Joel 2

1Blow the trumpet on Zion. Shout a warning on my holy mountain. Let all the people that live in the land shake with fear. The Lord’s special day is coming. The Lord’s special day is near. 2It will be a dark, gloomy day. It will be a dark and cloudy day. At sunrise, you will see the army spread over the mountains. It will be a great and powerful army. There has never been anything like it before. And there will never be anything like it again. 3The army will destroy the land like a burning fire. In front of them, the land will be like the Garden of Eden. Behind them, the land will be like an empty desert. Nothing will escape them. 4˻The locusts˼ look like horses. They run like war horses. 5Listen to them. It is like the noise of chariots riding over the mountains. It is like the noise of flames burning the chaff. They are a powerful people. They are ready for war. 6Before this army, people shake with fear. Their faces become pale from fear. 7The soldiers run fast. The soldiers climb over the walls. Each soldier marches straight ahead. They don’t move from their path. 8They don’t trip each other. Each soldier walks in his ˻own˼ path. If one of the soldiers is hit and falls down, the others keep right on marching. 9They run to the city. They quickly climb over the wall. They climb into the houses. They climb through the windows like thieves. 10Before them, earth and sky shake. The sun and the moon become dark. And the stars stop shining. 11The Lord calls loudly to his army. His camp is very large. That army obeys his commands. That army is very powerful. The Lord’s special day is a great and terrible day. No person can stop it. 12This is the Lord’s message: “Now come back to me with all your heart, ˻You did bad things,˼ cry, cry and don’t eat any food! 13Tear your hearts, not your clothes.” Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and merciful. He does not become angry quickly. He has great love. Maybe he will change his mind about the bad ˻punishment he planned˼. 14Who knows, maybe the Lord will change his mind. And maybe he will leave behind a blessing for you. Then you can give grain and drink offerings to the Lord your God. 15Blow the trumpet at Zion. Call for a special meeting. Call for a special time for not eating. 16Bring together the people. Call for a special meeting. Bring together the older men. Bring together the children. Bring the small babies that still suck their mother’s breasts. Let the bride and her new husband come from their bedroom. 17Let the priests, the Lord’s servants, cry between the porch and the altar. All of those people should say these things: ”Lord, have mercy on your people. Don’t let your people be put to shame. Don’t let other people tell jokes about your people. Don’t let people in other nations ˻laugh at us and˼ say, 'Where is their God?’” 18Then the Lord became excited about his land. He felt sorry for his people. 19The Lord spoke to his people. He said, “I will send you grain, wine, and oil. You will have plenty. I won’t shame you among the nations any more. 20No, I will force those people from the north to leave your land. I will make them go into a dry, empty land. Some of them will go to the eastern sea. Some of them will go to the western sea. Those people did such terrible things. But they will be like a dead and rotting thing. There will be such a terrible smell!” 21Land, don’t be afraid. Be happy and full of joy. The Lord will do great things. 22Animals of the field, don’t be afraid. The desert pastures will grow grass. The trees will grow fruit. The fig trees and the vines will grow plenty of fruit. 23So be happy, people of Zion. Be joyful in the Lord your God. He will be good and give you rain. He will send you the early rains and the late rains like before. 24The threshing floors will be filled with wheat. And the barrels will overflow with wine and olive oil. 25“I, the Lord, sent my army against you. The swarming locusts and the hopping locusts and the destroying locusts and the cutting locusts ate everything you had. But I, the Lord, will pay you back for those years ˻of trouble˼. 26Then you will have plenty to eat. You will be full. You will praise the name of the Lord your God. He has done wonderful things for you. My people will never ˻again˼ be ashamed. 27You will know that I am with Israel. You will know that I am the Lord your God. There is no other God. My people will never be ashamed again.” 28“After this I will pour ˻(give)˼ my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. 29At that time I will pour out ˻(give)˼ my Spirit even on servants, both men and women. 30I will show amazing things in the sky and on the earth— There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke. 31The sun will be changed into darkness, The moon will be changed into blood. And then the great and wonderful Day of the Lord will come! 32And then, any person that calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There will be survivors on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, just like the Lord said. Yes, the survivors that the Lord is calling will come ˻back˼.

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