Joel 1

Locusts eat all the plants in Israel

1 This is the word of the Lord that came to Joel, son of Pethuel.

1:1When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.

2 You older men, hear this! Listen, all people who live in this country.

Nothing like this has happened while you have been alive.

Nothing like this happened while your ancestors were alive.

3 Tell this to your children.

And they must tell it to their children.

And their children must tell it to their own children.

4 The great locusts have eaten what the big group of locusts left.

The young locusts have eaten what the great locusts left.

Other locusts have eaten what the young locusts left.

5 Wake up, you who have drunk too much wine!

Cry, all people who drink wine!

Cry because you will have no new wine.

Someone has taken it away from you.

6 A strong army has marched into my land.

It is powerful, and great in numbers.

It has the teeth of a strong animal.

And the teeth are long and dangerous.

7 It has broken my vines.

It has destroyed my fig trees.

It has eaten the outside of the trees.

It has thrown them away.

It has left their branches white.

8 Cry like a girl that no man ever loved.

She is crying because her promised husband is dead.

9 There will be no more gifts of food or drink.

They will not reach the house of the Lord.

The priests, the servants of the Lord,

are very, very sad.

10 Nobody can use the fields.

They are all dry.

The new wine has all gone.

The oil has all gone.

11 You farmers, you cry.

You who grow vines, cry.

Be sad for the seeds that are food.

Be sad because the fields are dry. And the plants have died.

12 The vine has become dry,

and the fig tree is dead.

The apple trees and other fruit trees,

all the trees have no more fruit.

Men have no more joy.

It has all gone.

Joel tells people to be sad about their sins

13 You priests, wear clothes that are not comfortable.

That will show that you are sad.

You cry, you who serve the Lord in his temple.

Come, you who serve in front of my God.

Sleep in the clothes that are not comfortable.

Cry for the gifts of food and drink.

Cry because they do not come to the house of your God any longer.

14 Tell everyone that they must not eat any food.

Tell the people that they must all come to hear the Lord.

Speak to the older leaders,

and all the people who live in this country.

Tell them that they must all come.

They must come to the house of the Lord your God

and they must shout out to the Lord.

15 Be afraid because of that day.

Be afraid because the day of the Lord is near.

It will be as if the great God would destroy everything.

16 No food has come.

We saw this with our own eyes.

The house of our God cannot make us happy.

17 The seeds under the earth are dry.

The places where they were stored have fallen down.

Someone has broken them up

because the seed does not grow.

18 The cows make a sad noise.

They all move about

because they cannot find any grass.

Even groups of sheep are hungry.

19 I speak to you, my Lord.

Fire has destroyed the grass in the wilderness,

and it has burned up all the trees.

20 Even the wild animals are thirsty and they want your help.

The rivers have no water in them.

Fire has destroyed the fields in the wilderness.