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Joel 2:21-25

Context

2:21 Do not fear, my land!

Rejoice and be glad,

because the Lord has accomplished great things!

2:22 Do not fear, wild animals! 1 

For the pastures of the wilderness are again green with grass.

Indeed, the trees bear their fruit;

the fig tree and the vine yield to their fullest. 2 

2:23 Citizens of Zion, 3  rejoice!

Be glad because of what the Lord your God has done! 4 

For he has given to you the early rains 5  as vindication.

He has sent 6  to you the rains –

both the early and the late rains 7  as formerly.

2:24 The threshing floors are full of grain;

the vats overflow with fresh wine and olive oil.

2:25 I will make up for the years 8 

that the ‘arbeh-locust 9  consumed your crops 10 

the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust –

my great army 11  that I sent against you.

1 tn Heb “beasts of the field.”

2 tn Heb “their strength.” The trees and vines will produce a maximum harvest, in contrast to the failed agricultural conditions previously described.

3 tn Heb “sons of Zion.”

4 tn Heb “be glad in the Lord your God.”

5 tn Normally the Hebrew word הַמּוֹרֶה (hammoreh) means “the teacher,” but here and in Ps 84:7 it refers to “early rains.” Elsewhere the word for “early rains” is יוֹרֶה (yoreh). The phrase here הַמּוֹרֶה לִצְדָקָה (hammoreh litsdaqah) is similar to the expression “teacher of righteousness” (Heb., מוֹרֶה הַצֶּדֶק , moreh hatsedeq) found in the Dead Sea Scrolls referring to a particular charismatic leader, although the Qumran community seems not to have invoked this text in support of that notion.

6 tn Heb “caused to come down.”

7 sn For half the year Palestine is generally dry. The rainy season begins with the early rains usually in late October to early December, followed by the latter rains in March and April. Without these rains productive farming would not be possible, as Joel’s original readers knew only too well.

8 tn Heb “I will restore to you the years.”

sn The plural years suggests that the plague to which Joel refers was not limited to a single season. Apparently the locusts were a major problem over several successive years. One season of drought and locust invasion would have been bad enough. Several such years would have been devastating.

9 sn The same four terms for locust are used here as in 1:4, but in a different order. This fact creates some difficulty for the notion that the four words refer to four distinct stages of locust development.

10 tn The term “your crops” does not appear in the Hebrew, but has been supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.

11 sn Here Joel employs military language to describe the locusts. In the prophet’s thinking this invasion was far from being a freak accident. Rather, the Lord is pictured here as a divine warrior who leads his army into the land as a punishment for past sin and as a means of bringing about spiritual renewal on the part of the people.



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