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Zephaniah 3 (New Century Version)

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1 How terrible for the wicked, stubborn city of Jerusalem, which hurts its own people. 2 It obeys no voice; it can't be taught to do right. It doesn't trust the Lord; it doesn't worship its God. 3 Its officers are like roaring lions. Its rulers are like hungry wolves that attack in the evening, and in the morning nothing is left of those they attacked. 4 Its prophets are proud; they are people who cannot be trusted. Its priests don't respect holy things; they break God's teachings. 5 But the Lord is good, and he is there in that city. He does no wrong. Every morning he governs the people fairly; every day he can be trusted. But evil people are not ashamed of what they do. 6 "I have destroyed nations; their towers were ruined. I made their streets empty so no one goes there anymore. Their cities are ruined; no one lives there at all. 7 I said, 'Surely now Jerusalem will respect me and will accept my teaching.' Then the place where they lived would not be destroyed, and I would not have to punish them. But they were still eager to do evil in everything they did. 8 Just wait," says the Lord. "Some day I will stand up as a witness. I have decided that I will gather nations and assemble kingdoms. I will pour out my anger on them, all my strong anger. My anger will be like fire that will burn up the whole world. 9 "Then I will give the people of all nations pure speech so that all of them will speak the name of the Lord and worship me together. 10 People will come from where the Nile River begins; my scattered people will come with gifts for me. 11 Then Jerusalem will not be ashamed of the wrongs done against me, because I will remove from this city those who like to brag; there will never be any more proud people on my holy mountain in Jerusalem. 12 But I will leave in the city the humble and those who are not proud, and they will trust in the Lord. 13 Those who are left alive in Israel won't do wrong or tell lies; they won't trick people with their words. They will eat and lie down with no one to make them afraid." 14 Sing, Jerusalem. Israel, shout for joy! Jerusalem, be happy and rejoice with all your heart. 15 The Lord has stopped punishing you; he has sent your enemies away. The King of Israel, the Lord, is with you; you will never again be afraid of being harmed. 16 On that day Jerusalem will be told, "Don't be afraid, city of Jerusalem. Don't give up. 17 The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you." 18 "I will take away the sadness planned for you, which would have made you very ashamed. 19 At that time I will punish all those who harmed you. I will save my people who cannot walk and gather my people who have been thrown out. I will give them praise and honor in every place where they were shamed. 20 At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you back home. I will give you honor and praise from people everywhere when I make things go well again for you, as you will see with your own eyes," says the Lord.
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