At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;1 every face turns pale.2
They charge like warriors;3 they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line,4 not swerving5 from their course.
They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks.
They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses;6 like thieves they enter through the windows.7
Before them the earth shakes,8 the sky trembles,9 the sun and moon are darkened,10 and the stars no longer shine.11
The LORD 12 thunders13 at the head of his army;14 his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great;15 it is dreadful. Who can endure it?16
"Even now," declares the LORD, "return17 to me with all your heart,18 with fasting and weeping and mourning."
Rend your heart19 and not your garments.20 Return21 to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,22 slow to anger and abounding in love,23 and he relents from sending calamity.24
Who knows? He may turn25 and have pity26 and leave behind a blessing27-- grain offerings and drink offerings28 for the LORD your God.
Blow the trumpet29 in Zion,30 declare a holy fast,31 call a sacred assembly.32
Gather the people, consecrate33 the assembly; bring together the elders,34 gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom35 leave his room and the bride her chamber.