New English Translation
The Lord’s Response
18 Then the Lord became zealous[a] for his land;
he had compassion on his people.
19 The Lord responded[b] to his people,
“Look! I am about to restore your grain[c]
as well as fresh wine and olive oil.
You will be fully satisfied.[d]
I will never again make you an object of mockery among the nations.
- Joel 2:18 tn The time-frame entertained by the verbs of v. 18 constitutes a crux interpretum in this chapter. The Hebrew verb forms used here are preterites with vav consecutive and are most naturally understood as describing a past situation. However, some modern English versions render these verbs as futures (e.g., NIV, NASB), apparently concluding that the context requires a future reference. According to Joüon 2:363 §112.h, n.1 Ibn Ezra explained the verbs of Joel 2:18 as an extension of the so-called prophetic perfect; as such, a future fulfillment was described with a past tense as a rhetorical device lending certainty to the fulfillment. But this lacks adequate precedent and is very unlikely from a syntactical standpoint. It seems better to take the verbs in the normal past sense of the preterite. This would require a vantage point for the prophet at some time after the people had responded favorably to the Lord’s call for repentance and after the Lord had shown compassion and forgiveness toward his people, but before the full realization of God’s promises to restore productivity to the land. In other words, it appears from the verbs of vv. 18-19 that at the time of Joel’s writing this book the events of successive waves of locust invasion and conditions of drought had almost run their course and the people had now begun to turn to the Lord.
- Joel 2:19 tn Heb “answered and said.”
- Joel 2:19 tn Heb “Look! I am sending grain to you.” The participle used in the Hebrew text seems to suggest imminent action.
- Joel 2:19 tc One of the Qumran manuscripts (4QXXIIc) inserts “and you will eat” before “and you will be fully satisfied,” the latter phrase being the reading of the MT and LXX.