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Joel 2 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Locusts as a Warning of the Day of the Lord

Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm
    on Zion, God's sacred hill.[a]
Tremble, people of Judah!
    The day of the Lord is coming soon.
It will be a dark and gloomy day,
    a black and cloudy day.
The great army of locusts advances
    like darkness spreading over the mountains.
There has never been anything like it,
    and there never will be again.

Like fire they eat up the plants.
    In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
    but behind them it is a barren desert.
    Nothing escapes them.
They look like horses;
    they run like war-horses.
As they leap on the tops of the mountains,
    they rattle like chariots;
    they crackle like dry grass on fire.
They are lined up like a great army ready for battle.
As they approach, everyone is terrified;
    every face turns pale.
They attack like warriors;
    they climb the walls like soldiers.
They all keep marching straight ahead
    and do not change direction
    or get in each other's way.
They swarm through defenses,
    and nothing can stop them.
They rush against the city;
    they run over the walls;
    they climb up the houses
    and go in through the windows like thieves.

10 The earth shakes as they advance;
    the sky trembles.
The sun and the moon grow dark,
    and the stars no longer shine.
11 The Lord thunders commands to his army.
    The troops that obey him
    are many and mighty.
How terrible is the day of the Lord!
    Who will survive it?

A Call to Repentance

12 “But even now,” says the Lord,
    “repent sincerely and return to me
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.
13 Let your broken heart show your sorrow;
    tearing your clothes is not enough.”

Come back to the Lord your God.
    He is kind and full of mercy;
    he is patient and keeps his promise;
    he is always ready to forgive and not punish.
14 Perhaps the Lord your God will change his mind
    and bless you with abundant crops.
Then you can offer him grain and wine.

15 Blow the trumpet on Mount Zion;
    give orders for a fast and call an assembly!
16 Gather the people together;
    prepare them for a sacred meeting;
    bring the old people;
    gather the children
    and the babies too.
    Even newly married couples
    must leave their homes and come.
17 The priests, serving the Lord
    between the altar and the entrance of the Temple,
must weep and pray:
    “Have pity on your people, Lord.
    Do not let other nations despise us and mock us
    by saying, ‘Where is your God?’”

God Restores Fertility to the Land

18 Then the Lord showed concern for his land;
    he had mercy on his people.
19 He answered them:
    “Now I am going to give you
    grain and wine and olive oil,
    and you will be satisfied.
    Other nations will no longer despise you.
20 I will remove the locust army that came from the north
    and will drive some of them into the desert.
Their front ranks will be driven into the Dead Sea,
    their rear ranks into the Mediterranean.
    Their dead bodies will stink.
I will destroy them because of all they have done to you.

21 “Fields, don't be afraid,
    but be joyful and glad
    because of all the Lord has done for you.
22 Animals, don't be afraid.
    The pastures are green;
    the trees bear their fruit,
    and there are plenty of figs and grapes.

23 “Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice at what the Lord your God has done for you.
    He has given you the right amount of autumn rain;[b]
    he has poured down the winter rain for you
    and the spring rain as before.
24 The threshing places will be full of grain;
    the pits beside the presses will overflow with wine and olive oil.
25 I will give you back what you lost
    in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops.
    It was I who sent this army against you.
26 Now you will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied.
    You will praise the Lord your God,
    who has done wonderful things for you.
    My people will never be despised again.
27 Then, Israel, you will know that I am among you
    and that I, the Lord, am your God
    and there is no other.
    My people will never be despised again.

The Day of the Lord

28 “Afterward I will pour out my Spirit on everyone:
    your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;
    your old people will have dreams,
    and your young people will see visions.
29 At that time I will pour out my Spirit
    even on servants, both men and women.

30 “I will give warnings of that day
    in the sky and on the earth;
    there will be bloodshed, fire, and clouds of smoke.
31 The sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will turn red as blood
    before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
32 But all who ask the Lord for help will be saved.
As the Lord has said,
    ‘Some in Jerusalem will escape;
    those whom I choose will survive.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Joel 2:1 Mount Zion (see Zion in Word List).
  2. Joel 2:23 right amount of autumn rain; or autumn rain because he is just.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Joel 2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—
a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains
    a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old,
    nor will be again after them
    in ages to come.

Fire devours in front of them,
    and behind them a flame burns.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,
    but after them a desolate wilderness,
    and nothing escapes them.

They have the appearance of horses,
    and like war-horses they charge.
As with the rumbling of chariots,
    they leap on the tops of the mountains,
like the crackling of a flame of fire
    devouring the stubble,
like a powerful army
    drawn up for battle.

Before them peoples are in anguish,
    all faces grow pale.[a]
Like warriors they charge,
    like soldiers they scale the wall.
Each keeps to its own course,
    they do not swerve from[b] their paths.
They do not jostle one another,
    each keeps to its own track;
they burst through the weapons
    and are not halted.
They leap upon the city,
    they run upon the walls;
they climb up into the houses,
    they enter through the windows like a thief.

10 The earth quakes before them,
    the heavens tremble.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
    and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The Lord utters his voice
    at the head of his army;
how vast is his host!
    Numberless are those who obey his command.
Truly the day of the Lord is great;
    terrible indeed—who can endure it?

12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
    return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
    and relents from punishing.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
    and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
    for the Lord, your God?

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16     gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
    assemble the aged;
gather the children,
    even infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride her canopy.

17 Between the vestibule and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.
Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
    and do not make your heritage a mockery,
    a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

God’s Response and Promise

18 Then the Lord became jealous for his land,
    and had pity on his people.
19 In response to his people the Lord said:
I am sending you
    grain, wine, and oil,
    and you will be satisfied;
and I will no more make you
    a mockery among the nations.

20 I will remove the northern army far from you,
    and drive it into a parched and desolate land,
its front into the eastern sea,
    and its rear into the western sea;
its stench and foul smell will rise up.
    Surely he has done great things!

21 Do not fear, O soil;
    be glad and rejoice,
    for the Lord has done great things!
22 Do not fear, you animals of the field,
    for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
    the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

23 O children of Zion, be glad
    and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain[c] for your vindication,
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the later rain, as before.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
    the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 I will repay you for the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent against you.

26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
    and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

God’s Spirit Poured Out

28 [d] Then afterward
    I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female slaves,
    in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

30 I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 32 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Footnotes:

  1. Joel 2:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Joel 2:7 Gk Syr Vg: Heb they do not take a pledge along
  3. Joel 2:23 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Joel 2:28 Ch 3.1 in Heb
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

Joel 2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

“Blow the shofar in Tziyon!
Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!”
Let all living in the land tremble,
for the Day of Adonai is coming! It’s upon us! —
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick fog;
a great and mighty horde is spreading
like blackness over the mountains.
There has never been anything like it,
nor will there ever be again,
not even after the years
of many generations.
Ahead of them a fire devours,
behind them a flame consumes;
ahead the land is like Gan-‘Eden,
behind them a desert waste.
From them there is no escape.
They look like horses,
and like cavalry they charge.
With a rumble like that of chariots
they leap over the mountaintops,
like crackling flames devouring stubble,
like a mighty horde in battle array.
At their presence the peoples writhe in anguish,
every face is drained of color.
Like warriors they charge,
they scale the wall like soldiers.
Each one keeps to his own course,
without getting in the other’s way.
They don’t jostle each other,
but stay on their own paths;
they burst through defenses unharmed,
without even breaking rank.
They rush into the city,
they run along the wall,
they climb up into the houses,
entering like a thief through the windows.
10 At their advance the earth quakes,
and the sky shakes,
the sun and moon turn black,
and the stars stop shining.
11 Adonai shouts orders to his forces —
his army is immense, mighty,
and it does what he says.
For great is the Day of Adonai, fearsome,
terrifying! Who can endure it?

12 “Yet even now,” says Adonai,
“turn to me with all your heart,
with fasting, weeping and lamenting.”
13 Tear your heart, not your garments;
and turn to Adonai your God.
For he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger, rich in grace,
and willing to change his mind about disaster.
14 Who knows? He may turn, change his mind
and leave a blessing behind him,
[enough for] grain offerings and drink offerings
to present to Adonai your God.

15 “Blow the shofar in Tziyon!
Proclaim a holy fast,
call for a solemn assembly.”

16 Gather the people; consecrate the congregation;
assemble the leaders; gather the children,
even infants sucking at the breast;
let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride the bridal chamber.
17 Let the cohanim, who serve Adonai,
stand weeping between the vestibule and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Adonai!
Don’t expose your heritage to mockery,
or make them a byward among the Goyim.
Why should the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’”

18 Then Adonai will become jealous for his land
and have pity on his people.
19 Here is how Adonai will answer his people:
“I will send you grain, wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you;
and no longer will I make you
a mockery among the Goyim.
20 No, I will take the northerner away,
far away from you,
and drive him to a land
that is waste and barren;
with his vanguard toward the eastern sea
and his rearguard toward the western sea,
his stench and his rottenness will rise,
because he has done great things.”

21 Don’t fear, O soil; be glad! rejoice!
for Adonai has done great things.
22 Don’t be afraid, wild animals;
for the desert pastures are green,
the trees are putting out their fruit,
the fig tree and vine are giving full yield.
23 Be glad, people of Tziyon!
rejoice in Adonai your God!
For he is giving you
the right amount of rain in the fall,
he makes the rain come down for you,
the fall and spring rains — this is what he does first.
24 Then the floors will be full of grain
and the vats overflow with wine and olive oil.

25 “I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate,
the grasshoppers, shearer-worms and cutter-worms,
my great army that I sent against you.
26 You will eat until you are satisfied
and will praise the name of Adonai your God,
who has done with you such wonders.
Then my people will never again be shamed.
27 You will know that I am with Isra’el
and that I am Adonai your God,
and that there is no other.
Then my people will never again be shamed.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Joel 2 The Message (MSG)

The Locust Army

1-3 Blow the ram’s horn trumpet in Zion!
    Trumpet the alarm on my holy mountain!
Shake the country up!
    God’s Judgment’s on its way—the Day’s almost here!
A black day! A Doomsday!
    Clouds with no silver lining!
Like dawn light moving over the mountains,
    a huge army is coming.
There’s never been anything like it
    and never will be again.
Wildfire burns everything before this army
    and fire licks up everything in its wake.
Before it arrives, the country is like the Garden of Eden.
    When it leaves, it is Death Valley.
    Nothing escapes unscathed.

4-6 The locust army seems all horses—
    galloping horses, an army of horses.
It sounds like thunder
    leaping on mountain ridges,
Or like the roar of wildfire
    through grass and brush,
Or like an invincible army shouting for blood,
    ready to fight, straining at the bit.
At the sight of this army,
    the people panic, faces white with terror.

7-11 The invaders charge.
    They climb barricades. Nothing stops them.
Each soldier does what he’s told,
    so disciplined, so determined.
They don’t get in each other’s way.
    Each one knows his job and does it.
Undaunted and fearless,
    unswerving, unstoppable.
They storm the city,
    swarm its defenses,
Loot the houses,
    breaking down doors, smashing windows.
They arrive like an earthquake,
    sweep through like a tornado.
Sun and moon turn out their lights,
    stars black out.
God himself bellows in thunder
    as he commands his forces.
Look at the size of that army!
    And the strength of those who obey him!
God’s Judgment Day—great and terrible.
    Who can possibly survive this?

Change Your Life

12 But there’s also this, it’s not too late—
    God’s personal Message!—
“Come back to me and really mean it!
    Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”

13-14 Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to God, your God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.
    He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
    always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now,
    maybe he’ll turn around and show pity.
Maybe, when all’s said and done,
    there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God!

15-17 Blow the ram’s horn trumpet in Zion!
    Declare a day of repentance, a holy fast day.
Call a public meeting.
    Get everyone there. Consecrate the congregation.
Make sure the elders come,
    but bring in the children, too, even the nursing babies,
Even men and women on their honeymoon—
    interrupt them and get them there.
Between Sanctuary entrance and altar,
    let the priests, God’s servants, weep tears of repentance.
Let them intercede: “Have mercy, God, on your people!
    Don’t abandon your heritage to contempt.
Don’t let the pagans take over and rule them
    and sneer, ‘And so where is this God of theirs?’”

18-20 At that, God went into action to get his land back.
    He took pity on his people.
God answered and spoke to his people,
    “Look, listen—I’m sending a gift:
Grain and wine and olive oil.
    The fast is over—eat your fill!
I won’t expose you any longer
    to contempt among the pagans.
I’ll head off the final enemy coming out of the north
    and dump them in a wasteland.
Half of them will end up in the Dead Sea,
    the other half in the Mediterranean.
There they’ll rot, a stench to high heaven.
    The bigger the enemy, the stronger the stench!”

The Trees Are Bearing Fruit Again

21-24 Fear not, Earth! Be glad and celebrate!
    God has done great things.
Fear not, wild animals!
    The fields and meadows are greening up.
The trees are bearing fruit again:
    a bumper crop of fig trees and vines!
Children of Zion, celebrate!
    Be glad in your God.
He’s giving you a teacher
    to train you how to live right—
Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words
    to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.
And plenty of food for your body—silos full of grain,
    casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.

25-27 “I’ll make up for the years of the locust,
    the great locust devastation—
Locusts savage, locusts deadly,
    fierce locusts, locusts of doom,
That great locust invasion
    I sent your way.
You’ll eat your fill of good food.
    You’ll be full of praises to your God,
The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder.
    Never again will my people be despised.
You’ll know without question
    that I’m in the thick of life with Israel,
That I’m your God, yes, your God,
    the one and only real God.
Never again will my people be despised.

The Sun Turning Black and the Moon Blood-Red

28-32 “And that’s just the beginning: After that—

“I will pour out my Spirit
    on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
    also your daughters.
Your old men will dream,
    your young men will see visions.
I’ll even pour out my Spirit on the servants,
    men and women both.
I’ll set wonders in the sky above
    and signs on the earth below:
Blood and fire and billowing smoke,
    the sun turning black and the moon blood-red,
Before the Judgment Day of God,
    the Day tremendous and awesome.
Whoever calls, ‘Help, God!’
    gets help.
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be a great rescue—just as God said.
Included in the survivors
    are those that God calls.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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