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A Promise of Hope

33 While Jeremiah was still shut up in the open space of the prison, the Word of the Lord came to him a second time, saying, “This is what the Lord says Who made the earth. The Lord made it to last. The Lord is His name. ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you. And I will show you great and wonderful things which you do not know.’ For this is what the Lord God of Israel says about the houses of this city and about the houses of the kings of Judah which have been torn down to make a strong wall to help in the battle against the Babylonians. Some will come to fight with the Babylonians, and they will fill the houses with the dead bodies of men whom I have killed in My anger. I will hide My face from this city because of all their sin. See, I will make it well again, and I will heal them. I will let them have much peace and truth. I will return the land to Judah and to Israel, and I will help them to become as they were before. I will make them clean from all the sins they have done against Me. I will forgive all their sins against Me. This city will make My name known. It will be to Me joy, praise and shining-greatness before all the nations of the earth that hear of all the good that I do for them. And they will fear and shake because of all the good and all the peace that I give it.’

10 “This is what the Lord says: ‘You say of this place, “It is a waste, without man or animal.” Yet in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are laid waste, with no man or animal living in them, there will again be heard 11 the voice of joy and the voice of happiness. In this place will be heard the voice of the man to be married and the voice of the bride, and the voice of those who say, “Give thanks to the Lord of All, for the Lord is good. His loving-kindness lasts forever.” And here will be heard the voice of those who bring a gift of thanks into the house of the Lord. For I will bring them back to the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.

12 “The Lord of All says, ‘This place is now a waste, without man or animal. Yet there will again be shepherds living in this place and in all its cities who can care for their sheep. 13 In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the valley, in the cities of the Negev, in the land of Benjamin, in the land around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who numbers them,’ says the Lord.

14 ‘See, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will do what I promised to the people of Israel and the people of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a right and good Branch of David to rise up. And He will do what is fair and right and good on the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will be safe. And this is the name it will be called: The Lord makes us right and good.’ 17 For the Lord says, ‘David will never be without a man to sit on the throne of the people of Israel. 18 And the Levite religious leaders will never be without a man before Me to give burnt gifts, to burn grain gifts, and to make gifts ready on the altar all the time.’”

19 The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 20 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break My agreement with the day and night, so that day and night will not come at their set time, 21 then My agreement may also be broken with David My servant, that he will not have a son to rule on his throne. And then My agreement may be broken with My servants, the Levite religious leaders. 22 The stars of heaven cannot be numbered, and the sand of the sea cannot be weighed. In the same way I will make the children of David My servant many, as well as the Levites who serve Me.’”

23 The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 “Have you not heard what these people are saying? They say, ‘The Lord has turned away from the two families He had chosen.’ So they hate My people. They are no longer a nation in their eyes. 25 This is what the Lord says: ‘If I do not keep My agreement with day and night and the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will turn away from the children of Jacob and David My servant. Then I will not choose one of his children to rule over the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will bring them back to their land and will have loving-pity on them.’”

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