Joel Chapter 2  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Joel 2
Joe 2:1

“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet. In this context it would be blown to warn the people of a coming army.

“for the day of Yahweh comes.” See commentary on Joel 1:15.

Joe 2:2

“a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” This phrase is also found in Zephaniah 1:15.

“a large and strong people comes.” Although many armies have attacked Israel since the time of Joel, this verse describes the army that will attack Israel in the Great Tribulation.

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Joe 2:11

“his camp is very large.” This refers to the large size of the army.

“survive it.” The Hebrew is “endure it,” but we think of “enduring” something as being able to put up with it. In this case, it means “survive it” or “live through it.” The vast majority of mankind will die in the Tribulation of the Day of the Lord.

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Joe 2:14

“Who knows.” God had pronounced destruction upon Israel, but that did not mean that there was no chance He would change His mind, or at least some of the severe consequences, if His people did not repent and return to Him. That certainly happened in the case of Jonah and Nineveh. If that did happen, instead of total destruction, God would “leave behind” people and a harvest that would allow for the worship of Yahweh to continue with grain and drink offerings.

“He may turn and relent.” The Hebrew word translated “relent” is nacham (#05162 נָחַם), and in this context, it means to back off of the consequences that had already started and were said to continue coming. God sometimes changes His mind in response to what people do, as we see here. [For more information on God changing His mind and relenting, see commentary on Jeremiah 18:8].

Joe 2:15

“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet. In this context, the shofar is blown to call for an assembly of the people, whereas in Joel 2:1 it was blown as a warning of the approaching army. The shofar was blown for different reasons, and so the reader has to be sensitive to the context to understand why it was blown.

Joe 2:16

“groom.” In many English versions, the older term “bridegroom” is used, but it just means the groom.

Joe 2:17

“weep between the porch and the altar.” The “porch” is at the front of the Temple, which faced east, so the priests would be in the Temple courtyard between the Holy Place and the altar in the courtyard of the Temple.

”Where is their god.” The word “god” is lower case because this was the pagan nations speaking and they would have thought of the God of Israel as just another “god” of a nation, like Chemosh was the chief god of the Moabites or Marduk was the chief god of the Babylonians.

Joe 2:18

“Yahweh will be jealous.” The context indicates that the verb, which is normally a past tense, is referring to the future, which is common in biblical prophecy (cp. CJB, KJV, NASB, NLT).

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Joe 2:20

“the eastern sea.” That is, the Dead Sea.

“the western sea.” That is, the Mediterranean Sea.

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Joe 2:23

“the former rain and the latter rain.” There was one rainy season in Israel, and it usually started in mid to late October and ended in April. The rains at the start of the season got the planting going, and were called the “former” rains. The rains at the end of the wet season allowed the grain to come to maturity and were called the “latter” rains. [For more on the rainy season and the former and latter rain, see commentary on James 5:7].

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Joe 2:28

“I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy.” There is a lot in this verse that we can learn about the gift of holy spirit that God promised to give to His people in the future. One is that the spirit would be “poured out,” that is, given in abundance. This is in contrast to how holy spirit was given in the Old Testament and Gospel when it was given in differing ways to different people (cp. 2 Kings 2:9-10). Another is that the spirit would be poured out “on all flesh.” Throughout the Old Testament and Gospels, God’s gift of holy spirit was only given to select people, like the prophets and some kings. However, what we learn from this verse, which is clarified by Christ, is that “all flesh” refers to all those who believe (cp. John 7:38-39). Also, we learn from this verse that the gift of holy spirit was not “just there,” but it empowered people to prophecy and see visions and thus have spiritual empowerment from God. The Old Testament has quite a lot to say about the holy spirit that God promised to give and now has given to the Church.

[For more about the holy spirit that God promised in the Old Testament to give in abundance in the future but had not given by the time of Christ, see commentary on John 7:39. For more about the gift of holy spirit being “upon” people in the Old Testament and “in” people after the Day of Pentecost, and the differences between holy spirit in the Old Testament and after Pentecost, see commentary on Eph. 1:13, “promised holy spirit.” For more about the holy spirit being the gift of God and not a “Person” called “the Holy Spirit,” see Appendix 11, “What is the Holy Spirit.” For more on the holy spirit and new birth, see Appendix 1, “The Permanence of Christian Salvation.” For more on Christians being part of the New Covenant, see commentary on 2 Cor. 3:6, “new covenant”].

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