Modern English Version
1 The word of the Lord, which came to Joel, son of Pethuel.
A Land Laid Waste
2 Hear this, elders,
and give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has anything like this happened in your days,
or in the days of your fathers?
3 Tell it to your children,
and let your children tell their children,
and let their children tell another generation.
4 What the fledging locust left,
the adult locust has eaten;
what the adult locust left,
the larval locust has eaten;
what the larval locust left,
the hopper locust has eaten.
5 Awaken, drunkards, and weep!
Wail, all wine-drinkers,
because the sweet wine
has been cut off from your lips.
6 For a nation powerful and innumerable
has invaded my land;
its teeth are like the teeth of a lion,
like the fangs of a lioness.
7 It has despoiled my vine,
and splintered my fig tree;
it has stripped off its bark
and cast it away,
leaving its branches white.
8 Lament like a virgin wearing sackcloth
for the husband of her youth.
9 The grain offering and the drink offering
are cut off from the house of the Lord;
the priests mourn, who are
ministers to the Lord.
10 The field is ravaged,
the ground mourns;
for the grain is ruined,
the new wine is dried up,
and the oil dwindles.
11 Despair, fieldworkers;
for the wheat and the barley,
because the harvest of the field has perished.
12 The vine is dried up,
and the fig tree is withered;
pomegranate, palm, and apple—
all the trees of the field are dry;
surely joy has withered away
from the sons of men.
A Call to Repentance
13 Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests;
wail, ministers of the altar.
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
ministers of my God,
because the grain offering and the drink offering
are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Consecrate a fast,
call a sacred assembly,
assemble the elders
and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas, for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
and like devastation from the Almighty it comes.
16 Has not the food been cut off
before our eyes,
joy and gladness
from the house of our God?
17 The seeds have shriveled
under their shovels,
the storehouses have been deserted;
the granaries have been torn down,
because the grain has dried up.
18 How the beasts groan!
The herds of cattle are confused,
because they have no pasture;
even the flocks of sheep suffer.
19 To You, O Lord, I call,
because fire has devoured the wild pastures,
and flame has burned all the trees of the field.
20 Even the beasts of the field long for You,
because the streams of water have dried up,
and fire has devoured the wild pastures.