Blow a horn in Zion,
Sound an alarm on My holy mount!
Let all dwellers on earth tremble,
For the day of the LORD has come!
It is close—
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of densest cloud
Spread like soot over the hills.
A vast, enormous horde—
Nothing like it has ever happened,
And it shall never happen again
Through the years and ages.
Their vanguard is a consuming fire,
Their rear guard a devouring flame.
Before them the land was like the Garden of Eden,
Behind them, a desolate waste:
Nothing has escaped them.
They have the appearance of horses,
They gallop just like steeds.
With a clatter as of chariots
They bound on the hilltops,
With a noise like a blazing fire
Like an enormous horde
Arrayed for battle.
Peoples tremble before them,
All faces aMeaning of Heb. uncertain; cf. Nah. 2.11.turn ashen.-a
They rush like warriors,
They scale a wall like fighters.
And each keeps to his own track.
Their paths never cross;bMeaning of Heb. uncertain.
No one jostles another,
Each keeps to his own course.
bMeaning of Heb. uncertain.And should they fall through a loophole,
They do not get hurt.-b
They rush up the wall,
They dash about in the city;
They climb into the houses,
They enter like thieves
By way of the windows.
Before them earth trembles,
Sun and moon are darkened,
And stars withdraw their brightness.
And the LORD roars aloud
At the head of His army;
For vast indeed is His host,
Numberless are those that do His bidding.
For great is the day of the LORD,
Most terrible—who can endure it?
“Yet even now”—says the LORD—
“Turn back to Me with all your hearts,
And with fasting, weeping, and lamenting.”
Rend your hearts
Rather than your garments,
And turn back to the LORD your God.
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in kindness,
And renouncing punishment.
Who knows but He may turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind
For meal offering and drink offering
To the LORD your God?cWhen the locusts depart, there will again be yield enough for offerings; see 1.9.
Blow a horn in Zion,
Solemnize a fast,
Proclaim an assembly!
Gather the people,
Bid the congregation purify themselves.dCf. Exod. 19.10; Zeph. 1.7.
Bring together the old,
Gather the babes
And the sucklings at the breast;
Let the bridegroom come out of his chamber,
The bride from her canopied couch.
Between the portico and the altar,
Let the priests, the LORD’s ministers, weep
“Oh, spare Your people, LORD!
Let not Your possession become a mockery,
To be taunted by nations!
Let not the peoples say,
‘Where is their God?’”
Then the LORD was roused
On behalf of His land
And had compassion
Upon His people.
In response to His people
The LORD declared:
“I will grant you the new grain,
The new wine, and the new oil,
And you shall have them in abundance.
Nevermore will I let you be
A mockery among the nations.
I will drive the northernereI.e., the locusts. Emendation yields “My multitude”; cf. “nation” (1.6), “horde,” “army,” and “host” (2.2, 5, 11, and 25). far from you,
I will thrust it into a parched and desolate land—
Its van to the Eastern SeafThe Dead Sea.
And its rear to the Western Sea;gThe Mediterranean Sea.
And the stench of it shall go up,
And the foul smell rise.”
For [the LORD] shall work great deeds.
Fear not, O soil, rejoice and be glad;
For the LORD has wrought great deeds.
Fear not, O beasts of the field,
For the pastures in the wilderness
Are clothed with grass.
The trees have borne their fruit;
Fig tree and vine
Have yielded their strength.
O children of Zion, be glad,
Rejoice in the LORD your God.
For He has given you the early rain in [His] kindness,
Now He makes the rain fall [as] formerly—
The early rain and the late—
And threshing floors shall be piled with grain,
And vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
“I will repay you hEmendation yields “double what was.”for the years-h
Consumed by swarms and hoppers,
By grubs and locusts,
The great army I let loose against you.
And you shall eat your fill
And praise the name of the LORD your God
Who dealt so wondrously with you—
My people shall be shamed no more.
And you shall know
That I am in the midst of Israel:
That I the LORD am your God
And there is no other.
And My people shall be shamed no more.”