JOEL, whose name, according to ST. JEROME, signifies THE LORD GOD: or, as others say, THE COMING DOWN OF GOD: prophesied about the same time in the kingdom of Judea, as OSEE did in the kingdom of Israel. He foretells under figure the great evils that were coming upon the people for their sins: earnestly exhorts them to repentance: and comforts them with the promise of a TEACHER OF JUSTICE, viz., CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, and of the coming down of his holy SPIRIT.
Joel Chapter 1
The prophet describes the judgments that shall fall upon the people, and invites them to fasting and prayer.
1:1. The word of the Lord, that came to Joel, the son of Phatuel.
1:2. Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land: did this ever happen in your days, or in the days of your fathers?
1:3. Tell ye of this to your children, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.
1:4. That which the palmerworm hath left, the locust hath eaten: and that which the locust hath left, the bruchus hath eaten: and that which the bruchus hath left, the mildew hath destroyed.
1:5. Awake, ye that are drunk, and weep, and mourn all ye that take delight; in drinking sweet wine: for it is cut off from your mouth.
1:6. For a nation come up upon my land, strong, and without number: his teeth are like the teeth of a lion: and his cheek teeth as of a lion’s whelp.
1:7. He hath laid my vineyard waste, and hath pilled off the bark of my fig tree: he hath stripped it bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
1:8. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
1:9. Sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of the Lord: the priests, the Lord’s ministers, have mourned:
1:10. The country is destroyed, the ground hath mourned: for the corn is wasted, the wine is confounded, the oil hath languished.
1:11. The husbandmen are ashamed, the vinedressers have howled for the wheat, and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished.
1:12. The vineyard is confounded, and the fig tree hath languished: the pomegranate tree, and the palm tree, and the apple tree, and all the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withdrawn from the children of men.
1:13. Gird yourselves, and lament, O ye priests, howl, ye ministers of the altars: go in, lie in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: because sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of your God.
1:14. Sanctify ye a fast, call an assembly, gather together the ancients, all the inhabitants of the land into the house of your God: and cry ye to the Lord:
1:15. Ah, ah, ah, for the day: because the day of the Lord is at hand, and it shall come like destruction from the mighty.
1:16 Is not your food cut off before your eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
1:17. The beasts have rotted in their dung, the barns are destroyed, the storehouses are broken down: because the corn is confounded.
1:18. Why did the beasts groan, why did the herds of cattle low? because there is no pasture for them: yea, and the flocks of sheep are perished.
1:19. To thee, O Lord, will I cry: because fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness: and the flame hath burnt all the trees of the country.
1:20. Yea, and the beasts of the field have looked up to thee, as a garden bed that thirsteth after rain, for the springs of waters are dried up, and fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness.
Joel Chapter 2
The prophet foretells the terrible day of the Lord; exhorts sinners to a sincere conversion; and comforts God’s people with promises of future blessings under Christ.
2:1. Blow ye the trumpet in Sion, sound an alarm in my holy mountain, let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: because the day of the Lord cometh, because it is nigh at hand.
2:2. A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and whirlwinds: a numerous and strong people as the morning spread upon the mountains: the like to it hath not been from the beginning, nor shall be after it, even to the years of generation and generation.
2:3. Before the face thereof a devouring fire, and behind it a burning flame: the land is like a garden of pleasure before it, and behind it a desolate wilderness, neither is there any one that can escape it.
2:4. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and they shall run like horsemen.
2:5. They shall leap like the noise of chariots upon the tops of mountains, like the noise of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, as a strong people prepared to battle.
2:6. At their presence the people shall be in grievous pains: all faces shall be made like a kettle.
2:7. They shall run like valiant men: like men of war they shall scale the wall: the men shall march every one on his way, and they shall not turn aside from their ranks.
2:8. No one shall press upon his brother: they shall walk every one in his path: yea, and they shall fall through the windows, and shall take no harm.
2:9. They shall enter into the city: they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up the houses, they shall come in at the windows, as a thief.
2:10. At their presence the earth hath trembled, the heavens are moved: the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining.
2:11. And the Lord hath uttered his voice before the face of his army: for his armies are exceedingly great, for they are strong, and execute his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible: and who can stand it?
2:12. Now, therefore, saith the Lord. Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and mourning.
2:13. And rend your hearts, and not your garments and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.
2:14. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God?
2:15. Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly,
2:16. Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bridal chamber.
2:17. Between the porch and the altar the priests, the Lord’s ministers, shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathens should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God?
2:18. The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people.
2:19 And the Lord answered, and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.
2:20. And I will remove far off from you the northern enemy: and I will drive him into a land unpassable, and desert, with his face towards the east sea, and his hinder part towards the utmost sea: and his stench shall ascend, and his rottenness shall go up, because he hath done proudly.
2:21. Fear not, O land, be glad, and rejoice: for the Lord hath done great things.
2:22. Fear not, ye beasts of the fields: for the beautiful places of the wilderness are sprung, for the tree hath brought forth its fruit, the fig tree, and the vine have yielded their strength.
2:23. And you, O children of Sion, rejoice, and be joyful in the Lord your God: because he hath given you a teacher of justice, and he will make the early and the latter rain to come down to you as in the beginning.
2:24. And the floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow with wine, and oil.
2:25. And I will restore to you the years which the locust, and the bruchus, and the mildew, and the palmerworm hath eaten; my great host which I sent upon you.
2:26. And you shall eat in plenty, and shall be filled and you shall praise the name of the Lord your God; who hath done wonders with you, and my people shall not be confounded for ever.
2:27. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: and I am the Lord your God, and there is none besides: and my people shall not be confounded forever.
2:28. And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
2:29. Moreover, upon my servants and handmaids in those days I will pour forth my spirit.
2:30. And I will shew wonders in heaven; and in earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke.
2:31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood: before the great and dreadful day of the Lord doth come.
2:32. And it shall come to pass, that every one that shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved: for in Mount Sion, and in Jerusalem shall be salvation, as the Lord hath said, and in the residue whom the Lord shall call.
Joel Chapter 3
The Lord shall judge all nations in the valley of Josaphat. The evils that shall fall upon the enemies of God’s people; his blessing upon the Church of the saints.
3:1. For behold in those days, and in that time when I shall bring back the captivity of Juda, and Jerusalem:
3:2. I will gather together all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat: and I will plead with them there for my people, and for my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and have parted my land.
3:3. And they have cast lots upon my people: and the boy they have put in the stews, and the girl they have sold for wine, that they might drink.
3:4. But what have you to do with me, O Tyre, and Sidon, and all the coast of the Philistines? will you revenge yourselves on me? and if you revenge yourselves on me, I will very soon return you a recompense upon your own head.
3:5. For you have taken away my silver, and my gold: and my desirable, and most beautiful things you have carried into your temples.
3:6. And the children of Juda, and the children of Jerusalem, you have sold to the children of the Greeks, that you might remove them far off from their own country.
3:7. Behold, I will raise them up out of the place wherein you have sold them: and I will return your recompense upon your own heads.
3:8. And I will sell your sons, and your daughters, by the hands of the children of Juda, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far off, for the Lord hath spoken it.
3:9. Proclaim ye this among the nations: Prepare war, raise up the strong: let them come, let all the men of war come up.
3:10. Cut your ploughshares into swords, and your spades into spears. Let the weak say: I am strong.
3:11. Break forth, and come, all ye nations from round about, and gather yourselves together: there will the Lord cause all thy strong ones to fall down.
3:12. Let them arise, and let the nations come up into the valley of Josaphat: for there I will sit to judge all nations round about.
3:13. Put ye in the sickles, for the harvest is ripe: come and go down, for the press is full, the fats run over: for their wickedness is multiplied.
3:14. Nations, nations in the valley of destruction: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of destruction.
3:15. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining.
3:16. And the Lord shall roar out of Sion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem: and the heavens and the earth shall be moved, and the Lord shall be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
3:17. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Sion, my holy mountain: and Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through it no more.
3:18. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweetness, and the hills shall flow with milk: and waters shall flow through all the rivers of Juda: and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the torrent of thorns.
3:19. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a wilderness destroyed: because they have done unjustly against the children of Juda, and have shed innocent blood in their land.
3:20. And Judea shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to generation and generation.
3:21. And I will cleanse their blood, which I had not cleansed: and the Lord will dwell in Sion.