4 In the future 1 the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all; 2
it will be more prominent than other hills. 3
People will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come, saying,
“Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain,
to the temple 4 of Jacob’s God,
so he can teach us his commands 5
and we can live by his laws.” 6
For Zion will be the source of instruction;
the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem. 7
3 He will arbitrate 8 between many peoples
and settle disputes between many 9 distant nations. 10
They will beat their swords into plowshares, 11
and their spears into pruning hooks. 12
Nations will not use weapons 13 against other nations,
and they will no longer train for war.
4 Each will sit under his own grapevine
or under his own fig tree without any fear. 14
The Lord who commands armies has decreed it. 15
5 Though all the nations follow their respective gods, 16
we will follow 17 the Lord our God forever.
6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I will gather the lame,
and assemble the outcasts whom I injured. 18
7 I will transform the lame into the nucleus of a new nation, 19
and those far off 20 into a mighty nation.
The Lord will reign over them on Mount Zion,
from that day forward and forevermore.” 21
8 As for you, watchtower for the flock, 22
fortress of Daughter Zion 23 –
your former dominion will be restored, 24
the sovereignty that belongs to Daughter Jerusalem.
9 Jerusalem, why are you 25 now shouting so loudly? 26
Has your king disappeared? 27
Has your wise leader 28 been destroyed?
Is this why 29 pain grips 30 you as if you were a woman in labor?
10 Twist and strain, 31 Daughter Zion, as if you were in labor!
For you will leave the city
and live in the open field.
You will go to Babylon,
but there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will deliver 32 you
from the power 33 of your enemies.
11 Many nations have now assembled against you.
They say, “Jerusalem must be desecrated, 34
so we can gloat over Zion!” 35
12 But they do not know what the Lord is planning;
they do not understand his strategy.
He has gathered them like stalks of grain to be threshed 36 at the threshing floor.
13 “Get up and thresh, Daughter Zion!
For I will give you iron horns; 37
I will give you bronze hooves,
and you will crush many nations.” 38
You will devote to the Lord the spoils you take from them,
and dedicate their wealth to the sovereign Ruler 39 of the whole earth. 40
5 1 But now slash yourself, 2 daughter surrounded by soldiers! 3
We are besieged!
With a scepter 4 they strike Israel’s ruler 5
on the side of his face.
2 As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, 6
seemingly insignificant 7 among the clans of Judah –
from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, 8
one whose origins 9 are in the distant past. 10
3 So the Lord 11 will hand the people of Israel 12 over to their enemies 13
until the time when the woman in labor 14 gives birth. 15
Then the rest of the king’s 16 countrymen will return
to be reunited with the people of Israel. 17
4 He will assume his post 18 and shepherd the people 19 by the Lord’s strength,
by the sovereign authority of the Lord his God. 20
They will live securely, 21 for at that time he will be honored 22
even in the distant regions of 23 the earth.
5 He will give us peace. 24
Should the Assyrians try to invade our land
and attempt to set foot in our fortresses, 25
we will send 26 against them seven 27 shepherd-rulers, 28
make that eight commanders. 29
6 They will rule 30 the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod 31 with a drawn sword. 32
Our king 33 will rescue us from the Assyrians
should they attempt to invade our land
and try to set foot in our territory.
7 Those survivors from 34 Jacob will live 35
in the midst of many nations. 36
They will be like the dew the Lord sends,
like the rain on the grass,
that does not hope for men to come
or wait around for humans to arrive. 37
8 Those survivors from Jacob will live among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples.
They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
which attacks when it passes through;
it rips its prey 38 and there is no one to stop it. 39
9 Lift your hand triumphantly against your adversaries; 40
may all your enemies be destroyed! 41
10 “In that day,” says the Lord,
“I will destroy 42 your horses from your midst,
and smash your chariots.
11 I will destroy the cities of your land,
and tear down all your fortresses.
12 I will remove the sorcery 43 that you practice, 44
and you will no longer have omen readers living among you. 45
13 I will remove your idols and sacred pillars from your midst;
you will no longer worship what your own hands made.
14 I will uproot your images of Asherah 46 from your midst,
and destroy your idols. 47
15 I will angrily seek vengeance
on the nations that do not obey me.” 48
6 Listen to what the Lord says:
“Get up! Defend yourself 1 before the mountains! 2
Present your case before the hills!” 3
2 Hear the Lord’s accusation, you mountains,
you enduring foundations of the earth!
For the Lord has a case against his people;
he has a dispute with Israel! 4
3 “My people, how have I wronged you? 5
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 In fact, I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
I delivered you from that place of slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you. 6
5 My people, recall how King Balak of Moab planned to harm you, 7
how Balaam son of Beor responded to him.
Recall how you journeyed from Shittim to Gilgal,
so you might acknowledge that the Lord has treated you fairly.” 8
6 With what should I 9 enter the Lord’s presence?
With what 10 should I bow before the sovereign God? 11
Should I enter his presence with burnt offerings,
with year-old calves?
7 Will the Lord accept a thousand rams,
or ten thousand streams of olive oil?
Should I give him my firstborn child as payment for my rebellion,
my offspring – my own flesh and blood – for my sin? 12
8 He has told you, O man, what is good,
and what the Lord really wants from you: 13
He wants you to 14 promote 15 justice, to be faithful, 16
and to live obediently before 17 your God.
9 Listen! The Lord is calling 18 to the city!
It is wise to respect your authority, O Lord! 19
Listen, O nation, and those assembled in the city! 20
10 “I will not overlook, 21 O sinful house, the dishonest gain you have hoarded away, 22
or the smaller-than-standard measure I hate so much. 23
11 I do not condone the use of rigged scales,
or a bag of deceptive weights. 24
12 The city’s rich men think nothing of resorting to violence; 25
her inhabitants lie, 26
their tongues speak deceptive words. 27
13 I will strike you brutally 28
and destroy you because of your sin.
14 You will eat, but not be satisfied.
Even if you have the strength 29 to overtake some prey, 30
you will not be able to carry it away; 31
if you do happen to carry away something,
I will deliver it over to the sword.
15 You will plant crops, but will not harvest them;
you will squeeze oil from the olives, 32 but you will have no oil to rub on your bodies; 33
you will squeeze juice from the grapes, but you will have no wine to drink. 34
16 You implement the regulations of Omri,
and all the practices of Ahab’s dynasty; 35
you follow their policies. 36
Therefore I will make you an appalling sight, 37
the city’s 38 inhabitants will be taunted derisively, 39
and nations will mock all of you.” 40