8 Again the Lord’s message came to me:
2 The Lord Almighty says, “I am greatly concerned—yes, furiously angry—because of all that Jerusalem’s enemies have done to her. 3 Now I am going to return to my land, and I, myself, will live within Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem shall be called ‘The Faithful City,’ and ‘The Holy Mountain,’ and ‘The Mountain of the Lord Almighty.’”
4 The Lord Almighty declares that Jerusalem will have peace and prosperity so long that there will once again be aged men and women hobbling through her streets on canes, 5 and the streets will be filled with boys and girls at play.
6 The Lord says, “This seems unbelievable to you—a remnant, small, discouraged as you are—but it is no great thing for me. 7 You can be sure that I will rescue my people from east and west, wherever they are scattered. 8 I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem, and they will be my people, and I will be their God, just and true and yet forgiving them their sins!”[a]
9 The Lord Almighty says, “Get on with the job and finish it! You have been listening long enough! For since you began laying the foundation of the Temple, the prophets have been telling you about the blessings that await you when it’s finished. 10 Before the work began there were no jobs, no wages, no security; if you left the city, there was no assurance you would ever return, for crime was rampant.
11 “But it is all so different now!” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “For I am sowing peace and prosperity among you. Your crops will prosper; the grapevines will be weighted down with fruit; the ground will be fertile, with plenty of rain; all these blessings will be given to the people left in the land. 13 ‘May you be as poor as Judah,’ the heathen used to say to those they cursed! But no longer! For now Judah is a word of blessing, not a curse. ‘May you be as prosperous and happy as Judah is,’ they’ll say. So don’t be afraid or discouraged! Get on with rebuilding the Temple! 14-15 If you do, I will certainly bless you. And don’t think that I might change my mind. I did what I said I would when your fathers angered me and I promised to punish them, and I won’t change this decision of mine to bless you. 16 Here is your part: Tell the truth. Be fair. Live at peace with everyone. 17 Don’t plot harm to others; don’t swear that something is true when it isn’t! How I hate all that sort of thing!” says the Lord.
18 Here is another message that came to me from the Lord Almighty:
19 “The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in July, August, October, and January[b] are ended. They will be changed to joyous festivals if you love truth and peace! 20-21 People from around the world will come on pilgrimages and pour into Jerusalem from many foreign cities to attend these celebrations. People will write their friends in other cities and say, ‘Let’s go to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us and be merciful to us. I’m going! Please come with me. Let’s go now!’ 22 Yes, many people, even strong nations, will come to the Lord Almighty in Jerusalem to ask for his blessing and help. 23 In those days ten men from ten different nations will clutch at the coat sleeves of one Jew and say, ‘Please be my friend, for I know that God is with you.’”