Book of JOEL

Compiled by WD Kemner December 2023



The Book of Joel is written to the Jews of his day addressing the plaque being faced.  The book proceeds to use that plaque to describe the events of the End Days that he calls the “Day of the Lord”.Only three chapters long and written almost 800 years before the birth of Jesus. Joel describes the events surrounding the second coming of Jesus.  Any study of the Second Coming must include this book of Joel.




The Plaque



Joel Chapter 1 verse 1


The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.




This is all we know about the Prophet Joel.  He tells his father’s name to identify himself.  Written in Palestine between 795-755 B.C.  No kings are mentioned in his writing to place the time.  Joel probably a contemporary of the Prophet Amos.


Amos gave his prophecy directed to Israel and Joel directs his towards Judah. Both speaking regarding judgement of locusts and drought.



Joel Chapter 1 verses 2-3


Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?


Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.




Why a call to the “old men”?  The greatness of this judgement as seen through this plague was bigger than any they had seen. These men would have seen the history, lived the experience.  They are called upon as being the ones to speak to the truth of what has happened.  Then to past this information on from generation to generation.



Joel Chapter 1 verse 4


That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.



Palmerworm – only used here and in Amos.  Palmerworm = locust, cankerworm, caterpillar.  Four plagues of pests each following the other.


Small little pests.  Not so scary or harmful individually. However, place them in a swarm or infestation, how devastating.  What is left over and survives the plague is the target of the next pest and then repeated yet again.


The plague of “locusts”.  Writers for centuries debated this passage (as all scripture has been treated) as being a literal plague or figurative in being representative of the series of nations that would be used to judge the land of the Jews.


Either one still depicts JUDGEMENT coming.



Results of CAPTIVITY TO BABYLON foretold



Joel Chapter 1 verse 5-7


Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.




A great nation, strong and over powering will come into the land and leave it a wasteland.  Daniel describes Babylon as a “lion” in chapter 7 of his book.

The prophet Joel is 200 years prior to the captivity in Babylon. These next several verses depict accurately the devastation left due to those events.



Joel Chapter 1 verse 8-13


Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD'S ministers, mourn.


The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.


The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.




Descriptive of the land of the Israelites after Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army had to come into the land for a third time. Tired of doing so, the army made sure that it would be the last time they did so.  The temple destroyed and all sacrifices stopped.


Why do these verses not reflect the rest of the book?  Joel is being given a view into the future.  A prophet cannot “unscramble” the events into a “timeline”.  We have the advantage of using hindsight to look backwards into history. See the study on the “Prophets”.


Consideration needs to be given to the entirety of scripture.  Where does this devastation of the land of Canaan fit into the picture?



Joel Chapter 1 verse 14


Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,




Proclaim a Fast.  Set aside everything else in order to take the time to cry to the Lord. Solemn assembly – a day of restraint from all things. Focused on the reason for the fast.


The “focus” to be on the events, the judgment that will occur on the “day of the Lord”.  This is what Joel will now proceed to describe.



Joel Chapter 1 verse 15


Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.




The modern phrase: “You have seen nothing yet!”   Wait until you see the “Day of the Lord” – 5x in Joel (1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14) – A Specific event.


Not a correction but a destruction.  Being done by the hand of the Almighty, not by some earthly being who believes they themselves are a god.  Now, we understand the earlier plea for man to cry out to God in repentance. There is no fleeing from God, but instead running towards Him and into His open arms.



Joel Chapter 1 verse 16-20


Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.


How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.


The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.




Everything that man has done to prepare himself for calamity cannot protect himself now.  What he has done to “prepare his table” to “have food ready” is now gone. The corn and the cattle that are such an important commodity for the herdsman and farmer are of no benefit any longer.







Events occurring on the Day that sees the return of Christ.  His Second Coming.


Joel Chapter 2 verse 1


Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;




“Day of the Lord” is used throughout this book.  It is a reference to “one specific day and event”.  Joel is now going to describe that day.



Joel Chapter 2 verse 2


A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.




As the morning rises above the mountain peak.  It will be:  Darkness and gloominess - Clouds and thick darkness.


There has NEVER been such and there NEVER will be again.


Joel Chapter 2 verse 3-4


A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.


The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.



The “view” as seen watching the approaching army is one of sheer devastation. Images that a modern historian may attempt to provide for illustration: “General Sherman’s march during American civil war” – “Alexander the Great and his swift conquering of the world”, none of these can provide the image needed for this.


Joel does his best with describing it as:


A “fire” proceeding the army and this fire devours everything in its path.  From behind a “flame” which burns everything left behind.  Picture the afterburner of a fighter jet, multiplied in its magnitude.  Ahead of this army, the land has the appearance of the Garden of Eden.  Behind them, they leave it left as a desolate wasteland.  The appearance of the army is as horsemen on horses.  (Described in Revelation 19:11-15) Sheer speed!



Joel Chapter 2 verse 5


Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.




Noise level intense.  This will not go unheard.



Joel Chapter 2 verse 6


Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.




People WILL BE hurt.  To “gather blackness” is to “go dark”.  There will be death.  This should be quite obvious.  This day has been coming and been warned about for centuries.  No staying of the hand of God now!  Evil will be crushed.



Joel Chapter 2 verse 7-11


They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:


Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.


The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:


And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?



This army will not falter.  Ranks will never be broken. They appear to never be even slowed from their forward progress.  Swarm over walls and roofs through the buildings. Like the ants swarming the ant hill.  Pests devouring their prey. Now we see how the plague of Chapter 1 appears to be a perfect picture for these verses now.


This army will not even receive a wound from a sword thrust.


All of God’s creation will respond. Earthquakes and the heavenly bodies will react.  Sun, moon and stars will go dark. Sounds descriptive of the events of the SIXTH SEAL of John’s vision in Revelation 6:12-17.


(Those events to have already happened before the SEVENTH SEAL that ushers in HIS return.)  See also:  Amos 8:9



Joel Chapter 2 verse 12-17


Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:


And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?


Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:


Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.


Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?




This is why the plea of the prophet Joel in chapter 1.  God is giving EVERYONE the opportunity to cry out to Him BEFORE this Day of the Lord occurs.  Has anyone listened?



Joel Chapter 2 verse 18-19


Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:




What would happen if the people called the feast and began to cry to God?  This verse has God’s answer.




Daniel 11:40-45



Joel Chapter 2 verse 20


But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.




“Utmost sea” – usually refers to the Mediterranean Sea


Daniel 11 discusses the incursion of the Anti-christ and his military forces into the area of the Middle East from the north.  This occurs at the midpoint of the Tribulation.  The Anti-christ has set up temples to himself in Israel. The Israelites have been the receivers of the Anti-christ’s hatred of God.  The Jews are in hiding outside of Israel awaiting the coming of Christ.    This is God’s promise of removing that threat.






Joel Chapter 2 verse 21-27


Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.


And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.


And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.




When it is over.  The “Day of the Lord”.  The results will be verses 21-28.  Total peace and abundance like have never been seen. This description matches those of the Millennial period.






Joel Chapter 2 verse 28-29


And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.




WOW! These verses take on an entire new context when read within the entirety of the passage. They create an absolutely beautiful picture when studied that way.  Within Pentecostal circles these verses have been quoted for decades by preachers to enlist their faithful to seek the baptism in the Holy Ghost.  This is not wrong.  However, placed within the timeline of events in Joel there is a much deeper significance here.


“…it shall come to pass AFTERWARD…”.   After what?  The ENTIRE book of Joel has been dealing with the SECOND COMING of CHRIST.


After the return of Christ….  there WILL BE SEEN AN OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT, such as has NEVER been seen before!


Why would there need to be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit AFTER the Return?



SIMPLE!  Study the information in scripture on the Millennial Kingdom.  Normal, human people will be alive and living on this planet.  They will be having children and living as humans do. The exception being that they will be living under the rule of God on earth!


They will still be able to accept or even reject His authority as we see with a study of the end of the book of Revelation when Satan is released for a “time”.  It is not difficult to understand that God the Father and God the Son are here on the planet at that point.  Why is it difficult to understand that the third member God the Holy Spirit is also here!  What do people think he is now doing?






This is what Revelation 16, 19 and Zechariah and Matthew’s Gospel describe as signs happening just PRIOR TO THE COMING OF CHRIST.



Joel Chapter 2 verse 30-32


And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.


The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.


And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.




“Sun…turned into darkness, and the moon into blood…”



Revelation 6:12 – During the Sixth Seal that occurs during the Tribulation period (Just proceeding the event of the Second Coming)  See also Amos 8:9





Matthew 24:29 – Jesus himself states these events will occur immediately AFTER the Tribulation and will PRECEED His return.


Yet, He still is giving an opportunity to change the alliance and declare allegiance to God.  How can anyone state they were not given the opportunity?


Remnant shall still be called.







The Jews are back in their land.


Joel Chapter 3 verse 1


For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,




In THAT DAY when the Jews are back in their land AGAIN….


Again, meaning the Second time.  They were brought back once before, out of Babylon with Ezra and Nehemiah.


This “return” of the Jews has been in progress now and will continue until the day of the Second Coming.



Judgment of the Nations



Joel Chapter 3 verse 2


I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.




He will then bring the nations of the world into the “valley of Jehoshaphat”.


A study can be done on this phrase alone.  It is only mentioned in Joel and nowhere else.  It was debated for centuries why it was used.  The term eventually came to represent the valley between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.  Early Muslims and Christians both, believing it to be the location of the resurrection and judgment, turned it into an important location for burial sites. There was actual concern and debate raged regarding how it was going to be possible to get every human who ever lived to be able to fit into that valley!


There was also the idea that the term came from Joel remembering the scene of military victory King Jehoshaphat had over his enemies in that region.  2 Chronicles 20:20-26.


Modern day scholars even began to say it is a representation of the Valley of Megiddo. This is due to the descriptive language of verses 13-16 of this chapter, that are descriptive of the battle at Armageddon.


As with all scripture, man always attempts to make everything fit his understanding. Simply put, the word “Jehoshaphat” means “Jehovah-judged”.


The simple truth of this passage is:


Everyone will be brought into the “Valley of Judgment” by God and be judged for what they did to his people both as a nation and while they were scattered among them.


See the study on Judgments in the End Times.



The Nations are Guilty



Joel Chapter 3 verse 3-8


And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;


Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.


Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.




Reasons for judgment of the nations:


1.    They cast lots for God’s people


2.    Given boys to be harlots


a.    Trading a boy taken in war for the price of hiring of a harlot


3.    Sold the girls for wine, just for the pleasure of being drunk


a.    The contempt of being sold for pleasure in contrast to selling to increase their wealth


4.    Took the silver and gold of God’s and put it into pagan temples


a.    Vessels and treasures of the Jewish temple


5.    Sold the Jews into slavery into far lands just to be rid of them.



What will the price of judgment cost:


1.    Recompence will be made


2.    Their own children will be sold to the Jews, who will in turn sell them to a land far away from their home.



Tyre and Philistines are mentioned by other prophets as being under the coming judgment of God.


Zechariah saw the punishment of the nations in a vision in Zechariah chapter 1 and also received a similar admonishment on both Tyre and Philistia from God in Zechariah 9:2-8



Proclamation to the World of War with God



This next passage is an overall summary of “The Day of the Lord”.  Any study of the Second Coming must include this passage of Joel.



Joel Chapter 3 verse 9-17


Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles;


Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:


Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.


Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.


Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.


The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.


So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.




This is the ultimate summary of a declaration to the Gentiles from God:


1.    Prepare for war.


2.    Do what you must to get your weapons ready


3.    Come to the Valley of Jehoshaphat and be judged


4.    Multitudes are in the position of needing to make a decision BEFORE this day arrives


5.    The sun, moon and stars will be darkened.  Matthew 24:29   (This should be a SIGNAL for man to know it is time) Previously mentioned in Joel 2:30.


6.    The Lord’s army will come roaring through and will not stop until


7.    Jerusalem is once again HOLY




Joel Chapter 3 verse 18-21


And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.


Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.


But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.




“But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.” – Promised in Zechariah 9:8


The Final Results of that Day.  What it will be like when it is all over.