Ephraim is the first born (Jer 31:9-31:9)

“With weeping,

They shall come.

With consolations,

I will lead them back.

I will let them walk

By brooks of water.

I will let them walk

In a straight path.

They shall not stumble.

I have become

A father to Israel.

Ephraim is my first-born.”

The Israelites would return home weeping. Yahweh would lead this great group, as he consoled them. They would walk by brooks of water on a straight path. Thus, they would not stumble. Yahweh would be the father of Israel again. There his first born would be Ephraim, of the northern country, and not Judah. This seems out of character, since Judah was always favored. However, this is the northern kingdom of Israel that he is talking about.