Israel’s Restoration

33 While he was still confined in the guard’s courtyard,(A) the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time: “The Lord who made the earth,[a] the Lord who forms it to establish it,(B) the Lord is his name,(C) says this: Call to me and I will answer you(D) and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.(E) For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the houses of this city and the palaces of Judah’s kings, the ones torn down for defense against the assault ramps and the sword:(F) The people coming to fight the Chaldeans will fill the houses with the corpses of their own men that I strike down in my wrath and fury. I have hidden my face(G) from this city because of all their evil. Yet I will certainly bring health(H) and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance[b] of true peace.(I) I will restore the fortunes[c] of Judah and of Israel and will rebuild them as in former times.(J) I will purify them from all the iniquity they have committed against me,(K) and I will forgive all the iniquities they have committed against me, rebelling against me. This city will bear on my behalf a name of joy, praise, and glory(L) before all the nations of the earth, who will hear of all the prosperity I will give them. They will tremble with awe because of all the good and all the peace(M) I will bring about for them.

10 “This is what the Lord says: In this place, which you say is a ruin,(N) without people or animals—that is, in Judah’s cities and Jerusalem’s streets that are a desolation without people, without inhabitants, and without animals—there will be heard again 11 a sound of joy and gladness, the voice of the groom and the bride,(O) and the voice of those saying,

Give thanks to the Lord of Armies,
for the Lord is good;
his faithful love endures forever

as they bring thanksgiving sacrifices to the temple of the Lord. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as in former times, says the Lord.

12 “This is what the Lord of Armies says: In this desolate place—without people or animals—and in all its cities there will once more be a grazing land where shepherds may rest flocks.(P) 13 The flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who counts them(Q) in the cities of the hill country,(R) the cities of the Judean foothills, the cities of the Negev, the land of Benjamin—the areas around Jerusalem and in Judah’s cities, says the Lord.

God’s Covenant with David

14 “Look, the days are coming”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“when I will fulfill the good promise
that I have spoken
concerning the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.(S)
15 In those days and at that time
I will cause a Righteous Branch(T)
to sprout up for David,
and he will administer justice
and righteousness in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will dwell securely,(U)
and this is what she will be named:
The Lord Is Our Righteousness.[d]

17 “For this is what the Lord says: David will never fail to have a man sitting on the throne of the house of Israel.(V) 18 The Levitical priests will never fail to have a man always before me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices.”(W)

19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the Lord says: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that day and night cease to come at their regular time,(X) 21 then also my covenant with my servant David(Y) may be broken. If that could happen, then he would not have a son reigning on his throne and the Levitical priests would not be my ministers.(Z) 22 Even as the stars of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured,(AA) so too I will make innumerable the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister to me.”

23 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24 “Have you not noticed what these people have said? They say, ‘The Lord has rejected the two families he had chosen.’(AB) My people are treated with contempt and no longer regarded as a nation among them. 25 This is what the Lord says: If I do not keep my covenant with the day and with the night, and if I fail to establish the fixed order of heaven and earth,(AC) 26 then I might also reject the descendants of Jacob and of my servant David. That is, I would not take rulers from his descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in fact, I will restore their fortunes[e] and have compassion on them.”(AD)

Jeremiah’s Word to King Zedekiah

34 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,(AE) his whole army, all the kingdoms of the lands under his control,(AF) and all other peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all its surrounding cities: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Go, speak to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon,(AG) and he will burn it. As for you, you will not escape(AH) from him but are certain to be captured and handed over to him. You will meet the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak face to face;[f](AI) you will go to Babylon.

“‘Yet hear the Lord’s word, King Zedekiah of Judah. This is what the Lord says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully. There will be a burning ceremony for you just like the burning ceremonies for your ancestors, the kings of old who came before you.(AJ) “Oh, master!” will be the lament for you, for I have spoken this word. This is the Lord’s declaration.’”

So the prophet Jeremiah related all these words to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem while the king of Babylon’s army was attacking Jerusalem and all of Judah’s remaining cities—that is, Lachish and Azekah,(AK) for they were the only ones left of Judah’s fortified cities.

The People and Their Slaves

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people who were in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom(AL) to them. As a result, each was to let his male and female Hebrew slaves go free, and no one was to enslave his fellow Judean.(AM) 10 All the officials and people who entered into covenant to let their male and female slaves go free—in order not to enslave them any longer—obeyed and let them go free. 11 Afterward, however, they changed their minds and took back their male and female slaves they had let go free and forced them to become slaves again.

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 13 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant(AN) with your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, saying, 14 ‘At the end of seven years, each of you must let his fellow Hebrew who sold himself[g] to you go. He may serve you six years, but then you must let him go free from your service.’(AO) But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention. 15 Today you repented and did what pleased me, each of you proclaiming freedom for his neighbor. You made a covenant before me(AP) at the house that bears my name.(AQ) 16 But you have changed your minds(AR) and profaned my name.(AS) Each has taken back his male and female slaves who had been set free to go wherever they wanted, and you have again forced them to be your slaves.

17 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming freedom, each for his fellow Hebrew and for his neighbor.(AT) I hereby proclaim freedom for you(AU)—this is the Lord’s declaration—to the sword, to plague, and to famine! I will make you a horror to all the earth’s kingdoms.(AV) 18 As for those who disobeyed my covenant,(AW) not keeping the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat them like the calf they cut in two in order to pass between its pieces.(AX) 19 The officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf— 20 all these I will hand over to their enemies, to those who intend to take their life. Their corpses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land.(AY) 21 I will hand King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials over to their enemies, to those who intend to take their lives, to the king of Babylon’s army that is withdrawing. 22 I am about to give the command—this is the Lord’s declaration—and I will bring them back to this city. They will fight against it, capture it, and burn it.(AZ) I will make Judah’s cities a desolation, without inhabitant.”(BA)

Footnotes

  1. 33:2 LXX; MT reads made it
  2. 33:6 Or fragrance; Hb obscure
  3. 33:7 Or will end the captivity, also in v. 11
  4. 33:16 = Yahweh-zidkenu
  5. 33:26 Or I will end their captivity
  6. 34:3 Lit and his mouth will speak to your mouth
  7. 34:14 Or who was sold

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