1Priests, 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.2That 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.3Like 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.4They look like horses. Like war horses they charge ahead.5They 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.6When people see them, they tremble with fear. All their faces turn pale.7The 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.8They 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.9They attack a city. They run along its wall. They climb into houses. They enter through windows like robbers.10As they march forward, the earth shakes. The heavens tremble as they approach. The sun and moon grow dark. And the stars stop shining.11The 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
12The LORD announces to his people, ‘Return to me with all your heart. There is still time. Do not eat any food. Weep and mourn.’13Don’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.14Who knows? He might turn towards 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.15Priests, blow the trumpets in Zion. Announce a holy fast. Tell the people not to eat anything. Gather them together for a special service.16Bring 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.17Let 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
18Then the LORD was concerned for his land. He took pity on his people.19He replied, ‘I am sending you corn, 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.21Land of Judah, don’t be afraid. Be glad and full of joy. The LORD has done great things.22Wild 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.23People 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 autumn. That’s because he is faithful. He has sent you plenty of showers. He has sent autumn and spring rains alike, just as he did before.24Your threshing-floors will be covered with corn. Olive oil and fresh wine will spill over from the places where they are stored.25The 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.26You 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.27You 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.29In those days I will pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women alike.30I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth. There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke.31The sun will become dark. The moon will turn red like blood. It will happen before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.32Everyone 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.
English Standard Version
The Day of the Lord
1Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, (Isa 58:1; Ho 5:8; Joe 1:15; Joe 2:15; Joe 3:17; Am 3:6)2a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations. (Joe 1:2; Joe 1:6; Joe 2:11; Joe 2:25; Am 5:18; Am 5:20; Zep 1:15)3Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them. (Ge 2:8; Isa 51:3; Joe 1:19; Zec 7:14)4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run. (Re 9:7)5As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle. (Isa 5:24; Isa 47:14; Joe 2:2; Ob 1:18; Na 1:10; Na 3:2; Re 9:9)6Before them peoples are in anguish; all faces grow pale. (Na 2:10)7Like warriors they charge; like soldiers they scale the wall. They march each on his way; they do not swerve from their paths.8They do not jostle one another; each marches in his path; they burst through the weapons and are not halted. (Pr 30:27)9They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls, they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief. (Isa 33:4; Jer 9:21; Joh 10:1)10The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. (Ps 18:7; Isa 13:10; Eze 32:7; Joe 3:15; Joe 3:16; Am 8:8; Mt 24:29; Re 9:2)11The Lord utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it? (Nu 24:23; Joe 1:15; Joe 2:25; Joe 2:31; Joe 3:16; Mal 3:2; 1Th 4:16; Re 18:8)
Return to the Lord
12“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; (De 4:30; 1Sa 7:3; 1Sa 7:6; Jer 4:1; Ho 12:6)13and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. (Ge 37:29; Ex 34:6; Nu 23:19; Ps 34:18; Ps 86:5; Ps 86:15; Eze 24:14; Jon 4:2)14Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? (Joe 1:9; Joe 1:13; Jon 3:9; Hag 2:19; Mal 3:10)15Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; (Joe 1:14; Joe 2:1)16gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. (De 24:5; Jos 3:5; 2Ch 20:13; Ec 3:5; Zec 12:12; 1Co 7:5)17Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” (1Ki 6:3; 2Ch 3:4; 2Ch 4:1; Ps 42:3; Ps 79:10; Ps 115:2; Eze 8:16; Joe 1:9)
The Lord Had Pity
18Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. (Ps 103:13; Zec 1:14; Zec 8:2)19The Lord answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations. (Ps 4:7; Joe 1:10; Mal 3:10)20“I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his vanguard into the eastern sea, and his rear guard into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things. (Isa 34:3; Eze 47:18; Am 4:10; Zec 14:8)21“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! (Ps 126:2)22Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and vine give their full yield. (Joe 1:18; Joe 1:19; Zec 8:12)23“Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. (De 11:14; Ps 100:1; Jer 5:24; Ho 6:3; Hab 3:18; Zec 10:7)24“The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.25I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. (Joe 1:4; Joe 2:11)26“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. (Le 25:19; Isa 49:23)27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame. (Ex 20:2; Isa 44:8; Eze 37:26; Ho 11:9; Joe 2:26; Joe 3:17)
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. (Isa 32:15; Eze 39:29; Zec 12:10; Joh 7:39; Ac 2:17; Ac 2:39; Ac 21:9)29Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. (1Co 12:13)30“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. (Mt 24:30; Lu 21:11)31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. (Joe 2:10; Mal 4:5; Re 6:12)32And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. (Isa 46:13; Isa 59:20; Jer 31:7; Ob 1:17; Mic 4:7; Zec 8:12; Ro 10:13)