The Bible – Old Testament
1 The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.
For behold, the days will come, says the LORD, when I will change the lot of my people (of Israel and Judah, says the LORD), and bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers; they shall have it as their possession.
These are the words which the LORD spoke to Israel and to Judah:
thus says the LORD: A cry of dismay we hear; fear reigns, not peace.
Inquire, and see: since when do men bear children? Why, then, do I see all these men, with their hands on their loins like women in childbirth? Why have all their faces turned deathly pale?
How mighty is that day – none like it! A time of distress for Jacob, though he shall be saved from it.
On that day, says the LORD of hosts, “I will break his yoke from off your necks and snap your bonds.” Strangers shall no longer enslave them;
2 instead, they shall serve the LORD, their God, and David, their king, whom I will raise up for them.
But you, my servant Jacob, fear not, says the LORD, be not dismayed, O Israel! Behold, I will deliver you from the far-off land, your descendants, from their land of exile; Jacob shall again find rest, shall be tranquil and undisturbed,
for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have scattered you; but of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.
For thus says the LORD: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you.
Yet all who devour you shall be devoured, all your enemies shall go into exile. All who plunder you shall be plundered, all who pillage you I will hand over to pillage.
For I will restore you to health; of your wounds I will heal you, says the LORD. “The outcast” they have called you, “with no avenger.”
Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was.
From them will resound songs of praise, the laughter of happy men. I will make them not few, but many; they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.
His sons shall be as of old, his assembly before me shall stand firm; I will punish all his oppressors.
3 His leader shall be one of his own, and his rulers shall come from his kin. When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk of approaching me? says the LORD.
You shall be my people, and I will be your God.
See, the storm of the LORD! His wrath breaks forth In a whirling storm that bursts upon the heads of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not abate until he has done and fulfilled what he has determined in his heart. When the time comes, you will fully understand.
1 [1-⇒ 31:40] These two chapters do not belong chronologically to those that precede or follow. They contain mainly oracles of salvation which Jeremiah originally uttered on behalf of the conquered remnants of the northern kingdom; then, after Judah began to share Samaria’s fate, the oracles were extended to include Judah. Their composition is to be placed early in Jeremiah’s ministry, probably after the fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.), when Josiah assumed power over the North; cf ⇒ 2 Kings 23:15-17.
3  His leader: probably not the messianic King, but simply any one of the rulers of the restored Israel, who will no longer be foreigners, and with whom the Lord will be on terms of intimacy, as with the whole people. The deadly risk of approaching me: to approach God unsummoned brings death; cf ⇒ Lev 16:1-2.