|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-7 The most aged could not remember such calamities as were about to take place. Armies of insects were coming upon the land to eat the fruits of it. It is expressed so as to apply also to the destruction of the country by a foreign enemy, and seems to refer to the devastations of the Chaldeans. God is Lord of hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases, can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by the weakest and most contemptible creatures. It is just with God to take away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess; and the more men place their happiness in the gratifications of sense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them. The more earthly delights we make needful to satisfy us, the more we expose ourselves to trouble.
Verse 1. - The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. The name Joel signifies "Jehovah is God," or "whose God is Jehovah." We read in Scripture of several of the same name, but the prophet is distinguished as "the son of Pethuel," a name signifying "the sincerity of God," or "godly simplicity." We are not certain of the exact period at which Joel prophesied, but he is generally believed to have been the earliest prophetic writer of the southern kingdom, and one of the earliest of the twelve minor prophets, while Jonah is generally thought to have been the earliest prophetic writer whose book has found a place in the sacred canon. It is at least certain that Joel preceded Amos, who begins his prophecy with a passage from Joel (comp. Joel 3:16 with Amos 1:2). and borrows from Joel another towards the close (comp. Joel 3:18 with Amos 9:13). Besides, Joel speaks, in the second chapter, of the plague of locusts as yet future; while Amos, in the fourth chapter of his prophecy, refers to it as past. He likewise prophesied before Isaiah, who also borrows, in Isaiah 13:6, a sentence which occurs in Joel 1:15.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. Who this Pethuel was is not known; Jarchi takes him to be the same with Samuel the prophet, who had a son of this name, 1 Samuel 8:2; and gives this reason for his being called Pethuel, because in his prayer he persuaded God; but the long span of time will by no means admit of this, nor the character of Samuel's son agree with Joel; and therefore is rightly denied by Aben Ezra, who observes, however, that this man was an honourable man, and therefore his name is mentioned; and gives this as a rule, that whenever any prophet mentions the name of his father, he was honourable. Perhaps, it is here observed, to distinguish him from another of the same name; and there was one of this name, Joel, a high priest in the reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, according to Seder Olam Zuta (i) and Abarbinel (k); in whose time Joel is by some thought to prophesy.
(i) Fol. 104. (k) In Meyer. Anotat. in ib. p, 626.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
1:1 Came to Joel - Probably in the latter end of Jeroboam the second's reign over Israel and in the days of Uzziah, over Judah.
Joel 1:1 Parallel Commentaries
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