1 The LORD said, "Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Tell them, 'Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the LORD.
2 This is what the Almighty LORD says: Your enemies said this about you, "Aha! The ancient worship sites now belong to us."'
3 "So prophesy. Say, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: Your enemies turned you into ruins and crushed you from every side. You became the possession of the rest of the nations, and people began to talk and gossip about you.
4 " 'Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Almighty LORD. This is what the Almighty LORD says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, and to the empty ruins and abandoned cities that have become prey and are mocked by the rest of the surrounding nations:
5 In my fiery anger I have spoken against the rest of the nations and against all of Edom. The Edomites have taken possession of my land with wholehearted joy and with complete scorn. They forced out the people and took their land.'
6 "So prophesy about Israel. Tell the mountains and hills and the ravines and valleys, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I am speaking in my anger and fury because you have been insulted by the nations.
7 So this is what the Almighty LORD says: I raise my hand and swear that the nations which surround you will be insulted.
8 " 'But you, mountains of Israel, will grow branches and bear fruit for my people Israel. My people will come home soon.
9 I am for you. I will turn to you, and you will be plowed and planted.
10 I will increase the number of people who live on you. All the people of Israel, all of them, will live on you. The cities will be inhabited, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
11 I will increase the number of people and animals that live on you. They will grow and become many. I will let people live on you as in the past, and I will make you better off than ever before. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
12 I will bring people, my people Israel, to you. They will take possession of you, and you will be their inheritance. You will no longer take their children away from them.
13 " 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: People say that you devour your people and take the children away from your nation.
14 So you will no longer devour your people or take the children away from your nation, declares the Almighty LORD.
15 I will no longer let you hear the insults from the nations. You will no longer suffer the disgrace of the people. You will never again take the children away from your own nation, declares the Almighty LORD.'"
16 The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
17 "Son of man, when the people of Israel lived in their land, they dishonored it by the way they lived and by everything they did. Their ways were as unclean as a woman's menstrual period.
18 So I poured out my fury on them because they poured out blood on the land and they dishonored the land with their idols.
19 I forced them into other nations, and they became scattered among the nations. I judged them based on the way that they lived and based on everything that they had done.
20 But wherever they went among the nations, they dishonored my holy name. People said about them, 'These are the LORD's people, yet they had to leave his land.'
21 I became concerned about my holy name because my people dishonored it among the nations wherever they went.
22 "So tell the people of Israel, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I am about to do something, people of Israel. I will not do this for your sake but for the sake of my holy name, which you have dishonored among the nations wherever you have gone.
23 I will reveal the holiness of my great name, which has been dishonored by the nations, the name that you have dishonored among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, because I will reveal my holiness among you as they watch, declares the Almighty LORD.
24 " 'I will take you from the nations and gather you from every country. I will bring you back to your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you and make you clean instead of unclean. Then I will cleanse you from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stubborn hearts and give you obedient hearts.
27 I will put my Spirit in you. I will enable you to live by my laws, and you will obey my rules.
28 Then you will live in the land that I gave your ancestors. You will be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will rescue you from all your uncleanness. I will make the grain grow so that you will never again have famines.
30 I will make fruit grow on the trees and crops grow in the fields so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famines.
31 Then you will remember your evil ways and the bad things that you did, and you will hate yourselves for all these wicked and disgusting things.
32 I want you to know that I'm not doing this for your sake, declares the Almighty LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced because of your ways, people of Israel.
33 " 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: On the day that I cleanse you from all your wickedness, I will cause your cities to be lived in again, and your ruins will be rebuilt.
34 The wasteland will be plowed. It will no longer remain empty for everyone passing by to see.
35 People will say, "This wasteland has become like the garden of Eden. The cities were destroyed. They were empty and ruined, but now they are fortified and have people living in them."
36 The surrounding nations that are left will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted crops in the land that was empty. I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it.'
37 "This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will also let the people of Israel ask me to make them as numerous as sheep.
38 They will be like the sheep for sacrifices, like the sheep in Jerusalem during the appointed festivals. Their ruined cities will be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD."
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.