Samaria shall be destroyed. An exhortation to repentance: God's favour through Christ to the penitent.
14:1. Let Samaria perish, becsuse she hath stirred up her God to bitterness: let them perish by the sword, let their little ones be dashed, and let the women with child be ripped up.
Perish, because she hath stirred up her God to bitterness... It is not a curse or imprecation, but a prophecy of what should come to pass.
14:2. Return, O Israel, to the Lord thy God: for thou hast fallen down by thy iniquity.
14:3. Take with you words, and return to the Lord, and say to him: Take away all iniquity, and receive the good: and we will render the calves of our lips.
14:4. Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more: The works of our hands are our gods: for thou wilt have mercy on the fatherless that is in thee.
14:5. I will heal their breaches, I will love them freely: for my wrath is turned away from them.
14:6. I will be as the dew, Israel shall spring as the lily, and his root shall shoot forth as that of Libanus.
14:7. His branches shall spread, and his glory shall be as the olive tree: and his smell as that of Libanus.
14:8. They shall be converted that sit under his shadow: they shall live upon wheat, and they shall blossom as a vine: his memorial shall be as the wine of Libanus.
14:9. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I will hear him, and I will make him flourish like a green fir tree: from me is thy fruit found.
14:10. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know these things? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall in them.
THE PROPHECY OF JOEL
JOEL, whose name, according to ST. JEROME, signifies THE LORD GOD: or, as others say, THE COMING DOWN OF GOD: prophesied about the same time in the kingdom of Judea, as OSEE did in the kingdom of Israel. He foretells under figure the great evils that were coming upon the people for their sins: earnestly exhorts them to repentance: and comforts them with the promise of a TEACHER OF JUSTICE, viz., CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, and of the coming down of his holy SPIRIT.
Joel Chapter 1
The prophet describes the judgments that shall fall upon the people, and invites them to fasting and prayer.
1:1. The word of the Lord, that came to Joel, the son of Phatuel.
1:2. 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?
1:3. Tell ye of this to your children, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.
1:4. 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.
That which the palmerworm hath left, etc... Some understand this literally of the desolation of the land by these insects: others understand it of the different invasions of the Chaldeans, or other enemies.
1:5. 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.
1:6. For a nation 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.
1:7. 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.
1:8. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
1:9. Sacrifice and libation is cut off from the house of the Lord: the priests, the Lord's ministers, have mourned:
1:10. The country is destroyed, the ground hath mourned: for the corn is wasted, the wine is confounded, the oil hath languished.
1:11. The husbandmen are ashamed, the vinedressers have howled for the wheat, and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished.
1:12. 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.
1:13. 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.
1:14. 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:
1:15. Ah, ah, ah, for the day: because the day of the Lord is at hand, and it shall come like destruction from the mighty.
1:16 Is not your food cut off before your eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
1:17. The beasts have rotted in their dung, the barns are destroyed, the storehouses are broken down: because the corn is confounded.
1:18. Why did the beasts groan, why did the herds of cattle low?
because there is no pasture for them: yea, and the flocks of sheep are perished.
1:19. To thee, O 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.
1:20. 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.
Joel Chapter 2
2:1. Blow ye the trumpet in Sion, sound an alarm in my holy mountain, let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: because the day of the Lord cometh, because it is nigh at hand.
The day of the Lord... That is, the time when he will execute justice upon sinners.
2:2. A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and whirlwinds: a numerous and strong people as the morning spread upon the mountains: the like to it hath not been from the beginning, nor shall be after it, even to the years of generation and generation.
A numerous and strong people... The Assyrians, or Chaldeans. Others understand all this of an army of locusts laying waste the land.
2:3. Before the face thereof a devouring fire, and behind it a burning flame: the land is like a garden of pleasure before it, and behind it a desolate wilderness, neither is there any one that can escape it.
2:4. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and they shall run like horsemen.
2:5. They shall leap like the noise of chariots upon the tops of mountains, like the noise of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, as a strong people prepared to battle.
2:6. At their presence the people shall be in grievous pains: all faces shall be made like a kettle.