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The Coming Day of the Lord

1Blow the trumpet on Zion. Shout a warning on my holy mountain. Let all the people who live in the land shake with fear. The LORD'S special day is coming; it is near.

2It will be a dark, gloomy day. It will be a dark and cloudy day. At sunrise you will see the army spread over the mountains. It will be a great and powerful army. There has never been anything like it before, and there will never be anything like it again.

3The army will destroy the land like a burning fire. In front of them the land will be like the Garden of Eden. Behind them the land will be like an empty desert. Nothing will escape them.

4They look like horses. They run like war horses.

5Listen to them. It is like the noise of chariots riding over the mountains. It is like the noise of flames burning the chaff. They are a powerful people, who are ready for war.

6Before this army, people shake with fear. Their faces become pale from fear.

7The soldiers run fast. They climb over the walls. Each soldier marches straight ahead. They don’t move from their path.

8They don’t trip each other. Each soldier walks in his own path. If one of the soldiers is hit and falls down, the others keep right on marching.

9They run to the city. They quickly climb over the wall. They climb into the houses. They climb through the windows like thieves.

10Before them, earth and sky shake. The sun and the moon become dark, and the stars stop shining.

11The LORD calls loudly to his army. His camp is very large. The army obeys his commands. His army is very powerful. The LORD'S special day is a great and terrible day. No one can stop it.

The Lord Tells the People to Change

12This is the LORD'S message: “Now come back to me with all your heart. Cry and mourn, and don’t eat anything! Show that you are sad for doing wrong.

13Tear your hearts, not your clothes.” Come back to the LORD your God. He is kind and merciful. He does not become angry quickly. He has great love. Maybe he will change his mind about the bad punishment he planned.

14Who knows, maybe he will change his mind and leave behind a blessing for you. Then you can give grain and drink offerings to the LORD your God.

Pray to the Lord

15Blow the trumpet at Zion. Call for a special meeting. Call for a special time of fasting.

16Bring the people together. Call for a special meeting. Bring together the old men, the children, and the small babies still at their mother’s breasts. Let the bride and her new husband come from their bedroom.

17Let the priests, the LORD'S servants, cry between the porch and the altar. All of them should say this: “LORD, have mercy on your people. Don’t let your people be put to shame. Don’t let other people tell jokes about your people. Don’t let the other nations laugh at us and say, ‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord Will Restore the Land

18Then the LORD cared very much about his land. He felt sorry for his people.

19The LORD spoke to his people. He said, “I will send you grain, wine, and oil. You will have plenty. I will not shame you among the nations anymore.

20No, I will force the people from the north to leave your land and make them go into a dry, empty land. Some of them will go to the eastern sea and some to the western sea. They did such terrible things, but they will be like a dead and rotting body. There will be such a terrible smell!”

The Land Will Be Made New Again

21Land, don’t be afraid. Be happy and full of joy. The LORD will do great things.

22Animals of the field, don’t be afraid. The desert pastures will grow grass. The trees will grow fruit. The fig trees and the vines will grow plenty of fruit.

23So be happy, people of Zion. Be joyful in the LORD your God. He is good and will give you rain. He will send the early rains and the late rains as before.

24The threshing floors will be filled with wheat, and the barrels will overflow with wine and olive oil.

25“I, the Lord, sent my army against you. The swarming locusts and the hopping locusts and the destroying locusts and the cutting locusts ate everything you had. But I will pay you back for those years of trouble.

26Then you will have plenty to eat. You will be full. You will praise the name of the LORD your God. He has done wonderful things for you. My people will never again be ashamed.

27You will know that I am with Israel. You will know that I am the LORD your God. There is no other God. My people will never be ashamed again.”

God Will Give His Spirit to All People

28“After this I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions.

29In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, both men and women.

30I will work wonders in the sky and on the earth. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke.

31The sun will be changed into darkness, and the moon will be as red as blood. Then the great and fearful day of the LORD will come!

32And everyone who trusts in the LORD will be saved. There will be survivors on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, just as the LORD said. Yes, those left alive will be the ones the LORD has called.

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