New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Zion, the Royal City of God
2 [a]In days to come,
The mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it.(A)
3 Many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”(B)
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 [b]He shall judge between the nations,
and set terms for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;(C)
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.(D)
- 2:2–22 These verses contain two very important oracles, one on the pilgrimage of nations to Mount Zion (vv. 2–4—completed with an invitation to the “house of Jacob,” v. 5), the other on the day of the Lord (see note on Am 5:18), which was probably composed from at least two earlier pieces. Whereas vv. 6–8 indict Judah for trust in superstitious practices and human resources rather than in the Lord, the following verses are directed against humankind in general and emphasize the effect of the “day of the Lord,” the humbling of human pride. This may be taken as a precondition for the glorious vision of vv. 2–4. This vision of Zion’s glorious future, which is also found in a slightly variant form in Mi 4:1–4, is rooted in the early Zion tradition, cultivated in the royal cult in Jerusalem. It celebrated God’s choice of Jerusalem as the divine dwelling place, along with God’s choice of the Davidic dynasty (Ps 68:16–17; 78:67–72; 132:13–18). Highest mountain: the Zion tradition followed earlier mythological conceptions that associate the abode of deities with very high mountains (Ps 48:2–3). The lifting of Mount Zion is a metaphor for universal recognition of the Lord’s authority.
- 2:4 Once the nations acknowledge God as sovereign, they go up to Jerusalem to settle their disputes, rather than having recourse to war.