Joel 2
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Blow ye the horn in Tzion and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of Hashem cometh for it is at hand;

א  תִּקְעוּ שׁוֹפָר בְּצִיּוֹן וְהָרִיעוּ בְּהַר קָדְשִׁי יִרְגְּזוּ כֹּל יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ כִּי בָא יוֹם יְהוָה כִּי קָרוֹב.

2  A day of darkness and gloominess a day of clouds and thick darkness as blackness spread upon the mountains; a great people and a mighty there hath not been ever the like neither shall be any more after them even to the years of many generations.

ב  יוֹם חֹשֶׁךְ וַאֲפֵלָה יוֹם עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל כְּשַׁחַר פָּרֻשׂ עַל הֶהָרִים עַם רַב וְעָצוּם כָּמֹהוּ לֹא נִהְיָה מִן הָעוֹלָם וְאַחֲרָיו לֹא יוֹסֵף עַד שְׁנֵי דּוֹר וָדוֹר.

3  A fire devoureth before them and behind them a flame blazeth; the land is as the garden of Eden before them and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea and nothing escapeth them.

ג  לְפָנָיו אָכְלָה אֵשׁ וְאַחֲרָיו תְּלַהֵט לֶהָבָה כְּגַן עֵדֶן הָאָרֶץ לְפָנָיו וְאַחֲרָיו מִדְבַּר שְׁמָמָה וְגַם פְּלֵיטָה לֹא הָיְתָה לּוֹ.

4  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen so do they run.

ד  כְּמַרְאֵה סוּסִים מַרְאֵהוּ וּכְפָרָשִׁים כֵּן יְרוּצוּן.

5  Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains do they leap like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble as a mighty people set in battle array.

ה  כְּקוֹל מַרְכָּבוֹת עַל רָאשֵׁי הֶהָרִים יְרַקֵּדוּן כְּקוֹל לַהַב אֵשׁ אֹכְלָה קָשׁ כְּעַם עָצוּם עֱרוּךְ מִלְחָמָה.

6  At their presence the peoples are in anguish; all faces have gathered blackness.

ו  מִפָּנָיו יָחִילוּ עַמִּים כָּל פָּנִים קִבְּצוּ פָארוּר.

7  They run like mighty men they climb the wall like men of war; and they move on every one in his ways and they entangle not their paths.

ז  כְּגִבּוֹרִים יְרֻצוּן כְּאַנְשֵׁי מִלְחָמָה יַעֲלוּ חוֹמָה וְאִישׁ בִּדְרָכָיו יֵלֵכוּן וְלֹא יְעַבְּטוּן אֹרְחוֹתָם.

8  Neither doth one thrust another they march every one in his highway; and they break through the weapons and suffer no harm.

ח  וְאִישׁ אָחִיו לֹא יִדְחָקוּן גֶּבֶר בִּמְסִלָּתוֹ יֵלֵכוּן וּבְעַד הַשֶּׁלַח יִפֹּלוּ לֹא יִבְצָעוּ.

9  They leap upon the city they run upon the wall they climb up into the houses; they enter in at the windows like a thief.

ט  בָּעִיר יָשֹׁקּוּ בַּחוֹמָה יְרֻצוּן בַּבָּתִּים יַעֲלוּ בְּעַד הַחַלּוֹנִים יָבֹאוּ כַּגַּנָּב.

10  Before them the earth quaketh the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are become black and the stars withdraw their shining.

י  לְפָנָיו רָגְזָה אֶרֶץ רָעֲשׁוּ שָׁמָיִם שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ קָדָרוּ וְכוֹכָבִים אָסְפוּ נָגְהָם.

11  And Hashem uttereth His voice before His army; for His camp is very great for he is mighty that executeth His word; for great is the day of Hashem and very terrible; and who can abide it?

יא  וַיהוָה נָתַן קוֹלוֹ לִפְנֵי חֵילוֹ כִּי רַב מְאֹד מַחֲנֵהוּ כִּי עָצוּם עֹשֵׂה דְבָרוֹ כִּי גָדוֹל יוֹם יְהוָה וְנוֹרָא מְאֹד וּמִי יְכִילֶנּוּ.

12  Yet even now saith Hashem turn ye unto Me with all your heart and with fasting and with weeping and with lamentation;

יב  וְגַם עַתָּה נְאֻם יְהוָה שֻׁבוּ עָדַי בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְצוֹם וּבִבְכִי וּבְמִסְפֵּד.

13  And rend your heart and not your garments and turn unto Hashem your God; for He is gracious and compassionate long-suffering and abundant in mercy and repenteth Him of the evil.

v’-kir-U l’-vav-KHEM v’-AL big-day-KHEM v’-SHU-vu el a-do-NAI e-lo-hay-KHEM kee kha-NUN v’-ra-KHUM hu E-rekh a-PA-yim v’-RAV KHE-sed v’-ni-KHAM al ha-ra-AH

יג  וְקִרְעוּ לְבַבְכֶם וְאַל בִּגְדֵיכֶם וְשׁוּבוּ אֶל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם כִּי חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם הוּא אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב חֶסֶד וְנִחָם עַל הָרָעָה.

2:13  Rend your heart, and not your garments

Joel tells the Children of Israel that all is not lost. However, their repentance must be internally focused, and not externally based. Tearing  clothing symbolizes mourning (II Samuel 3:31), but Joel cautions that the external actions must reflect genuine inner feelings of remorse. He then cites the Divine Attributes of Mercy found in Exodus 34. The context in Exodus is the giving of the second set of Tablets of the Law, which symbolizes the renewal of the covenant. By mentioning the Divine Attributes, Joel reminds his people that God gives second chances, as well as hinting to them how they should behave in order to again find favor in the eyes of the Lord.

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14  Who knoweth whether He will not turn and repent and leave a blessing behind Him even a meal-offering and a drink-offering unto Hashem your God?

יד  מִי יוֹדֵעַ יָשׁוּב וְנִחָם וְהִשְׁאִיר אַחֲרָיו בְּרָכָה מִנְחָה וָנֶסֶךְ לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם.

15  Blow the horn in Tzion sanctify a fast call a solemn assembly;

טו  תִּקְעוּ שׁוֹפָר בְּצִיּוֹן קַדְּשׁוּ צוֹם קִרְאוּ עֲצָרָה.

16  Gather the people sanctify the congregation assemble the elders gather the children and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber and the bride out of her pavilion.

טז  אִסְפוּ עָם קַדְּשׁוּ קָהָל קִבְצוּ זְקֵנִים אִסְפוּ עוֹלָלִים וְיֹנְקֵי שָׁדָיִם יֵצֵא חָתָן מֵחֶדְרוֹ וְכַלָּה מֵחֻפָּתָהּ.

17  Let the Kohanim the ministers of Hashem weep between the porch and the altar and let them say: ‘Spare thy people O Hashem and give not Thy heritage to reproach that the nations should make them a byword: wherefore should they say among the peoples: Where is their God?’

יז  בֵּין הָאוּלָם וְלַמִּזְבֵּחַ יִבְכּוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים מְשָׁרְתֵי יְהוָה וְיֹאמְרוּ חוּסָה יְהוָה עַל עַמֶּךָ וְאַל תִּתֵּן נַחֲלָתְךָ לְחֶרְפָּה לִמְשָׁל בָּם גּוֹיִם לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ בָעַמִּים אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם.

18  Then was Hashem jealous for His land and had pity on His people.

יח  וַיְקַנֵּא יְהוָה לְאַרְצוֹ וַיַּחְמֹל עַל עַמּוֹ.

19  And Hashem answered and said unto His people: ‘Behold I will send you corn and wine and oil and ye shall be satisfied therewith; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations;

יט  וַיַּעַן יְהוָה וַיֹּאמֶר לְעַמּוֹ הִנְנִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם אֶת הַדָּגָן וְהַתִּירוֹשׁ וְהַיִּצְהָר וּשְׂבַעְתֶּם אֹתוֹ וְלֹא אֶתֵּן אֶתְכֶם עוֹד חֶרְפָּה בַּגּוֹיִם.

20  But I will remove far off from you the northern one and will drive him into a land barren and desolate with his face toward the eastern sea and his hinder part toward the western sea; that his foulness may come up and his ill savour may come up because he hath done great things.’

כ  וְאֶת הַצְּפוֹנִי אַרְחִיק מֵעֲלֵיכֶם וְהִדַּחְתִּיו אֶל אֶרֶץ צִיָּה וּשְׁמָמָה אֶת פָּנָיו אֶל הַיָּם הַקַּדְמֹנִי וְסֹפוֹ אֶל הַיָּם הָאַחֲרוֹן וְעָלָה בָאְשׁוֹ וְתַעַל צַחֲנָתוֹ כִּי הִגְדִּיל לַעֲשׂוֹת.

21  Fear not O land be glad and rejoice; for Hashem hath done great things.

כא  אַל תִּירְאִי אֲדָמָה גִּילִי וּשְׂמָחִי כִּי הִגְדִּיל יְהוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת.

22  Be not afraid ye beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do spring for the tree beareth its fruit the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength.

כב  אַל תִּירְאוּ בַּהֲמוֹת שָׂדַי כִּי דָשְׁאוּ נְאוֹת מִדְבָּר כִּי עֵץ נָשָׂא פִרְיוֹ תְּאֵנָה וָגֶפֶן נָתְנוּ חֵילָם.

23  Be glad then ye children of Tzion and rejoice in Hashem your God; for He giveth you the former rain in just measure and He causeth to come down for you the rain the former rain and the latter rain at the first.

כג  וּבְנֵי צִיּוֹן גִּילוּ וְשִׂמְחוּ בַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם כִּי נָתַן לָכֶם אֶת הַמּוֹרֶה לִצְדָקָה וַיּוֹרֶד לָכֶם גֶּשֶׁם מוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ בָּרִאשׁוֹן.

24  And the floors shall be full of corn and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

כד  וּמָלְאוּ הַגֳּרָנוֹת בָּר וְהֵשִׁיקוּ הַיְקָבִים תִּירוֹשׁ וְיִצְהָר.

25  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten the canker-worm and the caterpiller and the palmer-worm My great army which I sent among you.

כה  וְשִׁלַּמְתִּי לָכֶם אֶת הַשָּׁנִים אֲשֶׁר אָכַל הָאַרְבֶּה הַיֶּלֶק וְהֶחָסִיל וְהַגָּזָם חֵילִי הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר שִׁלַּחְתִּי בָּכֶם.

26  And ye shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and shall praise the name of Hashem your God that hath dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be ashamed.

כו  וַאֲכַלְתֶּם אָכוֹל וְשָׂבוֹעַ וְהִלַּלְתֶּם אֶת שֵׁם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה עִמָּכֶם לְהַפְלִיא וְלֹא יֵבֹשׁוּ עַמִּי לְעוֹלָם.

27  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Yisrael and that I am Hashem your God and there is none else; and My people shall never be ashamed.

כז  וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי בְקֶרֶב יִשְׂרָאֵל אָנִי וַאֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְאֵין עוֹד וְלֹא יֵבֹשׁוּ עַמִּי לְעוֹלָם.

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Joel 2