Joel 2–3; Acts 11

The Day of the Lord

jBlow a trumpet in kZion;

sound an alarm on kmy holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,

for lthe day of the Lord is coming; it is near,

ma day of darkness and gloom,

ma day of clouds and thick darkness!

Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains

na great and powerful people;

otheir like has never been before,

nor will be again after them

through the years of all generations.

pFire devours before them,

and behind them a flame burns.

The land is like qthe garden of Eden before them,

but rbehind them a desolate wilderness,

and nothing escapes them.

sTheir appearance is like the appearance of horses,

and like war horses they run.

tAs with the rumbling of chariots,

they leap on the tops of the mountains,

like the crackling of ua flame of fire

devouring the stubble,

nlike a powerful army

drawn up for battle.

Before them peoples are in anguish;

vall faces grow pale.

Like warriors they charge;

like soldiers they scale the wall.

They march each on his way;

they do not swerve from their paths.

They do not jostle one another;

weach marches in his path;

they burst through the weapons

and are not halted.

xThey leap upon the city,

they run upon the walls,

ythey climb up into the houses,

ythey enter through the windows zlike a thief.

10  aThe earth quakes before them;

the heavens tremble.

bThe sun and the moon are darkened,

and the stars withdraw their shining.

11  cThe Lord utters his voice

before dhis army,

for his camp is exceedingly great;

ehe who executes his word is powerful.

fFor the day of the Lord is ggreat and very awesome;

hwho can endure it?

Return to the Lord

12  Yet even now, declares the Lord,

ireturn to me with all your heart,

jwith fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

13  and krend your hearts and not lyour garments.

Return to the Lord your God,

mfor he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

nand he relents over disaster.

14  oWho knows whether he will not turn and relent,

and pleave a blessing behind him,

qa grain offering and a drink offering

for the Lord your God?

15  rBlow the trumpet in Zion;

sconsecrate a fast;

call a solemn assembly;

16  gather the people.

tConsecrate the congregation;

assemble the elders;

ugather the children,

even nursing infants.

vLet the bridegroom leave his room,

and the bride her chamber.

17  wBetween the xvestibule and the yaltar

zlet the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep

and say, Spare your people, O Lord,

and make not your heritage a reproach,

a byword among the nations.1

aWhy should they say among the peoples,

Where is their God?

The Lord Had Pity

18  bThen the Lord became jealous for his land

cand had pity on his people.

19  The Lord answered and said to his people,

Behold, dI am sending to you

grain, wine, and oil,

dand you will be satisfied;

and I will no more make you

a reproach among the nations.

20  I will remove the northerner far from you,

and drive him into a parched and desolate land,

his vanguard2 into ethe eastern sea,

and his rear guard3 into fthe western sea;

gthe stench and foul smell of him will rise,

for he has done great things.

21  Fear not, O land;

be glad and rejoice,

for hthe Lord has done great things!

22  Fear not, iyou beasts of the field,

for jthe pastures of the wilderness are green;

kthe tree bears its fruit;

the fig tree and kvine give their full yield.

23  lBe glad, O children of Zion,

and lrejoice in the Lord your God,

for he has given mthe early rain for your vindication;

he has poured down for you abundant rain,

mthe early and nthe latter rain, as before.

24  The threshing floors shall be full of grain;

the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25  I will restore4 to you the years

that othe swarming locust has eaten,

othe hopper, othe destroyer, and othe cutter,

pmy great army, which I sent among you.

26  qYou shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,

and praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has dealt wondrously with you.

And my people rshall never again be put to shame.

27  sYou shall know that I am tin the midst of Israel,

and that uI am the Lord your God vand there is none else.

And my people rshall never again be put to shame.

The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit

28  5 wAnd it shall come to pass afterward,

that xI will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

yyour sons and zyour daughters shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

and your young men shall see visions.

29  aEven on the male and female servants

in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

30 And I will show bwonders in the heavens and bon the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 cThe sun shall be turned to darkness, dand the moon to blood, ebefore the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that feveryone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. gFor in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among hthe survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

6

The Lord Judges the Nations

For behold, iin those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, jI will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And kI will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and lhave cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

What are you to me, mO Tyre and Sidon, and all nthe regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, oI will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. For pyou have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples.7 You have sold qthe people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and oI will return your payment on your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the rSabeans, to a nation far away, for the Lord has spoken.

Proclaim this among the nations:

sConsecrate for war;8

stir up the mighty men.

Let all the men of war draw near;

let them come up.

10  tBeat your plowshares into swords,

and tyour pruning hooks into spears;

let the weak say, I am a warrior.

11  uHasten and come,

all you surrounding nations,

and gather yourselves there.

vBring down your warriors, O Lord.

12  Let the nations stir themselves up

and come up to wthe Valley of Jehoshaphat;

xfor there I will sit to judge

all the surrounding nations.

13  yPut in the sickle,

zfor the harvest is ripe.

aGo in, tread,

afor the winepress is full.

The vats overflow,

for their evil is great.

14  Multitudes, multitudes,

in the valley of decision!

For bthe day of the Lord is near

in the valley of decision.

15  cThe sun and the moon are darkened,

and the stars withdraw their shining.

16  dThe Lord roars from Zion,

and dutters his voice from Jerusalem,

eand the heavens and the earth quake.

But the Lord is fa refuge to his people,

a stronghold to the people of Israel.

The Glorious Future of Judah

17  gSo you shall know that I am the Lord your God,

hwho dwells in Zion, imy holy mountain.

And Jerusalem shall be holy,

and jstrangers shall never again pass through it.

18  And in that day

kthe mountains shall drip sweet wine,

and the hills shall flow with milk,

and lall the streambeds of Judah

shall flow with water;

mand a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord

and water the Valley of nShittim.

19  oEgypt shall become a desolation

and pEdom a desolate wilderness,

qfor the violence done to the people of Judah,

because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

20  rBut Judah shall be inhabited forever,

and Jerusalem to all generations.

21  sI will avenge their blood,

blood I have not avenged,9

hfor the Lord dwells in Zion.


Peter Reports to the Church

11 Now the apostles and rthe brothers1 who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, sthe circumcision party2 criticized him, saying, tYou went to uncircumcised men and uate with them. But Peter began and explained it to them in order: vI was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. But I said, By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth. But the voice answered a second time from heaven, What God has made clean, do not call common. 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, wmaking no distinction. xThese six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 yhe will declare to you a message by which zyou will be saved, you and all your household. 15 As I began to speak, athe Holy Spirit fell on them bjust as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, cJohn baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 17 If then dGod gave ethe same gift to them as he gave to us fwhen we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, gwho was I hthat I could stand in God’s way? 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they iglorified God, saying, jThen to the Gentiles also God has kgranted lrepentance that leads to life.

The Church in Antioch

19 mNow those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists3 also, npreaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And othe hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed pturned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw qthe grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord rwith steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, sfull of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people twere added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to uTarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called vChristians.

27 Now in these days wprophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named xAgabus stood up and foretold yby the Spirit that there would be a great zfamine over all the world (this took place in the days of aClaudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, bto send relief to cthe brothers4 living in Judea. 30 dAnd they did so, sending it to ethe elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.