Jeremiah Chapter 31
Verses 1-3: God’s “everlasting love” for His “people” is accompanied by infinite patience. For “loving-kindness” (see the notes on 1 Sam. 20:14-17 and Jer. 2:2).
Jeremiah 31:1 “At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.”
“At the same time”: Equated with the latter days (in 30:24). In this chapter, prophecies of the restoration of the nation are continued.
We know that this is speaking of all the 12 tribes of Israel, but as I have said before, Israel includes all the believers in Christ as well. Look with me in the following Scripture at who can become a son of God.
John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:”
This is a fact that all who will be His people are His family. He will be their God. Another way of saying this is whosoever will. There are a number of things that are required for Him to be our God. The first thing is to believe. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). We receive salvation in Christ through repentance and faith. This means turning away from sinful ways (repentance) and turning to God (faith), trusting in Christ. The next thing we must do is turn our will over to His will. We must be obedient to our God.
Verses 2-14: Here are messianic kingdom conditions.
Jeremiah 31:2 “Thus saith the LORD, The people [which were] left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; [even] Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.”
God confirmed the aforementioned promises, and his people’s hope and faith in them, by minding them of what he had anciently done for this very people. Though God did, in the journey which the Israelites had from Egypt to Canaan, cut off many of them by the sword for their iniquities. Some by the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8), and some by the swords of their brethren for the idolatry they committed about the golden calf (Exodus 32:28). Yet those that survived that and other judgments found favor in God’s eyes while they were going to Canaan, the land of rest. Or while God, going before them, brought them into Canaan. God paralleled his future providences and gracious purposes with his past gracious providences.
During the Babylonian attack, many were left that were not killed by the sword. They were able to live in the wilderness because of the grace of God. It really does not matter whether the wilderness here is speaking of the wilderness wanderings of Exodus from Egypt, or whether this is speaking of the exiles who escaped capture by Babylon. In both cases, God took care of His people in the wilderness. This is probably speaking of the 10 tribes of Israel as well as the two tribes of Judah. We Christians are in our own wilderness, headed for our own Promised Land, heaven. God’s grace is sufficient to see us through. God has prepared a place of rest for us. The hardships now are nothing compared to the wonderful rest we will have with Him.
Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
Restoration would follow the judgment of exile because the Lord loved Israel with “an everlasting love” for them. The word lovingkindness literally means “loyal love”, the kind of love that never ends (Mal. 1:2). Paul also affirms that nothing can “separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8:39).
God’s love is the agape type of love. You and I love because of something. God loves in spite of the fact we do not deserve to be loved. While we were yet in sin, God sent the Savior. God’s love is unconditional love. God’s love for mankind is a mystery. His love is just as strong for us today, as it was the day He created us. God draws us to Him. The Holy Spirit woos us or draws us, because God wants to save us. This is what Jesus says about that drawing.
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jeremiah 31:4 “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.”
The same with “all the families of Israel” (Jer. 31:1). Who, when converted, will be espoused to Christ as a chaste virgin. Have a sincere affection for him; unfeigned faith in him, and purely worship him. Receiving the pure doctrines of the Gospel, and submitting to the ordinances of it. And then will the church, comparable to a building consisting of lively stones, laid upon the foundation which is Christ. Which is fallen down, and lies in ruins, be rebuilt, and none shall hinder it. And a glorious building it will be, and will continue so, when its stones are laid with fair colors. Its foundations with sapphires; its windows made of agates; its gates of carbuncles; and all its borders of pleasant stones (Isa. 54:11).
“Thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets”: Or timbrels, instruments of music, such as women used at times of public joy and mirth (Exodus 15:20). Which became them, and were very ornamental to them. And their playing on these was usually attended with dancing. Hence it follows:
“And shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry”: Phrases expressive of spiritual joy, which will be in the hearts of the saints, and expressed by the behavior of them at the time of the conversion of the Jews. Which will be the marriage of the Lamb. And when the bride will be ready, being adorned with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and with the graces of his Spirit. And be brought into his presence, accompanied with a chorus of virgins (her companions). Undefiled ones, having harps in their hands, singing the Lamb’s new song (see Rev. 14:2).
For the term “virgin of Israel” (see the note on 18:13).
The physical house of Israel had been the wife of God. The virgin is speaking of the chaste virgin that Jesus is coming back for. The virgin is spiritual Israel, who worships God and does not worship false gods.
2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.”
We become new creatures in Christ. It would be possible to be a spiritual virgin then. In other words, God starts all over with them and us again. He has forgiven them and started all over with them. They will be happy and dance in victory because they are forgiven and given new lives.
Jeremiah 31:5 “Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat [them] as common things.”
Samaria was the metropolis of the ten tribes, called so from Shemer, who owned the hill. Omri, king of Israel bought it and built Samaria upon it. Mountains in many places are judged the most convenient places for vineyards, being free from shades, and most exposed to the sun. God promised them a liberty to plant, and that they should enjoy their plantations, eating them as common things. Which they could not do till the fifth year, as appears from (Lev. 19:23-25). The three first years it was to be accounted by them as uncircumcised, that is, unclean. In the fourth year it was to be holy to the Lord. In the fifth year, they might eat the fruit of it, as any common thing that was not unclean, nor yet devoted and consecrated to the Lord.
Samaria was the northern kingdom. God is just saying, He will make this a fruitful area where they will be able to plant, and God will grow for them to eat.
Jeremiah 31:6 “For there shall be a day, [that] the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.”
In addition to the natural sense (as her), of being those who were stationed on hilltops and walls, or in watchtowers, or were on duty in the city or field, especially to warn of possible danger and give protection to the people, prophets were often called “watchmen” (see the note on 6:17).
The 10 tribes had broken away from the two tribes, and they had not worshipped together after that. This is speaking of a time when Ephraim will come back to God. Whether this is speaking of the temple, and they are to go up at festival times; or whether they come to Christ and His church (ZION), is uncertain. Whichever this is, they recognize the LORD as their God. Sometimes “Ephraim” symbolizes the Gentile believers.
John 11:54 “Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.”
Jeremiah 31:7 “For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.”
The “remnant” here refers to a believing Israel in an eschatological setting (compare 23:3; Isa. 10:20-22; 11:11, 16; Rom. 11:5).
This remnant of Israel is spoken of many times in the Bible. These are those who have not bowed their knee to Baal. These are those who have not committed spiritual adultery. Those who sing with gladness are all who love Him, both Jew and Gentile. This is like saying hurry and send our Savior (Jesus).
Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 18:11 “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
Israel was chosen of God as His favorite nation.
Jeremiah 31:8 “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts 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 return thither.”
The vision of restoration continues, and the prophet sees in the spirit, the great company of those that return. Even those who are commonly left behind in such an expedition, as encumbrances hindering its march, the blind, the lame, the women with child or in the very pangs of childbirth, will be seen in that company. None shall remain behind. They are to come from the land of the North. The wide range of the term covering the exiles both of Judah in Babylon and of Israel in the cities of the Medes. For “the coasts of the earth” (see note on Jer. 25:32).
“Shall return thither”: I.e., to the land of Israel, as the goal of the company of travelers.
The North Country here is probably speaking of Babylon, but the coasts of the earth speak of many nations around the world. This just explains that all of God’s people shall return, from the weakest to the strongest.
Jeremiah 31:9 “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.”
Some think that it had been better translated, “they went weeping”. For though the verb be the future tense in the Hebrew, yet that tense hath often the signification of the beyond perfect tense. Thus, it answered (Psalm 126:5-6). But there is no need of it here, for there is a weeping for joy, as well as for sorrow. As we have it in the instances both of Jacob and Joseph (Gen. 29:11; 43:30). And thus, the text corresponded with that (Zech. 12:10). Weeping also here may be understood for their past sins.
“I will cause them to walk, by the rivers of waters”: And they shall have no want as they had when they came out of Egypt, through the wilderness, where they often wanted water.
“In a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble”: Neither shall they have any rough ways, nor turn backward and forward, as God made them to do in their passage through the wilderness.
“For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born”: For as I have the affection of a father for all Israel, so will I show the care and kindness of a father to them, and use them as a man uses his first-born. So God anciently called the Jews (Exodus 4:22), they being the first of all nations, whom God owned and took into covenant, and who owned God, and worshipped the true and living God only.
“Weeping” speaks of repentance. “Supplications” in this particular place means prayers or petitions. The “straight way” is the straight and narrow path of righteousness. The “rivers of water” speak of the Spirit of God. They will walk in the Spirit. The Light of the Lord Jesus Christ will light their way so they will not stumble. When Ephraim and Manasseh were brought before their grandfather for their patriarchal blessing, Ephraim received the spiritual blessing of the right hand. The right hand blessing was generally given to the first born. This was not a mistake, but a deliberate act. Jacob was spoken of as Israel, when he blessed the boys. I believe this was speaking of the spiritual blessing of all the believers in Christ who receive the right hand blessing. Jacob made the sign of the cross, when he crossed his hands to bless the boys. “Ephraim” means double fruit. I believe somehow Ephraim symbolized all believers, Jew and Gentile. Israel speaks of the natural Jew as physical Israel and spiritual Israel as all believers in Christ.
Jeremiah 31:10 “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare [it] in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd [doth] his flock.”
The Gentiles: who are called upon to hear the word of the Gospel. The word of peace, reconciliation, and salvation by Christ. Sent among them by him, for the calling and conversion of them, that they might believe in him, and profess his name.
“And declare it in the isles afar off”: Having heard, received, and embraced the Gospel themselves, it became them to make it known to others. Not only to those upon the continent and the isles adjacent, but to those afar off from it. Where, blessed be the Lord, this Gospel has been declared to the conversion and comfort of many, and to the glory of Christ.
“And say, he that scattered Israel will gather him”: That is, the Lord that hath scattered the Jews throughout the nations of the world, and even in the isles afar off, will before long gather them together, and bring them into their own land. This may be understood of the spiritual Israel, be they Jews or Gentiles, the children of God scattered up and down in the world. And who, by reason of sin, and while in an unregenerate estate, are alienated from God, and at a distance from him. But are gathered together in one head, Christ, when he died for them, and redeemed them. And in the effectual calling, when they are gathered to God and Christ, one by one; and afterwards to a closer communion with them. And, at last, to glory, and which is the sum and substance of the Gospel to be heard and declared.
“And keep him as a shepherd doth his flock”: So that they shall be scattered no more, as the Jews have been. Nor any of them lost, as God’s elect were in their first head Adam. They are Christ’s flock, given him by the Father, and purchased with his blood. And having gathered them as above, he will keep them in his hands, from whence none can pluck them. And preserve them by his almighty power unto salvation. Which doctrine of the saints’ perseverance is a most comfortable doctrine of the Gospel to be published and declared.
(See the note on 23:4).
God scattered them because of their unfaithfulness to Him. He will bring them back, because they have repented of their sins, and called out to Him again. This has to be speaking of the gathering that is going on now, because the Jews were not scattered too far off on islands in the time of Jeremiah. God’s grace and mercy causes Him to seek the sheep of His flock.
Jeremiah 31:11 “For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of [him that was] stronger than he.”
Because of the certainty of Divine prophecies and promises, things in them are often said to be already done which are not to be fulfilled until many years after. The sense is, God will as certainly do it as if he had already done it. For whether it be understood of a deliverance from Babylon, or of the salvation of the gospel by Christ, which by a metaphor is often also called redeeming and ransoming. It was to be accomplished long after this time.
“From the hand of him that was stronger than he”: Some take this to be the Chaldeans, others, the devil (interpreting the text of the spiritual redemption of God’s people by the blood of Christ, being the ransom given for them). But undoubtedly the text is literally to be understood as being their deliverance from Babylon, though (as the apostle saith), all these things happened to them figuratively. In their deliverance, as well from Babylon as Egypt, they were types of the deliverance of God’s people from spiritual Babylon and Egypt by Christ. As well as in their entering into Canaan where they were, as the apostle proved (Heb. chapters 3 and 4), types of the saints entering into heaven, of which Canaan was a type.
Jesus is the Redeemer of all mankind. He ransomed (purchased), us with His shed blood. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. Satan may have been stronger than we are, but he was not nearly as powerful as God. He is a defeated foe.
Jeremiah 31:12 “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 any more at all.”
The particular phrases in this verse are signifying but one thing: The happy and prosperous state the Jews should be in after their return from the captivity. Both as to their religious and civil state.
“The height of Zion”: May either signify Jerusalem, or the temple more especially. Where those that returned, as well those of the ten tribes as those strictly of Judah, should come and sing praises to God. And should there come to beg of God good things upon the account of his goodness, owning him as the God of their mercies, whether of a spiritual or temporal nature. Such as corn, wine, oil, and an increase of their cattle, both flocks and herds. They should be a beautiful, flourishing, growing people.
“And their soul shall be as a watered garden”: A watered garden that looks cheery, and in which things grow and thrive (for soul doth not seem here to be taken for men’s spiritual and immortal part, but for the whole man). And they shall be sorrowful no more in the manner as they have been, and as that age and generation were. Or many years (see Isa. 35:10). Some think that under these expressions is also promised the spiritual joy which the true Israel of God should have under the gospel. And the eternal joy they shall have in heaven, when, and not before, all tears shall be wiped from their eyes. For in a strict sense it was not fulfilled to the Jews, who at the taking of their city by the Romans, sixty years after Christ, met with more sorrow than they had ever before experienced.
This sounds so much like the following Scripture.
Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
These exiles will soon make it home. Not only home physically, but they will soon be back in their holy place as well. Wheat symbolizes the believers. The “oil” symbolizes the Holy Spirit. There is a river that flows from deep within man. This is the water of the Spirit, which washes the soul.
Jeremiah 31:13 “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.”
This verse contains only a further variety of expressions, all signifying the same thing. In other words, their happy state for some time after the captivity. We may understand the dancing here of all sorts of people. Either of their religious rejoicing in their holy festivals. For under the Old Testament in their religious rejoicing they used these external expressions of joy, as appears from (Psalm 150:4), and from David’s dancing before the ark. Or of their civil joy, where dancing was more usual.
This speaks of a coming time of great joy, because they have been redeemed. This is old and young, male, and female all rejoicing together. They will be dancing in joy of their homecoming.
Jeremiah 31:14 “And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.”
Meaning either the ministers of the Gospel, who should not only be liberally provided for as to their maintenance. Which is too low a sense; but filled with spiritual good things. With the doctrines of the Gospel, and a comfortable experience of them, that they may be able to feed others with knowledge and understanding. Or since, under the Gospel dispensation, there is no such distinct order of men under the name of priests, but all the saints are made kings and priests to God. They may be here meant, as follows.
“And my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord”: To which they are said to flow (Jer. 31:12). But, lest it should be thought that there would be no manner of trouble and affliction in those times, two instances as follow are given. The one at the beginning, and the other towards the close of them, expressive of distress; one on temporal, the other on spiritual accounts.
The word “satiate” means bathe, make drunk, fill, satisfy, water, or soak. This just means that the priest’s soul will be filled. The people will not go looking for other gods, they will be satisfied with the LORD.
Jeremiah 31:15 “Thus saith 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.”
“A voice … in Ramah”: The reflection, for a moment, is on the distress of an Israelite mother for her children slain in the Babylonian invasion. This was a backdrop for the many contrasting promises of restoration to a joyful time (as verses 12-14, 16-17), in the messianic day. Matthew saw the same description of sadness as apt, in principle, to depict something of the similar weeping of Jewish mothers when King Herod had babies slain at Bethlehem in a bid to kill the Messiah as a child (Matt. 2:17-18).
The comparison of the grief of Israel in exile to that of “Rachel weeping for her children”, points forward to Herod’s massacre of the Israelite babies in the days of Jesus (Matt. 2:18). The conditions of exile would carry over into the time of Jesus, even though Israel was back in the land, Jesus came to deliver the people of Israel from their exile, first by redeeming them from their sins and then ultimately at His second coming by delivering them from all their enemies (Rom. 11:26-27).
Matthew finds in Herod’s killing of the infants (Matt. 2:16-18), an analogy with Jeremiah’s depiction of “Rachel weeping” for those who had been lost at the fall of Samaria and those who would yet face a similar fate in the fall of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.).
This is speaking of the time when Herod would kill all of the children under two years old while trying to kill Jesus.
Matthew 2:16-18 “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Beth-lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,” “In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
Jeremiah 31:16 “Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.”
Though sorrow on such an occasion may be lawfully indulged, yet it ought to be moderated. And attention should be given to those things which may serve to relieve under it, and especially when they come from the Lord himself. Then a stop is to be put to the mournful voice, and wet eyes are to be dried up.
“For thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord”: In bearing these children, and bringing them into the world, and expressing such an affectionate and tender concern for them. Signifying, that the trouble of bearing and bringing them into the world, and nursing them the time they did live, should not, as it might seem, be fruitless, and to answer no end. But it should be seen hereafter, that all this was not in vain. Nor should they think it so; but that they have an ample recompense of all their sorrow and trouble.
“And they shall come again from the land of the enemy”: Meaning either Joseph and Mary, and Jesus; who, by the warning of an angel, went into Egypt. The land of the enemy, where the Jewish fathers were once evilly treated, just before this barbarity was committed. Where they stayed till all danger was over, and then returned (see (Matt. 2:13; compared with Hosea 11:1). Or rather the murdered children, who, in the resurrection morn, shall return from the grave, the land of that “last enemy”, death, which shall be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26). And so, Rachel, and the Jewish mothers she represents, are comforted with the hopes of a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35).
This is another Scripture that declares the fact that babies that die, live again in the resurrection. The land of the enemy would be death in this instance. These babies live eternally in heaven with God. Rachel’s reward is the assurance of her children’s eternal life.
Jeremiah 31:17 “And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.”
Or, “hope for thy posterity”; for their children that had been massacred, that these should rise again, and enjoy a blessed immortality, as the next clause seems to explain and confirm it.
“That thy children shall come again to their own border”: Either to the border of the land of Israel, as Joseph, Mary, and Jesus did (Matt. 2:21); or rather to the borders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, where this cruel murder was committed. And so the intimation is, that they shall rise again, and stand upon that very spot of ground where their blood was spilt. And not only so, but enter into and dwell upon the new earth in the Jerusalem state. And also enter into the heavenly Canaan, and dwell with Christ forevermore, on whose account their lives were taken away.
The hope of all who believe is of the resurrection.
Verses 18-20: “I shall be turned”. Jeremiah wrote of Israel (the 10 tribes called Ephraim), as finally recognizing, in humility, the need for the Lord to move them to repentance and forgiveness. (Compare Psalm 102:13-17), for the relation of Israel’s restoration to their prayers (see also 24:6-7; Lam. 5:21; compare John 6:44-45).
The Lord’s judgment would finally cause the people to confess their wrongdoing and turn from their sinful behavior. The purpose of the Lord’s judgment was discipline and correction, not destruction (Acts 3:26; Heb. 12:5-11).
Jeremiah 31:18 “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself [thus]; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed [to the yoke]: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou [art] the LORD my God.”
A first step in repentance is confession of sin and a prayer for the Lord’s effective enablement in the believer’s life. True repentance involves the work of the whole person in recognizing and sorrowing over sin, and renouncing it so as to turn to God in full heart’s devotion to His lordship (compare chapters 32 and 51).
The beautiful message in this is the helplessness of man to change himself. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 6:23).
God provides a way in Jesus Christ for all to be saved. Since we cannot save ourselves, God did it for us in the person of Jesus.
Jeremiah 31:19 “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.”
Repentance in the full sense follows, not precedes, our being turned to God by God (Zech. 12:10). The Jews’ “looking to Him whom they pierced” shall result in their “mourning for Him.” Repentance is the tear that flows from the eye of faith turned to Jesus. He Himself gives it: we give it not of ourselves, but must come to Him for it (Acts 5:31).
“Instructed”: Made to learn by chastisement. God’s Spirit often works through the corrections of His providence.
“Smote upon … thigh”: (Ezek. 21:12). A token of indignant remorse, shame, and grief, because of his past sin.
“Bear … reproach of … youth”: “because the calamities which I bore were the just punishment of my scandalous wantonness against God in my youth”. Alluding to the idols set up at Dan and Beth-el immediately after the ten tribes revolted from Judah. His sense of shame shows that he no longer delights in his sin.
After God stopped him and turned him around, he repented. His sins were a bad memory to him. The beautiful part of salvation is that God puts our sins in the sea of forgetfulness. Our sins are abolished when washed in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 31:20 “[Is] Ephraim my dear son? [is he] a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.”
The question implies that a negative answer was to be expected. Who would have thought that one so undutiful to His heavenly Father as Ephraim had been should still be regarded by God as a “pleasant child?” Certainly, he was not so in respect to his sin. But by virtue of God’s “everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). On Ephraim’s being “turned” to God, he was immediately welcomed as God’s “dear son.” This verse sets forth God’s readiness to welcome the penitent (Jer. 31:18-19), anticipating his return with prevenient grace and love. Compare Luke 15:20: “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion”.
“Spake against”: Threatened him for his idolatry.
“Remember”: With favor and concern (as in Gen. 8:1; 30:22).
“Bowels … troubled for him”: (Deut. 32:36; Isa. 63:15; Hosea 11:8). Namely, with the yearnings of compassionate love. The “bowels” include the region of the heart, the seat of the affections.
Ephraim in this represents all who have been shown the mercy of God and saved. The very reason that Jesus gave His body on the cross for the sins of the world, was because He loved us. He loved us so much that He provided a way for all to be saved and forgiven.
Jeremiah Chapter 31 Questions
- Who is Israel speaking of in verse 1?
- What are some of the things required for Him to be our God?
- The people who were left found grace in the _______________.
- We Christians are in our own wilderness, headed _____ _____ _____________ ______.
- What type of love is God’s love?
- What is meant by that?
- Who is the virgin in verse 4?
- Samaria was the ___________ kingdom.
- What will the watchman upon mount Ephraim cry?
- Who does “Ephraim” sometimes symbolize?
- What is special about the remnant of Israel?
- The Son of man is come to save that which was ________.
- What is verse 8 showing us?
- What does “weeping” speak of?
- “Supplication” in verse 9 means what?
- What are the “rivers of water” speaking of?
- What keeps Christians from stumbling?
- What type of blessing is the right hand blessing?
- What does “Ephraim” mean?
- What will the gathering of God’s people be like?
- Who is the Redeemer of all mankind?
- He ransomed us with His __________.
- What does the “oil” symbolize?
- What kind of time is verse 13 speaking of?
- What does the word “satiate” mean?
- What time is verse 15 speaking of?
- How do we know for sure that the Scriptures in Matthew and verse 15 are speaking of the same thing?
- What is the hope of all believers?
- What is the beautiful message in verse 18?
- What is so beautiful about salvation?
- Who does Ephraim represent in verse 20?
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