1 In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it, 2 and their people will say, "Let us go up the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel's God. He will teach us what he wants us to do; we will walk in the paths he has chosen. For the Lord's teaching comes from Jerusalem; from Zion he speaks to his people." 3 He will settle disputes among the nations, among the great powers near and far. They will hammer their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again. 4 Everyone will live in peace among their own vineyards and fig trees, and no one will make them afraid. The Lord Almighty has promised this. 5 Each nation worships and obeys its own god, but we will worship and obey the Lord our God forever and ever. 6 "The time is coming," says the Lord, "when I will gather together the people I punished, those who have suffered in exile. 7 They are crippled and far from home, but I will make a new beginning with those who are left, and they will become a great nation. I will rule over them on Mount Zion from that time on and forever." 8 And you, Jerusalem, where God, like a shepherd from his lookout tower, watches over his people, will once again be the capital of the kingdom that was yours. 9 Why do you cry out so loudly? Why are you suffering like a woman in labor? Is it because you have no king, and your counselors are dead? 10 Twist and groan, people of Jerusalem, like a woman giving birth, for now you will have to leave the city and live in the open country. You will have to go to Babylon, but there the Lord will save you from your enemies. 11 Many nations have gathered to attack you. They say, "Jerusalem must be destroyed! We will see this city in ruins!" 12 But these nations do not know what is in the Lord's mind. They do not realize that they have been gathered together to be punished in the same way that grain is brought in to be threshed. 13 The Lord says, "People of Jerusalem, go and punish your enemies! I will make you as strong as a bull with iron horns and bronze hoofs. You will crush many nations, and the wealth they got by violence you will present to me, the Lord of the whole world."
1 People of Jerusalem, gather your forces! We are besieged! They are attacking the leader of Israel! 2 The Lord says, "Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times." 3 So the Lord will abandon his people to their enemies until the woman who is to give birth has her son. Then those Israelites who are in exile will be reunited with their own people. 4 When he comes, he will rule his people with the strength that comes from the Lord and with the majesty of the Lord God himself. His people will live in safety because people all over the earth will acknowledge his greatness, 5 and he will bring peace. When the Assyrians invade our country and break through our defenses, we will send our strongest leaders to fight them. 6 By force of arms they will conquer Assyria, the land of Nimrod, and they will save us from the Assyrians when they invade our territory. 7 The people of Israel who survive will be like refreshing dew sent by the Lord for many nations, like showers on growing plants. They will depend on God, not people. 8 Those who are left among the nations will be like a lion hunting for food in a forest or a pasture: it gets in among the sheep, pounces on them, and tears them to pieces - and there is no hope of rescue. 9 Israel will conquer her enemies and destroy them all. 10 The Lord says, "At that time I will take away your horses and destroy your chariots. 11 I will destroy the cities in your land and tear down all your defenses. 12 I will destroy the magic charms you use and leave you without any fortunetellers. 13 I will destroy your idols and sacred stone pillars; no longer will you worship the things that you yourselves have made. 14 I will pull down the images of the goddess Asherah in your land and destroy your cities. 15 And in my great anger I will take revenge on all nations that have not obeyed me."
1 Then a great and mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was soon to give birth, and the pains and suffering of childbirth made her cry out. 3 Another mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and a crown on each of his heads. 4 With his tail he dragged a third of the stars out of the sky and threw them down to the earth. He stood in front of the woman, in order to eat her child as soon as it was born. 5 Then she gave birth to a son, who will rule over all nations with an iron rod. But the child was snatched away and taken to God and his throne. 6 The woman fled to the desert, to a place God had prepared for her, where she will be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, who fought back with his angels; 8 but the dragon was defeated, and he and his angels were not allowed to stay in heaven any longer. 9 The huge dragon was thrown out - that ancient serpent, named the Devil, or Satan, that deceived the whole world. He was thrown down to earth, and all his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, "Now God's salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now his Messiah has shown his authority! For the one who stood before our God and accused believers day and night has been thrown out of heaven. 11 They won the victory over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the truth which they proclaimed; and they were willing to give up their lives and die. 12 And so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left." 13 When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he began to pursue the woman who had given birth to the boy. 14 She was given the two wings of a large eagle in order to fly to her place in the desert, where she will be taken care of for three and a half years, safe from the dragon's attack. 15 And then from his mouth the dragon poured out a flood of water after the woman, so that it would carry her away. 16 But the earth helped the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon's mouth. 17 The dragon was furious with the woman and went off to fight against the rest of her descendants, all those who obey God's commandments and are faithful to the truth revealed by Jesus. 18 And the dragon stood on the seashore.