Joel 2:1-11

An Army of Locusts

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand—
2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.
3 Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste— nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry.
5 With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.
7 They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks.
9 They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows.
10 Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
11 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?

Joel 2:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
ESV
1 Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near,
NLT
1 Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem ! Raise the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the LORD is upon us.
MSG
1 Blow the ram's horn trumpet in Zion! Trumpet the alarm on my holy mountain! Shake the country up! God's Judgment's on its way - the Day's almost here!
CSB
1 Blow the horn in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the residents of the land tremble, for the Day of the Lord is coming; in fact, it is near-

Joel 2:1-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOEL 2

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 2:1-11 In-Context

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand—
2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.
3 Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste— nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry.
5 With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6 At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.
7 They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course.
8 They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks.
9 They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows.
10 Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
11 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?
12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.

Cross References 34

  • 1. S Numbers 10:2,7; Jeremiah 4:5
  • 2. ver 15
  • 3. S Exodus 15:17
  • 4. S Joel 1:15; Zephaniah 1:14-16
  • 5. S Ezekiel 12:23; S Ezekiel 30:3; Obadiah 1:15
  • 6. ver 10,31; S Job 9:7; S Isaiah 8:22; S Isaiah 13:10; Amos 5:18
  • 7. S Daniel 9:12; S Matthew 24:21
  • 8. S Ezekiel 34:12
  • 9. S Ezekiel 38:9
  • 10. Zephaniah 1:15; Revelation 9:2
  • 11. S Joel 1:6
  • 12. Joel 1:2
  • 13. S Psalms 97:3; S Isaiah 1:31
  • 14. S Genesis 2:8
  • 15. Exodus 10:12-15; Psalms 105:34-35; S Isaiah 14:17
  • 16. Revelation 9:7
  • 17. Revelation 9:9
  • 18. Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 30:30
  • 19. S Isaiah 13:8
  • 20. S Isaiah 29:22; Nahum 2:10
  • 21. S Job 16:14
  • 22. Proverbs 30:27
  • 23. Isaiah 5:27
  • 24. Exodus 10:6
  • 25. Jeremiah 9:21
  • 26. Psalms 18:7; Nahum 1:5
  • 27. S Ezekiel 38:19
  • 28. S ver 2; S Isaiah 5:30; S Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Revelation 9:2
  • 29. S Job 9:7; S Psalms 102:26; Isaiah 13:10; S Ezekiel 32:8
  • 30. S Isaiah 2:12; S Ezekiel 30:3; S Joel 1:15; Obadiah 1:15
  • 31. S Psalms 29:3
  • 32. S ver 2,25
  • 33. Zephaniah 1:14; Revelation 18:8
  • 34. S Ezekiel 22:14; Zephaniah 2:11; Revelation 6:17
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