The Message

Joel 1

Get in Touch with Reality—and Weep!

11-3 God’s Message to Joel son of Pethuel:

Attention, elder statesmen! Listen closely,
    everyone, whoever and wherever you are!
Have you ever heard of anything like this?
    Has anything like this ever happened before—ever?
Make sure you tell your children,
    and your children tell their children,
And their children their children.
    Don’t let this message die out.

What the chewing locust left,
    the gobbling locust ate;
What the gobbling locust left,
    the munching locust ate;
What the munching locust left,
    the chomping locust ate.

5-7 Sober up, you drunks!
    Get in touch with reality—and weep!
Your supply of booze is cut off.
    You’re on the wagon, like it or not.
My country’s being invaded
    by an army invincible, past numbering,
Teeth like those of a lion,
    fangs like those of a tiger.
It has ruined my vineyards,
    stripped my orchards,
And clear-cut the country.
    The landscape’s a moonscape.

8-10 Weep like a young virgin dressed in black,
    mourning the loss of her fiancé.
Without grain and grapes,
    worship has been brought to a standstill
    in the Sanctuary of God.
The priests are at a loss.
    God’s ministers don’t know what to do.
The fields are sterile.
    The very ground grieves.
The wheat fields are lifeless,
    vineyards dried up, olive oil gone.

11-12 Dirt farmers, despair!
    Grape growers, wring your hands!
Lament the loss of wheat and barley.
    All crops have failed.
Vineyards dried up,
    fig trees withered,
Pomegranates, date palms, and apple trees—
    deadwood everywhere!
And joy is dried up and withered
    in the hearts of the people.

Nothing’s Going On in the Place of Worship

13-14 And also you priests,
    put on your robes and join the outcry.
You who lead people in worship,
    lead them in lament.
Spend the night dressed in gunnysacks,
    you servants of my God.
Nothing’s going on in the place of worship,
    no offerings, no prayers—nothing.
Declare a holy fast, call a special meeting,
    get the leaders together,
Round up everyone in the country.
    Get them into God’s Sanctuary for serious prayer to God.

15-18 What a day! Doomsday!
    God’s Judgment Day has come.
The Strong God has arrived.
    This is serious business!
Food is just a memory at our tables,
    as are joy and singing from God’s Sanctuary.
The seeds in the field are dead,
    barns deserted,
Grain silos abandoned.
    Who needs them? The crops have failed!
The farm animals groan—oh, how they groan!
    The cattle mill around.
There’s nothing for them to eat.
    Not even the sheep find anything.

19-20 God! I pray, I cry out to you!
    The fields are burning up,
The country is a dust bowl,
    forest and prairie fires rage unchecked.
Wild animals, dying of thirst,
    look to you for a drink.
Springs and streams are dried up.
    The whole country is burning up.

King James Version

Joel 1

1The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.

Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?

Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.

That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.

Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.

He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the Lord's ministers, mourn.

10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,

15 Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

16 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?

17 The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.

18 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.

19 O Lord, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.

20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.