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I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed ° to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

31:18 Thou hast chastised me. Note the picture of restoration after backsliding (note Jeremiah 31:22) as presented in these verses. “Ephraim” represents the ten tribes of the northern kingdom whose rebellious wickedness had finally caused them to be carried into captivity by Assyria. Yet God still loved them (Jeremiah 31:20), and eventually, at the second coming of their Messiah, they will acknowledge Him, though with great mourning (see Zechariah 12:10–13:1; also Romans 11:26-27).

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