Wail, all you wine drinkers, 2
and the hills will flow with milk. 8
All the dry stream beds 9 of Judah will flow with water.
A spring will flow out from the temple 10 of the Lord,
watering the Valley of Acacia Trees. 11
1 sn The word drunkards has a double edge here. Those accustomed to drinking too much must now lament the unavailability of wine. It also may hint that the people in general have become religiously inebriated and are unresponsive to the Lord. They are, as it were, drunkards from a spiritual standpoint.
2 sn Joel addresses the first of three groups particularly affected by the locust plague. In v. 5 he describes the effects on the drunkards, who no longer have a ready supply of intoxicating wine; in vv. 11-12 he describes the effects on the farmers, who have watched their labors come to naught because of the insect infestation; and in vv. 13-14 he describes the effects on the priests, who are no longer able to offer grain sacrifices and libations in the temple.
3 tn Heb “over the sweet wine, because it.” Cf. KJV, NIV, TEV, NLT “new wine.”
4 tn Heb “cut off” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV); NAB “will be withheld.”
5 tn Heb “your mouth.” This is a synecdoche of part (the mouth) for whole (the person).
6 tn Heb “and it will come about in that day.”
7 tn Many English translations read “new wine” or “sweet wine,” meaning unfermented wine, i.e., grape juice.
8 sn The language used here is a hyperbolic way of describing both a bountiful grape harvest (“the mountains will drip with juice”) and an abundance of cattle (“the hills will flow with milk”). In addition to being hyperbolic, the language is also metonymical (effect for cause).
9 tn Or “seasonal streams.”
10 tn Heb “house.”
11 tn Heb “valley of Shittim.” The exact location of the Valley of Acacia Trees is uncertain. The Hebrew word שִׁטִּים (shittim) refers to a place where the acacia trees grow, which would be a very arid and dry place. The acacia tree can survive in such locations, whereas most other trees require more advantageous conditions. Joel’s point is that the stream that has been mentioned will proceed to the most dry and barren of locations in the vicinity of Jerusalem.