Announcement of alarm and peril
1Blow the horn in Zion;
give a shout on my holy mountain!
Let all the people of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is near—
2a day of darkness and no light,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread out upon the mountains,
a great and powerful army#Or a great and strong people comes,
unlike any that has ever come before them,
or will come after them in centuries ahead.
3In front of them a fire consumes;
and behind them a flame burns.
Land ahead of them is like Eden’s garden,
but they leave behind them a barren wasteland;
nothing escapes them.
4They resemble horses,
and like warhorses they charge,
5like the rumbling of chariots.
They leap on the mountaintops—
like the crackling of a fire’s flame,
devouring the stubble;
like a powerful army
ready for battle.
6In their presence, peoples shake with fear;
all faces turn red with worry.
7Like warriors they charge;
like soldiers they climb the wall.
Each keeps to their own path;
they didn’t change their course.
8They don’t crowd each other;
each keeps to their own path.
Even if they fall among the weapons,
they won’t stop.
9They rush upon the city;
they run upon the walls.
They climb into the houses;
they enter through the windows like thieves.
10The earth quakes before them;
the heavens shake.
The sun and the moon are darkened;
the stars have stopped shining,
11because the Lord utters his voice
at the head of his army.
How numerous are his troops!
Mighty are those who obey his word.
The day of the Lord is great;
it stirs up great fear—who can endure it?
Change your hearts
12Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your hearts,
with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow;
13tear your hearts
and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
very patient, full of faithful love,
and ready to forgive.
14Who knows whether he will have a change of heart
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the Lord your God?
15Blow the horn in Zion;
demand a fast;
request a special assembly.
16Gather the people;
prepare a holy meeting;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the groom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
17Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep.
Let them say, "Have mercy, Lord, on your people,
and don’t make your inheritance a disgrace,
an example of failure among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’"
Words of compassion and promise
18Then the Lord became passionate about this land,#Or then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people.
19The Lord responded to the people:
See, I am sending you
the corn, new wine, and fresh oil,
and you will be fully satisfied by it;
and I will no longer make you
a disgrace among the nations.
20I will remove the northern army far from you
and drive it into a dried-up and desolate land,
its front into the eastern sea,
and its rear into the western sea.
Its stench will rise up;
its stink will come to the surface.
The Lord is about to do great things!
21Don’t fear, fertile land;
rejoice and be glad,
for the Lord is about to do great things!
22Don’t be afraid, animals of the field,
for the meadows of the wilderness will turn green;
the tree will bear its fruit;
the fig tree and grapevine will give their full yield.
23Children of Zion,
rejoice and be glad in the Lord your God,
because he will give you the early rain as a sign of righteousness;
he will pour down abundant rain for you,
the early and the late rain, as before.#Or at the first
24The threshing floors will be full of grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and fresh oil.
25I will repay you for the years
that the cutting locust,
the swarming locust, the hopping locust, and the devouring locust have eaten—
my great army, which I sent against you.
26You will eat abundantly and be satisfied,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has done wonders for you;
and my people will never again be put to shame.
27You will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the Lord your God—no other exists;
never again will my people be put to shame.
28After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.
29In those days, I will also pour out my
spirit on the male and female slaves.
30I will give signs in the heavens and on the earth—blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 32But everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be security, as the Lord has promised; and in Jerusalem, the Lord will summon those who survive.