The Lord Will Restore and Heal Judah
1 While Jeremiah was still being held in the courtyard of the prison, the Lord spoke his word to him a second time. The Lord said, 2 “I made ⌊the earth⌋, formed it, and set it in place. My name is the Lord. This is what the Lord says: 3 Call to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know. 4 The houses in this city and the palaces of the kings of Judah have been torn down to be used against the dirt ramps and weapons of the Babylonians. This is what the Lord God of Israel says about this: 5 The people of Israel fought the Babylonians. Now their houses are filled with the bodies of their own people I killed in my anger and my fury. I will hide my face from this city because of its wickedness.
6 “But I will heal this city and restore it to health. I will heal its people, and I will give them peace and security. 7 I will restore Judah and Israel and rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sins that they have committed against me. I will forgive them for all the sins that they have committed against me and for rebelling against me. 9 Then Jerusalem will be my source of joy, praise, and honor. All the nations on earth will hear about all the blessings that I will give to Jerusalem. They will be afraid and tremble because of all the prosperity that I will provide for it.
10 “This is what the Lord says: You have said that this place is ruined and that no people or animals live in it. It’s true! The cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are deserted. No people or animals live there. But once again you will hear 11 the sounds of joy and happiness and the sounds of brides and grooms. You will hear those who bring thank offerings to the Lord’s temple say,
‘Give thanks to the Lord of Armies because the Lord is good,
because his mercy endures forever.’
I will restore the fortunes of the land to what they were before,” says the Lord.
12 “This is what the Lord of Armies says: In this deserted place, where no people or animals live, and in all its cities, there will once again be pastures where shepherds can rest their flocks. 13 In the cities on the mountains, in the foothills, in the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the area around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shepherds will once again count their sheep,” says the Lord.
14 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will keep the promise that I made to Israel and Judah. 15 In those days and at that time, I will cause a righteous branch to spring up for David. He will do what is fair and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live securely. Jerusalem will be called The Lord Our Righteousness.
17 “This what the Lord says: David will never fail to have a descendant sitting on the throne of Israel. 18 The Levitical priests will never fail to have a descendant in my presence to sacrifice burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to prepare daily sacrifices.”
19 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said, 20 “This is what the Lord says: Suppose you could break my arrangement #Or “covenant.” with day and night so that they wouldn’t come at their proper time. 21 Then my arrangement with my servant David could be broken, and he would not have a descendant to rule on his throne. The arrangement with my servants the Levitical priests could also be broken. 22 I will multiply the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who serve me like the stars of heaven that cannot be counted and the sand on the seashore that cannot be measured.”
23 Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah. He said, 24 “Haven’t you noticed what these people have said? They have said that the Lord has rejected the two families he has chosen. They despise my people, and they no longer consider them a nation.
25 “This is what the Lord says: Suppose I hadn’t made an arrangement with day and night or made laws for heaven and earth. 26 Then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and of my servant David. I would not let any of David’s descendants rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, I will restore their fortunes and love them.”