30 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Write down for the record everything I have said to you, Jeremiah. 3 For the time is coming when I will restore the fortunes of my people of Israel and Judah. I will bring them home to this land that I gave to their ancestors, and they will possess it again. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
4 This is the message the Lord gave concerning Israel and Judah. 5 This is what the Lord says:
“I hear cries of fear;
there is terror and no peace.
6 Now let me ask you a question:
Do men give birth to babies?
Then why do they stand there, ashen-faced,
hands pressed against their sides
like a woman in labor?
7 In all history there has never been such a time of terror.
It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel.[a]
Yet in the end they will be saved!
8 For in that day,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
“I will break the yoke from their necks
and snap their chains.
Foreigners will no longer be their masters.
9 For my people will serve the Lord their God
and their king descended from David—
the king I will raise up for them.
10 “So do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant;
do not be dismayed, Israel,”
says the Lord.
“For I will bring you home again from distant lands,
and your children will return from their exile.
Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet,
and no one will terrorize them.
11 For I am with you and will save you,”
says the Lord.
“I will completely destroy the nations where I have scattered you,
but I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you, but with justice;
I cannot let you go unpunished.”
12 This is what the Lord says:
“Your injury is incurable—
a terrible wound.
13 There is no one to help you
or to bind up your injury.
No medicine can heal you.
14 All your lovers—your allies—have left you
and do not care about you anymore.
I have wounded you cruelly,
as though I were your enemy.
For your sins are many,
and your guilt is great.
15 Why do you protest your punishment—
this wound that has no cure?
I have had to punish you
because your sins are many
and your guilt is great.
16 “But all who devour you will be devoured,
and all your enemies will be sent into exile.
All who plunder you will be plundered,
and all who attack you will be attacked.
17 I will give you back your health
and heal your wounds,” says the Lord.
“For you are called an outcast—
‘Jerusalem[b] for whom no one cares.’”
18 This is what the Lord says:
“When I bring Israel home again from captivity
and restore their fortunes,
Jerusalem will be rebuilt on its ruins,
and the palace reconstructed as before.
19 There will be joy and songs of thanksgiving,
and I will multiply my people, not diminish them;
I will honor them, not despise them.
20 Their children will prosper as they did long ago.
I will establish them as a nation before me,
and I will punish anyone who hurts them.
21 They will have their own ruler again,
and he will come from their own people.
I will invite him to approach me,” says the Lord,
“for who would dare to come unless invited?
22 You will be my people,
and I will be your God.”
23 Look! The Lord’s anger bursts out like a storm,
a driving wind that swirls down on the heads of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of the Lord will not diminish
until it has finished all he has planned.
In the days to come
you will understand all this.
31 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people. 2 This is what the Lord says:
“Those who survive the coming destruction
will find blessings even in the barren land,
for I will give rest to the people of Israel.”
3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
4 I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel.
You will again be happy
and dance merrily with your tambourines.
5 Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria
and eat from your own gardens there.
6 The day will come when watchmen will shout
from the hill country of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Jerusalem[c]
to worship the Lord our God.’”
7 Now this is what the Lord says:
“Sing with joy for Israel.[d]
Shout for the greatest of nations!
Shout out with praise and joy:
‘Save your people, O Lord,
the remnant of Israel!’
8 For I will bring them from the north
and from the distant corners of the earth.
I will not forget the blind and lame,
the expectant mothers and women in labor.
A great company will return!
9 Tears of joy will stream down their faces,
and I will lead them home with great care.
They will walk beside quiet streams
and on smooth paths where they will not stumble.
For I am Israel’s father,
and Ephraim is my oldest child.
10 “Listen to this message from the Lord,
you nations of the world;
proclaim it in distant coastlands:
The Lord, who scattered his people,
will gather them and watch over them
as a shepherd does his flock.
11 For the Lord has redeemed Israel
from those too strong for them.
12 They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem.
They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts—
the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil,
and the healthy flocks and herds.
Their life will be like a watered garden,
and all their sorrows will be gone.
13 The young women will dance for joy,
and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
14 The priests will enjoy abundance,
and my people will feast on my good gifts.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
15 This is what the Lord says:
“A cry is heard in Ramah—
deep anguish and bitter weeping.
Rachel weeps for her children,
refusing to be comforted—
for her children are gone.”
16 But now this is what the Lord says:
“Do not weep any longer,
for I will reward you,” says the Lord.
“Your children will come back to you
from the distant land of the enemy.
17 There is hope for your future,” says the Lord.
“Your children will come again to their own land.
18 I have heard Israel[e] saying,
‘You disciplined me severely,
like a calf that needs training for the yoke.
Turn me again to you and restore me,
for you alone are the Lord my God.
19 I turned away from God,
but then I was sorry.
I kicked myself for my stupidity!
I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’
20 “Is not Israel still my son,
my darling child?” says the Lord.
“I often have to punish him,
but I still love him.
That’s why I long for him
and surely will have mercy on him.
21 Set up road signs;
put up guideposts.
Mark well the path
by which you came.
Come back again, my virgin Israel;
return to your towns here.
22 How long will you wander,
my wayward daughter?
For the Lord will cause something new to happen—
Israel will embrace her God.[f]”
23 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people of Judah and its towns will again say, ‘The Lord bless you, O righteous home, O holy mountain!’ 24 Townspeople and farmers and shepherds alike will live together in peace and happiness. 25 For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”
26 At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet.
27 “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will greatly increase the human population and the number of animals here in Israel and Judah. 28 In the past I deliberately uprooted and tore down this nation. I overthrew it, destroyed it, and brought disaster upon it. But in the future I will just as deliberately plant it and build it up. I, the Lord, have spoken!
29 “The people will no longer quote this proverb:
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’
30 All people will die for their own sins—those who eat the sour grapes will be the ones whose mouths will pucker.
31 “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord.
33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
35 It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day
and the moon and stars to light the night,
and who stirs the sea into roaring waves.
His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
and this is what he says:
36 “I am as likely to reject my people Israel
as I am to abolish the laws of nature!”
37 This is what the Lord says:
“Just as the heavens cannot be measured
and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored,
so I will not consider casting them away
for the evil they have done.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
38 “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when all Jerusalem will be rebuilt for me, from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 A measuring line will be stretched out over the hill of Gareb and across to Goah. 40 And the entire area—including the graveyard and ash dump in the valley, and all the fields out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the Horse Gate—will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be captured or destroyed.”
1 This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, 2 and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your[a] house.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
4 I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, 5 because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. 7 Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.
8 That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. 9 But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.[b]
10 I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison. 11 Onesimus[c] hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us. 12 I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.
13 I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf. 14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced. 15 It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever. 16 He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, PAUL, WRITE THIS WITH MY OWN HAND: I WILL REPAY IT. AND I WON’T MENTION THAT YOU OWE ME YOUR VERY SOUL!
20 Yes, my brother, please do me this favor[d] for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ.
21 I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more! 22 One more thing—please prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. 24 So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers.
25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.