Joel 1
Contemporary English Version

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+

has attacked our crops,

eating everything in sight.

5Sober up, you drunkards!

Cry long and loud;

your wine supply is gone.

6 A powerful nation+

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,+

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.+

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+

and to pray sincerely.

15 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;+

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.+

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.


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.
1.6 A powerful nation: The swarms of locusts.
1.12 pomegranates: A bright red fruit that looks like an apple.
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.
1.14 go without eating: As a way of showing sorrow for their sins.
1.17 Seeds … ground: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
1.18 sheep are suffering: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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