|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-14 The priests were to alarm the people with the near approach of the Divine judgments. It is the work of ministers to warn of the fatal consequences of sin, and to reveal the wrath from heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. The striking description which follows, shows what would attend the devastations of locusts, but may also describe the effects from the ravaging of the land by the Chaldeans. If the alarm of temporal judgments is given to offending nations, how much more should sinners be warned to seek deliverance from the wrath to come! Our business therefore on earth must especially be, to secure an interest in our Lord Jesus Christ; and we should seek to be weaned from objects which will soon be torn from all who now make idols of them. There must be outward expressions of sorrow and shame, fasting, weeping, and mourning; tears for trouble must be turned into tears for the sin that caused it. But rending the garments would be vain, except their hearts were rent by abasement and self-abhorrence; by sorrow for their sins, and separation from them. There is no question but that if we truly repent of our sins, God will forgive them; but whether he will remove affliction is not promised, yet the probability of it should encourage us to repent.
Verses 1-11. - These verses contain a further description of the calamity occasioned by the locusts and the appearance presented by them; the calling of a congregational meeting for penitence and prayer; the reason assigned in the coming of the day of the Lord. Verse 1. - Blow ye the trumpet (margin, cornet) in Zion, and sound an alarm (or, cause it to sound) in my holy mountain. The shophar, or far-sounding horn, and probably the chatsoterah, the hazar or silver trumpet, were called into requisition. The priests are urged with great vehemence, as tiqu shophar and hariu imply, to apprise the people that the day of Jehovah's terrible judgment was near at hand, and to prepare for it. This alarm was to be sounded from Zion, the dry or sunny hill, the holy moun-rain. The noun qadosh like tsadiq, is applied to persons, therefore the noun qodshe is used. It rose to an elevation of 2539 feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea. It was the place of the ark in David's day, and so of the visible symbol of the Divine presence, and therefore the holy mountain, though subsequently Moriah was chosen as the temple-hill. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand. The effect here precedes the cause, as if what is upper. most in the heart comes first to the lips; while the abruptness may, perhaps, express the excitement and intensity of feeling. But how could the Lord's day be said to have come (ba is perfect), and yet to be near at hand? Hengstenberg replies that, in the intuition of the prophet, it had already come, though in reality it was only drawing near. Keil's solution of the difficulty is more satisfactory: every particular judgment that takes place in the history of God's kingdom is the day of the Lord, and yet only approaching as far as the complete fulfilment was concerned.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain,.... This is spoken to the priests, whose business it was to blow the trumpets for calling solemn assemblies to meet in Zion, the temple built there, called from thence the holy mountain of God. Here the trumpet is ordered to be blown with a broken quivering voice, a tarantantara, to give notice of approaching danger by the locusts, or those enemies signified by them, and to prepare for it, and return to God by repentance;
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; at the judgments of God coming upon them, and the alarm of them:
for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; the time fixed by him to punish a wicked people, and to pour out his wrath and vengeance on them; the day of his visitation, not in love, but in anger.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Joe 2:1-32. The Coming Judgment a Motive to Repentance. Promise of Blessings in the Last Days.
A more terrific judgment than that of the locusts is foretold, under imagery drawn from that of the calamity then engrossing the afflicted nation. He therefore exhorts to repentance, assuring the Jews of Jehovah's pity if they would repent. Promise of the Holy Spirit in the last days under Messiah, and the deliverance of all believers in Him.
1. Blow … trumpet—to sound an alarm of coming war (Nu 10:1-10; Ho 5:8; Am 3:6); the office of the priests. Joe 1:15 is an anticipation of the fuller prophecy in this chapter.
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