2 Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
bwhen Israel sought for rest,
3 the Lord appeared to him1 from far away.
cI have loved you with an everlasting love;
4 fAgain I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
gAgain you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
and shall go forth in hthe dance of the merrymakers.
5 iAgain you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6 For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
in jthe hill country of Ephraim:
k‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.’”
7 For thus says the Lord:
l“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for mthe chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
n‘O Lord, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.’
8 Behold, I will bring them ofrom the north country
among them rthe blind and the lame,
the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
9 sWith weeping they shall come,
tand with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
I will make them uwalk by brooks of water,
vin a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
for wI am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is xmy firstborn.
10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will pgather him,
and will keep him yas a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11 zFor the Lord has ransomed Jacob
and has redeemed him from ahands too strong for him.
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
dover the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
etheir life shall be like a watered garden,
fand they shall languish no more.
13 gThen shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
hI will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14 iI will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
declares the Lord.”
15 Thus says the Lord:
lamentation and bitter weeping.
lRachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
mbecause they are no more.”
16 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and nthey shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 oThere is hope for your future,
declares the Lord,
and your children shall come back to their own country.
18 I have heard pEphraim grieving,
‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined,
like an untrained calf;
qbring me back that I may be restored,
for you are the Lord my God.
19 For after rI had turned away, I relented,
and after I was instructed, sI struck my thigh;
tI was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 pIs Ephraim my dear son?
uIs he my darling child?
For as often as I speak against him,
I do remember him still.
I will surely have mercy on him,
declares the Lord.
21 w“Set up road markers for yourself;
make yourself guideposts;
xconsider well the highway,
wthe road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.
22 yHow long will you waver,
zO faithless daughter?
For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth:
a woman encircles a man.”
23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, awhen I restore their fortunes:
dO holy hill!’
24 eAnd Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and ethe farmers and those who wander with their flocks. 25 For I will fsatisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
26 At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
27 g“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when hI will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with ithe seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass that jas I have watched over them kto pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, jso I will watch over them lto build and to plant, declares the Lord. 29 In those days they shall no longer say:
m“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30 nBut everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
31 o“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make pa new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when qI took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, rthough I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 sFor this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: sI will put my law within them, and I will write it ton their hearts. uAnd I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ vfor they shall all know me, wfrom the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For xI will forgive their iniquity, and yI will remember their sin no more.”
35 Thus says the Lord,
who zgives the sun for light by day
and athe fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
bthe Lord of hosts is his name:
36 c“If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the Lord,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”
37 Thus says the Lord:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
dthen I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
for all that they have done,
declares the Lord.”
38 e“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord ffrom the Tower of Hananel to gthe Corner Gate. 39 hAnd the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40 iThe whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the jbrook Kidron, to the corner of kthe Horse Gate toward the east, lshall be sacred to the Lord. mIt shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”
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