1The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel.
An invasion of locusts
2Hear 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?
3Tell it to your children,
and let your children tell it to their children,
and their children to the next generation.
4What 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 locusts1:4 The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain. have eaten.
5Wake 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.
6A nation has invaded my land,
a mighty army without number;
it has the teeth of a lion,
the fangs of a lioness.
7It has laid waste my vines
and ruined my fig-trees.
It has stripped off their bark
and thrown it away,
leaving their branches white.
8Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth
grieving for the betrothed of her youth.
9Grain offerings and drink offerings
are cut off from the house of the Lord.
The priests are in mourning,
those who minister before the Lord.
10The fields are ruined,
the ground is dried up;
the grain is destroyed,
the new wine is dried up,
the olive oil fails.
11Despair, you farmers,
wail, you vine growers;
grieve for the wheat and the barley,
because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
12The vine is dried up
and the fig-tree is withered;
the pomegranate, the palm and the apple1:12 Or possibly apricot tree –
all the trees of the field – are dried up.
Surely the people’s joy
is withered away.
A call to lamentation
13Put 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.
14Declare 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.
15Alas for that day!
For the day of the Lord is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty.1:15 Hebrew Shaddai
16Has not the food been cut off
before our very eyes –
joy and gladness
from the house of our God?
17The seeds are shrivelled
beneath the clods.1:17 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
The storehouses are in ruins,
the granaries have been broken down,
for the grain has dried up.
18How the cattle moan!
The herds mill about
because they have no pasture;
even the flocks of sheep are suffering.
19To you, Lord, I call,
for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness
and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
20Even the wild animals pant for you;
the streams of water have dried up
and fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness.
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.