Joel 2

Listen to Joel 2

The Day of the Lord

1 1Blow a trumpet in 2Zion; sound an alarm on 3my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for 4the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,
2 5a day of darkness and gloom, 6a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains 7a great and powerful people; 8their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.
3 9Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like 10the garden of Eden before them, but 11behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them.
4 12Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run.
5 13As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of 14a flame of fire devouring the stubble, 15like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
6 Before them peoples are in anguish; 16all faces grow pale.
7 Like warriors they charge; like soldiers they scale the wall. They march each on his way; they do not swerve from their paths.
8 They do not jostle one another; 17each marches in his path; they burst through the weapons and are not halted.
9 18They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls, 19they climb up into the houses, 20they enter through the windows 21like a thief.
10 22The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. 23The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
11 24The LORD utters his voice before 25his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; 26he who executes his word is powerful. 27For the day of the LORD is 28great and very awesome; 29who can endure it?

Return to the Lord

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, 30"return to me with all your heart, 31with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and 32rend your hearts and not 33your garments." Return to the LORD your God, 34for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; 35and he relents over disaster.
14 36Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and 37leave a blessing behind him, 38a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?
15 39Blow the trumpet in Zion; 40consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly;
16 gather the people. 41Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; 42gather the children, even nursing infants. 43Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.
17 44Between the 45vestibule and the 46altar 47let 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.[a] 48Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"

The Lord Had Pity

18 49Then the LORD became jealous for his land 50and had pity on his people.
19 The LORD answered and said to his people, "Behold, 51I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, 52and 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 vanguard[b] into 53the eastern sea, and his rear guard[c] into 54the western sea; 55the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things.
21 "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for 56the LORD has done great things!
22 Fear not, 57you beasts of the field, for 58the pastures of the wilderness are green; 59the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and 60vine give their full yield.
23 61"Be glad, O children of Zion, and 62rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given 63the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, 64the early and 65the latter rain, as before.
24 "The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore to you the years that 66the swarming locust has eaten, 67the hopper, 68the destroyer, and 69the cutter, 70my great army, which I sent among you.
26 71"You 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 72shall never again be put to shame.
27 73You shall know that I am 74in the midst of Israel, and that 75I am the LORD your God 76and there is none else. And my people 77shall never again be put to shame.

The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit

28 [d]78"And it shall come to pass afterward, that 79I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; 80your sons and 81your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
29 82Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
30 "And I will show 83wonders in the heavens and 84on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.
31 85The sun shall be turned to darkness, 86and the moon to blood, 87before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
32 And it shall come to pass that 88everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. 89For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among 90the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

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Joel 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

God's judgments. (1-14) Exhortations to fasting and prayer; blessings promised. (15-27) A promise of the Holy Spirit, and of future mercies. (28-32)

Verses 1-14 The priests were to alarm the people with the near approach of the Divine judgments. It is the work of ministers to warn of the fatal consequences of sin, and to reveal the wrath from heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. The striking description which follows, shows what would attend the devastations of locusts, but may also describe the effects from the ravaging of the land by the Chaldeans. If the alarm of temporal judgments is given to offending nations, how much more should sinners be warned to seek deliverance from the wrath to come! Our business therefore on earth must especially be, to secure an interest in our Lord Jesus Christ; and we should seek to be weaned from objects which will soon be torn from all who now make idols of them. There must be outward expressions of sorrow and shame, fasting, weeping, and mourning; tears for trouble must be turned into tears for the sin that caused it. But rending the garments would be vain, except their hearts were rent by abasement and self-abhorrence; by sorrow for their sins, and separation from them. There is no question but that if we truly repent of our sins, God will forgive them; but whether he will remove affliction is not promised, yet the probability of it should encourage us to repent.

Verses 15-27 The priests and rulers are to appoint a solemn fast. The sinner's supplication is, Spare us, good Lord. God is ready to succour his people; and he waits to be gracious. They prayed that God would spare them, and he answered them. His promises are real answers to the prayers of faith; with him saying and doing are not two things. Some understand these promises figuratively, as pointing to gospel grace, and as fulfilled in the abundant comforts treasured up for believers in the covenant of grace.

Verses 28-32 The promise began to be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, and it was continued in the converting grace and miraculous gifts conferred on both Jews and Gentiles. The judgments of God upon a sinful world, only go before the judgment of the world in the last day. Calling on God supposes knowledge of him, faith in him, desire toward him, dependence on him, and, as evidence of the sincerity of all this, conscientious obedience to him. Those only shall be delivered in the great day, who are now effectually called from sin to God, from self to Christ, from things below to things above.

Cross References 90

  • 1. ver. 15; Isaiah 58:1; Hosea 5:8; Amos 3:6
  • 2. See Joel 3:17
  • 3. See Joel 3:17
  • 4. See Joel 1:15
  • 5. Amos 5:18, 20; Zephaniah 1:15
  • 6. Amos 5:18, 20; Zephaniah 1:15
  • 7. Joel 1:6; [ver. 11, 25]
  • 8. [Joel 1:2]
  • 9. Joel 1:19, 20
  • 10. Genesis 2:8, 9; See Isaiah 51:3
  • 11. Zechariah 7:14
  • 12. Revelation 9:7
  • 13. Revelation 9:9; [Nahum 3:2]
  • 14. Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 47:14; Obadiah 18; Nahum 1:10
  • 15. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 16. Nahum 2:10
  • 17. Proverbs 30:27
  • 18. Isaiah 33:4
  • 19. [Jeremiah 9:21]
  • 20. [Jeremiah 9:21]
  • 21. [John 10:1]
  • 22. Joel 3:16; [Psalms 18:7; Amos 8:8]
  • 23. Joel 3:15; Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Matthew 24:29; [Revelation 9:2]
  • 24. Joel 3:16; [1 Thessalonians 4:16]
  • 25. ver. 25
  • 26. Revelation 18:8
  • 27. See Joel 1:15
  • 28. ver. 31
  • 29. Malachi 3:2; [Numbers 24:23]
  • 30. Deuteronomy 4:30; 1 Samuel 7:3; Jeremiah 4:1; Hosea 12:6
  • 31. [1 Samuel 7:6]
  • 32. [Psalms 34:18]
  • 33. See Genesis 37:29
  • 34. Exodus 34:6; Psalms 86:5, 15; Jonah 4:2
  • 35. [Numbers 23:19; Ezekiel 24:14]
  • 36. Jonah 3:9
  • 37. Haggai 2:19; Malachi 3:10
  • 38. Joel 1:9, 13
  • 39. See ver. 1
  • 40. See Joel 1:14
  • 41. See Joshua 3:5
  • 42. [2 Chronicles 20:13]
  • 43. [Deuteronomy 24:5; Ecclesiastes 3:5; Zechariah 12:12-14; 1 Corinthians 7:5]
  • 44. Ezekiel 8:16
  • 45. 1 Kings 6:3; 2 Chronicles 3:4
  • 46. 2 Chronicles 4:1
  • 47. See Joel 1:9
  • 48. Psalms 42:3; Psalms 79:10; Psalms 115:2
  • 49. Zechariah 1:14; Zechariah 8:2
  • 50. [Psalms 103:13]
  • 51. [Joel 1:10; Psalms 4:7]; See Malachi 3:10-12
  • 52. [Joel 1:10; Psalms 4:7]; See Malachi 3:10-12
  • 53. Ezekiel 47:18; Zechariah 14:8
  • 54. Zechariah 14:8
  • 55. Isaiah 34:3; [Amos 4:10]
  • 56. Psalms 126:2, 3
  • 57. See Joel 1:18
  • 58. [Joel 1:19]
  • 59. [Zechariah 8:12]
  • 60. [Zechariah 8:12]
  • 61. Psalms 100:1, 2; Habakkuk 3:18; Zechariah 10:7
  • 62. Psalms 100:1, 2; Habakkuk 3:18; Zechariah 10:7
  • 63. Deuteronomy 11:14; Jeremiah 5:24
  • 64. Deuteronomy 11:14; Jeremiah 5:24
  • 65. Hosea 6:3
  • 66. Joel 1:4
  • 67. Joel 1:4
  • 68. Joel 1:4
  • 69. Joel 1:4
  • 70. ver. 11
  • 71. Leviticus 25:19
  • 72. [Isaiah 49:23]
  • 73. Joel 3:17
  • 74. Hosea 11:9; See Ezekiel 37:26
  • 75. See Exodus 20:2
  • 76. [Isaiah 44:8]
  • 77. [See ver. 26 above]
  • 78. ver. 28-32, citedActs 2:17-21
  • 79. Isaiah 32:15; Ezekiel 39:29; Zechariah 12:10; John 7:39
  • 80. [Acts 2:39]
  • 81. [Acts 21:9]
  • 82. [1 Corinthians 12:13]
  • 83. [Matthew 24:30; Luke 21:11]
  • 84. [Matthew 24:30; Luke 21:11]
  • 85. See ver. 10
  • 86. Revelation 6:12
  • 87. Malachi 4:5
  • 88. Cited Romans 10:13
  • 89. Isaiah 46:13; Isaiah 59:20; Obadiah 17
  • 90. Jeremiah 31:7; Micah 4:7; Zechariah 8:12

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


In this chapter a further account is given of the judgment of the locusts and caterpillars, or of those who are designed by them, Joe 2:1-11; the people of the Jews are called to repentance, humiliation, and fasting, urged from the grace and goodness of God, his jealousy and pity for his people, and the answer of prayer that might he expected from him upon this, even to the removal of the calamity, Joe 2:12-20; a prophecy of good things, both temporal and spiritual, in the times of the Messiah, is delivered out as matter and occasion of great joy, Joe 2:21-27; and another concerning the effusion of the Spirit, which was fulfilled an the day of Pentecost, Joe 2:28-29; and the chapter is concluded with the judgments and desolations that should come upon the land of Judea after this, for their rejection of Christ, though the remnant according to the election of grace should be delivered and saved from the general destruction, Joe 2:30-32.

Joel 2 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.