2 Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem[a]! Raise the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is upon us. 2 It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again.
3 Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes. 4 They look like horses; they charge forward like warhorses.[b] 5 Look at them as they leap along the mountaintops. Listen to the noise they make—like the rumbling of chariots, like the roar of fire sweeping across a field of stubble, or like a mighty army moving into battle.
6 Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror. 7 The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like soldiers. Straight forward they march, never breaking rank. 8 They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. 9 They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows. 10 The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders. The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?
A Call to Repentance
12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. 14 Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before.
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