Understanding the Scriptures
|Which were left of(v. 2)||Survivors|
|Drawn (v. 3)||Gathered|
|Adorned (v. 4)||Decorated|
|Tabrets (v. 4)||Musical instruments|
|Remnant of Israel (v. 7)||Israelites not destroyed, scattered, or in captivity|
|Supplications (v. 9)||Prayers of pleading|
|Redeemed, ransomed (v. 11)||Pay for someone’s freedom from bondage|
|Satiate (vv. 14, 25)||Satisfy|
|Rahel (v. 15)||Rachel (wife of Jacob [Israel] and mother of Joseph and Benjamin)|
|Refrain (v. 16)||Stop|
|Unaccustomed (v. 18)||Not used to|
|Confounded (v. 19)||Ashamed|
|Bear the reproach (v. 19)||Carry the shame|
|Bowels (v. 20)||Feelings|
|Waymarks (v. 21)||Signs on the road|
|Compass (v. 22)||Surround|
|Habitation (v. 23)||House|
|Husbandman (v. 24)||Farmer|
|Replenished (v. 25)||Filled up|
|Sow (v. 27)||Plant|
|Plucked up (vv. 28, 40)||Pull up, uproot|
|Teeth are set on edge, teeth shall be set on edge(vv. 29–30)||Pucker|
|Ordinances (vv. 35–36)||Regular motions|
|Depart from before me(v. 36)||Removed|
Jeremiah 31—The Gathering of Israel
The entire chapter of Jeremiah 31 is about the gathering of the house of Israel. Israel is gathered in two ways: physically and spiritually. For individual members of the house of Israel the two gatherings may occur at the same time, or they may occur separately. Because these two gatherings have occurred at different times throughout history and will yet occur in the future, scriptures about the gathering of the house of Israel can be confusing. Jeremiah 31:1–30 certainly applies to the physical gathering of the family of Israel from the lands in which they were scattered and captive to their promised lands. But these verses may also apply to those who are spiritually gathered to the Lord and His Church. Jeremiah 31:31–34 seems to have special application to the spiritual gathering (see D&C 45:56).
Jeremiah 31:9—“Ephraim Is My Firstborn”
Ephraim was not literally the firstborn of Israel, since he was Jacob’s grandson, the son of Joseph who received the birthright from Jacob, or Israel (see Genesis 48–49). The reference in Jeremiah 31:9 to Ephraim being the firstborn refers to this position of heir to the birthright.
Jeremiah 31:31–34—The “New Covenant”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained the following about the “new covenant”:
“The ‘new covenant,’ … was the covenant contained in the Book of Mormon and in the ‘former commandments’ [see D&C 84:57]. … These former commandments must have been the Lord’s prior revelations, as contained in the Bible (the Old and New Testaments) and in those modern revelations already given to the Saints. …
“The covenant described in [the] scriptures, made new by its renewal and confirmation in these latter days, refers to our covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. It incorporates the fullness of the gospel. …
“… The ‘new covenant’ contained in the Book of Mormon and the former commandments is that central promise of the gospel, rooted in the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which gives us the assurance of immortality and the opportunity for eternal life if we will repent of our sins and make and keep the gospel covenant with our Savior. By this means, and through his grace, we can realize the great promise ‘that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel’ (Articles of Faith 1:3)” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” [CES fireside address, 6 June 1993], 4–5).
Studying the Scriptures
Do activities A and B as you study Jeremiah 31.
Illustrate an Idea
Draw a picture or make a diagram that represents an idea you read about in Jeremiah 31:1–30. Write a brief explanation for your picture or diagram.
Describe the Difference
According to Jeremiah 31:31–34, when did the Lord make the old covenant with the house of Israel?
Describe how and why the new covenant is different than the old covenant.