“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.”
“Refrain your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,” says Yahweh.
“They will come again from the land of the enemy.
There is hope for your latter end,” says Yahweh.
“Your children will come again to their own territory.
God talks so much about His intentions to restore Israel that it’s almost exhausting. This book is about a prophet that was sent to warn Israel about the fact that they were about to be punished and destroyed as a nation, yet it talks so much about the restoration of Israel, that I am forced to bring it up over and over again. I am guessing that I have brought this subject up about ten times in Jeremiah, and we are only about half way through the book.
Here, God is quoted as talking about Rachel weeping for her children. One interesting thing that I realized about Rachel’s children is that they were only two or sometimes three of the 12 tribes of Israel. One of them was Joseph which was often split into the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh and the other was Benjamin. Another interesting fact is that the families of these two children were separated from each other when the nation split. Joseph’s children went to the northern kingdom of Israel and Benjamin’s children ended up with the children of Judah in the southern kingdom. The fact that God mentions Rachel weeping for her children implies that both the southern and northern kingdoms are destroyed.
God also is quoted as saying that Rachel should stop crying. He mentions that her work will be rewarded. It is interesting that Rachel died after giving birth to her second son Benjamin. I am not sure but perhaps the work that God is referring to here is Rachel’s difficulty getting pregnant and when she finally was pregnant, it was hard as well. The Bible is very clear that hard work brings a profit and God appears to be recognizing the hard work of motherhood. It’s important that women realize that God knows, recognizes and honors the differences between men and women. I believe that the Bible is clear that motherhood represents a part of God’s own work.
Perhaps, the most important thing to recognize about this short passage is how many times it mentions that it was spoken by God. It says: “Yahweh says” two times and “says Yahweh” two times. It’s pretty obvious what God’s will is when He makes it so clear isn’t it? If you ever are wondering what God’s will is, you might consider the fact that God wants Israel to become a great nation. Praying for Israel is a very wise thing to do.