New International Reader's Version
The Lord Sends an Army of Locusts
2 Priests, blow the trumpets in Zion.
Give a warning on my holy mountain.
Let everyone who lives in the land tremble with fear.
The day of the Lord is coming.
It is very near.
2 That day will be dark and sad.
It will be black and cloudy.
A huge army of locusts is coming.
They will spread across the mountains
like the sun when it rises.
There has never been an army like it.
And there will never be another
for all time to come.
3 Like fire they eat up everything in their path.
Behind them it looks as if flames have burned the land.
In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden.
Behind them it is a dry and empty desert.
Nothing escapes them.
4 They look like horses.
Like war horses they charge ahead.
5 They sound like chariots as they leap over the mountaintops.
They crackle like fire burning up dry weeds.
They are like a mighty army
that is ready for battle.
6 When people see them, they tremble with fear.
All their faces turn pale.
7 The locusts charge ahead like warriors.
They climb over walls like soldiers.
All of them march in line.
They don’t turn to the right or the left.
8 They don’t bump into one another.
Each of them marches straight ahead.
They charge through everything that tries to stop them.
But they still stay in line.
9 They attack a city.
They run along its wall.
They climb into houses.
They enter through windows like robbers.
10 As they march forward, the earth shakes.
The heavens tremble as they approach.
The sun and moon grow dark.
And the stars stop shining.
11 The Lord thunders with his mighty voice
as he leads his army.
He has so many forces they can’t even be counted.
The army that obeys his commands is mighty.
The day of the Lord is great and terrifying.
Who can live through it?
Let Your Hearts Be Broken
12 The Lord announces to his people,
“Return to me with all your heart.
There is still time.
Do not eat any food.
Weep and mourn.”
13 Don’t just tear your clothes to show how sad you are.
Let your hearts be broken.
Return to the Lord your God.
He is gracious.
He is tender and kind.
He is slow to get angry.
He is full of love.
He won’t bring his judgment.
He won’t destroy you.
14 Who knows? He might turn toward you
and not bring his judgment.
He might even give you his blessing.
Then you can bring grain offerings and drink offerings
to the Lord your God.
15 Priests, blow the trumpets in Zion.
Announce a holy fast.
Tell the people not to eat anything.
Gather them together for a special service.
16 Bring them together.
Set all of them apart to me.
Bring together the elders.
Gather the children and the babies
who are still nursing.
Let the groom leave his bedroom.
Let the bride leave their marriage bed.
17 Let the priests who serve the Lord weep.
Let them cry between the temple porch and the altar.
Let them say, “Lord, spare your people.
Don’t let others make fun of them.
Don’t let the nations laugh at them.
Don’t let them tease your people and say,
‘Where is their God?’ ”
The Lord Answers the Prayer of His People
18 Then the Lord was concerned for his land.
He took pity on his people.
19 He replied,
“I am sending you grain, olive oil and fresh wine.
It will be enough to satisfy you completely.
I will never allow other nations
to make fun of you again.
20 “I will drive far away from you
the army that comes from the north.
I will send some of its forces
into a dry and empty land.
Its eastern troops will drown in the Dead Sea.
Its western troops will drown in the Mediterranean Sea.
Their dead bodies will stink.”
The Lord has done great things.
21 Land of Judah, don’t be afraid.
Be glad and full of joy.
The Lord has done great things.
22 Wild animals, don’t be afraid.
The desert grasslands are turning green again.
The trees are bearing their fruit.
The vines and fig trees are producing rich crops.
23 People of Zion, be glad.
Be joyful because of what the Lord your God has done.
He has given you the right amount of rain in the fall.
That’s because he is faithful.
He has sent you plenty of showers.
He has sent fall and spring rains alike,
just as he did before.
24 Your threshing floors will be covered with grain.
Olive oil and fresh wine will spill over
from the places where they are stored.
25 The Lord says,
“I sent a great army of locusts to attack you.
They included common locusts, giant locusts,
young locusts and other locusts.
I will make up for the years
they ate your crops.
26 You will have plenty to eat.
It will satisfy you completely.
Then you will praise me.
I am the Lord your God.
I have done wonderful things for you.
My people will never again be put to shame.
27 You will know that I am with you in Israel.
I am the Lord your God.
There is no other God.
So my people will never again be put to shame.
The Day of the Lord Is Coming
28 “After that, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will have dreams.
Your young men will have visions.
29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
on those who serve me, men and women alike.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth.
There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
31 The sun will become dark.
The moon will turn red like blood.
It will happen before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
32 Everyone who calls out to me will be saved.
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
some of my people will be left alive.
I have chosen them.
That is what I have promised.
New International Version
An Army of Locusts
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord(D) is coming.
It is close at hand(E)—
2 a day of darkness(F) and gloom,(G)
a day of clouds(H) and blackness.(I)
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army(J) comes,
such as never was in ancient times(K)
nor ever will be in ages to come.
3 Before them fire(L) devours,
behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,(M)
behind them, a desert waste(N)—
nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses;(O)
they gallop along like cavalry.
5 With a noise like that of chariots(P)
they leap over the mountaintops,
like a crackling fire(Q) consuming stubble,
like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;(R)
every face turns pale.(S)
7 They charge like warriors;(T)
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,(U)
not swerving(V) from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other;
each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
without breaking ranks.
9 They rush upon the city;
they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;(W)
like thieves they enter through the windows.(X)
10 Before them the earth shakes,(Y)
the heavens tremble,(Z)
the sun and moon are darkened,(AA)
and the stars no longer shine.(AB)
11 The Lord(AC) thunders(AD)
at the head of his army;(AE)
his forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the Lord is great;(AF)
it is dreadful.
Who can endure it?(AG)
Rend Your Heart
13 Rend your heart(AJ)
and not your garments.(AK)
Return(AL) to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,(AM)
slow to anger and abounding in love,(AN)
and he relents from sending calamity.(AO)
14 Who knows? He may turn(AP) and relent(AQ)
and leave behind a blessing(AR)—
grain offerings and drink offerings(AS)
for the Lord your God.
15 Blow the trumpet(AT) in Zion,(AU)
declare a holy fast,(AV)
call a sacred assembly.(AW)
16 Gather the people,
consecrate(AX) the assembly;
bring together the elders,(AY)
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom(AZ) leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
17 Let the priests, who minister(BA) before the Lord,
weep(BB) between the portico and the altar.(BC)
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,(BD)
a byword(BE) among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?(BF)’”
The Lord’s Answer
19 The Lord replied[a] to them:
20 “I will drive the northern horde(BM) far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench(BN) will go up;
its smell will rise.”
Surely he has done great things!
21 Do not be afraid,(BO) land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.(BP)
Surely the Lord has done great things!(BQ)
22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.(BR)
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree(BS) and the vine(BT) yield their riches.(BU)
23 Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice(BV) in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.(BW)
He sends you abundant showers,(BX)
both autumn(BY) and spring rains,(BZ) as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow(CA) with new wine(CB) and oil.
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts(CC) have eaten(CD)—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm[b]—
my great army(CE) that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,(CF)
and you will praise(CG) the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders(CH) for you;
never again will my people be shamed.(CI)
27 Then you will know(CJ) that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord(CK) your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.(CL)
The Day of the Lord
28 “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit(CM) on all people.(CN)
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,(CO)
your old men will dream dreams,(CP)
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants,(CQ) both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.(CR)
30 I will show wonders in the heavens(CS)
and on the earth,(CT)
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness(CU)
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.(CV)
32 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord(CW) will be saved;(CX)
for on Mount Zion(CY) and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,(CZ)
as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors(DA)
whom the Lord calls.[c](DB)