Jeremiah 31

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Read Jeremiah 31

31 “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”

This is what the Lord says:

“The people who survive the sword
    will find favor in the wilderness;
    I will come to give rest to Israel.”

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
I will build you up again,
    and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your timbrels
    and go out to dance with the joyful.
Again you will plant vineyards
    on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them
    and enjoy their fruit.
There will be a day when watchmen cry out
    on the hills of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
    to the Lord our God.’”

This is what the Lord says:

“Sing with joy for Jacob;
    shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
    Lord, save your people,
    the remnant of Israel.’
See, I will bring them from the land of the north
    and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
    expectant mothers and women in labor;
    a great throng will return.
They will come with weeping;
    they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
    on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
    proclaim it in distant coastlands:
‘He who scattered Israel will gather them
    and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob
    and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
    they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
    the young of the flocks and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,
    and they will sorrow no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad,
    young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
    I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
    and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
declares the Lord.

15 This is what the Lord says:

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
    mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”

16 This is what the Lord says:

“Restrain your voice from weeping
    and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,”
declares the Lord.
    “They will return from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,”
declares the Lord.
    “Your children will return to their own land.

18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning:
    ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf,
    and I have been disciplined.
Restore me, and I will return,
    because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I strayed,
    I repented;
after I came to understand,
    I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
    because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 Is not Ephraim my dear son,
    the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him,
    I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
    I have great compassion for him,”
declares the Lord.

21 “Set up road signs;
    put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
    the road that you take.
Return, Virgin Israel,
    return to your towns.
22 How long will you wander,
    unfaithful Daughter Israel?
The Lord will create a new thing on earth—
    the woman will return to the man.”

23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless you, you prosperous city,you sacred mountain.’ 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks. 25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

27 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord. 29 “In those days people will no longer say,

‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
    and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30 Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge.

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

35 This is what the Lord says,

he who appoints the sun
    to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
    to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
    so that its waves roar—
    the Lord Almighty is his name:
36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,”
    declares the Lord,
“will Israel ever cease
    being a nation before me.”

37 This is what the Lord says:

“Only if the heavens above can be measured
    and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
will I reject all the descendants of Israel
    because of all they have done,”
declares the Lord.

38 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this city will be rebuiltfor me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring linewill stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah.40 The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”

Go Deeper

In the midst of a really dark time in Israel’s history, there is hope for the future! God is going to make all things new. Judgment was coming to God’s people, but so was something better. This passage might be one of the most significant, not only in the book of Jeremiah, but in the entire Old Testament. There are some major prophecies about how Israel will return, regather, be reunified, and restored. There is also the promise of the New Covenant that God will make with his people in both Judah and Israel. 

God’s heart for His people, in light of their rebellion and disbelief, is made so clear in this passage. The Lord says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you” (v. 3). Despite Israel’s transgressions, and the broken old covenant, He will “forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (v. 34). Additionally, the Lord promises to bring His people back home. God is going to regather the flock that He scattered. He promises to gather Israel both physically and spiritually from the remote parts of the world (v. 8). Their weeping will turn into shouts of joy because of the Lord’s goodness (v. 12). Mourning will be turned to dancing!

The passage ends with God telling His people of the new (and better) covenant that was to come. The Old Covenant was made through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants as they were made into a great nation. God promised Abraham in Genesis 12: land (the Promised Land), seed (descendants), and blessing (all nations would be blessed through this family.) God gave His people the Law through Moses as instructions on how to live, and this was conditional. If they believed and obeyed it, they would prosper. If they disobeyed it, they would perish. God established the sacrificial system as a means in which a sinful people could walk with a holy God through sacrifices, feasts, and the priests. However, Israel was repeatedly unfaithful and turned away from God and His provision for them. As a result, their sins had consequences. 

This promise of the new covenant is repeated in the book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews emphasizes the superiority of Jesus. He is better than the angels. He is better than Abraham. He is better than Moses. He is better than the Law, and He is ultimately better than the Old Covenant. This new covenant is not just for Israel, but for all nations.  

The New Covenant is superior! Our sins will be forgiven, Israel will be restored, and the Law will be written on people’s hearts through the Holy Spirit. This covenant is unconditional, meaning it can not be changed or broken, and it is for all believers. Jesus sealed this covenant through His death, abolishing the old and initiating the new. We can thank God that if we have trusted in Christ, we live under a better covenant, where our sins can be forgiven once and for all.


  1. The chapter begins with God’s heart for His people and how deeply He loves us! When are you tempted to question God’s love for you? How can you remind yourself of God’s deep love for you today?
  2. What is the significance of the New Covenant? How does it compare to the Old Covenant? What does that mean for us today? 
  3. God is in the business of redeeming and restoring brokenness and making all things new. What has God redeemed or restored in your life? Praise Him for that today! 

Keep Digging

Click here to read more about the differences between the old and new covenants! 

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4 thoughts on “Jeremiah 31”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    How great in loving kindness is our God, who reaches towards his people with everlasting love! Can you just feel him longing for his children to come home from their exile? Despite all they (or we) have done, he longs to restore fellowship with them. He makes a way where there seems to be no way through the coming Messiah, who will give his life as a ransom for mankind that all who believe will receive forgiveness and have a personal relationship with God. Once alienated from God, we are now brought permanently near him. I couldn’t help but connect v35 with what we experienced yesterday with the solar eclipse, “This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord Almighty is his name.” May we grasp the greatest gift given us, how wide, long, high and deep is the Father’s love for us.

  2. “It isn’t enough to change the enviromnment, for the heart of every problem is the problem of the heart.” (W.Wiersbe.) God gave them a new covenant to replace the old. This covenant is to give them an inward Law (heart knowledge) that could be written on their hearts not on stone tablets (head knowledge). Conduct was old covenant, new covenant was heart knowledge. This is a continued redemeption, a reconciliation, a regeneration so that we can be restored.
    The New Covenant Jer 31:31-34
    31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
    This covenant is the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    God thank You for reason I bow my knees before You. from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of Your glory You may grant me to be strengthened with power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith—that I, am being rooted and grounded in love, so that I may have strength to comprehend with all Your saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, of Your love. So that I can know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that I may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to You God who is able to do far more abundantly than all that I can ask or think, according to the power at work within me to You God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. God grant me Your love goggles to see others today like You see them, ears to hear and listen to You. God give me Your words to speak and Your heart to love in these minutes of this day in Jesus name amen.

  3. The same God who set in place the stars and moons and planets, yearns for us with an everlasting love (V 35, 20, and 3). Wow!!

    Said another way, in the same excitement and delight that we looked at yesterday’s eclipse, our God looks at us. Double Wow!!!

  4. Yes, the amazing eclipse experience yesterday connects to verses 35 – 37. Wow!

    Here’s what I will be meditating upon today . . .

    34 “No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the Lord.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

    PS – here is that verse set to music (very helpful for memorization!) . . .

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