July 16 - Jeremiah 31.1-14

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Israel Will Return to God

Jeremiah 31 The LORD said:
Israel, I promise that someday all your tribes
will again be my people, and I will be your God.
2In the desert I was kind to those who escaped death.
I gave them peace, and when the time is right,
I'll do the same for you.
I, the LORD, have spoken.

The LORD Will Rebuild Israel

3Some time ago, the LORD appeared to me and told me to say:
Israel, I will always love you;
that's why I've been so patient and kind.
4You are precious to me, and so I will rebuild your nation.
Once again you will dance for joy
and play your tambourines.
5You will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria
and enjoy the grapes.
6Someday those who guard the hill country of Ephraim
will shout, "Let's go to Zion
and worship the LORD our God."

Israel Will Return to Its Own Land

7The LORD says:
Celebrate and sing for Israel, the greatest of nations.
Offer praises and shout,
"Come and rescue your people, LORD!
Save what's left of Israel."

8I, the LORD, will bring my people back from Babylonia
and everywhere else on earth.
The blind and the lame will be there.
Expectant mothers and women about to give birth
will come and be part of that great crowd.
9They will weep and pray as I bring them home.
I will lead them to streams of water.
They will walk on a level road and not stumble.
I am a father to Israel, my favorite children.

10Listen to me, you nations nearby or across the sea.
I scattered the people of Israel,
but I will gather them again.
I will protect them like a shepherd guarding a flock;
11I will rescue them from enemies
who could overpower them.
12My people will come to Mount Zion and celebrate;
their faces will glow because of my blessings.
I'll give them grain, grapes, and olive oil,
as well as sheep and cattle.
Israel will be prosperous and grow
like a garden with plenty of water.
13Young women and young men, together with the elderly,
will celebrate and dance,
because I will comfort them and turn their sorrow
into happiness.
14I will bless my people with more food than they need,
and the priests will enjoy the choice cuts of meat.
I, the LORD, have spoken.

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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