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Joel: 2

A warning of the day of the LORD.  Jl.2.1-11

1Blow the trumpet 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, it is near,
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 from of old,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.

3Fire devours before them,
and behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but after them a desolate wilderness,
and nothing escapes them.

4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses,
and like war horses they run.
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.
6Before them peoples are in anguish,
all faces grow pale.
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.
9They leap upon the city,
they run upon the walls;
they climb up into the houses,
they enter through the windows like a thief.

10The earth quakes before them,
the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
11The LORD utters his voice before his army,
for his host is exceedingly great;
he that executes his word is powerful.
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible;
who can endure it?

A call to repentance.  Jl.2.12-17

12"Yet even now," says the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
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 repents of evil.
14Who knows whether he will not turn and repent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a cereal offering and a drink offering
for the LORD, your God?

15Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber.

17Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests,
the ministers of the LORD, weep
and say, "Spare thy people, O LORD,
and make not thy heritage a reproach,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?'"

God restores fertility to the land.  Jl.2.18-27

18Then the LORD became jealous for his land,
and had pity on his people.
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.

20"I will remove the northerner far from you,
and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
his front into the eastern sea,
and his rear into the western sea;
the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
for he has done great things.

21"Fear not, O land;
be glad and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!
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.

23"Be glad, O sons 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.

24"The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25I will restore to you the years
which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.

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.
27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is none else.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

The day of the LORD.  Jl.2.28-32

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.
29Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days,
I will pour out my spirit.

30"And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 32And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered; 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.


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