The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 145 of 181
Index | Zoom
Now however little we may know of this time called "the Day of the Lord" from this
verse alone we can see that it is a time to be feared. This "Day of the Lord" is the theme
from here on in Joel's prophecy and it occurs in 1: 15; 2: 1, 11, 31 and 3: 14. From
these verses alone we can see that the people are told to tremble on this terrible day. We
cannot go into the vast detail of this great subject here (most of Revelation is about the
"Day of the Lord", Rev. 1: 10), but suffice it to say that it is characterized by God's
judgment upon the earth when He will again break into the world system and vindicate
Himself and His people. The expression first occurs in Scripture in Isa. 2: 10-19 and a
good description of it is given there. In the Day of the Lord man will be abased and the
Lord exalted, whereas today self exaltation in man is common and God has been almost
pushed out of the world He has created. This may be the reason that this age is termed
"man's day"--an alternative reading of I Cor. 4: 3--and demonstrates that the time
period for the Day of the Lord need not be 24 hours. Still however bad that day will be
for mankind we should note that God's mercy will always be extended to the humble and
repentant sinner (Joel 2: 11-13).
Joel 1: 16. Having drawn people's attention to the Day of the Lord, Joel now returns
to describe the consequences of this plague of locusts. What he saw left a vivid picture in
his mind which formed the basis of his description of the total destructive effect of the
army of people portrayed in chapter 2:
In verse 16 the word `meat' (A.V.) is translated `food' elsewhere (R.S.V.; N.I.V.;
J.N.D.; Moffatt).  Not only has the wine been snatched from their lips (1: 5) but their
food has disappeared from before their eyes! There would be no harvest! Thus they
could not keep the Feast of Weeks, elsewhere called Pentecost, which was related to the
harvest and which was always a time of great rejoicing (Deut. 15: 9-12). Similarly the
Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 15: 13-15) was a time of immense celebration which took
place after the gathering in of the corn and grapes. This must surely have been in Joel's
Joel 1: 17. It is hard to see in verse 17 why the seeds should be `rotten' (A.V.). The
R.S.V. and the N.I.V. have `shrivels' and `shriveled' respectively and that does seem
more appropriate. Seeds may rot in times of excess water but never in a time of drought
followed by a locust plague followed by a bush fire (1: 19).
"Below the clod crumbles the seed,
"The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods.
the granaries are standing bare,
The storehouses are in ruins.
barns are in disrepair,
The granaries have been broken down,
for what have we to store up there,
for the grain has dried up" (N.I.V.).
now that the grain has withered" (Moffatt).
Joel 1: 18. However bad man's plight might be at such a time as this we must never
forget that God is the God of all creation and feels for all His creatures. Thus Joel is
inspired to draw the people's attention to the animals. Moffatt's "The herds of cattle
huddle together" and the N.I.V.'s "The herds mill about" both paint pictures of the
behaviour of these poor creatures and this thought is uppermost in Joel's mind when he
cries out unto the Lord.