Joel 2:1-11

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—
2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.
3 Fire devours in front of them, and behind them a flame burns. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, but after them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses, and like war-horses they charge.
5 As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
6 Before them peoples are in anguish, all faces grow pale.
7 Like warriors they charge, like soldiers they scale the wall. Each keeps to its own course, they do not swerve from their paths.
8 They do not jostle one another, each keeps to its own track; they burst through the weapons and are not halted.
9 They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls; they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief.
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 at the head of his army; how vast is his host! Numberless are those who obey his command. Truly the day of the Lord is great; terrible indeed—who can endure it?

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 mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—
2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.
3 Fire devours in front of them, and behind them a flame burns. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, but after them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses, and like war-horses they charge.
5 As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle.
6 Before them peoples are in anguish, all faces grow pale.
7 Like warriors they charge, like soldiers they scale the wall. Each keeps to its own course, they do not swerve from their paths.
8 They do not jostle one another, each keeps to its own track; they burst through the weapons and are not halted.
9 They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls; they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief.
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 at the head of his army; how vast is his host! Numberless are those who obey his command. Truly the day of the Lord is great; terrible indeed—who can endure it?
12 Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
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?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly;

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [b]. Gk Syr Vg: Heb [they do not take a pledge along]