Jeremiah 29:9–31:35

For they are prophesying falselyg to you in my name; I have not sent them,’ declaresh Yahweh. 10 For thus says Yahweh, ‘As soon as the time has passed,i seventy yearsj for Babylon, I will attend to you, and I will fulfill my good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I am planning concerning you,’ declaresk Yahweh, ‘plans for prosperity and not for harm, to give to you a future and a hope. 12 Then when you call me, and you come and pray to me, then I will listen to you. 13 When you search for me, then you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart. 14 And I will let myself be found by you,’ declaresl Yahweh, ‘and I will restore your fortunes,m and I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places to which I have driven you,’ declaresn Yahweh, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from which I deported you.’

15 Because you have said, ‘Yahweh has raised up prophets for us in Babylon’— 16 for thus says Yahweh concerning the king who sits on the throne of David and concerning all the people who live in this city, your fellow kinsmen who did not go with you into the exile— 17 thus says Yahweh of hosts, ‘Look, I am going to send among them the sword, the famine, and the plague, and I will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten because of their bad quality. 18 And I will pursue them with the sword, with the famine, and with the plague, and I will make them a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse, and a horror, and an object of hissing, and a disgrace among all the nations to which I have driven them, 19 because they did not listen to my words,’ declareso Yahweh, ‘when I sent to them my servants the prophets, sending over and over again,p and they would not listen,’ declaresq Yahweh.

20 And you, hear the word of Yahweh, all you exilesr whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab, the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah, the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying to you in my name a lie, ‘Look, I am going to give them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and he will strike them before your eyes. 22 And a curse will be taken up because of them by all the exiless of Judah who are in Babylon, saying,t “May Yahweh make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,” 23 because they have done a disgraceful thing in Israel, and they have committed adultery with the wives of their neighbors, and they have spoken wordsu in my name, liesv that I have not commanded them, and I am he who knows, and I am a witness,’ declaresw Yahweh.”

Shemaiah’s Letter to Zephaniah the Priest

24 And to Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall say, saying,x 25 “Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, saying,y ‘Because you yourself sent a letterz in your name to all the people who are in Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying,a 26 “Yahweh made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, so that there are overseers in the house of Yahweh over any mad man who exhibits the behavior of a prophet, and you must put him into the stocks and into the neck iron, 27 and so then why have you not rebuked Jeremiah the Anathothite who exhibits the behavior of a prophet for you? 28 Becauseb he has sent to us in Babylon, saying,c ‘It will be a long time, build houses and live in them,d and plant gardens and eat their fruit.’ ” ’ ” 29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearinge of Jeremiah the prophet.

Jeremiah’s Response to Shemaiah’s Letter

30 And the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, saying,f 31 “Send to all the exiles,g saying,h ‘Thus says Yahweh concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: “Because Shemaiah prophesied to you, though I have not sent him, and he has made you trust in a lie,” 32 thereforei thus says Yahweh, “Look, I am going to punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his offspring. There will not be for him a man who lives in the midst of this people, and he will not see the good that I am going to do to my people,” declaresj Yahweh, “For he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh.” ’ ”

Israel and Judah Will Be Delivered from Their Distress

30 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,a “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying,b ‘Write for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you in a scroll. For look, days are coming,’ declaresc Yahweh, ‘when I will restore the fortunesd of my people Israel and Judah,’ says Yahweh, ‘and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestorse and they will take possession of it.’ ”

Now these are the words that Yahweh spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. “For thus says Yahweh:

‘We have heard a sound of trembling,

terror, and there is no peace.

Ask please and see whether a male can bear a child.

Why do I see every strong man

with his hands on his loins like a woman giving birth?

And why are all their faces changed to paleness?

Alas! For that day is great,

there is none like it.f

And it is a time of distress for Jacob,

yet from it he will be delivered.

And it will happen on that day,’ declaresg Yahweh of hosts,

‘I will break his yoke from your neck

and your bonds I will tear to pieces.

And strangers will no longer let him work as a slave.

But they will serve Yahweh their God,

and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

10 But you must not fear, my servant Jacob,’ declaresh Yahweh,

‘and you must not be dismayed, Israel,

for look, I am going to save you from far,

and your offspring from the land of their captivity.

And Jacob will return,

and he will be at rest,

and he will be at ease,

and there will be no one who makes himi afraid.

11 For I am with you,’ declaresj Yahweh, ‘to save you.

For I will make a complete destruction

of all the nations to which I scattered you,

but you I will not make a complete destruction.

And I will chastise you to the measure,

and I will not leave you entirely unpunished.’

12 For thus says Yahweh,

‘Your injury is incurable,

your wound is overcome by sickness.

13 There is no one who pleads your cause,

for your boil there is no healing for you.

14 All your lovers have forgotten you,

they do not care for you.

I have struck you with the blow of an enemy,

the punishment of the cruel,

because of the greatness of your guilt,

your sins are numerous.

15 Why do you cry because of your wound?

Your pain is incurable.

Because of the greatness of your guilt—your sins are vast—

I have done these things to you.

16 Thereforek all those who devour you will be devoured,

and all your foes, all of them will go into captivity,

and those who plunder you will be as plunder,

and all those who plunder you I will make as plunder.

17 For I will present healing to you,

and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declaresl Yahweh.

‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying,

“It is Zion, there is no one who cares for her.” ’

18 Thus says Yahweh:

‘Look, I will restore the fortunesm of the tents of Jacob,

and I will have compassion on his dwellings,

and the city will be rebuilt upon its mound,

and the citadel fortress will stand on its rightful site.

19 And thanksgiving and the sound of merrymakers

will come out from them,

and I will make them numerous,

and they will not be few.

And I will make them honored,

and they will not be lowly.

20 And their children will be as of old,

and their community will be established before me.n

And I will punish all their oppressors.

21 And their noble will be from them,

and their ruler will come out from their midst.

And I will bring him near and he will approach me.

For who is he that would pledge his heart to approach me?’ declareso Yahweh.

22 ‘And you will be to me a people,

and I will be to you God.’ ”

23 Look, the storm of Yahweh!

Wrath has gone forth,

a whirling tempest.

It will whirl upon the head of the wicked.

24 The burning anger of Yahwehp will not turn back until his doing,

and until his accomplishing the plans of his mind.q

In the last of the days you will understand it.

31 “At that time,” declaresa Yahweh,

“I will be the God of all the clansb of Israel,

and they will be to me a people.”

Thus says Yahweh:

The people of the survivors of the sword found grace in the desert;c

Israel going to find their rest.”

From afar Yahweh appeared to me, saying,

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.

Therefored I have drawn you with loyal love.

I will again build you,

and you will be built, O virgin Israel.

You will again adorn yourself with your tambourines,

and you will go forth in the dancing in a ring of the merrymakers.

You will again plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria.

The planters will plant, and they will enjoy it.e

For there will be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim,

‘Stand up, and let us go up to Zion, to Yahweh our God.’ ”

For thus says Yahweh,

“Sing for joy for Jacob with gladness,

and shout out for the head of the nations.

Proclaim, praise, and say,

‘Save, O Yahweh, your people, the remnant of Israel.’

Look, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,

and I will gather them from the remotest part of the earth.

Among them the blind, and the lame,

those who are pregnant, and those who give birth,

together, a great assembly,

they will return here.

With weeping they will come,

and with pleas for mercy I will bring them;

I will let them walk by streams of water in a straight path.

They will not stumble in it,

for I have become to Israel a father,

and Ephraim, he is my firstborn.”

10 Hear the word of Yahweh, O nations,

and declare in the coastlands from afar, and say,

“The scatterer of Israel will gather him,

and he will keep him as a shepherd his flock.

11 For Yahweh has ransomed Jacob,

and he has redeemed him from the hand of the person strongerf than he.

12 And they will come,

and they will sing for joy on the height of Zion,

and they will be …

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