21Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm
on Zion, God's sacred hill.2.1 sacred hill: Mount Zion (see Zion in Word List).
Tremble, people of Judah!
The day of the LORD is coming soon.
2It will be a dark and gloomy day,
a black and cloudy day.
The great army of locusts advances
like darkness spreading over the mountains.
There has never been anything like it,
and there never will be again.
3Like fire they eat up the plants.
In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
but behind them it is a barren desert.
Nothing escapes them.
They look like horses;
they run like war horses.
5As they leap on the tops of the mountains,
they rattle like chariots;
they crackle like dry grass on fire.
They are lined up like a great army ready for battle.
6As they approach, everyone is terrified;
every face turns pale.
7They attack like warriors;
they climb the walls like soldiers.
They all keep marching straight ahead
and do not change direction
8or get in each other's way.
They swarm through defences,
and nothing can stop them.
9They rush against the city;
they run over the walls;
they climb up the houses
and go in through the windows like thieves.
The earth shakes as they advance;
the sky trembles.
The sun and the moon grow dark,
and the stars no longer shine.
The LORD thunders commands to his army.
The troops that obey him
are many and mighty.
How terrible is the day of the LORD!
Who will survive it?
12“But even now,” says the LORD,
“repent sincerely and return to me
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
13Let your broken heart show your sorrow;
tearing your clothes is not enough.”
Come back to the LORD your God.
He is kind and full of mercy;
he is patient and keeps his promise;
he is always ready to forgive and not punish.
14Perhaps the LORD your God will change his mind
and bless you with abundant crops.
Then you can offer him corn and wine.
15Blow the trumpet on Mount Zion;
give orders for a fast and call an assembly!
16Gather the people together;
prepare them for a sacred meeting;
bring the old people;
gather the children
and the babies too.
Even newly married couples
must leave their room and come.
17The priests, serving the LORD
between the altar and the entrance of the Temple,
must weep and pray:
“Have pity on your people, LORD.
Do not let other nations despise us and mock us
by saying, ‘Where is your God?’ ”
18Then the LORD showed concern for his land;
he had mercy on his people.
19He answered them:
“Now I am going to give you
corn and wine and olive oil,
and you will be satisfied.
Other nations will no longer despise you.
20I will remove the locust army that came from the north
and will drive some of them into the desert.
Their front ranks will be driven into the Dead Sea,
their rear ranks into the Mediterranean.
Their dead bodies will stink.
I will destroy them because of all they have done to you.
21“Fields, don't be afraid,
but be joyful and glad
because of all the LORD has done for you.
22Animals, don't be afraid.
The pastures are green;
the trees bear their fruit,
and there are plenty of figs and grapes.
23“Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice at what the LORD your God has done for you.
He has given you the right amount of autumn rain;2.23 right amount of autumn rain; or autumn rain because he is just.
he has poured down the winter rain for you
and the spring rain as before.
24The threshing places will be full of corn;
the pits beside the presses will overflow with wine and olive oil.
25I will give you back what you lost
in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops.
It was I who sent this army against you.
26Now you will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied.
You will praise the LORD your God,
who has done wonderful things for you.
My people will never be despised again.
27Then, Israel, you will know that I am among you,
and that I, the LORD, am your God
and there is no other.
My people will never be despised again.
“Afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on everyone:
your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;
your old people will have dreams,
and your young people will see visions.
29At that time I will pour out my Spirit
even on servants, both men and women.
30“I will give warnings of that day
in the sky and on the earth;
there will be bloodshed, fire, and clouds of smoke.
The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will turn red as blood
before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
But all who ask the LORD for help will be saved.
As the LORD has said,
‘Some in Jerusalem will escape;
those whom I choose will survive.’ ”
31The LORD says,
“At that time I will restore
the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem.
2I will gather all the nations
and bring them to the Valley of Judgement.
There I will judge them
for all they have done to my people.
They have scattered the Israelites in foreign countries
and divided up Israel, my land.
3They threw dice to decide
who would get the captives.
They sold boys and girls into slavery
to pay for prostitutes and wine.
“What are you trying to do to me, Tyre, Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you trying to pay me back for something? If you are, I will quickly pay you back! 5You have taken my silver and gold and carried my rich treasures into your temples. 6You have taken the people of Judah and Jerusalem far from their own country and sold them to the Greeks. 7Now I am going to bring them out of the places to which you have sold them. I will do to you what you have done to them. 8I will let your sons and daughters be sold to the people of Judah; they will sell them to the far-off Sabeans. I, the LORD, have spoken.
9“Make this announcement among the nations:
‘Prepare for war;
call your warriors;
gather all your soldiers and march!
Hammer the points of your ploughs into swords
and your pruning knives into spears.
Even the weak must fight.
11Hurry3.11 Probable text Hurry; Hebrew Help. and come,
all you surrounding nations,
and gather in the valley.’ ”
Send down, O LORD, your army to attack them.
12“The nations must get ready
and come to the Valley of Judgement.
There I, the LORD, will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations.
They are very wicked;
cut them down like corn
at harvest time;
crush them as grapes are crushed
in a full winepress
until the wine runs over.”
14Thousands and thousands
are in the Valley of Judgement.
It is there that the day of the LORD
will soon come.
15The sun and the moon grow dark,
and the stars no longer shine.
The LORD roars from Mount Zion;
his voice thunders from Jerusalem;
earth and sky tremble.
But he will defend his people.
17“Then, Israel, you will know that I am the LORD your God.
I live on Zion, my sacred hill.
Jerusalem will be a sacred city;
foreigners will never conquer it again.
18“At that time the mountains will be covered with vineyards,
and cattle will be found on every hill;
there will be plenty of water for all the streams of Judah.
A stream will flow from the Temple of the LORD,
and it will water the Valley of Acacia.
19“Egypt will become a desert,
and Edom a ruined waste,
because they attacked the land of Judah
and killed its innocent people.
20-21I will avenge3.20–21 Some ancient translations avenge; Hebrew declare innocent. those who were killed;
I will not spare the guilty.
But Judah and Jerusalem will be inhabited for ever,
and I, the LORD, will live on Mount Zion.”