1 The word of the Lord that came(A) to Joel(B) son of Pethuel.
An Invasion of Locusts
2 Hear this,(C) you elders;(D) listen, all who live in the land.(E) Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors?(F) 3 Tell it to your children,(G) and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.(H) 4 What the locust(I) swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left(J) other locusts[a] have eaten.(K)
5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine;(L) wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched(M) from your lips. 6 A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number;(N) it has the teeth(O) of a lion, the fangs of a lioness. 7 It has laid waste(P) my vines and ruined my fig trees.(Q) It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white.
8 Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth(R) grieving for the betrothed of her youth. 9 Grain offerings and drink offerings(S) are cut off from the house of the Lord. The priests are in mourning,(T) those who minister before the Lord. 10 The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up;(U) the grain is destroyed, the new wine(V) is dried up, the olive oil fails.(W)
11 Despair, you farmers,(X) wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley,(Y) because the harvest of the field is destroyed.(Z) 12 The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered;(AA) the pomegranate,(AB) the palm and the apple[b] tree— all the trees of the field—are dried up.(AC) Surely the people’s joy is withered away.
A Call to Lamentation
13 Put on sackcloth,(AD) you priests, and mourn; wail, you who minister(AE) before the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings(AF) are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Declare a holy fast;(AG) call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land(AH) to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out(AI) to the Lord.(AJ)
15 Alas for that(AK) day! For the day of the Lord(AL) is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.[c](AM)
16 Has not the food been cut off(AN) before our very eyes— joy and gladness(AO) from the house of our God?(AP) 17 The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods.[d](AQ) The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up. 18 How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture;(AR) even the flocks of sheep are suffering.(AS)
19 To you, Lord, I call,(AT) for fire(AU) has devoured the pastures(AV) in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. 20 Even the wild animals pant for you;(AW) the streams of water have dried up(AX) and fire has devoured the pastures(AY) in the wilderness.
An Army of Locusts
2 Blow the trumpet(AZ) in Zion;(BA) sound the alarm on my holy hill.(BB)
Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord(BC) is coming. It is close at hand(BD)— 2 a day of darkness(BE) and gloom,(BF) a day of clouds(BG) and blackness.(BH) Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army(BI) comes, such as never was in ancient times(BJ) nor ever will be in ages to come.
3 Before them fire(BK) devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden,(BL) behind them, a desert waste(BM)— nothing escapes them. 4 They have the appearance of horses;(BN) they gallop along like cavalry. 5 With a noise like that of chariots(BO) they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire(BP) consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;(BQ) every face turns pale.(BR) 7 They charge like warriors;(BS) they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line,(BT) not swerving(BU) from their course. 8 They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks. 9 They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses;(BV) like thieves they enter through the windows.(BW)
10 Before them the earth shakes,(BX) the heavens tremble,(BY) the sun and moon are darkened,(BZ) and the stars no longer shine.(CA) 11 The Lord(CB) thunders(CC) at the head of his army;(CD) his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the Lord is great;(CE) it is dreadful. Who can endure it?(CF)
Rend Your Heart
12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return(CG) to me with all your heart,(CH) with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13 Rend your heart(CI) and not your garments.(CJ) Return(CK) to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,(CL) slow to anger and abounding in love,(CM) and he relents from sending calamity.(CN) 14 Who knows? He may turn(CO) and relent(CP) and leave behind a blessing(CQ)— grain offerings and drink offerings(CR) for the Lord your God.
15 Blow the trumpet(CS) in Zion,(CT) declare a holy fast,(CU) call a sacred assembly.(CV) 16 Gather the people, consecrate(CW) the assembly; bring together the elders,(CX) gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom(CY) leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister(CZ) before the Lord, weep(DA) between the portico and the altar.(DB) Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,(DC) a byword(DD) among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?(DE)’”
The Lord’s Answer
18 Then the Lord was jealous(DF) for his land and took pity(DG) on his people.
“I am sending you grain, new wine(DH) and olive oil,(DI) enough to satisfy you fully;(DJ) never again will I make you an object of scorn(DK) to the nations.
20 “I will drive the northern horde(DL) far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land; its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea. And its stench(DM) will go up; its smell will rise.”
Surely he has done great things! 21 Do not be afraid,(DN) land of Judah; be glad and rejoice.(DO) Surely the Lord has done great things!(DP) 22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.(DQ) The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree(DR) and the vine(DS) yield their riches.(DT) 23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice(DU) in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful.(DV) He sends you abundant showers,(DW) both autumn(DX) and spring rains,(DY) as before. 24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow(DZ) with new wine(EA) and oil.
25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts(EB) have eaten(EC)— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm[f]— my great army(ED) that I sent among you. 26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,(EE) and you will praise(EF) the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders(EG) for you; never again will my people be shamed.(EH) 27 Then you will know(EI) that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord(EJ) your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.(EK)
The Day of the Lord
28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit(EL) on all people.(EM) Your sons and daughters will prophesy,(EN) your old men will dream dreams,(EO) your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants,(EP) both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.(EQ) 30 I will show wonders in the heavens(ER) and on the earth,(ES) blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness(ET) and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.(EU) 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord(EV) will be saved;(EW) for on Mount Zion(EX) and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance,(EY) as the Lord has said, even among the survivors(EZ) whom the Lord calls.[g](FA)
The Nations Judged
3 [h]“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes(FB) of Judah(FC) and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather(FD) all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[i](FE) There I will put them on trial(FF) for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered(FG) my people among the nations and divided up my land. 3 They cast lots(FH) for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine(FI) to drink.
4 “Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon(FJ) and all you regions of Philistia?(FK) Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done.(FL)5 For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples.[j](FM)6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks,(FN) that you might send them far from their homeland.
7 “See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them,(FO) and I will return(FP) on your own heads what you have done.8 I will sell your sons(FQ) and daughters to the people of Judah,(FR) and they will sell them to the Sabeans,(FS) a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.(FT)
9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war!(FU) Rouse the warriors!(FV) Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks(FW) into spears.(FX) Let the weakling(FY) say, “I am strong!”(FZ) 11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble(GA) there.
12 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,(GC) for there I will sit to judge(GD) all the nations on every side. 13 Swing the sickle,(GE) for the harvest(GF) is ripe. Come, trample the grapes,(GG) for the winepress(GH) is full and the vats overflow— so great is their wickedness!”
14 Multitudes,(GI) multitudes in the valley(GJ) of decision! For the day of the Lord(GK) is near in the valley of decision.(GL) 15 The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.(GM) 16 The Lord will roar(GN) from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem;(GO) the earth and the heavens will tremble.(GP) But the Lord will be a refuge(GQ) for his people, a stronghold(GR) for the people of Israel.
Blessings for God’s People
17 “Then you will know(GS) that I, the Lord your God,(GT) dwell in Zion,(GU) my holy hill.(GV) Jerusalem will be holy;(GW) never again will foreigners invade her.(GX)
18 “In that day the mountains will drip new wine,(GY) and the hills will flow with milk;(GZ) all the ravines of Judah will run with water.(HA) A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house(HB) and will water the valley of acacias.[k](HC) 19 But Egypt(HD) will be desolate, Edom(HE) a desert waste, because of violence(HF) done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood. 20 Judah will be inhabited forever(HG) and Jerusalem through all generations. 21 Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?(HH) No, I will not.(HI)”
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne(A) a scroll with writing on both sides(B) and sealed(C) with seven seals.2 And I saw a mighty angel(D) proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion(E) of the tribe of Judah,(F) the Root of David,(G) has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb,(H) looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures(I) and the elders.(J) The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes,(K) which are the seven spirits[a](L) of God sent out into all the earth.7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.(M)8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures(N) and the twenty-four elders(O) fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp(P) and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers(Q) of God’s people.9 And they sang a new song, saying:(R)
“You are worthy(S) to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood(T) you purchased(U) for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.(V) 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests(W) to serve our God, and they will reign[b] on the earth.”(X)
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.(Y) They encircled the throne and the living creatures(Z) and the elders.(AA)12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb,(AB) who was slain,(AC) to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”(AD)
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth(AE) and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne(AF) and to the Lamb(AG) be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”(AH)
14 The four living creatures(AI) said, “Amen,”(AJ) and the elders(AK) fell down and worshiped.(AL)
Morrinsville Baptist is a church of 250-300 people from all ages and all walks of life who live or work in and around Morrinsville, New Zealand. Our faith in Jesus Christ is our common bond, and we are committed to living by the values and principles taught by Jesus, as we actively promote his Kingdom through our shared life as a church as well as through our personal daily lives.