Yahweh promised that his people would return to Jerusalem
1 Yahweh says, “You people of Jerusalem, start to sing!
You who are like [MET] women who have never given birth to children, sing loudly and shout joyfully,
because your women will soon have more children
than other women who have never had any children.
2 Make your tents larger;
make it wider,
and fasten the tent firmly with tent pegs.
3 You will need to make your city much larger
because soon you and your descendants will spread all over the land.
They will force the people of other nations who now live in your cities to leave,
and you will live again in your cities that were abandoned.
4 Do not be afraid; you will no longer be ashamed.
Previously you were ashamed because your enemies conquered you
and caused many of your women to become widows,
but soon you will not even remember that.
5 I, Yahweh, your Supreme Commander, the Holy one of Israel, who rules over the whole earth,
the one who created you,
will be like [MET] a husband to you.
6 You were like a woman whose husband left her,
and caused you to be very sad;
you were like a young woman who
got married when she was very young,
and then her husband abandoned her.
7 I abandoned you people of Jerusalem for a while,
but now I am saying, 'I will take you back.'
8 I was very angry with you for a while,
and I turned away from you.
But I will act mercifully toward you
and I will faithfully love you forever.
That is what I, Yahweh, your protector, say to you.
9 During the time that Noah lived,
I solemnly promised that I would never again allow a flood to cover the earth.
So now I solemnly promise that I will not be angry with you again and ◄rebuke you/threaten to punish you►.
10 Even if the mountains and hills shake and collapse,
I will not stop faithfully loving you,
and I will not cancel my agreement
to cause things to go well for you.
That is what I, Yahweh, who act mercifully, say.
11 You people of Jerusalem [APO], your enemies acted very violently toward you;
it was as though you were battered by a severe storm,
and no one enabled you to suffer less.
But now I will rebuild your city with stones made or turquoise,
and the foundations of the city will be made of sapphires.
12 The towers around the city wall will be made of rubies,
and all the gates of the city will be made of other very valuable stones.
13 I will be the one who will teach your people
and cause things to go well with them.
14 Your government will become strong because of acting justly/fairly;
no one will ◄oppress you/cause you to suffer greatly►;
you should not be at all afraid,
because there will be nothing that will ◄terrorize you/cause you to become extremely afraid►.
15 If any army attacks you,
it will not be because I have incited them to do that,
and you will defeat any group that attacks you.
16 Think about this:
Blacksmiths fan the coals to make a very hot flame
in order to produce weapons that can be used in battles,
but I am the one who has produced blacksmiths!
And I am the one who created people who destroy people and cities.
17 But I am promising you that I will not allow you to be defeated/injured by soldiers using weapons
that have been forged by blacksmiths,
and others will not succeed when they try to accuse you.
That is the reward that I will give to the people who serve me;
that is what I will give to my people;
that is what I, Yahweh, promise.