Bible: Joel 2:12-3:21

An Appeal for Repentance

2:12Yet even now,” the Lord says,

return to me with all your heart

with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

Tear your hearts, 1 

not just your garments!

2:13 Return to the Lord your God,

for he is merciful and compassionate,

slow to anger and boundless in loyal love 2 often relenting from calamitous punishment. 3 

2:14 Who knows?

Perhaps he will be compassionate and grant a reprieve, 4 

and leave blessing in his wake 5 

a meal offering and a drink offering for you to offer to the Lord your God! 6 

2:15 Blow the trumpet 7  in Zion.

Announce a holy fast;

proclaim a sacred assembly!

2:16 Gather the people;

sanctify an assembly!

Gather the elders;

gather the children and the nursing infants.

Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom

and the bride from her private quarters. 8 

2:17 Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep

from the vestibule all the way back to the altar. 9 

Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people;

please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked,

to become a proverb 10  among the nations.

Why should it be said 11  among the peoples,

Where is their God?

The Lord’s Response

2:18 Then the Lord became 12  zealous for his land;

he had compassion on his people.

2:19 The Lord responded 13  to his people,

Look! I am about to restore your grain 14 

as well as fresh wine and olive oil.

You will be fully satisfied. 15 

I will never again make you an object of mockery among the nations.

2:20 I will remove the one from the north 16  far from you.

I will drive him out to a dry and desolate place.

Those in front will be driven eastward into the Dead Sea, 17 

and those in back westward into the Mediterranean Sea. 18 

His stench will rise up as a foul smell.” 19 

Indeed, the Lord 20  has accomplished great things.

2:21 Do not fear, my land!

Rejoice and be glad,

because the Lord has accomplished great things!

2:22 Do not fear, wild animals! 21 

For the pastures of the wilderness are again green with grass.

Indeed, the trees bear their fruit;

the fig tree and the vine yield to their fullest. 22 

2:23 Citizens of Zion, 23  rejoice!

Be glad because of what the Lord your God has done! 24 

For he has given to you the early rains 25  as vindication.

He has sent 26  to you the rains

both the early and the late rains 27  as formerly.

2:24 The threshing floors are full of grain;

the vats overflow with fresh wine and olive oil.

2:25 I will make up for the years 28 

that the ‘arbeh-locust 29  consumed your crops 30 

the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust –

my great army 31  that I sent against you.

2:26 You will have plenty to eat,

and your hunger will be fully satisfied; 32 

you will praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has acted wondrously in your behalf.

My people will never again be put to shame.

2:27 You will be convinced that I am in the midst of Israel.

I am the Lord your God; there is no other.

My people will never again be put to shame.

An Outpouring of the Spirit

2:28 33  After all of this 34 

I will pour out my Spirit 35  on all kinds of people. 36 

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; 37 

your young men will see prophetic visions.

2:29 Even on male and female servants

I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

2:30 I will produce portents both in the sky 38  and on the earth

blood, fire, and columns of smoke.

2:31 The sunlight will be turned to darkness

and the moon to the color of blood, 39 

before the day of the Lord comes

that great and terrible day!

2:32 It will so happen that

everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered. 40 

For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem 41  there will be those who survive, 42 

just as the Lord has promised;

the remnant 43  will be those whom the Lord will call. 44 

The Lord Plans to Judge the Nations

3:1 45  For look! In those 46  days and at that time

I will return the exiles 47  to Judah and Jerusalem. 48 

3:2 Then I will gather all the nations,

and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. 49 

I will enter into judgment 50  against them there

concerning my people Israel who are my inheritance, 51 

whom they scattered among the nations.

They partitioned my land,

3:3 and they cast lots for my people.

They traded 52  a boy for a prostitute;

they sold a little girl for wine so they could drink. 53 

3:4 Why are you doing these things to me, Tyre and Sidon? 54 

Are you trying to get even with me, land of Philistia? 55 

I will very quickly repay you for what you have done! 56 

3:5 For you took my silver and my gold

and brought my precious valuables to your own palaces. 57 

3:6 You sold Judeans and Jerusalemites to the Greeks,

removing them far from their own country. 58 

3:7 Look! I am rousing them from that place to which you sold them.

I will repay you for what you have done! 59 

3:8 I will sell your sons and daughters to 60  the people of Judah. 61 

They will sell them to the Sabeans, 62  a nation far away.

Indeed, the Lord has spoken!

Judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat

3:9 Proclaim this among the nations:

“Prepare for a holy war!

Call out the warriors!

Let all these fighting men approach and attack! 63 

3:10 Beat your plowshares 64  into swords,

and your pruning hooks 65  into spears! 66 

Let the weak say, ‘I too am a warrior!’ 67 

3:11 Lend your aid 68  and come,

all you surrounding nations,

and gather yourselves 69  to that place.”

Bring down, O Lord, your warriors! 70 

3:12 Let the nations be roused and let them go up

to the valley of Jehoshaphat,

for there I will sit in judgment on all the surrounding nations.

3:13 Rush forth with 71  the sickle, for the harvest is ripe!

Come, stomp the grapes, 72  for the winepress is full!

The vats overflow.

Indeed, their evil is great! 73 

3:14 Crowds, great crowds are in the valley of decision,

for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision! 74 

3:15 The sun and moon are darkened;

the stars withhold 75  their brightness.

3:16 The Lord roars from Zion;

from Jerusalem 76  his voice bellows out. 77 

The heavens 78  and the earth shake.

But the Lord is a refuge for his people;

he is a stronghold for the citizens 79  of Israel.

The Lord’s Presence in Zion

3:17 You will be convinced 80  that I the Lord am your God,

dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain.

Jerusalem 81  will be holy

conquering armies 82  will no longer pass through it.

3:18 On that day 83  the mountains will drip with sweet wine, 84 

and the hills will flow with milk. 85 

All the dry stream beds 86  of Judah will flow with water.

A spring will flow out from the temple 87  of the Lord,

watering the Valley of Acacia Trees. 88 

3:19 Egypt will be desolate

and Edom will be a desolate wilderness,

because of the violence they did to the people of Judah, 89 

in whose land they shed innocent blood.

3:20 But Judah will reside securely forever,

and Jerusalem will be secure 90  from one generation to the next.

3:21 I will avenge 91  their blood which I had not previously acquitted.

It is the Lord who dwells in Zion!

NET Bible Study Environment