The people have been trying to keep up their rituals while in exile and ask the priests if they should still practice fasting and mourning during a certain day of observance in the fifth month. (This might be referring to the fast in commemoration of the destruction of the Temple.)
God asks them if all this fasting has really done them any good, since it wasn’t done from the heart.
What he really wants is for them to be just and compassionate with one another. Because of all their empty sacrifices, he’d scattered them in other nations.
But now God reassures them he’s back in Jerusalem for good.
He recalls the time when Jerusalem was so filled with evil that you couldn’t go outside without getting mugged.
But now, things will be peaceful and prosperous. Lots of figs!
All the people have to do is speak the truth and act justly. Is that too much to ask?
All the fast days will turn to days of joy.
Jerusalem will become a hot tourist destination, and anytime a gentile sees a Jew, he’ll grab him by the cloak and ask to go to Jerusalem.
People of all nations will want to go there to seek out God.