New International Version

Joel 1

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

An Invasion of Locusts

Hear this, you elders;
    listen, all who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
    or in the days of your ancestors?
Tell it to your children,
    and let your children tell it to their children,
    and their children to the next generation.
What the locust 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
    other locusts[a] have eaten.

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

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

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

A Call to Lamentation

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

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

16 Has not the food been cut off
    before our very eyes—
joy and gladness
    from the house of our God?
17 The seeds are shriveled
    beneath the clods.[d]
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;
    even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

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

New Living Translation

Joel 1

1The Lord gave this message to Joel son of Pethuel.

Mourning over the Locust Plague

Hear this, you leaders of the people.
    Listen, all who live in the land.
In all your history,
    has anything like this happened before?
Tell your children about it in the years to come,
    and let your children tell their children.
    Pass the story down from generation to generation.
After the cutting locusts finished eating the crops,
    the swarming locusts took what was left!
After them came the hopping locusts,
    and then the stripping locusts,[a] too!

Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
    Wail, all you wine-drinkers!
All the grapes are ruined,
    and all your sweet wine is gone.
A vast army of locusts[b] has invaded my land,
    a terrible army too numerous to count.
Its teeth are like lions’ teeth,
    its fangs like those of a lioness.
It has destroyed my grapevines
    and ruined my fig trees,
stripping their bark and destroying it,
    leaving the branches white and bare.

Weep like a bride dressed in black,
    mourning the death of her husband.
For there is no grain or wine
    to offer at the Temple of the Lord.
So the priests are in mourning.
    The ministers of the Lord are weeping.
10 The fields are ruined,
    the land is stripped bare.
The grain is destroyed,
    the grapes have shriveled,
    and the olive oil is gone.

11 Despair, all you farmers!
    Wail, all you vine growers!
Weep, because the wheat and barley—
    all the crops of the field—are ruined.
12 The grapevines have dried up,
    and the fig trees have withered.
The pomegranate trees, palm trees, and apple trees—
    all the fruit trees—have dried up.
    And the people’s joy has dried up with them.

13 Dress yourselves in burlap and weep, you priests!
    Wail, you who serve before the altar!
Come, spend the night in burlap,
    you ministers of my God.
For there is no grain or wine
    to offer at the Temple of your God.
14 Announce a time of fasting;
    call the people together for a solemn meeting.
Bring the leaders
    and all the people of the land
into the Temple of the Lord your God,
    and cry out to him there.
15 The day of the Lord is near,
    the day when destruction comes from the Almighty.
    How terrible that day will be!

16 Our food disappears before our very eyes.
    No joyful celebrations are held in the house of our God.
17 The seeds die in the parched ground,
    and the grain crops fail.
The barns stand empty,
    and granaries are abandoned.
18 How the animals moan with hunger!
    The herds of cattle wander about confused,
because they have no pasture.
    The flocks of sheep and goats bleat in misery.

19 Lord, help us!
The fire has consumed the wilderness pastures,
    and flames have burned up all the trees.
20 Even the wild animals cry out to you
    because the streams have dried up,
    and fire has consumed the wilderness pastures.

Footnotes

  1. 1:4 The precise identification of the four kinds of locusts mentioned here is uncertain.
  2. 1:6 Hebrew A nation.