Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Joel Chapter 1

Joel Chapter 1

Day of the Locusts

  • The voice of God comes to Joel, son of Pethuel.
  • A swarm of locusts has wiped out all of Israel’s crops and wildfires are ravaging what’s left.
  • These locusts have eaten everything, and by “everything”, we mean everything.
  • “Wake up, you drunkards, and weep ….” (1:5, NRSV) This verse explains why Joel was the least popular brother in his fraternity.
  • The people should mourn like widows for all they’ve lost.
  • Joel describes the locusts as the fearsome invading foreign army, with the “cheek teeth of a great lion” stripping off bark of Israel’s fig trees. Lions gnawing on trees may not sound scary to us, but it’s important to remember that Israel had never seen “The Walking Dead.”
  • The people and priests should wail and spend some time in sackcloth, fasting and getting everyone together to cry out for help to God.
  • “The day of the Lord is near,” so buckle your seatbelts, Zion, it’s going to be an even bumpier ride. (1:14, NRSV, minus the seatbelt part)
  • This can only mean one thing: repent of your sins, cry out to God and invent pesticides.
  • There’s no grain left, no water, no nothing.

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