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Joel

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Joel

Joel began his prophecy by recalling a recent catastrophe (a locust plague) in Judah. He declared God’s judgment on Judah by announcing that the “day of the Lord” was coming. He pleaded with the people to turn to God in repentance.

1 The word of the Lord that camea to Joelb 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 locusti swarm has left

the great locusts have eaten;

what the great locusts have left

the young locusts have eaten;

what the young locusts have leftj

other locustsa 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 snatchedm from your lips.

A nation has invaded my land,

a mighty army without number;n

it has the teetho of a lion,

the fangs of a lioness.

It has laid wastep 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 sackclothr

grieving for the betrothed of her youth.

Grain offerings and drink offeringss

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 winev 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;a

the pomegranate,b the palm and the appleb tree—

all the trees of the field—are dried up.c

Surely the people’s joy

is withered away.

A Call to Lamentation

13 Put on sackcloth,d you priests, and mourn;

wail, you who ministere before the altar.

Come, spend the night in sackcloth,

you who minister before my God;

for the grain offerings and drink offeringsf

are withheld from the house of your God.

14 Declare a holy fast;g

call a sacred assembly.

Summon the elders

and all who live in the landh

to the house of the Lord your God,

and cry outi to the Lord.j

15 Alas for thatk day!

For the day of the Lordl is near;

it will come like destruction from the Almighty.c m

16 Has not the food been cut offn

before our very eyes—

joy and gladnesso

from the house of our God?p

17 The seeds are shriveled

beneath the clods.d q

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;r

even the flocks of sheep are suffering.s

19 To you, Lord, I call,t

for fireu has devoured the pasturesv in the wilderness

and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.

20 Even the wild animals pant for you;w

the streams of water have dried upx

and fire has devoured the pasturesy in the wilderness.

An Army of Locusts

2 Blow the trumpetz in Zion;a

sound the alarm on my holy hill.b

Let all who live in the land tremble,

for the day of the Lordc is coming.

It is close at handd

2 a day of darknesse and gloom,f

a day of cloudsg and blackness.h

Like dawn spreading across the mountains

a large and mighty armyi comes,

such as never was in ancient timesj

nor ever will be in ages to come.

Before them firek devours,

behind them a flame blazes.

Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,l

behind them, a desert wastem

nothing escapes them.

They have the appearance of horses;n

they gallop along like cavalry.

With a noise like that of chariotso

they leap over the mountaintops,

like a crackling firep consuming stubble,

like a mighty army drawn up for battle.

At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;q

every face turns pale.r

They charge like warriors;s

they scale walls like soldiers.

They all march in line,t

not swervingu from their course.

They do not jostle each other;

each marches straight ahead.

They plunge through defenses

without breaking ranks.

They rush upon the city;

they run along the wall.

They climb into the houses;v

like thieves they enter through the windows.w

10 Before them the earth shakes,x

the heavens tremble,y

the sun and moon are darkened,z

and the stars no longer shine.a

11 The Lordb thundersc

at the head of his army;d

his forces are beyond number,

and mighty is the army that obeys his command.

The day of the Lord is great;e

it is dreadful.

Who can endure it?f

Rend Your Heart

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,

“returng to me with all your heart,h

with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your hearti

and not your garments.j

Returnk to the Lord your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,l

slow to anger and abounding in love,m

and he relents from sending calamity.n

14 Who knows? He may turno and relentp

and leave behind a blessingq

grain offerings and drink offeringsr

for the Lord your God.

15 Blow the trumpets in Zion,t

declare a holy fast,u

call a sacred assembly.v

16 Gather the people,

consecratew the assembly;

bring together the elders,x

gather the children,

those nursing at the breast.

Let the bridegroomy leave his room

and the bride her chamber.

17 Let the priests, who ministerz before the Lord,

weepa between the portico and the altar.b

Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.

Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,c

a bywordd among the nations.

Why should they say among the peoples,

‘Where is their God?e’ ”

The Lord’s Answer

18 Then the Lord was jealousf for his land

and took pityg on his people.

19 The Lord replieda to them:

“I am sending you grain, new wineh and olive oil,i

enough to satisfy you fully;j

never again will I make you

an object of scornk to the nations.

20 “I will drive the northern hordel far from you,

pushing it into a parched and barren land;

its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea

and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.

And its stenchm will go up;

its smell will rise.”

Surely he has done great things!

21 Do not be afraid,n land of Judah;

be glad and rejoice.o

Surely the Lord has done great things!p

22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals,

for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.q

The trees are bearing their fruit;

the fig treer and the vines yield their riches.t

23 Be glad, people of Zion,

rejoiceu in the Lord your God,

for he has given you the autumn rains

because he is faithful.v

He sends you abundant showers,w

both autumnx and spring rains,y as before.

24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;

the vats will overflowz with new winea and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locustsb have eatenc

the great locust and the young locust,

the other locusts and the locust swarmb

my great armyd that I sent among you.

26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,e

and you will praisef the name of the Lord your God,

who has worked wondersg for you;

never again will my people be shamed.h

27 Then you will knowi that I am in Israel,

that I am the Lordj your God,

and that there is no other;

never again will my people be shamed.k

The Day of the Lord

28 “And afterward,

I will pour out my Spiritl on all people.m

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,n

your old men will dream dreams,o

your young men will see visions.

29 Even on my servants,p both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days.q

30 I will show wonders in the heavensr

and on the earth,s

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

31 The sun will be turned to darknesst

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.u

32 And everyone who calls

on the name of the Lordv will be saved;w

for on Mount Zionx and in Jerusalem

there will be deliverance,y

as the Lord has said,

even among the survivorsz

whom the Lord calls.c a

The Nations Judged

3 a “In those days and at that time,

when I restore the fortunesb of Judahc and Jerusalem,

I will gatherd all nations

and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.b e

There I will put them on trialf

for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel,

because they scatteredg my people among the nations

and divided up my land.

They cast lotsh for my people

and traded boys for prostitutes;

they sold girls for winei to drink.

“Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidonj and all you regions of Philistia?k Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done.l For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples.c m You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks,n that you might send them far from their homeland.

“See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them,o and I will returnp on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sonsq and daughters to the people of Judah,r and they will sell them to the Sabeans,s a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.t

Proclaim this among the nations:

Prepare for war!u

Rouse the warriors!v

Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.

10 Beat your plowshares into swords

and your pruning hooksw into spears.x

Let the weaklingy say,

“I am strong!”z

11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side,

and assemblea there.

Bring down your warriors,b Lord!

12 “Let the nations be roused;

let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,c

for there I will sit

to judged all the nations on every side.

13 Swing the sickle,e

for the harvestf is ripe.

Come, trample the grapes,g

for the winepressh is full

and the vats overflow—

so great is their wickedness!”

14 Multitudes,i multitudes

in the valleyj of decision!

For the day of the Lordk is near

in the valley of decision.l

15 The sun and moon will be darkened,

and the stars no longer shine.m

16 The Lord will roarn from Zion

and thunder from Jerusalem;o

the earth and the heavens will tremble.p

But the Lord will be a refugeq for his people,

a strongholdr for the people of Israel.

Blessings for…

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The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain.

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Hebrew Shaddai

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The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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Or Lord will be jealous … / and take pity … / 19The Lord will reply

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The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain.

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In Hebrew texts 2:28–32 is numbered 3:1–5.

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In Hebrew texts 3:1–21 is numbered 4:1–21.

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Jehoshaphat means the Lord judges; also in verse 12.

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Or palaces

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