A fire consumes before them, And behind them a flame devours. The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them.
Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run.
With a noise as of chariots They leap about on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people drawn up for battle.
Before them the people are in anguish; All faces turn pale.
They run like warriors, They climb the wall like soldiers; And each of them marches in line, Nor do they lose their way.
They do not crowd each other, Every warrior of them marches in his path; When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks.
They storm the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief.
Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon become dark, And the stars lose their brightness.
The LORD utters His voice before His army; His camp is indeed very great, For mighty is one who carries out His word. The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?
'Yet even now,' declares the LORD, 'Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping, and mourning;
And tear your heart and not merely
your garments.' Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in mercy And relenting of catastrophe.
Who knows, He might turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him, Resulting in
a grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God.
Blow a trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and the nursing infants. Have the groom come out of his room And the bride out of her bridal chamber.
Let the priests, the LORD’S ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, 'Spare Your people, LORD, And do not make Your inheritance a disgrace, With the nations jeering at them. Why should those
among the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’?'