The Word of the Lord to Jeremiah

Chapter 31

The restoration of Israel, 1-9. The publication thereof, 10-14. Rachel mourning is comforted, 15-17. Ephraim repenting is brought home again, 18-21. Christ is promised, 22-26. His care over the church, 27-30. His new covenant, 31-34. The stability, 35-37, and amplitude of the church, 38-40.

1 "At the same time," says the LORD, "I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people."

2 Thus says the LORD:

"The people who were left by the sword/
found grace in the wilderness,/
even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest."

The LORD appeared of old to me, saying,/
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;/
therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn you.

Again I will build you, and you shall be built,/
O virgin of Israel./
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines/
and shall go forth in the dances of those who make merry.

You shall yet plant vines/
upon the mountains of Samaria./
The planters shall plant/
and shall eat them as common things.

For there shall be a day/
that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry,/
'Arise, and let us go up to Zion/
to the LORD our God.'"

7 For thus says the LORD:

"Sing with gladness for Jacob/
and shout among the chief of the nations./
Publish, praise, and say,/
'O LORD, save your people,/
the remnant of Israel.'

Behold, I will bring them from the north country/
and gather them from the borders of the earth,/
and with them the blind and the lame,/
the woman with child/
and her who travails with child together./
A great company shall return there.

They shall come with weeping,/
and with supplications I will lead them./
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters/
in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble,/
for I am a father to Israel,/
and Ephraim is my first-born."

10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,/
and declare it in the coastlands afar off, and say,/
"He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him,/
as a shepherd does his flock."

11 For the LORD has redeemed Jacob/
and ransomed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he is.

12 "Therefore, they shall come and sing in the height of Zion/
and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD/
for wheat, for wine, for oil,/
and for the young of the flock and of the herd./
And their soul shall be as a watered garden,/
and they shall not sorrow anymore at all.

13 Then the virgin shall rejoice in the dance,/
both young men and old together,/
for I will turn their mourning into joy/
and comfort them/
and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness,/
and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,"/
says the LORD.

15 Thus says the LORD:

"A voice was heard in Ramah,/
lamentation and bitter weeping./
Rachel weeping for her children/
refused to be comforted for her children,/
because they were no more."

16 Thus says the LORD:

"Refrain your voice from weeping/
and your eyes from tears,/
for your work shall be rewarded,"/
says the LORD,/
"and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

17 And there is hope in your end,"/
says the LORD,/
"that your children shall come back to their own border.

18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself, saying,/
'You have chastised me, and I was chastised,/
as a bull unaccustomed to the yoke./
Turn me, and I shall be turned,/
for you are the LORD my God.

19 Surely after I was turned, I repented./
And after I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh./
I was ashamed and even confounded/
because I bore the reproach of my youth.'

20 Is Ephraim my dear son?/
Is he a pleasant child?/
For since I spoke against him,/
I earnestly remember him still;/
therefore, my heart yearns for him./
I will surely have mercy upon him,"/
says the LORD.

21 "Set yourself up way-marks./
Make yourself high heaps./
Set your heart toward the highway,/
even the way which you went./
Turn back, O virgin of Israel,/
turn back to these cities of yours.

22 How long will you wander around,/
O backsliding daughter?/
For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth:/
a woman shall compass a man."

23 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in her cities when I bring back their captivity:

'May the LORD bless you,/
O habitation of justice,/
mountain of holiness.'

24 "And there shall dwell in Judah itself and in all her cities together farmers and those who go forth with flocks. 25 For I have satiated the weary soul and I have replenished every sorrowful soul." 26 Upon this I awoke and beheld, and my sleep was sweet to me.

27 "Behold, the days come," says the LORD, "that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," says the LORD. 29 "In those days they shall no longer say,

'The fathers have eaten a sour grape,/
and the children's teeth are set on edge.'

30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Every man who eats the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

31 "Behold, the days come," says the LORD, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 But not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," says the LORD. 33 "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," says the LORD, "I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall they each teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," says the LORD. "For I will forgive their iniquity and will no longer remember their sin."

35 Thus says the LORD,/
who gives the sun for a light by day/
and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night,/
who divides the sea when its waves roar,/
the LORD of hosts is his name:

36 "If those ordinances depart from before me,"/
says the LORD,/
"then the offspring of Israel shall also cease/
from being a nation before me forever."

37 Thus says the LORD:

"If heaven above can be measured/
and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,/
I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel/
for all that they have done,"/
says the LORD.

38 "Behold, the days come," says the LORD, "that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel to the gate of the corner. 39 And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb and shall compass about to Goath. 40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields to the brook of Kidron, to the corner of the horse-gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD. It shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down anymore forever."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 31[➚]


[v.15] - Quoted in Matthew 2:18.

[v.31] - Quoted in Hebrews 8:8.

[v.32] - Quoted in Hebrews 8:9.

[v.33] - Quoted in Hebrews 8:10, 10:16.

[v.34] - Quoted in Romans 11:27; Hebrews 8:11-12, 10:17.