Freedom from Captivity Promised
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord:2 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Write in a book all the words which I have spoken to you.3 ~‘For behold (hear this), the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return them to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they will take possession of it.’”
4 Now these are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:
5 “Thus says the Lord,
‘We have heard a terrified voice
Of panic and dread, and there is no peace.
6 ‘Ask now, and see
Whether a man can give birth [to a child].
Why then do I see every man
With his hands on his #The midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips.loins, as a woman in labor?
Why have all faces turned pale?
7 ‘Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
It is the time of Jacob’s [unequaled] trouble,
But he will be saved from it.
8 ‘It shall come about on that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will break the yoke off your neck and I will tear off your bonds and force apart your shackles; and strangers will no longer make slaves of the people [of Israel].9 ~‘But they shall serve the Lord their God and [the descendant of] David their King, whom I will raise up for them.
10 ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant,’ says the Lord,
‘Nor be dismayed or downcast, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from a distant land [of exile]
And your descendants from the land of their captivity.
Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.
11 ‘For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you;
For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you,
But I will not destroy you completely.
But I will judge and discipline you fairly
And will by no means regard you as guiltless and leave you unpunished.’
12 “For thus says the Lord,
‘Your wound is incurable
And your injury is beyond healing.
13 ‘There is no one to plead your cause;
No [device to close and allow the] healing of your wound,
No recovery for you.
14 ‘All your lovers (allies) have forgotten you;
They do not seek and long for you.
For I have injured you with the wound of an enemy,
With the punishment of a cruel and merciless foe,
Because your guilt is great
And your sins are glaring and innumerable.
15 ‘Why do you cry out over your injury [since it is the natural result of your sin]?
Your pain is incurable (deadly).
Because your guilt is great
And your sins are glaring and innumerable,
I have done these things to you.
16 ‘Therefore all who devour you will be devoured;
And all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity.
And they who plunder you will become plunder,
And all who prey upon you I will give for prey.
17 ‘For I will restore health to you
And I will heal your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying:
“This is Zion; no one seeks her and no one cares for her.”’
Restoration of Jacob
18 “Thus says the Lord,
‘Behold (hear this), I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
And have mercy on his dwelling places;
The city will be rebuilt on its [old, mound-like] ruin,
And the palace will stand on its rightful place.
19 ‘From them (city, palace) will come [songs of] thanksgiving
And the voices of those who dance and celebrate.
And I will multiply them and they will not be diminished [in number];
I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant.
20 ‘Their children too will be as in former times,
And their congregation will be established before Me;
And I will punish all their oppressors.
21 ‘Their prince will be one of them,
And their ruler will come forward from among them.
I will bring him near and he shall approach Me,
For who is he who would have the boldness and would dare [on his own initiative] to risk his life to approach Me?’ says the Lord.
22 ‘Then you shall be My people,
And I will be your God.’”
23 Behold, the tempest of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
A sweeping and gathering tempest;
It will burst on the head of the wicked.
24 The fierce (righteous) anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has fulfilled and until He has accomplished
The intent of His heart (mind);
In the latter days you will understand this.