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Jeremiah 31:15-40New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

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 they are no more.’

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.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,’
declares the Lord.
    ‘Your children will return to their own land.

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.
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.”
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.

21 ‘Set up road signs;
    put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
    the road that you take.
Return, Virgin Israel,
    return to your towns.
22 How long will you wander,
    unfaithful Daughter Israel?
The Lord will create a new thing on earth –
    the woman will return to[a] the man.’

23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘When I bring them back from captivity,[b] the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: “The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.” 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns – farmers and those who move about with their flocks. 25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.’

26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

27 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 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. 29 ‘In those days people will no longer say,

“The parents have eaten sour grapes,
    and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes – their own teeth will be set on edge.

31 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to[c] them,’[d]
declares the Lord.
33 ‘This is the covenant that I will make with the people 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.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbour,
    or say to one another, “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.’

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:
36 ‘Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,’
    declares the Lord,
‘will Israel ever cease
    being a nation before me.’

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.

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. 39 The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. 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.’

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 31:22 Or will protect
  2. Jeremiah 31:23 Or I restore their fortunes
  3. Jeremiah 31:32 Hebrew; Septuagint and Syriac covenant, / and I turned away from
  4. Jeremiah 31:32 Or was their master
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Jeremiah 49:34-51:14New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

A message about Elam

34 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah:

35 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

‘See, I will break the bow of Elam,
    the mainstay of their might.
36 I will bring against Elam the four winds
    from the four quarters of heaven;
I will scatter them to the four winds,
    and there will not be a nation
    where Elam’s exiles do not go.
37 I will shatter Elam before their foes,
    before those who want to kill them;
I will bring disaster on them,
    even my fierce anger,’
declares the Lord.
‘I will pursue them with the sword
    until I have made an end of them.
38 I will set my throne in Elam
    and destroy her king and officials,’
declares the Lord.

39 ‘Yet I will restore the fortunes of Elam
    in days to come,’
declares the Lord.

A message about Babylon

50 This is the word the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians:[a]

‘Announce and proclaim among the nations,
    lift up a banner and proclaim it;
    keep nothing back, but say,
“Babylon will be captured;
    Bel will be put to shame,
    Marduk filled with terror.
Her images will be put to shame
    and her idols filled with terror.”
A nation from the north will attack her
    and lay waste her land.
No one will live in it;
    both people and animals will flee away.

‘In those days, at that time,’
    declares the Lord,
‘the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
    will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
They will ask the way to Zion
    and turn their faces towards it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
    in an everlasting covenant
    that will not be forgotten.

‘My people have been lost sheep;
    their shepherds have led them astray
    and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill
    and forgot their own resting place.
Whoever found them devoured them;
    their enemies said, “We are not guilty,
for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture,
    the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.”

‘Flee out of Babylon;
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations from the land of the north.
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia[b] will be plundered;
    all who plunder her will have their fill,’
declares the Lord.

11 ‘Because you rejoice and are glad,
    you who pillage my inheritance,
because you frolic like a heifer threshing corn
    and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be greatly ashamed;
    she who gave you birth will be disgraced.
She will be the least of the nations –
    a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.
13 Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited
    but will be completely desolate.
All who pass Babylon will be appalled;
    they will scoff because of all her wounds.

14 ‘Take up your positions round Babylon,
    all you who draw the bow.
Shoot at her! Spare no arrows,
    for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout against her on every side!
    She surrenders, her towers fall,
    her walls are torn down.
Since this is the vengeance of the Lord,
    take vengeance on her;
    do to her as she has done to others.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
    and the reaper with his sickle at harvest.
Because of the sword of the oppressor
    let everyone return to their own people,
    let everyone flee to their own land.

17 ‘Israel is a scattered flock
    that lions have chased away.
The first to devour them
    was the king of Assyria;
the last to crush their bones
    was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.’

18 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
    as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture,
    and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
their appetite will be satisfied
    on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days, at that time,’
    declares the Lord,
‘search will be made for Israel’s guilt,
    but there will be none,
and for the sins of Judah,
    but none will be found,
    for I will forgive the remnant I spare.

21 ‘Attack the land of Merathaim
    and those who live in Pekod.
Pursue, kill and completely destroy[c] them,’
declares the Lord.
    ‘Do everything I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land,
    the noise of great destruction!
23 How broken and shattered
    is the hammer of the whole earth!
How desolate is Babylon
    among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you, Babylon,
    and you were caught before you knew it;
you were found and captured
    because you opposed the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his arsenal
    and brought out the weapons of his wrath,
for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do
    in the land of the Babylonians.
26 Come against her from afar.
    Break open her granaries;
    pile her up like heaps of grain.
Completely destroy her
    and leave her no remnant.
27 Kill all her young bulls;
    let them go down to the slaughter!
Woe to them! For their day has come,
    the time for them to be punished.
28 Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon
    declaring in Zion
how the Lord our God has taken vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.

29 ‘Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.
Encamp all round her;
    let no one escape.
Repay her for her deeds;
    do to her as she has done.
For she defied the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,’
declares the Lord.
31 ‘See, I am against you, you arrogant one,’
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
‘for your day has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall
    and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.’

33 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

‘The people of Israel are oppressed,
    and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
    refusing to let them go.
34 Yet their Redeemer is strong;
    the Lord Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
    so that he may bring rest to their land,
    but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

35 ‘A sword against the Babylonians!’
    declares the Lord –
‘against those who live in Babylon
    and against her officials and wise men!
36 A sword against her false prophets!
    They will become fools.
A sword against her warriors!
    They will be filled with terror.
37 A sword against her horses and chariots
    and all the foreigners in her ranks!
    They will become weaklings.
A sword against her treasures!
    They will be plundered.
38 A drought on[d] her waters!
    They will dry up.
For it is a land of idols,
    idols that will go mad with terror.

39 ‘So desert creatures and hyenas will live there,
    and there the owl will dwell.
It will never again be inhabited
    or lived in from generation to generation.
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
    along with their neighbouring towns,’
declares the Lord,
‘so no one will live there;
    no people will dwell in it.

41 ‘Look! An army is coming from the north;
    a great nation and many kings
    are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
42 They are armed with bows and spears;
    they are cruel and without mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
    as they ride on their horses;
they come like men in battle formation
    to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labour.
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets
    to a rich pasture-land,
I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant.
    Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this?
Who is like me and who can challenge me?
    And what shepherd can stand against me?’

45 Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon,
    what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians:
the young of the flock will be dragged away;
    their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble;
    its cry will resound among the nations.

51 This is what the Lord says:

‘See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.[e]
I will send foreigners to Babylon
    to winnow her and to devastate her land;
they will oppose her on every side
    in the day of her disaster.
Let not the archer string his bow,
    nor let him put on his armour.
Do not spare her young men;
    completely destroy[f] her army.
They will fall down slain in Babylon,[g]
    fatally wounded in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
    by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land[h] is full of guilt
    before the Holy One of Israel.

‘Flee from Babylon!
    Run for your lives!
    Do not be destroyed because of her sins.
It is time for the Lord’s vengeance;
    he will repay her what she deserves.
Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand;
    she made the whole earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine;
    therefore they have now gone mad.
Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken.
    Wail over her!
Get balm for her pain;
    perhaps she can be healed.

‘“We would have healed Babylon,
    but she cannot be healed;
let us leave her and each go to our own land,
    for her judgment reaches to the skies,
    it rises as high as the heavens.”

10 ‘“The Lord has vindicated us;
    come, let us tell in Zion
    what the Lord our God has done.”

11 ‘Sharpen the arrows,
    take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
    because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.
12 Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon!
    Reinforce the guard,
station the watchmen,
    prepare an ambush!
The Lord will carry out his purpose,
    his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters
    and are rich in treasures,
your end has come,
    the time for you to be destroyed.
14 The Lord Almighty has sworn by himself:
    I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts,
    and they will shout in triumph over you.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 50:1 Or Chaldeans; also in verses 8, 25, 35 and 45
  2. Jeremiah 50:10 Or Chaldea
  3. Jeremiah 50:21 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  4. Jeremiah 50:38 Or A sword against
  5. Jeremiah 51:1 Leb Kamai is a cryptogram for Chaldea, that is, Babylonia.
  6. Jeremiah 51:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  7. Jeremiah 51:4 Or Chaldea
  8. Jeremiah 51:5 Or Almighty, / and the land of the Babylonians
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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