New American Bible (Revised Edition)
II. The Day of the Lord
The Day Approaches
1 [a]Blow the horn in Zion,
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming!(A)
Yes, it approaches,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of thick clouds!
Like dawn[b] spreading over the mountains,
a vast and mighty army!
Nothing like it has ever happened in ages past,
nor will the future hold anything like it,
even to the most distant generations.(B)
3 Before it,[c] fire devours,
behind it flame scorches.
The land before it is like the garden of Eden,
and behind it, a desolate wilderness;
from it nothing escapes.(C)
- 2:1–11 Joel warns the people about the destruction he sees galloping toward Jerusalem. He combines the imagery of the locust invasion (chap. 1) with language from the holy war tradition in order to describe the Lord leading a heavenly army against the enemy, in this case, Jerusalem.
- 2:2 Like dawn: from the east comes dark destruction rather than a new day’s light.
- 2:3 Before it: fire precedes and follows the army’s advance. Even the ravaged landscape of chap. 1 looks like a lush garden compared to the devastation this army leaves behind.