1The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. 2Hear 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? 3Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. 4That 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.1.4 That which the palmerworm…: Heb. The residue of the palmerworm 5Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. 6For 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. 7He 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.1.7 barked…: Heb. laid my fig tree for a barking
8¶ Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. 9The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’s ministers, mourn. 10The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. 11Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. 12The 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. 13Gird 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,1.14 solemn…: or, day of restraint 15Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 16Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.1.17 seed: Heb. grains 18How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. 19O 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.1.19 pastures: or, habitations 20The 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.
1A message from the Lord came to Joel, the son of Pethuel. Here is what Joel said.
Locusts Attack the Land
2Elders, listen to me.
Pay attention, all you who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your whole life?
Did it ever happen to your people
who lived long ago?
3Tell your children about it.
Let them tell their children.
And let their children tell it
to those who live after them.
4The giant locusts have eaten
what the common locusts have left.
The young locusts have eaten
what the giant locusts have left.
And other locusts have eaten
what the young locusts have left.
5Get up and weep, you people who drink too much!
Cry, all you who drink wine!
Cry because the fresh wine
has been taken away from you.
6The locusts are like a mighty army
that has marched into our land.
There are so many of them
they can’t even be counted.
Their teeth are as sharp as a lion’s teeth.
They are like the fangs of a female lion.
7The locusts have completely destroyed our vines.
They have wiped out our fig trees.
They’ve stripped off the bark and thrown it away.
They’ve left the branches bare.
8My people, mourn like a virgin
who is dressed in the clothes of sadness.
She is sad because she has lost
the young man she was going to marry.
9No one brings grain offerings and drink offerings
to the Lord’s house anymore.
So the priests who serve the Lord
are filled with sorrow.
10Our fields are wiped out.
The ground is dried up.
The grain is destroyed.
The fresh wine is gone.
And there isn’t any more olive oil.
11Farmers, be sad.
Cry, you who grow vines.
Mourn because the wheat and barley are gone.
The crops in the fields are destroyed.
12The vines and fig trees are dried up.
The pomegranate, palm and apple trees
don’t have any fruit on them.
In fact, all the trees in the fields are dried up.
And my people’s joy has faded away.
A Call to Mourn
13Priests, put on the clothing of sadness and mourn.
Cry, you who serve at the altar.
Come, you who serve my God in the temple.
Spend the night dressed in the clothes of sadness.
Weep because no one brings grain offerings and drink offerings
to the house of your God anymore.
14Announce a holy fast.
Tell the people not to eat anything.
Gather them together for a special service.
Send for the elders
and all who live in the land.
Have them come to the house of the Lord your God.
And pray to him.
15The day of the Lord is near.
How sad it will be on that day!
The Mighty One is coming to destroy you.
16Our food has been taken away
right in front of our eyes.
There isn’t any joy or gladness
in the house of our God.
17The seeds have dried up in the ground.
The grain is also gone.
The storerooms have been destroyed.
The barns are broken down.
18Listen to the cattle groan!
The herds wander around.
They don’t have any grass to eat.
The flocks of sheep are also suffering.
19Lord, I call out to you.
Fire has burned up the desert grasslands.
Flames have destroyed all the trees in the fields.
20Even the wild animals cry out to you for help.
The streams of water have dried up.
Fire has burned up the desert grasslands.