Jeremiah 23:1-8

A righteous King

1 The Lord says, ‘Terrible trouble will come to the rulers of my people. They should have taken care of my people, as shepherds take care of their sheep. Instead, they have caused them to run away.’ 2 So the Lord, Israel's God, says to the leaders who rule over his people, ‘You have not taken care of my people. You have chased them away to other places. So now I will come and punish you, because of the evil things that you have done. I, the Lord, tell you that!

3 I myself will bring back together all my people who are still alive. I will fetch them from the countries where I have sent them. I will bring them back to the land that is their home. They will give birth to many children and they will grow in number. 4 I will choose rulers for them who will truly take care of them. My people will no longer be afraid. They will all be safe.’ That is what the Lord says.

5 The Lord says, ‘The time will come when I do this:

I will cause a descendant of David to be born.

He will be righteous.

He will grow like a branch on the tree of David's family.

He will rule as king in a wise way.

He will do what is right and fair in the land.

6 While he rules, the people of Judah will be safe.

And Israel's people will live in peace.

People will give this name to him:

“The Lord is our righteous Saviour.” ’

7 The Lord says, ‘Yes, a new time will come. When people make a promise, they will not say, “I promise to do this as surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites safely out of Egypt.” 8 Instead they will say, “I promise to do this as surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel safely back from the land in the north. He brought them back from all the places where he had sent them as prisoners.” At that time they will live in their own land.’