Joel 2:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.

New Living Translation
It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again.

English Standard Version
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

New American Standard Bible
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

King James Bible
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and dense overcast, like the dawn spreading over the mountains; a great and strong people appears, such as never existed in ages past and never will again in all the generations to come.

International Standard Version
A day of doom and gloom, a day of clouds and shadows like the dawn spreads out to cover the mountains— a people strong and robust. Never has there been anything like it, neither will anything follow to compare with it, even through the lifetime of generation upon generation."

NET Bible
It will be a day of dreadful darkness, a day of foreboding storm clouds, like blackness spread over the mountains. It is a huge and powerful army--there has never been anything like it ever before, and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and overcast skies. A large and mighty army will spread over the mountains like the dawn. Nothing like this has ever happened. Nothing like this will ever happen again.

Jubilee Bible 2000
a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of shadow that spreads itself upon the mountains as the dawn: a people great and strong; there has not ever been the like, neither shall there be any more after him, even to the years of many generations.

King James 2000 Bible
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great and strong people; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, through the years of many generations.

American King James Version
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread on the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

American Standard Version
a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and whirlwinds: a numerous and strong people as the morning spread upon the mountains: the like to it hath not been from the beginning, nor shall be after it even to the years of generation and generation.

Darby Bible Translation
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and gross darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; -- a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, to the years of generations and generations.

English Revised Version
a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

Webster's Bible Translation
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

World English Bible
A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn spreading on the mountains, a great and strong people; there has never been the like, neither will there be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

Young's Literal Translation
A day of darkness and thick darkness, A day of cloud and thick darkness, As darkness spread on the mountains, A people numerous and mighty, Like it there hath not been from of old, And after it there is not again -- till the years of generation and generation.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - A day of darkness and of glooming, a day of clouds and of thick darkness. It was, indeed, a day of Divine judgment, a day of sore distress. Besides the common terms for "darkness" and "cloud," there are two other terms, אֲפֵלָה, thick and dense darkness, such as ensues after sunset; the root אָפַל, though not used in the Hebrew, is cognate with the Arabic afala, properly, to "set as the sun:" compare naphal, nabhal, abhal; while עְרָפֶל is blended from the triliterals עָרִיפ, a cloud, and אָפַל, to be dark (compare ὀρφνός and ὀρφνή), darkness of donas, thick clouds.

(1) Some understand this darkness literally, as in the description of the plague of locusts in Egypt it is written, "They covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened."

(2) Others understand it figuratively, as light denotes prosperity, and darkness adversity. Thus Kimchi says, "Affliction is likened to darkness, as joy is likened to light." At the same time, he mentions the literal exposition: "Or," he says, "through the multitude of the locusts the land is darkened;" and refers to Exodus 10:15, "For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened." As the morning spread upon the mountains.

(1) Some explain this of the locust-army stretching far like the morning light, as it breaks over the hills. Thus Pococke, "If shachar be rendered, as most generally, the morning, and the light thereof meant, then the meaning thereof seems to express the sudden coming and the widespreading of the thing spoken of, so as not to be hindered, in that resembling the morning light, which in a moment discovers itself on the tops of the mountains (on which it first appeareth), though at never so great a distance one from another." The wide and quick diffusion of this plague, like that of the morning light, is the thing meant. But

(2) Keil understands shachar of the yellow light which proceeds from swarms of locusts as they approach, and translates, "Like morning dawn spread over the mountains is it" (i.e. the glimmer on their wings). "The prophet's meaning," he adds, "is evident enough from what follows. He clearly refers to the bright glimmer, or splendour, which is seen in the sky as a swarm of locusts approaches, from the reflection of the sun's rays from their wings." Thus the subject is neither yom nor 'am, which the Vulgate, contrary to the accents, joins to it.

(3) Others. again, connect the expression closely with the "darkness" preceding, and translate, "Like the morning twilight spread upon the mountains," that is, before it descends into the valleys. Rather, as Wunsche, "Like the gray of the morning," etc. (comp. Exodus 10:15 and שחוד and שיחור). Exposition

(1) is confirmed by Rashi, who says, "The locusts and the palmer-worms are spread over the mountains, as the morning dawn is spread through (in) an the world." Similarly Aben Ezra, "Like the dawn which is diffused in an instant." Kimchi's comment is fuller, but to the same effect: "As the morning dawn which is spread over the mountains as in an instant, for there is called the beginning of the sun in his going forth, because of their height; so then the locusts are spread and extended over the land in an instant." With this exposition of the clause we may compare Virgil's -

"Postera vix summos spargebat lumine montes
Orta dies."


"The following daybreak had scarce begun
to sow the mountain-tops with light."
There hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. This is a hyperbolic mode of speech, to denote the extraordinary and unusual severity of the disaster. The Hebrew commentators are at pains to reconcile what appears to them a discrepancy. They say, "It was never known before or since that four kinds of locusts came to-together;" as for the plague of Egypt;there was but one sort of them, they say. The correct explanation is that the like had not been in the same country, that is, the land of Judaea, though elsewhere there might have been the like, as in Egypt before, or in other countries since.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness,.... Alluding to the gloomy and thick darkness caused by the locusts, which sometimes come in prodigious numbers, like thick clouds, and darken the air; so the land of Egypt was darkened by them, Exodus 10:15; historians and travellers relate, as Bochart (f) has shown, that these creatures will fly like a cloud, and darken the heavens at noonday, cover the sun, and hinder the rays of it from touching the earth; though all these phrases may be expressive of great afflictions and calamities, which are often in Scripture signified by darkness, as prosperity is by light; see Isaiah 8:22;

as the morning spread upon the mountains; as the morning light, when it first appears, diffuses itself in a moment throughout the earth, and is first seen on the tops of the mountains (g); so these locusts, and this calamity threatened, should suddenly and at once come, and be spread over the whole land; and which could no more be resisted than the morning light. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, in connection with the next clause, "as the morning spread upon the mountains, a people much and mighty"; but the accents will not admit of it; though it may seem a little improper that the same thing should be as a dark day, and: the morning light; wherefore Cocceius understands the whole of the day of Christ, which was light to many nations, and darkness to the wicked Jews:

a great people and a strong; numerous and mighty, many in number, mighty in strength; so the locusts are represented as a nation and people for might and multitude, Joel 1:6; an emblem of the Chaldeans and Babylonians, who were a large and powerful people:

there hath not been ever the like, neither shall any more after it,

even to the years of many generations; that is, in the land of Judea; otherwise there might have been the like before in other places, as in Egypt, and since in other countries. Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, account for it thus; that it was never known, before or since, that four kinds of locusts came together; as for the plague of Egypt, there was but one sort of them, they say; but it is best to understand it of the like not having been in the same country: and such a numerous and powerful army as that of the Chaldeans had not been in Judea, and made such havoc and desolation as that did; nor would any hereafter, for many generations, even until the Romans came and took away their place and nation.

(f) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 4. c. 5. p. 479. (g) "Postera vix summos spargebat lumine montes Orta dies----", Virgil. Aeneid. 12.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. darkness … gloominess … clouds … thick darkness—accumulation of synonyms, to intensify the picture of calamity (Isa 8:22). Appropriate here, as the swarms of locusts intercepting the sunlight suggested darkness as a fit image of the coming visitation.

as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people—Substitute a comma for a colon after mountains: As the morning light spreads itself over the mountains, so a people numerous [Maurer] and strong shall spread themselves. The suddenness of the rising of the morning light, which gilds the mountain tops first, is less probably thought by others to be the point of comparison to the sudden inroad of the foe. Maurer refers it to the yellow splendor which arises from the reflection of the sunlight on the wings of the immense hosts of locusts as they approach. This is likely; understanding, however, that the locusts are only the symbols of human foes. The immense Assyrian host of invaders under Sennacherib (compare Isa 37:36) destroyed by God (Joe 2:18, 20, 21), may be the primary objects of the prophecy; but ultimately the last antichristian confederacy, destroyed by special divine interposition, is meant (see on [1131]Joe 3:2).

there hath not been ever the like—(Compare Joe 1:2; Ex 10:14).

Joel 2:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Army of Locusts
1Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near, 2A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations. 3A fire consumes before them And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them.…
Cross References
Matthew 24:21
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again.

Revelation 9:2
When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.

Lamentations 1:12
"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the LORD brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?

Ezekiel 32:7
When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light.

Ezekiel 34:12
As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.

Ezekiel 38:9
You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

Daniel 9:12
You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.

Daniel 12:1
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.

Joel 1:2
Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors?

Joel 1:6
A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.

Joel 2:10
Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

Joel 2:11
The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?

Joel 2:25
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -- my great army that I sent among you.

Joel 2:31
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Amos 4:13
He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth-- the LORD God Almighty is his name.

Amos 5:18
Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light.

Zephaniah 1:15
That day will be a day of wrath-- a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness--
Treasury of Scripture

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread on the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

A day of darkness. The quantity of these insects, says a French author,is incredible to all who have not themselves witnessed their astonishing numbers; the whole earth is covered with them for the space of several leagues. The noise they make in browsing on the trees and herbage may be heard at a great distance, and resembles that of an army in secret. Wherever their myriads spread, the verdure of the country disappears; trees and plants, stripped of their leaves and reduced to their naked boughs and stems, cause the dreary image of winter to succeed in an instant to the rich scenery of spring. When these clouds of locusts take their flight, to surmount any obstacles or to traverse more rapidly a desert soil, the heavens may literally be said to be obscured by them.

Joel 2:10,31 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the …

Joel 3:14,15 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of …

Exodus 20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness …

Psalm 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment …

Isaiah 5:30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of …

Isaiah 8:22 And they shall look to the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, …

Jeremiah 13:16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before …

Amos 5:18-20 Woe to you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for …

Zephaniah 1:14,15 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, …

Hebrews 12:18 For you are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that …

Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, …

as.

Amos 4:13 For, see, he that forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and …

a great.

Joel 2:5,11,25 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, …

Joel 1:6 For a nation is come up on my land, strong, and without number, whose …

there.

Joel 1:2,3 Hear this, you old men, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the …

Exodus 10:6,14 And they shall fill your houses, and the houses of all your servants, …

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands …

Mark 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning …

many generations. Heb. generation and generation.

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: …

Psalm 10:6 He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never …

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Alphabetical: a across after again ages and anything army as be been blackness clouds come comes darkness dawn day ever generations gloom great has in is it large Like many mighty mountains never nor of old over people So spread spreading such the there thick to was will years

OT Prophets: Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess (Jl Joe.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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