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  • Joel 2:1-17

    Announcement of alarm and peril

    Blow the horn in Zion;
        give a shout on my holy mountain!
    Let all the people of the land tremble,
        for the day of the Lord is coming.
    It is near—
        a day of darkness and no light,
        a day of clouds and thick darkness!
    Like blackness spread out upon the mountains,
        a great and powerful army comes,
            unlike any that has ever come before them,
            or will come after them in centuries ahead.
    In front of them a fire consumes;
        and behind them a flame burns.
    Land ahead of them is like Eden’s garden,
        but they leave behind them a barren wasteland;
            nothing escapes them.
    They resemble horses,
        and like warhorses they charge,
            like the rumbling of chariots.
    They leap on the mountaintops—
        like the crackling of a fire’s flame,
            devouring the stubble;
        like a powerful army
            ready for battle.
    In their presence, peoples shake with fear;
        all faces turn red with worry.
    Like warriors they charge;
        like soldiers they climb the wall.
    Each keeps to their own path;
        they didn’t change their course.
    They don’t crowd each other;
        each keeps to their own path.
    Even if they fall among the weapons,
        they won’t stop.
    They rush upon the city;
        they run upon the walls.
    They climb into the houses;
        they enter through the windows like thieves.
    10 The earth quakes before them;
        the heavens shake.
    The sun and the moon are darkened;
        the stars have stopped shining,
    11     because the Lord utters his voice
            at the head of his army.
    How numerous are his troops!
        Mighty are those who obey his word.
    The day of the Lord is great;
        it stirs up great fear—who can endure it?

    Change your hearts

    12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
        return to me with all your hearts,
            with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow;
    13 tear your hearts
            and not your clothing.
        Return to the Lord your God,
            for he is merciful and compassionate,
            very patient, full of faithful love,
                and ready to forgive.
    14 Who knows whether he will have a change of heart
        and leave a blessing behind him,
        a grain offering and a drink offering
                for the Lord your God?
    15 Blow the horn in Zion;
            demand a fast;
            request a special assembly.
    16 Gather the people;
            prepare a holy meeting;
            assemble the elders;
            gather the children,
                even nursing infants.
    Let the groom leave his room
            and the bride her chamber.
    17 Between the porch and the altar
            let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep.
        Let them say, “Have mercy, Lord, on your people,
            and don’t make your inheritance a disgrace,
            an example of failure among the nations.
        Why should they say among the peoples,
            ‘Where is their God?’”