Jeremiah 31:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

New Living Translation
This is what the LORD says: "A cry is heard in Ramah--deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted--for her children are gone."

English Standard Version
Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”

New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD, "A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more."

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is what the LORD says: A voice was heard in Ramah, a lament with bitter weeping-- Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children because they are no more.

International Standard Version
This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter crying. Rachel is crying, and she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no longer alive."

NET Bible
The LORD says, "A sound is heard in Ramah, a sound of crying in bitter grief. It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what the LORD says: A sound is heard in Ramah, the sound of crying in bitter grief. Rachel is crying for her children. She refuses to be comforted, because they are dead.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thus hath the LORD said; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her sons, she refused to be comforted regarding her sons, because they perished.

King James 2000 Bible
Thus says the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

American King James Version
Thus said the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

American Standard Version
Thus saith Jehovah: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah: A voice hath been heard in Ramah, the wail of very bitter weeping, -- Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are not.

English Revised Version
Thus saith the LORD: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah, A voice in Ramah is heard, wailing, weeping most bitter, Rachel is weeping for her sons, She hath refused to be comforted for her sons, because they are not.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

31:10-17 He that scattered Israel, knows where to find them. It is comfortable to observe the goodness of the Lord in the gifts of providence. But our souls are never valuable as gardens, unless watered with the dews of God's Spirit and grace. A precious promise follows, which will not have full accomplishment except in the heavenly Zion. Let them be satisfied of God's loving-kindness, and they will be satisfied with it, and desire no more to make them happy. Rachel is represented as rising from her grave, and refusing to be comforted, supposing her offspring rooted out. The murder of the children at Bethlehem, by Herod, Mt 2:16-18, in some degree fulfilled this prediction, but could not be its full meaning. If we have hope in the end, concerning an eternal inheritance, for ourselves and those belonging to us, all temporal afflictions may be borne, and will be for our good.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 15-22. - From this glorious prospect Jeremiah's eye turns to the melancholy present. The land of Ephraim is orphaned and desolate. The prophet seems to hear Rachel weeping for her banished children, and comforts her with the assurance that they shall yet be restored. For Ephraim has come to repentance, and longs for reconciliation with his God, and God, who has overheard his soliloquy, relents, and comes to meet him with gracious promises. Then another voice is heard summoning Ephraim to prepare for his journey home. This verse is quoted by St. Matthew (Matthew 2:17) with reference to the massacre of the innocents, with τότε ἐπληρώθη prefixed. The latter formula of itself suggests that there was a previous fulfilment of the prophecy, but that the analogy of the circumstances of the innocents justifies - nay, requires - the admission of a second fulfilment. In fact, the promise of the Messianic age seemed in as much danger of being rendered void when Herod wreaked his fury on the children of Bethlehem, as when the tribes of Israel were scattered in exile. Dean Stanley finds a geographical inconsistency in the two passages. "The context of Jeremiah 31:15 implies that the Ramah of the prophet was in the northern kingdom, probably Ramah of Benjamin. The context of Matthew 2:18, on the other hand, implies that the Ramah of the evangelist was within sight of Bethlehem" ('Sinai and Palestine,' p. 225). But this remark involves the assumption that the quotation was not intended merely as an application. Verse 15. - A voice was heard; rather, is heard. It is a participle, indicating the continuance of the action. In Ramah. In the neighbourhood of which town Rachel was buried, according to 1 Samuel 10:2 ("the city" where Samuel and Saul were - 1 Samuel 9:25 - appears to have been Ramah). Rachel weeping for her children. Rachel ("Rahel" is only a Germanizing way of writing the name), being the ancestress of the three tribes, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, is represented as feeling like a mother for all the tribes connected with those three. Her "weeping" is no mere figure of speech. Jeremiah believes that the patriarchs and holy men of old continue to feel an interest in the fortunes of their descendants (comp. Isaiah 63:16).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Thus saith the Lord, a voice was heard in Ramah,.... Which signifies a high place; hence the Targum paraphrases it,

"in the high place of the world;''

and so the Vulgate Latin version,

"in a high place;''

but it is here the proper name of a place, of a city in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25; and this voice heard was not a voice of joy and gladness as before, but of

lamentation and bitter weeping; signifying great sorrow and distress upon some very extraordinary occasion; and is as follows:

Rachel weeping for her children; not really and in person, but by a figurative way of speaking. Rachel is introduced as representing the Jewish women in those parts mourning for their slaughtered infants, even those that were slaughtered some time after the birth of Christ; for to this barbarous fact are the words applied by the Evangelist Matthew, as a fulfilment of them, Matthew 2:16; and with great propriety and pertinence is Rachel brought in as the chief, yea, sole mourner, representing all the sorrowful mothers; since Ramah was in the tribe of Benjamin, a child of hers, as far as which, it seems, the bloody massacre referred to reached, from Bethlehem, where it began; and since Rachel's grave was between these two places, Genesis 35:18; she is represented as rising out of her grave to act this part; or it signifies, that could she have been sensible of this inhuman affair, and could have come out of her grave, she would have done what she is here represented to do; and the rather is she mentioned, since she was so affectionately fond and desirous of children, Genesis 30:1;

refused to be comforted for her children; by any of her friends, the loss was so great, the affliction so heavy:

because they were not; or, "because he was not" (q); the Messiah was not, but was slain among the rest of the children, as the Jewish mothers, whom Rachel represented, imagined; and this heightened their distress, and filled them with more grief and trouble than the loss of their own children: but as Matthew has the plural number, the Targum, and all the Oriental versions, it is best to understand it of the children who "were not"; that is, they were dead; they were not in the land of the living, as this phrase is used in Genesis 37:30; which shows that this is not to be understood of the Babylonish captivity, and of the mourning of the Jewish women on that account; since the cause of this was death, and not captivity; besides, mourning for so general a calamity as captivity would not have been confined to mothers, and to some only, and to one particular place; though so the Jewish writers interpret it; and the Targum, which is,

"a voice was heard in the high place of the world, the house of Israel weeping and mourning after Jeremiah the prophet, whom Nabuzaradan the chief of those that slew, sent from Ramah; lamentation and weeping with bitterness, Jerusalem weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were gone into captivity.''

(q) "quia non ipse", Vatablus; "vel non ille" i.e. "non sit ullus", Schmidt.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15. Ramah—In Benjamin, east of the great northern road, two hours' journey from Jerusalem. Rachel, who all her life had pined for children (Ge 30:1), and who died with "sorrow" in giving birth to Benjamin (Ge 35:18, 19, Margin; 1Sa 10:2), and was buried at Ramah, near Beth-lehem, is represented as raising her head from the tomb, and as breaking forth into "weeping" at seeing the whole land depopulated of her sons, the Ephraimites. Ramah was the place where Nebuzara-dan collected all the Jews in chains, previous to their removal to Babylon (Jer 40:1). God therefore consoles her with the promise of their restoration. Mt 2:17, 18 quotes this as fulfilled in the massacre of the innocents under Herod. "A lesser and a greater event, of different times, may answer to the single sense of one passage of Scripture, until the prophecy is exhausted" [Bengel]. Besides the temporary reference to the exiles in Babylon, the Holy Spirit foreshadowed ultimately Messiah's exile in Egypt, and the desolation caused in the neighborhood of Rachel's tomb by Herod's massacre of the children, whose mothers had "sons of sorrow" (Ben-oni), just as Rachel had. The return of Messiah (the representative of Israel) from Egypt, and the future restoration of Israel, both the literal and the spiritual (including the innocents), at the Lord's second advent, are antitypical of the restoration of Israel from Babylon, which is the ground of consolation held out here by Jeremiah. The clause, "They were not," that is, were dead (Ge 42:13), does not apply so strictly to the exiles in Babylon as it does to the history of Messiah and His people—past, present, and future. So the words, "There is hope in thine end," are to be fulfilled ultimately, when Rachel shall meet her murdered children at the resurrection, at the same time that literal Israel is to be restored. "They were not," in Hebrew, is singular; each was not: each mother at the Beth-lehem massacre had but one child to lament, as the limitation of age in Herod's order, "two years and under," implies; this use of the singular distributively (the mothers weeping severally, each for her own child), is a coincidence between the prophecy of the Beth-lehem massacre and the event, the more remarkable as not being obvious: the singular, too, is appropriate as to Messiah in His Egyptian exile, who was to be a leading object of Rachel's lamentation.

Jeremiah 31:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
Mourning Turned to Joy
14"I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people will be satisfied with My goodness," declares the LORD. 15Thus says the LORD, "A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more." 16Thus says the LORD, "Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD, "And they will return from the land of the enemy.…
Cross References
Matthew 2:18
"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Genesis 5:24
Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Genesis 37:35
All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave." So his father wept for him.

Genesis 42:13
But they replied, "Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more."

Genesis 42:36
Their father Jacob said to them, "You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!"

Joshua 18:25
Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth,

Judges 4:5
She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.

Psalm 77:2
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted.

Isaiah 10:29
They go over the pass, and say, "We will camp overnight at Geba." Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul flees.

Jeremiah 10:20
My tent is destroyed; all its ropes are snapped. My children are gone from me and are no more; no one is left now to pitch my tent or to set up my shelter.

Jeremiah 40:1
The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon.
Treasury of Scripture

Thus said the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

A.

Ezekiel 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: …

Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding …

Ramah.

Jeremiah 40:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan …

Joshua 18:25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth,

1 Samuel 7:17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he …

Matthew 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great …

refused.

Genesis 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but …

Psalm 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, …

Isaiah 22:4 Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labor …

because.

Genesis 42:13,36 And they said, Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one …

Job 7:21 And why do you not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? …

Psalm 37:36 Yet he passed away, and, see, he was not: yes, I sought him, but …

Lamentations 5:7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.

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