Sinful Jerusalem
1Too bad for that disgusting,
corrupt, and lawless city!
2Forever rebellious
and rejecting correction,
Jerusalem refuses to trust
or obey the Lord God.
3Its officials are roaring lions,
its judges are wolves;
in the evening they attack,
by morning nothing is left.
4Jerusalem's prophets are proud
and not to be trusted.
The priests have disgraced
the place of worship
and abused God's Law.
5All who do evil are shameless,
but the Lord does right
and is always fair.
With the dawn of each day,
God brings about justice.
6The Lord wiped out nations
and left fortresses
crumbling in the dirt.
Their streets and towns
were reduced to ruins
and emptied of people.
7God felt certain that Jerusalem
would learn to respect
and obey him.
Then he would hold back
from punishing the city
and not wipe it out.
But everyone there was eager
to start sinning again.
Nations Will Turn to the Lord
8The Lord said:
Just wait for the day
when I accuse you nations.
I have decided on a day,
when I will bring together
every nation and kingdom
and punish them all
in my fiery anger.
I will become furious
and destroy the earth.
9I will purify each language
and make those languages
acceptable for praising me.#3.9 I will … praising me: Or “I will change the hearts of all people and make them fit for praising me.”
Then, with hearts united,
everyone will serve
only me, the Lord.
10From across the rivers
of Ethiopia,#3.10 Ethiopia: See the note at 2.12.
my scattered people,
my true worshipers,
will bring offerings to me.
11When that time comes,
you won't rebel against me
and be put to shame.
I'll do away with those
who are proud and arrogant.
Never will any of them
strut around
on my holy mountain.
12But I, the Lord, won't destroy
any of your people
who are truly humble
and turn to me for safety.
13 # Rev 14.5. The people of Israel who survive
will live right
and refuse to tell lies.
They will eat and rest
with nothing to fear.
A Song of Celebration
14Everyone in Jerusalem and Judah,
celebrate and shout
with all your heart!
15Zion, your punishment is over.
The Lord has forced your enemies
to turn and retreat.
Your Lord is King of Israel
and stands at your side;
you don't have to worry
about any more troubles.
16Jerusalem, the time is coming,
when it will be said to you:
“Don't be discouraged
or grow weak from fear!
17The Lord your God
wins victory after victory
and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings
because of you,
and he will refresh your life
with his love.”#3.17 refresh … love: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “silently show you his love.”
The Lord's Promise to His People
18The Lord has promised:
Your sorrow has ended,
and you can celebrate.#3.18 celebrate: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
19I will punish those
who mistreat you.
I will bring together the lame
and the outcasts,
then they will be praised,
instead of despised,
in every country on earth.
20I will lead you home,
and with your own eyes
you will see me bless you
with all you once owned.
Then you will be famous
everywhere on this earth.
I, the Lord, have spoken!