TheProphet Ioel first rebuketh them of Iudah, that being nowe punished with a great plague of famine, remaine still obstinate. Secondly he threatneth greater plagues, because they grewe dayly to a more hardnesse of heart, and rebellion against God notwithstanding his punishments. Thirdly he exhorteth them to repentance, shewing that it must be earnest, and proceede from the heart because they had grieuously offended God. And so doing, he promiseth that God will be merciful, & not forget his couenant that he made with their fathers: but will send his Christ who shall gather the scattered sheepe, and restore them to life and libertie, though they seemed to be dead.
1 A prophecie against the Iewes. 2 He exhorteth the people to prayer, and fasting for the miserie that was at hand.
1 The worde of the Lorde that came to Ioel the sonne of Pethuel.
2 Heare ye this, O [Note: [a] Signifying, the Princes, the priests, & the gouernours. ] Elders, and hearken ye all inhabitantes of the land, whether [Note: [b] He calleth the Iewes to the consideration of Gods iudgements, who had nowe plagued the fruites of the ground for ye space of foure yeere, which was for their sinnes, and to call them to repentance. ] such a thing hath bene in your dayes, or yet in the dayes of your fathers.
3 Tell you your children of it, and let your children shew to their children, and their children to another generation.
4 That which is left of ye palmer worme, hath the grashopper eaten, & the residue of ye grashopper hath the canker worme eaten, and the residue of the canker worme hath the caterpiller eaten.
5 Awake ye [Note: [c] Meaning, that ye occasion of their excesse & drunkenes was take away. ] drunkards, and weepe, & howle all ye drinkers of wine, because of the newe wine: for it shalbe pulled from your mouth.
6 Yea, [Note: [d] This was another plague wherewith God had punished them, when he stirred vp ye Assyrians against the. ] a nation commeth vpon my lande, mightie, & without nomber, whose teeth are like the teeth of a lyon, and he hath the iawes of a great lyon.
7 He maketh my vine waste, & pilleth off the barke of my figge tree: he maketh it bare, and casteth it downe: ye branches therof are made white.
8 Mourne like a virgine girded with sackcloth for the [Note: [e] Mourne grieuously as a woma, which hath lost her husband, to whome she hath bene married in her youth. ] husband of her youth.
9 The meate offring, & the drinke offring is [Note: [f] The tokens of Gods wrath did appeare in his Teple, in so much as Gods seruice was left off. ] cut off from the House of the Lord: the Priests the Lords ministers mourne.
10 The fielde is wasted: the lande mourneth: for the corne is destroyed: [Note: [g] All comfort & substance for nourishment is taken away. ] the new wine is dried vp, and the oyle is decayed.
11 Be ye ashamed, O husband men: howle, O ye vine dressers for the wheate, and for the barly, because the haruest of the fielde is perished.
12 The vine is dried vp, and the figge tree is decayed: the pomegranate tree & the palme tree, and the apple tree, euen all the trees of the fielde are withered: surely the ioy is withered away from the sonnes of men.
13 [Note: [h] He sheweth that the onely meanes to auoyde Gods wrath, and to haue all things restored, is vnfeined repentance. ] Girde your selues and lament, ye Priests: howle ye ministers of the altar: come, and lie all night in sackecloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meate offring, and the drinke offring is taken away from the house of your God.
14 Sanctifie you a fast: call a solemne assemblie: gather the Elders, and all the inhabitants of the land into the House of the Lorde your God, and cry vnto the Lord,
15 Alas: for the day, for the [Note: [i] We see by these great plagues that vtter destruction is at hand. ] day of the Lord is at hand, and it commeth as a destruction from the Almightie.
16 Is not the meate cut off before our eyes? & ioy, and gladnesse from the house of our God?
17 The seede is rotten vnder their cloddes: the garners are destroyed: the barnes are broken downe, for the corne is withered.
18 How did the beasts mourne! the herdes of cattel pine away, because they haue no pasture, & the flockes of sheepe are destroyed.
19 O Lord, to thee will I crie: for the fire hath [Page]
[To rent the heart.]
deuoured the pastures of the wildernesse, and the flame hath burnt vp all the trees of the fielde.
20 The beasts of the fielde cry also vnto thee: for the riuers of waters are dried vp, and the [Note: [k] That is, drought. ] fire hath deuoured the pastures of the wildernes.
He prophecieth of the comming and crueltie of their enemies. 13 An exhortation to moue them to conuert. 18 The loue of God toward his people.
1 Blowe [Note: [a] He sheweth the great iudgements of God which are at hand, except they repent. ] the trumpet in Zion, and shoute in mine holy mountaine: let all the inhabitants of the lande tremble: for the day of the Lorde is come: for it is at hand.
2 A [Note: [b] Of affliction and trouble. ] day of darkenesse, and of blacknesse, a day of cloudes, & obscuritie, as the morning spred vpon the mountaines, so is there a [Note: [c] Meaning, the Assyrians. ] great people, and a mighty: there was none like it from the beginning, neither shalbe any more after it, vnto the yeeres of many generations.
3 A fire deuoureth before him, and behinde him a flame burneth vp: the land is as the garden of [Note: [d] The enemie destroyeth our plentiful countrey wheresoeuer he commeth. ] Eden before him, & behinde him a desolate wildernesse, so that nothing shal escape him.
4 The beholding of him is like the sight of horses, & like the horsemen, so shal they runne.
5 Like the noyse of charrets in the toppes of the mountaines shal they leape, like the noyse of a flame of fire that deuoureth the stubble, and as a mightie people prepared to the battel.
6 Before his face shal the people tremble: all faces [Note: [e] They shalbe pale & blacke for feare, Nahum.2.10. ] shal gather blackenesse.
7 They shal runne like strong men, and goe vp to the wall like men of warre, and euery man shall goe forward in his wayes, and they shall not stay in their paths.
8 Neither shal one [Note: [f] For none shalbe able to resist them. ] thrust another, but euery one shall walke in his path: and when they fall vpon the sword, they shal not be wounded.
9 They shal runne to & fro in the citie: they shal runne vpon the wall: they shal clime vp vpon the houses, & enter in at ye windowes like ye thiefe.
10 The earth shal tremble before him, ye heauens shal shake, the [Note: [g] Reade verses 2, 31. & Isa.13.10. ezek.32.7.cha.3.15. matt.24.29. ] sunne & the moone shalbe darke, & the starres shal withdraw their shining,
11 And the Lord shal [Note: [h] The Lord shal stirre vp the Assyrians to execute his iudgements. ] vtter his voyce before his hoste: for his hoste is very great: for he is strog that doeth his word: [Note: Iere.30.7. amos 5. 18. zeph.1.15. ] for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can abide it?
12 Therefore also now the Lord sayth, Turne you vnto me with all your heart, & with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning,
13 And [Note: [i] Mortifie your affections & serue God with purenes of heart and not with ceremonies. ] rent your heart, & not your clothes: and turne vnto the Lord your God, for he is gratious, and mercifull, slowe to anger, and of great kindnes, and repenteth him of the euill.
14 Who knoweth, is he wil [Note: [k] He speaketh this to stirre vp their slouthfulnes, & not that he doubted of Gods mercies, if they did repent. How God repenteth, reade Ier.18.8. ] returne & repent & leaue a blessing behinde him, euen a meate offring, & a drinke offring vnto ye Lord your God?
15 Blowe the trumpet in Zion, sanctifie a fast, call a solemne assembly.
16 Gather the people: sanctifie the congregation, gather the elders: assemble the [Note: [l] That as all haue sinned, so all may shew forth signes of their repetance, that men seeing ye children, which are not free fro Gods wrath, might be the more liuely touched with the consideration of their owne sinnes. ] children, & those that sucke the breastes: let the bridegrome go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her bride chamber.
17 Let the Priestes, the ministers of the Lord weepe betweene the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and giue not thine heritage into reproche that the heathen should rule ouer them. [Note: Psal.79.10. ] Wherefore should they
[The day of the Lord.]
say among the people, Where is their God?
18 Then will the Lorde be [Note: [m] If they repent, he sheweth that God wil preserue and defend them with a most ardent affection. ] ielous ouer his land, and spare his people.
19 Yea, the Lord wil answere and say vnto his people, Beholde, I will send you corne, and wine, and oyle, and you shalbe satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproche among the heathen,
20 But I will remooue farre off from you the [Note: [n] That is, the Assyrians your enemies. ] Northren armie, & I will driue him into a land, barren & desolate with his face toward the [Note: [o] Called the salt sea, or Persian sea: meaning, that though his armie were so great, that it filled all from this sea to the sea called Mediterraneum, yet he would scatter the. ] East sea, and his end to the vtmost sea, and his stinke shal come vp, and his corruption shal ascend, because he hath exalted himselfe to do this.
21 Feare not, O land, but be glad, and reioyce: for the Lord wil do great things.
22 Be not afrayde, ye beastes of the fielde: for the pastures of the wildernesse are greene: for the tree beareth her fruite: the figge tree & the vine do giue their force.
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and reioyce in the Lorde your God: for he hath giuen you the rayne of [Note: [p] That is, such as should come by iust measure, & as was wont to be sent when God was reconciled with them. ] righteousnes, [Note: Leuit.26 4. deut.11.14. ] he wil cause to come downe for you the rayne, euen the first raine, and the latter raine in the first moneth.
24 And the barnes shalbe full of wheate, and the presses shal abound with wine and oyle.
25 And I will render you the yeeres that the grashopper hath eaten, the canker worme and the caterpiller and the palmer worme, my great hoste which I sent among you.
26 So you shal eate and be satisfied and praise the Name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt marueilously with you: and my people shal neuer be ashamed.
27 Ye shal also know, that I am in the middes of Israel, and that I am the Lorde your God and none other, & my people shal neuer be ashamed.
28 And afterward will I powre [Note: [q] That is, in greater abundance and more generally then in time past: and this was fulfilled vnder Christ, when as Gods graces, and his Spirit vnder the Gospel was abundantly giuen to ye Church, Isa.44.3. act.2.17. ioh.7.38,39. ] out my Spirit vpon all flesh: and your sonnes & your daughters shall prophecie: your olde men shall dreame [Note: [r] As they had visions and dreames in olde time, so shal they nowe haue clearer reuelations. ] dreames, and your yong men shal see visions,
29 And also vpon the seruants, and vpon the maydes in those dayes wil I powre my Spirit.
30 And I will shewe [Note: [s] He warneth the faithful what terrible things should come, to the intet that they should not looke for cotinuall quietnes in this world, and yet in al these troubles he would preserue them. ] wonders in the heauens & in the earth: blood & fire, & pillars of smoke.
31 The [Note: [t] The order of nature shal seeme to be changed for the horrible afflictious that shalbe in the world, Isa.13.10. ezek.32.7. chap.3. 15. matth.24.29. ] sunne shalbe turned into darkenesse, and the moone into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
32 But whosoeuer shal call [Note: [u] Gods iudgements are for the destruction of the infidels, & to moue the godly to call vpon the Name of God, who will giue them saluation. ] on the Name of the Lord, shalbe saued: for in mount Zion, and in Ierusale shalbe deliuerance, as the Lord hath said, and in the [Note: [x] Meaning hereby the Gentiles, Rom.10.13. ] remnant, whom the Lord shal call.
Of the iudgement of God against the enemies of his people.
1 For beholde, in [Note: [a] When I shal deliuer my Church, which standeth of the Iewes, and of the Gentiles. ] those dayes and in that time, when I shal bring againe the captiuitie of Iudah and Ierusalem,
2 I will also gather all nations, and wil bring them downe into [Note: [b] It appeareth that he alludeth to that great victorie of Iehoshaphat, whe as God without mans helpe destroyed ye enemies, 2.Chron.20.26. also he hath respect to this worde Iehoshaphat, which signifieth pleading, or iudgement, because God woulde iudge the enemies of his Church as he did there. ] the valley of Iehoshaphat, & will pleade with them there for my people, & for mine heritage Israel, whom they haue scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
3 And they haue cast lottes for my people,
[The heathen threatned.]
and haue giuen the childe [Note: [c] That which the enemie gate for the sale of my people, he bestowed vpon harlots and drinke. ] for the harlot, & sold the girle for wine, that they might drinke.
4 Yea, and [Note: [d] He taketh the cause of his Church in hand against the enemie, as though the iniurie were done to himselfe. ] what haue you to do with me, O Tyrus and Zidon and all the costes of Palestina? will ye render me [Note: [e] Haue I done you wrong, that ye will render me the like? ] a recompence? and if ye recompence mee, swiftly and speedily will I render your recompence vpon your head:
5 For ye haue taken my siluer and my golde, and haue caried into your temples my goodly and pleasant things.
6 The children also of Iudah and the children of Ierusalem haue you solde vnto the Grecians, that ye might send them farre from their border.
7 Beholde, I will rayse them out of the place where ye haue sold them, and will render your reward vpon your owne head,
8 And I will send your sonnes & your daughters into the hande of the children of Iudah, and they [Note: [f] For afterwarde God solde them by Nebuchad-nezzar, and Alexander the great, for the loue he bare to his people, and therby they were comforted as though the price had bene theirs. ] shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people farre off: for the Lord hath spoken it.
9 Publish this among the Gentiles: prepare warre, wake vp the mightie men: let all the men of warre drawe neere and come vp.
10 [Note: [g] When I shal execute my iudgements against mine enemies, I will cause euery one to be ready, and to prepare their weapons to destroy one another, for my Church sake. ] Breake your plowshares into swords, and your sithes into speares: let the weake say, I am strong.
11 Assemble your selues, and come all yee heathen and gather your selues together round about: there shall the Lord cast downe the mightie men.
12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come vp to the valley of Iehoshaphat: for there will I sit to iudge all the heathen round about.
[The haruest ripe.]
13 Put in your [Note: [h] Thus he shall incourage the enemies whe their wickednes is full ripe to destroy one another, which he calleth the valley of Gods iudgement. ] sithes, for the haruest is ripe: come, get you downe, for the winepresse is full: yea, the winepresses runne ouer, for their wickednesse is great.
14 O multitude, O multitude, come into the valley of threshing: for the day of the Lorde is neere in the valley of threshing.
15 The sunne & moone shalbe darkened, and the starres shall withdrawe their light.
16 The Lord also shall roare out of Zion, and vtter his voyce from Ierusalem, and the heauens and the earth shall shake, but the Lord wil be the hope [Note: [i] God assureth his against al troubles, that when he destroyeth his enemies, his children shalbe deliuered. ] of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, mine holy Mountaine: then shall Ierusalem bee holy, and there shall no strangers go [Note: [k] The strangers shall no more destroy his Church: which if they doe it is the people which by their sinnes make the breach for the enemie. ] thorowe her any more.
18 And in that day shal the mountaines [Note: [l] He promiseth to his Church abundance of graces, read Ezek.47.1. which should water and comfort ye most barren places, Amos.9.13. ] drop downe newe wine, and the hilles shall flowe with milke, and al the riuers of Iudah shall runne with waters, and a fountaine shall come forth of the House of the Lorde, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
19 [Note: [m] The malicious enemies shall haue no part of this grace. ] Egypt shalbe waste, and Edom shall be a desolate wildernesse, for the iniuries of the childre of Iudah, because they haue shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Iudah shall dwell for euer, and Ierusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will [Note: [n] He had suffered his Church hitherto to lie in their filthinesse, but nowe hee promiseth to clense them and to make them pure vnto him. ] clense their blood, that I haue not clensed, and the Lord will dwell in Zion.