Yoel 2

1 Blow ye the shofar in Tziyon, and sound an alarm on My Har Kodesh; let all the yoshvei ha’aretz tremble; for the Yom Hashem cometh, for it is near at hand;
2 A day of choshech and of gloominess, a day of anan (cloud) and of thick darkness, as the shachar (dawn) spread upon the mountains; an am rav (great people, army) and strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of dor v’dor.
3 An eish devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth; ha’aretz is as the Gan Eden before them, and behind them a desolate midbar; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of susim; and as horsemen, so shall they run.
5 Like the noise of merkavot (chariots) on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of eish that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people drawn up in milchamah (battle).
6 Before their face, the amim (nations) shall be in anguish; every face turns pale.
7 They shall run like gibborim; they shall climb the chomah (wall) like anshei milchamah; and they shall march every one in formation, and they shall not swerve from their course;
8 Neither shall one push another; they shall walk every one in his own column; and when they burst through defenses, they shall not break ranks.
9 They shall run to and fro in the ir (city); they shall run upon the chomah, they shall climb up into the batim (houses); they shall enter in at the windows like the ganav.
10 The eretz shall quake before them; the Shomayim shall tremble; the shemesh and the yarei’ach shall be dark, and the kokhavim shall withdraw their shining;
11 And Hashem shall utter His voice before His army; His machaneh (camp) is very great; for the executor of His devar (word, command) is strong; for the Yom Hashem is gadol and very terrible; and who can endure it?
12 Therefore also now, saith Hashem, turn ye back to Me with all your lev, and with tzom, and with weeping, and with mourning;
13 And rend your lev, and not your garments, and turn unto Hashem Eloheichem; for He is channun (gracious) and rachum (merciful), slow to anger, and of rav chesed, and He relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knoweth but that He will return and have pity, and leave behind Him a brocha; even a minchah and a nesekh unto Hashem Eloheichem?
15 Blow the shofar in Tziyon, sanctify a tzom, call an atzarah (solemn assembly);
16 Gather the people, set apart as kodesh the kahal (congregation), assemble the zekenim, gather the olalim, even those nursing at the breast; let the choson go forth of his cheder, and the kallah out of her chuppah (canopy).
17 Let the kohanim, the mesharetim of Hashem, weep between the Ulam and the Mizbe’ach, and let them say, Spare Thy people, Hashem, and make not Thine nachalah (inheritance) an object of scorn, a byword among the Goyim. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their G-d?
18 Then will Hashem be jealous for His land, and take pity on His people.
19 Yea, Hashem will answer and say unto His people, Hineni, I am sending you dagan, and tirosh, and yitzhar, and ye shall be satisfied therewith; and I will no more make you an object of scorn among the Goyim;
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern [army, army of locusts], and will drive him into an eretz barren and desolate, with his vanguard toward the eastern sea [Dead Sea], and his rearguard toward the western sea [Mediterranean Sea], and his stench and foul smell will go up. Surely it hath done great things.
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for Hashem hath done great things.
22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field; for the pastures of the midbar do spring up, for the etz beareth her fruit, the te’enah and the gefen do yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, ye bnei Tziyon, and rejoice in Hashem Eloheichem; for He hath given you the former rain according to (His) tzedakah, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the yoreh (former rain), and the malkosh (latter rain) as before.
24 And the threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with yayin and yitzhar.
25 And I will restore to you the shanim (years) that the arbeh (great locust) hath eaten, the crawling locust, and the other locust, and the locust swarm, My great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the Shem of Hashem Eloheichem, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be ashamed.
27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Yisroel, and that I am Hashem Eloheichem, and there is no other; and My people shall never be put to shame.
283 (3:1) And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Ruach [Hakodesh] upon all basar; and your banim and your banot shall prophesy, your zekenim shall dream chalomot, your bochurim shall see chezyonot (visions):
293 (3:2) And also upon the avadim and upon the shefachot in those days will I pour out My Ruach [Hakodesh, see Ac 2:1-42].
303 (3:3) And I will show mofetim in the heavens and in the earth, dahm, and eish, and pillars of smoke.
313 (3:4) The shemesh shall be turned into choshech, and the yarei’ach into dahm, before the great and terrible Yom Hashem come.
323 (3:5) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Shem of Adonoi shall be saved; for in Mt Tziyon and in Yerushalayim shall be deliverance, as Hashem hath said, and in the seridim (remnant, survivors) whom Hashem shall call [Jer 23:5-6; Zech 6:11-12; Ezra 3:8].

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Yoel 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.

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.

Yoel 2 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.