Jerusalem's suffering will end
1 You people who live in the Holy city of Jerusalem [APO], wake up!
Be strong again!
Show that your city is beautiful and glorious,
because ungodly foreigners who are not fit to worship God will not enter the city again.
2 People of Jerusalem, get up from sitting in the dust
and sit in places where people are honored!
You people who have returned from being exiled,
take off from your neck the chains you had when you were slaves in Babylonia,
3 because this is what Yahweh says:
“When you were taken to Babylonia,
no one paid me for doing that.
So now I can bring you back
without being required to pay for you!”
4 Yahweh our lord also says this:
“Long ago, my people went to Egypt to live there.
Now they are being oppressed by Assyria.
5 But now look at what is happening:
My people are being forced to be slaves again, this time by the people of Babylonia.
And those who have conquered them this time have also paid me nothing,
and they despise me [MTY] continually.
6 But my people will now have a close relationship with [MTY] me,
and when that happens, they will know that I am the one who predicted/promised that it would happen.
It is I, Yahweh, who will do it.
A message of encouragement for Jerusalem
7 It is a wonderful thing when a messenger [MTY] arrives on the mountains/hills,
bringing good news,
the news about God giving us peace and saving us,
the news that the God to whom we Israeli people belong is ruling!
8 The watchmen who are guarding the city will shout and sing joyfully,
because while they are watching
they will see Yahweh returning to Jerusalem.
9 The ruins of Jerusalem should start to sing joyfully,
because Yahweh will encourage his people;
he will set his people free and bring them back to Jerusalem.
10 Yahweh will enable all the nations to see his holy power.
People in the most remote places on earth will know
that God has won a great victory.
11 So, leave the places where you were taken to when you were captured,
where everything is unacceptable to God.
You men who carry the items used for the worship of Yahweh,
leave there to return to Jerusalem, and make yourselves pure in God's sight.
12 But it will not be necessary to leave suddenly,
to flee quickly,
because Yahweh will go in front of you;
and he will also protect you from being attacked at the rear while you travel.
God's suffering servant
13 God says, “Think carefully about my servant.
He will do the right things to accomplish what he wants to,
and I will highly exalt him.”
14 But many people will be appalled when they see what has happened to him.
They will beat him so badly that his appearance will be changed;
people will hardly know that he was a human.
15 But he will cause people of many nations to be surprised;
even kings will be silent when they stand before him,
because they will see someone that no one had told them about previously,
and they will understand things that they had not heard about before.