Joel 2

The Locusts’ Devastation

2:1 Blow the trumpet1 in Zion;

sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear,

for the day of the Lord is about to come.

Indeed,2 it is near!3

2:2 It will be4 a day of dreadful darkness,5

a day of foreboding storm clouds,6

like blackness7 spread over the mountains.

It is a huge and powerful army8

there has never been anything like it ever before,

and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come!9

2:3 Like fire they devour everything in their path;10

a flame blazes behind them.

The land looks like the Garden of Eden11 before them,

but behind them there is only a desolate wilderness –

for nothing escapes them!12

2:4 They look like horses;13

they charge ahead like war horses.

2:5 They sound like14 chariots rumbling15 over mountain tops,

like the crackling16 of blazing fire consuming stubble,

like the noise of17 a mighty army18 being drawn up for battle.19

2:6 People20 writhe in fear when they see them.21

All of their faces turn pale with fright.22

2:7 They23 charge24 like warriors;

they scale walls like soldiers.25

Each one proceeds on his course;

they do not alter26 their path.

2:8 They do not jostle one another;27

each of them marches straight ahead.28

They burst through29 the city defenses30

and do not break ranks.

2:9 They rush into31 the city;

they scale32 its walls.

They climb up into the houses;

they go in through the windows like a thief.

2:10 The earth quakes33 before them;34

the sky reverberates.35

The sun and the moon grow dark;

the stars refuse to shine.36

2:11 The voice of the Lord thunders37 as he leads his army.38

Indeed, his warriors39 are innumerable;40

Surely his command is carried out!41

Yes, the day of the Lord is awesome42

and very terrifying – who can survive43 it?

An Appeal for Repentance

2:12 “Yet even now,” the Lord says,

“return to me with all your heart –

with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

Tear your hearts,44

not just your garments!”

2:13 Return to the Lord your God,

for he is merciful and compassionate,

slow to anger and boundless in loyal love45 – often relenting from calamitous punishment.46

2:14 Who knows?

Perhaps he will be compassionate and grant a reprieve,47

and leave blessing in his wake48

a meal offering and a drink offering for you to offer to the Lord your God!49

2:15 Blow the trumpet50 in Zion.

Announce a holy fast;

proclaim a sacred assembly!

2:16 Gather the people;

sanctify an assembly!

Gather the elders;

gather the children and the nursing infants.

Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom

and the bride from her private quarters.51

2:17 Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep

from the vestibule all the way back to the altar.52

Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people;

please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked,

to become a proverb53 among the nations.

Why should it be said54 among the peoples,

“Where is their God?”

The Lord’s Response

2:18 Then the Lord became55 zealous for his land;

he had compassion on his people.

2:19 The Lord responded56 to his people,

“Look! I am about to restore your grain57

as well as fresh wine and olive oil.

You will be fully satisfied.58

I will never again make you an object of mockery among the nations.

2:20 I will remove the one from the north59 far from you.

I will drive him out to a dry and desolate place.

Those in front will be driven eastward into the Dead Sea,60

and those in back westward into the Mediterranean Sea.61

His stench will rise up as a foul smell.”62

Indeed, the Lord63 has accomplished great things.

2:21 Do not fear, my land!

Rejoice and be glad,

because the Lord has accomplished great things!

2:22 Do not fear, wild animals!64

For the pastures of the wilderness are again green with grass.

Indeed, the trees bear their fruit;

the fig tree and the vine yield to their fullest.65

2:23 Citizens of Zion,66 rejoice!

Be glad because of what the Lord your God has done!67

For he has given to you the early rains68 as vindication.

He has sent69 to you the rains –

both the early and the late rains70 as formerly.

2:24 The threshing floors are full of grain;

the vats overflow with fresh wine and olive oil.

2:25 I will make up for the years71

that the ‘arbeh-locust72 consumed your crops73

the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust –

my great army74 that I sent against you.

2:26 You will have plenty to eat,

and your hunger will be fully satisfied;75

you will praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has acted wondrously in your behalf.

My people will never again be put to shame.

2:27 You will be convinced that I am in the midst of Israel.

I am the Lord your God; there is no other.

My people will never again be put to shame.

An Outpouring of the Spirit

2:28 (3:1)76 After all of this77

I will pour out my Spirit78 on all kinds of people.79

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

Your elderly will have revelatory dreams;80

your young men will see prophetic visions.

2:29 Even on male and female servants

I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

2:30 I will produce portents both in the sky81 and on the earth –

blood, fire, and columns of smoke.

2:31 The sunlight will be turned to darkness

and the moon to the color of blood,82

before the day of the Lord comes –

that great and terrible day!

2:32 It will so happen that

everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered.83

For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem84 there will be those who survive,85

just as the Lord has promised;

the remnant86 will be those whom the Lord will call.87

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