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3:1  Woe (judgment is coming) to her who is rebellious and defiled, The tyrannical city [Jerusalem]!
3:2  She did not listen and heed the voice [of God]; She accepted no correction. She did not trust in the Lord [but trusted her own power]; She did not draw near to her God [but to the pagan gods of Baal or Molech].
3:3  Her officials within her are roaring lions; Her judges are [as hungry as] the wolves at evening, They leave nothing for the morning.
3:4  Her prophets are reckless and treacherous men; Her priests have profaned the sanctuary; They have done violence to the law [by pretending their word is God’s word].
3:5  The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust person knows no shame.
3:6  “I [the Lord] have cut off and destroyed nations [as a warning to Judah]; Their corner towers (battlements) are in ruins. I have made their streets desolate So that no one passes by; Their cities are destroyed So that there is no man, there is no inhabitant.
3:7  “I said, ‘Most certainly you will [reverently] fear Me; Accept correction.’ So Jerusalem’s dwelling will not be cut off In accordance with all that I have appointed concerning her [punishment], But they were eager [even rising early] to make all their deeds corrupt.
3:8  “Therefore [you of the godly remnant of Judah, patiently] wait for Me,” declares the Lord, “[Wait] for the day when I rise up as a witness [against the nations]. For it is My decision and My right to gather the nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All [the heat of] My burning anger; For [in that day] all the earth shall be consumed By the fire of My zeal.
3:9  “Then I will give to the peoples [clear and pure speech from] purified lips [which reflect their purified hearts], That all of them may call on the name of the Lord, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder (united).
3:10  “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, [the descendants of] My dispersed ones, Will bring My offerings.
3:11  “On that day you [Israel] will feel no shame Because of all your acts By which you have rebelled and sinned against Me; Then I will remove from among you Your rejoicing ones who delight in their pride; And you will never again behave arrogantly On My holy mountain [Mount Zion].
3:12  “But I will leave among you A humble and lowly people, And they will take refuge and trust confidently in the name of the Lord.
3:13  “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong Nor speak lies, Nor will a deceitful tongue Be found in their mouths; For they will eat and lie down With no one to make them tremble and feel afraid.”
3:14  Shout for joy, O Daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice, be in high spirits and glory with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem [in that day]!
3:15  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, even the Lord [Himself], is in your midst; You will no longer fear disaster.
3:16  In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp.
3:17  “The Lord your God is in your midst, A Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
3:18  “I will gather those [Israelites in captivity] who grieve about the appointed feasts— They came from you, [O Zion]; On whom the reproach [of exile] is a burden.
3:19  “Behold, at that time I am going to deal With all your oppressors; I will save the lame And gather the scattered, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In every land [where they have suffered].
3:20  “At that time I will bring you in, Yes, at the time I gather you together; For I will make you a name and a praise Among all the peoples of the earth When I restore your fortunes [and freedom] before your eyes,” Says the Lord.