Jer 31:1 “At that time,” declares the LORD, “I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people.”
Jer 31:2 This is what the LORD says: “The people who survive the sword will find favour in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel.”
Jer 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
Jer 31:4 I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.
Jer 31:5 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.
Jer 31:6 There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.’”
Jer 31:7 This is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, ‘O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’
Jer 31:8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour; a great throng will return.
Jer 31:9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.
Jer 31:10 “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
‘Reader, the whole body of the Gentile Christendom is specially addressed in this text. There is no evading this conclusion on any fair interpretation of Scripture. We ourselves are among the “nations” to whom Jeremiah speaks. Upon us devolves a portion of the duty which he here sets forth…It is a voice to all Christendom. And what does the voice say? It bids us proclaim far and wide the will of God concerning the Jewish nation. It bids us keep one another in memory of God’s past and future dealings with Israel.” He that scattered Israel will gather him” [cf. Jer. 33:7‐9].’ (J.C. Ryle, Coming events and present duties)
Jer 31:11 For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
Jer 31:12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD—the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
Jer 31:13 Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
Jer 31:14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the LORD.
Jer 31:15 This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”
Rachel was the younger wife of Jacob, and the mother of Joseph, Gen 35:24. Her weeping symbolises the grief over the Assyrian exile of the northern tribes and the later Babylonion exile of the southern tribes.
Jer 31:16 This is what the LORD says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD. “They will return from the land of the enemy.
Jer 31:17 So there is hope for your future,” declares the LORD. “Your children will return to their own land.
Jer 31:18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God.
Ephraim – stands for all Israel.
Jer 31:19 After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
Jer 31:20 Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD.
Jer 31:21 “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns.
Jer 31:22 How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter? The LORD will create a new thing on earth—a woman will surround a man.”
Jer 31:23 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The LORD bless you, O righteous dwelling, O sacred mountain.’
Jer 31:24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns— farmers and those who move about with their flocks.
Jer 31:25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Jer 31:26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.
Jer 31:27 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will plant the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the offspring of men and of animals.
Jer 31:28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD.
Jer 31:29 “In those days people will no longer say, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
Jer 31:30 Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—his own teeth will be set on edge.
Jer 31:31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Jer 31:32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.
Though I was a husband to them –
Jeremiah, Hebrews, and supercessionism. This passage is quoted in Heb 8:8f from the LXX, which renders this phrase, ‘so I had no concern for them’. According to Jesper Svartvik, the original Heb indicates a relationship between the Lord and his people that he wants to continue, whereas the LXX (followed by the writer to the Hebrews) suggests a relationship that the Lord has terminated due to Israel’s unfaithfulness. Svartvik further explains that the relevant term in the original Hebrew is ba‘al, ‘which can be translated as “to be a husband,” “to be faithful,” “to be the Lord.”’ The word in the Greek of the LXX and Hebrews is amelein, ‘meaning “to ignore,” “not to care about,” “to abandon.”’
The best explanation of the difference between the Hebrew and Greek texts is that either the translators of the Septuagint were translating from a Hebrew manuscript that contained a different word or that the translators misread the manuscript that they were reading—the translator might have misread ba‘al as the word ga‘al (“to despise,” “to abandon”).
If Hebrews is based on ga‘al, then those who use Heb 8:9 as a cornerstone of their [supercessionist] theology are silently claiming that the Hebrew text in Jer 31:31-32 is inferior to the text of the Septuagint. It is not a question of being “biblical” or “unbiblical” but rather a choice between two biblical manuscript traditions. Hence, readers should ask themselves whether ba‘al (“to be faithful”) or ga‘al (“to despise”) best represents how the God of Israel is described in the biblical texts in general and in Jeremiah in particular.
Jer 31:33 “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Jer 31:34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Jer 31:35 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the LORD Almighty is his name:
Jer 31:36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.”
Jer 31:37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD.
Jer 31:38 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
Jer 31:39 The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah.
Jre 31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the LORD. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”