1The Lord sent a message through Joel, son of Pethuel.
2Listen to this, elders; pay attention, everyone who lives in the land. Has anything ever happened like this before in your experience, or that of your forefathers?
3Tell your children about it, and have your children tell it to their children, and their children tell the next generation.
4What the cutting locusts left, the swarming locusts have eaten; what the swarming locusts left, the hopping locusts have eaten; what the hopping locusts left, the destroying locusts have eaten.
5Wake up, you drunks, and weep! Howl you wine-drinkers, because the new wine has been suddenly taken away from your mouth!
6A nation has invaded my land: powerful and too many to count. Their teeth are like lion's teeth, their fangs like those of a lioness.
7It has ruined my grapevines and destroyed my fig trees, stripping them completely and reducing them to stumps, white and bare.
8Mourn like a bride dressed in sackcloth, mourning the death of her husband-to-be.
9Grain and wine offerings have stopped in the Temple. The priests who minister before the Lord are in mourning.
10The fields are devastated, the earth mourns; for the grain is ruined, the new wine dries up, the olive oil fails.
11Be ashamed, farmers, and wail in sorrow, keepers of vineyards, over the wheat and the barley, for the crops from the fields are ruined.
12The vines are shriveled, the fig trees are withered; the pomegranate, the palm, and the apricot trees—all the fruit trees have dried up, and at the same time the people's happiness has also dried up.
13Dress in sackcloth, you priests, and mourn; weep, you who minister before the altar! Go and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, for the grain and wine offerings have stopped in the Temple.
14Proclaim a fast; call a sacred assembly. Have the elders and all people of the land gather in the Temple, and cry out to your God, to the Lord.
15What a terrible day! For the day of the Lord is near, it will come as destruction from the Almighty.
16Haven't we seen our food taken away from us, right before our eyes? There is no joy and happiness in God's Temple.
17Seeds planted in the ground shrivel up; the storehouses are empty, the barns are torn down because the grain has dried up.
18The farm animals moan with hunger. The herds of cattle wander everywhere because they can't find grass to eat; the flocks of sheep are suffering.
19To you, Lord, I cry out! For fire has destroyed the pastures in the wilderness; flames have burned up all the orchards.
20Even the wild animals long for you because the streams have dried up, and fire has destroyed the pastures in the wilderness.