"Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight. God's bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all people sunk in deep darkness, But God rises on you, his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness.
Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you: Your sons coming from great distances, your daughters carried by their nannies.
When you see them coming you'll smile - big smiles! Your heart will swell and, yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion, a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!
And then streams of camel caravans as far as the eye can see, young camels of nomads in Midian and Ephah, Pouring in from the south from Sheba, loaded with gold and frankincense, preaching the praises of God.
And yes, a great roundup of flocks from the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth, Welcome gifts for worship at my altar as I bathe my glorious Temple in splendor. What's That We See in the Distance?
"What's that we see in the distance, a cloud on the horizon, like doves darkening the sky?
It's ships from the distant islands, the famous Tarshish ships Returning your children from faraway places, loaded with riches, with silver and gold, And backed by the name of your God, The Holy of Israel, showering you with splendor.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings assist you in the conduct of worship. When I was angry I hit you hard. It's my desire now to be tender.
Your Jerusalem gates will always be open - open house day and night! - Receiving deliveries of wealth from all nations, and their kings, the delivery boys!
Any nation or kingdom that doesn't deliver will perish; those nations will be totally wasted.
The rich woods of Lebanon will be delivered - all that cypress and oak and pine - To give a splendid elegance to my Sanctuary, as I make my footstool glorious.
The descendants of your oppressor will come bowing and scraping to you. All who looked down at you in contempt will lick your boots. They'll confer a title on you: City of God, Zion of The Holy of Israel.
Not long ago you were despised refuse - out-of-the-way, unvisited, ignored. But now I've put you on your feet, towering and grand forever, a joy to look at!
When you suck the milk of nations and the breasts of royalty, You'll know that I, God, am your Savior, your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob.
I'll give you only the best - no more hand-me-downs! Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron, bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones. I'll install Peace to run your country, make Righteousness your boss.
There'll be no more stories of crime in your land, no more robberies, no more vandalism. You'll name your main street Salvation Way, and install Praise Park at the center of town.
You'll have no more need of the sun by day nor the brightness of the moon at night. God will be your eternal light, your God will bathe you in splendor.
Your sun will never go down, your moon will never fade. I will be your eternal light. Your days of grieving are over.
All your people will live right and well, in permanent possession of the land. They're the green shoot that I planted, planted with my own hands to display my glory.
The runt will become a great tribe, the weakling become a strong nation. I am God. At the right time I'll make it happen."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)