The Devastation by Locusts

The (A)word of the Lord that came to (B)Joel, the son of Pethuel:

(C)Hear this, you (D)elders,
And listen, all inhabitants of the land.
(E)Has anything like this happened in your days,
Or in your fathers’ days?
(F)Tell your sons about it,
And have your sons tell their sons,
And their sons the next generation.

What the (G)gnawing locust has left, the [a]swarming locust has eaten;
And what the (H)swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten;
And what the creeping locust has left, the (I)stripping locust has eaten.
Awake, (J)you heavy drinkers, and weep;
And wail, all you wine drinkers,
Because of the sweet wine,
For it has been (K)eliminated from your mouth.
For a (L)nation has [b]invaded my land,
Mighty and without number;
(M)Its teeth are the teeth of a lion,
And it has the jaws of a lioness.
It has (N)made my vine a waste
And my fig tree a stump.
It has stripped them bare and hurled them away;
Their branches have become white.

(O)Wail like a virgin (P)clothed with sackcloth
For the groom of her youth.
The (Q)grain offering and the drink offering have been cut off
From the house of the Lord.
The (R)priests mourn,
The ministers of the Lord.
10 The field is (S)ruined,
(T)The land mourns;
For the grain is ruined,
The new wine has dried up,
Fresh oil has [c]failed.
11 (U)Be ashamed, you farm workers,
Wail, you vinedressers,
For the wheat and the barley;
Because the (V)harvest of the field is destroyed.
12 The (W)vine has dried up
And the fig tree has withered;
The (X)pomegranate, the (Y)palm also, and the (Z)apple tree,
All the trees of the field have dried up.
Indeed, (AA)joy has dried up
From the sons of mankind.

13 (AB)Put on sackcloth
And mourn, you priests;
(AC)Wail, you ministers of the altar!
Come, (AD)spend the night in sackcloth,
You ministers of my God,
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Have been withheld from the house of your God.

Starvation and Drought

14 (AE)Consecrate a fast,
Proclaim a (AF)solemn assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
To the house of the Lord your God,
And (AG)cry out to the Lord.
15 (AH)Woe for the day!
For the (AI)day of the Lord is near,
And it will come as (AJ)destruction from the [d]Almighty.
16 Has (AK)food not been cut off before our eyes, and
Joy and (AL)rejoicing from the house of our God?
17 The [e](AM)seeds have dried up under their shovels;
The storehouses have become desolate,
The grain silos are ruined,
Because the grain has dried up.
18 How (AN)the animals have groaned!
The herds of cattle have wandered aimlessly
Because there is no pasture for them;
Even the flocks of sheep have [f]suffered.
19 (AO)To You, Lord, I cry out;
For (AP)fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,
And the flame has burned up all the trees of the field.
20 Even the animals of the field [g](AQ)pant for You;
For the (AR)stream beds of water are dried up,
And fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

The Terrible Visitation

(AS)Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the (AT)day of the Lord is coming;
Indeed, it is near,
A day of (AU)darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.
As dawn is spread over the mountains,
So there is a (AV)great and mighty people;
There has (AW)never been anything like it,
Nor will there be again after it
To the years of many generations.
A (AX)fire consumes before them,
And behind them a flame devours.
The land is (AY)like the Garden of Eden before them,
But a (AZ)desolate wilderness behind them,
And nothing at all escapes them.
Their (BA)appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like war horses, so they run.
[h]With a (BB)noise as of chariots
They leap about on the tops of the mountains,
Like the [i]crackling of a (BC)flame of fire consuming the stubble,
Like a mighty people drawn up for battle.
Before them the people are in (BD)anguish;
All (BE)faces [j]turn pale.
They run like warriors,
They climb the wall like soldiers;
And each of them (BF)marches [k]in line,
Nor do they lose their way.
They do not crowd each other,
Every warrior of them marches in his path;
When they [l]burst through the [m]defenses,
They do not break ranks.
They storm the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the (BG)houses,
They (BH)enter through the windows like a thief.
10 Before them the earth (BI)quakes,
The heavens tremble,
The (BJ)sun and the moon become dark,
And the stars lose their brightness.
11 The Lord (BK)utters His voice before (BL)His army;
His camp is indeed very great,
For (BM)mighty is one who carries out His word.
The (BN)day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome,
And (BO)who can endure it?
12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
(BP)Return to Me with all your heart,
And with (BQ)fasting, weeping, and mourning;
13 And (BR)tear your heart and not merely (BS)your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is (BT)gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in mercy
And (BU)relenting of catastrophe.
14 Who knows, (BV)He might turn and relent,
And leave a (BW)blessing behind Him,
Resulting in (BX)a grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God.
15 (BY)Blow a trumpet in Zion,
(BZ)Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
16 Gather the people, (CA)sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants.
Have the (CB)groom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.
17 Let the priests, the Lords ministers,
Weep (CC)between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, “[n](CD)Spare Your people, Lord,
And do not make Your inheritance a (CE)disgrace,
With the nations jeering at them.
Why should those among the peoples say,
(CF)Where is their God?’”

Deliverance Promised

18 Then the Lord [o]will be (CG)zealous for His land,
And [p]will have (CH)compassion for His people.
19 The Lord [q]will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I am going to (CI)send you grain, new wine, and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with [r]them;
And I will (CJ)never again make you a disgrace among the nations.
20 But I will remove the (CK)northern army far from you,
And I will drive it into a dry and desolate land,
Its advance guard into the (CL)eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the (CM)western sea.
And its (CN)stench will ascend and its odor of decay will come up,
Because it has done great things.”

21 (CO)Do not fear, land; shout for joy and rejoice,
For the Lord has done (CP)great things.
22 Do not fear, animals of the field,
For the (CQ)pastures of the wilderness have turned green,
For the tree has produced its fruit,
The fig tree and the vine have yielded [s]in full.
23 So shout for joy, you (CR)sons of Zion,
And (CS)rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has (CT)given you [t]the early rain for your vindication.
And He has brought down for you the rain,
The [u]early and [v](CU)latter rain [w]as before.
24 The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will (CV)overflow with the new wine and oil.
25 “Then I will compensate you for the years
That the [x]swarming (CW)locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust—
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to (CX)eat and be satisfied,
And you will (CY)praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has (CZ)dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will (DA)never be put to shame.
27 So you will (DB)know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God
And there is (DC)no other;
And My people will never be (DD)put to shame.

The Promise of the Spirit

28 [y](DE)It will come about after this
That I will (DF)pour out My Spirit on all [z](DG)mankind;
And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will have dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 And even on the (DH)male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The Day of the Lord

30 I will [aa](DI)display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
31 The (DJ)sun will be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the (DK)great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
32 And it will come about that (DL)everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
Will [ab]be saved;
For (DM)on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who (DN)escape,
Just as the Lord has said,
Even among the (DO)survivors whom the Lord calls.

The Nations Will Be Judged

[ac]For behold, (DP)in those days and at that time,
When I (DQ)restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will (DR)gather all the nations
And bring them down to the (DS)Valley of [ad]Jehoshaphat.
Then I will (DT)enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have (DU)scattered among the nations;
And they have (DV)divided up My land.
They have also (DW)cast lots for My people,
[ae](DX)Traded a boy for a prostitute,
And sold a girl for wine so that they may drink.

Moreover, what are you to Me, (DY)Tyre, Sidon, and all the regions of (DZ)Philistia? Are you repaying Me with retribution? But if you are showing Me retribution, swiftly and speedily I will (EA)return your retribution on your head! Since you have (EB)taken My silver and My gold, brought My precious [af]treasures to your temples, and sold the (EC)sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the [ag]Greeks in order to remove them far from their territory, behold, I am going to (ED)stir them up from the place where you have sold them, and return your retribution on your head. I will also (EE)sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the (EF)Sabeans, to a distant nation,” for the Lord has spoken.

(EG)Proclaim this among the nations:
(EH)Prepare for holy war; (EI)stir up the warriors!
Have all the soldiers come forward, have them come up!
10 (EJ)Beat your plowshares into swords,
And your pruning hooks into spears;
(EK)Let the weak man say, “I am a warrior.”
11 [ah](EL)Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations,
And gather yourselves there.
Bring down, Lord, Your (EM)warriors.
12 Let the nations be awakened
And come up to the (EN)Valley of [ai]Jehoshaphat,
For there I will sit to (EO)judge
All the surrounding nations.
13 (EP)Put in the sickle, for the (EQ)harvest is ripe.
Come, (ER)tread the grapes, for the (ES)wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for their (ET)wickedness is great.
14 (EU)Multitudes, multitudes in the (EV)valley of [aj]decision!
For the (EW)day of the Lord is near in the valley of [ak]decision.
15 The (EX)sun and moon have become dark,
And the stars have lost their brightness.
16 The Lord (EY)roars from Zion
And (EZ)utters His voice from Jerusalem,
And the (FA)heavens and the earth quake.
But the Lord is a (FB)refuge for His people,
And a (FC)stronghold for the sons of Israel.
17 Then you will (FD)know that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling on Zion, My (FE)holy mountain.
So Jerusalem will be (FF)holy,
And (FG)strangers will no longer pass through it.

Judah Will Be Blessed

18 And on that day
The (FH)mountains will drip with [al]sweet wine,
And the hills will (FI)flow with milk,
And all the (FJ)brooks of Judah will flow with water;
And a (FK)spring will go out from the house of the Lord
And water the Valley of [am]Shittim.
19 Egypt will become a wasteland,
And Edom will become a desolate wilderness,
Because of the (FL)violence [an]done to the sons of Judah,
In whose land they have shed innocent blood.
20 But Judah will be (FM)inhabited forever,
And Jerusalem for all generations.
21 And I will (FN)avenge their blood which I have not avenged,
For the Lord dwells in Zion.


  1. Joel 1:4 Or migratory
  2. Joel 1:6 Lit gone up against
  3. Joel 1:10 Lit dried out
  4. Joel 1:15 Heb Shaddai
  5. Joel 1:17 Or dried figs
  6. Joel 1:18 Lit suffered punishment
  7. Joel 1:20 Or long for
  8. Joel 2:5 Lit Like the noise of chariots
  9. Joel 2:5 Lit sound
  10. Joel 2:6 Or become flushed
  11. Joel 2:7 Lit in his ways
  12. Joel 2:8 Lit fall
  13. Joel 2:8 Lit weapon, prob. javelin
  14. Joel 2:17 Or Look compassionately on
  15. Joel 2:18 Or was zealous
  16. Joel 2:18 Or had compassion
  17. Joel 2:19 Or answered and said
  18. Joel 2:19 Lit it
  19. Joel 2:22 Lit their wealth
  20. Joel 2:23 I.e., autumn; or possibly the teacher for righteousness
  21. Joel 2:23 I.e., autumn
  22. Joel 2:23 I.e., spring
  23. Joel 2:23 As in ancient versions; MT in the first
  24. Joel 2:25 Or migratory
  25. Joel 2:28 Ch 3:1 in Heb
  26. Joel 2:28 Lit flesh
  27. Joel 2:30 Lit give
  28. Joel 2:32 Or flee to safety
  29. Joel 3:1 Ch 4:1 in Heb
  30. Joel 3:2 I.e., YHWH judges
  31. Joel 3:3 Lit Given
  32. Joel 3:5 Lit goodly things
  33. Joel 3:6 Lit sons of Javan
  34. Joel 3:11 Or Come help
  35. Joel 3:12 I.e., YHWH judges
  36. Joel 3:14 I.e., God’s verdict
  37. Joel 3:14 I.e., God’s verdict
  38. Joel 3:18 Lit freshly pressed-out grape juice
  39. Joel 3:18 Or acacias
  40. Joel 3:19 Lit of the sons

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