Zephaniah 3 New Life Version (NLV)
3 It is bad for her who does not obey and is unclean, the city who makes it hard for the people! 2 She does not listen to anyone and will not be taught. She did not trust in the Lord. She does not come near to her God. 3 Her leaders are lions that make a loud noise. Her judges are wolves at evening. They leave nothing for the morning. 4 Her men who tell what is going to happen in the future are proud and cannot be trusted. Her religious leaders have made the holy place unclean. They have turned in anger against the Law. 5 The Lord within her is right and good. He will be fair and do nothing wrong. Every morning He brings to light what is fair. Every new day He is faithful. But the one who does wrong knows no shame. 6 “I have cut off nations. Their towers are destroyed. I have laid waste their streets so that no one walks in them. Their cities are laid waste, and no one lives in them. 7 I said, ‘For sure you will honor Me with fear and receive teaching.’ Then her place would not be destroyed and she would not be punished as I had planned. But they were quick to make all their works sinful.
8 “So wait for Me,” says the Lord, “for the day when I stand up to speak. I have decided to gather nations together to pour My burning anger upon them. All the earth will be destroyed by the fire of My jealous anger. 9 Then I will make the lips of the people pure. And all of them will call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder. 10 Those who worship Me and have been driven away will bring My gifts in worship from the other side of the rivers of Ethiopia. 11 On that day you will not be put to shame because of all the works you have done against Me. For then I will take away all your people who find joy in their pride. And you will never be proud again on My holy mountain. 12 But I will leave among you people who are not proud, and they will be safe in the name of the Lord. 13 The people of Israel who are left will do no wrong and tell no lies. A lying tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down with no one to make them afraid.”
A Song of Joy
14 Sing, O people of Zion! Call out, O Israel! Have joy and be happy with all your heart, O people of Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has taken away your punishment. He has taken away those who hate you. The King of Israel, the Lord, is with you. You will not be afraid of trouble any more. 16 On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not be afraid, O Zion. Do not let your hands lose their strength. 17 The Lord your God is with you, a Powerful One Who wins the battle. He will have much joy over you. With His love He will give you new life. He will have joy over you with loud singing. 18 I will gather those who have sorrow for the special days, and take away their shame. 19 At that time I will punish all those who made it hard for you. I will save those who cannot walk and gather those who have been driven away. And I will turn their shame into praise. They will be known all over the earth. 20 At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you together. I will make you known all over the earth, and all the nations will praise you, when I return your riches before your eyes,” says the Lord.