2
Locusts and an enemy army
1Sound the trumpet on Zion,
the Lord's sacred hill.
Warn everyone to tremble!
The judgment day of the Lord
is coming soon.
2It will be dark and gloomy
with storm clouds overhead.
Troops will cover the mountains
like thunderclouds.
No army this powerful
has ever been gathered before
or will ever be again.
3Fiery flames surround them;
no one escapes.
Before they invaded,
the land was like Eden;
now only a desert remains.
4 # Rev 9.7–9 They look like horses
and charge like cavalry.
5They roar over mountains
like noisy chariots,
or a mighty army
ready for battle.
They are a forest fire
that feasts on straw.
6The very sight of them
is frightening.#2.6 The very … frightening: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
7They climb over walls
like warriors;
they march in columns
and never turn aside.
8They charge straight ahead,
without pushing each other;
even arrows and spears
cannot make them retreat.
9They swarm over city walls
and enter our homes;
they crawl in through windows,
just like thieves.
10 # Rev 8.12 They make the earth tremble
and the heavens shake;
the sun and moon turn dark,
and stars stop shining.
11 # Rev 6.17 The Lord God leads this army
of countless troops,
and they obey his commands.
The day of his judgment
is so terrible
that no one can stand it.
The Lord's invitation
12The Lord said:
It isn't too late.
You can still return to me
with all your heart.
Start crying and mourning!
Go without eating.
13Don't rip your clothes
to show your sorrow.
Instead, turn back to me
with broken hearts.
I am merciful, kind, and caring.
I don't easily lose my temper,
and I don't like to punish.
14I am the Lord your God.
Perhaps I will change my mind
and treat you with mercy.
Then you will be blessed
with enough grain and wine
for offering sacrifices to me.
15Sound the trumpet on Zion!
Call the people together.
Show your sorrow
by going without food.
16Make sure that everyone
is fit to worship me.#2.16 fit to worship me: This required going through certain kinds of ceremonies.
Bring adults, children, babies,
and even bring newlyweds
from their festivities.
17Tell my servants, the priests,
to cry inside the temple
and to offer this prayer
near the altar:#2.17 inside … altar: The Hebrew text has “between the porch and the altar”, which is the place where the priests usually prayed for the people.
“Save your people, Lord God!
Don't let foreign nations
make jokes about us.
Don't let them laugh and ask,
‘Where is your God?’ ”
The Lord will bless his people
The Lord will bless the land
18The Lord was deeply concerned
about his land
and had pity on his people.
19In answer to their prayers
he said,
“I will give you enough grain,
wine, and olive oil
to satisfy your needs.
No longer will I let you
be insulted by the nations.
20An army attacked from the north,
but I will chase it
into a scorching desert.
There it will rot and stink
from the Dead Sea
to the Mediterranean.”
The Lord works wonders
21and does great things.
So tell the soil to celebrate
22and wild animals
to stop being afraid.
Grasslands are green again;
fruit trees and fig trees
are loaded with fruit.
Grapevines are covered
with grapes.
23People of Zion,#2.23 Zion: Jerusalem.
celebrate in honour
of the Lord your God!
He is generous and has sent
the autumn and spring rains
in the proper seasons.#2.23 in … seasons: Or “as he used to do”.
24Grain will cover
your threshing places;
jars will overflow
with wine and olive oil.
The Lord will rescue his people
25I, the Lord your God,
will make up for the losses
caused by those swarms
and swarms of locusts#2.25 swarms … locusts: See the note at 1.4.
I sent to attack you.
26My people, you will eat
until you are satisfied.
Then you will praise me
for the wonderful things
I have done.
Never again will you
be put to shame.
27Israel, you will know
that I stand at your side.
I am the Lord your God—
there are no other gods.
Never again will you
be put to shame.
The Lord will work wonders
The Lord said:
28 # Acts 2.17–21 Later, I will give my Spirit
to everyone.
Your sons and daughters
will prophesy.
Your old men
will have dreams,
and your young men
will see visions.
29In those days I will even give
my Spirit to my servants,
both men and women.
30I will work wonders
in the sky above
and on the earth below.
There will be blood and fire
and clouds of smoke.
31 # Matt 24.29Mark 13.2425Luke 21.25Rev 6.1213 The sun will turn dark,
and the moon
will be as red as blood
before that great
and terrible day
when I appear.
32 # Rom 10.13 Then the Lord will save everyone who faithfully worships him. He has promised there will be survivors on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and among them will be his chosen ones.
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