Jeremiah 31

God of all families of Israel 1
Everlasting love; I will rebuild 3
Remnant to praise; many will return 7
Hear O nations; rejoicing 10
Rachel wept for children; weeps no more 15
The Lord yearns for Ephriam 18
Turn back, virgin of Israel 21
Captivity of Israel to be reversed 23
New covenant – Law in hearts 31
Israel will cease if sun, moon and stars cease 35
City to be rebuilt – all of it 38
.1 ¶ At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
 2  Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
   1 - At the same time At the time of the Lord's anger against the wicked je3023. This chapter continues the writing about restoration of the whole nation of Israel.
.3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
 4  Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
 5  Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.
 6  For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.
  3 - Everlasting love A great promise. See on ex1214, ex2106, 2ki0527. That love for their fathers is for them, too is4914-16, ho1104.
   4 - I will build thee Notice that this is finally a city built by the Lord Himself jn1401-3. The promise is to virgin Israel mt2501-13. See on v38.
  4 - Tabrets From tuppim, drum-like instruments.
  5 - Plant ... Samaria Some from the Northern Kingdom would also be restored from exile.
  6 - There shall be a day The time would come when, instead of following pagan worship, leaders with new spiritual insight would call for a return to the worship of Yahweh as in Zion (the mountain where Jerusalem is). All would be in harmony for a new Israel. This was God's plan but literal Israel rejected it lu1914, jn1915 and the new spiritual Israel would be represented by the pure church. See the description of the new Israel.
.7  For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
.8  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
 9  They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I 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 firstborn.
  7 - Among the chief of the nations Or "for the head of the nations." Jerusalem, a symbol of true worship.
  8 - Bring them This prophecy is being applied to the Jews in a future part of the rapture theory but it and similar prophecies have been fulfilled in release from literal Babylon. Compare je3003.
  9 - Come with weeping The prophecy was partially fulfilled ex4022. ez0312,30.
.10 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
 11  For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
 12  Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and 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 any more at all.
 13  Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will 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, saith the LORD.
  10 - Isles Rather "coastlands." Compare is4101, is4901, is6619.
  12 - They shall come and sing "All the phrases in this verse signify one thing, the happy state of the Jews, after their return from captivity. The height of Zion means the temple.  A watered garden–They shall be a beautiful, flourishing, and growing people.  Soul seems here to be taken for the whole man.  Not sorrow–In that manner they have been. But under these expressions is also promised the spiritual joy which the true Israel of God will have under the gospel, and the eternal joy they shall have in heaven." (John Wesley's Notes on the whole Bible.)
  12 - Flow We see people coming from where they had been scattered.
.15  Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
 16  Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
 17  And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
  15 - Rahel weeping Also a Messianic fulfillment mt0216-21.
  16 - Come ... from  ... enemy At the resurrection, children will be raised.
.18 ¶ I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.
 19  Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
.20  Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.
  20 - Dear son God longs for the salvation of His children. Many of us realize that our hope of eternal life for certain loved ones is fading. See is4914-16; ho1108.
.21  Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
 22  How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
 21 "Set up waymarks for yourself, make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities.
 22 How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing on the earth: a woman protects a man." (RSV).
  21 - Turn again Apparently the Lord continues to appeal for the unfaithful Northern Kingdom now pictured as a virgin.
  22 - Woman shall compass a man Compass is from sabab meaning surround. One interpretation. Augustine and other early New Testament theologians saw the woman as the virgin Mary and the man as Jesus. This idea doesn't fit into the context.
.23  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.
 24  And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.
 25  For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
 26  Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.
  23 - Judah Hope for her, too. Jeremiah had predicted 70 years of captivity.
  23 - Holiness Because the temple was there.
  24 - Husbandmen That is, farmers.
  25 - Satiated Beautiful promise. The Lord's children have peace and joy.
 27 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith 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 like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.
 29  In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
 30  But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
  27 - Sow He shows how a land so depopulated shall again be peopled. God will cause both men and beasts in it to increase to a multitude (Eze 36:9-11; Ho 2:23). (JFB)
  29 - Say no more ... sour They were not to blame ancestors for their behavior. Each is responsible. See ez1802,4, je3130.
.31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
 32  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; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
.33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
.34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
   31 - New covenant What was the old covenant? The one broken by the gold calf rebellion ex32. The promise was faulty ex1908. Also 1co1125.
  33 - After those days See the context.
  33 - My law ... in their hearts The covenant in their hearts would not be new in the sense of not having existed in the past. See on de0605, je3240.
  Also, Jeremiah was not likely thinking of the renewed covenant waiting until the sacrifice of Christ. He was thinking of the time after the captivity when the city would be rebuilt. See v38 and link to the next chapter.
  Paul quoted from this passage to show the importance of the new covenant which the Hebrew Christians could understand directly from the life and death of Christ instead of depending on the ceremonies that pointed forward to them he0806ff. Those returning from captivity could rightly claim this promise but it would still be needed in Paul's time. And we need to claim it today as individuals. ps04008.
  33 - I will be their God See ez3628, re2103.
.35 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
 36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
 37  Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
  35 - Divideth Quoting from is5115. This description of the Lord strengthens our confidence in the covenant He has given. See je3240. Compare is5503, ez3726.
  36 - Seed of Israel The ordinances were not kept faithfully by ancient Israel v31-4 and are certainly not characteristic of the modern  nation with that name. But they will be fulfilled for the faithful spiritual Israel of the New Testament ga0328,9.
  37 - I will cast off Jesus clearly announced the end of the probationary time for the Jewish people mt2133-42. As Jeremiah said, this curse is as sure as God's knowledge of the earth. ro1133.
.38  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto 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 unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.
   38 - City shall be built This was fulfilled by Ezra and Nehemiah ezr07. But the city was destroyed again in 70 AD. The final fulfillment will be the New Jerusalem that comes down from God at the end of the thousand years re2109. For modern Israel, see on re0704.
  This renewal is pictured in the next chapter. Then the covenant would be renewed je3237ff.
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