1 A prophecy against the Jews. 2 He exhorteth the people to prayer and fasting for the misery that was at hand.

The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.

Hear ye this, O [a]Elders, and hearken ye all inhabitants of the land, whether [b]such a thing hath been in your days, or yet in the days of your fathers.

Tell you your children of it, and let your children show to their children, and their children, to another generation.

That which is left of the palmerworm, hath the grasshopper eaten, and the residue of the grasshopper hath the cankerworm eaten, and the residue of the cankerworm hath the caterpillar eaten.

Awake ye [c]drunkards, and weep and howl all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it shall be pulled from your mouth.

Yea, [d]a nation cometh upon my land, mighty and without number, whose teeth are like the teeth of a lion, and he hath the jaws of a great lion.

He maketh my vine waste, and pilleth off the bark of my fig tree: he maketh it bare, and casteth it down: the branches thereof are made white.

Mourn like a virgin girded with sackcloth, for the [e]husband of her youth.

The meat offering and the drink offering is [f]cut off from the house of the Lord: the Priests the Lord’s ministers mourn.

10 The field is wasted: the land mourneth: for the corn is destroyed: [g]the new wine is dried up, and the oil is decayed.

11 Be ye ashamed, O husbandmen: howl, O ye vinedressers for the wheat and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished.

12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree is decayed: the pomegranate tree and the palm tree, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field are withered: surely the joy is withered away from the sons of men.

13 [h]Gird yourselves and lament ye Priests: howl ye ministers of the altar: come, and lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering, and the drink offering is taken away from the house of your God.

14 Sanctify you a fast: call a solemn assembly: gather the Elders, and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,

15 Alas: for the day, for the [i]day of the Lord is at hand, and it cometh as a destruction from the Almighty.

16 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes? and joy, and gladness from the house of our God?

17 The seed is rotten under their clods: the garners are destroyed: the barns are broken down, for the corn is withered.

18 How did the beasts mourn! the herds of cattle pine away, because they have no pasture, and the flocks of sheep are destroyed.

19 O Lord, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burnt up all the trees of the field.

20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the river of waters are dried up, and the [j]fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.


  1. Joel 1:2 Signifying the Princes, the Priests and the governors.
  2. Joel 1:2 He calleth the Jews to the consideration of God’s judgments, who had now plagued the fruits of the ground for the space of four years, which was for their sins, and to call them to repentance.
  3. Joel 1:5 Meaning, that the occasion of their excess and drunkenness was taken away.
  4. Joel 1:6 This was another plague wherewith God had punished them when he stirred up the Assyrians against them.
  5. Joel 1:8 Mourn grievously, as a woman which hath lost her husband to whom she hath been married in her youth.
  6. Joel 1:9 The tokens of God’s wrath did appear in his Temple, insomuch as God’s service was left off.
  7. Joel 1:10 All comfort and substance for nourishment is taken away.
  8. Joel 1:13 He showeth that the only means to avoid God’s wrath, and to have all things restored, is unfeigned repentance.
  9. Joel 1:15 We see by these great plagues that utter destruction is at hand.
  10. Joel 1:20 That is, drought.

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

An Invasion of Locusts

Hear this,(C) you elders;(D)
    listen, all who live in the land.(E)
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
    or in the days of your ancestors?(F)
Tell it to your children,(G)
    and let your children tell it to their children,
    and their children to the next generation.(H)
What the locust(I) 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(J)
    other locusts[a] have eaten.(K)

Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
    Wail, all you drinkers of wine;(L)
wail because of the new wine,
    for it has been snatched(M) from your lips.
A nation has invaded my land,
    a mighty army without number;(N)
it has the teeth(O) of a lion,
    the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste(P) my vines
    and ruined my fig trees.(Q)
It has stripped off their bark
    and thrown it away,
    leaving their branches white.

Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth(R)
    grieving for the betrothed of her youth.
Grain offerings and drink offerings(S)
    are cut off from the house of the Lord.
The priests are in mourning,(T)
    those who minister before the Lord.
10 The fields are ruined,
    the ground is dried up;(U)
the grain is destroyed,
    the new wine(V) is dried up,
    the olive oil fails.(W)

11 Despair, you farmers,(X)
    wail, you vine growers;
grieve for the wheat and the barley,(Y)
    because the harvest of the field is destroyed.(Z)
12 The vine is dried up
    and the fig tree is withered;(AA)
the pomegranate,(AB) the palm and the apple[b] tree—
    all the trees of the field—are dried up.(AC)
Surely the people’s joy
    is withered away.

A Call to Lamentation

13 Put on sackcloth,(AD) you priests, and mourn;
    wail, you who minister(AE) before the altar.
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
    you who minister before my God;
for the grain offerings and drink offerings(AF)
    are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Declare a holy fast;(AG)
    call a sacred assembly.
Summon the elders
    and all who live in the land(AH)
to the house of the Lord your God,
    and cry out(AI) to the Lord.(AJ)

15 Alas for that(AK) day!
    For the day of the Lord(AL) is near;
    it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[c](AM)

16 Has not the food been cut off(AN)
    before our very eyes—
joy and gladness(AO)
    from the house of our God?(AP)
17 The seeds are shriveled
    beneath the clods.[d](AQ)
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;(AR)
    even the flocks of sheep are suffering.(AS)

19 To you, Lord, I call,(AT)
    for fire(AU) has devoured the pastures(AV) in the wilderness
    and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild animals pant for you;(AW)
    the streams of water have dried up(AX)
    and fire has devoured the pastures(AY) in the wilderness.


  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.