The Lord punished his people by sending them into exile. He took them away with a cruel wind from the east.
But Israel's sins will be forgiven only when the stones of pagan altars are ground up like chalk, and no more incense altars or symbols of the goddess Asherah are left.
The fortified city lies in ruins. It is deserted like an empty wilderness. It has become a pasture for cattle, where they can rest and graze.
The branches of the trees are withered and broken, and women gather them for firewood. Because the people have understood nothing, God their Creator will not pity them or show them any mercy.
On that day, from the Euphrates to the Egyptian border, the Lord will gather his people one by one, as threshing separates the wheat from the chaff.
When that day comes, a trumpet will be blown to call back from Assyria and Egypt all the Israelites who are in exile there. They will come and worship the Lord in Jerusalem, on his sacred hill.