The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
No clan in Israel, the Lord says, but shall own me as its God when that day comes, and all of them shall be my people.
Out there in the solitudes they have won pardon, those exiles the sword left untouched; Israel shall find a home, the Lord says,
the Lord, making himself known from far away.✻ With unchanging love I love thee, and now in mercy I have drawn thee to myself.
Israel, poor homeless maid, I will build thy fortunes anew; built anew they shall be, and thou shalt go forth once more, thy tambour hung about thee, among the choir of dancers.
Once more thou shalt plant vineyards over the hill-country of Samaria; planted they shall be, and the men who planted them await the appointed time before they gather the vintage.✻
Watchmen there shall be, when that day comes, in the hill-country of Ephraim that will cry aloud, Up, to Sion go we, and there worship the Lord our God!
Rejoice, the Lord says, at Jacob’s triumph, the proudest of nations greet with a glad cry;✻ loud echo your songs of praise, Deliverance, Lord, for thy people, for the remnant of Israel!
From the north country, from the very ends of earth, I mean to gather them and bring them home; blind men and lame, pregnant women and women brought to bed, so great the muster at their home-coming.
Weeping they shall come, and I, moved to pity, will bring them to their journey’s end; from mountain stream to mountain stream I will lead them, by a straight road where there is no stumbling; I, Israel, thy father again, and thou, Ephraim, my first-born son.
Listen, Gentiles, to the Lord’s promise; his word must go out to the islands that are far away; word that he who scattered Israel will gather Israel in, will guard it faithfully as a shepherd guards his flock.
The Lord means to ransom Jacob, to grant deliverance from the tyrant’s power.
The exiles will return, greeting mount Sion with cries of gladness; thronging in to take possession of the Lord’s gifts, corn and oil and wine, increase of flock and herd. Revived their spirits shall be, like a garden when the stream flows full; they shall hunger no more.
Glad the maidens shall dance, gladness there shall be for young and old alike; I will turn all their sorrow into joy, comfort and cheer their sad hearts.
Full-fed my priests shall be with dainties; blessings my people shall have, the Lord says, till they ask no more.
Now, the Lord says, a voice is heard in Rama, of lamentation and bitter mourning; it is Rachel weeping for her children, and she will not be comforted, because none is left.✻
But thus he reassures thee: Sad voice, lament, sad eyes, weep no more; I, the Lord, give thee promise of a reward for thy working-days, a return from the enemy’s country.
A hope is left for thee hereafter, the Lord says; to their own possessions thy sons shall return.
Doubt not I heard it, the cry of Ephraim forlorn: Lord, it was thy task to chasten me, that must learn, like bullock untamed, to bear the yoke; grant me return, and I will return to thee;✻ thou art the Lord my God.
Only when thou calledst me back to thyself did I repent; only when my lesson was learnt did I cry out upon my shame.✻ How did I blush with confusion, bearing the disgrace the sins of my youth had earned!
Why, what a favourite son is this Ephraim, what a spoilt child of mine, that I should pronounce my doom on him, and care for him none the less! In truth, my heart goes out to him; I will be merciful to him yet, the Lord says.
Way-marks leave behind thee, sad trophies✻ be raising as thou goest, to put thee in mind of the straight road thou hast trodden. Return thou must, poor Israel, return thou must to these, thy own cities;
fickle maid, dally no longer. Here is a new order of things the Lord has established on earth; weak woman is to be the protectress of man’s strength.✻
A message from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: To town and country-side of Juda I will restore the exiled folk, and once again the greeting will be heard, A blessing on thee from the Lord, fair home of true observance, holy mountain-side!
Once again Juda and Juda’s townsfolk shall dwell there; fields shall be tilled and flocks led out to pasture;
faint hearts shall be refreshed, and hunger’s craving satisfied.
Ah, to wake upon such a sight! Then were sleep welcome.✻
A time is coming, the Lord says, when I mean to enrich Israel’s home, Juda’s home, with stock of men and of cattle both;
jealous watch I will still keep over them, but not, as of old, to root up and to demolish, to scatter and lay waste and to do hurt; all shall be building, the Lord says, all shall be planting now.
When that time comes, no more shall be heard of the proverb, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are being set on edge;
tooth of eater shall ache now, and a man’s own guilt shall be a man’s own doom.✻
A time is coming, the Lord says, when I mean to ratify a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Juda.
It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand, to rescue them from Egypt; that they should break my covenant, and I, all the while, their master, the Lord says.
No, this is the covenant I will grant the people of Israel, the Lord says, when that time comes. I will implant my law in their innermost thoughts, engrave it in their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
There will be no need for neighbour to teach neighbour, or brother to teach brother, the knowledge of the Lord; all will know me, from the highest to the lowest. I will pardon their wrong-doing; I will not remember their sins any more.✻
A message from the Lord, from him, the God of hosts, the same who brightens day with the sun’s rays, night with the ordered service of moon and star, who can stir up the sea and set its waves a-roaring;
All these laws of mine will fail me, he says, before the line of Israel fails me; a people it must remain until the end of time.
You have the Lord’s word for it; When you can measure heaven above, he tells you, and search the foundations of earth below, then I will cast away the whole line of Israel, for all its ill deserving.
Behold, says the divine promise, a time is coming when the city shall be rebuilt in the Lord’s honour, from Hananeel’s Tower as far as the Corner Gate;
nay, in advance of that the limit of its range shall reach, across Gareb hill, to take in Goatha,
burial-ground and ash-pit and all the dead soil as far as Cedron brook, and eastward as far as the corner by the Horsemen’s Gate; all shall be consecrated to the Lord; tree shall not be uprooted there henceforward, nor house overthrown.
The Holy Bible