Jeremiah 31 jumps back and forth. It spends most of its time talking about the time of the Ezekiel Tetrad, but it also dips into the past – almost as if to confuse us.
But, the chapter ends with a thump. God warns us that it is impossible that these things will not happen the way that He wishes them to happen.
1 At that time, saith Jehovah, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
This is a verse that has interesting implications. It indicates that before this time, Jehovah was NOT the God of all the families of Israel – that Israel was not His people.
But now, they have returned to be His people.
When we talk about the Jews being the Chosen people, we do not mean that they are in a current state of perfect relationship with God. They aren’t, and they cannot be in perfect relationship with God without the Messiah.
Without Jesus, the prophesied Messiah, you have nothing.
But, a promise was given, and a people were chosen. The people and the promise will come together, and Jehovah will be the God of all the families of Israel.
Now, see the parallel with the Ezekiel Tetrad:
2 Thus saith Jehovah, The people that were left of the sword found favor in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
3 Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
4 Again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: again shalt thou be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
5 Again shalt thou plant vineyards upon the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy the fruit thereof.
6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the hills of Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto Jehovah our God.
7 For thus saith Jehovah, Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout for the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Jehovah, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall they return hither.
9 They shall come with weeping; and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way wherein they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born.
10 Hear the word of Jehovah, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off; and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as shepherd doth his flock.
11 For Jehovah hath ransomed Jacob, and redeemed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
12 And they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow unto the goodness of Jehovah, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith Jehovah.
This is clearly in the future, just as it is clearly a retelling of the Ezekiel Tetrad.
However, this next verse is a bit… unusual within the context of this chapter.
15 Thus saith Jehovah: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.
The above verse is quoted in Matthew 2:
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the Wise-men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the male children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had exactly learned of the Wise-men.
Matthew 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
Matthew 2:18 A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she would not be comforted, because they are not.
Matthew quotes this verse and says that Herod’s murder of the children was a fulfillment.
Of course, it’s confusing. We were just talking about the glorious future of the Jewish people as they are united with their Messiah, and now we are jerked abruptly back, 2000 years.
Just remember the very important principle being taught to us in Isaiah 28:
Isaiah 28:9 Whom will he teach knowledge? and whom will he make to understand the message? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts?
Isaiah 28:10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little.
Isaiah 28:11 Nay, but by men of strange lips and with another tongue will he speak to this people;
Isaiah 28:12 to whom he said, This is the rest, give ye rest to him that is weary; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
Isaiah 28:13 Therefore shall the word of Jehovah be unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
The bible is cryptic because it is MEANT to be cryptic. It is a book that requires the Holy Spirit to guide you.
I truly believe that Jeremiah 31:15 was placed there to mark a turning point in the chapter, as well as to mark the significance of Jesus as the one who would fulfill the prophecy in the last days.
16 Thus saith Jehovah: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith Jehovah; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
17 And there is hope for thy latter end, saith Jehovah; and thy children shall come again to their own border.
There is hope when?
In the latter end of Israel. In the latter days – the last days.
18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus, Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art Jehovah my God.
19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearneth for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith Jehovah.
For those who wish to persecute the Jewish people, this verse should give you pause. God remembers Israel. His heart yearns for His people. He loves them.
Do not persecute those that God loves. It doesn’t end well, if you do.
21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee guide-posts; set thy heart toward the highway, even the way by which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
22 How long wilt thou go hither and thither, O thou backsliding daughter? for Jehovah hath created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man.
23 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, Yet again shall they use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity: Jehovah bless thee, O habitation of righteousness, O mountain of holiness.
24 And Judah and all the cities thereof shall dwell therein together, the husbandmen, and they that go about with flocks.
25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and every sorrowful soul have I replenished.
How can anyone read this and not be excited about the return of Israel to their God? via their Messiah?
And, for someone who was prophesying death and destruction, that dream must have been a great comfort to Jeremiah.
26 Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.
Then, God continues…
27 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.
28 And it shall come to pass that, like as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down and to overthrow and to destroy and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, saith Jehovah.
29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.
30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
So, this is a continuation of the previous.
But, there’s something new:
31 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 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 brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah.
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:
34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
So, for those who look for a return of the Mosaic covenant and sacrifices in the temple, etc… it appears that Israel receives Jesus as their Messiah.
Remember what Moses said to the children of Israel:
Deutoronomy 18:15 Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deutoronomy 18:16 according to all that thou desiredst of Jehovah thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
Deutoronomy 18:17 And Jehovah said unto me, They have well said that which they have spoken.
Deutoronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Deutoronomy 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
In all of the history of mankind, who was like Moses?
Who was a bringer of a covenant?
Was was the most humble in all the earth?
Who spoke with God face-to-face?
There is only one.
And then, God reinforces His promise:
35 Thus saith Jehovah, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirreth up the sea, so that the waves thereof roar; Jehovah of hosts is his name:
36 If these ordinances depart from before me, saith Jehovah, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
37 Thus saith Jehovah: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith Jehovah.
38 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that the city shall be built to Jehovah from the tower of Hananel unto the gate of the corner.
39 And the measuring line shall go out further straight onward unto the hill Gareb, and shall turn about unto Goah.
40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto Jehovah; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.
To anyone who would claim that the promises given to Israel have been given to them, and are no longer the promises to the children of Jacob… think again.
Do not fight against God. That never ends well.