"Son of man, prophesy to Israel's mountains. Give them this message: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD!
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Your enemies have taunted you, saying, 'Aha! Now the ancient heights belong to us!'
Therefore, son of man, give the mountains of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, and now you are possessed by many nations. You are the object of much mocking and slander.
Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD. He speaks to the hills and mountains, ravines and valleys, and to ruined wastes and long-deserted cities that have been destroyed and mocked by foreign nations everywhere.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My jealous anger is on fire against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder.
"Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am full of fury because you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations.
Therefore, says the Sovereign LORD, I have raised my hand and sworn an oath that those nations will soon have their turn at suffering shame.
But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit to prepare for my people's return -- and they will be coming home again soon!
See, I am concerned for you, and I will come to help you. Your ground will be tilled and your crops planted.
I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people.
Not only the people, but your flocks and herds will also greatly multiply. O mountains of Israel, I will bring people to live on you once again. I will make you even more prosperous than you were before. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
I will cause my people to walk on you once again, and you will be their inheritance. You will never again devour their children.
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Now the other nations taunt you, saying, 'Israel is a land that devours her own people!'
But you will never again devour your people or bereave your nation, says the Sovereign LORD.
I will not allow those foreign nations to sneer at you, and you will no longer be shamed by them or cause your nation to fall, says the Sovereign LORD."
Then this further message came to me from the LORD:
"Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their evil deeds. To me their conduct was as filthy as a bloody rag.
They polluted the land with murder and by worshiping idols, so I poured out my fury on them.
I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived.
But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought dishonor to my holy name. For the nations said, 'These are the people of the LORD, and he couldn't keep them safe in his own land!'
Then I was concerned for my holy name, which had been dishonored by my people throughout the world.
"Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am bringing you back again but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, which you dishonored while you were scattered among the nations.
I will show how holy my great name is -- the name you dishonored among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign LORD, then the nations will know that I am the LORD.
For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.
And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. a27
And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.
"And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.
I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops, and I will abolish famine in the land.
I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines.
Then you will remember your past sins and hate yourselves for all the evil things you did.
But remember, says the Sovereign LORD, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done!
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will bring people to live in your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
The fields that used to lie empty and desolate -- a shock to all who passed by -- will again be farmed.
And when I bring you back, people will say, 'This godforsaken land is now like Eden's garden! The ruined cities now have strong walls, and they are filled with people!'
Then the nations all around -- all those still left -- will know that I, the LORD, rebuilt the ruins and planted lush crops in the wilderness. For I, the LORD, have promised this, and I will do it.
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am ready to hear Israel's prayers for these blessings, and I am ready to grant them their requests.
I will multiply them like the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem's streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the LORD."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)