The Restoration.* 1This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write down on a scroll all the words I have spoken to you.a 3For indeed, the days are coming—oracle of the LORD—when I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel and Judah—oracle of the LORD. I will bring them back to the land which I gave to their ancestors, and they shall take possession of it.b
We hear a cry of fear:
terror, not peace.
6Inquire and see:
does a male give birth?
Why, then, do I see all these men,
their hands on their loins
Like women in labor,
all their faces drained of color?c
7Ah! How mighty is that day—
there is none like it!
A time of distress for Jacob,
though he shall be saved from it.d
8On that day—oracle of the LORD of hosts—I will break his yoke off your neck and snap your bonds. Strangers shall no longer enslave them;e 9instead, they shall serve the LORD, their God, and David, their king,* whom I will raise up for them.f
10But you, my servant Jacob, do not fear!—oracle of the LORD—
do not be dismayed, Israel!
For I will soon deliver you from places far away,
your offspring from the land of their exile;
Jacob shall again find rest,
secure, with none to frighten him,g
11for I am with you—oracle of the LORD—to save you.
I will bring to an end all the nations
among whom I have scattered you;
but you I will not bring to an end.
I will chastise you as you deserve,
I will not let you go unpunished.h
12For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your injury;i
13There is none to plead your case,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
14All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you out.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punishing you cruelly.j
15Why cry out over your wound?
There is no relief for your pain.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.k
16Yet all who devour you shall be devoured,
all your enemies shall go into exile.
All who plunder you shall become plunder,
all who pillage you I will hand over to be pillaged.l
17For I will restore your health;
I will heal your injuries—oracle of the LORD.
“The outcast” they have called you,
“whom no one looks for.”m
18Thus says the LORD:
See! I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents,
on his dwellings I will have compassion;
A city shall be rebuilt upon its own ruins,
a citadel restored where it should be.n
19From them will come praise,
the sound of people rejoicing.
I will increase them, they will not decrease,
I will glorify them, they will not be insignificant.o
20His children shall be as of old,
his assembly shall stand firm in my presence,
I will punish all his oppressors.p
21His leader* shall be one of his own,
and his ruler shall emerge from his ranks.
He shall approach me when I summon him;
Why else would he dare
approach me?—oracle of the LORD.
22You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.q
23Look! The storm of the LORD!
His wrath breaks out
In a whirling storm
that bursts upon the heads of the wicked.r
24The anger of the LORD will not abate
until he has carried out completely
the decisions of his heart.
In days to come
you will fully understand it.s
* [30:1–31:40] These two chapters contain salvation oracles that originally expressed the double expectation that the Lord would return the exiled survivors of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and reunite Israel and Judah as one kingdom under a just Davidic king. They were probably composed early in Josiah’s reign (the reference of v. 9), when he took advantage of Assyria’s internal disintegration and asserted control over northern Israel (cf. 2 Kgs 23:15–17). With the destruction of Jerusalem, the oracles were re-worked to include Judah and their fulfillment along with the renewal of the Davidic dynasty became associated with the eschatological “day of the Lord.”
* [30:9] David, their king: a descendant of David (“his leader” in v. 21) who, like his ancestor, would rule a unified kingdom and “walk in the ways of the Lord,” as the Deuteronomistic historians claimed David did. Other prophets also refer to this idealized ruler as “David”; cf. Ez 34:23–24; 37:24–25; Hos 3:5.
* [30:21] His leader: cf. v. 9. Approach me: i.e., in the sanctuary of the Temple for worship. This new David is given a priestly function to perform on behalf of the assembly. To approach God on one’s own brings death; cf. Lv 16:1–2.