Dave Burnette's Commentary

Jeremiah Chapter 31

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (627-586 BC)
Overview: To Urge God's People to Turn from Sin to God (c 1-52)
Theme: God's Judgement on Judah (c 1-45)
Message: Restoration Promises to Rebuild the Nation (v 1-40)

Jeremiah 31 Commentary 

(31:1) Restoration - This promise is to all the families and clans (tribes) of Israel, not only to the tribe of Judah. The restoration will include all people who trust God. 

(31:3) God's Magnificent Love - God reaches toward his people with kindness motivated by deep and everlasting love. He is eager to do the best for them if they will only let him. After many words of warning about sin, this reminder of God's magnificent love gave them a breath of fresh air. Rather than thinking of God with dread, look carefully and see him lovingly drawing us toward himself. 

(31:10-14) Redemption - What a celebration God promises in the future! This passage pictures God's final redemption that he has in store for all who believe in him. (See Isaiah 25:6-10 for another description of this great future feast.) 

(31:14) Provision - This means that many sacrifices will be made at the temple so that the priests will have a feast with their portion (see Leviticus 7:31-36 for the priest's portion). The Lord provided for the needs of the priests and their families through the sacrifices offered at the temple. The bringing of abundant offerings symbolizes prosperity and abundance for God's chosen people (Psalms 36:8; 63:5; Isaiah 55:2). 

(31:15) A Symbolic Mother - Rachel (Rahel), Jacob's favorite wife, was the symbolic mother of the northern tribes, which were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. Rachel is pictured crying for the exiles at Ramah, a staging point of deportation. This verse is quoted in Matthew 2:18 to describe the sadness of the mothers of Bethlehem as the male children were killed. The weeping was great in both cases. 

(31:18-20) A Remnant -  These verses express grief and mourning over sins of the past. Ephraim was one of the major tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel. Although Israel had sunk into the most degrading sins, God still loved the people. A remnant would return to God, repenting of their sins, and God would forgive them. God still loves you, despite everything you have done. He will forgive you if you turn back to him. 

(31:29-30) Accountability - The people tried to blame God's judgment on the sins of their parents. One person's sin does indeed affect other people, but all people are still held personally accountable for the sin in their own lives (Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:2). What excuses do you use for your sins? 

(31:33:34) A New Relationship - The old covenant, broken by the people, would be replaced by a new covenant. The foundation of this new covenant is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:6). The old covenant did not have the power to transform people's hearts or give them the ability to obey. The new covenant has revolutionary power, involving not only Israel and Judah, but even the Gentiles. It offers a unique personal relationship with God himself, with his laws written on individuals' hearts instead of on stone tablets. Jeremiah looked forward to the day when Jesus would come to establish this covenant and through his forgiveness all sins would be forgotten. For us today, this new covenant is here. We have the wonderful opportunity to have a fresh start and establish a permanent, personal relationship with God (see Jeremiah 29:11; 32:38-40). 

(31:33) Engraved On Their Hearts - God would write his law on his people's hearts rather than on tablets of stone, as he had done with the Ten Commandments. In 1741, the people's sin was described as engraved on their hearts so that they wanted, above all, to disobey. This change seems to describe an experience very much like the new birth we read about in the New Testament, with God taking the initiative in the coming of Jesus (see John 16:6-7; 1 John 2:20, 27). When we turn our lives over to God, he, by his Holy Spirit, builds into us the heartfelt desire to obey him. What is written on your heart? 

(31:35-37) His Faithful Love - God has created and is in control of the laws of nature, and he ensures that they are stable and predictable. God confirmed here, in no uncertain terms, that just as he will not discard his natural laws, he has no intention of abandoning his chosen people. His faithful love and promises for his people would endure, despite the terrible judgments about to come against them. 

(31:38-40) A New Jerusalem - These points mark the boundaries of restored Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah. Gareb and Goath are unknown places. The valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown probably refers to the valley of the son of Hinnom, where children were sacrificed in pagan worship. The temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, so this prophecy that Jerusalem would never be destroyed again was to be fulfilled much later. Many years after Jeremiah's prophecy, the apostle John had a vision where he saw the new Jerusalem coming down from God (Revelation 21). In the day when this is fulfilled, safety will not even be an issue. God will create a new community where every hope will be fulfilled under his righteous rule.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

His Best for Your Life

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Jeremiah 31. In our text today we see the Lord Promises to rebuild the nation. This restoration comes from a Heavenly Father who never stops loving you. Our Lord is not a tyrant in Heaven who looks to zap you when you fail but a Loving Heavenly Father who wants you to succeed and has a wonderful plan for your life. How about you? Do you understand how much God Loves you and wants His Best for your Life? Let us learn from our text today and history of the Nation of Israel to see that the Lord never stops loving you, promises you restoration if you turn to Him, and wants the best for your life. 


Jeremiah 31

Jeremiah 31

 1At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.

 2Thus 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.

 3The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

 4Again 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.

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

 6For 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.

 7For 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.

 8Behold, 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.

 9They 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.

 10Hear 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.

 11For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

 12Therefore 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.

 13Then 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.

 14And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.

 15Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

 16Thus 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.

 17And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

 18I 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.

 19Surely 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.

 20Is 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.

 21Set 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.

 22How 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.

 23Thus 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.

 24And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.

 25For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.

 26Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.

 27Behold, 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.

 28And 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.

 29In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.

 30But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

 31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

 32Not 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:

 33But 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.

 34And 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.

 35Thus 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:

 36If 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.

 37Thus 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.

 38Behold, 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.

 39And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.

 40And 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.