14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sin has been your downfall! 1
2 Return to the Lord and repent! 2
Say to him: “Completely 3 forgive our iniquity;
accept 4 our penitential prayer, 5
that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls. 6
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not ride warhorses.
We will never again say, ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made.
For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!” 7
4 “I will heal their waywardness 8
and love them freely, 9
for my anger will turn 10 away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily,
he will send down his roots like a cedar of 11 Lebanon.
6 His young shoots will grow;
his splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will reside again 12 in his shade;
they will plant and harvest grain in abundance. 13
They will blossom like a vine,
and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do 14 with idols anymore!
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like 15 a luxuriant cypress tree; 16
your fruitfulness comes from me! 17
9 Who is wise?
Let him discern 18 these things!
Who is discerning?
Let him understand them!
For the ways of the Lord are right;
the godly walk in them,
but in them the rebellious stumble.
1 This 1 is the Lord’s message 2 that was given 3
to Joel 4 the son of Pethuel:
2 Listen to this, you elders; 5
pay attention, 6 all inhabitants of the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your whole life 7
or in the lifetime 8 of your ancestors? 9
3 Tell your children 10 about it,
have your children tell their children,
and their children the following generation. 11
4 What the gazam-locust left the ‘arbeh-locust consumed, 12
what the ‘arbeh-locust left the yeleq-locust consumed,
and what the yeleq-locust left the hasil-locust consumed! 13
5 Wake up, you drunkards, 14 and weep!
Wail, all you wine drinkers, 15
because the sweet wine 16 has been taken away 17 from you. 18
6 For a nation 19 has invaded 20 our 21 land.
There are so many of them they are too numerous to count. 22
Their teeth are like those 23 of a lion;
they tear apart their prey like a lioness. 24
7 They 25 have destroyed our 26 vines; 27
they have turned our 28 fig trees into mere splinters.
They have completely stripped off the bark 29 and thrown them aside;
the 30 twigs are stripped bare. 31
8 Wail 32 like a young virgin 33 clothed in sackcloth,
lamenting the death of 34 her husband-to-be. 35
9 No one brings grain offerings or drink offerings
to the temple 36 of the Lord anymore. 37
So the priests, those who serve the Lord, are in mourning.
10 The crops of the fields 38 have been destroyed. 39
The ground is in mourning because the grain has perished.
The fresh wine has dried up;
the olive oil languishes.
11 Be distressed, 40 farmers;
wail, vinedressers, over the wheat and the barley.
For the harvest of the field has perished.
12 The vine has dried up;
the fig tree languishes –
the pomegranate, date, and apple 41 as well.
In fact, 42 all the trees of the field have dried up.
Indeed, the joy of the people 43 has dried up!
13 Get dressed 44 and lament, you priests!
Wail, you who minister at the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you servants of my God,
because no one brings grain offerings or drink offerings
to the temple of your God anymore. 45
14 Announce a holy fast; 46
proclaim a sacred assembly.
Gather the elders and 47 all the inhabitants of the land
to the temple of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord.
15 How awful that day will be! 48
For the day of the Lord is near;
it will come as destruction from the Divine Destroyer. 49
16 Our food has been cut off right before our eyes! 50
There is no longer any joy or gladness in the temple of our God! 51
17 The grains of seed 52 have shriveled beneath their shovels. 53
Storehouses have been decimated
and granaries have been torn down, for the grain has dried up.
18 Listen to the cattle groan! 54
The herds of livestock wander around in confusion 55
because they have no pasture.
Even the flocks of sheep are suffering.
19 To you, O Lord, I call out for help, 56
for fire 57 has burned up 58 the grassy pastures, 59
flames have razed 60 all the trees in the fields.
20 Even the wild animals 61 cry out to you; 62
for the river beds 63 have dried up;
fire has destroyed 64 the grassy pastures. 65
2 Blow the trumpet 1 in Zion;
sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear,
for the day of the Lord is about to come.
Indeed, 2 it is near! 3
2 It will be 4 a day of dreadful darkness, 5
a day of foreboding storm clouds, 6
like blackness 7 spread over the mountains.
It is a huge and powerful army 8 –
there has never been anything like it ever before,
and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come! 9
3 Like fire they devour everything in their path; 10
a flame blazes behind them.
The land looks like the Garden of Eden 11 before them,
but behind them there is only a desolate wilderness –
for nothing escapes them! 12
4 They look like horses; 13
they charge ahead like war horses.
5 They sound like 14 chariots rumbling 15 over mountain tops,
like the crackling 16 of blazing fire consuming stubble,
like the noise of 17 a mighty army 18 being drawn up for battle. 19
6 People 20 writhe in fear when they see them. 21
All of their faces turn pale with fright. 22
7 They 23 charge 24 like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers. 25
Each one proceeds on his course;
they do not alter 26 their path.
8 They do not jostle one another; 27
each of them marches straight ahead. 28
They burst through 29 the city defenses 30
and do not break ranks.
9 They rush into 31 the city;
they scale 32 its walls.
They climb up into the houses;
they go in through the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes 33 before them; 34
the sky reverberates. 35
The sun and the moon grow dark;
the stars refuse to shine. 36
11 The voice of the Lord thunders 37 as he leads his army. 38
Indeed, his warriors 39 are innumerable; 40
Surely his command is carried out! 41
Yes, the day of the Lord is awesome 42
and very terrifying – who can survive 43 it?
12 “Yet even now,” the Lord says,
“return to me with all your heart –
with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Tear your hearts, 44
not just your garments!”
13 Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger and boundless in loyal love 45 – often relenting from calamitous punishment. 46
14 Who knows?
Perhaps he will be compassionate and grant a reprieve, 47
and leave blessing in his wake 48 –
a meal offering and a drink offering for you to offer to the Lord your God! 49
15 Blow the trumpet 50 in Zion.
Announce a holy fast;
proclaim a sacred assembly!
16 Gather the people;
sanctify an assembly!
Gather the elders;
gather the children and the nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom
and the bride from her private quarters. 51
17 Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep
from the vestibule all the way back to the altar. 52
Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people;
please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked,
to become a proverb 53 among the nations.
Why should it be said 54 among the peoples,
“Where is their God?”
18 Then the Lord became 55 zealous for his land;
he had compassion on his people.
19 The Lord responded 56 to his people,
“Look! I am about to restore your grain 57
as well as fresh wine and olive oil.
You will be fully satisfied. 58
I will never again make you an object of mockery among the nations.
20 I will remove the one from the north 59 far from you.
I will drive him out to a dry and desolate place.
Those in front will be driven eastward into the Dead Sea, 60
and those in back westward into the Mediterranean Sea. 61
His stench will rise up as a foul smell.” 62
Indeed, the Lord 63 has accomplished great things.
21 Do not fear, my land!
Rejoice and be glad,
because the Lord has accomplished great things!
22 Do not fear, wild animals! 64
For the pastures of the wilderness are again green with grass.
Indeed, the trees bear their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield to their fullest. 65
23 Citizens of Zion, 66 rejoice!
Be glad because of what the Lord your God has done! 67
For he has given to you the early rains 68 as vindication.
He has sent 69 to you the rains –
both the early and the late rains 70 as formerly.
24 The threshing floors are full of grain;
the vats overflow with fresh wine and olive oil.
25 I will make up for the years 71
that the ‘arbeh-locust 72 consumed your crops 73 –
the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust –
my great army 74 that I sent against you.
26 You will have plenty to eat,
and your hunger will be fully satisfied; 75
you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has acted wondrously in your behalf.
My people will never again be put to shame.
27 You will be convinced that I am in the midst of Israel.
I am the Lord your God; there is no other.
My people will never again be put to shame.
28 76 After all of this 77
I will pour out my Spirit 78 on all kinds of people. 79
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; 80
your young men will see prophetic visions.
29 Even on male and female servants
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will produce portents both in the sky 81 and on the earth –
blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
31 The sunlight will be turned to darkness
and the moon to the color of blood, 82
before the day of the Lord comes –
that great and terrible day!
32 It will so happen that
everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered. 83
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem 84 there will be those who survive, 85
just as the Lord has promised;
the remnant 86 will be those whom the Lord will call. 87