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Joel 1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Devastation of Locusts

The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:

Hear this, O elders,
And listen, all inhabitants of the land.
Has anything like this happened in your days
Or in your fathers’ days?
Tell your sons about it,
And let your sons tell their sons,
And their sons the next generation.

What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten;
And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten;
And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten.
Awake, drunkards, and weep;
And wail, all you wine drinkers,
On account of the sweet wine
That is cut off from your mouth.
For a nation has [a]invaded my land,
Mighty and without number;
Its teeth are the teeth of a lion,
And it has the fangs of a lioness.
It has made my vine a waste
And my fig tree [b]splinters.
It has stripped them bare and cast them away;
Their branches have become white.

Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth
For the bridegroom of her youth.
The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off
From the house of the Lord.
The priests mourn,
The ministers of the Lord.
10 The field is ruined,
The land mourns;
For the grain is ruined,
The new wine dries up,
Fresh oil [c]fails.
11 [d]Be ashamed, O farmers,
Wail, O vinedressers,
For the wheat and the barley;
Because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
12 The vine dries up
And the fig tree [e]fails;
The pomegranate, the palm also, and the [f]apple tree,
All the trees of the field dry up.
Indeed, rejoicing dries up
From the sons of men.

13 Gird yourselves with sackcloth
And lament, O priests;
Wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth
O ministers of my God,
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Are withheld from the house of your God.

Starvation and Drought

14 Consecrate a fast,
Proclaim a solemn assembly;
Gather 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 it will come as destruction from the [g]Almighty.
16 Has not food been cut off before our eyes,
Gladness and joy from the house of our God?
17 The [h]seeds shrivel under their [i]clods;
The storehouses are desolate,
The barns are torn down,
For the grain is dried up.
18 How the beasts groan!
The herds of cattle wander aimlessly
Because there is no pasture for them;
Even the flocks of sheep [j]suffer.
19 To You, O Lord, I cry;
For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness
And the flame has burned up all the trees of the field.
20 Even the beasts of the field [k]pant for You;
For the water brooks are dried up
And fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

The Terrible Visitation

Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the Lord is coming;
Surely it is near,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.
As the dawn is spread over the mountains,
So there is a great and mighty people;
There has never been anything like it,
Nor will there be again after it
To the years of many generations.
A fire consumes before them
And behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them
But a desolate wilderness behind them,
And nothing at all escapes them.
Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like war horses, so they run.
[l]With a noise as of chariots
They leap on the tops of the mountains,
Like the [m]crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble,
Like a mighty people arranged for battle.
Before them the people are in anguish;
All faces [n]turn pale.
They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like soldiers;
And they each march [o]in line,
Nor do they deviate from their paths.
They do not crowd each other,
They march everyone in his path;
When they [p]burst through the [q]defenses,
They do not break ranks.
They rush on the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter through the windows like a thief.
10 Before them the earth quakes,
The heavens tremble,
The sun and the moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
11 The Lord utters His voice before His army;
Surely His camp is very great,
For strong is he who carries out His word.
The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome,
And who can endure it?
12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
13 And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.
14 Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
15 Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.
17 Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers,
Weep between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
A byword among the nations.
Why should they among the peoples say,
Where is their God?’”

Deliverance Promised

18 Then the Lord [r]will be zealous for His land
And [s]will have pity on His people.
19 The Lord [t]will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with [u]them;
And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.
20 “But I will remove the northern army far from you,
And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land,
And its vanguard into the eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the western sea.
And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up,
For it has done great things.”

21 Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad,
For the Lord has done great things.
22 Do not fear, beasts of the field,
For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green,
For the tree has borne its fruit,
The fig tree and the vine have yielded [v]in full.
23 So rejoice, O sons of Zion,
And be glad in the Lord your God;
For He has given you [w]the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain,
The [x]early and [y]latter rain [z]as before.
24 The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.
25 “Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming 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 eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.
27 “Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.

The Promise of the Spirit

28 [aa]It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all [ab]mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The Day of the Lord

30 “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
31 “The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
32 “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the Lord has said,
Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.

The Nations Will Be Judged

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

Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre, Sidon and all the regions of Philistia? Are you rendering Me a recompense? But if you do recompense Me, swiftly and speedily I will return your recompense on your head. Since you have taken My silver and My gold, brought My precious [af]treasures to your temples, and sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the [ag]Greeks in order to remove them far from their territory, behold, I am going to arouse them from the place where you have sold them, and return your recompense on your head. Also I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a distant nation,” for the Lord has spoken.

Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men!
Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up!
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.”
11 [ah]Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations,
And gather yourselves there.
Bring down, O Lord, Your mighty ones.
12 Let the nations be aroused
And come up to the valley of [ai]Jehoshaphat,
For there I will sit to judge
All the surrounding nations.
13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, tread, for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of [aj]decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of [ak]decision.
15 The sun and moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
16 The Lord roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem,
And the heavens and the earth tremble.
But the Lord is a refuge for His people
And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.
17 Then you will know that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.
So Jerusalem will be holy,
And strangers will pass through it no more.

Judah Will Be Blessed

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

Footnotes:

  1. Joel 1:6 Lit come up against
  2. Joel 1:7 Or a stump
  3. Joel 1:10 Lit wastes away
  4. Joel 1:11 Or The farmers are ashamed, The vinedressers wail
  5. Joel 1:12 Lit wastes away
  6. Joel 1:12 Or apricot
  7. Joel 1:15 Heb Shaddai
  8. Joel 1:17 Or dried figs
  9. Joel 1:17 Or shovels
  10. Joel 1:18 Lit bear punishment
  11. Joel 1:20 Lit long for
  12. Joel 2:5 Lit Like the noise of chariots
  13. Joel 2:5 Lit noise
  14. Joel 2:6 Or become flushed
  15. Joel 2:7 Lit in his ways
  16. Joel 2:8 Lit fall
  17. Joel 2:8 Lit weapon, probably javelin
  18. Joel 2:18 Or was zealous
  19. Joel 2:18 Or had pity
  20. Joel 2:19 Or answered and said
  21. Joel 2:19 Lit it
  22. Joel 2:22 Lit their wealth
  23. Joel 2:23 I.e. autumn; or possibly the teacher for righteousness
  24. Joel 2:23 I.e. autumn
  25. Joel 2:23 I.e. spring
  26. Joel 2:23 So with ancient versions; Heb in the first
  27. Joel 2:28 Ch 3:1 in Heb
  28. Joel 2:28 Lit flesh
  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 Lend aid
  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
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Joel 1-3 New International Version (NIV)

The 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.

An Army of Locusts

Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sound the alarm on my holy hill.

Let all who live in the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand
    a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
    a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was in ancient times
    nor ever will be in ages to come.

Before them fire devours,
    behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,
    behind them, a desert waste
    nothing escapes them.
They have the appearance of horses;
    they gallop along like cavalry.
With a noise like that of chariots
    they leap over the mountaintops,
like a crackling fire consuming stubble,
    like a mighty army drawn up for battle.

At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
    every face turns pale.
They charge like warriors;
    they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
    not swerving from their course.
They do not jostle each other;
    each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
    without breaking ranks.
They rush upon the city;
    they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;
    like thieves they enter through the windows.

10 Before them the earth shakes,
    the heavens tremble,
the sun and moon are darkened,
    and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord thunders
    at the head of his army;
his forces are beyond number,
    and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the Lord is great;
    it is dreadful.
    Who can endure it?

Rend Your Heart

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
    and leave behind a blessing
grain offerings and drink offerings
    for the Lord your God.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
    declare a holy fast,
    call a sacred assembly.
16 Gather the people,
    consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
    gather the children,
    those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
    and the bride her chamber.
17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
    weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
    Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
    a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

The Lord’s Answer

18 Then the Lord was jealous for his land
    and took pity on his people.

19 The Lord replied[e] to them:

“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
    enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
    an object of scorn to the nations.

20 “I will drive the northern horde far from you,
    pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
    and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench will go up;
    its smell will rise.”

Surely he has done great things!
21     Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
    be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!
22     Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
    for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
    the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23 Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
    the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm[f]
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the Lord your God,
    and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

The Day of the Lord

28 “And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
    and on the earth,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
    whom the Lord calls.[g]

The Nations Judged

[h]“In those days and at that time,
    when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all nations
    and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[i]
There I will put them on trial
    for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel,
because they scattered my people among the nations
    and divided up my land.
They cast lots for my people
    and traded boys for prostitutes;
    they sold girls for wine to drink.

“Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples.[j] You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.

“See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.

Proclaim this among the nations:
    Prepare for war!
Rouse the warriors!
    Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
    and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say,
    “I am strong!”
11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
    and assemble there.

Bring down your warriors, Lord!

12 “Let the nations be roused;
    let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit
    to judge all the nations on every side.
13 Swing the sickle,
    for the harvest is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes,
    for the winepress is full
    and the vats overflow—
so great is their wickedness!”

14 Multitudes, multitudes
    in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
    in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will be darkened,
    and the stars no longer shine.
16 The Lord will roar from Zion
    and thunder from Jerusalem;
    the earth and the heavens will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
    a stronghold for the people of Israel.

Blessings for God’s People

17 “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God,
    dwell in Zion, my holy hill.
Jerusalem will be holy;
    never again will foreigners invade her.

18 “In that day the mountains will drip new wine,
    and the hills will flow with milk;
    all the ravines of Judah will run with water.
A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house
    and will water the valley of acacias.[k]
19 But Egypt will be desolate,
    Edom a desert waste,
because of violence done to the people of Judah,
    in whose land they shed innocent blood.
20 Judah will be inhabited forever
    and Jerusalem through all generations.
21 Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?
    No, I will not.

The Lord dwells in Zion!

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.
  5. Joel 2:19 Or Lord will be jealous … / and take pity … / 19 The Lord will reply
  6. Joel 2:25 The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain.
  7. Joel 2:32 In Hebrew texts 2:28-32 is numbered 3:1-5.
  8. Joel 3:1 In Hebrew texts 3:1-21 is numbered 4:1-21.
  9. Joel 3:2 Jehoshaphat means the Lord judges; also in verse 12.
  10. Joel 3:5 Or palaces
  11. Joel 3:18 Or Valley of Shittim
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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