What disaster is coming to corrupted, rebellious Jerusalem, you who oppress people!* You don't listen to anybody, you don't accept correction, you don't trust in the Lord, you don't ask for God's help. Your leaders are as greedy as roaring lions; your judges are ravenous wolves that leave nothing behind by morning. Your prophets are arrogant, deceitful men who defile what is sacred and who openly break the law.§
But the Lord who does right is still among you, he does no wrong. Every morning he gives his judgment, every day without fail. But those who act unjustly have no shame. I have destroyed nations. Their fortresses are deserted; their streets are empty; their cities are destroyedthere are no survivors, not one.
I told myself, “Surely they* will respect me now and accept my correction. Then their homes would not be destroyed to teach them a lesson.” But instead you're just as eager to go on doing evil.
You just wait, declares the Lord. The day is coming when I will rise to give evidence. For I have decided to gather together all the nations and kingdoms and to pour out on them my anger, my fury and my rage. The whole earth will be burned up by the fire of my jealous anger. For then I will give the nations pure speech so they can all pray and worship the Lord together. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my scattered people, my worshipers, will come to bring their offerings to me.
11 On that day you won't be ashamed because of what you did in rebelling against me, for I will remove from among you those who are proud and boastful. Never again will you be conceited on my holy mountain. 12 I will leave among you those who are meek and humble, those who trust in the name of the Lord. 13 The people of Israel who remain will not act wickedly nor will they tell lies. They will not deceive one another. They will be able to eat in peace and sleep in safety for there will be nothing to frighten them.
14 Sing out, Jerusalem! Shout aloud, Israel! Jerusalem, be happy and celebrate with all your heart! 15 For the Lord has turned aside from punishing you, and he has turned back your enemies. The Lord, the king of Israel, is with you, and you will never again have to fear disaster. 16 On that day the message to the people of Jerusalem will be, “Don't be afraid; don't be discouraged!” 17 The Lord your God is among you as a mighty warrior who saves. He will be so happy with you. He will renew§ his love for you. He will celebrate over you with loud singing. 18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the religious festivalsyou will no longer have to bear the disgrace.*
19 Look at what I am going to do! At that time I am going to deal with all those who have oppressed you. I will save those who are helpless and bring back those who were scattered, and I will turn their shame into praise, and all the world will respect them. 20 At that time I will bring you home, gathering you together. I will give you a good reputation, and you will be praised by all the peoples of the earth when I restore your status before your very eyes, says the Lord.
* 3:1 “Jerusalem”: implied by the context. 3:2 Literally, “she,” but using the second person pronoun makes the warning more vivid. 3:2 Literally, “you don't draw near to God.” § 3:4 Or “use the law to their own advantage.” * 3:7 Referring to the people of Jerusalem. 3:8 On jealousy see note on verse 1:18. 3:16 “Don't be discouraged”: literally, “don't have limp hands.” § 3:17 Septuagint. Hebrew: “he will be silent in his love” hardly fits the previous or following phrase. * 3:18 This is one interpretation of the Hebrew which is unclear. The meaning is that when in exile the Israelites were not able to celebrate their religious festivals as they wished and this was a cause of disgrace to them.