4 In the last days the mountain on which the Lord’s Temple stands will become the most important of all mountains. It will be raised above the hills. People from other nations will come streaming to it. 2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord. Let us go to the Temple of the God of Jacob! Then God will teach us his ways. And we will obey his teachings.” The Lord’s teachings will go out from Jerusalem. The word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem. 3 The Lord will settle arguments among many nations. He will decide between strong nations that are far away. Then the nations will make their swords into plows. They will make their spears into hooks for trimming trees. Nations will no longer fight other nations. They will not even train for war anymore. 4 Everyone will sit under his own vine and fig tree. No one will make him afraid. This is because the Lord of heaven’s armies has said it. 5 All other nations follow their own gods. But we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.
6 The Lord says, “At that time,
I will bring back to me the crippled. I will bring back to Jerusalem those who were sent away. I will bring back to me those who were hurt. 7 I will keep alive those who were crippled. I will make a strong nation of those who were sent away. The Lord will be their king in Mount Zion forever. 8 And you, watchtower of the flocks,[a] strong city of Jerusalem, you will be a kingdom as in the past. Jerusalem, the right to rule will come again to you.”
Why the Israelites Must Go to Babylon
9 Now, why do you cry so loudly? Is your king gone? Have you lost your leader? You are in pain like a woman trying to give birth. 10 People of Jerusalem, be in pain. Be like a woman trying to give birth. Now you must leave the city and live in the field. You will go to Babylon. But you will be saved from that place. The Lord will go there and take you back from your enemies.
11 But now many nations have come to fight against you. They say, “Let’s destroy Jerusalem and be proud we have defeated her.” 12 But they don’t know what the Lord is thinking. They don’t understand his plan for them. He will crush them like a bundle of grain on the threshing floor.
13 “Get up and crush them, people of Jerusalem. I will make you strong as if you had horns of iron. I will make you strong as if you had hooves of bronze. You will beat many nations into small pieces. You will give their wealth to the Lord. You will give their treasure to the Lord of all the earth.”
4:8watchtower . . . flocks This probably means a part of Jerusalem. The leaders would be like shepherds in a tower watching their sheep.
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