Joel 1 The Day Of The LORD At Hand.

Joel, whose name means “the LORD is God,” focuses on Jerusalem and the temple and its functions, with most dating the book after the exile, so references to the former are likely to what was  rebuilt. There is the repeated theme throughout of the day of the LORD. This word, as with all true prophets, came to him, it didn’t originate in his own imagination (v. 1). Elders and people both must hear of that which had not happened before, even in the days of their fathers (v. 2 Cf. 2:2; Jer. 30:7). The day of the LORD will come to covenant generations in the future (v. 3 Cf. Ex. 10:2; Ps. 78:4; Is. 38:19), but in the more immediate future a swarm of locusts would come to devour the produce of the land (v. 4 Cf. 2:25; Is. 33:4; Amos 4:9), a covenantal curse (Dt. 28:38). “Here (and in 2:1, 11) it refers to a day of the Lord’s (sic) wrath against Israel, though later in the book it refers to the Lord’s (sic) wrath against the nations and blessing of the Lord’s (sic) people (2:31; 3:14)” (NGSB. p.1386).

In addition to the elders and all inhabitants, Amos also calls upon drunkards to wake up and listen (v. 5 Cf. Is. 5:11; 28:1; Hos. 7:5), that a nation was also coming to lay waste to the land (vv. 6-7 Cf. 2:2, 11, 25; Is. 5:6; Rev. 9:8). They should lament in sackcloth when the grain and drink offerings are cut off (vv. 8-11), as well as the fruit of vine and tree, just as joy will “wither away from the sons of men” (v. 12). The priests also should gird themselves and lament in sackcloth, for their services at the altar would cease (v. 13). They are also commanded to call an assembly of the elders and the people, to consecrate to themselves a fast and to cry out to the LORD God in the temple (v. 14). This is a day of the LORD which was at hand, when food, joy, and gladness is cut off from the house of the LORD God (vv. 15-16). Everything withers and buildings deteriorate (v. 17), and the animals also suffer, “even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment” (v. 18). The prophet cries out to the covenant LORD, because fire and drought had devoured everything (vv. 19-20).

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