True Worship
1 The Lord said:
Heaven is my throne;
the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house
could you build for me?
In what place will I rest?
2 I have made everything;
that's how it all came to be.
I, the Lord, have spoken.

The people I treasure most
are the humble—
they depend only on me
and tremble when I speak.

3 You sacrifice oxen to me,
and you commit murder;
you sacrifice lambs to me
and dogs to other gods;
you offer grain to me
and pigs' blood to idols;
you burn incense to me
and praise your idols.
You have made your own choice
to do these disgusting things
that you enjoy so much.
4 You refused to answer
when I called out;
you paid no attention
to my instructions.
Instead, you did what I hated,
knowing it was wrong.
Now I will punish you
in a way you dread the most.
The Lord Will Help Jerusalem
5 If you tremble
when the Lord speaks,
listen to what he says:
“Some of your own people hate
and reject you because of me.
They make fun and say,
‘Let the Lord show his power!
Let us see him
make you truly happy.’
But those who say these things
will be terribly ashamed.”

6 Do you hear that noise
in the city and those shouts
coming from the temple?
It is the Lord shouting
as he punishes his enemies.

7 Have you ever heard of a woman
who gave birth to a child
before having labor pains?
8 Who ever heard of such a thing
or imagined it could happen?
Can a nation be born in a day
or come to life in a second?
Jerusalem is like a mother
who gave birth to her children
as soon as she was in labor.
9 The Lord is the one
who makes birth possible.
And he will see that Zion
has many more children.
The Lord has spoken.

10 If you love Jerusalem,
celebrate and shout!
If you were in sorrow
because of the city,
you can now be glad.
11 She will nurse and comfort you,
just like your own mother,
until you are satisfied.
You will fully enjoy
her wonderful glory.

12 The Lord has promised:
“I will flood Jerusalem
with the wealth of nations
and make the city prosper.
Zion will nurse you at her breast,
carry you in her arms,
and hold you in her lap.
13 I will comfort you there
like a mother
comforting her child.”

14 When you see this happen,
you will celebrate;
your strength will return
faster than grass can sprout.
Then everyone will know
that the Lord provides help
for his servants,
but he is angry
with his enemies.
15 The Lord will come down
like a whirlwind
with his flaming chariots.
He will be furiously angry
and punish his enemies
with fire.
16 The Lord's fiery sword
will bring justice
everywhere on this earth
and execute many people.
A Threat and a Promise
17 Some of you get yourselves ready and go to a garden to worship a foreign goddess. You eat the meat of pigs, lizards, and mice. But I, the Lord, will destroy you for this.
18 I know everything you do and think! The time has now come to bring together the people of every language and nation and to show them my glory 19 by proving what I can do. I will send the survivors to Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Meshech, Tubal, Javan, and to the distant islands. I will send them to announce my wonderful glory to nations that have never heard about me.
20 They will bring your relatives from the nations as an offering to me, the Lord. They will come to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, on horses, chariots, wagons, mules, and camels. It will be like the people of Israel bringing the right offering to my temple. 21 I promise that some of them will be priests and others will be helpers in my temple. I, the Lord, have spoken.
22 I also promise that you will always have descendants and will never be forgotten, just as the new heavens and the new earth that I create will last forever. 23 On the first day of each month and on each Sabbath, everyone will worship me. I, the Lord, have spoken.
24 My people will go out and look at the dead bodies of those who turned against me. The worms there never die, the fire never stops burning, and the sight of those bodies will be disgusting to everyone.