Jer 31: "Jeremiah must have rejoiced to deliver the prophecy
of Jer 31. It demonstrates that though Jewry would receive divine punishments
for their good, the nation will ultimately be saved. The apostle Paul similarly
argues in Rom 11. So Israel will be:  Saved out of the wilderness: vv 1-9,
brought back from dispersion into which for centuries the nation has languished.
 All nations will be caused to witness Israel's redemption: vv 10-14. As the
restoration includes the re-establishment of the great temple of Zion, more
glorious than any former temple (Hag 2; Jer 30:18-22), so the joyous worship
therein will includes all nations. Gentiles will see the goodness of Yahweh to
His ancient people, and shall rejoice together in divine worship.  Rachel's
weeping shall cease: vv 15-17. The birth of Benjamin brought the weeping of
Rachel, as typical of the birth of the Lord Jesus. In the coming birth of the
nation there will be weeping; but in the end there will be comfort. 
Ephraim's confession of unfruitfulness and determination to change: vv 18-21.
There will be a national acknowledgement and confession of sin, which leads to
repentance and acceptance.  Great changes in Zion: vv 22-26.  Yahweh
vindicated: vv 27-30.  The Kingdom Covenant: vv 31-34.  The divine
guarantee of fulfilment: vv 35-37.  The glorious city of the future: vv
Examples of personification: riches (Mat 6:24); sin (Joh 8:34;
Rom 5:21; 6:16); spirit (Joh 16:13); wisdom (Pro 3:13-15; 9:1); Israel (Jer
31:4,18); people of Christ (Eph 4:4,13; 5:23; Rev 19:7; 1Co 12:27; 2Co 11:2; Col
Vv 7-9: Cp Gen 31: Jacob leaving Laban: "blind" = Leah (Gen
29:17), "lame" = Jacob (Gen 32:31), "expectant mothers" = Leah, "women in labor"
= Rachel, "weeping... praying" = Jacob with angel (cp Hos 12:4), "streams of
water" = Jabbok, and "stumble" = Jacob's lameness.
RAMAH: Near Bethlehem in Benjamin (see Mat 2:18). One
mile north of Bethlehem (WGos 39).
RACHEL: Daughter of Laban, wife of Jacob, mother of
Joseph, grandmother of Ephraim.
REFUSING TO BE COMFORTED: As Jacob refused to be
comforted: Gen 37:35. Cp Jer 31:9,18: "Benoni" = son of sorrow.
THEY WILL RETURN FROM THE LAND OF THE ENEMY: Jesus did
this (cp v 22). Through him, many others will so "return". Cp vv 7-12: Jacob's
family returning to land of promise. Cp also Eze 37.
THE LAND OF THE ENEMY: Babylon (cp v 17), or all
nations. These are not children returning from the dead -- as JWs teach: cp 2Sa
12:22,23 with Act 2:34; Job 3:11-13; 10:18,19.
ROAD SIGNS... GUIDEPOSTS: The heap of witness: Gen
The first woman -- Isha -- came out of man -- Ish. Here,
however, man comes out of woman. Different words are used, however: "woman" =
Heb "neqebah"; "man" = Heb "gibbor": the hero, or mighty man!
The Virgin Birth in the OT: Psa 71:6; 89:26,27; 110:3, LXX;
Gen 3:15; 49:1,25; Isa 7:14; 49:1; Jer 31:22; Mic 5:1,2; 2Sa 7:14.
// Mat 5:6; Luk 6:21,25.
The Abrahamic covenant, "new" because not in force until
confirmed by death of Jesus: Rom 15:8; Heb 12:24.
The Sabbath Law, part of the Old (Sinaitic) Covenant: Exo
34:27,28; 25:16,21. The Old Covenant, with all that is fundamental to it, was
abolished in Christ, "the end of the law" (Rom 10:4), and replaced with a new
Written in "fleshly tables of the heart: 2Co 3:3. "Inwardly"
Jews: Rom 3:28,29. "My people", though formerly alienated by wicked works, but
now restored: Hos 1:10,11.
"There is a repeated theme that Israel's entry into the New
Covenant will be associated with God doing something to their hearts, confirming
their own change of mind. In other words, the covenant is largely a matter of
the mind. This new state of mind is in fact fundamentally part of being in
covenant relationship with God... This leads us to the paramount need for us to
develop genuine spiritual mindedness, the thinking, the breathing of God's
Spirit in our minds. So God will act upon Israel's heart directly, using the
medium of His word to do so. The initiative is God's; He will write His word
upon their hearts. He is not passively offering people the opportunity to do it
to themselves; He will do it to Israel. The same heart-swap operation is
described in Eze 36:25,26: 'Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye
shall be clean: from all your filthiness... will I cleanse you (cp our baptism
into the new covenant). A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will
I put within you... I will put my spirit within you (note the double emphasis),
and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do
them.' Being in the new covenant is therefore characterized by having a new
spirit, a new mind, and therefore a new way of life. And so Heb 10:20 calls the
new covenant 'a new and living way', a new, living way of life. Jer 31:33 said
that God would place His laws in Israel's heart; in Eze 36 we read that He will
place His Spirit in their hearts. So the way in which God will give Israel a new
heart will be through their response to the word" (BB).
Pastors and teachers given to Israel in future age: Jer
3:14,15; 23:3,4; Isa 30:19-21; 54:13. Christ to be revealed to Israel: Zec 12:10
(next). Forgiveness not possible under the first covenant: Heb 10:1-4; Rom 3:20;
Gal 2:16; 3:10-12.
The sins of God's people: "Covered" (Psa 32:1), "Removed" (Psa
103:12), "Cast behind God's back" (Isa 38:17), "Blotted out" (Psa 51:1; Isa
44:22), "Washed away" (Psa 51:2,7), "Remembered no more" (Jer 31:34), "Sought
for but not found" (Jer 50:20), "Cast into the depths of the sea" (Mic
SUN... MOON... STARS: Related to Israel in Jer
33:25,26. Cp Luk 21:25,26.
WHO STIRS UP THE SEA SO THAT ITS WAVES ROAR: Yahweh's
control of the waters at creation -- a commentary on the Canaanite "sea chaos"
myth: see Lesson, Leviathan -- esp the "Creation".
The heavenly bodies sym Israel, never to cease in God's
purpose. Cp sun, moon, and stars in Joseph's dream: Gen 37:9,10. Also cp Joel