Jeremiah 30; Jeremiah 31

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Jeremiah 30

1 These are the words that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah.
2 The Lord, the God of Israel, said: "Jeremiah, write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.
3 The days will come when I will bring Israel and Judah back from captivity," says the Lord. "I will return them to the land I gave their ancestors, and they will own it!" says the Lord.
4 The Lord spoke this message about the people of Israel and Judah:
5 This is what the Lord said: "We hear people crying from fear. They are afraid; there is no peace.
6 Ask this question, and consider it: A man cannot have a baby. So why do I see every strong man holding his stomach in pain like a woman having a baby? Why is everyone's face turning white like a dead man's face?
7 This will be a terrible day! There will never be another time like this. This is a time of great trouble for the people of Jacob, but they will be saved from it."
8 The Lord All-Powerful says, "At that time I will break the yoke from their necks and tear off the ropes that hold them. Foreign people will never again make my people slaves.
9 They will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will send to them.
10 "So people of Jacob, my servants, don't be afraid. Israel, don't be frightened," says the Lord. "I will soon save you from that faraway place where you are captives. I will save your family from that land. The people of Jacob will be safe and have peace again; there will be no enemy to frighten them.
11 I am with you and will save you," says the Lord. "I will completely destroy all those nations where I scattered you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will punish you fairly, but I will still punish you."
12 This is what the Lord said: "You people have a wound that cannot be cured; your injury will not heal.
13 There is no one to argue your case and no cure for your sores. So you will not be healed.
14 All those nations who were your friends have forgotten you. They don't care about you. I have hurt you as an enemy would. I punished you very hard, because your guilt was so great and your sins were so many.
15 Why are you crying out about your injury? There is no cure for your pain. I did these things to you because of your great guilt, because of your many sins.
16 But all those nations that destroyed you will now be destroyed. All your enemies will become captives in other lands. Those who stole from you will have their own things stolen. Those who took things from you in war will have their own things taken.
17 I will bring back your health and heal your injuries," says the Lord, "because other people forced you away. They said about you, 'No one cares about Jerusalem!'"
18 This is what the Lord said: "I will soon make the tents of Jacob's people as they used to be, and I will have pity on Israel's houses. The city will be rebuilt on its hill of ruins, and the king's palace will stand in its proper place.
19 People in those places will sing songs of praise. There will be the sound of laughter. I will give them many children so their number will not be small. I will bring honor to them so no one will look down on them.
20 Their descendants will be as they were in the old days. I will set them up as a strong people before me, and I will punish the nations who have hurt them.
21 One of their own people will lead them; their ruler will come from among them. He will come near to me when I invite him. Who would dare to come to me uninvited?" says the Lord.
22 "So you will be my people, and I will be your God."
23 Look! It is a storm from the Lord! He is angry and has gone out to punish the people. Punishment will come like a storm crashing down on the evil people.
24 The Lord will stay angry until he finishes punishing the people. He will stay angry until he finishes the punishment he planned. When that day comes, you will understand this.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 31

1 The Lord says, "At that time I will be God of all Israel's family groups, and they will be my people."
2 This is what the Lord says: "The people who were not killed by the enemy's sword found help in the desert. I came to give rest to Israel."
3 And from far away the Lord appeared to his people and said, "I love you people with a love that will last forever. That is why I have continued showing you kindness.
4 People of Israel, I will build you up again, and you will be rebuilt. You will pick up your tambourines again and dance with those who are joyful.
5 You will plant vineyards again on the hills around Samaria. The farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.
6 There will be a time when watchmen in the mountains of Ephraim shout this message: 'Come, let's go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord our God!'"
7 This is what the Lord says: "Be happy and sing for the people of Jacob. Shout for Israel, the greatest of the nations. Sing your praises and shout this: 'Lord, save your people, those who are left alive from the nation of Israel!'
8 Look, I will soon bring Israel from the country in the north, and I will gather them from the faraway places on earth. Some of the people are blind and crippled. Some of the women are pregnant, and some are ready to give birth. A great many people will come back.
9 They will be crying as they come, but they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead those people by streams of water on an even road where they will not stumble. I am Israel's father, and Israel is my firstborn son.
10 "Nations, listen to the message from the Lord. Tell this message in the faraway lands by the sea: 'The one who scattered the people of Israel will bring them back, and he will watch over his people like a shepherd.'
11 The Lord will pay for the people of Jacob and will buy them back from people stronger than they were.
12 The people of Israel will come to the high points of Jerusalem and shout for joy. the grain, new wine, oil, young sheep, and young cows. They will be like a garden that has plenty of water, and they will not be troubled anymore.
13 Then young women of Israel will be happy and dance, the young men and old men also. I will change their sadness into happiness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sadness.
14 The priests will have more than enough sacrifices, and my people will be filled with the good things I give them!" says the Lord.
15 This is what the Lord says: "A voice was heard in Ramah of painful crying and deep sadness: Rachel crying for her children. She refused to be comforted, because her children are dead!"
16 But this is what the Lord says: "Stop crying; don't let your eyes fill with tears. You will be rewarded for your work!" says the Lord. "The people will return from their enemy's land.
17 So there is hope for you in the future," says the Lord. "Your children will return to their own land.
18 "I have heard Israel moaning: 'Lord, you punished me, and I have learned my lesson. I was like a calf that had never been trained. Take me back so that I may come back. You truly are the Lord my God.
19 Lord, after I wandered away from you, I changed my heart and life. After I understood, I beat my breast with sorrow. I was ashamed and disgraced, because I suffered for the foolish things I did when I was young.'
20 "You know that Israel is my dear son, The child I love. Yes, I often speak against Israel, but I still remember him. I love him very much, and I want to comfort him," says the Lord.
21 "People of Israel, fix the road signs. Put up signs to show you the way home. Watch the road. Pay attention to the road on which you travel. People of Israel, come home, come back to your towns.
22 You are an unfaithful daughter. How long will you wander before you come home? in the land: A woman will go seeking a man."
23 The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: "I will again do good things for the people of Judah. At that time the people in the land of Judah and its towns will again use these words: 'May the Lord bless you, home of what is good, holy mountain.'
24 People in all the towns of Judah will live together in peace. Farmers and those who move around with their flocks will live together in peace.
25 I will give rest and strength to those who are weak and tired."
26 After hearing that, I, Jeremiah, woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very pleasant.
27 The Lord says, "The time is coming when I will help the families of Israel and Judah and their children and animals to grow.
28 In the past I watched over Israel and Judah, to pull them up and tear them down, to destroy them and bring them disaster. But now I will watch over them to build them up and make them strong," says the Lord.
29 "At that time people will no longer say: 'The parents have eaten sour grapes, and that caused the children to grind their teeth from the sour taste.'
30 Instead, each person will die for his own sin; the person who eats sour grapes will grind his own teeth.
31 "Look, the time is coming," says the Lord, "when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the agreement I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt. I was a husband to them, but they broke that agreement," says the Lord.
33 "This is the agreement I will make with the people of Israel at that time," says the Lord: "I will put my teachings in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 People will no longer have to teach their neighbors and relatives to know the Lord, because all people will know me, from the least to the most important," says the Lord. "I will forgive them for the wicked things they did, and I will not remember their sins anymore."
35 The Lord makes the sun shine in the day and the moon and stars to shine at night. He stirs up the sea so that its waves crash on the shore. The Lord All-Powerful is his name.
36 "Only if these laws should ever fail," says the Lord, "will Israel's descendants ever stop being a nation before me."
37 This is what the Lord says: "Only if people can measure the sky above and learn the secrets of the earth below, will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of what they have done," says the Lord.
38 The Lord says, "The time is coming when Jerusalem will be rebuilt for me -- everything from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
39 The measuring line will stretch from the Corner Gate straight to the hill of Gareb. Then it will turn to the place named 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 -- all that area will be holy to the Lord. The city of Jerusalem will never again be torn down or destroyed."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.