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Pastures of the Wilderness

August 24, 2011

21 “Fear not, O land;
be glad and rejoice
for the Lord has done great things!

22 Fear not, you beasts of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit;
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

sheep pasture dry 23 “Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.

24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.

26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Joel 2:21-26   English Standard Version®

The “pastures of the wilderness” in verse 22 is the same word that was used in Psalm 65:12 (July 13). Smith’s Bible Dictionary says: MIDBAR. “the pasture ground.” It is most frequently used for those tracts of waste land which lie beyond the cultivated ground in the immediate neighborhood of the towns and villages of Palestine, and which are a very familiar feature to the traveller in that country.”

Pastures of the wilderness were steep and rocky, unsuitable for growing crops. With ample autumn and spring rains, the land would still be productive as a pastureland for grazing.

Expositor John Gill believed that the verse was offered in a mystic sense and referred “to the great fruitfulness produced in the wilderness of the Gentile world, through the preaching of the Gospel in the times of the Messiah.”

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