The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem
1 This is a message from the LORD All-Powerful. 2 The LORD All-Powerful says, “I have a very strong love for Mount Zion. I love her so much that I became angry when she was not faithful to me.” 3 The LORD says, “I have come back to Zion, and I am living in Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called Faithful City. The mountain of the LORD All-Powerful will be called Holy Mountain.”
4 The LORD All-Powerful says, “Old men and women will again be seen in the public places in Jerusalem. People will live so long that they will need their walking sticks. 5 And the city will be filled with children playing in the streets.” 6 The LORD All-Powerful says, “The survivors will think it is wonderful, and so will I!”
7 The LORD All-Powerful says, “Look, I am rescuing my people from countries in the east and west. 8 I will bring them back here, and they will live in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be their good and faithful God.”
9 The LORD All-Powerful says, “Be strong! You people are hearing the same message today that the prophets gave when the LORD All-Powerful first laid the foundations to rebuild his Temple. 10 Before that time, people didn’t have the money to hire workers or to rent animals. And it was not safe for people to come and go. There was no relief from all the troubles. I had turned everyone against their neighbor. 11 But it is not like that now. It will not be like that for the survivors.” This is what the LORD All-Powerful said.
12 “These people will plant in peace. Their grapevines will produce grapes. The land will give good crops, and the skies will give rain. I will give all these things to my people. 13 People began using the names Israel and Judah in their curses. But I will save Israel and Judah, and their names will become a blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong!”
14 The LORD All-Powerful says, “Your ancestors made me angry, so I decided to destroy them. I decided not to change my mind.” This is what the LORD All-Powerful said. 15 “But now I have changed my mind. And in the same way I have decided to be good to Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid! 16 But you must do this: Tell the truth to your neighbors. When you make decisions in your cities, be fair and do what is right. Do what brings peace. 17 Don’t make secret plans to hurt your neighbors. Don’t make false promises. You must not enjoy doing these things, because I hate them!” This is what the LORD said.
18 I received this message from the LORD All-Powerful. 19 The LORD All-Powerful says, “You have special days of sadness and fasting in the fourth month, the fifth month, the seventh month, and the tenth month.* days … month These were days when the people remembered the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. See 2 Kings 25:1-25 and Jeremiah 41:1-17; 52:1-12. These days of sadness must be changed into days of happiness. They will be good and happy festivals. And you must love truth and peace.”
20 The LORD All-Powerful says,
“In the future, people from many cities will come to Jerusalem.
21 People from different cities will greet each other and say,
‘We are going to worship the LORD All-Powerful.’
And the other person will say,
‘I would like to go with you!’ ”
22 Many people and many powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to find the LORD All-Powerful and to worship him. 23 The LORD All-Powerful says, “At that time many foreigners speaking different languages will come to a Jewish man, take hold of the hem of his robe, and ask, ‘We heard that God is with you. Can we come with you to worship him?’ ”