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1The word of the Lord that came to Joel son of Pethuel:

Lament over the Ruin of the Country

2Hear this, O elders,

give ear, all inhabitants of the land!

Has such a thing happened in your days,

or in the days of your ancestors?

3Tell your children of it,

and let your children tell their children,

and their children another generation.

4What the cutting locust left,

the swarming locust has eaten.

What the swarming locust left,

the hopping locust has eaten,

and what the hopping locust left,

the destroying locust has eaten.

5Wake up, you drunkards, and weep;

and wail, all you wine-drinkers,

over the sweet wine,

for it is cut off from your mouth.

6For a nation has invaded my land,

powerful and innumerable;

its teeth are lions’ teeth,

and it has the fangs of a lioness.

7It has laid waste my vines,

and splintered my fig trees;

it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;

their branches have turned white.

8Lament like a virgin dressed in sackcloth

for the husband of her youth.

9The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off

from the house of the Lord.

The priests mourn,

the ministers of the Lord.

10The fields are devastated,

the ground mourns;

for the grain is destroyed,

the wine dries up,

the oil fails.

11Be dismayed, you farmers,

wail, you vinedressers,

over the wheat and the barley;

for the crops of the field are ruined.

12The vine withers,

the fig tree droops.

Pomegranate, palm, and apple—

all the trees of the field are dried up;

surely, joy withers away

among the people.

A Call to Repentance and Prayer

13Put on sackcloth and lament, you priests;

wail, you ministers of the altar.

Come, pass the night in sackcloth,

you ministers of my God!

Grain offering and drink offering

are withheld from the house of your God.

14Sanctify a fast,

call a solemn assembly.

Gather the elders

and all the inhabitants of the land

to the house of the Lord your God,

and cry out to the Lord.

15Alas for the day!

For the day of the Lord is near,

and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

16Is not the food cut off

before our eyes,

joy and gladness

from the house of our God?

17The seed shrivels under the clods,

the storehouses are desolate;

the granaries are ruined

because the grain has failed.

18How the animals groan!

The herds of cattle wander about

because there is no pasture for them;

even the flocks of sheep are dazed.

19To you, O Lord, I cry.

For fire has devoured

the pastures of the wilderness,

and flames have burned

all the trees of the field.

20Even the wild animals cry to you

because the watercourses are dried up,

and fire has devoured

the pastures of the wilderness.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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