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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 1

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1 THE word of the LORD which came to Joel son of Pethuel.

2 HEAR this, you elders; listen to me, all you inhabitants of the land! Has the like of this happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? 3Tell it to your children and let them tell it to theirs; let one generation pass it on to another. 4What the locust has left, the swarmer devours; what the swarmer has left, the hopper devours; and what the hopper has left, the grub devours.

5Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Mourn for the new wine, all you wine-drinkers, for it is denied to you. 6A horde, vast and past counting, has invaded my land; they have teeth like a lion's teeth; they have the fangs of a lioness. 7They have laid waste my vines and left my fig trees broken; they have plucked them bare and stripped them of their bark, leaving the branches white. 8Wail like a virgin in sackcloth, wailing over the betrothed of her youth: 9the grain-offering and drink-offering are cut off from the house of the LORD. Mourn, you priests, who minister to the LORD! 10The fields are ruined, the ground mourns; for the grain is ruined, the new wine has come to naught, the oil has failed. 11Despair, you farmers, and lament, you vine-dressers, over the wheat and the barley; the harvest of the fields is lost. 12The vines have come to naught, and the fig trees have failed; pomegranate, palm, and apple, every tree of the countryside is dried up, and all the people's joy has come to an end.

13Put on sackcloth, you priests, and mourn; lament, you ministers of the altar; come, lie in sackcloth all night long, you ministers of my God; for grain-offerings and drink-offerings are withheld from the house of your God. 14Appoint a solemn fast, proclaim a day of abstinence. You elders, gather all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to him: 15‘The day is near, the day of the LORD: it comes as a mighty destruction from the Almighty.’ 16It is already before our eyes: food is cut off from the house of our God and there is neither joy nor gladness. 17Under the clods the seeds have shrivelled, the water-channels are dry, the barns lie in ruins; for the harvests have come to naught. 18How the cattle moan! The herds of oxen are distraught because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep waste away.

19To you, LORD, I cry out; for fire has consumed the open pastures, flames have burnt up every tree in the countryside. 20Even the beasts in the field look to you; for the streams are dried up, and fire has consumed the open pastures.

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