Sacred Texts  Christianity  Calvin  Index  Previous  Next 

Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 27: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

A Translation of

Calvin’s Version of

The Prophecies of Joel.

Chapter 1

1 The word of Jehovah which came to Joel, the son of Pethuel.

2 Hear this, ye the aged; And give ear, al ye inhabitants of the land; Hath this been in your days, Or in the days of your fathers?

3 This to your children declare, And your children to their children, And their children to the next generation, —

4 “The residue of the locust hath the chafer eaten, “The residue of the chafer hath the cankerworm eaten, “The residue of the cankerworm hath the caterpillar eaten.”

5 Awake ye drunkards, and weep; Howl ye all who drink wine for the new wine; For cut off it is from your mouth.

6 Verily a nation came up over my land, Strong and without number: Its teeth the teeth the teeth of a lion, And its jaw-bones those of a young lion:

7 It exposed my vine to desolation, And my fig-tree to the stripping of the bark; By denuding it denuded it and cast it away, White have been made its branches.—

8 Lament as a young woman, girded with sackcloth, For the husband of her youth.

9 Cut off is offering and libation From the house of Jehovah; Mourn do the priests, the ministers of Jehovah;

10 Wasted is the field, mourn does the land; For laid waste is the corn, Dried up is the wine, destroyed is the oil.

11 Be ashamed, ye husbandmen, howl, ye vinedressers, On account of the wheat and the barley; For perished has the harvest of the field,

12 The vine is dried up, and the fig-tree is destroyed; The pomegranate, the palm also and the apple tree,— All the trees of the field have dried up: Verily dried up is joy among the children of men!

13 Be girded and lament, ye priests; Howl ye ministers of the altar; Come, spend the night in sackcloth, Ye ministers of my God; For withheld from the house of your God Is offering and a libation:

14 Sanctify a fast, call an assembly, Gather the elders, all the inhabitants of the land, Into the house of Jehovah your God, And cry ye to Jehovah.—

15 Alas the day! For nigh is the day of Jehovah, And as a desolation from the Almighty it will come.

16 Has not the meat before your eyes been cut off, Joy and gladness from the house of our God?

17 Rotted have the grains under the clods, Desolate are the granaries, Pulled down have been the barns, For dried up has the corn.

18 How has the beast groaned! Confounded are the herds of oxen! For wanting to them are pastures; The flocks of sheep are also desolate.

19 To thee Jehovah will I cry; For the fire hath consumed the pastures of the desert, And the flame hath burnt all the trees of the field:

20 The beasts of the field will also cry to thee; For dried up have the streams of waters, For the fire hath consumed the pastures of the desert.

Chapter 2

1 Sound ye the trumpet in Zion, And cry aloud on my holy mountain: Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For coming is the day of Jehovah, for nigh it is,—

2 A day of darkness and thick darkness, A day of cloudiness and of obscurity, Like the dawn expanding over the mountains,— A people, great and strong, The like of them has not been from the beginning, Nor after them shall be for many generations;

3 Before them, a devouring fire, And after them, a flame, shall burn; Like the garden of Eden the land before them, And after them, a desert of solitude; And so there will be no escape from them:

4 As the appearance of horses, their appearance, And as horsemen they will run;

5 As the sound of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, As the sound of the flame of fire devouring the stubble, As a strong people prepared for battle;

6 Their face will the people dread, All faces will gather blackness;

7 As giants will they run here and there, As men of war will they ascend the wall, And each in his ways will proceed, And they shall not stay their goings;

8 No one will thrust his brother, Every one in his way will march on; On the sword shall they fall, and shall not be wounded;

9 Though the city shall they go, over the wall shall they run, Into houses shall they climb, Into the windows shall they enter like a thief:

10 Before them shall tremble the earth, And in anguish shall be the heavens, The sun and moon shall be darkened, And the stars shall withdraw their brightness;

11 And Jehovah will utter his voice before his army, For very great will be his camp. For strong is he who doeth his word; For great will be the day of Jehovah, And very terrible, and who will endure it?

12 But even now, saith Jehovah, Turn to me with your whole heart, And with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;

13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, And turn to Jehovah your God; For he is propitious and merciful, Slow to wrath, and abundant in goodness, And will repent of the evil:

14 Who knows, whether he will return and repent, And leave behind him a blessing— An offering and a libation to Jehovah your God?

15 Sound ye the trumpet in Zion, Sanctify a fast, proclaim a meeting,

16 Gather the people, sanctify the assembly, Bring together the aged, gather the children And those suckling the breasts; And let the bridegroom come forth from his recess, And the bride from her chamber;

17 Between the porch and the altar let the priests, The ministers of Jehovah, weep and say,— “Be propitious, Jehovah, to thy people, “And give not thy heritage to reproach, “That the nations should rule over them; “Why should they say among the people, “‘Where is their God?’”

18 Then jealous will Jehovah be for his land, And he will be propitious to his people;

19 And Jehovah will answer, and say to his people:  77 “Behold, I will send to you corn, and wine, and oil, “And ye shall be satisfied with them; “And I will make you no more a reproach among the nations;

20 “And the Northlander will I remove far from you, “And drive him to a desert and dry land, “With his face to the eastern sea, “And his rear to the hindmost sea; “And ascend shall his ill savor, “And ascend shall his rottenness; “For high hath he exalted himself to do his purpose.

21 Fear not, thou land; exult and rejoice; For Jehovah hath high exalted himself to do his purpose:

22 Fear not, ye beasts of the fields; For grow shall the pastures of the desert, For the tree shall bring forth its fruit, The fig-tree and the vine shall yield their substance:

23 And ye children of Zion, exult, And rejoice in Jehovah your God; For he will give you rain in due measure, And make to come down for you the showering rain, And the rain in the first month;

24 And filled shall the floors be with corn, And overflow shall the vats with wine and oil;

25 And I will restore years to you For those which the locust hath eaten, The chafer, and the caterpillar,— My great army, which I sent to you:

26 And eating, ye shall eat and satisfy yourselves, And shall praise the name of Jehovah your God, Because he hath dealt wondrously with you; And ashamed shall not my people be for ever.

27 And ye shall know that in the midst of Israel I am, And that I Jehovah am your God, and none else; And ashamed shall not my people be forever.

28 And shall it be afterwards, That I will pour my Spirit on all flesh, And prophesy shall your sons and your daughters, And your old men shall dreams dream, And your young men shall visions see;

29 And also on servants and maid-servants Will I in those days pour my spirit:

30 And I will set prodigies in heaven and on earth,— Blood and fire, and columns of mist;

31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, The moon into blood, Before it comes—the day of Jehovah, great and terrible:

32 Then it shall be, that whosoever shall call On the name of Jehovah, shall be delivered; For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem Shall be deliverance, as Jehovah hath promised, And for the residue whom Jehovah shall call.

Chapter 3

1 For, behold in those days, and at that time, When I shall restore the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will then gather all the nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehosaphat; And I will there contend with them, For my people and for my heritage Israel; Because they have scattered them among the nations,

2 And divided my land, and on my people cast lots, And have given a boy for a harlot, And have sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.

3 And yet, what have ye to do with me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the borders of Palestine? Will ye recompense return to me?

4 Now if ye repay me with this, Quickly—suddenly will I return Your recompense on your own head.

5 Because ye have taken away my silver and my gold, And my desirable things have removed to your temples,

6 And have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem To the children of the Grecians, That ye might drive them far from their own borders;—

7 Behold, I will raise them from the place to which ye have sold them, And will return your recompense on your head;

8 For I will sell your sons and your daughters to the children of Judah, And they shall sell them to the Sabeans, a distant nation; For thus hath Jehovah spoken.

9 Publish this among the nations, Proclaim a war, rouse the strong, Let them come, let them ascend, all the men of war:

10 Beat your plowshares into swords, And your pruning-hooks into spears; Let the weak say, “I am strong.”

11 Assemble and come all ye nations, Assemble all around; There will Jehovah lay prostrate all thy valiant ones.

12 Awake let the nations, and ascend to the valley of Jehosaphat; For there will I sit to judge all the nations around.

13 Put forth the sickle, for ripened has the harvest; Come, go down, for full is the wine-press, Overflowing are the vats, For multiplied has their wickedness.

14 Nations! Nations! In the valley of the sledge; For nigh is Jehovah’s day in the valley of the sledge: The sun and the moon shall be darkened, And the stars shall withdraw their brightness;

15 And Jehovah from Zion shall roar, And from Jerusalem shall utter his voice, And tremble shall the heavens and the earth;

16 But Jehovah will be a hope to his people, And a strength to the children of Israel:

17 Then ye shall know that I Jehovah am your God, Dwelling in Zion, the mount of my holiness; And Jerusalem shall be holiness, And aliens shall pass through it no more.

18 And it shall be in that day, That distill new wine shall the mountains, And the hills shall cause milk to run down, And all the rivers of Judah shall send forth waters; A fountain also from the house of Jehovah shall go forth, And it shall water the valley of Shittim.

19 Egypt shall be a solitude, And Edom shall be a desert of solitude, For the outrage done to the children of Judah, Because they shed innocent blood in their own land:

20 But Judah shall forever safely dwell, And Jerusalem shall be from age to age; And I will cleanse their blood which I have not cleansed, And Jehovah shall dwell in Zion.



This line is rendered to the version of Calvin, and not according to his comment. See p. 75.

Next: Amos