3 Too bad for that disgusting, corrupt, and lawless city! 2 Forever rebellious and rejecting correction, Jerusalem refuses to trust or obey the Lord God. 3 Its officials are roaring lions, its judges are wolves; in the evening they attack, by morning nothing is left. 4 Jerusalem’s prophets are proud and not to be trusted. The priests have disgraced the place of worship and abused God’s Law. 5 All who do evil are shameless, but the Lord does right and is always fair. With the dawn of each day, God brings about justice.
6 The Lord wiped out nations and left fortresses crumbling in the dirt. Their streets and towns were reduced to ruins and emptied of people. 7 God felt certain that Jerusalem would learn to respect and obey him. Then he would hold back from punishing the city and not wipe it out. But everyone there was eager to start sinning again.
Nations Will Turn to the Lord
8 The Lord said: Just wait for the day when I accuse you nations. I have decided on a day, when I will bring together every nation and kingdom and punish them all in my fiery anger. I will become furious and destroy the earth.
9 I will purify each language and make those languages acceptable for praising me.[a] Then, with hearts united, everyone will serve only me, the Lord. 10 From across the rivers of Ethiopia,[b] my scattered people, my true worshipers, will bring offerings to me.
11 When that time comes, you won’t rebel against me and be put to shame. I’ll do away with those who are proud and arrogant. Never will any of them strut around on my holy mountain. 12 But I, the Lord, won’t destroy any of your people who are truly humble and turn to me for safety. 13 The people of Israel who survive will live right and refuse to tell lies. They will eat and rest with nothing to fear.
A Song of Celebration
14 Everyone in Jerusalem and Judah, celebrate and shout with all your heart! 15 Zion, your punishment is over. The Lord has forced your enemies to turn and retreat. Your Lord is King of Israel and stands at your side; you don’t have to worry about any more troubles.
16 Jerusalem, the time is coming, when it will be said to you: “Don’t be discouraged or grow weak from fear! 17 The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.”[c]
The Lord’s Promise to His People
18 The Lord has promised: Your sorrow has ended, and you can celebrate.[d] 19 I will punish those who mistreat you. I will bring together the lame and the outcasts, then they will be praised, instead of despised, in every country on earth. 20 I will lead you home, and with your own eyes you will see me bless you with all you once owned. Then you will be famous everywhere on this earth. I, the Lord, have spoken!
3.9I will. . . praising me: Or “I will change the hearts of all people and make them fit for praising me.”
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