This is what the Lord said to Joel, son of Pethuel.
Judah Is Plagued with Locusts and Famine
2 Listen to this, you leaders! Open your ears, all inhabitants of this land! Nothing like this has ever happened in your lifetime or in your ancestors’ lifetime. 3 Tell your children about it. Have your children tell their children. Have your grandchildren tell their children. 4 What young locusts leave, mature locusts will eat. What mature locusts leave, adult locusts will eat. What adult locusts leave, grasshoppers will eat.
5 Wake up and cry, you drunks! Cry loudly, you wine drinkers! New wine has been taken away from you. 6 A strong nation attacked my land. It has too many soldiers to count. They have teeth like lions. They have fangs like grown lions. 7 They destroyed my grapevines. They ruined my fig trees. They stripped off what they could eat, threw the rest away, and left the branches bare.
8 Cry loudly like a young woman who is dressed in sackcloth, mourning for the man she was going to marry. 9 Grain offerings and wine offerings are no longer brought to the Lord’s temple. The priests, the Lord’s servants, mourn. 10 Israel’s fields are ruined, and the ground is dried up. The grain has been destroyed. The new wine has dried up. The olive oil has run out. 11 Be sad, you farmers! Cry loudly, you grape growers! Mourn for the wheat and the barley. The harvest is destroyed in the field. 12 The grapevines are dried up. The fig trees are withered. The pomegranate, palm, and apricot trees, as well as all the trees in the orchards, have died. Yes, the joy of these people has died too.
13 Put on your sackcloth and mourn, you priests. Cry loudly, you servants of the altar. Spend the night in sackcloth, you servants of my God. Grain offerings and wine offerings are withheld from your God’s temple. 14 Schedule a time to fast! Call for an assembly! Gather the leaders and everyone who lives in the land. Bring them to the temple of the Lord your God, and cry to the Lord for help.
15 This will be a terrible day! The day of the Lord is near, and it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
16 Food disappears right before our eyes. Happiness and rejoicing disappear from our God’s temple. 17 Seeds shrivel up in their shells.[a] Storehouses are destroyed. Barns are ruined. The grain has dried up. 18 The animals groan. Herds of cattle wander around confused. There’s no pasture for them. Even flocks of sheep are suffering.
19 O Lord, I cry to you for help! Fire has burned up the open pastures. Flames have burned up all the trees in the orchards. 20 Even wild animals long for you. Streams run dry. Fire has burned up the open pastures.
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