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JOEL 1:1-8

The upcoming sections from Joel contain commentary written over a twelve-hour period in which the Holy Spirit guided this author to pertinent knowledge and understanding fundamental to the message within Joel’s text. The following morning, after reading through the verses and commentary written the night before, the author found it obvious the commentary could neither be corroborated nor proven by any natural means.

At that time, I considered erasing the entire previous night’s work and starting over. However, while I was rereading the sections with an eye toward deleting nearly everything (namely all unsupportable comments), the Lord emphatically pressed upon my spirit to leave the text as is with the exception of properly editing and punctuating the text.

It is my prayer the Spirit of God will inspire you as you read through this section and place His perfect insight and understanding within your spirit, mind and soul. Amen.

As I wrote the following sections, the Lord impressed upon my spirit the difficultly Joel must have endured after writing the book of Joel. Unfortunately for Joel, he was required to live the remainder of his life without ever seeing his prophecies come to pass. No more difficult task is ever afforded a prophet of God. For without corroboration or confirmation he would likely have been branded a false prophet in his day! I pray the Lord have mercy!

Joel 1 Verses and Commentary

Joel 1 is presented using the New International Version of the Bible (NIV):

The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? (Joel 1:1–2)


  • Joel’s prophesies did not come to pass before or during his lifetime or during the generations of his people; neither have they come to pass since Israel first received his prophecies. Nevertheless, as will be seen, the book of Joel was and is divinely written.
  • I made the previous statements with the highest level of certainty, knowing the descriptions given by Joel in Joel 2:4–11 and John in Revelation 9:7–11 represent the same locust attacks, which will soon take place during the Wrath of God portion of the Great Consummation.
  • Evidence to follow.

“Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation” (Joel 1:3).

  • The event being prognosticated will not happen for many generations, even generations upon generations.
  • In fact, the events foretold throughout the pages of Joel relate to the fifth trumpet of the Latter Days judgment during the Great Consummation.

“What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten” (Joel 1:4).

  • The all-consuming attack implicit in verse 4 refers to the stripping away of God’s saving grace over the earth’s population during the Latter Days.
  • The calamity referenced will strip human receptivity to God’s love and offer of salvation. During the Latter Days, a great falling away will remove access to the fruit (Christians), the plant (Christian ministries), and its root system (Christ, the Restrainer and God’s laws, taken out of the way) have been taken from humanity during the Great Consummation, leaving nothing upon which to nurture a genuine relationship with Christ. All will be consumed—the entire good message and all of its produce along with all insight into a relationship with God of any spiritual value.
  • The torment humanity will endure will be overwhelming during the days of the seven trumpets of judgment.
  • Globally, the separation from Christ’s Spirit will be palpable and one of the primary reasons so many unbelievers will seek vengeance and death.

“Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips” (Joel 1:5).

  • The first sentence relates to those Christians who are spiritually sleeping when they should be watching and believing for the return of Christ,[1] lazy or misguided Christians.
  • The new wine is, of course, the new covenant of Jesus Christ, the New Testament.
  • Salvation will no longer be available, for it has been snatched from the people’s grasp.

“A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness” (Joel 1:6).

  • The Beast is a ferocious and powerful invader who invades the holy places of Christendom, wreaking havoc.[2]
  • This is not Israel. Rather, this is the territory of God’s people, the Body of Christ.
  • During the Great Consummation, the Beast will be given power to overcome and shatter the power of God’s holy people. The Body of Christ will be under attack by the Beast and the secular world.
  • Everywhere Christendom exists, the Beast and his followers will temporarily have rule.

“It has laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees. It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white” (Joel 1:7).

  • God’s vines represent the Body of Christ.[3]
  • The fig tree represents the government and physical nation of Israel.[4]
  • The olive tree represents the spiritual nation of Israel and the Holy Spirit (Romans 11:17–24).
  • The invading nation has laid waste to the Body of Christ, eliminating all physical and spiritual resources among the cities and general populations where possible.
  • Israel will also be isolated from the rest of the world as the Kingdoms of the North and South start to make war with God’s holy people, placing Israel under political siege.

“Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth grieving for the betrothed of her youth” (Joel 1:8).

  • As a new bride would weep for her lost bridegroom, so the Body of Christ will weep for the Restrainer, Jesus Christ, who has been taken out of the way.
  • Christendom has also lost every aspect of religious support within cities and towns.
  • The entire Christian system has been destroyed by the authorities and the Beast’s ideologies.
  • The church is the Bride and Jesus is the Bridegroom.

[1] Revelation 3:3.

[2] Revelation 13:2.

[3] John 15:5a, Jesus said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.”

[4] Matthew 24:32, Jesus said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree.” Jesus referred to Israel during the Latter Days.