The Prophets Before the Exile
(Category 8 of 16)
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Joel, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Joel, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.
Joel reflects on the “Day of the Lord” and how true repentance will bring about the great restoration hoped for in the other prophetic books.
The Book of
DISASTER strikes the southern kingdom of
black cloud descends upon the land—the dreaded locusts. In a matter of
hours, every living green thing has been stripped bare. Joel, God’s spokesman during
the reign of Joash (835–796 B.C.), seizes this occasion to proclaim God’s message.
Although the plague has been a terrible judgment for sin, God’s future
judgments during the day of the Lord will make that plague pale by comparison.
In that day, God will destroy His enemies, but bring unparalleled blessing to those
who faithfully obey Him.
The Hebrew name Yo’el means “Yahweh Is God.” This name is appropriate to
the theme of the book, which emphasizes God’s sovereign work in history. The
courses of nature and nations are in His hand. The Greek equivalent is Ioel, and
the Latin is Joel.
1 THE word of the LORD that came to aJoel the son of Pethuel.
The Land Laid Waste
2 Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! aHas anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?
3 aTell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.
CHAPTER 1 References
1 aActs 2:16
2 aJoel 2:2
3 aPs. 78:4
4 aDeut. 28:38
bIs. 33:4 1Exact
5 aIs. 5:11;
28:1 bIs. 32:10
4 aWhat the chewing 1left, the bswarming has eaten; What the swarming left, the crawling has eaten; And what the crawling left, the consuming has eaten.
5 Awake, you adrunkards, and weep; And wail, all you drinkers of wine, Because of the new wine, bFor it has been cut off from your mouth.
6 For aa nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; bHis teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a 1fierce lion.
7 He has alaid waste My vine, And 1ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.
8 aLament like a virgin girded with sackcloth For bthe husband of her youth.
9 aThe grain offering and the drink offering Have been cut off from the house of the LORD; The priests bmourn, who minister to the LORD.
10 The field is wasted, aThe land mourns; For the grain is ruined, bThe new wine is dried up, The oil fails.
11 aBe ashamed, you farmers, Wail, you vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished.
12 aThe vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree, The palm tree also, And the apple tree— All the trees of the field are withered; Surely bjoy has withered away from the sons of men.
Mourning for the Land
13 aGird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God.
14 aConsecrate a fast, Call ba sacred assembly; Gather the elders And call the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.
15 aAlas for the day! For bthe day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
16 Is not the food acut off before our eyes, bJoy and gladness from the house of our God?
6 aJoel 2:2, 11,
25 bRev. 9:8
7 aIs. 5:6 1Or
8 aIs. 22:12
9 aJoel 1:13;
2:14 bJoel 2:17
10 aJer. 12:11
11 aJer. 14:3, 4
12 aJoel 1:10
13 aJer. 4:8
14 aJoel 2:15,
16 bLev. 23:36
c2 Chr. 20:13
15 a[Jer. 30:7] bIs. 13:6
16 aIs. 3:1
18 aHos. 4:3
19 a[Ps. 50:15] bJer. 9:10 1Lit.
20 aPs. 104:21;
147:9 b1 Kin.
17:7; 18:5 1Lit.
CHAPTER 2 References
1 aJer. 4:5
c[Obad. 15] 1ram’s horn
2 aAmos 5:18
bJoel 1:6; 2:11,
25 cDan. 9:12;
3 aIs. 51:3
4 aRev. 9:7 1Or
5 aRev. 9:9
6 aNah. 2:10
17 The seed shrivels under the clods, Storehouses are in shambles; Barns are broken down, For the grain has withered.
18 How athe animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless, Because they have no pasture; Even the flocks of sheep 1suffer punishment.
19 O LORD, ato You I cry out; For bfire has devoured the 1open pastures, And a flame has burned all the trees of the field.
20 The beasts of the field also acry out to You, For bthe water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the 1open pastures.
The Day of the LORD
1 Blow athe 1trumpet in Zion, And bsound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For cthe day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand:
2 aA day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. bA people come, great and strong, cThe like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.
3 A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like athe Garden of Eden before them, bAnd behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them.
4 aTheir appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like 1swift steeds, so they run.
5 aWith a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before them the people writhe in pain; aAll faces 1are drained of color.
7 They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break aranks.
8 They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own 1column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not 2cut down.
9 They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They aenter at the windows blike a thief.
10 aThe earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; bThe sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness.
11 aThe LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; bFor strong is the One who executes His word. For the cday of the LORD is great and very terrible; dWho can endure it?
A Call to Repentance
12 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, a“Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So arend your heart, and not byour garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is cgracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
14 aWho knows if He will turn and relent, And leave ba blessing behind Him— cA grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?
15 aBlow the 1trumpet in Zion, bConsecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
16 Gather the people, aSanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; bLet the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room.
17 Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep abetween the porch and the altar; Let them say, b“Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
7 aProv. 30:27
8 1Lit. highway
9 aJer. 9:21
10 aPs. 18:7
bIs. 13:10; 34:4
11 aJer. 25:30
d[Mal. 3:2] 12 aJer. 4:1
13 a[Ps. 34:18;
34:6] 14 aJer. 26:3
cJoel 1:9, 13
15 aNum. 10:3
16 aEx. 19:10
17 aMatt. 23:35
bEx. 32:11, 12
cPs. 42:10 1Or
18 a[Is. 60:10;
63:9, 15] 19 a[Mal. 3:10] 20 aEx. 10:19
bJer. 1:14, 15
21 1Lit. great
22 aJoel 1:19
23 aIs. 41:16
bLev. 26:4 1Or
25 aJoel 1:4–7;
26 aLev. 26:5
That the nations should 1rule over them. cWhy should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ”
The Land Refreshed
18 Then the LORD will abe zealous for His land, And pity His people.
19 The LORD will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you agrain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.
20 “But aI will remove far from you bthe northern army, And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, With his face toward the eastern sea And his back ctoward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done 1monstrous things.”
21 Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the LORD has done 1marvelous things!
22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; For athe open pastures are springing up, And the tree bears its fruit; The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And arejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the 1former rain faithfully, And He bwill cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.
24 The floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
25 “So I will restore to you the years athat the swarming 1
26 You shall aeat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to bshame.
27 Then you shall know that I am ain the midst of Israel: bI am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.
God’s Spirit Poured Out
28 “Anda it shall come to pass afterward That bI will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; cYour sons and your ddaughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My amenservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
30 “And aI will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 aThe sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, bBefore the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
32 And it shall come to pass That awhoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be 1saved. For bin Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be 2deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among cthe remnant whom the LORD calls.
God Judges the Nations
1 “For behold, ain those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of
2 aI will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I bwill enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
3 They have acast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
4 “Indeed, what have you to do with Me,
26 bIs. 45:17
27 aLev. 26:11,
12 b[Is. 45:5,
6] 28 aEzek.
29 a[Gal. 3:28] 30 aMatt. 24:29
31 aIs. 13:9, 10;
b[Mal. 4:1, 5,
6] 32 aRom. 10:13
c[Mic. 4:7] 1Or
CHAPTER 3 References
1 aJer. 30:3
2 aZech. 14:2
3 aNah. 3:10
4 aAmos 1:6–8
1Or render Me
2Or repay Me
5 1Lit. precious
7 aJer. 23:8
8 aEzek. 23:42
bJer. 6:20 1Lit.
9 aEzek. 38:7
10 a[Is. 2:4] bZech. 12:8
11 aIs. 13:3
12 aIs. 2:4
13 aRev. 14:15
c[Is. 63:3] 14 aJoel 2:1
5 Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My 1prized possessions.
6 Also the people of and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders.
7 “Behold, aI will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your 1retaliation upon your own head.
8 I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of , And they will sell them to the aSabeans,1 To a people bfar off; For the LORD has spoken.”
9 aProclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.
10 aBeat your plowshares into swords And your 1pruning hooks into spears; bLet the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ”
11 Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause aYour mighty ones to go down there, O LORD.
12 “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to ajudge all the surrounding nations.
13 aPut in the , for bthe harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the cwinepress is full, The vats overflow— For their wickedness is great.”
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For athe day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
16 The LORD also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; aBut the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.
17 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My aholy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
God Blesses His People
18 And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine,
16 a[Is. 51:5, 6]
17 aZech. 8:3
18 aEzek. 47:1
21 aIs. 4:4
The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks ofshall be flooded with water; A afountain shall flow from the house of the LORD And water the Valley of 1Acacias.
19 “Egypt shall be a desolation, And
20 But shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will aacquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the LORD dwells in Zion.”
The LORD the Strength of His People
A Song of Ascents.
1 THOSE who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.
3 For athe scepter of wickedness shall not rest On the land allotted to the righteous, Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.
PSALM 125 References
3 aProv. 22:8;
5 aProv. 2:15;
Is. 59:8 bPs.
4 Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, And to those who are upright in their hearts.
5 As for such as turn aside to their acrooked ways, The LORD shall lead them away With the workers of iniquity.
bPeace be upon Israel!
DREAM IT => PLAN IT => DO IT
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