Chapter 1

1:1 The word of Mar-Yah that came to Yoel bar Betuel.

1:2 Listen to this, oh you elders, and turn (your) ear, all the inhabitants of the land; has anything resembling this occurred in these (your) days or (even in) the days of your fathers

1:3 Speak of this to your children, and their children to their children, and their children to another generation.

1:4 What the palmer-worm leaves, (it is) devoured (by) the (flying/winged) locust; and what is left by the flying locust, it is devoured by the crawling locust; what is left (by) the crawling locusts, is devoured by the caterpillar.

1:5 Wake up (you) intoxicated (ones), and cry (out)! Make lamentation, all you who drink wine, because the wine is removed from your mouth.

1:6 A people have raised up (against) my land, (which are) powerful and can not be numbered. Their teeth are like teeth of lion, and their claws are like the claws of lioness.

1:7 He has turned my grapevine to devastation and my fig tree into a stump; he (has) demolished it and he (has) thrown it (away); their branches have become white.

1:8 Make lamentation like a girded young person with sackcloth because of the husband of her youth.

1:9 The meal-offering and the libation were removed from the house of Mar-Yah; the kings and the priests who serve Mar-Yah have been mourning.

1:10 The field has been looted and the land has made lamentation because the grain was stolen; the wine has become dry and depleted are the olive trees.

1:11 Be confused, oh you tillers of the ground, and make lamentation, oh you vineyard keepers, because of the wheat and because of the barley, for the harvest of the field has (now) become expired.

1:12 Dried is the grapevine, and the fig tree is neglected; as well as the pomegranate, the palms, the apple trees and all the trees of the field have become dried, because the rejoicing of the sons of men is no longer.

1:13 Oh you priests, wrap yourselves with sackcloth and lament; make lamentation, oh you servants of the altar. Go, spend the night wrapped with sackcloth, servants of my Alaha, because the meal-offering and the libation in the house of your Alaha have been held back.

1:14 Sanctify a fast (and) convene to assemble; congregate the elders and the all the inhabitants of the land in the house of Mar-Yah your Alaha. Call to Mar-Yah your Alaha, saying:

1:15 Oh, oh for that day! For near is the day of Mar-Yah, and (it) shall come (as a) destruction from Alaha.

1:16 And, look! Removed from before our own eyes is the food of the house of our Alaha; rejoicing and the joyous dance is no longer.

1:17 The heifers are neglected (standing) next to their mangers, and the barns have been destroyed; the oil-presses has been utterly destroyed and the harvest has become dry.

1:18 Why do the cattle bellow and the herds of oxen roar Why is there no grass for them The flocks of ewes have also become destroyed.

1:19 To you, oh Mar-Yah, I will cry out; because the fire has consumed the fields of the shepherds in the wilderness, and the flame has consumed all the trees of the field;

1:20 even the (wild) beasts of the field roar before you, because the streams of water have become dry, and the fire has consumed the fields of the shepherds in the wilderness.

(From the Pshitta Tanakh translation of Y. Younan-Levine, with minor adjustments to the text, used with permission)