Zephaniah 3

Zephaniah 3

Jerusalem Will Be Punished
1How terrible for the wicked, stubborn city of Jerusalem,
which hurts its own people.
2It obeys no voice;
it can’t be taught to do right.
It doesn’t trust the Lord;
it doesn’t worship its God.
3Its officers are like roaring lions.
Its rulers are like hungry wolves that attack in the evening,
and in the morning nothing is left of those they attacked.
4Its prophets are proud;
they are people who cannot be trusted.
Its priests don’t respect holy things;
they break God’s teachings.
5But the Lord is good, and he is there in that city.
He does no wrong.
Every morning he governs the people fairly;
every day he can be trusted.
But evil people are not ashamed of what they do.
6“I have destroyed nations;
their towers were ruined.
I made their streets empty
so no one goes there anymore.
Their cities are ruined;
no one lives there at all.
7I said, ‘Surely now Jerusalem will respect me
and will accept my teaching.’
Then the place where they lived would not be destroyed,
and I would not have to punish them.
But they were still eager
to do evil in everything they did.
8Just wait,” says the Lord.
“Someday I will stand up as a witness.
I have decided that I will gather nations
and assemble kingdoms.
I will pour out my anger on them,
all my strong anger.
My anger will be like fire
that will burn up the whole world.
A New Day for God’s People
9“Then I will give the people of all nations pure speech
so that all of them will speak the name of the Lord
and worship me together.
10People will come from where the Nile River begins;
my scattered people will come with gifts for me.
11Then Jerusalem will not be ashamed
of the wrongs done against me,
because I will remove from this city
those who like to brag;
there will never be any more proud people
on my holy mountain in Jerusalem.
12But I will leave in the city
the humble and those who are not proud,
and they will trust in the Lord.
13Those who are left alive in Israel won’t do wrong or tell lies;
they won’t trick people with their words.
They will eat and lie down
with no one to make them afraid.”
A Happy Song
14Sing, Jerusalem.
Israel, shout for joy!
Jerusalem, be happy
and rejoice with all your heart.
15The Lord has stopped punishing you;
he has sent your enemies away.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is with you;
you will never again be afraid of being harmed.
16On that day Jerusalem will be told,
“Don’t be afraid, city of Jerusalem.
Don’t give up.
17The Lord your God is with you;
the mighty One will save you.
He will rejoice over you.
You will rest in his love;
he will sing and be joyful about you.”
18“I will take away the sadness planned for you,
which would have made you very ashamed.
19At that time I will punish
all those who harmed you.
I will save my people who cannot walk
and gather my people who have been thrown out.
I will give them praise and honor
in every place where they were shamed.
20At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you back home.
I will give you honor and praise
from people everywhere
when I make things go well again for you,
as you will see with your own eyes,” says the Lord.

The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

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