1Blow the trumpet in Zion! Sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all who live in the land tremble for the day of the Lord is coming—it's definitely near!
2It's a gloomy day of darkness, a day of thick clouds and heavy shadows. Like the dawn spreading over the mountains, an army appears, so large and powerful that there has never ever been anything like it before, nor will there ever be anything like it again.
3Fire blazes in front of them, behind them flames are burning. In front of them the land looks like the Garden of Eden, behind them is a desert of total desolation: not a single survivor remains.
4They have the appearance of horses; they charge like cavalry.
5Listen to the sound: they are like rumbling chariots leaping over the mountain tops, they are like crackling flames burning stubble, they are like a mighty army marching in formation into battle.
6Terror seizes all those in their path; all the people's faces grow pale.
7They attack like mighty warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march as one, never breaking ranks.
8They do not jostle one another, they stay on track; and even if some are cut down, they are not stopped.
9They rush to and fro in the city; they run along the walls; they climb into houses, entering through the windows like thieves.
10The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble, the sun and the moon grow dark, the stars stop shining.
11The Lord shouts his commands at the head of his army. His camp his immense, and those who carry out his orders are powerful. The day of the Lord is totally terrifying—who can stand it?
12“Yet even now,” says the Lord, “Come back to me while there is still time. Come to me with all your heart, with fasting and prayer.
13Repent in your minds, and not by tearing your clothes.” Come back to the Lord your God for he is gracious and kind. He is slow to get angry and full of faithful love, and changes his mind about sending punishment.
14Who knows? Maybe he will change his mind, leaving behind a blessing so that you will be able to make grain and wine offerings to the Lord your God.
15Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast; call a solemn assembly.
16Gather the people together: the elders, the children, even the babies. Let the bridegroom leave his room; let the bride leave her room.
17Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar of the Temple. Let them say, “Lord, please take pity on your people, and do not let your inheritance be disgraced, ruled over by foreign nations, so that the people of these nations could ask, ‘Where is their God?’”
18Now the Lord is very protective of his land and takes pity on his people.
19The Lord will reply, saying to his people, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, and you will be satisfied. You will no longer be a disgrace among the foreign nations.
20I will remove from you the army from the north; I will drive them into the desolate wilderness—the front into the eastern sea, and the rear into the western sea. The stench of the dead army will rise up—a real stink—for it has done terrible things.”
21Don't be afraid, people of the land! Be happy and celebrate, for the Lord has done incredible things!
22Don't be afraid, wild animals! For the pastures of the wilderness are turning green. The trees are fruiting again—the fig trees and the grapevines are producing a good crop.
23People of Jerusalem! Celebrate and be happy in the Lord your God because he has given you rain to show his goodness. As before he sends the autumn and the spring rains.
24The threshing floors will be full of grain, the vats will overflow with new wine and olive oil.
25“I will give back to you what you lost over the years to the swarming, hopping, destroying, and cutting locusts, this great army that I sent against you.
26You will have plenty to eat, and you will be satisfied, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God who has done miracles for you. My people will never again be ashamed.
27You will know that I am in the midst of my people Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other. My people will never again be ashamed.
28After this I will pour out my spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will be my prophets, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.
29In those days I will also pour out my spirit on male slaves and female slaves.
30I will place wonders in the heavens and on earth: blood, and fire, and columns of smoke.
31The sun will turn dark, and the moon will turn red like blood at the coming of the great and fearful day of the Lord.”
32Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, rescued from Mount Zion and Jerusalem, as the Lord has said—these are among the survivors the Lord has called.