Joel 2

A Plea to Return to the Lord

14  nReturn, O Israel, to the Lord your God,

for oyou have stumbled because of your iniquity.

Take with you words

and return to the Lord;

say to him,

Take away all iniquity;

accept pwhat is good,

and we will pay with bulls

qthe vows1 of our lips.

rAssyria shall not save us;

swe will not ride on horses;

and twe will say no more, Our God,

to the work of our hands.

uIn you the orphan finds mercy.

I vwill heal their apostasy;

wI will love them freely,

for my anger has turned from them.

xI will be like the dew to Israel;

yhe shall blossom like the lily;

he shall take root like the trees zof Lebanon;

his shoots shall spread out;

his beauty shall be alike the olive,

and his fragrance like Lebanon.

They shall return and bdwell beneath my2 shadow;

they shall flourish like the grain;

they shall blossom like the vine;

their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

O cEphraim, what have I to do with idols?

It is I who answer and look after you.3

I am like an evergreen cypress;

dfrom me comes your fruit.

eWhoever is wise, let him understand these things;

whoever is discerning, let him know them;

for the ways of the Lord are right,

and fthe upright walk in them,

fbut transgressors stumble in them.

Joel Illustration

Joel

The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:

An Invasion of Locusts

aHear this, byou elders;

give ear, ball inhabitants of the land!

cHas such a thing happened in your days,

or in the days of your fathers?

dTell your children of it,

and let your children tell their children,

and their children to another generation.

What ethe cutting locust left,

fthe swarming locust has eaten.

What the swarming locust left,

gthe hopping locust has eaten,

and what the hopping locust left,

hthe destroying locust has eaten.

Awake, you drunkards, and weep,

and iwail, all you drinkers of wine,

because of jthe sweet wine,

for it is cut off from your mouth.

For ka nation has come up against my land,

kpowerful and beyond number;

lits teeth are lions' teeth,

and it has the fangs of a lioness.

It has laid waste my vine

and splintered my mfig tree;

it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down;

their branches are made white.

Lament like a virgin1 nwearing sackcloth

for the bridegroom of her youth.

oThe grain offering and the drink offering are cut off

from the house of the Lord.

pThe priests mourn,

pthe ministers of the Lord.

10  The fields are destroyed,

qthe ground mourns,

because rthe grain is destroyed,

rthe wine dries up,

the oil languishes.

11  sBe ashamed,2 O tillers of the soil;

wail, O vinedressers,

for the wheat and the barley,

tbecause the harvest of the field has perished.

12  The vine dries up;

uthe fig tree languishes.

Pomegranate, palm, and apple,

all the trees of the field are dried up,

and vgladness dries up

from the children of man.

A Call to Repentance

13  wPut on sackcloth and lament, pO priests;

xwail, O ministers of the altar.

Go in, wpass the night in sackcloth,

pO ministers of my God!

yBecause grain offering and drink offering

are withheld from the house of your God.

14  zConsecrate a fast;

zcall a solemn assembly.

Gather athe elders

and aall the inhabitants of the land

to the house of the Lord your God,

and cry out to the Lord.

15  Alas for the day!

bFor the day of the Lord is near,

and as destruction from the Almighty3 it comes.

16  Is not the food cut off

before our eyes,

cjoy and gladness

from the house of our God?

17  dThe seed shrivels under the clods;4

the storehouses are desolate;

the granaries are torn down

because ethe grain has dried up.

18  How fthe beasts groan!

The herds of cattle are perplexed

because there is no pasture for them;

even the flocks of sheep suffer.5

19  To you, gO Lord, I call.

hFor fire has devoured

the pastures of the wilderness,

hand flame has burned

all the trees of the field.

20  Even the beasts of the field ipant for you

because the water brooks are dried up,

hand fire has devoured

the pastures of the wilderness.

The Day of the Lord

jBlow a trumpet in kZion;

sound an alarm on kmy holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,

for lthe day of the Lord is coming; it is near,

ma day of darkness and gloom,

ma day of clouds and thick darkness!

Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains

na great and powerful people;

otheir like has never been before,

nor will be again after them

through the years of all generations.

pFire devours before them,

and behind them a flame burns.

The land is like qthe garden of Eden before them,

but rbehind them a desolate wilderness,

and nothing escapes them.

sTheir appearance is like the appearance of horses,

and like war horses they run.

tAs with the rumbling of chariots,

they leap on the tops of the mountains,

like the crackling of ua flame of fire

devouring the stubble,

nlike a powerful army

drawn up for battle.

Before them peoples are in anguish;

vall faces grow pale.

Like warriors they charge;

like soldiers they scale the wall.

They march each on his way;

they do not swerve from their paths.

They do not jostle one another;

weach marches in his path;

they burst through the weapons

and are not halted.

xThey leap upon the city,

they run upon the walls,

ythey climb up into the houses,

ythey enter through the windows zlike a thief.

10  aThe earth quakes before them;

the heavens tremble.

bThe sun and the moon are darkened,

and the stars withdraw their shining.

11  cThe Lord utters his voice

before dhis army,

for his camp is exceedingly great;

ehe who executes his word is powerful.

fFor the day of the Lord is ggreat and very awesome;

hwho can endure it?

Return to the Lord

12  Yet even now, declares the Lord,

ireturn to me with all your heart,

jwith fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

13  and krend your hearts and not lyour garments.

Return to the Lord your God,

mfor he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

nand he relents over disaster.

14  oWho knows whether he will not turn and relent,

and pleave a blessing behind him,

qa grain offering and a drink offering

for the Lord your God?

15  rBlow the trumpet in Zion;

sconsecrate a fast;

call a solemn assembly;

16  gather the people.

tConsecrate the congregation;

assemble the elders;

ugather the children,

even nursing infants.

vLet the bridegroom leave his room,

and the bride her chamber.

17  wBetween the xvestibule and the yaltar

zlet the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep

and say, Spare your people, O Lord,

and make not your heritage a reproach,

a byword among the nations.1

aWhy should they say among the peoples,

Where is their God?

The Lord Had Pity

18  bThen the Lord became jealous for his land

cand had pity on his people.

19  The Lord answered and said to his people,

Behold, dI am sending to you

grain, wine, and oil,

dand you will be satisfied;

and I will no more make you

a reproach among the nations.

20  I will remove the northerner far from you,

and drive him into a parched and desolate land,

his vanguard2 into ethe eastern sea,

and his rear guard3 into fthe western sea;

gthe stench and foul smell of him will rise,

for he has done great things.

21  Fear not, O land;

be glad and rejoice,

for hthe Lord has done great things!

22  Fear not, iyou beasts of the field,

for jthe pastures of the wilderness are green;

kthe tree bears its fruit;

the fig tree and kvine give their full yield.

23  lBe glad, O children of Zion,

and lrejoice in the Lord your God,

for he has given mthe early rain for your vindication;

he has poured down for you abundant rain,

mthe early and nthe latter rain, as before.

24  The threshing floors shall be full of grain;

the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25  I will restore4 to you the years

that othe swarming locust has eaten,

othe hopper, othe destroyer, and othe cutter,

pmy great army, which I sent among you.

26  qYou shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,

and praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has dealt wondrously with you.

And my people rshall never again be put to shame.

27  sYou shall know that I am tin the midst of Israel,

and that uI am the Lord your God vand there is none else.

And my people rshall never again be put to shame.

The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit

28  5 wAnd it shall come to pass afterward,

that xI will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

yyour sons and zyour daughters shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

and your young men shall see visions.

29  aEven on the male and female servants

in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

30 And I will show bwonders in the heavens and bon the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 cThe sun shall be turned to darkness, dand the moon to blood, ebefore the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 32 And it shall come to pass that feveryone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. gFor in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among hthe survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

The Lord Judges the Nations

1For behold, iin those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, jI will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And kI will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and lhave cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

What are you to me, mO Tyre and Sidon, and all nthe regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, oI will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. For pyou have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples.2 You have sold qthe people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and oI will return your payment on your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the rSabeans, to a nation far away, for the Lord has spoken.

Proclaim this among the nations:

sConsecrate for war;3

stir up the mighty men.

Let all the men of war draw near;

let them come up.

10  tBeat your plowshares into swords,

and tyour pruning hooks into spears;

let the weak say, I am a warrior.

11  uHasten and come,

all you surrounding nations,

and gather yourselves there.

vBring down your warriors, O Lord.

12  Let the nations stir themselves up

and come up to wthe Valley of Jehoshaphat;

xfor there I will sit to judge

all the surrounding nations.

13  yPut in the sickle,

zfor the harvest is ripe.

aGo in, tread,

afor the winepress is full.

The vats overflow,

for their evil is great.

14  Multitudes, multitudes,

in the valley of decision!

For bthe day of the Lord is near

in the valley of decision.

15  cThe sun and the moon are darkened,

and the stars withdraw their shining.

16  dThe Lord roars from Zion,

and dutters his voice from Jerusalem,

eand the heavens and the earth quake.

But the Lord is fa refuge to his people,

a stronghold to the people of Israel.

The Glorious Future of Judah

17  gSo you shall know that I am the Lord your God,

hwho dwells in Zion, imy holy mountain.

And Jerusalem shall be holy,

and jstrangers shall never again pass through it.

18  And in that day

kthe mountains shall drip sweet wine,

and the hills shall flow with milk,

and lall the streambeds of Judah

shall flow with water;

mand a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord

and water the Valley of nShittim.

19  oEgypt shall become a desolation

and pEdom a desolate wilderness,

qfor the violence done to the people of Judah,

because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

20  rBut Judah shall be inhabited forever,

and Jerusalem to all generations.

21  sI will avenge their blood,

blood I have not avenged,4

hfor the Lord dwells in Zion.

Amos Illustration

Amos

The words of Amos, who was among the ashepherds1 of bTekoa, which he saw concerning Israel cin the days of dUzziah king of Judah and in the days of eJeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years2 before fthe earthquake.

Judgment on Israel's Neighbors

And he said:

gThe Lord roars from Zion

and utters his voice from Jerusalem;

hthe pastures of the shepherds mourn,

and the itop of jCarmel withers.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of lDamascus,

and for four, lI will not revoke the punishment,3

because they have threshed mGilead

with threshing sledges of iron.

nSo I will send a fire upon the house of oHazael,

and it shall devour the strongholds of oBen-hadad.

I will pbreak the gate-bar of lDamascus,

and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of qAven,4

and him who holds the scepter from rBeth-eden;

and the people of sSyria shall go into exile to tKir,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of uGaza,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because vthey carried into exile a whole people

to deliver them up to Edom.

So I will send a fire upon the wall of uGaza,

and it shall devour her strongholds.

I will cut off the inhabitants from wAshdod,

and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;

I will turn my hand against Ekron,

and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,

says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of xTyre,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because they delivered up a whole people to Edom,

and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.

10  So I will send a fire upon the wall of xTyre,

and it shall devour her strongholds.

11 Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of yEdom,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

ybecause he pursued his brother with the sword

zand cast off all pity,

aand his anger tore perpetually,

aand he kept his wrath forever.

12  So I will send a fire upon bTeman,

and it shall devour the strongholds of cBozrah.

13 Thus says the Lord:

kFor three transgressions of the dAmmonites,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,

because ethey have ripped open pregnant women in fGilead,

that they might enlarge their border.

14  So I will kindle a fire in the wall of gRabbah,

hand it shall devour her strongholds,

with shouting on the day of battle,

hwith a tempest in the day of the whirlwind;

15  and itheir king shall go into exile,

he and his princes5 together,

says the Lord.