1[1-3] This is the Word of Yahweh that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel. “Elders and people of the land, listen! Has this ever happened in your days, or in the days of your ancestors? Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and let their children tell the next generation.
[4-7] What the cutworm has left, the locust will eat. What the locust has left, the grasshopper will eat. What the grasshopper has left, the caterpillar will eat. Awake, you drunkards, and cry! Cry everyone who drinks wine, because you won’t taste the sweet wine again. A nation has come up on My land, which is strong and can’t be counted. It has the teeth and fangs of a lion. It has ruined My vine, and split My fig tree. It has stripped its bark, and thrown it away and its branches are bare and white.
[8-12] Mourn like a young woman dressed in black for the husband of her youth! The food offering and the drink offering are gone from Yahweh’s house. The priests, Yahweh’s ministers, mourn. The fields are withered. The land mourns, for the grain is gone, the vine has dried up, and the oil is running out. Be ashamed, you farmers! Cry, you vine keepers; for the wheat and barley and all the harvest of the field has died. The vine has dried up, the fig tree, the pomegranate tree, the palm tree, and the apple tree also has withered. Yes, all of the trees of the field are withered and the people’s happiness has withered away, too.
[13-15] Dress in black and mourn, preachers! Cry, ministers of the altar! Come; lie all night in black, ministers of My God, for the food and drink offerings are gone from your God’s house. Set apart a time to go without food and call a sacred assembly. Gather the elders and all the people of the land, to the house of Yahweh, your God, and cry to Yahweh. Oh for the day! For the day of Yahweh is near, and it will come as punishment from the Almighty.
[16-18] Isn’t the food supply cut off right before our eyes; happiness and celebration from the house of our God? The seeds rot in the ground. The granaries are empty. The barns are broken down, and the grain has withered. How the animals groan! The flocks and herds are upset, because they have no grass to feed on. Yes, the flocks of animals are hungry.
[19-20] Yahweh, I cry to you, because the fire has burned up the fields of the countryside, and burned all the trees of the land. Yes, the animals of the land pant to you, for the creeks have dried up, and the fire has burned up the fields of the countryside.
2[1-2] Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in the mountain of God! Let all the people of the land shake in fear, for the day of Yahweh is coming, and it’s very near! A day of darkness and destruction, a day of clouds and smoke. As the dawn beaks on the mountains, a great and strong people will come, which there has never been the like, nor will there be any more like this after them, for many generations.
[3-9] A fire burns up before them, and behind them, a smoldering flame burns. The land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them, nothing but an empty countryside. Yes, and no one will escape them. In the vision they look as fast as horses and horsemen, and so they move. They move with the noise of many armored vehicles on the tops of the mountains, like the noise of a flame of fire that burns up the stubble, and as a strong people dressed for war. When they come, the people will be very afraid. All their faces will pale for fear. They’ll run like strong ones and climb the wall like soldiers. They’ll each march in line, and won’t get off course. Nor will one get in another’s way; they’ll all march in line, and get through the defenses, and won’t be stopped. They’ll run though the city and on the wall. They’ll climb up into the houses and go in at the windows like thieves.
[10-14] There will be earthquakes before them and even the heavens will shake. The sun and the moon will darken, and the stars won’t shine. Yahweh’s voice will thunder before this army; whose forces are very great; for God is strong who gives the order; and the day of Yahweh is very great and awesome. Who can take it? “Yet even now,” says Yahweh, “turn to Me with all your heart, going without food, and crying, and mourning.” Tear your heart, and not your clothes, and turn to Yahweh, your God; who is gracious and merciful, patient in anger, and great in loving kindness, and stops from sending disaster. Who knows? God may turn and stop, and leave a blessing instead, even a meal offering and a drink offering to Yahweh, your God.
[15-17] Blow the trumpet in Zion! Set apart a time for going without food. Call a Sacred assembly. Gather the people and set them apart. Gather the elders and the people, even the nursing babies! Let the bridegroom and the bride come out of their rooms. Let the priests, the ministers of Yahweh, cry between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare your people, Yahweh, and don’t shame what is your own that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
[18-20] Then Yahweh will be jealous for the land, and spare the people of God. Yahweh will answer them and say, “See, I’ll send you grain, wine, and oil, and you’ll be full of them; and I won’t shame you any more among the nations. Then I’ll remove the army from the north (Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Russia?) far away from you, and will drive it into a bare and empty land, its front to the eastern sea, and its back to the western sea; and the smell of death will come up, and its stench will rise because of the horrible things it did.”
[21-24] Land, don’t be afraid. Be happy and celebrate, for Yahweh has done great things. Don’t be afraid, you animals of the field; for the grasses of the countryside will grow up, and the trees will make fruit. The fig tree and the vine will make fruit. “So, be happy, people of Zion, and celebrate in Yahweh, your God;
who gives you the early rain in good measure, and causes the rain to come down for you, the early rain and the latter rain, as before. The barn floors will be full of wheat, and the vats will overflow with wine and oil.
[25-27] I’ll restore to you all the years that the cutworm, the locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar has eaten, My great army, which I sent among you. You’ll have plenty to eat, and be full, and will praise the name of Yahweh, your God, who has been very good to you; and My people will never again be ashamed. You’ll know that I am with Israel, and that I am Yahweh, your God, and there is no one else; and My people will never again be ashamed.
[28-32] “Afterward, I’ll pour out My Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will preach. Your old people will dream dreams. Your young people will see visions. And on both My male and female workers I’ll pour out My Spirit in those days. I’ll show amazing things in the heavens above and signs in the earth beneath, blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be covered in darkness, and the moon will shine blood red, till the great and fearful day of Yahweh comes. And whoever calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem some will escape, as Yahweh has said, and those whom Yahweh calls will be among the survivors.
3[1-3] “See, in the days and time when I restore the people of Judah and Jerusalem, I’ll gather all the other nations, and bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron valley near Jerusalem); and I’ll punish them there for My people, who are My own, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations. They have divided My land, and have gambled for My people, and have sold the young boys and girls for prostitutes, and for wine, so that they can get drunk.
[4-8] “Yes, and what are you to Me, Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia (Lebanon, Syria)? Will you get Me back? And if you try to get Me back, I’ll very quickly give back what you deserve to you. Because you have taken My silver and gold, and have put My best treasures into your places of worship, and have sold the people of Judah and of Jerusalem to the Greeks (Greece), that you may take them far from their land. See, I’ll bring them back from the places where you have sold them, and I’ll give back what you deserve to you; and I’ll sell your sons and daughters to be controlled by the people of Judah, and they’ll sell them to the Sabeans (Arabia), a faraway nation, for Yahweh has said it.”
[9-12] Tell this to the nations, “Get ready for war! Get the soldiers ready and let them come near. Let them come up. Beat your plow blades into swords, and your pruning shears into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves together.” Yahweh, make your strong ones come down there! “Let the nations get ready, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron valley near Jerusalem), where I’ll be to judge all the surrounding nations.
[13-16] Cut them down; for the harvest is ripe. Come down, for the winepress is full, and is overflowing, for their sins are many.” Masses, many masses of people in the valley of decision! For the day of Yahweh is near, in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon will darken, and the stars won’t shine. Yahweh will shout from Zion, and thunder from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth will shake; but Yahweh will be a safe haven to God’s people, and the protection of the people of Israel.
[17-21] “So you will know that I am Yahweh, your God, living in Zion, My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem will be holy, and no enemies will pass through it any more. In that day, the mountains will drop down sweet wine, the hills will flow with milk, all the creeks of Judah will flow with waters, and a river will come out from the house of Yahweh, and will water the valley of Shittim (between Jerusalem and Jericho). Egypt will be destroyed, and Edom (Jordan) will be an empty dessert, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah will be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem for many generations. I’ll cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed, for Yahweh will be in Zion.”