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Joel 1-2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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

Lament over the Ruin of the Country

Hear this, O elders,
    give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
    or in the days of your ancestors?
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.

Wake up, you drunkards, and weep;
    and wail, all you wine-drinkers,
over the sweet wine,
    for it is cut off from your mouth.
For a nation has invaded my land,
    powerful and innumerable;
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 have turned white.

Lament like a virgin dressed in sackcloth
    for the husband of her youth.
The grain 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 devastated,
    the ground mourns;
for the grain is destroyed,
    the wine dries up,
    the oil fails.

11 Be dismayed, you farmers,
    wail, you vinedressers,
over the wheat and the barley;
    for the crops of the field are ruined.
12 The vine withers,
    the fig tree droops.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple—
    all the trees of the field are dried up;
surely, joy withers away
    among the people.

A Call to Repentance and Prayer

13 Put on sackcloth and lament, you priests;
    wail, you ministers of the altar.
Come, pass the night in sackcloth,
    you ministers of my God!
Grain 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 out to the Lord.

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
    and as destruction from the Almighty[a] 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,[b]
    the storehouses are desolate;
the granaries are ruined
    because the grain has failed.
18 How the animals groan!
    The herds of cattle wander about
because there is no pasture for them;
    even the flocks of sheep are dazed.[c]

19 To you, O Lord, I cry.
For fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness,
and flames have burned
    all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild animals cry to you
    because the watercourses are dried up,
and fire has devoured
    the pastures of the wilderness.

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.[d]
Like warriors they charge,
    like soldiers they scale the wall.
Each keeps to its own course,
    they do not swerve from[e] 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[f] 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 [g] 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 1:15 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Joel 1:17 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Joel 1:18 Compare Gk Syr Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Joel 2:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Joel 2:7 Gk Syr Vg: Heb they do not take a pledge along
  6. Joel 2:23 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. 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 1-2 Common English Bible (CEB)

Song of lament

The Lord’s word that came to Joel, Pethuel’s son:

Hear this, elders;
    pay attention, everyone in the land!
Has anything like this ever happened in your days,
    or in the days of your ancestors?[a]
Tell it to your children,
    and have your children tell their children,
    and their children tell their children.
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 devouring locust has eaten.[b]
Wake up, you who drink too much, and weep.
Scream over the sweet wine,
    all you wine drinkers,
    because it is snatched from your mouth;
    because a nation, powerful and beyond number,
        has invaded my land.

Its teeth are like lions’ teeth;
    its fangs are like those of a lioness.
It has destroyed my vines,
    splintered my fig trees,
    stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
    their branches have turned white.
Lament like a woman dressed in funeral clothing,
    one who has lost the husband of her youth.
The grain offering and the drink offering are gone from the Lord’s temple.
The priests and the Lord’s ministers mourn.
10 The fields are devastated,
        the ground mourns;
    for the grain is destroyed,
        the new wine dries up,
        the olive oil fails.
11 Be shocked, you farmers;
    howl, you vinedressers,
        over the wheat and the barley,
    for the crops of the field are destroyed.
12 The grapevine is dried up;
    the fig tree withers.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple—
    all the trees of the field are dried up.
Joy fades away from the people.[c]

Call to mourn

13 Dress for a funeral and grieve, you priests;
        lament, ministers of the altar.
    Come, spend the night in funeral clothing, servants of my God,
    because the grain offering and the drink offering
        have gone from the temple of your God.
14 Demand a fast,
        request a special assembly.
    Gather the elders
        and all the land’s people
        to the temple of the Lord your God,
            and cry out to the Lord.

Time of suffering

15 What a terrible day!
    The day of the Lord is near;
        it comes like chaos from the Almighty.[d]
16 Isn’t the food cut off
    right before our eyes?
    Aren’t joy and gladness also gone from our God’s house?
17 The grain shrivels under the shovels;[e]
    the barns are empty.
The granaries are in ruin
    because the grain has dried up.
18 How the animals groan!
    Herds of cattle are in distress
        because there is no pasture for them;
    even the flocks of sheep pant.

The prophet’s prayer

19 To you, Lord, I cry,
    for fire has completely destroyed
        the pastures of the wilderness;
    and flames have burned
        all the trees of the field.
20 Even the field’s wild animals cry to you
        because the streams have dried up;
    the fire has completely destroyed
        the meadows of the wilderness.

Announcement of alarm and peril

Blow the horn in Zion;
    give a shout on my holy mountain!
Let all the people of the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is near—
    a day of darkness and no light,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread out upon the mountains,
    a great and powerful army[f] comes,
        unlike any that has ever come before them,
        or will come after them in centuries ahead.
In front of them a fire consumes;
    and behind them a flame burns.
Land ahead of them is like Eden’s garden,
    but they leave behind them a barren wasteland;
        nothing escapes them.
They resemble horses,
    and like warhorses they charge,
        like the rumbling of chariots.
They leap on the mountaintops—
    like the crackling of a fire’s flame,
        devouring the stubble;
    like a powerful army
        ready for battle.
In their presence, peoples shake with fear;
    all faces turn red with worry.
Like warriors they charge;
    like soldiers they climb the wall.
Each keeps to their own path;
    they didn’t change their course.
They don’t crowd each other;
    each keeps to their own path.
Even if they fall among the weapons,
    they won’t stop.
They rush upon the city;
    they run upon the walls.
They climb into the houses;
    they enter through the windows like thieves.
10 The earth quakes before them;
    the heavens shake.
The sun and the moon are darkened;
    the stars have stopped shining,
11     because the Lord utters his voice
        at the head of his army.
How numerous are his troops!
    Mighty are those who obey his word.
The day of the Lord is great;
    it stirs up great fear—who can endure it?

Change your hearts

12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
    return to me with all your hearts,
        with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow;
13 tear your hearts
        and not your clothing.
    Return to the Lord your God,
        for he is merciful and compassionate,
        very patient, full of faithful love,
            and ready to forgive.
14 Who knows whether he will have a change of heart
    and leave a blessing behind him,
    a grain offering and a drink offering
            for the Lord your God?
15 Blow the horn in Zion;
        demand a fast;
        request a special assembly.
16 Gather the people;
        prepare a holy meeting;
        assemble the elders;
        gather the children,
            even nursing infants.
Let the groom leave his room
        and the bride her chamber.
17 Between the porch and the altar
        let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep.
    Let them say, “Have mercy, Lord, on your people,
        and don’t make your inheritance a disgrace,
        an example of failure among the nations.
    Why should they say among the peoples,
        ‘Where is their God?’”

Words of compassion and promise

18 Then the Lord became passionate about this land,[g] and had pity on his people.

19 The Lord responded to the people:
See, I am sending you
    the corn, new wine, and fresh oil,
        and you will be fully satisfied by it;
    and I will no longer make you
        a disgrace among the nations.
20 I will remove the northern army far from you
    and drive it into a dried-up and desolate land,
        its front into the eastern sea,
        and its rear into the western sea.
    Its stench will rise up;
        its stink will come to the surface.
The Lord is about to do great things!
21 Don’t fear, fertile land;
    rejoice and be glad,
    for the Lord is about to do great things!
22 Don’t be afraid, animals of the field,
        for the meadows of the wilderness will turn green;
    the tree will bear its fruit;
        the fig tree and grapevine will give their full yield.
23 Children of Zion,
        rejoice and be glad in the Lord your God,
    because he will give you the early rain as a sign of righteousness;
        he will pour down abundant rain for you,
            the early and the late rain, as before.[h]
24 The threshing floors will be full of grain;
        the vats will overflow with new wine and fresh oil.
25 I will repay you for the years
        that the cutting locust,
    the swarming locust, the hopping locust, and the devouring locust have eaten—
        my great army, which I sent against you.
26 You will eat abundantly and be satisfied,
        and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has done wonders for you;
        and my people will never again be put to shame.
27 You will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
        and that I am the Lord your God—no other exists;
        never again will my people be put to shame.
28 After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,
        and your young men will see visions.
29 In those days, I will also pour out my
    spirit on the male and female slaves.

30 I will give signs in the heavens and on the earth—blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 32 But everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be security, as the Lord has promised; and in Jerusalem, the Lord will summon those who survive.

Footnotes:

  1. Joel 1:2 Or your fathers
  2. Joel 1:4 The Heb uses several different words for locust; none of the meanings are identical.
  3. Joel 1:12 Or from the sons of men; cf 2:1 Heb the people of the land
  4. Joel 1:15 Heb Shaddai
  5. Joel 1:17 Heb uncertain
  6. Joel 2:2 Or a great and strong people
  7. Joel 2:18 Or then the Lord became jealous for his land
  8. Joel 2:23 Or at the first
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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