Joel – Chapter 2

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 2


Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming;


Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness! Like dawn spreading over the mountains, a people numerous and mighty! Their like has not been from of old, nor will it be after them, even to the years of distant generations.


Before them a fire devours, and after them a flame enkindles; Like the garden of Eden is the land before them, and after them a desert waste; from them there is no escape.


Their appearance is that of horses; like steeds they run.


As with the rumble of chariots they leap on the mountaintops; As with the crackling of a fiery flame devouring stubble; Like a mighty people arrayed for battle.


Before them peoples are in torment, every face blanches.


Like warriors they run, like soldiers they scale the wall; They advance, each in his own lane, without swerving from their paths.


No one crowds another, each advances in his own track; Though they fall into the ditches, they are not checked.


They assault the city, they run upon the wall, they climb into the houses; In at the windows they come like thieves.


Before them the earth trembles, the heavens shake; The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness.


The LORD raises his voice at the head of his army; For immense indeed is his camp, yes, mighty, and it does his bidding. For great is the day of the LORD, and exceedingly terrible; who can bear it?


Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;


Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.


Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God.


Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly;


Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber.


1 Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep, And say, «Spare, O LORD, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'»


Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.


The LORD answered and said to his people: See, I will send you grain, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them; No more will I make you a reproach among the nations.


2 No, the northerner I will remove far from you, and drive him out into a land arid and waste, With his van toward the eastern sea, and his rear toward the western sea; And his foulness shall go up, and his stench shall go up.


Fear not, O land! exult and rejoice! for the LORD has done great things.


Fear not, beasts of the field! for the pastures of the plain are green; The tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and the vine give their yield.


3 And do you, O children of Zion, exult and rejoice in the LORD, your God! He has given you the teacher of justice: he has made the rain come down for you, the early and the late rain as before.


The threshing floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.


And I will repay you for the years which the locust has eaten, The grasshopper, the devourer, and the cutter, my great army which I sent among you.


You shall eat and be filled, and shall praise the name of the LORD, your God, Because he has dealt wondrously with you; my people shall nevermore be put to shame.


And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel; I am the LORD, your God, and there is no other; my people shall nevermore be put to shame.


1 [17] The priests stood in the open space between the outdoor altar of holocausts and the temple building, facing the latter in order thereby to look toward God present in the holy of holies.

2 [20] The northerner: the locusts, that are compared to an invading army, which in Palestine came from the north; cf ⇒ Jeremiah 1:14-15; ⇒ 4:6; ⇒ Ezekiel 26:7; ⇒ 38:6, ⇒ 15.

3 [23] The teacher of justice: the rain sent by God to show his fidelity to his promises, and to teach his people to be faithful to his commandments; cf ⇒ Deut 11:14. There is also a play on words here between the Hebrew word moreh (teacher) and the Hebrew word yoreh (the early rain). The expression likewise had a messianic connotation; cf ⇒ Isaiah 30:20. The founder of the Essene sect of Qumran (second century B.C.) was known as «The Teacher of Justice.»