1 The word of Yahweh which came to Joel ben Pethuel.
2 Hear this, you elders;
and listen, all you inhabitants of the land.
Has this happened in your days,
or even in the days of your ancestors?
3 Recount this to your sons,
and your sons to their sons,
and their sons to the next generation.
4 What the gazam has left, the arbeh has eaten;
what the arbeh has left, the yeleq has eaten;
what the yeleq has left, the hasil has eaten.
5Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
Wail, you drinkers of wine, for the new wine
that has been snatched from your mouth.
6For a nation has come up against my country,
strong and innumerable, with teeth like a lion
and fangs like a lioness.
7He has destroyed my vines
and torn up my fig tree and stripped its bark.
Its branches are white.
8Lament, like a virgin clothed in sackcloth
for the husband of her youth.
9The meal-offering and drink-offering have ceased from Yahweh's house;
the priests who serve Yahweh mourn.
10The field is plundered,
and the land mourns,
because the grain is plundered,
the new wine has dried up,
the olive oil runs out.
11Be ashamed, you farmers;
wail, you vintners;
for the wheat and for the barley,
because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
12The vine is dried up,
and the fig tree fails,
the pomegranate, and the palm tree, the apple are withered,
because rejoicing has dried up among the people.
13Gird yourselves and beat your breast, you priests;
howl, you who serve at the altar;
come and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my god,
because the meal-offering and drink-offering have disappeared from the temple of your god.
14Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly;
gather the elders, all the inhabitants of the land,
to the house of Yahweh your god, and cry out to Yahweh.
15Woe to the day! For the day of Yahweh approaches,
and like destruction from Shaddai it is coming.
16Has not food disappeared from our sight,
and joy and gladness from the house of our god?
17The grains are dessicated under their clods;
the storehouses lay desolate;
the granaries are torn down
because the grain has dried up.
18How the livestock groan!
The herds of cattle are disturbed
because they have no pasture,
yes, the flocks of sheep are desolate.
19To you, Yahweh, I will call out,
because fire has eaten the wilderness meadows,
and flames have burned all the trees of the field.
20And the beasts of the field cry out for you
because the streams have dried up,
and fire has eaten the wilderness meadows.
1Blow the shofar in Zion,
make it resound on my holy mountain.
Let all who dwell in the land tremble
because the day of Yahweh is coming,
because it draws near:
2a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and shadows.
As dawn spreads over the mountains,
a people great and strong,
the like of whom has never been
from the beginning of time,
and afterwards will never be again,
though years and generations pass.
3In front of them a fire consumes,
behind them flame is burning.
Like the garden of Eden the land lies before them,
and behind them a desolate wilderness.
Surely nothing will escape them.
4They appear as if they were horses;
as horsemen, so they run along.
5Like the noise of chariots
they will leap upon the mountain tops,
like the sound of a flame of fire
like an army arrayed for battle.
6Seeing them, the nations will panic,
all faces will grow pale with terror.
7Like warriors they will run,
like soldiers they will climb a wall.
Each will march along his ways,
they will not deviate from their path.
8They do not push into each other,
each man walks straight forward.
Though weapons strike some down,
they do not break rank.
9They will swarm through the city;
they will run upon the wall;
they will climb up on the houses;
they will enter through the windows like a thief.
10As they approach the earth will quake,
the earth will tremble,
sun and moon will darken,
and stars will cease their shining.
11Then Yahweh will sound his voice before his army,
for his camp is very numerous,
for he is strong and does what he says,
for the day of Yahweh is great and horrifying.
Who can endure it?
12So now — an oracle of Yahweh —
return to me with all your heart,
and with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.
13Tear your hearts, and not your clothing;
return to Yahweh your god,
because he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, great in kindness,
apt to relent from sending disaster.
14Who knows if he might turn back and relent,
leaving a blessing behind him,
a meal-offering and a drink-offering for Yahweh your god.
15Blow the shofar in Zion:
consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly.
16Gather the people;
consecrate the assembly;
assemble the elders;
gather the children and nursing infants;
let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber.
17Between the porch and the altar,
let the priests who serve Yahweh weep, and say,
"Spare your people, Yahweh!
Do not give your inheritance to be scorned,
that the nations should rule over them.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
'Where is their god?'"
18Then Yahweh will be jealous for his land,
and treat his people with gentleness.
19And Yahweh will respond to his people, saying,
"See, I will send them grain, and wine, and oil,
and you will have your fill of it,
and I will no longer make you an object of scorn among the nations.
20I will send the northerner far away from you;
I will banish him to a dry and desolate land,
with his face toward the east sea,
and his rear to the west sea.
His stink will rise;
his foulness will rise;
for he has done great things.
21Do not be afraid, O ground;
rejoice and be glad,
because Yahweh will do great things.
22Do not be afraid, wild animals,
because the wilderness meadows will grow green;
because the trees will bear their fruit;
fig trees and vines will yield their strength.
23Sons of Zion, be glad and rejoice in Yahweh your god,
who has given you the early rain faithfully.
He will send you the early rain and the latter rain, as before.
24The threshing floors will be filled with grain,
the vats will overflow with wine and oil.
25I will restore to you the years that the were eaten
by the 'arbeh, the yeleq, and the hasil, and the gazam,
my great army which I sent among you.
26You shall eat food, and be satisfied,
and praise the name of Yahweh your god,
who has done marvelous things for you.
My people will never be put to shame.
27You will know that I am in the midst of Israel.
I am Yahweh your god; there is no other.
My people will never be put to shame.
28And it will happen after these things
that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh:
your sons and your daughters will prophesy;
your old men will dream dreams;
your young men will see visions.
29Also, upon my male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my spirit.
30I will show wonders in the sky and on earth:
blood, and fire, and columns of smoke.
31The son will go turn dark,
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the great and terrifying day of Yahweh.
32And then, whoever will invoke the name of Yahweh will be delivered,
because in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance,
just as Yahweh said,
and among the survivors whom Yahweh will call.
1For behold, in those days, and at that time,
when I return the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
2I will gather all the nations,
and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat,
and I will put them on trial there
for my people, and my inheritance, Israel,
whom they scattered among the nations,
and divided my land.
3They have cast lots for my people,
and traded a boy for a prostitute,
and sold a girl for wine to drink.
4And what will you do for me,
Tyre and Sidon, and all territory of Philistia?
Will you pay me repay me?
If you repay me,
swiftly and speedily I will return your repayment on your own head.
5Because you have taken my silver and my gold;
my valuable goods you have taken to your temples.
6The Judahites and the people of Jerusalem
you have sold to the Greeks,
to take them far from their homeland.
7Behold, I will raise them up
from the place where you sold them,
and I will return your repayment on your own head.
8I will sell your sons and your daughters
into the hands of the Judahites,
who will sell them to the Sabaeans,
to a distant people,
because Yahweh has spoken.
9Proclaim this among the nations:
"Consecrate for war!
Wake up the warriors!
Let all the soldiers
draw near and come up.
10Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let weak say, "I am strong."
11Hurry to come here, all you nations,
Bring your warriors down here, Yahweh!
12Let the nations awaken,
and come up to the valley of Jehosphat,
where I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
13Put in the sickle:
the harvest is ready.
Come on down:
the winepress is full,
the vats overflow
with their great wickendess.
14Crowds, crowds in the valley of sentencing,
for the day of Yahweh is near in the valley of decision.
15Sun and moon will go dark,
the stars will cease shining.
16Yahweh will roar from Zion;
will make a noise from Jerusalem.
Heaven and earth will quake,
but Yahweh is a refuge to his people,
strength for the Israelites.
17And you will know that I am Yahweh,
your god dwelling in Zion my holy mountain.
Jerusalem will be holy,
foreigners will not pass through her again.
18So it will be on that day,
that the mountains will drip with new wine,
the hills will flow with milk,
all the streams of Judah will flow with water.
A fountain will come out from the house of Yahweh
and water the valley of Shittim.
19Egypt will become desolate;
Edom will be a desolate wilderness;
because of the opression of the Judahites,
for shedding innocent blood in their land.
20And Judah will dwell forever;
Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21I will show that their blood is innocent;
though I did not so show it before,
because Yahweh dwells in Zion.
- (1:4) gazam. A type of locust. What precise sort is unclear
- (1:4) arbeh. Another sort of locust, the exact type unknown.
- (1:4) yeleq. Another (unknown) kind of locust.
- (1:4) yeleq. Another kind of locust, apparently.
- Shaddai, in the Bible, is an epithet of Yahweh. Its original meaning is obscure.
- (1:17) dessicated. Or perhaps, rotted.
- (1:20) cry out for you. Or perhaps, pant for you.
- (2:8) Though weapons strike some down, they do not break rank. This is a paraphrase, following the best guess of S. R. Driver in his commentary on Joel. The Hebrew text here is difficult, and literally reads something like they fall about weapons without breaking.
- S. R. Driver explains the meaning of the verse as follows. Perhaps, if the people repent, God will, instead of destroying the land, leave a blessing (metaphorically "behind" him, as a "turns back"). The blessing would consist of allowing his people to remain in their land, rather than being conquered, and to allow the continuation of his agricultural blessings, which allow the people to continue to maintain the food and drink offerings given to the temple, which in turn maintain their proper relationship to Yahweh.
- (2:20) east sea. According to S. R. Driver, this is a reference to what is now known as the Dead Sea.
- (2:20) west sea. The Mediterranean.
- (2:23) The "early rain" is the rain of autumn, and the "latter rain" is the rain of spring.
- These appear to be different terms for locusts, perhaps for differents kinds or locusts or different stages in the development of locusts, but their precise meanings are unknown.
- (3:8) Sabaeans. A people of Yemen.
- (3:14) the valley of sentences. Meaning, the valley where Yahweh will carry out his verdict against the nations.