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The Promise of the Lord

33 While Jeremiah was still ·locked up [confined; imprisoned] in the courtyard of the guards, the Lord spoke his word to him a second time: “These are the words of the Lord, who made it [C the earth; Gen. 1], ·shaped [formed; C like a potter] it, and ·gave it order [established it], whose name is the Lord: ‘Pray [L Call] to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you ·important secrets [L great and hidden things] you have never ·heard [L known] before.’ This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city [C Jerusalem] and the ·royal palaces [L houses of the king] of Judah that have been torn down ·to be used in defense of the attack by the Babylonian army [L against the siege ramps and against the sword]: ‘Some people will come to fight against the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans]. They will fill them [C the houses] with ·the bodies of people [corpses] I ·killed [struck] in my ·hot anger [L anger and my wrath]. I have ·turned away [L hidden my face] from this city because of all the evil its people have done.

“‘But then I will bring ·health [recovery] and healing to the people there. I will heal them and ·let them enjoy [L reveal to them] ·great [an abundance of] peace and ·safety [security]. I will ·bring Judah and Israel back from captivity [restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel] and ·make them strong countries [L rebuild them] as in the past. They sinned against me, but I will ·wash away [cleanse them from] that sin. They did ·evil [iniquity] and ·turned away from [transgressed against] me, but I will forgive them. Then it [C Jerusalem] will be to me a name that brings joy! And people from all nations of the earth will praise [L and glorify] it when they hear about the good things I am doing there. They will ·be surprised [fear] and ·shocked [tremble] at all the good things and the ·peace [or prosperity] I will bring to it.’

10 “You are saying, ‘Our country is an ·empty desert [ruin], without people or animals.’ But this is what the Lord says: It is now quiet in the streets of Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, without people or animals, but ·it will be noisy there soon [L there will once more be heard…]! 11 ·There will be [L …the] sounds of joy and gladness and the happy sounds of brides and bridegrooms. There will be the sounds of people bringing to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord their offerings of thanks to the Lord. They will say,

‘Praise the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts],
    because the Lord is good!
    His ·love [loyalty] continues forever!’

They will say this because I will ·again do good things for Judah [restore the fortunes of the land], as I did in the beginning,” says the Lord.

12 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says: “This place is ·empty [a ruin] now, without people or animals. But there will be shepherds in this place [C Judah] and pastures where they let their flocks rest. 13 ·Shepherds will again count their sheep as the sheep walk in front of them [L Flocks will again pass under the hand of those who count them]. They will count them in the mountains and in the ·western hills [L Shephelah], in ·southern Judah [L the Negev] and the land of Benjamin, and around Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah!” says the Lord.

The Good Branch

14 The Lord says, “The ·time is [L days are] coming when I will do the good thing I promised to the people of Israel and Judah.

15 In those days and at that time,
    I will make a ·good [righteous] branch sprout from David’s family [Is. 11:1; Zech. 3:8; 6:12].
    He will do ·what is fair [justice] and ·right [righteousness] in the land.
16 ·At that time [L In those days] Judah will be ·saved [rescued],
    and the people of Jerusalem will live ·in safety [with confidence].
·The branch will be named [L This one will be called by this]:
    The Lord ·Does What Is Right [Our Righteousness].”

17 This is what the Lord says: “·Someone from David’s family will always sit on the throne of the family [L David will never lack a man who will sit on the throne of the house] of Israel [2 Sam. 7:11–16]. 18 And there will always be priests from the family of Levi. They will always stand before me to offer burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] and grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:1] and sacrifices to me [Num. 25:13].”

19 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah, saying: 20 “This is what the Lord says: I have an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with day and night that they will always come at the right times [C the covenant with Noah; Gen. 9:8–17]. If you could ·change [L break] that ·agreement [covenant; treaty], 21 only then could you ·change [L break] my ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with David and Levi. Only then would my servant David not have a descendant ruling on his throne. And only then would the family of Levi not be serving me [C in the Temple]. 22 But I will give many ·descendants [L seed] to my servant David and to the family group of Levi who serve me. They will be as many as the stars in the sky that no one can count. They will be as many as the grains of sand on the seashore that no one can measure [Gen. 15:5; 22:17; 26:4].”

23 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah, saying: 24 “Have you [C Jeremiah] heard what the people are saying? They say: ‘The Lord ·turned away from [rejected] the two ·families [kingdoms; C of Israel and Judah] that he chose.’ Now they [L hold my people in such contempt that they] don’t think of them as a nation anymore!”

25 This is what the Lord says: “If I had not made my ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with day and night [v. 20], and if I had not made the ·laws [statutes; ordinances; requirements] for the ·sky [heavens] and earth, 26 only then would I ·turn away from [reject] Jacob’s ·descendants [L seed]. And only then would I not let the ·descendants [L seed] of David my servant rule over the ·descendants [L seed] of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I will be ·kind [compassionate] to them and ·cause good things to happen to them [restore their fortunes] again.”