An Army of Locusts

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
and sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming,
for it is close at hand–
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds overcast and thick darkness.
As the dawn spreading on the mountains,
a great and strong people,
of which there has never been the like,
nor will there be again after them,
for many generations.

3 A fire devours before them,
and behind them, a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
and behind them, a desolate wilderness.
Yes, and no one has escaped them.
4 Their appearance is like that of horses,
and they run like war horses.
5 Like the sound of chariots
over the tops of the mountains, they leap,
like the sound of a flame of fire that devours the stubble,
like a strong people set in battle array.

6 At their presence the nations writhe in terror.
Every face has grown pale.
7 They run like mighty men.
They climb the wall like warriors.
They each march in his line,
and they do not veer off course.
8 They do not push one another.
They march, everyone in his path,
and they burst through the defenses,
without breaking ranks.
9 They rush on the city.
They run on the wall.
They climb up into the houses.
They enter in at the windows like thieves.

10 The earth quakes before them.
The heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The Lord thunders his voice
in the presence of his army.
His forces are very great,
for strong is he who executes his word.
For the day of the Lord is great and awesome,
and who can endure it?

Return with all your Heart

12 “Yet even now,” says the Lord,
“turn to me with all your heart,
and with fasting, weeping, and mourning.”

13 Tear your heart, and not your garments,
and turn to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness,
and relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
that you might give an offering to the Lord, your God.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion!
Consecrate a fast.
Call a solemn assembly.
16 Gather the people.
Consecrate the assembly.
Assemble the elders.
Gather the children and nursing babies.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her room.

17 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord,
weep between the porch and the altar,
and let them say, “Spare your people, Lord,
and do not give your heritage to reproach,
that the nations should rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

Restoration Promised

18 Then the Lord was jealous for his land
and had pity on his people.
19 The Lord answered his people,
“I will send you grain, new wine, and oil,
and you will be satisfied with them,
and I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 But I will remove the northern army far from you
and will drive it into a barren and desolate land.
Its front into the eastern sea
and its back into the western sea,
and its stench will come up,
and its bad smell will rise.”

Surely he has done great things.

21 Land, do not be afraid.
Be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things.
22 Do not be afraid, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness spring up,
for the tree bears its fruit.
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

23 Be glad then, you children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord, your God,
for he gives you the early rain in just measure,
and he causes the rain to come down for you,
the early rain and the latter rain, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be full of wheat,
and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will restore what you lost
in the years that the swarming locust ate,
the great locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar,
my great army, which I sent against you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied,
and will praise the name of the Lord, your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you,
and my people will never again be ashamed.
27 You will know that I am among Israel,
and that I am the Lord, your God, and there is no one else,
and my people will never again be ashamed.”

I will Pour Out My Spirit

28 “It will happen afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will dream dreams.
Your young men will see visions.
29 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days,
I will pour out my Spirit.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth;
blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
32 It will happen that whoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,
for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape,
as the Lord has said,
and among the remnant, those whom the Lord calls.”

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