Jeremiah Index

Jeremiah Chapter 31


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Here we see our wonderful God still reminding us that God has not abandoned Israel. For years, Israel did not exist as a nation in their own land from 70 AD to 1948. In order to explain this, many of the church before 1948 thought that these passages referred to the church rather than literal Israel. After 1948 there is no excuse for any replacement theology by the church. No where in the bible do I see the church replacing Israel in the scriptures. The church didn't come into existence until the days of the apostles, before that it was in the mind of God of course but it was a mystery according to the apostle Paul.

Every believer who comes to Jesus Christ becomes part of Israel by adoption but we do not take Israel's place. As soon as Israel comes to Jesus Christ and they repent of sin as the church before them did, they will be grafted in again to their own vine. In the book of Jeremiah it speaks of the judgment of Israel and also the restoration of Israel. We have no right to change that. We have to remember too that the first church formed on the day of Pentecost was Jews from the land of Israel. They were the first what we call "the elect".

  • Romans 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 
  • 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 
  • 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 
  • 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 
  • 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 
  • 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
  • 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 
  • 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 
  • 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 
  • 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 
  • 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 
  • 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 
  • 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 
  • 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: 
  • 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 
  • 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 
  • 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 
  • 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 
  • 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 
  • 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 
  • 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

We see here in Romans 11 that Israel was cut off because they rejected Christ and did not believe and accept God's plan of salvation. We see that blindness came upon them and then the gospel was given to the Gentiles. The Gentiles which were not part of the law and were outcasts from God, accepted God's plan of salvation and were grafted into the olive tree. There is a promise though of a restoration in future times and this will happen. However, individual Jews can receive Christ at any time and be saved just like any Gentile.

  • 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.

This type of dancing seems like the kind that the children of Israel did when they crossed the Red Sea and escaped Pharaoh and his armies. It is a dance of rejoicing with tambourines and praise to God. I picture it as jumping up and down, skipping and delighting in the Lord in spontaneous praise. I don't see it as something we practice and rehearse for such as ballet. 

Laying my comments aside though, the merry making here is a picture of rejoicing in the salvation of God who delivered Israel from their enemies. We can rejoice also for Jesus Christ delivered us from the enemy of sin and bondage to sin. We who were lost and apart from God can rejoice in that we are part of eternal salvation because of what Christ did on our behalf.

  • Jeremiah 31:5 Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.

No more will they plant vines and plants only to have someone else steal them and take them away. They will eat of their own vines.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Singing and shouting has always been part of worship and should never be criticized as out of order. We shout and scream at football games when someone scores a touchdown, how much greater is praise to God.

I know there should be a time of quiet bible study. In fact more and more as the evil days come upon us that we need the word to keep from being caught away by every wind of doctrine. The word of God should take preeminence over everything else except fervent prayer which should always be without ceasing, and continuous both private and as a body of believers. So there should be times of rejoicing and times of studying God's word. These pictured here in verse 7 are those that are rejoicing in God for His salvation which has finally come to Israel after much sorrow and travail.

  • 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 re-gathering of Israel is for all, great or small, child or adult. They will return to the land of Israel. At first there will be a great tribulation as the enemies of Israel will try their best to defeat the purpose of God toward them. Satan has always hated Israel and will seek to stop them from being a nation. Because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, Satan has had more strength to defeat Israel, because when we cut off God's protection at times when we sin, do not believe and reject His way of salvation, but that will end and it will be a time of rejoicing that the world has never yet seen. 

  • 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.

They shall weep probably with repentance that they didn't recognize their Messiah sooner. They also probably wept to see their homeland again when they were brought back from captivity from Babylon.

  • 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.

Literal Israel shall be gathered. Israel here does not mean the church. Bible prophecy will be much easier to understand if we stop confusing Israel with the church. If we open our eyes and read the bible taking it literally unless we are certain that the passage contains symbols of something else, we will not confuse Israel and the church. I can understand this before 1948 but after they became a nation we see clearly that when the bible says Israel, it means Israel, not the church. Israel is gathered here.

Israel was the one that was in bondage in Egypt and was delivered by God using His prophet, Moses. Israel was the one taken captive by Babylon for their sin of rejecting God and worshipping the idols of surrounding nations. Israel was the one brought back from captivity after 70 years. Israel was the one existing during the time of Christ that was under Roman rule. Israel was scattered again in 70 AD because of their rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. Israel was re-gathered back in 1948. Israel has a part of future bible prophecy. When the bible says Israel, it means Israel.

  • Jeremiah 31:11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.

Verse 15 jumps from prophecy of the time of good back to the time before that final victory. One time similar to this is the time when Herod ordered the slaying of male children under the age of two in order to kill the Christ child. There were many times after that though that Israel was severely persecuted and killed by their enemies. The Spanish inquisition, the holocaust during the time of Hitler and many other times when Rachael could weep over her children. This was literally fulfilled at the time of Herod but I believe it to refer also of the future suffering and the great tribulation period spoken of in Revelation.

  • 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.

I could just imagine the mothers weeping at the time when Herod's soldiers slew all those little ones. 

  • 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 children that were in Bethlehem, 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. 
  • 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 
  • 18 In Rama 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.

Bible prophecy many times seems as if its a pattern sometimes repeated until the final completion of the fulfillment. Israel re-gathered after the last 7 years of Jacob's trouble makes it complete.

  • 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.

Final restoration of Israel after the time of the antichrist and great tribulation.

  • Jeremiah 31:17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
  • 22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

God continues to plead with backsliding Israel to return to Him. Israel has always been represented by a woman.

A woman shall compass a man has been the subject of much speculation. Perhaps it speaks of the lack of men because of so much war. It could mean that in the latter days women will take more of roles in leadership. We do see this today. Also I've seen places where women have had to take the spiritual leadership in the home because the men do not.

It is an interesting subject and not one I would argue over. I don't believe this refers to the virgin Mary. Some think that women shall become greater than men and take on a man's role. 

I sincerely believe this woman is Israel and the new thing is the salvation of the woman Israel when she discovers that the Messiah she once rejected is Jesus Christ that was crucified for the sins of the whole world. We see this woman pictured in the book of Revelation. 

  • Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 
  • 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 
  • 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 
  • 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 
  • 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
  • 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Further study is needed many times along with seeking the Lord for understanding when it comes to difficult passages. However, God had these words written for us to seek to understand. From the book of Genesis in Joseph's dream back before he was sold as a slave and brought to Egypt, he dreamed the sun, moon and stars bowed down to worship him.  Jacob interpreted the Sun as himself, the moon his wife and the stars, Joseph's brethren.  So I believe the woman in Revelation is the nation of Israel. The nation of Judah (Israel) is where Christ became human born of a virgin. Some believe the baby is Jesus but it could also mean the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel that were caught up with God during the great tribulation. They also were to rule and reign with Christ. But I digress that is my interpretation not to be taken as "Thus saith the Lord."  I do know that woman is not the church. Some believe the woman was Mary and the baby is Jesus.  The 12 stars do represent the 12 tribes of Israel, some think it is the 12 apostles but they didn't exist until after Jesus started His ministry. Jesus also didn't get caught up to Heaven until He died and was resurrected.  The 144 thousand of Israelis did get caught up to the throne before dying. Anyway, exciting to study these things. 

  • Jeremiah 31:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.
  • 24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.
  • 25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
  • 26 Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.
  • 27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, 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 throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.

This in my opinion is two meanings. They will rebuild after the Babylonian captivity after 70 years and in the latter days after being scattered again over all the earth. Praise God for His word will come to pass no matter what men may say about it.

  • Jeremiah 31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, 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 grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

That is the way it is now. We are answerable for our own sins, not the sins of our fathers. We shall die for our own iniquity unless we accept the plan of salvation God provides through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to escape judgment for iniquity because He already died for our iniquity.

  • Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, 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 an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
  • 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

This should make everyone reading want to shout. It is actually the sum of the whole chapter. They shall be restored. They shall be saved. The shall be under a whole new covenant of grace.

The law will be written in there hearts just like it is in the hearts of those that believe upon Jesus Christ. How is this possible? By faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is such a difference when one is saved by faith in Jesus. Instead of trying to be good by our own will power, Jesus gives us His power by giving us the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We become born again and have the living water of the Holy Spirit in our innermost being.

The Holy Spirit is our teacher to teach us the meaning of God's word and write that law of God in our hearts. Our "wants" change. We no longer desire the things we once did. Jesus Christ makes us to have a new heart and new spirit. This comes when one repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as savior. This is for Israel and for all who would believe. This is the new covenant.

The old covenant had no power to change a life and take away our sin. The old law simply showed us what sin was and how serious sin was. The new covenant is given to take that old sin away and bring us eternal life. This was discussed by Jesus when speaking to the woman at the well in John 4.  We worship Him now in spirit and in truth.

  • John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 
  • 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 
  • 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 
  • 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 
  • 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 
  • 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 
  • 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 
  • 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

The woman knew enough about things that she understood the future Messiah would tell them of these things.

  • Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

What rejoicing this should bring. We can know the Lord. Jews, Gentiles, black, while, young and old. We can know the Lord. We can talk to the Lord. We can walk in the Spirit of the Lord.

  • Jeremiah 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
  • 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
  • 37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
  • 38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
  • 39 And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.
  • 40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

This speaks of the new time when Jesus Christ will rule from Jerusalem. No unclean thing shall be in His new kingdom. Faith in Jesus Christ will make us to be partakers of that Kingdom and we will reign with Jesus Christ at this time.

  • Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 
  • 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Jeremiah 32