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Joel 1

1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel.

An Invasion of Locusts

2 Hear this, you elders;
     listen, all who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
     or in the days of your forefathers?
3 Tell it to your children,
     and let your children tell it to their children,
     and their children to the next generation.
4 What the locust swarm has left
     the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left
     the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left
     other locusts4 The precise meaning of the four Hebrew words used here for locusts is uncertain.]>(1) have eaten.
5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
     Wail, all you drinkers of wine;
wail because of the new wine,
     for it has been snatched from your lips.
6 A nation has invaded my land,
     powerful and without number;
it has the teeth of a lion,
     the fangs of a lioness.
7 It has laid waste my vines
     and ruined my fig trees.
It has stripped off their bark
     and thrown it away,
     leaving their branches white.
8 Mourn like a virgin8 Or young woman]>(2) in sackcloth
     grieving for the husband8 Or betrothed]>(3) of her youth.
9 Grain offerings and drink offerings
     are cut off from the house of the Lord.
The priests are in mourning,
     those who minister before the Lord.
10 The fields are ruined,
     the ground is dried up10 Or ground mourns]>(4);
the grain is destroyed,
     the new wine is dried up,
     the oil fails.
11 Despair, you farmers,
     wail, you vine growers;
grieve for the wheat and the barley,
     because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
12 The vine is dried up
     and the fig tree is withered;
the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree--
     all the trees of the field--are dried up.
Surely the joy of mankind
     is withered away.

A Call to Repentance

13 Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn;
     wail, you who minister before the altar.
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
     you who minister before my God;
for the grain offerings and drink offerings
     are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Declare a holy fast;
     call a sacred assembly.
Summon the elders
     and all who live in the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
     and cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas for that day!
     For the day of the Lord is near;
     it will come like destruction from the Almighty.15 Hebrew Shaddai]>(5)
16 Has not the food been cut off
     before our very eyes--
joy and gladness
     from the house of our God?
17 The seeds are shriveled
     beneath the clods.17 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.]>(6)
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;
     even the flocks of sheep are suffering.
19 To you, O Lord, I call,
     for fire has devoured the open pastures
     and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
20 Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.