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, and 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, to the Temple of the God of Jacob, so that he can teach us his ways, and we can obey his teachings.” His teachings will go out from Jerusalem, the word of the Lord from that city. 3 The Lord will judge many nations; he will make decisions about strong nations that are far away. They will hammer their swords into plow blades and their spears into hooks for trimming trees. Nations will no longer raise swords against other nations; they will not train for war anymore. 4 Everyone will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and no one will make him afraid, because the Lord All-Powerful has said it. 5 All other nations may follow their own gods, but we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.
6 The Lord says, “At that time,
I will gather the crippled; I will bring together those who were sent away, those whom I caused to have trouble. 7 I will keep alive those who were crippled, and I will make a strong nation of those who were sent away. The Lord will be their king in Mount Zion from now on and forever. 8 And you, watchtower of the flocks,[a] hill of Jerusalem, to you will come the 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 helper, so that you are in pain, like a woman trying to give birth? 10 People of Jerusalem, strain and be in pain. Be like a woman trying to give birth, because 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 buy you back from your enemies.
11 But now many nations have come to fight against you, saying, “Let’s destroy Jerusalem. We will look at her and be glad we have defeated her.” 12 But they don’t know what the Lord is thinking; they don’t understand his plan. He has gathered them like bundles of grain to the threshing floor.
13 “Get up and beat them, people of Jerusalem. I will make you strong as if you had horns of iron and hoofs of bronze. You will beat many nations into small pieces and give their wealth to the Lord, 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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