In the last days, the mountain where the Lord's Temple stands will be recognized as the highest of all mountains, rising above other hills. Crowds of people from many places will travel to it. Many nations will come and say, “Let's go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob. There God will teach us his ways and we will follow his directions.”* God's teachings will spread out from Zion, his word from Jerusalem. The Lord will decide the cases of the nations, he will settle arguments between distant powerful nations. They will hammer their swords and turn them into plough blades, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not fight against each other anymore; they will no longer learn methods of warfare. Everyone will be able to sit under their own vine and their own fig tree, for there will be no one to make them afraid. I the Lord Almighty has spoken! Even though all the other nations follow their gods, we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.
On that day, declares the Lord, I will gather those who are lame, I will bring together those who have been scattered in exile, those whom I punished. I will make those who remain, crippled and driven far away, into a strong nation, and the Lord will rule them from Mount Zion forever and ever. And as for you, Jerusalem, watchtower of the flock, your former royal rule and power will be returned to you: the kingdom will be given back to Jerusalem.
So why are you screaming aloud? Don't you have a king? Has the king who advises you died so that pain has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? 10 Thrash around in agony like a woman giving birth, people of Zionfor you will be expelled from the city, forced to camp out in the open, and exiled to Babylon. But the Lord will bring you back, and rescue you from the power of your enemies.
11 Right now many enemies are gathered against you, saying, “Let us attack and violate her, so we can look with gloating over Zion!” 12 But they don't know what the Lord is thinking, and don't understand what he is planning. He has brought them together like bundles of grain to the threshing floor. 13 People of Zion, get up and start threshing, for I will make for you iron horns and bronze hooves§ so you can break many nations into pieces. You will present their stolen plunder to the Lord, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.
* 4:2 Literally, “walk in his paths.” 4:8 Literally, “hill of the daughter of Zion.” 4:8 Migdal Edar, mentioned in Genesis 35:21 as the place where Jacob camped. § 4:13 As if Jerusalem was like a bull, the Lord will give them the extra strength like metallic horns and hooves to defeat their enemies.