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Jeremiah 31:3-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)

In a faraway land[a] the Lord will manifest himself to them.
He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.[b]
I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel,[c]
so that you will once again be built up.
Once again you will take up the tambourine
and join in the happy throng of dancers.[d]
Once again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria.
Those who plant them
will once again enjoy their fruit.[e]


  1. Jeremiah 31:3 tn The first word מֵרָחוּק (merakhoq, “distant”) can mean at a distance in location or time (2 Kgs 19:25). While built from the preposition מִן (min, “from, of, since, than”) and the adjective רָחוּק (rakhoq), “far, distant”), the pieces work as one unit and typically do not mean “from a distant place,” as is especially evident when one stands at a distance (Exod 2:4) or goes to a distant place (Isa 22:3). Both options, location and time, are possible here. Either the Lord appears at a distant place (where the exiles are), or, understanding the verb as past time, he appeared long ago. In the latter view, this is probably reminiscent of God’s appearance at Sinai, reminding the people of the eternal love he covenanted with them, on the basis of which he maintains his faithful love to and will restore them.
  2. Jeremiah 31:3 tn Or the translation of verses 2-3 could be, “The people of Israel who survived the onslaughts of Egypt and Amalek found favor in the wilderness as they journeyed to find rest. At that time long ago the Lord manifested himself to them. He said, ‘I have…That is why I have drawn you to myself through my unfailing kindness.’” There is debate whether the reference here is to God’s preservation of Israel during their wandering in the Sinai desert or his promise to protect and preserve them on their return through the Arabian desert on the way back from Assyria and Babylon (see e.g., Isa 42:14-16; 43:16-21; Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). The only finite verbs in vv. 2-3a before the introduction of the quote are perfects, which can denote either a past act or a future act viewed as certain of fulfillment (the prophetic perfect; see GKC 312-13 §106.n, and see examples in Jer 11:16; 13:17; 25:14; 28:4). The phrase at the beginning of v. 3 can either refer to temporal (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.b, and Isa 22:11) or spatial distance (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.a[2], and Isa 5:29; 59:14). The verb in the final clause in v. 3 can refer to either the extension of God’s love, as in Pss 36:10 and 109:12 (cf. HALOT 645-46 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.3), or the drawing of someone to him in electing, caring love, as in Hos 11:4 (cf. BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.1). The translation has opted for the prophetic reference to future deliverance because of the preceding context, the use of מֵרָחוֹק (merakhoq) to refer to the far-off land of exile in Jer 30:10; 46:27; and 51:50, and the reference to survivors from the sword being called on to remember the Lord in that far-off land in 51:50.
  3. Jeremiah 31:4 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.”sn For the significance of this metaphor see the note on Jer 14:17. Here the emphasis rests on his special love and care for his people and the hint (further developed in vv. 21-22) that, though they are guilty of sin, he views them like an innocent young virgin.
  4. Jeremiah 31:4 sn Contrast Jer 7:34 and 25:10.
  5. Jeremiah 31:5 sn The terms used here refer to the enjoyment of a period of peace and stability and to the reversal of the curse (contrast, e.g., Deut 28:30). The Hebrew word translated “enjoy its fruit” is a technical one that refers to the owner of a vineyard getting to enjoy its fruit in the fifth year after it was planted, the crops of the first three years lying fallow, and those of the fourth being given to the Lord (cf. Lev 19:23-25).
New English Translation (NET)

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