The Devastation by Locusts

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

(C)Hear this, you (D)elders,
And listen, all inhabitants of the land.
(E)Has anything like this happened in your days,
Or in your fathers’ days?
(F)Tell your sons about it,
And have your sons tell their sons,
And their sons the next generation.

What the (G)gnawing locust has left, the [a]swarming locust has eaten;
And what the (H)swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten;
And what the creeping locust has left, the (I)stripping locust has eaten.
Awake, (J)you heavy drinkers, and weep;
And wail, all you wine drinkers,
Because of the sweet wine,
For it has been (K)eliminated from your mouth.
For a (L)nation has [b]invaded my land,
Mighty and without number;
(M)Its teeth are the teeth of a lion,
And it has the jaws of a lioness.
It has (N)made my vine a waste
And my fig tree a stump.
It has stripped them bare and hurled them away;
Their branches have become white.

(O)Wail like a virgin (P)clothed with sackcloth
For the groom of her youth.
The (Q)grain offering and the drink offering have been cut off
From the house of the Lord.
The (R)priests mourn,
The ministers of the Lord.
10 The field is (S)ruined,
(T)The land mourns;
For the grain is ruined,
The new wine has dried up,
Fresh oil has [c]failed.
11 (U)Be ashamed, you farm workers,
Wail, you vinedressers,
For the wheat and the barley;
Because the (V)harvest of the field is destroyed.
12 The (W)vine has dried up
And the fig tree has withered;
The (X)pomegranate, the (Y)palm also, and the (Z)apple tree,
All the trees of the field have dried up.
Indeed, (AA)joy has dried up
From the sons of mankind.

13 (AB)Put on sackcloth
And mourn, you priests;
(AC)Wail, you ministers of the altar!
Come, (AD)spend the night in sackcloth,
You ministers of my God,
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Have been withheld from the house of your God.

Starvation and Drought

14 (AE)Consecrate a fast,
Proclaim a (AF)solemn assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
To the house of the Lord your God,
And (AG)cry out to the Lord.
15 (AH)Woe for the day!
For the (AI)day of the Lord is near,
And it will come as (AJ)destruction from the [d]Almighty.
16 Has (AK)food not been cut off before our eyes, and
Joy and (AL)rejoicing from the house of our God?
17 The [e](AM)seeds have dried up under their shovels;
The storehouses have become desolate,
The grain silos are ruined,
Because the grain has dried up.
18 How (AN)the animals have groaned!
The herds of cattle have wandered aimlessly
Because there is no pasture for them;
Even the flocks of sheep have [f]suffered.
19 (AO)To You, Lord, I cry out;
For (AP)fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,
And the flame has burned up all the trees of the field.
20 Even the animals of the field [g](AQ)pant for You;
For the (AR)stream beds of water are dried up,
And fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.


  1. Joel 1:4 Or migratory
  2. Joel 1:6 Lit gone up against
  3. Joel 1:10 Lit dried out
  4. Joel 1:15 Heb Shaddai
  5. Joel 1:17 Or dried figs
  6. Joel 1:18 Lit suffered punishment
  7. Joel 1:20 Or long for

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.