Joel 1 – “Famine Strikes”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Joel urges the people to fast and pray when a famine strikes the land.

II. Photo
Famine strikes: “What the cutter has left, the locust has devoured; What the locust has left, the grub has devoured; And what the grub has left, the hopper has devoured!” (v. 4)

III. Important Verses
1: The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel.
10-12: The country is ravaged, The ground must mourn; For the new grain is ravaged, The new wine is dried up, The new oil has failed. Farmers are dismayed And vine dressers wail Over wheat and barley; For the crops of the field are lost.  The vine has dried up, The fig tree withers, Pomegranate, palm, and apple — All the trees of the field are sear. And joy has dried up Among men.
13-15: Gird yourselves and lament, O priests, Wail, O ministers of the altar; Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God. For offering and libation are withheld From the House of your God. Solemnize a fast, Proclaim an assembly; Gather the elders — all the inhabitants of the land — In the House of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD. Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near; It shall come like havoc from Shaddai.
19-20: To You, O LORD, I call. For fire has consumed The pastures in the wilderness, And flame has devoured All the trees of the countryside. The very beasts of the field Cry out to You; For the watercourses are dried up, And fire has consumed The pastures in the wilderness.

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2-3. Introduction: exhortation to tell future generations
4. Famine
5-8. Call to lament the swarm
9-12. The people lament
13-15. Exhortation to fast and pray
16-18. Description of the havoc
19-20. Calling out to God

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Photo taken from