Joel 1

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Phatuel.

2 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land: did this ever happen in your days, or in the days of your fathers?

3 Tell ye of this to your children, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.

4 That which the palmerworm hath left, the locust hath eaten: and that which the locust hath left, the bruchus hath eaten: and that which the bruchus hath left, the mildew hath destroyed.

5 Awake, ye that are drunk, and weep, and mourn all ye that take delight in drinking sweet wine: for it is cut off from your mouth.

6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong and without number: his teeth are like the teeth of a lion: and his cheek teeth as of a lion's whelp.

7 He hath laid my vineyard waste, and hath pilled off the bark of my fig tree: he hath stripped it bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

9 Sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of the Lord: the priests, the Lord's ministers, have mourned:

10 The country is destroyed, the ground hath mourned: for the corn is wasted, the wine is confounded, the oil hath languished.

11 The husbandmen are ashamed, the vinedressers have howled for the wheat, and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished.

12 The vineyard is confounded, and the fig tree hath languished: the pomegranate tree, and the palm tree, and the apple tree, and all the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withdrawn from the children of men.

13 Gird yourselves, and lament, O ye priests, howl, ye ministers of the altars: go in, lie in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: because sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of your God.

14 Sanctify ye a fast, call an assembly; gather together the ancients, all the inhabitants of the land into the house of your God: and cry ye to the Lord:

15 Ah, ah, ah, for the day: because the day of the Lord is at hand, and it shall come like destruction from the mighty.

16 Is not your food cut off before your eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?

17 The beasts have rotted in their dung, the barns are destroyed, the storehouses are broken down: because the corn is confounded.

18 Why did the beast groan, why did the herds of cattle low? because there is no pasture for them: yea, and the flocks of sheep are perished.

19 To thee, 0 Lord, will I cry: because fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness, and the flame hath burnt all the trees of the country.

20 Yea and the beasts of the field have looked up to thee, as a garden bed that thirsteth after rain, for the springs of waters are dried up, and fire hath devoured the beautiful places of the wilderness.

← Hosea 14   Joel 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Explanation of Joel 1 - Revised      

Joel Chapter 1, the Internal Sense.
From Swedenborg's work, "The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms"

(Verse 1) The Word has been perverted by false worship,

(2) when instead the Word should have been obeyed by everyone in the Church,

(3) and communicated to everyone who holds false beliefs that arise from evil loves.

(4) Instead, the spiritual things of the Church have been destroyed by sensualism.

(5) Now, remorse should be awakened, because of this loss of faith,

(6) a faith which has been destroyed by the lust of worshipping false gods,

(7) depriving the Church of spiritual truth and good.

(8) The Church should return to the Lord

(9) with inward mourning and contrition

(10) over the loss of good and truth in the natural and spiritual man -

(11) especially people who seek the good of the Church and who desire its genuine doctrine: for the Church is about to perish.

(12) Spiritual truth, its good, its knowledge, and its delights, which constitute the Church, are perverted.

(13) Only by repentance can communion with the Lord be renewed.

(14) The Church can only remove the evil and falsity by acknowledging and worshipping the Lord,

(15) for the end of the Church is near, when it will be judged.

(16) Good works are not being done, nor are there any people who delight in spiritual things.

(17) Natural good has been subordinated to evil, and the truth and good of the Word are rejected.

(18) Wherefore there is no good in the Church,

(19) and our hearts must be turned again to the Lord: for the love of self has corrupted all things in the church.

(20) Although truth is desired, it has been misappropriated to ourselves.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 2606, 10325

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 198


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 368, 488, 566, 1072, 1992, 2708, 3580, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 241, 315, 316, 334, 424, 435, 492, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 4

Sacred Scripture 87

True Christianity 82, 252


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 278, 374, 375, 376, 403, 458, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56, 58

Marriage 82

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 55

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 10:2, 14, 15

Numbers 28:4, 7, 14

Deuteronomy 16:11, 14, 28:38

1 Kings 17:7

2 Chronicles 6:28

Psalms 104:21

Isaiah 13:6, 22:12, 24:11, 32:11, 12

Jeremiah 3:9, 9:9, 12:4, 14:2, 4, 36:9, 48:33

Ezekiel 7:5, 7, 10, 12, 27:31

Hosea 4:1, 5:1

Joel 2:1, 2, 3, 12, 14, 15, 17, 25

Amos 4:9

Obadiah 1:15

Zephaniah 7

Malachi 2:3, 3:11

Revelation 9:7

Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

Inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

generation
To “generate” something is to create it, and that idea underpins the meaning of a “generation” of people – it is a group that was...

locust
'Locusts' signify falsities in the extremes, which consume the truths and goods of the church in a person. 'The locusts' which John the Baptist ate...

eaten
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

Mildew
'Mildew' signifies being unreceptive of the good of love and faith.

drunk
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

weep
'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief.

wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

nation
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

Strong and without number
In Joel 1:6, 'strong' relates to the power of evil, and 'without number,' of the power of falsity.

teeth
'Tooth,' as in Exodus 21:24, denotes the exterior understanding, and natural truth.

lion
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

Fig tree
A fig tree signifies natural good. A fig tree, as in Judges 9:13, signifies the external good of the celestial church.

fig
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

white
'White' relates to truths, because it originates in the light of the sun.

virgin
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

girded
To gird one’s self, as in John. 21:18, signifies to know and perceive truths in the light from good.

sackcloth
'Being clothed in sackcloth' signifies lamentation because of the devastation of truth in the church. 'Sackcloth,' as in Revelation 6:12, relates to destroyed good.

youth
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

lord's
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

ministers
People in the Word who operate the details of charity are called 'ministers.'

mourned
In a general sense, mourning in the Bible represents a state of grief over the lack of desires for good and true ideas about life....

corn
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

howled
To howl' signifies grief caused by vastation.

barley
'Wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and vetches,' as in Ezekiel 4:9, 12, signify various kinds of good, and their derivative truths. Bread, or a cake,...

Harvest
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

tree
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

pomegranate
'Pomegranates,' as in Exodus 28:34, signify the scientific ideas of good and truth, which are doctrinal matters from the Word in the memory, which is...

apple
'An apple', as in Joel 1:12, signifies joy of heart from natural good derived from spiritual good.

trees
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

Trees of the field
'The trees of the field,' as in Ezekiel 31:15, signify the knowledges of truth in the church.

withered
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

howl
'To wail and howl,' as in Micah 1:8, signifies the grief of the angels of heaven and the people of the church, where the church...

altars
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

sanctify
'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

call
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

Gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

ancients
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

Cry
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

food
'The spoil in mine house,' as in Malachi 3:10, signifies remains in the internal self, because they are stealthily implanted among many evils and falsities.

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

storehouses
The 'storehouses' built by the enslaved Israelites denote doctrines from falsified truths.

pasture
Plants in the Bible generally represent facts, knowledge that can be gleaned from the world. Plants that can serve animals as food represent facts that...

flocks
'A herd,' as mentioned in Genesis 32:7, denotes exterior or natural good, and also not good things.

sheep
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

fire
A flame signifies spiritual good, and the light of it truth from that good. A flame of fire, as in Revelation 1:14, signifies spiritual love,...

wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

beasts
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

waters
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

dried
'Withering and drying up,' as in Ezekiel 17:10, referring to the east wind, signifies when there is no good or truth.


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