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Joel 1Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethu′el:

Lament over the Ruin of the Country

Hear this, you aged men,
    give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
    or in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children of it,
    and let your children tell their children,
    and their children another generation.

What the cutting locust left,
    the swarming locust has eaten.
What the swarming locust left,
    the hopping locust has eaten,
and what the hopping locust left,
    the destroying locust has eaten.

Awake, you drunkards, and weep;
    and wail, all you drinkers of wine,
because of the sweet wine,
    for it is cut off from your mouth.
For a nation has come up against my land,
    powerful and without number;
its teeth are lions’ teeth,
    and it has the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste my vines,
    and splintered my fig trees;
it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
    their branches are made white.

Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth
    for the bridegroom of her youth.
The cereal offering and the drink offering are cut off
    from the house of the Lord.
The priests mourn,
    the ministers of the Lord.
10 The fields are laid waste,
    the ground mourns;
because the grain is destroyed,
    the wine fails,
    the oil languishes.

11 Be confounded, O tillers of the soil,
    wail, O vinedressers,
for the wheat and the barley;
    because the harvest of the field has perished.
12 The vine withers,
    the fig tree languishes.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple,
    all the trees of the field are withered;
and gladness fails
    from the sons of men.

A Call to Repentance and Prayer

13 Gird on sackcloth and lament, O priests,
    wail, O ministers of the altar.
Go in, pass the night in sackcloth,
    O ministers of my God!
Because cereal offering and drink offering
    are withheld from the house of your God.

14 Sanctify a fast,
    call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders
    and all the inhabitants of the land
to the house of the Lord your God;
    and cry to the Lord.

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
    and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.
16 Is not the food cut off
    before our eyes,
joy and gladness
    from the house of our God?

17 The seed shrivels under the clods,[a]
    the storehouses are desolate;
the granaries are ruined
    because the grain has failed.
18 How the beasts groan!
    The herds of cattle are perplexed
because there is no pasture for them;
    even the flocks of sheep are dismayed.

19 Unto thee, O Lord, I cry.
For fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness,
and flame has burned
    all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild beasts cry to thee
    because the water brooks are dried up,
and fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness.


  1. Joel 1:17 Heb uncertain
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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