Jerusalem will be happy again
God loves Jerusalem1 The LORD of everyone gave me another message to deliver.. 2The LORD of everyone says this: When it comes to Jerusalem on Mount Zion,  I am jealous. Not just jealous, fanny-kicking jealous.
3The LORD of everyone says: I’m coming back to Jerusalem, and I’m going to live there.  People will call Jerusalem “The City You Can Trust.” They’ll call the hilltop home of the LORD “The Holy Mountain.”
4The LORD of everyone says: Elderly folks with canes will sit and talk along the streets of Jerusalem again. 5Children will play nearby, filling the streets with happy sounds.
6The LORD of everyone says: You might think this is impossible because there are so few of you left. But should I, the LORD of everyone, think it’s impossible, too?
7The LORD of everyone says: I’ll save my people who are scattered among the nations—from sunrise to sunset. 8I’ll bring them home to Jerusalem. They’ll be my people and I’ll be their good and devoted God.
9The LORD of everyone says: Work hard at what you’re doing. Don’t goof off. You’ve heard what the prophets said about building the foundation to Jerusalem’s Temple, the home of the LORD of everyone. 10When the returning Jews started the project, they didn’t have money to hire workers and animals. And it wasn’t safe.  I turned neighbors against each other.
11But I, the LORD of everyone, will not act that way toward my people, the Jews who are coming back to Jerusalem. 12Jews will come home to peace. I’m planting peace in Jerusalem. Vineyards will grow grapes. Other crops will grow out of the ground. The sky will nourish it all each day with a morning touch of dew. The people will own it all. 13Nations treated you like you’re jinxed and cursed. But soon they’ll know you’re blessed beyond good luck. So don’t be afraid. Get your work done on the Temple.
God: “I won’t hammer you anymore”14I hammered your ancestors with one disaster after another because they provoked me. So, I poured it on and didn’t let up, says the LORD of everyone. 15But now I’m going to bless the people of Jerusalem and Judah with one good deed after another. So, don’t be afraid anymore. 
16Here’s what I want you to do most of all: Tell the truth. And when you try legal cases at the city gates, make good judgments. Be honest and fair. Try to make peace. 17Don’t scheme and plot against each other. And don’t make promises you know you won’t keep. I hate it when you do that.
Sad fasts will become happy parties18The LORD of everyone gave me another message to deliver: 19This is from the LORD of everyone: You fast over the destruction of the Temple in each of the four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter.  Those sad fasts are going to become happy festivals in Judah when the new Temple is finished. But if you want that to happen, learn how to love each other and live in peace.
Jerusalem’s comeback20The LORD of everyone says this: Crowds of people from many cities will come to Jerusalem. 21People in one town will say to people in another town, “Come with us to Jerusalem. We’re going to ask the LORD of everyone for advice and help. We’re going. So, come with us.”
22People from powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to ask the LORD of everyone for direction and support.
23The LORD of everyone says: When these things happen, there will be 10 foreign men visiting Jerusalem for every local Jew. Visitors will latch onto a Jew and say, “Let us go with you to worship God. We’ve heard you’re his people and he listens to you.”
The text refers only to Zion, a term of endearment that means “Jerusalem.” The city rests on a ridge known as Mount Zion.
“Earth is my footrest. Where should you build a house for me?” (Isaiah 66:1). See also Psalm 9:11, Joel 3:17.
Local non-Jews who weren’t exiled to Babylon (Iraq) 50 years earlier, in 586 BC, were upset to see the Jews return. The locals correctly guessed that the Jews might want their ancestral lands and home back. So they tried to stop Jews from rebuilding the Temple and, later, the walls.
The Jews had just spent an entire generation in captivity—50 years under Babylonian thumbs in what is now Iraq. It would take some time for them to learn how not to be afraid.
The verse says the fast took place in the Jewish months 4, 5, 7, and 10: Tammuz (June-July), Av (July-August), Tishrei (September-October) Tevet (December-January).
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.