2 The Locusts as a Warning of the Day of the Lord
1 Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm
on Zion, God's sacred hill.
a 2.20: sacred hill: Mount Zion (see Zion in Word List).
Tremble, people of Judah!
The day of the Lord is coming soon.
2 It will be a dark and gloomy day,
a black and cloudy day.
The great army of locusts advances
like darkness spreading over the mountains.
There has never been anything like it,
and there never will be again.
3 Like fire they eat up the plants.
In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
but behind them it is a barren desert.
Nothing escapes them.
They look like horses;
they run like war-horses.
5 As they leap on the tops of the mountains,
they rattle like chariots;
they crackle like dry grass on fire.
They are lined up like a great army ready for battle.
6 As they approach, everyone is terrified;
every face turns pale.
7 They attack like warriors;
they climb the walls like soldiers.
They all keep marching straight ahead
and do not change direction
8 or get in each other's way.
They swarm through defenses,
and nothing can stop them.
9 They rush against the city;
they run over the walls;
they climb up the houses
and go in through the windows like thieves.
The earth shakes as they advance;
the sky trembles.
The sun and the moon grow dark,
and the stars no longer shine.
thunders commands to his army.
The troops that obey him
are many and mighty.
How terrible is the day of the Lord!
Who will survive it?
A Call to Repentance
12 “But even now,” says the Lord,
“repent sincerely and return to me
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
13 Let your broken heart show your sorrow;
tearing your clothes is not enough.”
Come back to the Lord your God.
He is kind and full of mercy;
he is patient and keeps his promise;
he is always ready to forgive and not punish.