Ver. 1. Planted. Sept. "Bathuel." He was born in the tribe of Gad, at Bethaven, the town which Herod styles Livias Jos. xiii. 27. C.
THE PROPHECY OF JOEL.
Joel, whose name, according to S. Jerom, signifies the Lord God, (or, as others say, the coming down of God) prophesied about the same time in the kingdom of Juda as Osee did in the kingdom of Israel. He foretells, under figures, 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 (Ch). upon the hundred and twenty faithful assembled in Sion. He describes the land of the twelve tribes made desolate, and the people cast off. S. Jer. ad Paulin.
--- Yet he speaks chiefly of the kingdom of Juda, and mentions the house of God, sacrifices, &c. W.
--- S. Jerom infers from his being placed after Osee, without any fresh title, (C.) that he lived in that order of time. W.
--- But this rule is not general, as Jonas lived before Amos; and Sept. observe not the same disposition of the prophets as we do. The exact time of the famine, when Joel prophesied, cannot be ascertained. It seems he addressed the people in autumn, when a second year's famine was apprehended. He paints every thing with great force and beauty of style. C.
Ver. 2. Men. Magistrates, and all who have children. H. He speaks to Juda, as the kingdom of Israel was ruined. C. iii. 2. His principal object is to describe the ravages of locusts, and to exhort the people to repent, promising them better times after the captivity, and under the Messias. C. ii. 28. and iii. 20. C.
Ver. 3. Generation. Prophecies relate to all future times, that people may see their accomplishment, (W.) and believe. H.
Ver. 4. Left, &c. 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. Ch.
--- Jerusalem was four times plundered by the Babylonians, and every time worse than before, as these four sorts of destructive things shew. But we shall not enlarge upon these points, nor pursue the mystical sense of the prophets, which may be found in the fathers and Ribera. W.
--- Others suppose that the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, (particularly Epiphanes) and Romans, are meant. We explain it simply of the devastation by insects. C.
--- Four different species of locusts are denoted. Bochart, p. 2. b. iv. 1.
--- Mildew. Heb. chasil, (H.) is often rendered "a locust," by Sept. (C. ii. 25. &c.) and most suppose this is here the sense. The mildew destroys corn chiefly in low damp situations. C.
Ver. 5. Sweet. Heb. "wine, because of the sweet wine," (H.) or liquors extracted from fruit. The things which you have abused, are now taken away.
Ver. 6. Nations. Some understand the Assyrians or Chaldeans. But locusts are here styled a nation. Prov. xxx. 25.
--- Lion. Such locusts are described. Apoc. ix. 8. C.
--- "In India they are said to be three feet long, and their legs and thighs are used for saws when dried." Pliny xi. 29.
--- They were attacked by regular troops in Syria. Ib.
Ver. 8. Youth, whom she espoused first. Such are more tenderly loved, particularly where polygamy prevails. C.
--- So Dido speaks of Sichæus, Virg. Æn. iv.:
Ille meos primus qui se mihi junxit amores
Abstulit, ille habeat secum servetque sepulchro.
Ver. 9. Lord. No harvest being reaped, the fruits could not be paid. Yet it is thought that what was requisite for sacrifice, would be procured from other countries. C.
--- When Jerusalem was destroyed, sacrifices ceased. W.
Ver. 12. Withered. The bite of locusts corrupts the juice of plants.
Ver. 13. Go in to the temple, or sleep on sackcloth. Judith iv. 9. C.
Ver. 14. Sanctify. Appoint (H.) or proclaim a general fast, as was usual in such emergencies. 3 K. xxi. 9. and 2 Par. xx. 3. Fasting and other good works are calculated to appease God's wrath. W.
Ver. 15. Day. Heb. ahah layom: (H.) "Ah, what a day!"
--- Mighty. Sept. "destruction." They have read in a different manner. God is about to give sentence, (C.) and to send Nabuchodonosor, (S. Jer.) or to destroy by famine. v. 17.
Ver. 16. God. None can bring the first-fruits. All appear in mourning.
Ver. 17. Dung. Horse-dung dried for bedding, was used in the East instead of straw, (Busb. 3.) as it is still by the Arabs. Darvieux. 11.
--- Heb. "the seeds are rotten under their clods," (H.) finding no moisture. Sept. "the cows have stamped in their stalls;" or Syr. "remain without food in their cribs." Chal. "the pitchers of wine have been corrupted under their covers," as there was no new wine. C.
--- Houses. Heb. mammeguroth. Prot. "barns, (H.) or country houses;" which means cabins erected for the season, (Ruth ii. 7.) the Magaria (C.) or Mopalia of the Africans. S. Jer. pref. Amos.
--- Sept. "the wine presses." Wine and corn were preserved in pits carefully covered over. Agg. ii. 20. These fell to decay, as there was no use for them.
Ver. 19. Places. Heb. "dwellings," or shepherds' huts.
--- Wilderness, denoting all pasture land unploughed.
Ver. 20. Up, as if to pray for rain. Jer. xiv. 6. C.
--- Heb. "cry," (H.) or "pant."
--- As...rain is not in Heb. or Sept. C.