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The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel:

Lament over the Ruin of the Country

Hear this, O elders,
    give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
    or in the days of your ancestors?
Tell your children of it,
    and let your children tell their children,
    and their children another generation.

What the cutting locust left,
    the swarming locust has eaten.
What the swarming locust left,
    the hopping locust has eaten,
and what the hopping locust left,
    the destroying locust has eaten.

Wake up, you drunkards, and weep;
    and wail, all you wine-drinkers,
over the sweet wine,
    for it is cut off from your mouth.
For a nation has invaded my land,
    powerful and innumerable;
its teeth are lions’ teeth,
    and it has the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste my vines,
    and splintered my fig trees;
it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
    their branches have turned white.

Lament like a virgin dressed in sackcloth
    for the husband of her youth.
The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off
    from the house of the Lord.
The priests mourn,
    the ministers of the Lord.
10 The fields are devastated,
    the ground mourns;
for the grain is destroyed,
    the wine dries up,
    the oil fails.

11 Be dismayed, you farmers,
    wail, you vinedressers,
over the wheat and the barley;
    for the crops of the field are ruined.
12 The vine withers,
    the fig tree droops.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple—
    all the trees of the field are dried up;
surely, joy withers away
    among the people.

A Call to Repentance and Prayer

13 Put on sackcloth and lament, you priests;
    wail, you ministers of the altar.
Come, pass the night in sackcloth,
    you ministers of my God!
Grain offering and drink offering
    are withheld from the house of your God.

14 Sanctify a fast,
    call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders
    and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
    and cry out to the Lord.

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
    and as destruction from the Almighty[a] it comes.
16 Is not the food cut off
    before our eyes,
joy and gladness
    from the house of our God?

17 The seed shrivels under the clods,[b]
    the storehouses are desolate;
the granaries are ruined
    because the grain has failed.
18 How the animals groan!
    The herds of cattle wander about
because there is no pasture for them;
    even the flocks of sheep are dazed.[c]

19 To you, O Lord, I cry.
For fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness,
and flames have burned
    all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild animals cry to you
    because the watercourses are dried up,
and fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness.

Footnotes

  1. Joel 1:15 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Joel 1:17 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Joel 1:18 Compare Gk Syr Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain

The word of the Lord that came(A) to Joel(B) son of Pethuel.

An Invasion of Locusts

Hear this,(C) you elders;(D)
    listen, all who live in the land.(E)
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
    or in the days of your ancestors?(F)
Tell it to your children,(G)
    and let your children tell it to their children,
    and their children to the next generation.(H)
What the locust(I) swarm has left
    the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left
    the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left(J)
    other locusts[a] have eaten.(K)

Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
    Wail, all you drinkers of wine;(L)
wail because of the new wine,
    for it has been snatched(M) from your lips.
A nation has invaded my land,
    a mighty army without number;(N)
it has the teeth(O) of a lion,
    the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste(P) my vines
    and ruined my fig trees.(Q)
It has stripped off their bark
    and thrown it away,
    leaving their branches white.

Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth(R)
    grieving for the betrothed of her youth.
Grain offerings and drink offerings(S)
    are cut off from the house of the Lord.
The priests are in mourning,(T)
    those who minister before the Lord.
10 The fields are ruined,
    the ground is dried up;(U)
the grain is destroyed,
    the new wine(V) is dried up,
    the olive oil fails.(W)

11 Despair, you farmers,(X)
    wail, you vine growers;
grieve for the wheat and the barley,(Y)
    because the harvest of the field is destroyed.(Z)
12 The vine is dried up
    and the fig tree is withered;(AA)
the pomegranate,(AB) the palm and the apple[b] tree—
    all the trees of the field—are dried up.(AC)
Surely the people’s joy
    is withered away.

A Call to Lamentation

13 Put on sackcloth,(AD) you priests, and mourn;
    wail, you who minister(AE) before the altar.
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
    you who minister before my God;
for the grain offerings and drink offerings(AF)
    are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Declare a holy fast;(AG)
    call a sacred assembly.
Summon the elders
    and all who live in the land(AH)
to the house of the Lord your God,
    and cry out(AI) to the Lord.(AJ)

15 Alas for that(AK) day!
    For the day of the Lord(AL) is near;
    it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[c](AM)

16 Has not the food been cut off(AN)
    before our very eyes—
joy and gladness(AO)
    from the house of our God?(AP)
17 The seeds are shriveled
    beneath the clods.[d](AQ)
The storehouses are in ruins,
    the granaries have been broken down,
    for the grain has dried up.
18 How the cattle moan!
    The herds mill about
because they have no pasture;(AR)
    even the flocks of sheep are suffering.(AS)

19 To you, Lord, I call,(AT)
    for fire(AU) has devoured the pastures(AV) in the wilderness
    and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild animals pant for you;(AW)
    the streams of water have dried up(AX)
    and fire has devoured the pastures(AY) in the wilderness.

Footnotes

  1. Joel 1:4 The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain.
  2. Joel 1:12 Or possibly apricot
  3. Joel 1:15 Hebrew Shaddai
  4. Joel 1:17 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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