1 The word of the Lord came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
Invasion of the Locusts and the Caterpillars
2 Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all of you inhabiting the land. Have such things happened in your days or in the days of your fathers? 3 Tell your children about this, and your children to their children, and their children to the next generation. 4 What the caterpillars have left is eaten by the grasshopper, and what the grasshoppers have left is eaten by the locust, and what the locusts have left is infected with red blight.
5 Get sober, you who are drunk from your wine, and weep, mourn all you who drink wine, for joy and gladness are removed from your mouth. 6 For a nation strong and numberless came up against My land. His teeth are the teeth of a lion and his molars those of a young lion. 7 He laid waste My vine and splintered My fig tree. He diligently searched out and uprooted My vine, peeling off its outer bark.
8 Mourn before Me more than a virgin bride clothed with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. 9 The meat-offering and the drink-offering are removed from the house of the Lord. Mourn, you priests, you who serve at the altar, 10 for the fields languish and the land mourns; for the grain withers, the wine is dried up, and the olive oil is scarce. 11 The farmers are exhausted. Mourn for the sake of your fields of wheat and barley, for the harvest from the field has been lost. 12 The vine is shriveled up, and the fig trees are scarce in number. The pomegranate and the palm tree, the apple tree and all the trees of the field are withered, for they put to shame the delight of the sons of men.
13 Gird yourself with sackcloth and wail, you priests. Mourn, you who serve at the altar. Go in, sleep in sackcloth, you who minister unto God, for the grain-offering and drink-offering are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Sanctify a fast. Call a solemn assembly. Gather all the elders and all the people of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out fervently to the Lord.
15 Alas! Alas! Alas! For the day of the Lord draws near, and it will come as misery upon misery. 16 The food is completely destroyed before your eyes; joy and gladness are removed from the house of your God. 17 The heifers are restless in their stalls, and the storehouses are emptied. The winepresses are broken down; the grain is withered. 18 What will we store up for ourselves? The herds of cattle groaned because there was no pasture, and the flocks of sheep are no more.
19 O Lord, I will cry out to You, for fire has devoured the pleasant places of the wilderness, and a flame burned all the trees of the field. 20 And the cattle of the field also look up to You, because the brooks are dried up and fire has devoured the pleasant places of the wilderness.
The Day of the Lord
1 Sound the trumpet in Zion; make a proclamation in My holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land be confounded, for the day of the Lord is near, 2 a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of cloud and of dense fog. About daybreak a people both strong and great in number will be spread upon the mountains, the likes of whom have never been nor will come after them, not even for many generations. 3 Before them is a consuming fire and behind them a flame set ablaze. Before them the land is as a paradise of splendor, but behind them a desolate plain; no one will be able to escape them.
4 Their outward appearance is as the appearance of horses, and thus as horsemen they will pursue. 5 They shall bound upon the tops of the mountains as the sound of chariots, as the sound of a flame of fire devouring straw, as a great number of mighty men setting themselves in battle array. 6 Before them the people will be crushed; every face shall be as the blackness of a cauldron. 7 As warriors they shall march quickly, and they will climb the walls like men of war. Everyone shall march in formation; they will never break their ranks. 8 They will not separate from their comrades and will march weighed down with their arms. And though they fall by their arrows, even so they will not be stopped. 9 They will seize the city and run on the wall. They will climb into the houses and enter the windows as do thieves. 10 Before their presence the land will be confounded, and the sky will be shaken. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will hold back their brightness. 11 And because the day of the Lord is great and exceedingly glorious, the Lord shall utter His voice before the face of His army, for His army is numberless, and the works of His words are mighty. Who shall resist?
12 Now says the Lord your God, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting and wailing and with mourning; 13 rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate. He is longsuffering and plenteous in mercy and repents of evils. 14 Who knows if He will return and change His mind—if He will leave a blessing behind Him, even an offering and drink-offering to the Lord our God?”
15 Sound the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly; 16 gather the people, sanctify the congregation, call out the elders, and gather the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom go out from his bedchamber and the bride out of her bridal chamber. 17 Between the porch and the altar, the priests of the altar, ministering to the Lord, will each be weeping and will say, “O Lord, spare Your people; do not give Your inheritance to reproach, that the Gentiles should rule over them, lest they should say among the Gentiles, ‘Where is their God?’ ”
God’s Blessing upon His People
18 But the Lord was zealous for His land and spared His people. 19 And the Lord answered His people and said, “Behold, I send you wheat, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied with them. I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations, 20 and I will drive the army from the north away from you, and I shall force him into a dry land. I will drown his face in the eastern sea and his back in the western sea; its stench and foul smell will rise up, because he has done powerful works.”
21 O land, be of good courage; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things. 22 Take courage, you beasts of the field, for the plains of the wilderness have budded, and the trees bear their fruit. And again the vine and the fig tree yield their full potency. 23 And you children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God, for He gives food that is right for you, and He will shower you as before with the early and the late rain. 24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the presses of wine and olive oil will overflow. 25 “And I will restore to you the years the grasshopper and the locust have eaten, and for the blight, and the caterpillar, even for My great army, which I sent against you. 26 You will eat abundantly and be satisfied and will praise the name of the Lord your God for what He has so wondrously done unto you. And My people will not be put to shame forever. 27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel; that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other but Me. And at no time will My people be put to shame forever.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
1 “After this it shall come to pass that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 2 And in those days I shall pour out My Spirit on My servants and on My handmaids. 3 And I shall give wonders in the heavens and upon the earth, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 4 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes to pass. 5 And it shall be that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord Himself said, and there shall be proclamation of the good news to those whom the Lord Himself called.
The Coming Day of Judgment
1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I shall also gather all the nations together and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there I will enter into judgment against them on account of My people and My inheritance Israel, who were dispersed among the nations—against those who divided My land, 3 and who cast lots over My people, and traded boys for prostitutes, and sold girls for the wine they drank. 4 Indeed, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coast of Philistia, what have you to do with Me? Are you paying Me back for a grudge you hold against Me? If so, I shall return your retaliation swiftly and immediately upon your own head, 5 because you have taken My silver and My gold and taken My precious possessions into your temples, 6 and because you sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the sons of the Greeks in order to exile them far from their borders. 7 Behold, I shall raise them up from the place where you sold them, and I shall return your retribution upon your own head. 8 I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them into captivity to a far distant nation, for the Lord has spoken.”
9 Proclaim these things among the nations: “Prepare for war; arouse the warriors; draw near and go up, all you men of war. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ 11 Assemble together and join in, all you nations round about. And in that place, gather yourselves together; let the gentle be warlike. 12 Let all the nations rouse themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I shall sit to judge all the nations round about.
13 “Bring out the sickles, for the harvest is ripe. Come in and tread the grapes, for the winepress is full, the wine vats overflow; for their wickedness is multiplied. 14 The news resounded in the valley of judgment, for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of judgment. 15 The sun and moon shall become dark, and the stars shall withdraw their light. 16 And the Lord shall cry out from Zion, and He shall utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and earth will quake, but the Lord shall keep His people safe and shall strengthen the sons of Israel. 17 So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, the one dwelling in Zion on My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be a holy city, and no more will strangers pass through her.
The Final Restoration of God’s Own
18 “And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip sweetness, and milk shall flow from the hills, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with water. And a fountain shall flow out from the house of the Lord, and it will supply water to the Valley of Acacias. 19 Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a wilderness because of the wrongdoings against the people of Judah, because of the innocent blood shed in their land. 20 But Judah shall be inhabited forever and Jerusalem unto generations of generations. 21 And I shall avenge their blood and shall not let it go unpunished. The Lord shall dwell in Zion.”
1 The praise of an ode by David.
He who dwells in the help of the Most High
Shall lodge in the shelter of the God of heaven.
2 He shall say to the Lord, “You are my protector and my refuge,
My God; I will hope in Him;
3 For He shall free me from the snare of the hunters,
And from every troubling word.”
4 He shall overshadow you with His shoulders,
And under His wings you shall hope;
His truth shall encircle you with a shield.
5 You shall not be frightened by fear at night,
Nor from an arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor by a thing moving in darkness,
Nor by mishap and a demon of noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
Yet it shall not come near you;
8 But you shall observe with your eyes,
And you shall see the reward of sinners.
9 For You, O Lord, are my hope;
You made the Most High your refuge.
10 Evils shall not come to you,
And a scourge shall not draw near your dwelling;
11 For He shall command His angels concerning you,
To keep you in all your ways;
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you strike your foot against a stone;
13 You shall tread upon the asp and the basilisk,
And you shall trample the lion and the dragon.
14 “For he hoped in Me, and I will deliver him;
I will shelter him, because he knew My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will hear him;
I am with him in affliction,
And I will deliver and glorify him.
16 With length of days I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
19 A malicious man shall be punished severely,
And if he commits injury, he will also add this to his soul.
20 Hear, my son, the instruction of your father,
That you may become wise in your last days.
21 There are many thoughts in the heart of a man,
But the counsel of the Lord abides forever.
22 Mercy is fruit to a man,
And a poor righteous man is better than a rich liar.
23 The fear of the Lord is unto life for a man,
And he shall lodge without fear in places where knowledge is not examined.
24 A man who hides his hands in his bosom unrighteously,
He will not even bring them up to his mouth.
1 Thessalonians 5
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise prophecies.
21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.
22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.