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Joel is often taken as a lament about a recent invasion of locusts that serves as a picture of an impending foreign invasion unless Israel repents. This commentary will take the position that the locust invasion represents a prediction regarding a series of foreign invaders who will occupy and ravage the land of Israel. This seems to best fit the passage. In Joel 1, the prophet introduces the destructive locust plague which will consist of four different kinds of locusts: gnawing, swarming, creeping and stripping. These four kinds of locusts likely represent four succeeding nations who will invade and ravage Israel. Joel speaks of these events as though they have occurred, indicating the certainty of the prophetic prediction.



Joel 1:1

The prophet Joel receives a revelation from God for the people of Judah.

Joel 1:2–4

The prophet Joel calls the nation of Judah to give undivided attention to his message because a locust plague will certainly devastate the land.

Joel 1:5-7

Joel addresses the drunkards of Judah, urging them to lament the disaster caused by the locust plague.

Joel 1:8-10

Joel addresses the worshipers, urging them to lament the disaster caused by the locust plague.

Joel 1:11–12

Joel addresses the farmers and the vinedressers, urging them to lament the disaster caused by the locust plague of invaders.

Joel 1:13–14

Joel addresses the priests, urging them to lament the disaster caused by the locust plague/invading army.

Joel 1:15–20

The prophet uses the recent locust/army invasion to predict the day of the LORD, a time in which God will intervene in the world to judge His adversaries.