New American Bible (Revised Edition)
5 Wake up, you drunkards,[a] and weep;
wail, all you wine drinkers,
Over the new wine,
taken away from your mouths.
6 For a nation[b] invaded my land,
powerful and past counting,
With teeth like a lion’s,
fangs like those of a lioness.
7 It has stripped bare my vines,
splintered my fig tree,
Shearing off its bark and throwing it away,
until its branches turn white.
- 1:5 Drunkards: this metaphor expresses both the urgency behind Joel’s preaching and his ironic assessment of his audience. There are no grapes to process into new wine, yet people view their situation as just another agricultural crisis. Joel argues that the problems they now face are lessons the Lord is using to provide the knowledge they lack.
- 1:6 A nation: the locusts are compared to an invading army, whose numbers are overwhelming. The ravaged landscape resembles the wasteland left behind by marauding troops; the order and peace associated with agricultural productivity (1 Kgs 5:5; Mi 4:4) has been destroyed.