Jeremiah 31

Israel's Mourning Turned to Joy

1 "At that time," declares the LORD, "I will be the 1God of all the 2families of Israel, and they shall be My people."
2 Thus says the LORD, "The people who survived the sword 3Found grace in the wilderness - Israel, when it went to 4find its rest."
3 The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have 5loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore * I have drawn you with 6lovingkindness.
4 "7Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you will take up your 8tambourines, And go forth to the dances of the 9merrymakers.
5 "Again you will 10plant vineyards On the hills of Samaria; The planters will plant And will enjoy them.
6 "For there will be a day when watchmen On the hills of Ephraim call out, 'Arise, and 11let us go up to Zion, To the LORD our God.' "
7 For thus says the LORD, "12Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the 13chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, 'O LORD, 14save Your people, The 15remnant of Israel.'
8 "Behold, I am 16bringing them from the north country, And I will 17gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the 18blind and the 19lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here.
9 "20With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by 21streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will 22not stumble; For I am a 23father to Israel, And Ephraim is 24My firstborn."
10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, And declare in the 25coastlands afar off, And say, "He who scattered Israel will 26gather him And keep him as a 27shepherd keeps his flock."
11 For the LORD has 28ransomed Jacob And redeemed him from the hand of him who was 29stronger than he.
12 "They will 30come and shout for joy on the 31height of Zion, And they will be 32radiant over the bounty of the LORD - Over the 33grain and the new wine and the oil, And over the young of the 34flock and the herd; And their life will be like a 35watered garden, And they will 36never * languish again.
13 "Then the virgin will rejoice in the 37dance, And the young men and the old, together, For I will 38turn their mourning into joy And will comfort them and give them 39joy for their sorrow.
14 "I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people will be 40satisfied with My goodness," declares the LORD.
15 Thus says the LORD, "41A voice is heard in 42Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She 43refuses to be comforted for her children, Because 44they are no more."
16 Thus says the LORD, "45Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your 46work will be rewarded," declares the LORD, "And they will 47return from the land of the enemy.
17 "There is 48hope for your future," declares the LORD, "And your children will return to their own territory.
18 "I have surely heard Ephraim 49grieving, 'You have 50chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained * 51calf; 52Bring me back that I may be restored, For You are the LORD my God.
19 'For after I turned back, I 53repented; And after I was instructed, I 54smote on my thigh; I was 55ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.'
20 "Is 56Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore * My 57heart yearns for him; I will surely 58have mercy on him," declares the LORD.
21 "Set up for yourself roadmarks, Place for yourself guideposts; 59Direct your mind to the highway, The way by which you went. 60Return, O virgin of Israel, Return to these your cities.
22 "How long * will you go here and there, O 61faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth - A woman will encompass a man."
23 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities when I 62restore their fortunes, 'The LORD bless you, O 63abode of righteousness, O 64holy hill!'
24 "Judah and all its cities will 65dwell together in it, the farmer and they who go about with flocks.
25 "66For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes."
26 At this I 67awoke and looked, and my 68sleep was pleasant to me.

A New Covenant

27 "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will 69sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast.
28 "As I have 70watched over them to 71pluck up, to break down, to overthrow, to destroy and to bring disaster, so I will watch over them to 72build and to plant," declares the LORD.
29 "In those days they will not say again, '73The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge.'
30 "But 74everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge.
31 "75Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a 76new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
32 not like the 77covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I 78took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My 79covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
33 "But 80this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "81I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and 82I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 "They will 83not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all 84know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will 85forgive their iniquity, and their 86sin I will remember no more."
35 Thus says the LORD, Who 87gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who 88stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; 89The LORD of hosts is His name:
36 "90If this fixed order departs From before * Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also will 91cease From being a nation before Me forever *."
37 Thus says the LORD, "92If the heavens above * can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also 93cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the LORD.
38 "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the 94city will be rebuilt for the LORD from the 95Tower of Hananel to the 96Corner Gate.
39 "The 97measuring line will go out farther straight ahead to the hill Gareb; then it will turn to Goah.
40 "And 98the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook 99Kidron, to the corner of the 100Horse Gate toward the east, shall be 101holy to the LORD; it will not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever."

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 101

  • 1. Jeremiah 30:22
  • 2. Genesis 17:7, 8; Isaiah 41:10; Romans 11:26-28
  • 3. Numbers 14:20
  • 4. Exodus 33:14; Numbers 10:33; Deuteronomy 1:33; Joshua 1:13
  • 5. Deuteronomy 4:37; Deuteronomy 7:8; Malachi 1:2
  • 6. Psalms 25:6
  • 7. Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 33:7
  • 8. Isaiah 30:32
  • 9. Jeremiah 30:19
  • 10. Psalms 107:37; Isaiah 65:21; Ezekiel 28:26; Amos 9:14
  • 11. Isaiah 2:3; Jeremiah 31:12; Jeremiah 50:4, 5; Micah 4:2
  • 12. Psalms 14:7; Jeremiah 20:13
  • 13. Deuteronomy 28:13; Isaiah 61:9
  • 14. Psalms 28:9
  • 15. Isaiah 37:31; Jeremiah 23:3
  • 16. Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 23:8
  • 17. Deuteronomy 30:4; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 34:13
  • 18. Isaiah 42:16
  • 19. Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:16; Micah 4:6
  • 20. Psalms 126:5; Jeremiah 50:4
  • 21. Isaiah 43:20; Isaiah 49:10
  • 22. Isaiah 63:13
  • 23. Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 3:4, 19
  • 24. Exodus 4:22
  • 25. Isaiah 66:19; Jeremiah 25:22
  • 26. Jeremiah 50:19
  • 27. Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:12
  • 28. Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 48:20; Jeremiah 15:21; Jeremiah 50:34
  • 29. Psalms 142:6
  • 30. Jeremiah 31:6, 7
  • 31. Ezekiel 17:23
  • 32. Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1
  • 33. Hosea 2:22; Joel 3:18
  • 34. Jeremiah 31:24; Jeremiah 33:12, 13
  • 35. Isaiah 58:11
  • 36. Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 65:19; John 16:22; Revelation 21:4
  • 37. Judges 21:21; Psalms 30:11; Zechariah 8:4, 5
  • 38. Isaiah 61:3
  • 39. Isaiah 51:11
  • 40. Jeremiah 50:19
  • 41. Matthew 2:18
  • 42. Joshua 18:25; Judges 4:5; Isaiah 10:29; Jeremiah 40:1
  • 43. Genesis 37:35; Psalms 77:2
  • 44. Genesis 5:24; Genesis 42:13, 36; Jeremiah 10:20
  • 45. Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 30:19
  • 46. Ruth 2:12; Hebrews 6:10
  • 47. Jeremiah 30:3; Ezekiel 11:17
  • 48. Jeremiah 29:11
  • 49. Jeremiah 3:21
  • 50. Job 5:17; Psalms 94:12
  • 51. Hosea 4:16
  • 52. Ps 80:3, 7, 19; Jeremiah 17:14; Lamentations 5:21; Acts 3:26
  • 53. Ezekiel 36:31; Zechariah 12:10
  • 54. Ezekiel 21:12; Luke 18:13
  • 55. Jeremiah 3:25
  • 56. Hosea 11:8
  • 57. Genesis 43:30; Judges 10:16; Isaiah 63:15; Hosea 11:8
  • 58. Isaiah 55:7; Isaiah 57:18; Hosea 14:4; Micah 7:18
  • 59. Jeremiah 50:5
  • 60. Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11
  • 61. Jeremiah 3:6; Jeremiah 49:4
  • 62. Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 32:44
  • 63. Isaiah 1:26; Jeremiah 50:7
  • 64. Psalms 48:1; Psalms 87:1; Zechariah 8:3
  • 65. Jeremiah 31:12; Ezekiel 36:10; Zechariah 8:4-8
  • 66. Psalms 107:9; Jeremiah 31:12, 14; Matthew 5:6; John 4:14
  • 67. Zechariah 4:1
  • 68. Proverbs 3:24
  • 69. Ezekiel 36:9, 11; Hosea 2:23
  • 70. Jeremiah 44:27; Daniel 9:14
  • 71. Jeremiah 1:10; Jeremiah 18:7
  • 72. Jeremiah 24:6
  • 73. Lamentations 5:7; Ezekiel 18:2
  • 74. Deuteronomy 24:16; Isaiah 3:11; Ezekiel 18:4, 20
  • 75. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-12
  • 76. Jeremiah 32:40; Jeremiah 33:14; Ezekiel 37:26; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:8-12; Hebrews 10:16, 17
  • 77. Exodus 19:5; Exodus 24:6-8; Deuteronomy 5:2, 3
  • 78. Deuteronomy 1:31; Isaiah 63:12
  • 79. Jeremiah 11:7, 8
  • 80. Jeremiah 32:40; Hebrews 10:16
  • 81. Psalms 40:8; 2 Corinthians 3:3
  • 82. Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 32:38
  • 83. 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 John 2:27
  • 84. Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 24:7; Habakkuk 2:14; John 6:45; 1 John 2:20
  • 85. Jeremiah 33:8; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:18; Romans 11:27
  • 86. Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 10:17
  • 87. Genesis 1:14-18; Deuteronomy 4:19; Psalms 19:1-6; Psalms 136:7-9
  • 88. Isaiah 51:15
  • 89. Jeremiah 10:16; Jeremiah 32:18; Jeremiah 50:34
  • 90. Psalms 89:36, 37; Psalms 148:6; Isaiah 54:9, 10; Jeremiah 33:20-26
  • 91. Amos 9:8, 9
  • 92. Isaiah 40:12; Jeremiah 33:22
  • 93. Jeremiah 33:24-26; Rom 11:2-5, 26, 27
  • 94. Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 31:4
  • 95. Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 12:39; Zechariah 14:10
  • 96. 2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 26:9
  • 97. Zechariah 2:1
  • 98. Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 8:2
  • 99. 2 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 23:6, 12; John 18:1
  • 100. 2 Kings 11:16; 2 Chronicles 23:15; Nehemiah 3:28
  • 101. Joel 3:17; Zechariah 14:20

Footnotes 18

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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