S Isaiah 66:19; S Jeremiah 25:22
  • 15. S Leviticus 26:33
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 50:19
  • 17. Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:12
  • 18. S Exodus 6:6; Zechariah 9:16; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 48:20
  • 19. Psalms 142:6
  • 20. S Psalms 126:5
  • 21. Ezekiel 17:23; Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 40:2; Micah 4:1
  • 22. S Psalms 36:8; Joel 3:18
  • 23. S Numbers 18:12; Hosea 2:21-22; Joel 2:19
  • 24. ver 24; S Isaiah 65:10
  • 25. S Song of Songs 4:15; Isaiah 58:11
  • 26. S Isaiah 30:19; S Isaiah 62:5; Isaiah 65:19; John 16:22; S Revelation 7:17
  • 27. S Isaiah 61:3
  • 28. S Isaiah 40:1
  • 29. Psalms 30:11; S Isaiah 51:11
  • 30. ver 25
  • 31. Leviticus 7:35-36
  • 32. S Psalms 36:8; S Isaiah 30:23
  • 33. S Joshua 18:25
  • 34. S Genesis 37:35
  • 35. S Jeremiah 10:20; Matthew 2:17-18*
  • 36. S Psalms 30:5; S Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 30:19
  • 37. S Ruth 2:12; S 2 Chronicles 15:7
  • 38. Jeremiah 30:3; Ezekiel 11:17
  • 39. S Job 8:7; Lamentations 3:29
  • 40. S Jeremiah 30:20
  • 41. S Job 5:17
  • 42. Jeremiah 50:11; Hosea 4:16; Hosea 10:11
  • 43. S Psalms 80:3
  • 44. S Psalms 95:10; S Jeremiah 8:4; Ezekiel 36:31
  • 45. Ezekiel 21:12; Luke 18:13
  • 46. Ezra 9:6
  • 47. S Psalms 25:7; S Jeremiah 22:21
  • 48. Lamentations 3:33
  • 49. S Isaiah 44:21; Hosea 4:4; Hosea 11:8
  • 50. S 1 Kings 3:26; S Psalms 6:2; Isaiah 55:7; Isaiah 63:15; Micah 7:18
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