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The unheard of judgment of caterpillars and locusts, ver. 1 - 7.
All sorts us people are called on to lament it, ver. 8 - 13.
And to humble themselves before God, 14 - 20.
1: Came to Joel - Probably in the latter end of Jeroboam the
second's reign over Israel and in the days of Uzziah, over Judah.
2: Old men - The oldest among you, who can remember things done many
4: Palmer - worm - Four sorts of insects, are here mentioned, which
succeeded each other, and devoured all that might be a support to the
Jews, whence ensued a grievous famine.
5: Is cut off - Suddenly cut off even when you are ready to drink it,
and totally cut off by these devouring vermin.
6: A nation - An innumerable multitude of locusts and caterpillars,
called a nation here, as Solomon calls the conies and the ant,(Pr 30:25,26), and perhaps a prognostick of a very numerous and mighty
nation, that ere long will invade Judah. Strong - Mighty in power, and
undaunted in courage, if you refer it to the Assyrian or Babylonians;
if to those vermin, they are, though each weak by itself, yet in those
multitudes, strong and irresistible. A great lion - Such waste as lions
make, these the locusts do, and the Assyrians will make.
8: The husband of her youth - Espoused to her, but snatched away by
an untimely death.
9: The drink - offering - By the destruction of the vines, all wine
(out of which they ought to offer the drink - offering) failed.
10: The corn - The wheat and barley, is eaten up in its greenness.
Dried up - The drought was so great, that the vines were withered, and
all their hopes of new wine cut off. The oil - The olive - trees.
Languisheth - This is a plain account of the reason why the priests were
called to mourn, and why the meal - offering and drink - offering were cut off.
11: Be ye ashamed - This is a just cause why you should lament and
enquire why God is so displeased with you.
14: Sanctify ye - Ye priests, set apart a day wherein to afflict
yourselves, confess your sins, and sue out your pardon.
Into the house - The courts of the temple, where the people were wont
15: The day of the Lord - A day of greater trouble than yet they
felt, troubles which God will heap upon them.
Shall it come - Unless fasting, prayers and amendment prevent.
16: Cut off - Devoured by locusts, or withered with drought.
17: Laid desolate - Run to ruin because the owners discouraged with
the barrenness of the seasons, would not repair them.
19: The fire - The immoderate heats. The wilderness - The world,
only means places not ploughed, and less inhabited than others.
20: Cry - They utter their complaints, their sad tones, they have a
voice to cry, as well as an eye to look to God.