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!
New International Version
The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem
8 The word of the Lord Almighty came to me.
2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous(A) for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.”
3 This is what the Lord says: “I will return(B) to Zion(C) and dwell in Jerusalem.(D) Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City,(E) and the mountain(F) of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.(G)”
4 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem,(H) each of them with cane in hand because of their age. 5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.(I)”
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west.(L) 8 I will bring them back(M) to live(N) in Jerusalem; they will be my people,(O) and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.(P)”
9 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Now hear these words, ‘Let your hands be strong(Q) so that the temple may be built.’ This is also what the prophets(R) said who were present when the foundation(S) was laid for the house of the Lord Almighty. 10 Before that time there were no wages(T) for people or hire for animals. No one could go about their business safely(U) because of their enemies, since I had turned everyone against their neighbor. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,”(V) declares the Lord Almighty.
12 “The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit,(W) the ground will produce its crops,(X) and the heavens will drop their dew.(Y) I will give all these things as an inheritance(Z) to the remnant of this people.(AA) 13 Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse[a](AB) among the nations, so I will save(AC) you, and you will be a blessing.[b](AD) Do not be afraid,(AE) but let your hands be strong.(AF)”
14 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Just as I had determined to bring disaster(AG) on you and showed no pity when your ancestors angered me,” says the Lord Almighty, 15 “so now I have determined to do good(AH) again to Jerusalem and Judah.(AI) Do not be afraid. 16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth(AJ) to each other, and render true and sound judgment(AK) in your courts;(AL) 17 do not plot evil(AM) against each other, and do not love to swear falsely.(AN) I hate all this,” declares the Lord.
18 The word of the Lord Almighty came to me.
19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth,(AO) fifth,(AP) seventh(AQ) and tenth(AR) months will become joyful(AS) and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth(AT) and peace.”
20 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, 21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat(AU) the Lord and seek(AV) the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ 22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.”(AW)
23 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”(AX)