4. The parts are: I. A description of the threatening famine and drought of the land, as heralding the day of the Lord (Joel 1:1-2:17). II. Corporal and spiritual promises made to believers (Joel 2:18-32). III. A denunciation of judgment against the nations (Joel 3). A Synoptic Table of the book, and its Interpreters, ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Hebrew.
But, because the Prophet First describes the famine and drought, as heralding the day of the Lord, and exhorts to repentance (Joel 1:1-2:17); and pursues, Second, the corporal and spiritual promises (Joel 2:18-32); and describes, Third, the judgment of the nations (Joel 3): hence a tripartite division naturally arises.
I. A description of the threatening famine and drought of the land, as heralding the day of the Lord, Chapters 1:1-2:17. See:
1. The title of the Prophecy (verse 1), a magnifying of the evil to be inflicted through the locusts and cankerworms (verses 2-12), and a calling of the Priests to prayer (verses 13-18), the form of which is prescribed (verses 19, 20): chapter 1.
2. An explanation of the Divine counsel, that He wills this plague of locusts and worms to be a harbinger of the coming day of the Lord, in which destruction will come to the people (verses 1-11), and that repentance, to be demonstrated in prayers and fasting, is incumbent on the people (verses 12-17): chapter 2:1-17.
II. Promises made to believers, Chapter 2:18-32. Those are:
1. Corporal, fruitfulness and satiety, denial of desertion thereafter, removal of the Northern enemy: chapter 2:18-22.
2. Spiritual, the giving of a Teacher for righteousness, the multiplication of Prophecy through the effusion of the Holy Spirit, the preservation of faith through signs and of the remnants in the day of the Lord (verses 23-32): chapter 2:23-32.
III. Denunciation of judgment against the nations, Chapter 3.
In which, after the preparation for judgment (verses 1-3), the judgment itself, to be executed in the valley of Jehoshaphat against the nations, is set forth (verses 4-15): to believers is promised tranquility, protection, spiritual fertility, perpetual dwelling in Judah and Jerusalem, and vengeance of the blood shed by persecutors (verses 16-21): chapter 3.