The Lord All-Powerful spoke his word, saying,
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "I have a very strong love for Jerusalem. My strong love for her is like a fire burning in me."
This is what the Lord says: "I will return to Jerusalem and live in it. Then it will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord All-Powerful will be called the Holy Mountain."
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Old men and old women will again sit along Jerusalem's streets, each carrying a cane because of age.
And the streets will be filled with boys and girls playing."
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Those who are left alive then may think it is too difficult to happen, but it is not too difficult for me," says the Lord All-Powerful.
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "I will save my people from countries in the east and west.
I will bring them back, and they will live in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be their good and loyal God."
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Work hard, you who are hearing these words today. The prophets spoke these words when the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord All-Powerful, for the building of the Temple.
Before that time there was no money to hire people or animals. People could not safely come and go because of the enemies; I had turned everyone against his neighbor.
But I will not do to these people who are left what I did in the past," says the Lord All-Powerful.
"They will plant their seeds in peace, their grapevines will have fruit, the ground will give good crops, and the sky will send rain. I will give all this to the people who are left alive.
Judah and Israel, your names have been used as curses in other nations. But I will save you, and you will become a blessing. So don't be afraid; work hard."
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "When your ancestors made me angry, I planned to punish you. I did not change my mind," says the Lord All-Powerful.
"But now I will do something different. I am planning to do good to Jerusalem and Judah. So don't be afraid.
These are the things you should do: Tell each other the truth. In the courts judge with truth and complete fairness.
Do not make plans to hurt your neighbors, and don't love false promises. I hate all these things," says the Lord.
The Lord All-Powerful spoke his word to me again.
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "The special days when you give up eating in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will become good, joyful, happy feasts in Judah. But you must love truth and peace."
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "Many people from many cities will still come to Jerusalem.
People from one city will go and say to those from another city, 'We are going to pray to the Lord and to ask the Lord All-Powerful for help. Come and go with us.'
Many people and powerful nations will come to worship the Lord All-Powerful in Jerusalem and to pray to the Lord for help."
This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: "At that time, ten men from different countries will come and take hold of a Judean by his coat. They will say to him, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'"
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.