Locusts Will Destroy the Crops

Joel son of Pethuel received this message from the Lord:

Leaders, listen to this message!

Listen to me, all you people who live in the land.

Has anything like this ever happened in your life?

Did anything like this happen during your fathers’ lifetime?

You will tell these things to your children,

and your children will tell their children,

and your grandchildren will tell the people of the next generation.

What the cutting locust[a] has left,

the swarming locust has eaten.

And what the swarming locust has left,

the hopping locust has eaten.

And what the hopping locust has left,

the destroying locust has eaten!

The Locusts—A Powerful Army

Drunks, wake up and cry!

All of you who drink wine, cry

because your sweet wine is finished.

You will not taste it again.

A powerful nation came to attack my land.

Its soldiers were too many to count.

Its weapons were as sharp as a lion’s teeth

and as powerful as a lion’s jaw.

It destroyed my grapevine.

Its good vines withered and died.

It destroyed my fig tree,

stripped off the bark and threw it away.

The People Cry

Cry like a young woman crying

because the man she was ready to marry has died.

Priests, servants of the Lord, cry

because there will be no more grain and drink offerings in the Lord’s Temple.

10 The fields are ruined.

Even the ground is crying

because the grain is destroyed;

the new wine is dried up,

and the olive oil is gone.

11 Be sad, farmers!

Cry loudly for the grapes,

for the wheat, and for the barley,

because the harvest in the field is ruined.

12 The vines have become dry,

and the fig tree is dying.

All the trees in the field—

the pomegranate, the palm, and the apple—have withered.

And happiness among the people has died.

13 Priests, put on sackcloth and cry loudly.

Servants of the altar, cry loudly.

Servants of my God, you will sleep in sackcloth,

because there will be no more grain and drink offerings in God’s Temple.

The Terrible Destruction of the Locusts

14 Tell the people that there will be a special time of fasting. Call them together for a special meeting. Bring the leaders and everyone living in the land together at the Temple of the Lord your God, and pray to the Lord.

15 Be sad because the Lord’s special day is near. At that time punishment will come like an attack from God All-Powerful. 16 Our food is gone. Joy and happiness are gone from the Temple of our God. 17 We planted seeds, but the seeds became dry and dead lying in the soil. Our plants are dry and dead. Our barns are empty and falling down.

18 The animals are hungry and groaning. The herds of cattle wander around confused because they have no grass to eat. The sheep are dying.[b] 19 Lord, I am calling to you for help. Fire has changed our green fields into a desert. Flames have burned all the trees in the field. 20 Wild animals also need your help. The streams are dry—there is no water! Fire has changed our green fields into a desert.


  1. Joel 1:4 locust See “locust” in the Word List. Here, Joel might be talking about an enemy army.
  2. Joel 1:18 dying Literally, “being punished.”