1
1I am Joel the son of Pethuel.
And this is the message
the Lord gave to me.
Locusts Cover the Land
2Listen, you leaders
and everyone else
in the land.
Has anything like this
ever happened before?
3Tell our children!
Let it be told
to our grandchildren
and their children too.
4Swarm after swarm of locusts#1.4 Swarm … locusts: The Hebrew text lists either four kinds of locusts or locusts in four stages of their development. Locusts are a type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
has attacked our crops,
eating everything in sight.
5Sober up, you drunkards!
Cry long and loud;
your wine supply is gone.
6 # Rev 9.8 A powerful nation#1.6 A powerful nation: The swarms of locusts.
with countless troops
has invaded our land.
They have the teeth and jaws
of powerful lions.
7Our grapevines and fig trees
are stripped bare;
only naked branches remain.
8Grieve like a young woman
mourning for the man
she was to marry.
9Offerings of grain and wine
are no longer brought
to the Lord's temple.
His servants, the priests,
are deep in sorrow.
10Barren fields mourn;
grain, grapes, and olives
are scorched and shriveled.
11Mourn for our farms
and our vineyards!
There's no wheat or barley
growing in our fields.
12Grapevines have dried up
and so has every tree—
figs and pomegranates,#1.12 pomegranates: A bright red fruit that looks like an apple.
date palms and apples.
All happiness has faded away.
Return to God
13Mourn, you priests who serve
at the altar of my God.
Spend your days and nights
wearing sackcloth.#1.13 sackcloth: A rough, dark-colored cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow.
Offerings of grain and wine
are no longer brought
to the Lord's temple.
14Tell the leaders and people
to come together
at the temple.
Order them to go without eating#1.14 go without eating: As a way of showing sorrow for their sins.
and to pray sincerely.
15 # Is 13.6 We are in for trouble!
Soon the Lord All-Powerful
will bring disaster.
16Our food is already gone;
there's no more celebrating
at the temple of our God.
17Seeds dry up in the ground;#1.17 Seeds … ground: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
no harvest is possible.
Our barns are in bad shape,
with no grain
to store in them.
18Our cattle wander aimlessly,
moaning for lack of pasture,
and sheep are suffering.#1.18 sheep are suffering: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
19I cry out to you, Lord.
Grasslands and forests are eaten
by the scorching heat.
20Wild animals have no water
because of you;
rivers and streams are dry,
and pastures are parched.
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