Joel 2
Contemporary English Version

Locusts and an Enemy Army

1Sound the trumpet on Zion,

the Lord's sacred hill.

Warn everyone to tremble!

The judgment day of the Lord

is coming soon.

2It will be dark and gloomy

with storm clouds overhead.

Troops will cover the mountains

like thunderclouds.

No army this powerful

has ever been gathered before

or will be gathered again.

3Fiery flames surround them;

no one escapes.

Before they invaded,

the land was like Eden;

now only a desert remains.

4 They look like horses

and charge like cavalry.

5They roar over mountains

like noisy chariots,

or a mighty army

ready for battle.

They are a forest fire

that feasts on straw.

6The very sight of them

is frightening.+

7They climb over walls

like warriors;

they march in columns

and never turn aside.+

8They charge straight ahead,

without pushing each other;

even arrows and spears

cannot make them retreat.

9They swarm over city walls

and enter our homes;

they crawl in through windows,

just like thieves.

10 They make the earth tremble

and the heavens shake;

the sun and moon turn dark,

and stars stop shining.

11 The Lord God leads this army

of countless troops,

and they obey his commands.

The day of his judgment

is so terrible

that no one can stand it.

The Lord's Invitation

12The Lord said:

It isn't too late.

You can still return to me

with all your heart.

Start crying and mourning!

Go without eating.

13Don't rip your clothes

to show your sorrow.

Instead, turn back to me

with broken hearts.

I am merciful, kind, and caring.

I don't easily lose my temper,

and I don't like to punish.

14I am the Lord your God.

Perhaps I will change my mind

and treat you with mercy.

Then you will be blessed

with enough grain and wine

for offering sacrifices to me.

15Sound the trumpet on Zion!

Call the people together.

Show your sorrow

by going without food.

16 Make sure that everyone

is fit to worship me.+

Bring adults, children, babies,

and even bring newlyweds

from their festivities.

17 Tell my servants, the priests,

to cry inside the temple

and to offer this prayer

near the altar:+

“Save your people, Lord God!

Don't let foreign nations

make jokes about us.

Don't let them laugh and ask,

‘Where is your God?’ ”

The Lord Will Bless the Land

18The Lord was deeply concerned

about his land

and had pity on his people.

19In answer to their prayers

he said,

“I will give you enough grain,

wine, and olive oil

to satisfy your needs.

No longer will I let you

be insulted by the nations.

20An army attacked from the north,

but I will chase it

into a scorching desert.

There it will rot and stink

from the Dead Sea

to the Mediterranean.”

The Lord works wonders

21and does great things.

So tell the soil to celebrate

22and wild animals

to stop being afraid.

Grasslands are green again;

fruit trees and fig trees

are loaded with fruit.

Grapevines are covered

with grapes.

23People of Zion,+

celebrate in honor

of the Lord your God!

He is generous and has sent

the autumn and spring rains

in the proper seasons.+

24Grain will cover

your threshing places;

jars will overflow

with wine and olive oil.

The Lord Will Rescue His People

25I, the Lord your God,

will make up for the losses

caused by those swarms

and swarms of locusts+

I sent to attack you.

26My people, you will eat

until you are satisfied.

Then you will praise me

for the wonderful things

I have done.

Never again will you

be put to shame.

27Israel, you will know

that I stand at your side.

I am the Lord your God—

there are no other gods.

Never again will you

be put to shame.

The Lord Will Work Wonders

The Lord said:

28 Later, I will give my Spirit

to everyone.

Your sons and daughters

will prophesy.

Your old men

will have dreams,

and your young men

will see visions.

29In those days I will even give

my Spirit to my servants,

both men and women.

30I will work wonders

in the sky above

and on the earth below.

There will be blood and fire

and clouds of smoke.

31 The sun will turn dark,

and the moon

will be as red as blood

before that great

and terrible day

when I appear.

32 Then I, the Lord will save everyone who faithfully worships me. I have promised there will be survivors on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and among them will be my chosen ones.


2.6 The very … frightening: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2.7 and never turn aside: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2.16 fit to worship me: This required going through certain kinds of ceremonies.
2.17 inside … altar: The Hebrew text has “between the porch and the altar,” which is the place where the priests usually prayed for the people.
2.23 Zion: Jerusalem.
2.23 in … seasons: Or “as he used to do.”
2.25 swarms … locusts: See the note at 1.4.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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