Judah is devastated by a horde of locusts.
This invasion of locusts destroys everything: the fields of grain, the vineyards, the gardens and the trees. Joel symbolically describes the locusts as a marching human army and views all of this as divine judgment coming against the nation for her sins.
The book is highlighted by two major events. One is the invasion of locusts and the other the outpouring of the Spirit.
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SCRIPTURE TEXT (20) | JOEL
Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?
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Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.
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That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.
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Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
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For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
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He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
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Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
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The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD's ministers, mourn.
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The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.
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Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
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The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
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Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.
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Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.
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Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
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Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
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The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.
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How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
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O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.
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The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
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WARNING: Before You Read The Torah, Bible, Quran etc.
All SCRIPTURE TEXT has Context and Background. Text should never be read literally or in isolation. Always seek clarification from religious scholars and teachers. In general, to study Text requires four principles:
1. Literal Meaning - What the Text says
2. Historical Setting - The story events; how the Text was understood in its time
3. Grammar - The surrounding sentence and paragraph; textual context
4. Synthesis - A comparison with similar Texts to give a better contextual understanding