Joel

Chapter 1

¶1. The word of Jehovah that came to Joel ben Pethuel.

2. Hear this, O elders! Give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?

3. Tell it to your children, and your children to their children, and their children to the next generation.

4. What was left by the cutting locust, the young locust ate; and what was left by the young locust, the hopping locust ate; and what was left by the hopping locust, the destroying locust ate.

5. Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail for the new wine, all you wine-bibbers, for it is cut off from your mouth!

6. A nation has come up over my land, powerful and without number. Its teeth are lion’s teeth, and it has the fangs of a lion.

7. It has made my vine an appalling sight and my fig tree a stump. It has completely stripped it and cast it down, and now, its branches have turned white.

8. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth!

9. The meal offering and drink offering is cut off from the house of Jehovah; the priests, Jehovah’s ministers, mourn.

10. The field is devastated; the country mourns because the grain has been laid waste. The new wine is dried up; the olive oil has run out.

11. Be ashamed, O ploughmen, and wail, O vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley! The crop in the field is ruined.

12. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree has withered. All the trees of the field, the pomegranate, and the palm, and the apple tree have withered away because joy has withered away from the children of men.

¶13. Gird yourselves and lament, O priests! Wail, you ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God, because the meal offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your God.

14. Sanctify a fast! Call an assembly! Gather together the elders, and all the inhabitants of the land, to the house of Jehovah your God, and cry out to Jehovah!

15. Alas, for the day! The day of Jehovah is near, and it will come as devastation from the Almighty.

16. Is not the food supply cut off before our very eyes, and joy and gladness from the house of our God?

17. The seeds of grain have shriveled beneath their clods; the storehouses are in ruins; the granaries have fallen in, for the grain is dried up.

18. How the animals groan! The herds meander about because there is no pasture for them. How the flocks of sheep suffer!

19. O Jehovah, I cry out to you! Fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has set ablaze all the trees of the field.

20. Even the beasts of the field pant for you, for the streams of water have dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness.

Chapter 2

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¶1. Blow a trumpet in Zion! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Tremble, all inhabitants of the land, for the day of Jehovah is coming. It is near!

2. O dark and gloomy day! A day clouded with thick darkness! Like blackness spreading out over the mountains, a nation vast and powerful, the likes of which has never been, and after them will not be again for ages to come.[1]

3. A fire devours before them, and behind them, a flame burns; the land before them is like the garden of Eden, but behind them, it is a desolate waste. There will be no escaping it.

4. Their appearance is like horses, and they run like steeds.

5. With a noise like chariots, a noise like raging fire consuming stubble, they prance on the mountain tops like a mighty horde set in battle order.

6. Before them, people will writhe in anguish; all their faces turn ashen.[2]

7. They will run like mighty men; they will scale the wall like men of war; they will march, each in his own path, and they will not change course.[3]

8. They will not encroach upon one another; they will go, each man, in his own path. Behind the weapon, they will attack, and they will not stop.

9. They will rush about the city; they will run on the wall; they will climb up on houses; they will come in through the windows like a thief.

10. Before them, the earth quakes and the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon turn dark, and the stars gather in their light.

11. Jehovah speaks with His voice before His army, that His camp is very great and that a mighty one is carrying out His command. The day of Jehovah is great, and greatly to be feared! Who can endure it?

12. “Yet, even now,” says Jehovah, “turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.”

13. Rend your heart, and not your garments, and return to Jehovah your God, for He is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and He is grieved for the misery.

14. Who knows but that He will turn and show pity, and leave a blessing behind Him, even a meal offering and a drink offering unto Jehovah your God.

¶15. Blow a trumpet in Zion! Sanctify a fast! Call a meeting!

16. Gather the people! Sanctify the congregation! Assemble the elders! Gather the children, even the nursing infants! Let the bridegroom come out of his chamber, and the young bride from her bridal-chamber.

17. Let the priests, Jehovah’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar! Let them say, “Have pity, O Jehovah, on your people, and do not turn your inheritance over to disgrace, that Gentiles should rule over them![4] Why should they say among the nations, ‘Where is their God?’”

¶18. Then, Jehovah will be jealous over His land, and He will pity His people.

19. Jehovah will hear and will say to His people, “Here I am! I am sending you the grain, the wine, and the oil, and you will overflow with it. And I will not make you a reproach among the heathen again.

20. I will remove the northerner far from you and drive him into a dry and desolate place, with his face toward the eastern sea and his back toward the western sea, and his foul odor will go up. His stench will rise, though he was doing great things.”

21. Do not be afraid, O land! Shout for joy and be glad, for Jehovah will do great things!

22. Do not be afraid, O beasts of the field, for the wilderness pastures are grown green! The tree has borne its fruit; the fig tree and the vines have yielded their strength.

23. O sons of Zion, shout for joy, and be glad in Jehovah your God! He has given you the teacher of righteousness,[5] and He will send down to you the rain, the early and the latter rain, as in the beginning.

24. The threshing floors are full of grain, and the vats overflow with new wine and oil.

25. I will restore to you the years that the young locust ate, the hopping locust, and the destroying locust, and the cutting locust, my great army that I sent against you,

26. and you will eat in plenty and be filled, and you will praise the name of Jehovah your God who dealt wondrously with you. My people will never be disappointed.

27. And you will know that I am in the midst of Israel. I am Jehovah your God, and there is no other, and my people will never be disappointed!

[Chapter 3 in the Hebrew Text]

¶28/1. And it shall come to pass that afterward, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.

29/2. I will even pour out my spirit on the slaves in those days, both male and female,

30/3. and I will give signs in heaven and on the earth: blood, and fire, and mushrooming columns of smoke.

31/4. The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and terrifying day of Jehovah comes.

32/5. And it will be that everyone who is calling on the name of Jehovah will be delivered, for as Jehovah said, there will be deliverance on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem among the survivors, whom Jehovah will call.

Chapter 3

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[Chapter 4 in the Hebrew Text]

¶1. Behold! In those days, when I bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

2. I will also gather all the Gentiles and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and there, I will enter into judgment with them for my people, even Israel my inheritance, whom they scattered among the nations, and divided up my land.

3. They cast lots for my people; they traded a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine for them to drink.

4. And what do you have to do with me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all you districts of Philistia? Are you offering recompense to me? Even if you are making recompense to me, I will swiftly and soon turn your payment back on your own head.

5. You took my silver and my gold away, and you carried my pleasant, precious possessions into your temples.

6. You sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the children of the Javanites,[6] to remove them far from their border.

7. Behold, I am stirring them up in the place where you sold them, and I will return your recompense on your head;

8. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a distant nation, for Jehovah said so.

¶9. Proclaim this among the nations: Declare holy war! Stir up the mighty men! Let all the men of war draw near and come up!

10. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning knives into spears! Let the weak say, “I am strong.”

11. Lend your aid, and come, all nations from every side, and assemble there! (O Jehovah! Send down your mighty ones!)

12. Let the nations be stirred up and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat! For there, I will sit to judge all the nations from every side.

13. Send in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe! Come! Go down, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

14. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of Decision! The day of Jehovah is at hand in the valley of Decision.

15. The sun and the moon are dark, and the stars gather in their light.

16. Jehovah will roar from Zion. From Jerusalem will He lift up His voice, and heaven and earth will shake. And Jehovah will be a refuge for His people and a fortress for the children of Israel,

17. and you will know that I, Jehovah your God, dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be holy, and no strangers will pass over her again.

¶18. And it will come to pass that the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk, and all the streams of Judah will flow with water. And a spring will go out from the house of Jehovah, and it will water the Wadi Shittim.[7]

19. Egypt will be a wasteland, and Edom will be an uninhabited waste because of violence against the children of Judah, whose innocent blood they have shed in their land.

20. But Judah will endure forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

21. And I will forgive their blood-guiltiness which I had not forgiven, and Jehovah will dwell in Zion.


Footnotes

[1] Literally, “for years of many generations”.

[2] Perhaps, “lose their beauty”.

[3] Perhaps, “break rank”.

[4] Or, “to become a proverb among the heathen”.

[5] Or, “he has, for righteousness’ sake, given you the early rain”.

[6] Javan was one of the sons of Japheth (Gen. 10:1-4). Japheth’s sons inhabited the lands north and west of Canaan, and were known for trading in slaves (Ezek. 27:13).

[7] There is no biblical record of a wadi named Shittim, but there was a place named Shittim. It was located east of Jerusalem, across the Jordan River. For that reason, it is assumed that this Wadi Shittim is one of the wadis east of Jerusalem that go down into the Jordan River valley.

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