Jeremiah 31:20
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.

Berean Study Bible
Is not Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? 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.

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.

New King James Version
Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says 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 certainly have mercy on him,” declares the LORD.

NASB 1995
“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.

NASB 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.

Amplified Bible
“Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a darling and beloved child? For as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him. Therefore My affection is renewed and My heart longs for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” says the LORD.

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.

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.

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Son Aphreim is precious to me and a child beloved, because in a time when I speak of him, I am reminded of him; because of this, my compassions have been upon him, and I shall love upon him, says LORD JEHOVAH

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Ephraim is a beloved son, a pleasing child to me: for because my words are in him, I will surely remember him: therefore I made haste to help him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.

Contemporary English Version
People of Israel, you are my own dear children. Don't I love you best of all? Though I often make threats, I want you to be near me, so I will have mercy on you. I, the LORD, have spoken.

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.

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.

Good News Translation
"Israel, you are my dearest child, the one I love best. Whenever I mention your name, I think of you with love. My heart goes out to you; I will be merciful.

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.

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.

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.

Literal Standard Version
Is Ephraim a precious son to Me? A child of delights? For since My speaking against him, I still thoroughly remember him, Therefore My bowels have been moved for him, I love him greatly,” A declaration of YHWH.

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.

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.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Mourning Turned to Joy
19After I returned, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh in grief. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ 20Is not Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? 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. 21“Set up the roadmarks, establish the signposts. Keep the highway in mind, the road you have traveled. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to these cities of yours.…

Cross References
Genesis 43:30
Joseph hurried out because he was moved to tears for his brother, and he went to a private room to weep.

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

1 Kings 3:26
Then the woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she yearned with compassion for her son. "Please, my lord," she said, "give her the living baby. Do not kill him!" But the other woman said, "He will be neither mine nor yours. Cut him in two!"

Song of Solomon 5:4
My beloved put his hand to the latch; my heart pounded for him.

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

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

Isaiah 63:15
Look down from heaven and see, from Your holy and glorious habitation. Where are Your zeal and might? Your yearning and compassion for me are restrained.


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, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

Jeremiah 3:19
But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

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

for.

Deuteronomy 32:36
For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.

Judges 10:16
And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

Isaiah 57:16-18
For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made…

my bowels.

Genesis 43:30
And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.

1 Kings 3:26
Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

Song of Solomon 5:4
My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

are troubled.

Jeremiah 48:36
Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kirheres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished.

Isaiah 16:11
Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh.

Isaiah 63:15
Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?

I will.

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 57:18
I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.

Hosea 14:4
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.









(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).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Is not Ephraim
אֶפְרַ֗יִם (’ep̄·ra·yim)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 669: Ephraim -- a son of Joseph, also his descendants and their territory

a precious
יַקִּ֨יר (yaq·qîr)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 3357: Very precious, dear

son to Me,
הֲבֵן֩ (hă·ḇên)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1121: A son

a delightful
שַׁעֲשֻׁעִ֔ים (ša·‘ă·šu·‘îm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 8191: Enjoyment

child?
יֶ֣לֶד (ye·leḏ)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3206: Something born, a lad, offspring

Though I often
מִדֵּ֤י (mid·dê)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 1767: Sufficiency, enough

speak against him,
דַבְּרִי֙ (ḏab·bə·rî)
Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct | first person common singular
Strong's 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

surely I still
ע֑וֹד (‘ō·wḏ)
Adverb
Strong's 5750: Iteration, continuance, again, repeatedly, still, more

remember
זָכֹ֥ר (zā·ḵōr)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive absolute
Strong's 2142: To mark, to remember, to mention, to be male

him.
אֶזְכְּרֶ֖נּוּ (’ez·kə·ren·nū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's 2142: To mark, to remember, to mention, to be male

Therefore
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

My heart
מֵעַי֙ (mê·‘ay)
Noun - masculine plural construct | first person common singular
Strong's 4578: The intestines, the abdomen, sympathy, a vest, the stomach, the uterus, the heart

yearns for him;
הָמ֤וּ (hā·mū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 1993: To make a, loud sound, commotion, tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor

I have great compassion
רַחֵ֥ם (ra·ḥêm)
Verb - Piel - Infinitive absolute
Strong's 7355: To fondle, to love, to compassionate

for him,”
אֲ‍ֽרַחֲמֶ֖נּוּ (’ăra·ḥă·men·nū)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - first person common singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's 7355: To fondle, to love, to compassionate

declares
נְאֻם־ (nə·’um-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 5002: An oracle

the LORD.
יְהוָֽה׃ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel


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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he (Jer.)
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