“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west. I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and just toward them as their God.
“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Be strong and finish the task! Ever since the laying of the foundation of the Temple of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, you have heard what the prophets have been saying about completing the building. Before the work on the Temple began, there were no jobs and no money to hire people or animals. No traveler was safe from the enemy, for there were enemies on all sides. I had turned everyone against each other.
“But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!
“For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid.