1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel.
An invasion of locusts
2 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? 3 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. 4 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.
5 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. 6 A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness. 7 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.
8 Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth grieving for the betrothed of her youth. 9 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 shrivelled 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.
Joel 1:4The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain.
1 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent, 2 who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day. 3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.[b]
4 Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet. 5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.
6 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my God.’ Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy. 7 Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle. 8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord; do not let their plans succeed.
9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads; may the mischief of their lips engulf them. 10 May burning coals fall on them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise. 11 May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent.
12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. 13 Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.
Psalm 140:1In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.
Psalm 140:3The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.
1 I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. 2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. 4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.
5 Let a righteous man strike me – that is a kindness; let him rebuke me – that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
6 Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs, and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken. 7 They will say, ‘As one ploughs and breaks up the earth, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.’
8 But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge – do not give me over to death. 9 Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, from the snares they have laid for me. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.
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