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The Coming Invasion

This message from the Lord came to Pethuel’s son Joel.[a]

“Hear this, you elders!
Listen, all of you residents of the land!

Has there ever been anything like this during your lifetime,[b]
    or even when your ancestors were alive?[c]
Pass it on to your children,
    and from[d] your children to their children,
        and from[e] their children to the following generation.
Whatever the devouring locust left behind
    the locust swarm has consumed!
Whatever the locust swarm has left behind,
    the young locust[f] has consumed!
Whatever the young locust[g] has left behind,
    the ravaging locust has consumed!”

A Call to Mourning

“Wake up, you drunkards!
    Cry aloud and howl, you wine drinkers,
        because your supply of new wine has been snatched from you.[h]
Indeed, a nation has invaded my land—
    it is strong and its population is too large to count[i]
with teeth like a lion
    and fangs[j] like a lioness.
That nation[k] laid waste my vines,
    and stripped bare my fig tree,
        discarding it.
It stripped off[l] its bark.

“Grieve like a virgin,
    who, dressed in her mourner’s clothes,[m]
        cries out in memory[n] of the man she was going to marry.[o]
Both grain offering and wine offering have been removed from the Lord’s Temple;[p]
    the priests and ministering servants of the Lord are mourning.”

The Coming Famine

10 “The fields lie in ruins
    and the ground is dried up.[q]
Indeed, the grain is ruined,
    the new wine has evaporated,
        and the olive oil has run out.
11 Be dismayed, you farmers!
    Cry aloud, you vintners,
        for the wheat and barley,
    because the harvest in your fields has been lost.
12 The grapevine is shriveled
    and the fig tree is withered,
along with the pomegranate tree, the palm tree, the apple tree
    and all of the cultivated trees.[r]
Truly, joy has evaporated from Adam’s children.”[s]

A Call to Mourn and Repent

13 “Put on your mourning clothes, you priests;
    and cry aloud, you ministering servants at the altar!
Come! Stay the night in mourner’s clothes,[t] you ministers of my God,
    because the grain offering and the wine offering is held back from the Temple of your God.
14 Set apart time for a fast!
    Call a solemn assembly!
Gather the elders and everyone living in the land to the Temple of the Lord your God,
    and cry out to the Lord!”

A Lament about the Day of the Lord

15 Oh, no! For the Day of the Lord approaches,
    and like destruction from the Almighty, it will come!
16 Isn’t our food supply cut off right in front of us,[u]
    along with joy and gladness from the Temple of our God?
17 Seeds shrivel within their furrows,
    the storehouses lie empty,
and granaries stand in ruins
    because the grain has withered.
18 Oh, how the livestock groan!
    The herds of cattle[v] wander about
        because they have no pasture.
Even flocks of sheep suffer!

19 To you, Lord, I cry out,
    because fire has devoured the open pastures,
        and has set all the cultivated trees[w] ablaze.
20 The livestock also cries out to you,
    because their water sources have evaporated
        and because fire has consumed the open pastures.


  1. Joel 1:1 The Heb. name Joel means The Lord is God
  2. Joel 1:2 Lit. this in your days
  3. Joel 1:2 Lit. even in the days of your ancestors
  4. Joel 1:3 The Heb. lacks from
  5. Joel 1:3 The Heb. lacks from
  6. Joel 1:4 Or caterpillar
  7. Joel 1:4 Or caterpillar
  8. Joel 1:5 Lit. from your lips
  9. Joel 1:6 Lit. and innumerable
  10. Joel 1:6 Or jaws
  11. Joel 1:7 Lit. It
  12. Joel 1:7 Lit. made white
  13. Joel 1:8 Or in sackcloth
  14. Joel 1:8 The Heb. lacks in memory
  15. Joel 1:8 Lit. the husband of her youth
  16. Joel 1:9 Or house; and so throughout the book
  17. Joel 1:10 Or ground mourns
  18. Joel 1:12 Lit. the trees of the field
  19. Joel 1:12 Lit. from sons of mankind
  20. Joel 1:13 Or in sackcloth
  21. Joel 1:16 Lit. cut off before our eyes
  22. Joel 1:18 Or oxen
  23. Joel 1:19 Lit. the trees of the field