THE PROPHECY OF JOEL
JOEL, whose name, according to ST. JEROME, signifies THE LORD GOD: or, as others say, THE COMING DOWN OF GOD: prophesied about the same time in the kingdom of Judea, as OSEE did in the kingdom of Israel. He foretells under figure the great evils that were coming upon the people for their sins: earnestly exhorts them to repentance: and comforts them with the promise of a TEACHER OF JUSTICE, viz., CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, and of the coming down of his holy SPIRIT.
Joel Chapter 1
The prophet describes the judgments that shall fall upon the people, and invites them to fasting and prayer.
1:1. The word of the Lord, that came to Joel, the son of Phatuel.
1:2. Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land: did this ever happen in your days, or in the days of your fathers?
1:3. Tell ye of this to your children, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.
1:4. That which the palmerworm hath left, the locust hath eaten: and that which the locust hath left, the bruchus hath eaten: and that which the bruchus hath left, the mildew hath destroyed.
That which the palmerworm hath left, etc. . .Some understand this literally of the desolation of the land by these insects: others understand it of the different invasions of the Chaldeans, or other enemies.
1:5. Awake, ye that are drunk, and weep, and mourn all ye that take delight; in drinking sweet wine: for it is cut off from your mouth.
1:6. For a nation come up upon my land, strong, and without number: his teeth are like the teeth of a lion: and his cheek teeth as of a lion's whelp.
1:7. He hath laid my vineyard waste, and hath pilled off the bark of my fig tree: he hath stripped it bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
1:8. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
1:9. Sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of the Lord: the priests, the Lord's ministers, have mourned:
1:10. The country is destroyed, the ground hath mourned: for the corn is wasted, the wine is confounded, the oil hath languished.
1:11. The husbandmen are ashamed, the vinedressers have howled for the wheat, and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished.
1:12. The vineyard is confounded, and the fig tree hath languished: the pomegranate tree, and the palm tree, and the apple tree, and all the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withdrawn from the children of men.
1:13. Gird yourselves, and lament, O ye priests, howl, ye ministers of the altars: go in, lie in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: because sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of your God.
1:14. Sanctify ye a fast, call an assembly, gather together the ancients, all the inhabitants of the land into the house of your God: and cry ye to the Lord:
1:15. Ah, ah, ah, for the day: because the day of the Lord is at hand, and it shall come like destruction from the mighty.
1:16. Is not your food cut off before your eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
1:17. The beasts have rotted in their dung, the barns are destroyed, the storehouses are broken down: because the corn is confounded.
1:18. Why did the beasts groan, why did the herds of cattle low? because there is no pasture for them: yea, and the flocks of sheep are perished.
1:19. To thee, O Lord, will I cry: because fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness: and the flame hath burnt all the trees of the country.
1:20. Yea, and the beasts of the field have looked up to thee, as a garden bed that thirsteth after rain, for the springs of waters are dried up, and fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness.