|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army,.... Either the army of the locusts, whom Pliny (u) calls "pestis deorum", "the plague of the gods"; and the Arabians frequently style them the army of God. It is a tradition of theirs that locusts fell into the hands of Mahomet, with this inscription on their backs and wings,
"we are the army of the most high God;''
and because they were, for that reason Mahomet made a law that none should kill them; See Gill on Revelation 9:3. These creatures are certainly at his beck and command; he can "command the locust to devour the land", 2 Chronicles 7:13; which may be meant by his uttering his voice here; though Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the Lord's giving notice of this judgment by his prophets before it fame: or this may design the army of the Assyrians or Chaldeans, of which the locusts were all emblem, and which were of the Lord's mustering together, and was at his command; and who is here represented as a General at the head of his army, making a speech to them to animate and encourage them to the battle, and to give them the word of command when to begin the onset:
for his camp is very great; or numerous, as both the locusts and Chaldeans were:
for he is strong that executeth his word; or "strong is it"; namely, the camp and army of the locusts; which, though feeble in themselves, separately considered; yet being in such large bodies, and the Lord at the head of them, and strengthened by him, were able to fulfil his word; which he can make the least and meanest of his creatures do: or the Assyrian or Chaldean army, which was both numerous and mighty: which the Targum may refer unto, paraphrasing the words,
"for strong are the executors of his word:''
for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can abide it? the day appointed by the Lord to take vengeance on the Jews for sin; and this, being the day of his wrath, is very dreadful and intolerable; so any season may be called, in which God remarkably pours down his wrath on men of their sins; see Revelation 6:17. Such was the time of Jerusalem's destruction, both by the Chaldeans and Romans.
(u) Ibid. (Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Lord … his army—So among Mohammedans, "Lord of the locusts" is a title of God.
his voice—His word of command to the locusts, and to the antitypical human foes of Judea, as "His army."
strong that executeth his word—(Re 18:8).
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