God’s Relationship with His People
1 "At that time"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"I will be God of all the families of Israel, and they will be My people."
2 This is what the Lord says: They found favor in the wilderness- the people who survived the sword. [When] Israel went to find rest, 3 the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you. 4 Again I will build you so that you will be rebuilt, Virgin Israel. You will take up your tambourines again and go forth in joyful dancing. 5 You will plant vineyards again on the mountains of Samaria; the planters will plant and will enjoy [the fruit]. 6 For there will be a day when watchmen will call out in the hill country of Ephraim: Get up, let's go up to Zion, to the Lord our God!
God’s People Brought Home
7 For this is what the Lord says: Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the chief of the nations! Proclaim, praise, and say: Lord, save Your people, the remnant of Israel! 8 Watch! I am going to bring them from the northern land. I will gather them from remote regions of the earth- the blind and the lame will be with them, along with those who are pregnant and those about to give birth. They will return here as a great assembly! 9 They will come weeping, but I will bring them back with consolation. I will lead them to wadis [filled] with water by a smooth way where they will not stumble, for I am Israel's Father, and Ephraim is My firstborn. 10 Nations, hear the word of the Lord, and tell it among the far off coastlands! Say: The One who scattered Israel will gather him. He will watch over him as a shepherd [guards] his flock, 11 for the Lord has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from the power of one stronger than he. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will be radiant with joy because of the Lord's goodness, because of the grain, the new wine, the fresh oil, and because of the young of the flocks and herds. Their life will be like an irrigated garden, and they will no longer grow weak [from hunger]. 13 Then the virgin will rejoice with dancing, while young and old men [rejoice] together. I will turn their mourning into joy, give them consolation, and [bring] happiness out of grief. 14 I will give the priests their fill with abundance, and My people will be satisfied with My goodness. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
Lament Turned to Joy
15 This is what the Lord says: A voice was heard in Ramah, a lament with bitter weeping- Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children because they are no more.
16 This is what the Lord says: Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for the reward for your work will come- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- and your children will return from the enemy's land. 17 There is hope for your future- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- and your children will return to their own territory. 18 I have heard Ephraim moaning: You disciplined me, and I have been disciplined like an untrained calf. Restore me, and I will return, for you, Lord, are my God. 19 After I returned, I repented; After I was instructed, I struck my thigh [in grief]. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth. 20 Isn't Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? Whenever I speak against him, I certainly still think about him. Therefore, My inner being yearns for him; I will truly have compassion on him. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
Repentance and Restoration
21 Set up road markers for yourself; establish signposts! Keep the highway in mind, the way you have traveled. Return, Virgin Israel! Return to these cities of yours. 22 How long will you turn here and there, faithless daughter? For the Lord creates something new in the land- a female will shelter a man.
23 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "When I restore their fortunes, they will once again speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities: May the Lord bless you, righteous settlement, holy mountain. 24 Judah and all its cities will live in it together-also farmers and those who move with the flocks- 25 for I satisfy the thirsty person and feed all those who are weak."
27 "The days are coming"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and to tear them down, to demolish and to destroy, and to cause disaster, so will I be attentive to build and to plant them," says the Lord. 29 "In those days, it will never again be said: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
30 Rather, each will die for his own wrongdoing. Anyone who eats sour grapes-his own teeth will be set on edge.
The New Covenant
31 "Look, the days are coming"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 [This one will] not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-a covenant they broke even though I had married them"-the Lord's declaration. 33 "Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days"-the Lord's declaration. "I will place My law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying: Know the Lord, for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them"-the Lord's declaration. "For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin."
35 This is what the Lord says: The One who gives the sun for light by day, the fixed order of moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea and makes its waves roar- the Lord of Hosts is His name: 36 If this fixed order departs from My presence- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- then also Israel's descendants will cease to be a nation before Me forever.
37 This is what the Lord says: If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below explored, I will reject all of Israel's descendants because of all they have done- [this is] the Lord's declaration.
38 "Look, the days are coming"-the Lord's declaration-"when the city from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate will be rebuilt for the Lord. 39 A measuring line will once again stretch out straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn toward Goah. 40 The whole valley-the corpses, the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Kidron Valley to the corner of the Horse Gate to the east-will be holy to the Lord. It will never be uprooted or demolished again."