Contemporary English Version
The Lord’s Promises to Zion
8 The Lord All-Powerful said to me:
2 I love Zion so much that her enemies make me angry. 3 I will return to Jerusalem and live there on Mount Zion. Then Jerusalem will be known as my faithful city, and Zion will be known as my holy mountain.
4 Very old people with walking sticks will once again sit around in Jerusalem, 5 while boys and girls play in the streets. 6 This may seem impossible for my people who are left, but it isn’t impossible for me, the Lord All-Powerful. 7 I will save those who were taken to lands in the east and the west, 8 and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be their God, faithful to bring about justice.
9 I am the Lord All-Powerful! So don’t give up. Think about the message my prophets spoke when the foundation of my temple was laid. 10 Before that time, neither people nor animals were rewarded for their work, and no one was safe anywhere, because I had turned them against each other.
11 My people, only a few of you are left, and I promise not to punish you as I did before. 12 Instead, I will make sure that your crops are planted in peace and your vineyards are fruitful, that your fields are fertile and the dew falls from the sky. 13 People of Judah and Israel, you have been a curse to the nations, but I will save you and make you a blessing to them. So don’t be afraid or lose courage.
14 When your ancestors made me angry, I decided to punish you with disasters, and I didn’t hold back. 15 Now you no longer need to be afraid. I have decided to treat Jerusalem and Judah with kindness. 16 But you must be truthful with each other, and in court you must give fair decisions that lead to peace. 17 Don’t ever plan evil things against others or tell lies under oath. I, the Lord, hate such things.
A Time of Celebration
18 The Lord All-Powerful told me to say:
19 People of Judah, I, the Lord, demand that whenever you go without food as a way of worshiping me, it should become a time of celebration. No matter if it’s the fourth month, the fifth month, the seventh month, or the tenth month, you should have a joyful festival. So love truth and live at peace.
20 I tell you that people will come here from cities everywhere. 21 Those of one town will go to another and say, “We’re going to ask the Lord All-Powerful to treat us with kindness. Come and join us.”
22 Many people from strong nations will come to Jerusalem to worship me and to ask me to treat them with kindness. 23 When this happens, ten people from nations with different languages will grab a Jew by his clothes and say, “Let us go with you. We’ve heard that God is on your side.” I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!