Joel 2:12

Return to the Lord

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, 1"return to me with all your heart, 2with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

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Joel 2:12 Meaning and Commentary

Joel 2:12

Therefore also now, saith the Lord
Before this terrible and intolerable day, which is near at hand, comes; before these judgments and calamities threatened take place, though just at hand; serious repentance is never too late, now is the accepted time; see ( Luke 19:42-44 ) ( 2 Corinthians 6:2 ) ; turn ye [even] to me with all your heart;
against whom they had sinned, and who had prepared his army against them, and was at the head of it, just ready to give the orders, and play his artillery upon them; and yet suggests, that even now, that if they turned to the Lord by true repentance, not, feignedly and hypocritically, but cordially and sincerely, with true hearts, and with their whole hearts, he was ready to receive and forgive them. The Targum is,

``turn ye to my worship with all your heart:''
and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning;
external signs of inward grief and sorrow, testifying their hearty return to the Lord; which, though, without the heart, signify nothing, yet should be shown where hearty repentance is, for the honour and glory of God.

Joel 2:12 In-Context

10 The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it?
12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?

Cross References 2

  • 1. Deuteronomy 4:30; 1 Samuel 7:3; Jeremiah 4:1; Hosea 12:6
  • 2. [1 Samuel 7:6]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.