Book summary

After a terrible invasion of locusts and severe drought, Joel called the people of Judah to repent, and described the deliverance and blessings that would come if they do so. The date of Joel’s ministry is uncertain as there are no mentions of specific kings or historical events.

Chapters 1-2:17 — Catastrophe and call to repentance

Ch 1:2-12 — An invasion of locusts
The fields are ruined,
the ground is dried up;
the grain is destroyed,
the new wine is dried up,
the olive oil fails. (Joel 1:10)
Ch 1:13-20 — A call to repentance
Put on sackcloth, you priests, and mourn;
wail, you who minister before the altar. (Joel 1:13)
Ch 2:1-11 — An army of locusts
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming. (Joel 2:1)
Ch 2:12-17 — Rend your heart
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:13)

Chapters 2:18-32 — Promise of future blessing

Ch 2:18-27 — God’s answer
The Lord replied to them:
“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.
I will drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land; (Joel 2:19-20)
Ch 2:28-32 — The day of the Lord
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:31-32)

Chapter 3 — Coming judgment on Israel’s enemies

v1-16 — The nations judged
Let the nations be roused;
let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit
to judge all the nations on every side. (Joel 3:12)
v17-21 — Blessings for God’s people
“Jerusalem will be holy;
never again will foreigners invade her.
In that day the mountains will drip new wine,
and the hills will flow with milk;
all the ravines of Judah will run with water.” (Joel 3:17-18)