The LORD judges the nations
1 ‘Judah and Jerusalem were once great.
One day, at that time, I will make them great again.
2 Then I will bring all the nations together.
I will bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat (a place of judgement).
There I will judge against them
because of what they did to my children, my people Israel.
Those nations pushed my people out into other countries.
They broke up my land and each took pieces.
3 They played games to win my people.
They gave boys to buy women to have sex with them.
They sold girls so that they could get wine to drink.
4 You people in Tyre, Sidon, and of all the land of the people called Philistines, listen. You cannot say that I have done anything wrong. You want to punish me. If you do this, I will soon do the same to you. 5 You took my silver and my gold, and you put all my riches in your temples. 6 You sold the people from Judah and Jerusalem to the Greek people. You wanted to send them a long way from their own country. 7 Now I am going to bring them back from the places to which you sold them. I will do to you what you have done to them. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people in Judah. And they will sell them to the people called Sabeans, who live far away. I, the LORD, have spoken.’
9 Tell this news to the people in all the countries.
Get ready for war!
Shout to the soldiers.
Make all the men who fight get ready to attack.
10 Make your digging tools into sharp knives.
Make the tools that you use on the farm into pointed fighting sticks.
The weak man must say, ‘I am strong!’
11 Come quickly, you people who live round Israel.
And get together in the valley.
LORD, send down your army to attack them.
12 Wake up the people in all the countries!
Bring them into the Valley of Jehoshaphat (place of judgement).
I will sit there to judge the people from every place.
13 Now is the time to cut down the fruits.
They are ready for you to bring them in.
Walk all over the grapes.
The winepress is full of them.
They come over the top.
The people in all countries have done so many bad things.
14 Many, many nations are in the Valley of Judgement.
It is there that the day of the LORD will soon come.
15 The sun and moon will grow dark,
and the stars will not shine.
God will bless his people
16 The LORD will shout from Zion.
He will make a great noise from Jerusalem.
The earth and the sky will move about.
But the LORD will keep his people safe.
17 Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.
You will know that I live in Zion, my holy hill.
Jerusalem will be holy.
Strangers will never take it again.
18 In that day new wine will run from the mountains.
And milk will run from the hills.
All the valleys of Judah will have rivers of water.
Water will come from the house of the LORD
and it will water the Valley of Acacias (special trees).
19 But Egypt will be an empty desert.
I will destroy Edom (a country near Israel)
because their people hurt the people in Judah.
The people in Judah had not done anything wrong,
but the people from Edom made them give up their blood.
20 My people will always live in Jerusalem and Judah.
21 I will forgive all the wrong things that they have done.
The LORD lives in Zion!