Joel 1

1 Palabra del SEÑOR que vino a Joel, hijo de Petuel.
2 Oíd esto, ancianos, y prestad oído, habitantes todos de la tierra. ¿Ha acontecido cosa semejante en vuestros días, o en los días de vuestros padres?
3 Contadlo a vuestros hijos, y vuestros hijos a sus hijos, y sus hijos a la siguiente generación.
4 Lo que dejó la oruga, lo comió la langosta; lo que dejó la langosta, lo comió el pulgón; y lo que dejó el pulgón, lo comió el saltón.
5 Despertad, borrachos, y llorad, y gemid todos los que bebéis vino, a causa del vino dulce que os es quitado de la boca.
6 Porque una nación ha subido contra mi tierra, poderosa e innumerable; sus dientes son dientes de león, y tiene colmillos de leona.
7 Ha hecho de mi vid una desolación, y astillas de mi higuera. Del todo las ha descortezado y derribado; sus sarmientos se han vuelto blancos.
8 Laméntate como virgen ceñida de cilicio por el esposo de su juventud.
9 Han sido cortadas la ofrenda de cereal y la libación de la casa del SEÑOR. Están de duelo los sacerdotes, los ministros del SEÑOR.
10 El campo está asolado, la tierra está de duelo, porque el grano está arruinado, el mosto se seca, y el aceite virgen se pierde.
11 Avergonzaos, labradores, gemid, viñadores, por el trigo y la cebada, porque la cosecha del campo se ha perdido.
12 La vid se seca, y se marchita la higuera; también el granado, la palmera y el manzano, todos los árboles del campo se secan. Ciertamente se seca la alegría de los hijos de los hombres.
13 Ceñíos de cilicio, y lamentaos, sacerdotes; gemid, ministros del altar. Venid, pasad la noche ceñidos de cilicio, ministros de mi Dios, porque sin ofrenda de cereal y sin libación ha quedado la casa de vuestro Dios.
14 Promulgad ayuno, convocad asamblea; congregad a los ancianos y a todos los habitantes de la tierra en la casa del SEÑOR vuestro Dios, y clamad al SEÑOR.
15 ¡Ay de ese día! Porque está cerca el día del SEÑOR, y vendrá como destrucción del Todopoderoso [a] .
16 ¿No ha sido suprimido el alimento de delante de nuestros ojos, y la alegría y el regocijo de la casa de nuestro Dios?
17 Las semillas se han secado bajo los terrones; los almacenes han sido asolados, los graneros derribados porque se secó el grano.
18 ¡Cómo muge el ganado! Andan vagando los hatos de vacas porque no hay pasto para ellas; hasta los rebaños de ovejas sufren.
19 A ti clamo, oh SEÑOR, porque el fuego ha devorado los pastos del desierto, y la llama ha consumido todos los árboles del campo.
20 Aun las bestias del campo braman por ti, porque se han secado los arroyos de agua, y el fuego ha devorado los pastos del desierto.

Joel 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

From the desolations about to come upon the land of Judah, by the ravages of locusts and other insects, the prophet Joel exhorts the Jews to repentance, fasting, and prayer. He notices the blessings of the gospel, with the final glorious state of the church.

A plague of locusts. (1-7) All sorts of people are called to lament it. (8-13) They are to look to God. (14-20)

Verses 1-7 The most aged could not remember such calamities as were about to take place. Armies of insects were coming upon the land to eat the fruits of it. It is expressed so as to apply also to the destruction of the country by a foreign enemy, and seems to refer to the devastations of the Chaldeans. God is Lord of hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases, can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by the weakest and most contemptible creatures. It is just with God to take away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess; and the more men place their happiness in the gratifications of sense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them. The more earthly delights we make needful to satisfy us, the more we expose ourselves to trouble.

Verses 8-13 All who labour only for the meat that perishes, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their labour. Those that place their happiness in the delights of sense, when deprived of them, or disturbed in the enjoyment, lose their joy; whereas spiritual joy then flourishes more than ever. See what perishing, uncertain things our creature-comforts are. See how we need to live in continual dependence upon God and his providence. See what ruinous work sin makes. As far as poverty occasions the decay of piety, and starves the cause of religion among a people, it is a very sore judgment. But how blessed are the awakening judgments of God, in rousing his people and calling home the heart to Christ, and his salvation!

Verses 14-20 The sorrow of the people is turned into repentance and humiliation before God. With all the marks of sorrow and shame, sin must be confessed and bewailed. A day is to be appointed for this purpose; a day in which people must be kept from their common employments, that they may more closely attend God's services; and there is to be abstaining from meat and drink. Every one had added to the national guilt, all shared in the national calamity, therefore every one must join in repentance. When joy and gladness are cut off from God's house, when serious godliness decays, and love waxes cold, then it is time to cry unto the Lord. The prophet describes how grievous the calamity. See even the inferior creatures suffering for our transgression. And what better are they than beasts, who never cry to God but for corn and wine, and complain of the want of the delights of sense? Yet their crying to God in those cases, shames the stupidity of those who cry not to God in any case. Whatever may become of the nations and churches that persist in ungodliness, believers will find the comfort of acceptance with God, when the wicked shall be burned up with his indignation.

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


In some Hebrew Bibles this prophecy is called "Sepher Joel", the Book of Joel; in the Vulgate Latin version, the Prophecy of Joel; and in the Syriac version, the Prophecy of the Prophet Joel; and the Arabic version, the Prophet Joel; and so the Apostle Peter quotes him, Ac 2:16. His name, according to Hillerus {a}, signifies "the Lord is God"; but others derive it from lay, which in "Hiphil" is lyawh, and signifies "he willed, acquiesced, or is well pleased, so Abarbinei; and hence Schmidt thinks it answers to Desiderius or Erasmus. According to Isidorus {b}, he was born at Bethoron, in the tribe of Reuben, and died and was buried there; and so says Pseudo-Epiphanius {c}. In what age he lived is not easy to say. Aben Ezra expressly affirms there is no way to know it; and so R. David Ganz {d} says, his time we know not; and likewise Abarbinel. Some think he prophesied about the same time Hoses did, after whom he is next placed; and so Mr. Whiston {e} and, Mr. Bedford {f} make him to prophesy much about the same time with Isaiah and Hoses, about eight hundred years before Christ; but, in the Septuagint version, this book is in the fourth order, and not Hoses, but Amos and Micah, are placed before him; and so the author of Juchasin {g} puts the prophets in this order, first Hoses, then Amos, next Isaiah, then Micah, and after him Joel. Some of the Jewish writers, as Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abendana relate, make Joel contemporary with Elisha, and say he prophesied in the, lays of Jehoram the son of Ahab, when the seven years' famine called for came upon the land, 2Ki 8:1. Both in Seder Olam Rabba and Zuta {h} he is placed in the reign of Manasseh; and so in Hilchot Gedolot, as Jarchi observes. And it seems indeed as if he prophesied after the ten tribes were carried captive, which was in the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, since no mention is made of Israel but with respect to future times, only of Judah and Jerusalem, But, be it when it will that he prophesied, there is no doubt to be made of the authenticity of this book, which is confirmed by the quotations of two apostles out of two: Peter and Paul, Ac 2:16, Ro 10:13.

{a} Onomast. Sacr. p. 856. {b} De Vita & Mart. Sanct. c. 4. {c} De Vita Proph. c. 14. {d} Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 14. 2. {e} Chronological Tables, cent. 7. and 8. {f} Scripture Chronology, B. 6. c. 2. p. 646. {g} Fol. 12. 1, 2. {h} P. 55, 105. Ed. Meyer.


This chapter describes a dreadful calamity upon the people of the Jews, by locusts and, caterpillars, and drought. After the title of the book, Joe 1:1; old men are called upon to observe this sore judgment to their children, that it might be transmitted to the latest posterity, as that the like to which had not been seen and heard of, Joe 1:2-4; and drunkards to awake and weep, because the vines were destroyed, and no wine could be made for them, Joe 1:5-7; and not only husbandmen and vinedressers, but the priests of the Lord, are called to mourn, because such destruction, was made in the fields and vineyards, that there were no meat nor drink offering brought into the house of the Lord, Joe 1:8-13; wherefore a general and solemn fast is required throughout the land, because of the distress of man and beast, Joe 1:14-18; and the chapter is concluded with the resolution of the prophet to cry unto the Lord, on account of this calamity, Joe 1:19,20.

Joel 1 Commentaries