Ephraim pleads to return (Jer 31:18-31:20)

“Indeed I heard

Ephraim pleading.

‘You disciplined me!

I took the discipline

Like an untrained calf.

Bring me back!

Let me come back!

You are Yahweh!

My God!

After I had turned away

I repented.

After I was discovered,

I struck my thigh.

I was ashamed.

I was dismayed.

Because I bore

The disgrace of my youth.’

‘Is Ephraim my dear son?

Is he the child I delight in?

As often as I speak

Against him,

I still remember him.

Therefore I am deeply moved

For him.

I will surely have mercy

On him.’

Says Yahweh.”

Here Jeremiah has Ephraim, the son of Joseph, whose territory was just north of Benjamin plead with Yahweh to let him return to the Promised Land. Samaria and Bethel were in this territory that was the capitol of the northern Israelites. Ephraim admitted that he needed discipline, like a young calf. He wanted to come back home. He had repented and struck his thigh, a sign of penance. He was ashamed and dismayed because of his disgraceful youth. Yahweh, on the other hand, seemed very happy to have him come back. Ephraim was his dear delightful child. Yahweh still remembered him, despite his diatribes against him. Yahweh was deeply moved and would have mercy on him. The northern Israelites can return to Israel.

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