0 Beat your plowshares into swords (Joel 1-3)

Episode 220: Beat your plowshares into swords

Joel 1-3

Wake up, you drunkards!

1 1 The word of God came to Joel, saying,

2 Listen you old men, and everyone else in the land. Have you ever seen anything like this?

3 Tell your children about it, and have them tell their children, and so on.

4 What the cutting locusts haven't eaten, the swarming locusts have. Whatever the swarming locusts didn't eat, the hopping locusts did. And what the hopping locusts missed, the destroying locusts ate.

5 Wake up, you drunkards! Weep and howl, all you wine-drinkers! Your wine is now cut off.

6-7 A nation with lion’s teeth has attacked our land and destroyed our vineyards and fig trees.

8 Lament like a virgin girded in sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

11 Be ashamed, you farmers! Howl, you vine keepers!

13 Gird yourselves in sackcloth and howl, you priests!

15 Alas for the day! The day of the Lord is here! God is going to destroy everything!

18 The beasts are groaning, and the cows are perplexed!

19-20 They are crying out to God, the waters have dried up, and our pastures and trees have all burned down.

An army of locusts

2 1 Blow the trumpet in Zion and sound the alarm on God's holy mountain. Let everyone tremble, for the day of the Lord is near.

2 It is a dark, cloudy, and gloomy day.

3 A fire is burning everything, nothing will escape.

4-5 They look like horses leaping on mountain tops,

sounding like a crackling fire, devouring the the stubble.

6 The people are in pain and all faces are blackened.

7 They run like mighty men, climbing walls, and staying together in a group.

8 When they fall on the sword, they won't be wounded.

9 They run up the wall and climb into houses, entering windows like a thief.

10 The earth shakes before them, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

12-13 Rend your heart, not your garments. For God is kind, merciful, and slow to anger.

14 Who knows? Maybe God will repent.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion.

22 Don't be afraid, you beasts of the field.

25 I [God] repay you for the years that I sent the locusts to eat all your crops.

28 Someday, I will pour out my spirit on everyone.

Sons and daughters will prophesy, old men will dream, and young men will have visions.

30 I'll show wonders in the heavens and on earth, with blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun will be darkened and the moon will turn into blood on the great and terrible day of the Lord.

32 But whoever calls on my name will be delivered.

Beat your plowshares into swords

3 3 They've cast lots for my people, given a boy for a harlot, and a girl for wine, that they might drink.

5 You've taken my silver and gold and carried my pleasant things into your temples. You've sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks.

8 So I'll sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah.

9 Prepare for war.

10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears.

And let the weakling say, I am strong.

12 Wake up the heathen and tell them to come to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will judge them.

14 The day of the Lord is near.

15 The sun, moon, and stars will be darkened.

16 God will roar, and the heavens and earth will shake.

17 So you'll know that I'm God, and that I live on a holy mountain in Zion.

Jerusalem will be holy, and no more strangers will pass through her anymore.

18 On that day, the mountains will be covered with wine, the hills will flow with milk, and a fountain will flow out of my house to water the valley of Shittim.

19 Egypt and Edom will be desolate.

21 I will clean their blood that I haven’t cleaned. Because God lives in Zion.

A few more words about this episode

The book that I mentioned in the podcast is Locust: The Devastating Rise And Mysterious Disappearance Of The Insect That Shaped The American Frontier by Jeffrey A. Lockwood.

Joel (1:1)
Joel is identified only as Joel the son of Pethuel, and is mentioned by name nowhere else in the Bible. Scholars date the book to the third century BCE.
In the last days, God will pour out my spirit on everyone. (2:28)
Peter claimed that his prophecy was fulfilled at Pentecost when the Christians spoke in unknown languages and were accused of being drunk. (Acts 2:16-20)
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears. (3:10)
See Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3 which say the exact opposite (and a quoted much more often).
The valley of Jehoshaphat (3:12)
No one knows where this valley is, but if you can find it, tell the heathen to go there so God can judge them.
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