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flame burneth : the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. 4. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. 5. Like the noise of the chariots on the tops, of mountains shall they lear, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 6. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. 7. They shall run like mighty men, they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks. 8. Neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk every one in his path: and, when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. 9. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run to and fro upon the wall; they shall climb up upon the houses ; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 10. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark; and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 11. And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army : for his camp is very great ;' for the strong One executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
12. Therefore also now saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning-17. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
18. Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19. Yea, the Lord will answer, and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith : and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen. 20. But I will remove far off from you the northern one, and will drive him into a land made by his ravages barren and desolate, with his face toward the east-sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea : and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. 21. Fear not, O land, be glad, and rejoice; for the Lord will do great things-23. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he will give you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmer-worm, my great army, which I sent among you. 26. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wonderously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27. And ye shall know, that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions : 29. And also upon the servants and upon the hand maids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. 32. And it shall come to pass, that, whoever shall call on the the name of the Lord, shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord will call.
üi. 1.* For behold, in those days and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity + of Judah and
* Chap. ii. 1.] “The following prophecy relates to the latter times of the world: when, upon their conversion, God shall deliver the Jews from their oppressors, and restore them to their own land. The prophet likewise foretells the destruction of their enemies and other unbelievers in some decisive battle, such as that mentioned Rev. xvi. 14, and the glorious state of the Church that should follow.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
+ The captivity.] A noun of number, as Chandler rightly remarks, denoting those who were carried away captive.
Jerusalem *, 2. I will also gather all the nations, and will bring them down into the valley of the Lord's judgment to and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and they have divided my land. 3. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. 4. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, o Tyre and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine ? will ye render me a swift recompense ? and, if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head; 5. Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things : 6. The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Ionim, that ye might remove them far from their border. 7. Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head. 8. And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah ; and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it.
9. Proclaim ye this among the nationsf: sanctify war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. 10. Beat your plow-shares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears : let the weak say, I am strong. ll. Assemble yourselves and come, all ye nations; and gather yourselves together. round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. 12. Let the nations be roused, and
.* The captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.) a This is to be understood of that restoration of the Jewish nation and their capital city, which shall be brought to pass in the latter times of the world, according to the predictions of the prophets.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
+ I will also gather all the nations, and will bring them down into the valley of the Lord's judgment. ] “The prophets speak of a general discómfiture of God's enemies in some decisive battle before the general judgment --Such probably is the battle of Armageddon, spoken of Rev. xvi. 14, 16. The place of this remarkable action is here called the valley of Fehoshaphat, as if the prophet had said, the place where the Lord will execute judgment, for so the word Fehoshaphat signifies in the original.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
Proclaim ye this among the nations.] “ The prophet returns to what he had mentioned (ver. 2.) concerning the heathen or unbelieving world gathering themselves either to oppose the Jews in their return homeward, or some other way to hinder the growth of Christ's kingdom.". Mr. Lowth in loc.
come up to the valley of the Lord's judgment: for there: will I the Lord sit to judge all the nations round about. 13. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe : come, get ye down, for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of cutting off: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of cutting off. 15. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 16. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem ; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17. So shall ye know, that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion my holy mountain : then shall Jerusalem be holy *, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more to 18. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk t, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain , shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom || shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Ju. dah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21. For shall I declare innocent their blood ? I will not declare it innocent. Even the Lord dwelleth in Zion.
In this prediction Joel gives us a full account of what shall take place in the great day of the Lord, and in the period which ushers in that great day. He beholds the
* Then shall Ferusalem be holy.] « This character---may be understood of the earthly Jerusalem, as the metropolis of the converted Fews. As the inhabitants themselves shall be holy, so the city shall be called the holy city, as in former times it was.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
† There shall no strangers pass through her any more.] “ It shall no more be subject to be polluted or oppressed by unbelievers." Mr Lowth in loc. Compare Nahum i. 15. and Luke xxi. 24.
# The mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk. “In the Millennial state there shall be plenty of all things.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
$ A fountain.] Compare Zechar. xiii. 1. and see Mr. Lowth in loc.
I Egypt---Edom.] "These two nations are taken in a general sense for the enemies of God's people.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
onderful rencceeding in house of
armies of Antichrist, numerous and rapacious as locusts and caterpillers, spreading themselves over the whole land of Palestine, and devouring all its produce. He beholds them effecting wonderful revolutions in the poli. tical heavens, and marvellously succeeding in all their enterprizes. And he solemnly calls upon the house of Judah, now wholly converted to the faith of Christ and occupying their ancient city Jerusalem, to fast and pray that they may be delivered from the hand of their enemies. Their petition will eventually be successful ; though, as we learn from Daniel and Zechariah, Antichrist will first be permitted to make himself master of Jerusalem. In due time, the Lord will hear the cry of his people, and will no longer suffer them to be a reproach and a proverb among the nations. He will remove far from them the northern tyrant, that fierce leader of the great Roman confederacy; who, prevented by the decided naval superiority of the faithful maritime power from attempting an expedition by sea, will invade Palestine by land, and will therefore necessarily enter it from the north : and he will drive him into the land which his own merciless extortions have made desolate, and will there destroy him between the two seas of Judea, the · Dead sea on the east, and the Mediterranean sea on the west. After the destruction of Antichrist and his rebellious host, the land shall again bring forth her increase with ten-fold fertility : and God will abundantly restore to his people the produce of those years, which that great army * of symbolical locusts and caterpillers had devoured. In addition to the blessings of temporal prosperity,
* We are not to suppose, that, because God styles the symbolical locusts and their fellows his great army, they are therefore his favoured and chosen people. The expression is only used to intimate, that they are a scourge in his hand, well adapted to punish the wickedness of surrounding papal nations, and to discipline with wholesome though severe chastisement his church both protestant and Judaical. Precisely in the same manner God calls Nebuchadnezzar his servant (Jerem. xliii. 10.), because he was the instrument, however unconscious of it, and however bent only upon executing his own schemes of aggrandisement, of accomplishing the divine purposes. The idea in fact is so obvious, that Attila king of the Huns actually styled himself the scourge of God; and boasted that his commission, as the executioner of the just anger of the Almighty, was to fill the earth with all kind of evils. There is however a peculiar propriety in denominating the symbolical locusts God's army, because, as Bochart observes, the Arabs were wont to distinguish natural locusts by that very title,