About Jesus Steve Sweetman
My Commentary On Joel
This Section - Chapter 2:1 - 11
Verse 1 says that the Day of the Lord
is coming. So, this tells us
that what is being spoken of now in the book of Joel concerns the time of
the end, assuming you understand that the Day of the Lord refers to the
time of the end of this age that ushers in the thousand year rule of
Christ on earth, as Prophetic Futurists believe.
The end of days, or, the Day of the Lord as
understood by many if not most Bible teachers includes a time of judgment,
the return of Jesus, and His rule for a thousand years on earth.
This does not discount the fact that there can be other such days
of the Lord that apply to specific nations because God has judged nations
before in the past. He has
especially judged Israel
and has caused her to fall. That
being said, it is generally understood that this Day of the Lord is the
end time Day of the Lord, despite the fact that this prophecy might have
had an Old Testament fulfillment that was prophetic of the most important
Day of the Lord yet to come to the earth.
Note that the Lord, through Joel, says
the day of the Lord is close at hand.
It has been centuries since these words have been uttered and the
Day of the Lord, as understood to be the end of the age and the coming of
the next age, has not yet come. We see the word "near," or other
words like it, associated with end time prophecy all the way through the
Bible. We often see it in the
New Testament, but here it is found in the Old Testament, and, as some
think, the very first prophetic book in the Bible.
Clearly, the word "near" has a different meaning to God
than it does for us. It seems
to me that whatever generation in which we live, we should live as if the
time of the end is near, as in our generation.
Because the time is close to the end
the Lord through Joel tells the Jews to sound the trumpet.
The trumpet is often associated with Israel. Back in Numbers 10 is where
we first see the trumpet with this association.
God tells Israelis to make 2 trumpets.
These trumpets were to be used as an alarm, much like an alarm
clock. Depending on the number
of trumpet blasts would determine just how Israelis should respond to the
sound of the trumpet. The
trumpet could be blown to call people to the tabernacle or to prepare for
war. Here in Joel 2 it is
blown so Israel
can prepare for the soon coming day of the Lord.
Verse 1 says to blow the trumpet in Zion
and sound the alarm. We see
here that the sound of the trumpet is indeed an alarm and it is to be
Verse 1 also tells us this. "Let all who live in the land tremble." The land refers to Israel. Israelis will indeed tremble when they see the 7 trumpet judgments of Revelation come upon them. They will begin to experience the 7 judgments associated with these trumpet blasts, and they will tremble. They will experience hard times that they have never experienced before, and that includes the days of suffering under Hitler. Jesus specifically said that those days of suffering are unmatched in human history. See Mark 13:19.
regard to these days being very bad, Zechariah 13:8 states that two of
thirds of Israelis will be killed in the last great war.
In verse 2 we see that the Day of the
Lord is a very dark and gloomy period of time that we call the tribulation
or the Great Tribulation, and why? It
is because at the end of this age the wrath of the Lamb will be poured out
Joel pictures this day as the sun
dawning over the mountains. He
says that as the sun dawns over the mountains so a great army will rise
over the mountains, much like in the old western movies where the enemy
can be seen coming over the hill for their attack. Many
Prophetic Futurists believe this attack could well be the war of Ezekiel
38 and 39. Others see it as
the Battle of Armageddon, the last great world war of this age. Others
say it is the war seen in Revelation 9:16 where we see an army numbered
twice then thousand times ten thousand.
Some prophecy teachers see this war as the last war of the age.
I mentioned the war of Ezekiel 38 and
39 in chapter 1. Chapter 1 may
be speaking of something different than chapter 2, or, it may be speaking
of the same thing as chapter 2 but in a more symbolic way. Chapter
2 does seem to suggest a war, an attacking army on Israel
that is very great. Great
devastation will result as seen in the war that is described in Ezekiel 38
and 39, which could easily be a nuclear war.
We should note the words "such
was never seen in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come."
This statement clearly tells us that whatever this war is, it was
not seen in Old Testament times. It
could not be the Assyrian or Babylonian attacks on Israel
in 722 BC and 586 BC. This has
to be the war of all wars, a war that ends this age.
It might well be the war we often call the Battle of Armageddon.
This seems to be what Jesus was talking about and even quoting when
He spoke of the trials of those days that end this age as being worse than
any in history. See Mark
The words "a day of clouds and
In verse 3 we see the devastation that
takes place in the battle that ends this age.
Nothing will "escape the flames that blaze" throughout
of Israel. The good agricultural land
that the Jews brought to life from the desert since
their arrival to the Holy Land in the mid 1800's will become barren and desolate from the
flames of war. To me, this
sounds like a nuclear disaster, or at least a very bad war.
I say this because of the word "fire" in this verse.
Back in Old Testament days men fought with swords and spears, not
with bombs and nuclear weapons that burn up everything in sight.
Fire tells me that this is a modern war.
When the text mentions the Garden of
Eden in this verse it might well refer to how Israelis have transformed
the desert lands into a garden like environment.
Ever since Jews began to immigrate to the
When verse 3 speaks of fire before
them that devours and behind them flames ablaze, this suggests to me of
the movement of armies as they approach Jerusalem. Missiles are causing
destruction in the direction of their movement and destruction is behind
the armies as they advance forward.
Verse 4 says that "they,"
meaning the great army that attacks Israel, "appear to be like horses."
The word "appear" is interesting to me.
This suggests that what Joel saw was somewhat unknown to him.
The advancing army seemed, or appeared, to be on horses, but were
they really horses? I don't
think so. It only appears that
they were on horses. Joel
probably did not know how to describe our modern machines of warfare.
The best way for him to describe them in his day was like their
I think verse 5 is similar to verse 4.
Joel tries to explain something he has never seen before.
He hears "the noise like that of chariots."
Again, this is the best way that he can explain our modern tanks,
airplanes, missiles, and maybe drones.
He says they leap over mountains, and of course, airplanes,
missiles, and rockets do leap over mountains.
Joel must have been dumbfounded by what he saw.
He must have been beside himself as he saw these things and
attempted to speak of them.
Joel says these missiles are like "cracking fire." Again,
this would typify what our modern airplanes with nuclear war heads sound
like. I live near a military
airport. I know what these jet
fighters sound like. Joel's
description is right on.
Verse 6 continues by saying that
"at the sight of them every nation trembles, every face turns
pale." This to me
certainly does sound like a nuclear attack.
If an atomic bomb is launched anywhere in the
Verse 7 says that this army "will
not swerve from its course." They
scale walls and they all march in line.
That sure sounds like jet fighting planes to me.
It might well sound like tanks moving across the face of the earth
Verses 8 and 9 continue in the same vein of thought. Picture jets flying across the sky. Picture drones actually entering through the windows of houses. If you were Joel back in his day, how would you describe such things. You would certainly have a difficult time explaining the Word of the Lord to your fellow Old Testament people, but in today's world we can easily imagine what he is talking about.
Verse 10 shows us the powerful ability
this attacking army has on the land. Joel
says that the earth shakes, and no wonder.
With the military might of modern man, the earth does shake, but
there is more. The heavens
tremble and the sun and moon darken. This
darkening of the sun and moon is most likely due to the fires and smoke
caused by missiles, and bombs, and probably atomic warfare.
This may or may be what is seen in Joel 2:31 where the prophet
predicts the sun and moon darkening and turning into blood. Some see Joel
2:31 being fulfilled at the moment of Jesus' return to earth. At
the moment, I see Joel 2:11 and Joel 2:31 being two different occasions,
but I could be wrong.
In my version of the NIV Bible verse
11 begins with he words "the Lord thunders at the head of his
army." Many translations
don't say that the Lord thunders. They
just say that He utters His voice. Like
all Hebrew words that are translated into English, there is a variety of
meanings or shades of meaning. It
seems to be that incorporated in this uttering is a thunderous sound, much
like you see Jesus speaking in Revelation 1:15.
I'd dare say that if God speaks, at least to our human ears, it
would sound like thunder.
Note in verse 11 that the army is His
army that obeys Him. This army
is beyond numbering and is mighty. This
army is the army that we have been talking about that is represented by
the army of locust. It is the
very army that is invading God's land and God's people.
You might wonder how this attacking army would be called God's
army, especially since that when it is all said and done, God destroys
The answer to this question can be
found in the first few verses of Ezekiel 38.
There we see an attacking army that some believe is the army spoken
of here. Ezekiel states that
God drags this army into the Middle East to fight
It might be that this unnumbered army
is what is seen in Revelation 9:16 where we read of an army of twice ten
thousand times ten thousand.
This section ends with the question,
"who can endure it?" The
word "it" refers to the Day of the Lord, the exact day Jesus
returns to earth. Jesus will
put His feet on the
say that Jesus answered the question. "who can endure it" when
He said that unless those days were shortened for the sake of the elect,
no one could endure it (Matthew 24:22).
Jesus will cut those days short at His return.
Jesus will cut those days short at His return.