The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Joel
Chapter 2
1 2 3
The trumpet, there, in Sion! On yonder mountain-height, my sanctuary, sound the alarm! Tremble, fellow-countrymen, one and all; the day of the Lord is coming, coming so soon.
Day of gloom and darkness, day of cloud and storm; spread out, like dawn over the hills, this great, this valiant army; never was the like since time began, never shall be, while the ages run their course.
Fire running greedily before them, and a track of flame behind; in front, a land that could match Eden for loveliness, and where they have passed, nothing but a desert waste; escape from them is none.
Horse nor horseman so terrible of aspect, so speedy in advance;
hark to the noise of them, as they spurn the hill-slopes! Din of chariots is not so loud, nor crackling of flames that feed on stubble; a valiant army, all arrayed for battle!
What wonder if whole nations groan at their coming, everywhere pale cheeks?
Bravely they hasten to the attack, warrior-like scale the wall; unswerving they press on,
never one jostling with another, so well keeps each one his course; storm the loop-hole unhurt;
and now, the city breached, mount wall, climb house-top, enter by windows, the thief’s way.

Before that army, quakes earth, and heaven rocks; dark grow sun and moon, and the stars withhold their radiance;
with his own voice the Lord heralds its coming. Wide it stretches, that host of the Lord, valiant it is, and ever ready to do his will. O great, O terrible day of the Lord; who shall find strength to bear it?

Time now, the Lord says, to turn the whole bent of your hearts back to me, with fasting and with mourners’ tears.
It is your hearts, not the garments you wear, that must be torn asunder. Come back to the Lord your God; he is ever gracious and merciful, ever patient and rich in pardon; threatens he calamity, even now he is ready to forgive.
Who knows but he will relent, and be appeased; cast one glance behind him, and, enough for his own due of bread and wine-offering, spare us largesse yet?

The trumpet, there, in Sion! Here is fasting proclaimed, the citizens assembled;
the folk summoned, the cleansing rites performed, the elders met; weanling must be there and babe unweaned, groom leave his chamber and bride her bower.
Hark how the priests, that wait upon the Lord, make lament between porch and altar, crying aloud: Spare thy people, Lord, spare them; thy chosen people, do not put them to the shame of obeying heathen masters! Wilt thou let the Gentiles ask, What has become of their God?

People of a land well loved, he spares us yet.
His answer comes, Here is corn and wine and oil to your hearts’ content; no more will I let the nations mock you.
Far he shall be driven from your lands, the northern invader; out in the trackless desert he shall lie, vanguard to eastern, rearguard to western sea, and nothing more shall assail you but stench and stink of him, this enemy that did so wondrously.
Fear no more, land of Israel; in the Lord’s wondrous doings triumph and rejoice!
Fear no more, beasts that roam the country-side; grass grows on the upland meadows! There is fruit on the trees again; vine nor fig-tree ever bore so lustily.
Rejoice, men of Sion, and triumph in the Lord your God; proof he gives you of your restoration to favour, making the winter and the spring rains fall, as in time past.
Now the threshing-floor shall be piled with wheat, and the presses overflow with wine and oil.
Profitless years, when the locust ravaged you, Gnaw-all and Ruin-all and Spoiler, that great army of mine I let loose among you, they shall be made good.
Eat you shall to your hearts’ content, praising the name of the Lord your God for his wondrous protection; never again shall Israel go away disappointed.
I will make myself known among you, I, the Lord your God, who alone am God; Israel cheated of their hopes never again!

And afterwards? Afterwards I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and daughters will be prophets. Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men see visions;
everywhere servants of mine, handmaids of mine, inspired to prophesy!
I will shew wonders in heaven, and on earth blood, and fire, and whirling smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the day of the Lord comes, the great, the terrible day.
And never a soul shall call on the Lord’s name but shall find deliverance; here on mount Sion, here in Jerusalem there shall be refuge; for a remnant, a remnant of the Lord’s own summoning, there shall be deliverance at last.