1 The Lord sent a message through Joel, son of Pethuel.
2 Listen to this, elders; pay attention, everyone who lives in the land. Has anything ever happened like this before in your experience, or that of your forefathers? 3 Tell your children about it, and have your children tell it to their children, and their children tell the next generation.
What the cutting locusts left, the swarming locusts have eaten; what the swarming locusts left, the hopping locusts have eaten; what the hopping locusts left, the destroying locusts have eaten.*
Wake up, you drunks, and weep! Howl you wine-drinkers, because the new wine has been suddenly taken away from your mouth! 6
A nation has invaded my land: powerful and too many to count. Their teeth are like lion's teeth, their fangs like those of a lioness. 7
It has ruined my grapevines and destroyed my fig trees, stripping them completely and reducing them to stumps, white and bare. 8
Mourn like a bride dressed in sackcloth, mourning the death of her husband-to-be.† 9
Grain and wine offerings have stopped in the Temple.‡
The priests who minister before the Lord are in mourning. 10
The fields are devastated, the earth mourns; for the grain is ruined, the new wine dries up, the olive oil fails.
Be ashamed, farmers, and wail in sorrow, keepers of vineyards, over the wheat and the barley, for the crops from the fields are ruined. 12
The vines are shriveled, the fig trees are withered; the pomegranate, the palm, and the apricot§
trees—all the fruit trees have dried up, and at the same time the people's happiness has also dried up.
Dress in sackcloth,*
you priests, and mourn; weep, you who minister before the altar! Go and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, for the grain and wine offerings have stopped in the Temple. 14
Proclaim a fast; call a sacred assembly. Have the elders and all people of the land gather in the Temple, and cry out to your God, to the Lord. 15
What a terrible day! For the day of the Lord is near, it will come as destruction from the Almighty. 16
Haven't we seen our food taken away from us, right before our eyes? There is no joy and happiness in God's Temple. 17
Seeds planted in the ground shrivel up; the storehouses are empty, the barns are torn down because the grain has dried up.† 18
The farm animals moan with hunger. The herds of cattle wander everywhere because they can't find grass to eat; the flocks of sheep are suffering. 19
To you, Lord, I cry out!‡
For fire has destroyed the pastures in the wilderness; flames have burned up all the orchards. 20
Even the wild animals long for you because the streams have dried up, and fire has destroyed the pastures in the wilderness.