11This is the LORD's message to Joel son of Pethuel.
2Pay attention, you older people;
everyone in Judah, listen.
Has anything like this ever happened
in your time or the time of your ancestors?
3Tell your children about it;
they will tell their children,
who in turn will tell the next generation.
4Swarm after swarm of locusts settled on the crops;
what one swarm left, the next swarm devoured.
5Wake up and weep, you drunkards;
cry, you wine drinkers;
the grapes for making new wine have been destroyed.
An army of locusts has attacked our land;
they are powerful and too many to count;
their teeth are as sharp as those of a lion.
7They have destroyed our grapevines
and chewed up our fig trees.
They have stripped off the bark,
till the branches are white.
8Cry, you people, like a young woman who mourns the death
of the man she was going to marry.
9There is no corn or wine to offer in the Temple;
the priests mourn because they have no offerings for the LORD.
10The fields are bare;
the ground mourns
because the corn is destroyed,
the grapes are dried up,
and the olive trees are withered.
11Grieve, you farmers;
cry, you that take care of the vineyards,
because the wheat, the barley,
yes, all the crops are destroyed.
12The grapevines and fig trees have withered;
all the fruit trees have wilted and died.
The joy of the people is gone.
13Put on sackcloth and weep,
you priests who serve at the altar!
Go into the Temple and mourn all night!
There is no corn or wine to offer your God.
14Give orders for a fast;
call an assembly!
Gather the leaders
and all the people of Judah
into the Temple of the LORD your God
and cry out to him.
The day of the LORD is near;
the day when the Almighty brings destruction.
What terror that day will bring!
16We look on helpless as our crops are destroyed.
There is no joy in the Temple of our God.
17The seeds die in the dry earth.
There is no grain to be stored,
and so the empty granaries are in ruins.
18The cattle are bellowing in distress
because there is no pasture for them;
the flocks of sheep also suffer.
19I cry out to you, LORD,
because the pastures and trees are dried up,
as though a fire had burnt them.
20Even the wild animals cry out to you
because the streams have become dry.
21Blow the trumpet; sound the alarm
on Zion, God's sacred hill.2.1 sacred hill: Mount Zion (see Zion in Word List).
Tremble, people of Judah!
The day of the LORD is coming soon.
2It will be a dark and gloomy day,
a black and cloudy day.
The great army of locusts advances
like darkness spreading over the mountains.
There has never been anything like it,
and there never will be again.
3Like fire they eat up the plants.
In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
but behind them it is a barren desert.
Nothing escapes them.
They look like horses;
they run like war horses.
5As they leap on the tops of the mountains,
they rattle like chariots;
they crackle like dry grass on fire.
They are lined up like a great army ready for battle.
6As they approach, everyone is terrified;
every face turns pale.
7They attack like warriors;
they climb the walls like soldiers.
They all keep marching straight ahead
and do not change direction
8or get in each other's way.
They swarm through defences,
and nothing can stop them.
9They rush against the city;
they run over the walls;
they climb up the houses
and go in through the windows like thieves.
The earth shakes as they advance;
the sky trembles.
The sun and the moon grow dark,
and the stars no longer shine.
The LORD thunders commands to his army.
The troops that obey him
are many and mighty.
How terrible is the day of the LORD!
Who will survive it?
12“But even now,” says the LORD,
“repent sincerely and return to me
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
13Let your broken heart show your sorrow;
tearing your clothes is not enough.”
Come back to the LORD your God.
He is kind and full of mercy;
he is patient and keeps his promise;
he is always ready to forgive and not punish.
14Perhaps the LORD your God will change his mind
and bless you with abundant crops.
Then you can offer him corn and wine.
15Blow the trumpet on Mount Zion;
give orders for a fast and call an assembly!
16Gather the people together;
prepare them for a sacred meeting;
bring the old people;
gather the children
and the babies too.
Even newly married couples
must leave their room and come.
17The priests, serving the LORD
between the altar and the entrance of the Temple,
must weep and pray:
“Have pity on your people, LORD.
Do not let other nations despise us and mock us
by saying, ‘Where is your God?’ ”
18Then the LORD showed concern for his land;
he had mercy on his people.
19He answered them:
“Now I am going to give you
corn and wine and olive oil,
and you will be satisfied.
Other nations will no longer despise you.
20I will remove the locust army that came from the north
and will drive some of them into the desert.
Their front ranks will be driven into the Dead Sea,
their rear ranks into the Mediterranean.
Their dead bodies will stink.
I will destroy them because of all they have done to you.
21“Fields, don't be afraid,
but be joyful and glad
because of all the LORD has done for you.
22Animals, don't be afraid.
The pastures are green;
the trees bear their fruit,
and there are plenty of figs and grapes.
23“Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice at what the LORD your God has done for you.
He has given you the right amount of autumn rain;2.23 right amount of autumn rain; or autumn rain because he is just.
he has poured down the winter rain for you
and the spring rain as before.
24The threshing places will be full of corn;
the pits beside the presses will overflow with wine and olive oil.
25I will give you back what you lost
in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops.
It was I who sent this army against you.
26Now you will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied.
You will praise the LORD your God,
who has done wonderful things for you.
My people will never be despised again.
27Then, Israel, you will know that I am among you,
and that I, the LORD, am your God
and there is no other.
My people will never be despised again.
“Afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on everyone:
your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;
your old people will have dreams,
and your young people will see visions.
29At that time I will pour out my Spirit
even on servants, both men and women.
30“I will give warnings of that day
in the sky and on the earth;
there will be bloodshed, fire, and clouds of smoke.
The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will turn red as blood
before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
But all who ask the LORD for help will be saved.
As the LORD has said,
‘Some in Jerusalem will escape;
those whom I choose will survive.’ ”