The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel:

A Plague of Locusts

Hear this, you elders;

listen, all you inhabitants of the land.

Has anything like this ever happened in your days

or in the days of your ancestors?

Tell your children about it,

and let your children tell their children,

and their children the next generation.

What the devouring locust has left,

the swarming locust has eaten;

what the swarming locust has left,

the young locust has eaten;

and what the young locust has left,

the destroying locust has eaten.

Wake up, you drunkards, and weep;

wail, all you wine drinkers,

because of the sweet wine,

for it has been taken from your mouth.

For a nation has invaded My land,

powerful and without number;

its teeth are the teeth of a lion,

and it has the fangs of a lioness.

It has devastated My grapevine

and splintered My fig tree.

It has stripped off its bark and thrown it away;

its branches have turned white.

Grieve like a young woman dressed in sackcloth,

mourning for the husband of her youth.

Grain and drink offerings have been cut off

from the house of the Lord;

the priests, who are ministers of the Lord, mourn.

10 The fields are destroyed;

the land grieves;

indeed, the grain is destroyed;

the new wine is dried up;

and the olive oil fails.

11 Be ashamed, you farmers,

wail, you vinedressers,[a]

over the wheat and the barley,

because the harvest of the field has perished.

12 The grapevine is dried up,

and the fig tree is withered;

the pomegranate, the date palm, and the apple—

all the trees of the orchard—have withered.

Indeed, human joy has dried up.

13 Dress in sackcloth and lament, you priests;

wail, you ministers of the altar.

Come and spend the night in sackcloth,

you ministers of my God,

because grain and drink offerings

are withheld from the house of your God.

14 Announce a sacred fast;

proclaim an assembly!

Gather the elders

and all the residents of the land

at the house of the Lord your God,

and cry out to the Lord.

The Day of the Lord

15 Woe because of that day!

For the Day of the Lord is near

and will come as devastation from the Almighty.

16 Hasn’t the food been cut off

before our eyes,

joy and gladness

from the house of our God?

17 The seeds lie shriveled in their casings.[b]

The storehouses are in ruin,

and the granaries are broken down,

because the grain has withered away.

18 How the animals groan!

The herds of cattle wander in confusion

since they have no pasture.

Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.

19 I call to You, Lord,

for fire has consumed

the pastures of the wilderness,

and flames have devoured

all the trees of the countryside.

20 Even the wild animals cry out to[c] You,

for the river beds are dried up,

and fire has consumed

the pastures of the wilderness.


  1. Joel 1:11 Or The farmers are dismayed, the vinedressers wail
  2. Joel 1:17 Or clods; Hb obscure
  3. Joel 1:20 Or animals pant for; Hb obscure