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Joel 2:12-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Return to the Lord

12 Yet even now—oracle of the Lord
    return to me with your whole heart,
    with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
13 Rend your hearts, not your garments,
    and return to the Lord, your God,
For he is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love,
    and relenting in punishment.
14 Perhaps he will again relent
    and leave behind a blessing,[a]
Grain offering and libation
    for the Lord, your God.
15 Blow the horn in Zion!
    Proclaim a fast,
    call an assembly!
16 Gather the people,
    sanctify the congregation;
Assemble the elderly;
    gather the children,
    even infants nursing at the breast;
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride[b] her bridal tent.
17 Between the porch and the altar[c]
    let the priests weep,
    let the ministers of the Lord weep and say:
“Spare your people, Lord!
    do not let your heritage become a disgrace,
    a byword among the nations!
Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord Relents. 18 Then the Lord grew jealous[d] for his land and took pity on his people.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:14 Blessing: the rain that makes possible the grapes and grain (v. 19) that workers will process into Temple offerings.
  2. 2:16 Elderly…infants…bridegroom…bride: Jerusalem is in such great danger that even those normally excused from fasting or working are called upon to participate in activities to ward off the imminent catastrophe.
  3. 2:17 Between the porch and the altar: the priests stood in the open space between the outdoor altar for burnt offerings and the Temple building.
  4. 2:18 Jealous: the Hebrew word describes the passionate empathetic bond the Lord has with Israel. The people’s wholehearted participation in Joel’s call for fasting and prayer sparks the Lord’s longing to protect and love his people Israel. This desire moves him to withhold punishment and to send the blessing of v. 14 instead.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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