Jeremiah Chapter 30 to 31 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Promises of Hope

30 This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. 2The Lord, the God of the people of Israel, said: “Jeremiah, write in a book the words I have spoken to you. Write this book for yourself. 3Do this because the days will come”—this message is from the Lord —“when I will bring my people, Israel and Judah, back from exile.”* This message is from the Lord. “I will put those people back in the land that I gave to their ancestors.* Then my people will own that land again.” 4The Lord spoke this message about the people of Israel and Judah. 5This is what the Lord said: “We hear people crying from fear! People are scared! There is no peace! 6“Ask this question, and consider it: Can a man have a baby? Of course not! Then why do I see every strong man holding his stomach like a woman having labor pains? Why is every person’s face turning white like a dead man? {Why? Because the men are very scared.} 7“This is a very important time for Jacob.* This is a time of great trouble. There will never be another time like this. But Jacob will be saved. 8“At that time,” this message is from the Lord All-Powerful, “I will break the yoke* from the necks of the people of Israel and Judah. And I will break the ropes holding you. People from foreign countries will never again force my people to be slaves. 9The people of Israel and Judah will not serve foreign countries. No! They will serve the Lord their God. And they will serve David their king,* I will send that king to them. 10“So, Jacob* my servant, don’t be afraid!” This message is from the Lord. “Israel, don’t be afraid. I will save you from that faraway place. You are captives* in that faraway land, But I will save your descendants.* {I will bring them back} from that land. Jacob will have peace again. People will not bother Jacob. There will be no enemy to scare my people. 11People of Israel and Judah, I am with you.” This message is from the Lord. “And I will save you. I sent you to those nations. But I will completely destroy all those nations. It is true, I will destroy those nations, but I will not destroy you. You must be punished for the bad things you did. But I will discipline you fairly.” 12The Lord says: “You people of Israel and Judah have a wound that can’t be cured. You have an injury that will not heal. 13There is no person to care for your sores. So you will not be healed. 14You became friends with many nations. But those nations don’t care about you. Your ‘friends’ have forgotten you. I hurt you like an enemy. I punished you very hard. I did this because of your great guilt. I did this because of your many sins. 15Israel and Judah, why are you yelling about your wound? Your wound is painful, and there is no cure for it. I, the Lord, did these things to you because of your great guilt. I did these things because of your many sins. 16Those nations destroyed you, but now they have been destroyed. Israel and Judah, your enemies will become captives.* Those people stole things from you. But other people will steal from them. Those people took things from you in war. But other people will take things from them in war. 17And I will bring your health back. And I will heal your wounds.” This message is from the Lord. “Why? Because other people said you were outcasts.* Those people said, ‘No one cares about Zion.* ’” 18The Lord says: “Jacob’s* people are now in captivity. But they will come back. And I will have pity on Jacob’s houses. The city* is now only an empty hill covered with ruined buildings. But the city will be built again on its hill. And the king’s house will be built again where it should be. 19People in those places will sing songs of praise. And there will be the sound of laughter. I will give them many children. Israel and Judah will not be small. I will bring honor to them. No person will look down on them. 20Jacob’s family will be like the family of Israel long ago. I will make Israel and Judah strong, and I will punish the people that hurt them. 21One of their own people will lead them. That ruler will come from my people. People can come close to me only if I ask them to. So I will ask that leader to come to me, and he will be close to me. 22You will be my people. And I will be your God.” 23The Lord was very angry! He punished the people. The punishment came like a storm. The punishment came like a tornado against those wicked people. 24The Lord will be angry until he finishes punishing the people. He will be angry until he finishes the punishment he planned. When that day comes, you people of Judah will understand.


Being forced to leave one’s home country. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. yoke A pole that was put on the shoulders of men or animals to help them carry or pull things. This often showed that a person was a slave. David their king This means another king of Israel, that will be great like King David. captives People that were taken away like prisoners. Here this means the Jewish people that were taken to Babylon. descendants A person’s children and their future families. outcasts People that were thrown out of some special group of people. Usually other people don’t like or respect outcasts. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. city This probably refers to Jerusalem. But it might also mean all of the cities of Israel and Judah.

The New Israel

31 The Lord said these things, “At that time, I will be the God of all the family groups of Israel. And they will be my people.” 2The Lord says: “The people who escaped the enemy’s sword will find comfort in the desert. Israel will go there looking for rest.” 3From far away, the Lord will appear to his people. {The Lord says,} “I love you people with a love that continues forever. That is why I have continued showing you kindness. 4Israel, my bride, I will build you again. You will be a country again. You will pick up your tambourines again. You will dance with all the other people that are having fun. 5You farmers of Israel will plant fields of grapes again. You will plant those vineyards on the hills around the city of Samaria. And those farmers will enjoy the fruit from those vineyards. 6There will be a time when watchmen* shout this message: ‘Come, let’s go up to Zion* to worship the Lord our God!’ Even the watchmen in the hill country of Ephraim* will shout that message.” 7The Lord says: “Be happy and sing for Jacob*! Shout for Israel, the greatest of the nations! Sing your praises and shout: ‘The Lord saved his people!* He has saved the people that are left alive from the nation of Israel.’ 8Remember, I will bring Israel from that country in the north. I will gather the people of Israel from the faraway places on earth. Some of the people will be blind and crippled. Some of the women will be pregnant and ready to give birth. But many, many people will come back. 9Those people will come back crying. But I will lead them and comfort them. I will lead those people by streams of water. I will lead them on an easy road, so that they will not stumble. I will lead them in that way because I am Israel’s father. And Ephraim* is my firstborn son. 10“Nations, listen to this message from the Lord! Tell this message in the faraway lands by the sea: ‘God scattered the people of Israel, but God will bring them back together. And he will watch over his flock (people) like a shepherd.’ 11The Lord will bring Jacob* back. The Lord will save his people from people that were stronger than them. 12The people of Israel will come to the top of Zion,* and they will shout with joy. Their faces will shine with happiness about the good things the Lord gives them. The Lord will give them grain, new wine, olive oil, young sheep, and cows. They will be like a garden that has plenty of water. And the people of Israel will not be troubled anymore. 13Then the young women of Israel will be happy and dance. And the young men and old men will join in the dancing. I will change their sadness into happiness. I will comfort the people of Israel. I will change their sadness to happiness. 14I will give the priests plenty of food. And my people will be filled and satisfied with the good things I give them.” This message is from the Lord. 15The Lord says: “A sound will be heard in Ramah. It will be bitter crying and much sadness. Rachel* will be crying for her children. Rachel will refuse to be comforted, because her children are dead.” 16But the Lord says: “Stop crying! Don’t fill your eyes with tears! You will be rewarded for your work!” This message is from the Lord. “The people of Israel will come back from their enemy’s land. 17Israel, there is hope for you.” This message is from the Lord. “Your children will come back to their own land. 18I have heard Ephraim* crying. I heard Ephraim say these things: ‘Lord, you really punished me! And I learned my lesson.  I was like a calf that was never trained.  Please stop punishing me, and I will come back to you. You truly are the Lord my God. 19Lord, I wandered away from you. But I learned about the bad things I did. So I changed my heart and life. I am ashamed and embarrassed about the foolish things I did when I was young.’ 20{God says,} “You know that Ephraim* is my dear son. I love that child. Yes, I often criticized Ephraim, but I still think about him. I love him very much. And I really do want to comfort him.” This message is from the Lord. 21“People of Israel, fix the road signs. Put up the signs that show the way home. Watch the road. Remember the road you are leaving on. Israel, my bride, come home. Come back to your towns. 22Unfaithful daughter, how long will you wander around? {When will you come home?}” When the Lord creates something new in the land: A woman surrounding a man.* 23The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: “I will again do good things for the people of Judah. I will bring back the people who were taken away as prisoners. At that time, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘May the Lord bless you, good home and holy mountain!’* 24“People in all the towns of Judah will live together in peace. Farmers and those that move around with their flocks will live peacefully together in Judah. 25I will give rest and strength to the people that are weak and tired.” 26After hearing that, I (Jeremiah) woke up and looked around. That was a very pleasant sleep. 27“The days are coming,” this message is from the Lord, “when I will help the family of Israel and Judah to grow. I will help their children and animals to grow too. It will be like planting and caring for a plant. 28In the past, I watched over Israel and Judah, but I watched for the time to pull them up. I tore them down. I destroyed them. I gave many troubles to them. But now, I will watch over them to build them up and make them strong.” This message is from the Lord. 29“People won’t use this saying anymore: The parents ate the sour grapes, but the children got the sour taste.* 30No, each person will die for his own sin. The person that eats sour grapes will get the sour taste.” The New Agreement 31The Lord said these things, “The time is coming when I will make a new Agreement* with the family of Israel, and with the family of Judah. 32It will not be like the Agreement I made with their ancestors.* I made that Agreement when I took them by the hand and brought them out of Egypt. I was their Master, but they broke that Agreement.” This message is from the Lord. 33“In the future, I will make this Agreement* with the people of Israel.” This message is from the Lord. “I will put my teachings in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34People will not have to teach their neighbors and relatives to know the Lord. Why? Because all people, from the least important to the greatest, will know me.” This message is from the Lord. “I will forgive them for the bad things they did. I won’t remember their sins.” The Lord Will Never Leave Israel 35The Lord says: “The Lord makes the sun shine in the day. And the Lord makes the moon and the stars shine at night. The Lord stirs up the sea so that its waves crash on the shore. The Lord All-Powerful is his name.” 36The Lord says these things: “The descendants* of Israel will never stop being a nation. That would happen only if I lost control of the sun, moon, stars, and sea.” 37The Lord says: “I’ll never reject the descendants of Israel. That would happen only if people could measure the sky above, and learn all the secrets of the earth below. Only then would I reject the descendants of Israel. Only then would I reject them for the bad things they have done.” This message is from the Lord. The New Jerusalem 38This message is from the Lord, “The days are coming when the city of Jerusalem will be built again for the Lord. The whole city will be built again—from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39The measuring line* will stretch from the Corner Gate straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to the place named Gorah. 40The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown will be holy to the Lord. And all the terraces down to the bottom of Kidron Valley all the way to the corner of Horse Gate will be included. All that area will be holy to the Lord. The city of Jerusalem will never again be torn down or destroyed.”

watchmen Usually this means a guard that stands on the city walls watching for people coming to the city. But here it probably means the prophets.  Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. Ephraim This means the northern kingdom of Israel. Jacob Another name for Israel. See Gen. 32:22–28. The Lord saved his people Or, “Lord, save your people!” This is often a shout of victory. Rachel Jacob’s wife. Here this means all the women that are crying for their husbands and children that have died in the war with Babylon.  A woman surrounding a man This line is hard to understand. It might be part of some saying that was familiar to the people in Jeremiah’s time. good home and holy mountain This was a blessing for the temple and for Zion, the mountain the temple was built on. parents … sour taste This means that children were suffering for the things their parents did. Agreement Literally, “Proof.” The flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were proof of the Agreement between God and Israel. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. descendants A person’s children and their future families. measuring line A rope or chain for measuring property lines.

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