They charge like warriors;1 they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line,2 not swerving3 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;4 like thieves they enter through the windows.5
Before them the earth shakes,6 the sky trembles,7 the sun and moon are darkened,8 and the stars no longer shine.9
The LORD 10 thunders11 at the head of his army;12 his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great;13 it is dreadful. Who can endure it?14
"Even now," declares the LORD, "return15 to me with all your heart,16 with fasting and weeping and mourning."
Rend your heart17 and not your garments.18 Return19 to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,20 slow to anger and abounding in love,21 and he relents from sending calamity.22
Who knows? He may turn23 and have pity24 and leave behind a blessing25-- grain offerings and drink offerings26 for the LORD your God.
Blow the trumpet27 in Zion,28 declare a holy fast,29 call a sacred assembly.30
Gather the people, consecrate31 the assembly; bring together the elders,32 gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom33 leave his room and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister34 before the LORD, weep35 between the temple porch and the altar.36 Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,37 a byword38 among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?39' "