Chapter 12

  1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: Write all the words that I have spoken unto you in a book. For behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will bring again the captives of my people Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
  2. For thus says the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear and not of peace. Ask now and see whether a man does travail with child. Why do I see every man with his hands on his loins as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas, for that day is great so that none is like it. It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord of Hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him. But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David, their king whom I will raise up unto them.
  3. Therefore, fear not, O my servant Jacob, says the Lord, neither be dismayed, O Israel. For I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. And Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you. Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet will I not make a full end of you; but I will correct you in measure, and will not leave you altogether unpunished. For thus says the Lord: Your bruise is not incurable, although your wounds are grievous. Is there none to plead your cause that you may be bound up? Have you no healing medicines? Have all your lovers forgotten you? Do they not seek you? For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquity, because your sins are increased. Why do you cry for your affliction? Is your sorrow incurable? It was for the multitude of your iniquities and because your sins are increased I have done these things unto you. But all they that devour you shall be devoured. And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity. And they that spoil you shall be a spoil. And all that prey upon you will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto you and I will heal you of your wounds, says the Lord, because they called you an outcast, saying, This is Zion whom no man seeks after.
  4. Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will bring again the captives of Jacob’s tents and have mercy on his dwelling places. And the city shall be built upon her own heap and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry. And I will multiply them and they shall not be few. I will also glorify them and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them. And I will cause him to draw near and he shall approach unto me, for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? — says the Lord. And you shall be my people and I will be your God. Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goes forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind. It shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return until he has done it and until he has performed the intents of his heart. In the latter days you shall consider it.
  5. At the same time, says the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the Lord: The people who were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness — even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The Lord has appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore, with loving kindness have I drawn you. Again I will build you and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel. You shall again be adorned with your tambourines and shall go forth in the dances of them that make merry. You shall yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria. The planters shall plant and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise and let us go up to Zion, unto the Lord our God. For thus says the Lord: Sing with gladness for Jacob and shout among the chief of the nations. Publish praise and say, O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the ends of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travails with child together. A great company shall return there. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way wherein they shall not stumble. For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
  6. Hear the word of the Lord, O you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say: He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd does his flock. For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore, they shall come and sing in the height of Zion and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord: for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd. And their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow anymore at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together. For I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, says the Lord.
  7. Thus says the Lord: A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel, weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children because they were not. Thus says the Lord: Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in your end, says the Lord, that your children shall come again to their own border. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: You have chastised me, and I was chastised as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Turn me, and I shall be turned, for you are the Lord my God. Surely after I was turned, I repented; and after I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh. I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
  8. Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still. Therefore, my heart is troubled for him. I will surely have mercy upon him, says the Lord. Set up waymarks, make high heaps; set your heart toward the highway, even the way which you went. Return again, O virgin of Israel, return again to these your cities. How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man. Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: As yet, they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof when I shall bring again their captives: The Lord bless you, O habitation of justice and mountain of holiness. And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen and they that go forth with flocks. For I have satiated the weary soul and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awoke and beheld, and my sleep was sweet unto me.
  9. Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days, they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge — but everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Every man that eats the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, says the Lord), but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: after those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord — for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.
  10. Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divides the sea when the waves thereof roar — the Lord of Hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus says the Lord: If heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord. Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth straight before it upon the hill Gareb and shall turn to Goah. And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the Lord. It shall not be plucked up nor thrown down anymore for ever.