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Jeremiah 31.10 - 17

posted 10 Jan 2014, 02:51 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
Listen to the word of the Eternal, you nations of the earth;
    take this story to distant shores and make it known:
The One who scattered Israel will now gather His people
    and watch over His flock as a shepherd.
11 For the Eternal has rescued Jacob
    and redeemed him from people who are too strong for him.
12 The redeemed will return home and shout for joy from the top of Mount Zion;
    they will shine with the sheer goodness of the Eternal—
The harvests of grain, wine, and oil; the healthy flocks and herds.
    Their lives will be like a lush, well-watered garden.
From that day on, they will never know sorrow.

13 Eternal One: Young women will dance for joy;
        young men will join them, old ones too.
    For I will turn their mourning into joy.
        I will comfort My people and replace their sorrow with gladness.
14     From the overflow of sacrifices,
        I will satisfy My priests;
    All My people will feast on My goodness.

The people now cling to this promise as they struggle with exile. Jeremiah returns the focus to the heartbreak of a people being deported to a foreign land.

This is what the Eternal declares!

15 Eternal One: A voice rises from Ramah—
        mourning and bitter weeping are heard day and night.
    The voice is Rachel’s; she’s weeping for her children.
        She will not be comforted,
        for her children are no more.[a]

The setting is Ramah, a village a few miles north of Jerusalem, where exiles are assembled before the long march to Babylon. Later the prophet himself will spend time in this refugee camp awaiting his own exile (40:1). For now, he paints the picture of Rachel, one of the matriarchs of this nation, weeping for her children as they head off into captivity.

16 But listen to what the Eternal says:

Eternal One: Do not weep, Rachel—wipe the tears from your eyes—
        for I promise I will reward you for what you have done.
    Your children will return from this exile;
        they will come back home from this enemy land.
17     There is hope for your future, I promise.
        Your children will come home to their own land.