Joel 1

1 I am Joel the son of Pethuel.
        And this is the message
            the Lord gave to me.

Locusts Cover the Land

2 Listen, you leaders
    and everyone else
        in the land.
    Has anything like this
        ever happened before?
3 Tell our children!
    Let it be told
        to our grandchildren
        and their children too.

4 Swarm after swarm of locusts
    has attacked our crops,
        eating everything in sight.
5 Sober up, you drunkards!
    Cry long and loud;
        your wine supply is gone.
6 A powerful nation
    with countless troops
        has invaded our land.
    They have the teeth and jaws
        of powerful lions.
7 Our grapevines and fig trees
    are stripped bare;
        only naked branches remain.

8 Grieve like a young woman
    mourning for the man
        she was to marry.
9 Offerings of grain and wine
    are no longer brought
        to the Lord’s temple.
    His servants, the priests,
        are deep in sorrow.
10 Barren fields mourn;
    grain, grapes, and olives
        are scorched and shriveled.

11 Mourn for our farms
        and our vineyards!
    There’s no wheat or barley
        growing in our fields.
12 Grapevines have dried up
    and so has every tree—
        figs and pomegranates,
        date palms and apples.
    All happiness has faded away.

Return to God

13 Mourn, you priests who serve
        at the altar of my God.
    Spend your days and nights
        wearing sackcloth.
    Offerings of grain and wine
    are no longer brought
        to the Lord’s temple.

14 Tell the leaders and people
    to come together
        at the temple.
    Order them to go without eating
        and to pray sincerely.
15 We are in for trouble!
    Soon the Lord All-Powerful
        will bring disaster.
16 Our food is already gone;
    there’s no more celebrating
        at the temple of our God.

17 Seeds dry up in the ground;
        no harvest is possible.
    Our barns are in bad shape,
        with no grain
            to store in them.
18 Our cattle wander aimlessly,
    moaning for lack of pasture,
        and sheep are suffering.
19 I cry out to you, Lord.
    Grasslands and forests are eaten
        by the scorching heat.
20 Wild animals have no water
        because of you;
    rivers and streams are dry,
        and pastures are parched.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary