Bible: Joel 1-2

Introduction

1:1 This 1  is the Lord’s message 2  that was given 3 

to Joel 4  the son of Pethuel:

A Locust Plague Foreshadows the Day of the Lord

1:2 Listen to this, you elders; 5 

pay attention, 6  all inhabitants of the land.

Has anything like this ever happened in your whole life 7 

or in the lifetime 8  of your ancestors? 9 

1:3 Tell your children 10  about it,

have your children tell their children,

and their children the following generation. 11 

1:4 What the gazam-locust left the ‘arbeh-locust consumed, 12 

what the ‘arbeh-locust left the yeleq-locust consumed,

and what the yeleq-locust left the hasil-locust consumed! 13 

1:5 Wake up, you drunkards, 14  and weep!

Wail, all you wine drinkers, 15 

because the sweet wine 16  has been taken away 17  from you. 18 

1:6 For a nation 19  has invaded 20  our 21  land.

There are so many of them they are too numerous to count. 22 

Their teeth are like those 23  of a lion;

they tear apart their prey like a lioness. 24 

1:7 They 25  have destroyed our 26  vines; 27 

they have turned our 28  fig trees into mere splinters.

They have completely stripped off the bark 29  and thrown them aside;

the 30  twigs are stripped bare. 31 

A Call to Lament

1:8 Wail 32  like a young virgin 33  clothed in sackcloth,

lamenting the death of 34  her husband-to-be. 35 

1:9 No one brings grain offerings or drink offerings

to the temple 36  of the Lord anymore. 37 

So the priests, those who serve the Lord, are in mourning.

1:10 The crops of the fields 38  have been destroyed. 39 

The ground is in mourning because the grain has perished.

The fresh wine has dried up;

the olive oil languishes.

1:11 Be distressed, 40  farmers;

wail, vinedressers, over the wheat and the barley.

For the harvest of the field has perished.

1:12 The vine has dried up;

the fig tree languishes

the pomegranate, date, and apple 41  as well.

In fact, 42  all the trees of the field have dried up.

Indeed, the joy of the people 43  has dried up!

1:13 Get dressed 44  and lament, you priests!

Wail, you who minister at the altar!

Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you servants of my God,

because no one brings grain offerings or drink offerings

to the temple of your God anymore. 45 

1:14 Announce a holy fast; 46 

proclaim a sacred assembly.

Gather the elders and 47  all the inhabitants of the land

to the temple of the Lord your God,

and cry out to the Lord.

1:15 How awful that day will be! 48 

For the day of the Lord is near;

it will come as destruction from the Divine Destroyer. 49 

1:16 Our food has been cut off right before our eyes! 50 

There is no longer any joy or gladness in the temple of our God! 51 

1:17 The grains of seed 52  have shriveled beneath their shovels. 53 

Storehouses have been decimated

and granaries have been torn down, for the grain has dried up.

1:18 Listen to the cattle groan! 54 

The herds of livestock wander around in confusion 55 

because they have no pasture.

Even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

1:19 To you, O Lord, I call out for help, 56 

for fire 57  has burned up 58  the grassy pastures, 59 

flames have razed 60  all the trees in the fields.

1:20 Even the wild animals 61  cry out to you; 62 

for the river beds 63  have dried up;

fire has destroyed 64  the grassy pastures. 65 

The Locusts’ Devastation

2:1 Blow the trumpet 66  in Zion;

sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear,

for the day of the Lord is about to come.

Indeed, 67  it is near! 68 

2:2 It will be 69  a day of dreadful darkness, 70 

a day of foreboding storm clouds, 71 

like blackness 72  spread over the mountains.

It is a huge and powerful army 73 

there has never been anything like it ever before,

and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come! 74 

2:3 Like fire they devour everything in their path; 75 

a flame blazes behind them.

The land looks like the Garden of Eden 76  before them,

but behind them there is only a desolate wilderness

for nothing escapes them! 77 

2:4 They look like horses; 78 

they charge ahead like war horses.

2:5 They sound like 79  chariots rumbling 80  over mountain tops,

like the crackling 81  of blazing fire consuming stubble,

like the noise of 82  a mighty army 83  being drawn up for battle. 84 

2:6 People 85  writhe in fear when they see them. 86 

All of their faces turn pale with fright. 87 

2:7 They 88  charge 89  like warriors;

they scale walls like soldiers. 90 

Each one proceeds on his course;

they do not alter 91  their path.

2:8 They do not jostle one another; 92 

each of them marches straight ahead. 93 

They burst through 94  the city defenses 95 

and do not break ranks.

2:9 They rush into 96  the city;

they scale 97  its walls.

They climb up into the houses;

they go in through the windows like a thief.

2:10 The earth quakes 98  before them; 99 

the sky reverberates. 100 

The sun and the moon grow dark;

the stars refuse to shine. 101 

2:11 The voice of the Lord thunders 102  as he leads his army. 103 

Indeed, his warriors 104  are innumerable; 105 

Surely his command is carried out! 106 

Yes, the day of the Lord is awesome 107 

and very terrifying – who can survive 108  it?

An Appeal for Repentance

2:12Yet even now,” the Lord says,

return to me with all your heart

with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

Tear your hearts, 109 

not just your garments!

2:13 Return to the Lord your God,

for he is merciful and compassionate,

slow to anger and boundless in loyal love 110 often relenting from calamitous punishment. 111 

2:14 Who knows?

Perhaps he will be compassionate and grant a reprieve, 112 

and leave blessing in his wake 113 

a meal offering and a drink offering for you to offer to the Lord your God! 114 

2:15 Blow the trumpet 115  in Zion.

Announce a holy fast;

proclaim a sacred assembly!

2:16 Gather the people;

sanctify an assembly!

Gather the elders;

gather the children and the nursing infants.

Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom

and the bride from her private quarters. 116 

2:17 Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep

from the vestibule all the way back to the altar. 117 

Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people;

please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked,

to become a proverb 118  among the nations.

Why should it be said 119  among the peoples,

Where is their God?

The Lord’s Response

2:18 Then the Lord became 120  zealous for his land;

he had compassion on his people.

2:19 The Lord responded 121  to his people,

Look! I am about to restore your grain 122 

as well as fresh wine and olive oil.

You will be fully satisfied. 123 

I will never again make you an object of mockery among the nations.

2:20 I will remove the one from the north 124  far from you.

I will drive him out to a dry and desolate place.

Those in front will be driven eastward into the Dead Sea, 125 

and those in back westward into the Mediterranean Sea. 126 

His stench will rise up as a foul smell.” 127 

Indeed, the Lord 128  has accomplished great things.

2:21 Do not fear, my land!

Rejoice and be glad,

because the Lord has accomplished great things!

2:22 Do not fear, wild animals! 129 

For the pastures of the wilderness are again green with grass.

Indeed, the trees bear their fruit;

the fig tree and the vine yield to their fullest. 130 

2:23 Citizens of Zion, 131  rejoice!

Be glad because of what the Lord your God has done! 132 

For he has given to you the early rains 133  as vindication.

He has sent 134  to you the rains

both the early and the late rains 135  as formerly.

2:24 The threshing floors are full of grain;

the vats overflow with fresh wine and olive oil.

2:25 I will make up for the years 136 

that the ‘arbeh-locust 137  consumed your crops 138 

the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust –

my great army 139  that I sent against you.

2:26 You will have plenty to eat,

and your hunger will be fully satisfied; 140 

you will praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has acted wondrously in your behalf.

My people will never again be put to shame.

2:27 You will be convinced that I am in the midst of Israel.

I am the Lord your God; there is no other.

My people will never again be put to shame.

An Outpouring of the Spirit

2:28 141  After all of this 142 

I will pour out my Spirit 143  on all kinds of people. 144 

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; 145 

your young men will see prophetic visions.

2:29 Even on male and female servants

I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

2:30 I will produce portents both in the sky 146  and on the earth

blood, fire, and columns of smoke.

2:31 The sunlight will be turned to darkness

and the moon to the color of blood, 147 

before the day of the Lord comes

that great and terrible day!

2:32 It will so happen that

everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered. 148 

For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem 149  there will be those who survive, 150 

just as the Lord has promised;

the remnant 151  will be those whom the Lord will call. 152 

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