A warning about the locusts
1 Blow trumpets on Zion Hill,
God's sacred hill in Jerusalem!
Tell the people of Judah that they should tremble,
because it will soon be the time for Yahweh to punish us further.
2 That will be a very dark and gloomy day,
with black clouds and thick darkness.
A huge swarm of locusts has covered the mountains like a black thundercloud.
Nothing like this has ever been seen before,
and nothing like this will ever be seen again.
3 It is as though they bring flames of fire
from which no one can escape.
In front of them, the land looked beautiful like [SIM] the garden of Eden,
but behind them the land looks like a desert.
4 The locusts look like horses,
and they run like war horses.
5 They sound like rumbling chariots
as they leap over the mountain tops.
They sound like a mighty army that is preparing for a battle,
or like the roar of a fire as it burns up stubble in a field.
6 When people see them coming,
they become very frightened.
7 The locusts climb over walls like soldiers do;
they march along in columns
and never turn aside.
8 They rush straight ahead
without pushing each other.
Throwing spears and javelins at them will not cause them to stop.
9 They swarm over the city walls and enter our houses;
they enter through our windows like thieves do.
10 They cause the earth to shake, and the sky trembles.
The sun and the moon become dark
and the stars do not shine
because there are so many locusts in the sky.
11 Yahweh leads this army of countless locusts,
and they obey his commands.
This time when he is judging and punishing us is very terrible,
with the result that it seems that no one can survive it.
Yahweh calls them to repent
12 But Yahweh says,
“In spite of the disasters that you have experienced,
you can return to me with all your inner beings.
Weep, and mourn, and ◄fast/abstain from eating food►
13 Do not tear your clothes
to show that you are sorry;
Instead, show [MET] in your inner beings that you are sorry.”
Yahweh is merciful and kind;
he does not quickly become angry;
he faithfully loves people.
14 No one knows [RHQ] if he will change his mind
and act mercifully toward you.
If he does that, he will bless you
by giving you plenty of grain and wine
in order that you can offer some of them as sacrifices to him.
15 Blow the trumpets on Zion Hill!
Gather the people together!
Show that you are sorry for your sins
16 Perform the rituals to make yourselves acceptable to Yahweh.
Gather everyone together —
the elders and the children, the babies,
and even summon brides and bridegrooms from their rooms.
17 Tell the priests who serve him to cry inside the temple
and to pray this as they stand between the entrance and the altar:
“Yahweh, rescue/save your people;
do not allow people from other nations to despise us;
do not allow them to ridicule us and say,
'Why has their God abandoned them?'
Yahweh promised to prosper them again
18 But Yahweh showed that he was concerned about the land of Judah
and that he would act mercifully toward his people.
19 When the people prayed,
Yahweh answered and said,
“I will give you plenty of grain and wine and olive oil,
and you will be satisfied.
And I will no longer allow other nations to insult you.”
20 Another army of locusts will come from the north and attack you,
but I will force them to continue past Jerusalem into the desert.
There they will all die and their bodies will stink,
from the Dead Sea in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
Yahweh does great things!
21 He does wonderful things!
So tell the ground that it should rejoice!
22 And tell the wild animals that they should not be afraid,
because the meadows will soon be green again,
and the fig trees and other trees will be full of fruit.
And the grapevines will be covered with grapes.
23 You people of Jerusalem,
rejoice about what Yahweh, your God, is doing for you.
He will send abundant rain at the right time—
◄in the spring/early in the year► and ◄in the autumn/late in the year►.
24 The ground where you thresh the grain will be covered with grain,
and your pits will be full of grape juice and olive oil.
25 Yahweh said, “I will recompense you for everything that was destroyed by those great swarms of locusts
that I sent to attack you.
26 You, my people, will eat until your stomachs are full.
Then you will praise me, Yahweh,
for all the wonderful things that I have done for you.
And never again will you be disgraced.
27 Then you people of Israel will know that I am always among you;
I am Yahweh, your God,
and there is no other God.
Never again will you be disgraced.
Yahweh promised to send his Spirit
28 Some time later, I will give my Spirit to many [HYP] people.
You sons and daughters will proclaim messages that come directly from me.
Your old men will have dreams that come from me
and your young men will have visions that come from me.
29 At that time, I will give my Spirit even to servants, both men and women.
30 I will do amazing things on the earth and in the sky.
On the earth [CHI], there will be much blood shed
and there will be great fires and huge clouds of smoke.
31 In the sky, the sun will become dark and the moon will become as red as [MET] blood.
Those things will happen before that great and terrible day when I appear.
32 Then I will save everyone who worships me.
I promise that some people in Jerusalem [DOU] will escape those disasters;
those whom I have chosen will survive.