1 ·The Lord spoke his word [L The word/message of the Lord that was (given)] to Joel son of Pethuel:
2 Elders, listen to this message. ·Listen to [Hear] me, all you who live in the land. ·Nothing like this has [L Has anything like this…?] ever happened ·during your lifetime [L in your days] or during your ·ancestors’ [fathers’] ·lifetimes [L days]. 3 Tell your children about these things, let your children tell their children, and let ·your grandchildren [L their children] tell ·their children [the next generation]. 4 What the ·cutting [chewing; or swarming] locusts have left, the ·swarming [or great] locusts have eaten; what the ·swarming [or great] locusts have left, the ·hopping [or crawling; or young] locusts have eaten, and what the ·hopping [or crawling; or young] locusts have left, the ·destroying [consuming] locusts have eaten [C these Hebrew terms could mean different species, different stages of development, or different destructive actions; they symbolize God’s judgment against Israel through foreign invaders].
5 Drunks, wake up and ·cry [weep]! All you ·people who drink wine [wine-drinkers], ·cry [wail]! Cry because your ·wine [sweet/new wine] has been ·taken away [snatched; L cut off] from your mouths. 6 A ·powerful [mighty] nation has ·come into [invaded; come up against] my land ·with too many soldiers to count [L without number]. It has teeth like a lion, ·jaws [fangs] like a ·female lion [lioness]. 7 It has made my grapevine a waste and made my fig tree ·a stump [or splintered]. It has ·stripped all [L stripped and thrown away] the bark off my trees and left the branches white.
8 ·Cry [Lament; Wail] as a young woman ·cries [L clothed in sackcloth] ·when the man she was going to marry has died [L for the husband/or betrothed of her youth]. 9 ·There will be no more grain or drink offerings to offer in [L The grain/gift/tribute (Lev. 2:1) and drink offerings are cut off from] the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. Because of this, the priests, the servants of the Lord, are ·sad [in mourning]. 10 The fields are ·ruined [destroyed]; the ground ·is dried up [or mourns]. ·The [L …because the] grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, and the olive oil ·runs out [fails]. 11 Be ·sad [in despair; or ashamed; embarrassed], farmers. ·Cry loudly [Wail], you who grow grapes. Cry for the wheat and the barley. Cry because the harvest of the field is ·lost [ruined; destroyed]. 12 The vines have ·become dry [dried up], and the fig trees ·are dried up [have withered/languish]. The pomegranate trees, the date palm trees, the apple trees— all the trees in the field ·have died [are dried up]. And the ·happiness [joy; gladness] of the ·people [L sons/children of man/humanity] has died, too. 13 Priests, put on your ·rough cloth [sackcloth] and ·cry to show your sadness [mourn; lament]. ·Servants [Ministers] of the altar, ·cry out loud [wail]. Servants of my God, ·keep your rough cloth on all night to show your sadness [spend the night in sackcloth]. Cry because there will be no more grain [L gift; tribute; Lev. 2:1] or drink offerings to offer in the ·Temple [L house] of your God. 14 ·Call for [Declare; Appoint; Consecrate] a ·day when everyone fasts [fast]! ·Tell everyone to stop work [L Call a sacred assembly]! ·Bring [Assemble] the elders and everyone who lives in the land to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. 15 ·What a terrible day it will be [L Ah, for the day]! The ·Lord’s day of judging [L day of the Lord] is near [2:1, 11, 31; Is. 13:6, 9; Jer. 46:10], when ·punishment [destruction] will come like a destroying attack from the Almighty [C “destroying” (shod) and “Almighty” (shaddai) are related words in Hebrew].
16 Our food is ·taken away [L cut off] ·while we watch [L in front of our eyes]. Joy and ·happiness [gladness] are gone from the ·Temple [L house] of our God. 17 ·Though we planted fig seeds, they lie dry and dead in the dirt [L The seed shrivels under the clods/or shovels]. The ·barns [storehouses] are ·empty and falling down [desolate]. The ·storerooms for grain [granaries] have been broken down, because the grain has dried up. 18 The animals are groaning! The herds of cattle ·wander around confused [mill about; are restless/distraught], because they have no ·grass to eat [pasture]; even the flocks of sheep suffer. 19 Lord, I am calling to you for help, because fire has ·burned up [devoured] the ·open [or wilderness] pastures, and flames have burned all the trees in the field. 20 Wild animals ·also [even] ·need your help [cry out to you; long/pant for you]. The ·streams of water [water brooks; riverbeds] have dried up, and fire has ·burned up [devoured] the ·open [or wilderness] pastures.
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