Prophecies of Consolation and Restoration

Jeremiah 30–31 (selections)

Biblical Period

Chapter 30

1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel: Write down in a scroll all the words that I have spoken to you. 3For days are coming—declares the Lord—when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah, said the Lord; and I will bring them back to the land that I gave their fathers, and they shall possess it. [ . . . ]

8In that day—declares the Lord of Hosts—I will break the yoke from off your neck and I will rip off your bonds. Strangers shall no longer make slaves of them; 9instead, they shall serve the Lord their God and David, the king whom I will raise up for them.

10But you,
Have no fear, My servant Jacob
—declares the Lord—
Be not dismayed, O Israel!
I will deliver you from far away,
Your folk from their land of captivity.
And Jacob shall again have calm
And quiet with none to trouble him;
11For I am with you to deliver you
—declares the Lord.
I will make an end of all the nations
Among which I have dispersed you;
But I will not make an end of you!
I will not leave you unpunished,
But will chastise you in measure. [ . . . ]

Chapter 31

2Thus said the Lord:
The people escaped from the sword,
Found favor in the wilderness;
When Israel was marching homeward
3The Lord revealed Himself to me of old.
Eternal love I conceived for you then;
Therefore I continue My grace to you.
4I will build you firmly again,
O Maiden Israel!
Again you shall take up your timbrels
And go forth to the rhythm of the dancers.
5Again you shall plant vineyards
On the hills of Samaria;
Men shall plant and live to enjoy them.
6For the day is coming when watchmen
Shall proclaim on the heights of Ephraim:
Come, let us go up to Zion,
To the Lord our God!
7For thus said the Lord:
Cry out in joy for Jacob,
Shout at the crossroads of the nations!
Sing aloud in praise, and say:
Save, O Lord, Your people,
The remnant of Israel.
8I will bring them in from the northland,
Gather them from the ends of the earth—
The blind and the lame among them,
Those with child and those in labor—
In a vast throng they shall return here.
9They shall come with weeping,
And with compassion will I guide them.
I will lead them to streams of water,
By a level road where they will not stumble.
For I am ever a Father to Israel,
Ephraim is My first-born.
10Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
And tell it in the isles afar.
He who scattered Israel will gather them,
And will guard them as a shepherd his flock.
11For the Lord will ransom Jacob,
Redeem him from one too strong for him.
12They shall come and shout on the heights of Zion,
Radiant over the bounty of the Lord—
Over new grain and wine and oil,
And over sheep and cattle.
They shall fare like a watered garden,
They shall never languish again.
13Then shall maidens dance gaily,
Young men and old alike.
I will turn their mourning to joy,
I will comfort them and cheer them in their grief.
14I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
And My people shall enjoy My full bounty
—declares the Lord.
15Thus said the Lord:
A cry is heard a-in Ramah-a
Wailing, bitter weeping—
Rachel weeping for her children.
She refuses to be comforted
For her children, who are gone.
16Thus said the Lord:
Restrain your voice from weeping,
Your eyes from shedding tears;
For there is a reward for your labor
—declares the Lord:
They shall return from the enemy’s land.
17And there is hope for your future
—declares the Lord:
Your children shall return to their country.
18I can hear Ephraim lamenting:
You have chastised me, and I am chastised
Like a calf that has not been broken.
Receive me back, let me return,
For You, O Lord, are my God.
19Now that I have turned back, I am filled with remorse;
Now that I am made aware, I strike my thigh.b
I am ashamed and humiliated,
For I bear the disgrace of my youth.
20Truly, Ephraim is a dear son to Me,
A child that is dandled!
Whenever I have turned against him,
My thoughts would dwell on him still.
That is why My heart yearns for him;
I will receive him back in love
—declares the Lord. [ . . . ]

29In those days, they shall no longer say, “Parents have eaten sour grapes and children’s teeth are blunted.” 30But every one shall die for his own sins: whosoever eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be blunted.

31See, a time is coming—declares the Lord—when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them—declares the Lord. 33But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days—declares the Lord: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Heed the Lord”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me—declares the Lord.

For I will forgive their iniquities,
And remember their sins no more.
35Thus said the Lord,
Who established the sun for light by day,
The laws of moon and stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea into roaring waves,
Whose name is Lord of Hosts:
36If these laws should ever be annulled by Me
—declares the Lord—
Only then would the offspring of Israel cease
To be a nation before Me for all time.


Or “on a height.”

I.e., as a gesture of self-reproach.


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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