1 WOE TO her that is rebellious and polluted, the oppressing city [Jerusalem]!
2 She did not listen to and heed the voice [of God]; she accepted no correction or instruction; she trusted not in the Lord [nor leaned on or was confident in Him, but was confident in her own wealth]; she drew not near to her God [but to the god of Baal or Molech].
3 Her officials in the midst of her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones on the morrow, for nothing is left by morning.
4 Her prophets are light [lacking truth, gravity, and steadiness] and men of treachery; her priests have profaned the sanctuary; [defrauding God and man by pretending their own word is God's word] they have done violence to the law. [Jer. 23:11; Ezek. 22:26; Hos. 9:7.]
5 The Lord in the midst of her is [uncompromisingly] righteous; He will not do iniquity. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He fails not, but the unjust [person] knows no shame.
6 I [the Lord] have cut off nations; their battlements and corner towers are desolate and in ruins. I laid their streets waste so that none passes over them; their cities are destroyed so that there is no man, there is no inhabitant.
7 I said, Only let her [reverently and worshipfully] fear Me, receive correction and instruction, and [Jerusalem's] dwelling shall not be cut off. However, I have punished her [according to all that I have appointed concerning her in the way of punishment], but all the more they are eager to make all their doings corrupt and infamous.
8 Therefore [earnestly] wait for Me, says the Lord, [waiting] for the day when I rise up to the attack [as a witness, accuser, or judge, and a testimony]. For My decision and determination and right it is to gather the nations together, to assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them My indignation, even all [the heat of] My fierce anger; for [in that day] all the earth shall be consumed with the fire of My zeal and jealousy.
9 For then [changing their impure language] I will give to the people a clear and pure speech from pure lips, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one unanimous consent and one united shoulder [bearing the yoke of the Lord].
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush or Ethiopia those who pray to Me, the daughter of My dispersed people, will bring and present My offering.
11 In that day you [the congregation of Israel] shall not be put to shame for all your deeds by which you have rebelled and transgressed against Me, for then I will take away out of your midst those who exult in your majesty and pride; and you shall no more be haughty [and carry yourselves arrogantly on or] because of My holy mountain.
12 For I will leave in the midst of you a people afflicted and poor, and they shall trust, seek refuge, and be confident in the name of the Lord.
13 What is left of Israel shall not do iniquity or speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth, for they shall feed and lie down and none shall make them afraid.
14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice, be in high spirits and glory with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem [in that day].
15 [For then it will be that] the Lord has taken away the judgments against you; He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, even the Lord [Himself], is in the midst of you; [and after He has come to you] you shall not experience or fear evil any more.
16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not, O Zion. Let not your hands sink down or be slow and listless.
17 The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
18 I will gather those belonging to you [those Israelites in captivity] who yearn and grieve for the solemn assembly [and the festivals], on whom [their exile and inability to attend services at Jerusalem have brought derision and] the reproach of it is a burden.
19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all those who afflict you; I will save the limping [ones] and gather the outcasts and will make them a praise and a name in every land of their shame. [Mic. 4:6, 7.]
20 At that time I will bring you in; yes, at that time I will gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all the nations of the earth when I reverse your captivity before your eyes, says the Lord.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation