A Father for Israel
1 “At that time,” says the Lord, “I will be as God to the family of Israel, and they shall be as My people.”†
2 Thus says the Lord: “I found him alive in the desert with those slain by the sword. Go and do not destroy Israel.”
3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I drew you in compassion.
4 O virgin of Israel, I shall build you, and you will be restored. You shall again take your tambourine and go forth with the assembly of those who rejoice.†
5 Moreover, plant a vineyard on the mountains of Samaria. Plant and praise,†
6 for it is a day of calling, when those who defend you on the mountains of Ephraim will say, ‘Arise and go up to Zion to the Lord our God.’ ”
7 For thus says the Lord to Jacob: “Rejoice and exult in the Head of the nations. Make a proclamation and praise Him. Say, ‘The Lord saved His people, the remnant of Israel.’
8 Behold, I will bring them from the north, and gather them from the ends of the earth to the feast of Passover. You shall beget a great multitude, and they shall return here.†
9 They went forth with weeping, but I will gather them with consolation. I will cause them to lodge by the channels of waters in an upright way, and they will not be led astray; for I have become as a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.
10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations. Proclaim it to the islands far distant and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will also gather and protect him, as one who feeds his flock.’
11 For the Lord redeemed Jacob. He redeemed him from the hand of those stronger than he.
12 They shall come and be glad in the mountain of Zion, and they shall come to the goodness of the Lord; to the land of wheat, wine, and fruit, and of cattle and sheep. Their soul shall be like a fruitful tree, and they shall hunger no more.†
13 Then shall the virgins rejoice in the assembly of young men, and the old men shall rejoice. I will turn their mourning into joy, and I will make them glad.
14 I will magnify and cheer with wine the soul of these priests, the sons of Levi, and My people shall be satisfied with My good things.”
Mercy for Ephraim
15 Thus says the Lord: “A voice of lamentation, weeping, and mourning was heard in Ramah. Rachel does not wish to cease mourning deeply over her children, because they are no more.”†
16 Thus says the Lord: “Let your voice cease from its bitter weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your works, and they shall return from the land of their enemies.
17 There shall be an abiding home for your children.
18 “I heard the news of Ephraim, lamenting, ‘You chastised me, and I was chastised. Like a calf, I was not taught, but turn me back, and I shall return; for You are the Lord my God.
19 For after my captivity I repented, and after I knew, I groaned because of the day of shame, and showed You that I bore the reproach of my youth.’
20 Ephraim is a beloved son and a child who is a delight to Me, because My words are in him. I will surely remember him; therefore I hastened to help him. I will surely have mercy upon him,” says the Lord.
21 “Rouse yourself, O Zion, and bring about vengeance. Be strong in your heart and return by the way you went, O virgin of Israel. Return to your cities and mourn.
22 How long, O dishonored daughter, will you turn away? For the Lord has created safety by a new planting. Men will travel about in security.”†
23 Thus says the Lord: “They will say this word in the land of Judah and its cities when I bring back the host of captives: ‘Blessed is the Lord on His righteous and holy mountain.’
24 There shall be those who dwell in the cities of Judah and in all its land, together with the farmer, and the shepherd shall go forth with his flock.
25 For I have satiated every thirsty soul and filled every hungry soul.”
26 Therefore, I awoke and beheld, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
27 “Therefore, behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will sow Israel and Judah with the seed of man and the seed of cattle.
28 It shall come to pass, as I watched over them to overthrow and afflict, so too, I will watch over them to build and plant,” says the Lord.
29 “In those days, they shall not say, ‘The fathers ate sour grapes, and the children’s teeth were set on edge.’
30 But rather, each shall die in his own sin, and the teeth of him who eats the sour grapes shall be set on edge.†
The New Covenant
31 “Behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
32 not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day I took hold of their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not abide in My covenant, and I disregarded them,” says the Lord.
33 “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will surely put My laws into their mind and write them on their hearts. I will be as God to them, and they shall be as My people.†
34 Each shall not teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their wrongdoings, and I will no longer remember their sins.†
35 “Though the sky should be raised to a greater height,” says the Lord, “and though the ground of the earth should be sunk lower beneath, yet I would not reject the family of Israel,” says the Lord, “for all they have done.”
36 Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun as a light by day, and the moon and the stars as a light by night; and who makes the sea roar so its waves make a crashing sound. The Lord Almighty is His name.
37 “If these laws cease from before Me,” says the Lord, “the family of Israel shall also cease to be a nation before Me forever.
38 “Behold, days are coming,” says the Lord, “when the city shall be built for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
39 The measure of the city shall proceed in front of them as far as the hills of Gareb, and it shall be encircled round about by choice stones.
40 All Hasaremoth as far as the Kidron River, to the corner of the Horse Gate eastward, shall be a sanctuary to the Lord. It shall not fail or be destroyed anymore forever.”
1 Alleluia. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let those redeemed by the Lord say so, Whom He redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
3 He gathered them from the countries, From the east and the west and the north and the south.
4 They were led astray in the desert, in a place without water; They did not find a road to an inhabited city;
5 While hungering and thirsting, Their soul fainted in them;
6 And they cried out to the Lord in their affliction, And He delivered them from their distresses;
7 And He led them in a straight path, So they might go to a city of habitation.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His mercies And His wonders to the sons of men;
9 For He fed the empty soul And filled the hungry soul with good things,
10 Those sitting in the darkness and shadow of death, Bound in poverty and fetters;
11 For they rebelled against the teachings of God And provoked the counsel of the Most High;
12 Thus their heart was humbled by troubles; They were weak, and there was no one to help them;
13 Then they cried out to the Lord in their afflictions, And He saved them from their distresses;
14 And He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains to pieces.
Proverbs of Solomon 23
A Father’s Counsel on Wine and Women
19 Hear, my son, and become wise, And direct aright the thoughts of your heart.
20 Do not be a wine-bibber, Neither provide contributions of meats or goods at drinking parties.
21 For every drunkard and fornicator shall become impoverished, And every sluggard shall clothe himself with tattered and ragged garments.†
22 Hear, my son, your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother because she has grown old.
23 A righteous father rears his child well, And his soul rejoices in a wise son.
Qualifications for Priesthood: Aaron and Melchizedek
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.†
2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.
3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.
4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was .
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” †
6 As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek” ;
Beware of Immaturity
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,†
8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.†
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.†
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.†