The word of Yahweh that came to Joel son of Pethuel.

A Lament Over the Land

Hear this, O elders,

and give ear, all the inhabitants of the land.

Has this happened in your days?

Or the days of your ancestors?

Tell it to your children,

and your children to their children,

and their children to the following generation.

What the cutting locust left,

the swarming locust has eaten.

What the swarming locust left,

the hopping locust has eaten.

And what the hopping locust left,

the destroying locust has eaten.

Wake up, drunkards, and weep!

Wail, all drinkers of wine, over the new wine,

for it is cut off from your mouth.

Because a nation has invaded[a] my land,

strong and beyond counting.[b]

Its teeth are the teeth of a lion,

and its fangs are those of a lioness.

It has made my vine a desolation,

and my fig tree a completely splintered stump.

It has stripped them bare and thrown them down;

their branches have turned white.

Lament like a virgin girded in sackcloth

for the husband of her youth.

The offering and libation are withheld

from the house[c] of Yahweh.

The priests mourn,

the ministers of Yahweh.

10 The field is destroyed;

the earth mourns

because the grain is destroyed,

the new wine dries up,

the olive oil languishes.

11 Be ashamed, farmers;

Wail, vinedressers,

over the wheat and over the barley,

because the harvest of the field is ruined.

12 The vine withers

and the fig tree droops.

The pomegranate tree, and also the palm tree, the apple tree

—all the trees of the field—are dried up.

Indeed, joy is dried up

among the sons of men.

13 Gird yourselves and lament, O priests!

Wail, O ministers of the altar!

Come spend the night in sackcloth,

O ministers of my God,

because offering and libation

are withheld from the house of your God.

14 Solemnize a fast!

Call an assembly!

Gather the elders,

all of the inhabitants of the land

in the house of Yahweh your God,

and cry out to Yahweh.

15 Ah! For the day!

For the day of Yahweh is near.

It will come like destruction from Shaddai.[d]

16 Is not food cut off

before our eyes,

from the house of our God,

joy and gladness?

17 The seeds shrivel under their clods;

the storehouses are desolate.

The grain storage places are destroyed

because grain has dried out.

18 How the beasts[e] groan;

the herds of cattle wander around

because there is no pasture for them;

the flocks of sheep are in distress.

19 To you, O Yahweh, I cry out,

because fire has devoured

the pastures of the desert,

and flames[f] burned

all the trees of the field.

20 Also, the beasts of the field

long for you,

because the courses of water

are dried up,

and fire has devoured

the pastures of the desert.


  1. Joel 1:6 Literally “come up against”
  2. Joel 1:6 Literally “without number”
  3. Joel 1:9 Or “temple”
  4. Joel 1:15 Often translated “the Almighty”
  5. Joel 1:18 Hebrew “beast”
  6. Joel 1:19 Hebrew “flame”