3:1 The filthy, stained city is as good as dead;
the city filled with oppressors is finished!
3:2 She is disobedient;
she refuses correction.
She does not trust the LORD;
she does not seek the advice of her God.
3:3 Her princes are as fierce as roaring lions;
her rulers are as hungry as wolves in the desert,
who completely devour their prey by morning.
3:4 Her prophets are proud;
they are deceitful men.
Her priests defile what is holy;
they break God’s laws.
3:5 The just LORD resides within her;
he commits no unjust acts.
Every morning he reveals his justice.
At dawn he appears without fail.
Yet the unjust know no shame.
The Lord’s Judgment will Purify
3:6 “I destroyed nations;
their walled cities are in ruins.
I turned their streets into ruins;
no one passes through them.
Their cities are desolate;
no one lives there.
3:7 I thought, ‘Certainly you will respect me!
Now you will accept correction!’
If she had done so, her home would not be destroyed
by all the punishments I have threatened.
But they eagerly sinned
in everything they did.
3:8 Therefore you must wait patiently for me,” says the LORD,
“for the day when I attack and take plunder.
I have decided to gather nations together
and assemble kingdoms,
so I can pour out my fury on them –
all my raging anger.
For the whole earth will be consumed
by my fiery anger.
3:9 Know for sure that I will then enable
the nations to give me acceptable praise.
All of them will invoke the LORD’s name when they pray,
and will worship him in unison.
3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,
those who pray to me will bring me tribute.
3:11 In that day you will not be ashamed of all your rebelliousness against me,
for then I will remove from your midst those who proudly boast,
and you will never again be arrogant on my holy hill.
3:12 I will leave in your midst a humble and meek group of people,
and they will find safety in the LORD’s presence.
3:13 The Israelites who remain will not act deceitfully.
They will not lie,
and a deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouth.
Indeed, they will graze peacefully like sheep and lie down;
no one will terrify them.”
3:14 Shout for joy, Daughter Zion!
Shout out, Israel!
Be happy and boast with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!
3:15 The LORD has removed the judgment against you;
he has turned back your enemy.
Israel’s king, the LORD, is in your midst!
You no longer need to fear disaster.
3:16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
“Don’t be afraid, Zion!
Your hands must not be paralyzed from panic!
3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.”
3:18 “As for those who grieve because they cannot attend the festivals –
I took them away from you;
they became tribute and were a source of shame to you.
3:19 Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you.
I will rescue the lame sheep
and gather together the scattered sheep.
I will take away their humiliation
and make the whole earth admire and respect them.
3:20 At that time I will lead you –
at the time I gather you together.
Be sure of this! I will make all the nations of the earth respect and admire you
when you see me restore you,” says the LORD.