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Jeremiah 31:7-9 - Mourning turned to joy

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

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Thus says Yahweh:

Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,

and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;

proclaim, give praise, and say,

“Save, Yahweh, your people,

the remnant of Israel.”

See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,

and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,

among them the blind and the lame, those with child and

those in labor, together;

a great company, they shall return here.

With weeping they shall come,

and with consolations I will lead them back,

I will let them walk by brooks of water,

in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;

for I have become a father to Israel,

and Ephraim is my firstborn.


This is the Track 2 Old Testament reading selection that will be read aloud on the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 25], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. If the church is set on this path for Year B, it will be accompanied by a singing of Psalm 126, which says, “Then they said among the nations, “Yahweh has done great things for them.” That pair will precede a reading from Hebrews, where Paul wrote, “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where it is written, “And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”’

I wrote briefly about this reading from Jeremiah (only three verses), the last time it came up in the lectionary cycle (2018). I posted that commentary on my website then, which I have made available here. It can be read by clicking on this link. I welcome all readers to view what I wrote then and compare that to what I am about to add. Please feel free to comment, by signing up for access.

This song of Jeremiah is given a title by BibleHub Interlinear that says, “Mourning Turned to Joy.” That states the theme of Job 42, as Yahweh had finally spoken to Job again, leading Job to respond. Verse fifteen of this song of Jeremiah [not read today] is quoted by Matthew, when he wrote of the directive made by Herod to slaughter the children (seeking the child the Magi sought). While that verse is not part of this reading, one needs to see Jacob and Ephraim as relative to that weeping, coming from unnecessary loss from abuse. Seeing that as the theme that runs through these verses read aloud today is important to know.

When we hear Yahweh speak in Jeremiah's song, it reflects back on the Job 38 reading from the past Sunday, when Yahweh spoke. This means todays’ alternate paths for the Old Testament selections, seen together as similar, has them present a two-way communication: Job speaks and Yahweh hears; and, Yahweh speaks and Jeremiah hears. This is a symbolic statement of the need for one’s soul to have the faith – from divine marriage and spiritual intercourse making two be as one – so being in a partnership of love makes it an expectation that a wife communicate with her Husband ["her" in the sense that a physical body animated by a soul is feminine essence, regardless of human gender].

When verse seven’s lyrics say, “sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,” where those songs of rejoicing sing, “save Yahweh your people the remnant of Israel,” it is mandatory to realize the word “Israel” is not intended to be seen as the name of the Northern Kingdom or the nation called “Israel.” The two must be seen as one and the same person, with Jacob being the name of a sinner and Israel being his elevated name, after his soul had married Yahweh. It is a name that means, “He Who Retains God.” The use of “el,” meaning “god,” needs to be seen as implying “He Whom Yahweh Retains” as His “el,” one of His “elohim.” When this is seen as the hidden truth of Yahweh speaking (not a lesser entity), the “remnant of Israel” becomes all the lost sheep of Yahweh’s flock, whose souls were indeed married to Him, but the sinful, evil ways of their rulers had them Unrightfully scattered throughout the world.

This becomes a parallel to the story in Job, where the hideous, painful sores that covered his body from head to toe, while his soul was still pure, becomes a reflection of the appearance of sin brought upon all the people of the Northern Kingdom. They were seen as wicked people by the Assyrians, and indeed the rulers of Israel [the nation] were. They were overrun because their souls were not married to Yahweh and the name Israel was not a statement of truth. Still, the punishment they brought on and they deserved did not have the good souls thrown out with the dirty bath water. Yahweh spoke to tell the lost sheep they were not lost after all. Like Job, Yahweh was still with them and they would be redeemed.

In my 2018 commentary, I wrote that the name “Ephraim” means “Two-Fold Increase” or “Doubly Fruitful.” When Yahweh said, “Ephraim is my firstborn,” this must be seen as a statement of the duality of a soul that has married Yahweh will not ever be left alone to fend for itself. When Yahweh has become the “father of one Who Retains Yahweh as His el, then that holy marriage brings forth a Son, whose name means “Yah[weh] Will Save” [Jesus].

"Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music!"

This means the soul of a wife to Yahweh is then possessed Spiritually by an Advocate, so one becomes “Two-Fold Increase” or “Doubly Fruitful.” This divine presence within the body of Job, even though Yahweh had given Satan the right to test His Son and Yahweh remained silent through all the pleas of Job for answers, that was how Job always had the strength to resist the temptations of Satan’s minions, who came to influence Job to sin. This same presence would have remained in the lost sheep of the Northern Kingdom, which was reason for mourning turned to joy.

As a Track 2 reading to be read aloud on the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson to gain from Jeremiah is to remain faithful no matter how lost the world seems to have become. The key for this state of confidence to arise is to have married one’s soul to Yahweh and transformed oneself (a “self” is a “soul”) from whatever name your parents gave you (your “Jacob”) so it has been placed in the name of Yahweh, as His Son resurrected (you being “Israel”). One needs to be blinded from all the power and influence you had in a sinful life, as was Saul, and become transformed Spiritually. Saul changed his name to Paul … willingly. You have to be willing to turn away from the world of sin (the test of Job and the remnant of true “Israel”) and face Yahweh, eternally. You need to sing aloud with gladness, enough to let others know they too can receive the same marriage proposal.

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