Joel 2:1-32 NIV
An Army of Locusts
1Blow the trumpet in Zion;
2a day of darkness and gloom,
3Before them fire devours,
behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the Garden of Eden,
behind them, a desert waste—
nothing escapes them.
4They have the appearance of horses;
they gallop along like cavalry.
5With a noise like that of chariots
they leap over the mountaintops,
like a crackling fire consuming stubble,
like a mighty army drawn up for battle.
6At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
every face turns pale.
7They charge like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
not swerving from their course.
8They do not jostle each other;
each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
without breaking ranks.
9They rush upon the city;
they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;
like thieves they enter through the windows.
10Before them the earth shakes,
the heavens tremble,
the sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
11The LORD Thunders
at The Head of HIS Army;
His Forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys His Command.
The Day of The LORD Is Great;
It is dreadful.
Who can endure it?
Rend Your Heart
12“Even now,” Declares The LORD,
“return to ME with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
13Rend 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.
14Who knows? HE May Turn and Relent
and Leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
For The LORDyour GOD.
15Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly.
16Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
17Let the priests, who minister before The Lord,
weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their GOD?’ ”
The LORD'S Answer
18Then The LORD Was Jealous For HIS Land
and Took Pity On HIS people.
“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.
20“I Will Drive the northern horde far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land;
its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea
and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea.
And its stench will go up;
its smell will rise.”
Surely HE Has Done Great Things!
21Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
Be glad and rejoice.
Surely The LORD Has Done Great Things!
22Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23Be glad, people of Zion,
Rejoice in The LORD your GOD,
For HE Has Given you the autumn rains
Because HE Is Faithful.
HE Sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
25“I Will Repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
MY Great Army That I Sent among you.
26You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise The Name of The LORD your GOD,
WHO Has Worked Wonders for you;
never again will MY people be shamed.
27Then you will know that I AM in Israel,
that I AM The LORD your GOD,
and that there is no other;
never again will My people be shamed.
The Day of The LORD
I Will Pour Out MY SPIRIT On all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29Even on MY servants, both men and women,
I Will Pour Out MY SPIRIT in those days.
30I Will Show Wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
Before the Coming of the Great and Dreadful Day of The LORD.
32And everyone who calls
on The Name of The LORD will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
As The LORD Has Said,
even among the survivors
whom The LORD Calls.
In this chapter a further account is given of the Judgment of the locusts and caterpillars, or of those who are designed by them, Joel 2:1; the people of the Jews are called to repentance, humiliation, and fasting, urged from the Grace and Goodness of GOD, HIS Jealousy and Pity for HIS people, and the answer of prayer that might he expected from HIM upon this, even to the removal of the calamity, Joel 2:12.
Great prosperity of the Jews subsequent to their return from the Babylonian captivity, Joel 2:21-27. Joel then makes an elegant transition to the Outpouring of The HOLY SPIRIT on the day of Pentecost, Joel 2:28-30; for so these verses are explained by one of the twelve apostles of CHRIST, Peter. See Acts 2:16-21.
And the chapter is concluded with the Judgments and desolations that should come upon the land of Judea after this, for their rejection of CHRIST, though the remnant according to the election of grace should be delivered and saved from the general destruction, Joel 2:30. Prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which was shortly to follow the opening of The Gospel dispensation, Acts 2:31.
Promises of safety to the faithful and penitent; promises afterwards remarkably fulfilled to the Christians in their escape to Pella from the desolating sword of the Roman army, Acts 2:32.
Read the following article.
It was 66 CE and four years after the death of James the Just, we see Jerusalem and Judea in a political, moral, and religious spiraling free-fall of internal destruction. Effective governance of the Nazarene Ecclesia was becoming difficult as contact with the non-Jewish gentile Christian churches in Antioch, Glastonbury, Marseilles, Rome, and Alexandria was being cut off by the political instability of Jerusalem with Rome.
Almost forty years had lapsed since the crucifixion and resurrection of JESUS on that Passover eve on 30 CE. The fate of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem was uncertain. The political and religious climate was not only hazardous but deteriorating every month. The Nazarene leaders recognized the signs and omens very well. The prophecies of JESUSwere boldly imprinted in their minds. Was it time to take dramatic action? Was this the moment in which they were all looking for, the return of the Maschiach (MESSIAH) as the promised return of YEHOSHUA?
Matthew 24:15 – “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
Under the leadership of Simeon, the cousin of JESUS and his wise council, the main Nazarene leadership packed up and made a daring escape once again this time to the land which had provided refuge for their forefathers, the land of Perea in the city of Pella. It is unclear as to what date that this occurred, but it was after 62 CE, the earliest date that Simeon was nominated and probably as late as 66 CE before the Roman troops began to move into the land of Judea.
If Simeon did officiate as the high priest as documented for the Nazarenes in the temple of Herod, then it would have been in the years of 62, 63, and possibly 64, and 65 CE. Though the timing of this exodus is unclear in this text, the pens of both Epiphanius and Eusebius record this flight was made during the days of extreme danger. It was Eusebius, the Roman Church Ecclesiastical Historian, who stated,
Eusebius - “The people of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a Divine oracle given by revelation to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town of Perea called Pella. Here, those that believed in CHRIST, having removed from Jerusalem, as if holy men had entirely abandoned the royal city itself; the Divine justice, for their crimes against CHRIST and the apostles, finally overtook them, totally destroying the whole generation of these evildoers from the earth.” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, III.5)
Epiphanius, the Bishop of Cyprus – “When the city was about to be … sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella … across the Jordan (Epiphanius, de Mens. et Pond., 15).
Now this sect of Nazarenes exists in … the district of Pella ... Messiah having instructed them to leave Jerusalem … on account of the impending siege (Epiphanius, Haer (Heresy) 29:7).
That this flight from Judea was probably close to the spring of 66 CE to the area of Perea and the Greek city of Pella, must also be collaborated with other historical texts. In the fall of 66 CE, this same city was sacked by a Jewish force and devastated. For what reason? Was this “last act” of the House of Ananus and its blood oath against the House of Joseph and Jesus? Was this “last act” when Mattathias the son of Theophilus the grandson of Ananus was reigning high priest in Jerusalem? Was he fully aware that Simeon ben Cleopas the cousin of JESUS(possibly half-brother) had escaped to Pella in Perea with a large group of Nazarenes?
As the Nazarenes were in flight from the city of Jerusalem around 65-66 CE, Josephus records that there were astral phenomenon that were signifying portents and dire omens for the future of Judea.
Josephus - “a star, resembling a sword, stood over the city, and a comet which continued for a year. Thus also, before the Jew’s rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of Xanthicus, (Nisan,) and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone around the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be a bright day-time; which light lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. (Josephus, Jewish Wars, V: 3)
Were these signals or portents a declaration that such an event had happened or was about to happen? In Revelation, when the woman ‘ecclesia’ had to flee into the wilderness, so the Nazarene Congregation in literal reality fled in the early months of 66 AD to the hills and wilderness near the city of Pella, in the region of Perea.
So again at the time of the end, the Jewish ecclesia of messianic believers in YEHOSHUA, along with the two witnesses, will again flee again from Jerusalem when the forces of the Antichrist will surround the city. The comet-star that resembled a sword could have been to the Nazarenes a reminder of YEHOSHUA'S warning to flee to the mountains coupled with the ancient oracle in Numbers.
Numbers 24:17 – “I see HIM, but not now;
I behold HIM but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult.”
In the year 69 CE the last Sabbatical Year Passover was in progress. The city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the forces of Rome and omens hung in the air of the total destruction of Jerusalem. According to Josephus, over three million Jewish people were crowded into the city of Jerusalem for the great Sabbatical pilgrimage of the Jews from the Diaspora.
There at Passover, two days before the selection of the Passover lamb, on the 8th of Nissan, a supra-natural light shown down upon the altar and the temple making the whole Temple mount edifices glow in brightness as the light of the mid-day sun. When the light withdrew, from all appearances, the Mercy of The LORD of hosts withdrew itself from the premises of the GOD’S holy city and HIS Holy Temple.
Read more : http://www.biblesearchers.com/hebrewchurch/primitive/primitive17.shtml