Joel 1; Joel 2; Joel 3

1 A message came to Joel from the Lord. He was the son of Pethuel. Here is what Joel said. 2 Elders, listen to me. Pay attention, all you who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your whole life? Did it ever happen to your people who lived long ago? 3 Tell your children about it. Let them tell their children. And let their children tell it to those who live after them. 4 The giant locusts have eaten what the common locusts have left. The young locusts have eaten what the giant locusts have left. And other locusts have eaten what the young locusts have left. 5 Get up and sob, you people who drink too much! Cry, all you who drink wine! Cry because the fresh wine has been taken away from you. 6 The locusts are like an army that has marched into our land. There are so many of them they can't even be counted. Their teeth are as sharp as a lion's teeth. They are like the fangs of a female lion. 7 The locusts have completely destroyed our vines. They have wiped out our fig trees. They've stripped off the bark and thrown it away. They've left the branches bare. 8 My people, sob like a virgin who is dressed in black clothes. She is sad because she has lost the young man she was going to marry. 9 No one brings grain offerings and drink offerings to the LORD's house anymore. So the priests who serve the LORD are filled with sorrow. 10 Our fields are wiped out. The ground is dried up. The grain is destroyed. The fresh wine is gone. And there isn't any more olive oil. 11 Farmers, be sad. Cry, you who grow vines. Sob because the wheat and barley are gone. The crops in the fields are destroyed. 12 The vines and fig trees are dried up. The pomegranate, palm and apple trees don't have any fruit on them. In fact, all of the trees in the fields are dried up. And my people's joy has faded away. 13 Priests, put on black clothes and sob. Cry, you who serve at the altar. Come, you who serve my God in the temple. Spend the night dressed in black clothes. Sob because no one brings grain offerings and drink offerings to the house of your God anymore. 14 Announce a holy fast. Tell the people not to eat anything. Gather them together for a special service. Send for all of the elders who live in the land. Have them come to the house of the LORD your God. And pray to him. 15 The day of the LORD is near. How sad it will be on that day! The Mighty One is coming to destroy you. 16 Our food has been taken away right in front of our eyes. There isn't any joy or gladness in the house of our God. 17 The seeds have dried up in the ground. The grain is also gone. The storerooms have been destroyed. The barns are broken down. 18 Listen to the cattle groan! The herds wander around. They don't have any grass to eat. The flocks of sheep are also suffering. 19 Lord, I call out to you. Fire has burned up the grasslands. Flames have destroyed all of the trees in the fields. 20 Even the wild animals cry out to you for help. The streams of water have dried up. Fire has burned up the grasslands.
1 Priests, blow the trumpets in Zion. Give a warning on my holy mountain. Let everyone who lives in the land tremble with fear. The day of the LORD is coming. It is very near. 2 That day will be dark and sad. It will be black and cloudy. A huge army of locusts is coming. They will spread across the mountains like the sun when it rises. There has never been an army like it. And there will never be another for all time to come. 3 Like fire they eat up everything in their path. Behind them it looks as if flames have burned the land. In front of them the land is like the Garden of Eden. Behind them it is a dry and empty desert. Nothing escapes them. 4 They look like horses. Like war horses they charge ahead. 5 They sound like chariots as they leap over the mountaintops. They crackle like fire burning up dry weeds. They are like a mighty army that is ready for battle. 6 When people see them, they tremble with fear. All of their faces turn pale. 7 The locusts charge ahead like warriors. They climb over walls like soldiers. All of them march in line. They don't turn to the right or the left. 8 They don't bump into one another. Each of them marches straight ahead. They charge through everything that tries to stop them. But they still stay in line. 9 They attack a city. They run along its wall. They climb into houses. They enter through windows like robbers. 10 As they march forward, the earth shakes. The sky trembles as they approach. The sun and moon grow dark. And the stars stop shining. 11 The LORD thunders with his mighty voice as he leads his army. He has so many forces they can't even be counted. Those who obey his commands are great in number. The day of the LORD is great and terrifying. Who can live through it? 12 The Lord announces to his people, "Return to me with all your heart. There is still time. Do not eat any food. Sob and cry." 13 Don't just tear your clothes to show how sad you are. Let your hearts be broken. Return to the LORD your God. He is gracious. He is tender and kind. He is slow to get angry. He is full of love. He takes pity on you. He won't destroy you. 14 Who knows? He might turn toward you and have pity on you. He might even give you his blessing. Then you can bring grain offerings and drink offerings to the LORD your God. 15 Priests, blow the trumpets in Zion. Announce a holy fast. Tell the people not to eat anything. Gather them together for a special service. 16 Bring them together. Set all of them apart to me. Bring together the elders. Gather the children and the babies who are still nursing. Let the groom leave his bedroom. Let the bride leave their marriage bed. 17 Let the priests who serve the LORD sob. Let them cry between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, "Lord, spare your people. Don't let others make fun of them. Don't let the nations laugh at them. Don't let them tease your people and say, 'Where is their God?' " 18 Then the LORD will show concern for his land. He will take pity on his people. 19 He will reply, "I will send you grain, olive oil and fresh wine. It will be enough to satisfy you completely. I will never allow other nations to make fun of you again. 20 "I will drive far away from you the army that comes from the north. I will send some of its forces into a dry and empty land. Those in front will be pushed into the Dead Sea. The ones in back will be driven into the Mediterranean Sea. Their dead bodies will give off a bad smell." The LORD has done great things. 21 Land, don't be afraid. Be glad and full of joy. The LORD has done great things. 22 Wild animals, don't be afraid. The grasslands are turning green again. The trees are bearing their fruit. The vines and fig trees are producing rich crops. 23 People of Zion, be glad. Be joyful because of what the LORD your God has done. He has given you the right amount of rain in the fall. He has sent you plenty of showers. He has sent fall and spring rains alike, just as he did before. 24 Your threshing floors will be covered with grain. Olive oil and fresh wine will spill over from the places where they are stored. 25 The LORD says, "I sent a great army of locusts to attack you. They included common locusts, giant locusts, young locusts and other locusts. I will make up for the years they ate your crops. 26 You will have plenty to eat. It will satisfy you completely. Then you will praise me. I am the LORD your God. I have done wonderful miracles for you. My people will never be put to shame again. 27 You will know that I am with you in Israel. I am the LORD your God. There is no other God. So my people will never be put to shame again. 28 "After that, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will have dreams. Your young men will have visions. 29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women alike. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth. There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 31 The sun will become dark. The moon will turn red like blood. It will happen before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 32 Everyone who calls out to me will be saved. On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem some of my people will be left alive. I have chosen them. That is what I have promised.
1 "At that time I will bless Judah and Jerusalem with great success again. 2 I will gather all of the nations together. I will bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them. I will punish them for what they have done to my people Israel. They scattered them among the nations. They divided up my land among themselves. 3 They cast lots for my people. They sold boys into slavery to get prostitutes. They sold girls to buy some wine to drink. 4 "Tyre and Sidon, why are you doing things like that to me? And why are you doing them, all of you people in Philistia? Are you trying to get even with me for something I have done? If you are, I will pay you back for it in a quick and speedy way. 5 You took my silver and gold. You carried off my finest treasures to your temples. 6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks. You wanted to send them far away from their own country. 7 "But now I will stir them up into action. I will bring them back from the places you sold them to. And I will do to you what you did to them. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah. And they will sell them to the Sabeans far away." The LORD has spoken. 9 Announce this among the nations. Tell them to prepare for battle. Nations, get your soldiers ready! Bring all of your fighting men together and march out to attack. 10 Hammer your plows into swords. Hammer your pruning tools into spears. Let those who are weak say, "We are soldiers!" 11 Come quickly, all of you surrounding nations. Gather together in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Lord, send your soldiers down from heaven! 12 The LORD says, "Stir up the nations into action! Let them march into the valley where I will judge them. I will take my seat in court. I will judge all of the surrounding nations. 13 My soldiers, swing your sickles. The nations are ripe for harvest. Come. Stomp on them as if they were grapes. Crush them until the winepress of my anger is full. Do it until the wine spills over from the places where it is stored. The nations have committed far too many sins!" 14 Huge numbers of soldiers are gathered in the valley where the LORD will hand down his sentence. The day of the LORD is near in that valley. 15 The sun and moon will become dark. The stars won't shine anymore. 16 The LORD will roar like a lion from Jerusalem. His voice will sound like thunder from Zion. The earth and sky will tremble. But the LORD will keep the people of Israel safe. He will be a place of safety for them. 17 The LORD says, "You will know that I am the LORD your God. I live in Zion. It is my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be my holy city. People from other lands will never attack it again. 18 "At that time fresh wine will drip from the mountains. Milk will flow down from the hills. Water will run through all of Judah's valleys. A fountain will flow out of my temple. It will water the places where acacia trees grow. 19 But Egypt will be deserted. Edom will become a dry and empty desert. They did terrible harm to the people of Judah. My people were not guilty of doing anything wrong. But Egypt and Edom spilled their blood anyway. 20 My people will live in Judah and Jerusalem forever. The land will be their home for all time to come. 21 Egypt and Edom have spilled my people's blood. I will punish them for it." THE LORD LIVES IN ZION!
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