Jeremiah 31:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him," declares the LORD.

New Living Translation
"Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?" says the LORD. "I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That's why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.

English Standard Version
Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the LORD.

New American Standard Bible
"Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him," declares the LORD.

King James Bible
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Isn't Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? Whenever I speak against him, I certainly still think about him. Therefore, My inner being yearns for him; I will truly have compassion on him. This is the LORD's declaration.

International Standard Version
"Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a darling child? Indeed, as often as I've spoken about him, I surely still remember him. Therefore I deeply yearn for him. I'll surely have great compassion on him," declares the LORD.

NET Bible
Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children. They are the children I take delight in. For even though I must often rebuke them, I still remember them with fondness. So I am deeply moved with pity for them and will surely have compassion on them. I, the LORD, affirm it!

New Heart English Bible
Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him," says the LORD.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? Even though I have often spoken against him, I still think fondly of him. That is why my heart longs for him, and I will certainly have compassion on him," declares the LORD.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Is Ephraim a darling son unto Me? Is he a child that is dandled? For as often as I speak of him, I do earnestly remember him still; Therefore My heart yearneth for him, I will surely have compassion upon him, saith the LORD.

New American Standard 1977
“Is Ephraim My dear son?
            Is he a delightful child?
            Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him,
            I certainly still remember him;
            Therefore My heart yearns for him;
            I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the LORD.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Peradventure is Ephraim a precious son unto me? Peradventure is he unto me a delightful child? With all this since I spoke of him, I have remembered him constantly. Therefore my bowels are troubled for him; in tenderness I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart is troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, says the LORD.

American King James Version
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy on him, said the LORD.

American Standard Version
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearneth for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Surely Ephraim is an honourable son to me, surely he is a tender child: for since I spoke of him, I will still remember him. Therefore are my bowels troubled for him: pitying I will pity him, saith the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
Is Ephraim a dear son unto me? is he a child of delights? For whilst I have been speaking against him, I do constantly remember him still. Therefore my bowels are troubled for him: I will certainly have mercy upon him, saith Jehovah.

English Revised Version
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

World English Bible
Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
A precious son is Ephraim to Me? A child of delights? For since My speaking against him, I do thoroughly remember him still, Therefore have My bowels been moved for him, I do greatly love him, An affirmation of Jehovah.
Study Bible
Mourning Turned to Joy
19For after I turned back, I repented; And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.' 20"Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him," declares the LORD. 21"Set up for yourself roadmarks, Place for yourself guideposts; Direct your mind to the highway, The way by which you went. Return, O virgin of Israel, Return to these your cities.…
Cross References
Genesis 43:30
Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there.

Judges 10:16
So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.

1 Kings 3:26
Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him." But the other said, "He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!"

Song of Solomon 5:4
"My beloved extended his hand through the opening, And my feelings were aroused for him.

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 57:18
"I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,

Isaiah 63:15
Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation; Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward me.

Jeremiah 3:12
"Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD; 'I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,' declares the LORD; 'I will not be angry forever.

Jeremiah 33:26
then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.'"

Ezekiel 33:11
"Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'
Treasury of Scripture

Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy on him, said the LORD.

Is Ephraim.

Jeremiah 32:9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, …

Jeremiah 3:19 But I said, How shall I put you among the children, and give you …

Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in …

Luke 15:24,32 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is …

for.

Deuteronomy 32:36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, …

Judges 10:16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the …

Isaiah 57:16-18 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: …

Lamentations 3:32,32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according …

Hosea 11:8,9 How shall I give you up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver you, Israel? …

my bowels.

Genesis 43:30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn on his brother: and …

1 Kings 3:26 Then spoke the woman whose the living child was to the king, for …

Songs 5:4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels …

Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels …

are troubled. Heb. sound.

Jeremiah 48:36 Therefore my heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and my heart …

Isaiah 16:11 Why my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and my inward parts …

Isaiah 63:15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of your holiness …

I will.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: …

Isaiah 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and …

Hosea 14:4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for my anger …

Micah 7:18,19 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the …

(20) Is Ephraim my dear son?--Literally, a child of delight--i.e., fondled and caressed.

Is he a pleasant child?--We have to ask whether an affirmative or negative answer is implied to these questions. On the former view, the words express the yearning of a father's heart towards the son whom he still loves in spite of all his faults. Jehovah wonders, as it were, at his affection for one who has been so rebellious. On the latter, they give prominence to the faults as having deprived him of all claim to love, even though the father's heart yearned towards the prodigal in pity. The former gives, beyond all doubt, the best meaning. In every word, whether of reproof or invitation, there was implied a loving remembrance.

For since I spake against him.--Better, As often as I speak to him. The preposition can hardly have the meaning of "against," for which Jeremiah uses different words, and implies rather (as in the "communed with" of 1Samuel 25:39; "When she shall be spoken for," Song Song of Solomon 8:8)--speaking with a view to win. By some commentators (Ewald) the word for "speak" is rendered "smite," but the ordinary rendering gives an adequate meaning. The original gives both for "earnestly remember" and "surely have mercy" the Hebrew idiom of reduplication--Remembering, I remember; pitying, I pity. The thought expressed is that Jehovah could not bring himself to utter the sentence of rejection. His love turned to the penitent who turned to Him. We have something like a foreshadowing of the love of the father of the prodigal in Luke 15:20.

Verse 20. - The Divine speaker asks, as it were in surprise, whether Ephraim, who has so flagrantly sinned against him, can really be his dear (or, precious) son, his pleasant child (literally, child of caressing, i.e. one caressed). The latter expression occurs in a remarkable passage of Isaiah (Isaiah 5:7). Since I spake against him; rather, as often as I spake against him; i.e. as often as I pronounced sentence against Ephraim - such a sentence as is recorded in Isaiah 9:8-21 (where the future tenses should he perfects) and Isaiah 28:1-4. We must remember that, with God, to speak is to perform. Often as Jehovah punished Israel, he still remembered him in love - a love which was the pledge of his future restoration to favour upon his true repentance. I do earnestly remember; rather, I verily remembered. "To remember" is the Old Testament term for providential care (comp. Genesis 8:1; Genesis 19:29). My bowels are troubled; literally, sound, moan (so Isaiah 16:11; Isaiah 63:15). Something analogous to the thrilling sensation of deep human grief is predicated of Jehovah. Such is the "humility" of the God of revelation (Psalm 18:35; comp. Hosea 11:8). Is Ephraim my dear son?.... Questions put in this form, in the Hebrew language, usually more vehemently deny; and then the sense must be, Ephraim is not my dear son: and agreeably to this all the following clauses must be interpreted; which seems quite contrary to the scope and design of the context: wherefore it seems better to render the words thus, "Is not Ephraim my dear son?" (w) yes, he is; and so is everyone that stands in the relation of children to the Lord, they are all of them his dear children, Ephesians 5:1; his beloved ones, loved by him with an everlasting love; they are "precious" to him, as the word used signifies; they are dear to him as the apple of his eye; they are highly esteemed of by him; they are his jewels and peculiar treasure: how precious they are to him appears by his parting with his own most precious Son for their sakes; by sympathizing with them under all their afflictions; by providing so largely and liberally for them; by feeding them with the most delicious food; by clothing them with the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation; by protecting them with a guard of angels, and preparing an incorruptible inheritance for them;

is he a pleasant child? or, "is he not a child of delights" (x)? verily he is: and so are all the children of God by adopting grace; they are pleasant to him for delights; they are little images of himself, in whom he is well pleased; they are lovely and comely in his sight, through the perfect comeliness of Christ, that is put upon them; their speech is comely and pleasant to him; their prayer is his delight; and especially he loves to hear them cry "Abba", Father, though they do but lisp it out; just as parents take pleasure in their children, which are images of themselves, and comely in their view; particularly when they begin to talk, and can just lisp out their names. Moreover, as the little actions of children, though there may be a great deal of childishness in them, are pleasing to their parents, so are the acts of grace and duty well pleasing to God; those of faith, hope, fear, and love, and the several duties of religion, though but imperfectly performed: and their nearness to him, and communion with him, which he indulges them with, show his delight in them; he kisses them with the kisses of his mouth; he dandles them on his knee, and comforts them, as one whom his mother comforts; he carries them in his bosom; he takes them by the hand, and teaches them to go, and lays meat before them;

for since I spake against him; in his word, and by his providences; by way of complaint, as a peevish, perverse, backsliding, and rebellious child; by way of threatening with the rod, in case of impenitence and obstinacy; by way of rebuke, though in love, for many misdemeanors and offences; and in a providential, though not in a judicial way: God has nothing against his children in a judicial way, all their sins being stoned for by Christ; but in a providential way he has many things against them for their correction and chastisement; at least which seem to be against them, though they all work together for their good. However, as he here says,

I do earnestly remember him still; or, "in remembering I will" or "do remember him still" (y); constantly as well as earnestly; God never forgets his children, though they and others may think he does; see Isaiah 49:14; he forgets their sins, but not their persons; he is ever mindful of his covenant with them, and remembers his promises to them; he remembers both his love to them, and their love to him; yea, he remembers their thoughts of him, their words concerning him, and their works done in his name, and to his glory; his dear children are had in everlasting remembrance, and are never forgotten by him;

therefore my bowels are troubled for him; sound for him, or yearn toward him; so that he did not do what he threatened, or was seemingly about to do. The phrase is expressive of great relentings, strong and melting pity in his heart, towards his his dear and delightful children; see Hosea 11:8;

I will surely have mercy on him, saith the Lord; or show mercy to him; as the Lord does to his children, by receiving them graciously upon, their return; by manifesting and applying pardoning grace; by bestowing fresh mercies and favours on them; and by bringing them safe to eternal glory and happiness.

(w) "nonne filius pretiosus mihi?" Pagninus, Montanus. (x) "nonne natus delicarum?" Montanus; "unum natus delicarum?" Schmidt. (y) "recordando recordabor ejus iterum", Schmidt; so Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin; "recordor", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. 20. Is Ephraim my dear son? etc.—The question implies that a negative answer was to be expected. Who would have thought that one so undutiful to His heavenly Father as Ephraim had been should still be regarded by God as a "pleasant child?" Certainly he was not so in respect to his sin. But by virtue of God's "everlasting love" (Jer 31:3) on Ephraim's being "turned" to God, he was immediately welcomed as God's "dear son." This verse sets forth God's readiness to welcome the penitent (Jer 31:18, 19), anticipating his return with prevenient grace and love. Compare Lu 15:20: "When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion," etc.

spake against—threatened him for his idolatry.

remember—with favor and concern, as in Ge 8:1; 30:22.

bowels … troubled for him—(De 32:36; Isa 63:15; Ho 11:8)—namely, with the yearnings of compassionate love. The "bowels" include the region of the heart, the seat of the affections.31:18-20 Ephraim (the ten tribes) is weeping for sin. He is angry at himself for his sin, and folly, and frowardness. He finds he cannot, by his own power, keep himself close with God, much less bring himself back when he is revolted. Therefore he prays, Turn thou me, and I shall be turned. His will was bowed to the will of God. When the teaching of God's Spirit went with the corrections of his providence, then the work was done. This is our comfort in affliction, that the Lord thinks upon us. God has mercy in store, rich mercy, sure mercy, suitable mercy, for all who seek him in sincerity.
Jump to Previous
Bowels Child Darling Dear Declares Delight Delightful Delights Earnestly Ephraim E'phraim Great Heart Indeed Memory Mercy Often Pleasant Remember Speak Speaking Surely Troubled Whenever Whilst Yearns
Jump to Next
Bowels Child Darling Dear Declares Delight Delightful Delights Earnestly Ephraim E'phraim Great Heart Indeed Memory Mercy Often Pleasant Remember Speak Speaking Surely Troubled Whenever Whilst Yearns
Links
Jeremiah 31:20 NIV
Jeremiah 31:20 NLT
Jeremiah 31:20 ESV
Jeremiah 31:20 NASB
Jeremiah 31:20 KJV

Jeremiah 31:20 Biblia Paralela
Jeremiah 31:20 Chinese Bible
Jeremiah 31:20 French Bible
Jeremiah 31:20 German Bible

Alphabetical: a against as certainly child compassion dear declares delight delightful Ephraim for great have he heart him I in Indeed Is LORD mercy my not often on remember son speak spoken still surely the Therefore Though whom will yearns

OT Prophets: Jeremiah 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he (Jer.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Jeremiah 31:19
Top of Page
Top of Page