Amos 9:11
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11, 12) These verses present some difficulties, as the quotation of the passage in Acts 15:15-17 is a free reproduction by St. James of the rendering of the LXX. The apostle uses it to show that there was a prophetic promise that after the dispersion of Israel the power and throne of David should be so re-established that it might be a rallying-place of the rest of the nations, “that the residue of men should seek after the Lord” (LXX. “me”). The clause which is quoted shows that the LXX. made their translation from a different Hebrew text from ours, and probably an inferior one. The word for “men” (ādām) was read in place of Edom in the Masoretic text. The rendering “seek” can also be accounted for by a slight modification of the Hebrew characters. The remarks of Dr. Stanley Leathes (Old Testament Prophecy, p. 70) upon this passage are worthy of attention:—“The Greek text, which the apostle did not make, but found, lent itself even more forcibly than the Hebrew to the peculiar circumstances of the time . . . That he was not speaking critically we are willing to admit, but are we sure that he was bound to do so? At all events, our criticism will best display itself in judging his words according to his standard, and not according to one which, it is plain, he did not follow.”

Amos 9:11. In that day — In this and the following verses, to the end of the chapter, we have a most consolatory conclusion of this prophecy in sundry evangelical promises, after so many very severe and sharp menaces. The phrase, in that day, signifies here the same as afterward, or, after this, for so St. James interprets it when quoting this very verse, Acts 15:16. And there are other places of Scripture where then, or in that day, signifies afterward. Will I raise up the tabernacle of David — This promise seems, at least in the first place, to be intended of the return of the Jews from the land of their captivity, their resettlement in Judea, rebuilding Jerusalem, and attaining to that height of power and glory which they enjoyed in the days of the Maccabees. This restoration was an event so extraordinary, and the hope of it so necessary to be maintained in the minds of the Jewish people, in order to their support under the calamity of their seventy years’ captivity, that God was pleased to foretel it by the mouth of all his prophets. And though we suppose the prophecy before us to appertain chiefly to the kingdom of Israel, yet a promise of a future restoration was no less proper and necessary, in order to their encouragement, to be annexed to God’s threatenings against them: because it was his purpose to restore Israel in general, that is, the whole twelve tribes, and to make them one nation, as they were before their unhappy division. The edict of Cyrus was general, giving liberty to all the posterity of Jacob, wheresoever dispersed, to return to Judea. And many of the ten tribes certainly did return, though the main body of those who returned consisted of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. This prophecy, however, must also be extended to the days of the Messiah, and to the calling of the Gentiles to the knowledge of the true God: and so St. James expounds it, Acts 15:16; for this was, emphatically speaking, raising up the tabernacle of David, both in the person of Christ, who is frequently styled David, and the seed of David in the prophets, and also in respect to what peculiarly distinguished David and Israel in God’s sight, namely, their having the knowledge of the true God, and worshipping of him alone.9:11-15 Christ died to gather together the children of God that were scattered abroad, here said to be those who were called by his name. The Lord saith this, who doeth this, who can do it, who has determined to do it, the power of whose grace is engaged for doing it. Verses 13-15 may refer to the early times of Christianity, but will receive a more glorious fulfilment in the events which all the prophets more or less foretold, and may be understood of the happy state when the fulness both of the Jews and the Gentiles come into the church. Let us continue earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of these prophecies, in the peace, purity, and the beauty of the church. God marvellously preserves his elect amidst the most fearful confusions and miseries. When all seems desperate, he wonderfully revives his church, and blesses her with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And great shall be the glory of that period, in which not one good thing promised shall remain unfulfilled.In that day I will raise up - Amos, as the prophets were taught to do, sums up his prophecy of woe with this one full promise of overflowing good. For the ten tribes, in their separate condition, there was no hope, no future. He had pronounced the entire destruction of "the kingdom" of Israel. The ten tribes were, thenceforth, only an aggregate of individuals, good or bad. They had no separate corporate existence. In their spiritual existence, they still belonged to the one family of Israel; and, belonging to it, were heirs of the promises made to it. When no longer separate, individuals out of its tribes were to become Apostles to their whole people and to the Gentiles. Of individuals in it, God had declared His judgment, anticipating the complete exactness of the Judgment of the Great Day. "All the sinners of" His "people" should "die" an untimely death "by the sword;" not one of those who were the true grain should perish with the chaff.

He now foretells, how that salvation, of those indeed His own, should be effected through the house of David, in whose line Christ was to come. He speaks of the house of David, not in any terms of royal greatness; he tells, not of its palaces, but of its ruins. Under the word "tabernacle," he probably blends the ideas, that it should be in a poor condition, and yet that it should be the means whereby God should protect His people. The "succah, tabernacle" (translated "booth" in Jonah) Jonah 4:5; Genesis 33:17, was originally a rude hut, formed of "intertwined" branches. It is used of the cattle-shed Genesis 33:17, and of the rough tents used by soldiers in war 2 Samuel 11:11, or by the watchman in the vineyard Isaiah 1:8; Job 27:18, and of those wherein God "made the children of Israel to dwell, when" He "brought them out of the land of Egypt Leviticus 23:43. The name of the feast of "tabernacles, Succoth," as well as the rude temporary huts in which they were commanded to dwell, associated the name with a state of outward poverty under God's protection.

Hence, perhaps, the word is employed also of the secret place of the presence of God Psalm 18:11; Job 36:29. Isaiah, as well as Amos, seems, in the use of the same word Isaiah 4:6, to hint that what is poor and mean in man's sight would be, in the Hands of God, an effectual protection. This "hut of David" was also at that time to be "fallen." When Amos prophesied, it had been weakened by the schism of the ten tribes, but Azariah, its king, was mighty 2 Chronicles 26:6-15. Amos had already foretold the destruction of the "palaces of Jerusalem by fire" Amos 2:5. Now he adds, that the abiding condition of the house of David should be a state of decay and weakness, and that from that state, not human strength, but God Himself should "raise" it. "I will raise up the hut of David, the fallen." He does not say, of "that" time, "the hut that is fallen," as if it were already fallen, but "the hut, the fallen," that is, the hut of which the character should then be its falling, its caducity.

So, under a different figure, Isaiah prophesied, "There shall come forth a rod out of the stump Isaiah 11:1 of Jesse, and a Branch shall put forth from its roots." When the trunk was hewn down even with the ground, and the rank grass had covered the "stump," that "rod" and "Branch" should come forth which should rule the earth, and "to" which "the Gentiles should seek" Isaiah 11:10. From these words of Amos, "the Son of the fallen," became, among the Jews, one of the titles of the Christ. Both in the legal and mystical schools the words of Amos are alleged, in proof of the fallen condition of the house of David, when the Christ should come. "Who would expect," asks one , "that God would raise up the fallen tabernacle of David? and yet it is said, "I will raise up the tabernacle of David which is fallen down." And who would hope that the whole world should become one band? as it is written, "Then I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one shoulder" Zephaniah 3:9. This is no other than the king Messiah." And in the Talmud ; "R. Nachman said to R. Isaac; Hast thou heard when 'the Son of the fallen' shall come? He answered, Who is he? R. Nachman; The Messiah. R. Isaac; Is the Messiah so called? R. Nachman; Yes; 'In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David which is fallen down. '"

And close up - Literally, "wall up, the breaches thereof." The house of David had at this time sustained breaches. It had yet more serious breaches to sustain thereafter. The first great breach was the rending off of the ten tribes. It sustained breaches, through the Assyrians; and yet more when itself was carried away captive to Babylon, and so many of its residue fled into Egypt. Breaches are repaired by new stones; the losses of the house of David were to be filled up by accessions from the Gentiles. God Himself should "close up the breaches;" so should they remain closed; and "the gates of hell should not prevail against" the Church which He builded. Amos heaps upon one another the words implying destruction. A "hut" and that "falling; breaches; ruins;" (literally, "his ruinated, his destructions"). But he also speaks of it in a way which excludes the idea of "the hut of David," being "the royal Dynasty" or "the kingdom of Judah." For he speaks of it, not as an abstract thing, such as a kingdom is, but as a whole, consisting of individuals.

He speaks not only of "the hut of David," but of "'their (fem.)' breaches," "'his' ruins," that God would "build 'her' up," "that 'they' (masc.) may inherit;" using apparently this variety of numbers and genders , in order to show that he is speaking of one living whole, the Jewish Church, now rent in two by the great schism of Jeroboam, but which should be reunited into one body, members of which should win the pagan to the true faith in God. "I will raise up," he says, "the tabernacle of David, the fallen, and will wall up 'their' breaches," (the breaches of the two portions into which it had been rent) and I will raise up "his" ruins (the "ruinated places" of David) and I will build "her" (as one whole) as in the days of old, (before the rent of the ten tribes, when all worshiped as one), that "they," (masculine) that is, individuals who should go forth out of her, "may inherit, etc."

11. In that day—quoted by James (Ac 15:16, 17), "After this," that is, in the dispensation of Messiah (Ge 49:10; Ho 3:4, 5; Joe 2:28; 3:1).

tabernacle of David—not "the house of David," which is used of his affairs when prospering (2Sa 3:1), but the tent or booth, expressing the low condition to which his kingdom and family had fallen in Amos' time, and subsequently at the Babylonian captivity before the restoration; and secondarily, in the last days preceding Israel's restoration under Messiah, the antitype to David (Ps 102:13, 14; Jer 30:9; Eze 34:24; 37:24; see on [1146]Isa 12:1). The type is taken from architecture (Eph 2:20). The restoration under Zerubbabel can only be a partial, temporary fulfilment; for it did not include Israel, which nation is the main subject of Amos' prophecies, but only Judah; also Zerubbabel's kingdom was not independent and settled; also all the prophets end their prophecies with Messiah, whose advent is the cure of all previous disorders. "Tabernacle" is appropriate to Him, as His human nature is the tabernacle which He assumed in becoming Immanuel, "God with us" (Joh 1:14). "Dwelt," literally, tabernacled "among us" (compare Re 21:3). Some understand "the tabernacle of David" as that which David pitched for the ark in Zion, after bringing it from Obed-edom's house. It remained there all his reign for thirty years, till the temple of Solomon was built, whereas the "tabernacle of the congregation" remained at Gibeon (2Ch 1:3), where the priests ministered in sacrifices (1Ch 16:39). Song and praise was the service of David's attendants before the ark (Asaph, &c.): a type of the gospel separation between the sacrificial service (Messiah's priesthood now in heaven) and the access of believers on earth to the presence of God, apart from the former (compare 2Sa 6:12-17; 1Ch 16:37-39; 2Ch 1:3).

breaches thereof—literally, "of them," that is, of the whole nation, Israel as well as Judah.

as in … days of old—as it was formerly in the days of David and Solomon, when the kingdom was in its full extent and undivided.

This promise I nothing doubt hath a double aspect, both to the return out of captivity, and to the Messiah’s kingdom, and each part is to be considered by us: if we would duly explain this and the following verse, let us look first to the letter and historical reference, and next to the mystical and spiritual sense of the words.

In that day; a very usual phrase in Scripture, whereby a time fixed and certain, yet unknown to us, is intended in the set time which God hath prefixed.

I will raise up; lay the foundation and build up. reduce out of captivity and re-establish in their own land. The tabernacle of David; the house of David, and those that did adhere to David’s family, which are here called a tabernacle, partly for that it never did after the captivity rise to a free and independent kingdom, and partly because he would distinguish the Jews from the apostate Israelites, who did wholly forsake David’s house.

That is fallen; by a revolt of ten tribes in twelve, whereby their state is low, and as fallen to the ground.

And close up the breaches, which are in it by that long division, since Jeroboam the First’s time, which breaches shall, upon the return out of captivity, be made up by the voluntary union of the remnant of the ten tribes which shall return with the two tribes out of the Babylonish captivity.

I will raise up his ruins; disposing the minds of the kings of Persia to advance David’s line to the government of the restored captives, and continuing it in the Supreme power till Messiah’s coming; and by rebuilding Jerusalem, and the temple, and settling true religion amongst them.

And I will build it as in the days of old; much what it was before the sack of the city and temple, and the carrying the people captive. All which, as far as they are temporal concerns, do suppose and did require a sound turning to God; as did the like promises made by other prophets. And how far soever they fell short of these promises, it was through unbelief and other sins, as Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi complain in their prophecies. Now as it refers to Messiah’s kingdom, it is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, as appears Acts 15:16,17; of which no more here, because our work is to give the literal sense of the text: who would see more may consult larger commentators on this place, and on Acts 15:16,17. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,.... Not in the day of Israel's ruin, but in the famous Gospel day, so often spoken of by the prophets; and this prophecy is referred to the times of the Messiah by the ancient (q) Jews; and one of the names they give him is taken from hence, "Barnaphli" (r), the Son of the fallen. R. Nachman said to R. Isaac, hast thou heard when Barnaphli comes? to whom he said, who is Barnaphli? he replied, the Messiah; you may call the Messiah Barnaphli; for is it not written, "in that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen down?" and they call him so, not because the son of Adam; but because he was the son of David, and was to spring from his family, when fallen into a low and mean condition; yea, they sometimes seem by the tabernacle of David to understand the dead body of the Messiah to be raised, whose human nature is by the New Testament writers called a tabernacle, Hebrews 8:2; see John 1:14; for, having mentioned (s) that passage in Jeremiah 30:9; "they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them", add, whom I will raise up out of the dust; as it is said, "I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen down"; but elsewhere (t) it is better interpreted of the Messiah's raising up Israel his people out of captivity; they say,

"her husband shall come, and raise her out of the dust; as it is said, "I will raise up the tabernacle of David", &c. in the day the King Messiah shall gather the captivity from the ends of the world to the ends of it, according to Deuteronomy 30:4;''

and which they understand of their present captivity, and deliverance from it, as in Amos 9:14. Tobit (u) seems to have reference to this passage, when he thus exhorts Zion,

"praise the everlasting King, that his tabernacle may be built again in thee;''

and expresses (w) his faith in it, that so it would be,

"afterwards they (the Jews) shall return from all places of their captivity, and build up Jerusalem gloriously; and the house of God shall be built in it, as the prophets have spoken concerning it, for ever;''

agreeably to which Jarchi paraphrases it,

"in the day appointed for redemption;''

and so the Apostle James quotes it, and applies it to the first times of the Gospel, Acts 15:15. The Targum interprets this "tabernacle" of the kingdom of the house of David: this was in a low estate and condition when Jesus the Messiah came, he being the carpenter's son; but it is to be understood of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, the church; Christ is meant by David, whose son he is, and of whom David was an eminent type, and is often called by his name, Ezekiel 34:23; and the church by his "tabernacle", which is of his building, where he dwells, and keeps his court; and which in the present state is movable from place to place: and this at the time of Christ's coming was much fallen, and greatly decayed, through sad corruption in doctrine by the Pharisees and Sadducees; through neglect of worship, and formality in it, and the introduction of things into it God never commanded; through the wicked lives of professors, and the small number of truly godly persons; but God, according to this promise and prophecy, raised it up again by the ministry of John the Baptist, Christ and his apostles, and by the conversion of many of the Jews, and by bringing in great numbers of the Gentiles, who coalesced in one church state, which made it flourishing, grand, and magnificent; and thus the prophecy was in part fulfilled, as the apostle has applied it in the above mentioned place: but it will have a further and greater accomplishment still in the latter day, both in the spiritual and personal reign of Christ: and though this tabernacle or church of Christ is fallen to decay again, and is in a very ruinous condition; the doctrines of the Gospel being greatly departed from; the ordinances of it changed, or not attended to; great declensions as to the exercise of grace among the people of God; and many breaches and divisions among them; the outward conversation of many professors very bad, and few instances of conversion; yet the Lord will raise it up again, and make it very glorious: he will

close up the breaches thereof, and will raise up his ruins; the doctrines of the Gospel will be revived and received; the ordinances of it will be administered in their purity, as they were first delivered; great numbers will be converted, both of Jews and Gentiles; and there will be much holiness, spirituality, and brotherly love, among the saints:

and I will build it as in the days of old; religion shall flourish as in the days of David and Solomon; the Christian church will be restored to its pristine glory, as in the times of the apostles.

(q) Zohar in Exod. fol. 96. 2.((r) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 96. 2.((s) Zohar in Gen. fol. 53. 2.((t) Zohar in Exod. fol. 4. 2.((u) Ch. xiii. 10. (w) Ch. xiv. 7.

In that day will I raise up the {i} tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

(i) I will send the promised Messiah, and restore by him the spiritual Israel; Ac 15:16.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11–15. The Epilogue

Amos closes, as the prophets are wont to close their discourses, with the promise of a brighter future. The dynasty of David, though for the time humbled, will be reinstated in its former splendour and power (Amos 9:11-12); and the blessings of peace will be shared in perpetuity by the entire nation (Amos 9:13-15).—On the question of the authenticity of the epilogue, see above, p. 119 ff.

In that day] The day which the prophet has in his mind: here, the day of restoration, which is to succeed the catastrophe of Amos 9:8-10. The expression is a common one in the prophets, especially Isaiah, who use it for the purpose of introducing fresh traits in their pictures of the future (see e.g. Isaiah 2:20; Isaiah 3:18; Isaiah 7:18; Isaiah 7:20-21; Isaiah 7:23).

will I raise up the fallen booth (or hut) of David, and fence up the breaches &c.] The succâh, or “booth,” was a rude hut—properly one made of intertwined branches; and the word is used of a cattle-shed (Genesis 33:17), of the rough tents used by soldiers in war (2 Samuel 11:11), or by watchmen in a vineyard (Isaiah 1:8; Job 27:18), of the “booth” made by Jonah (Amos 4:5), and of the rude temporary huts, constructed of branches of trees, in which the Israelites dwelt during the Feast of Ingathering, or, as it is also called from this circumstance, the ‘Feast of Booths’ (Leviticus 23:40; Leviticus 23:42; Deuteronomy 16:13). The term itself denotes consequently a very humble structure, which here, in addition, is represented as fallen. In the following words the figure of the booth is neglected; the ‘breaches’ being those of a wall or fortress (cf. Amos 4:3; Isaiah 30:13). These expressions are evidently intended to represent the humbled state of the Davidic dynasty; though what the humiliation actually referred to is, is uncertain. According to some, the allusion is to the loss sustained by David’s house through the revolt of the ten tribes[203] according to others, it is to the future ruin of Judah, which it appears from Amos 2:5 (cf. the words of rebuke in Amos 3:1, Amos 6:1) that Amos contemplated; others, again, suppose the reference to be to the actual overthrow of David’s dynasty by the Chaldaeans in 586 b.c., and infer accordingly that Amos 9:11-15 was an addition made to the original prophecy of Amos during (or after) the Babylonian exile. On the whole, the second view seems the best (cf. p. 122 f.).

[203] A reference to the blow inflicted upon Judah by Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13 f.) is doubtful, as this must have happened some 30 years previously, and under Uzziah Judah appears to have rapidly recovered itself.

ruins] lit. things torn down. The cognate verb (hâras) is often applied to a wall or fortress (e.g. Micah 5:11; Ezekiel 26:12); it is the exact opposite of the following build (see Ezekiel 36:36; Malachi 1:4).

as in the days of old] i.e. the age of David and Solomon. The expression used is a relative one, and may denote a period more or less remote according to the context; in Micah 7:14, Isaiah 63:11, for instance, it denotes the age of Moses, while in Isaiah 58:12; Isaiah 61:4 the same word (‘ôlâm), rendered “of old,” denotes merely the beginning of the Babylonian exile, viewed from its close.Verses 11-15. - Part IV. EPILOGUE. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NEW KINGDOM AND THE REIGN OF MESSIAH. THE KINGDOM SHALL EMBRACE ALL NATIONS (vers. 11, 12), SHALL BE ENRICHED WITH SUPERABUNDANT SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS (vers. 13, 14), AND SHALL ENDURE FOREVER (ver. 15). Verse 11. - In that day. When the judgment has fallen. The passage is quoted by St. James (Acts 15:16, 27), mostly from the Greek, in confirmation of the doctrine that the Church of God is open to all, whether Jew or Gentile. The tabernacle (sukkah): hut, or tent (as Jonah 4:5); no palace now, but fallen to low esthete, a "little house" (Amos 6:11). The prophet refers probably to the fall of the kingdom of David in the ruin wrought by the Chaldeans. Interpreted spiritually, the passage shadows forth the universal Church of Christ, raised from that of the Jews. Pusey notes that in the Talmud Christ is called "the Son of the fallen." The breaches. The house of David had sustained breaches under the hands of Jeroboam and Joash, and in the severance of the ten tribes at the hands of Assyriaus and Chaldees; these should be repaired. Unity should be restored, the captives should return, and another kingdom should be established under another David, the Messiah. Judah's temporary prosperity under Uzziah and Hezekiah would have been a totally inadequate fulfilment of the prophecy. Prophecies of the temporal and spiritual are, as usual, blended together and run up into each other. His ruins. The destroyed places of David! will build it; Hebrew, her. The whole Jewish Church (comp. Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 33:7). As in the days of old. The days of David and Solomon, the most flourishing times of the kingdom (2 Samuel 7:11, 12, 16). In the expression, "of old," Hebrew, "of eternity," may lurk an idea of the length of time that must elapse before the fulfilment of the promise. Septuagint, Ἀνοικοδομήσω αὐτὴν καθὼς αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ αἰῶνος, "I will build it up as are the days of eternity." This seems to signify that the building is to last forever. Fulfilment of the judgment upon all the heathen predicted in Joel 3:2. Compare the similar prediction of judgment in Zechariah 14:2. The call is addressed to all nations to equip themselves for battle, and march into the valley of Jehoshaphat to war against the people of God, but in reality to be judged by the Lord through His heavenly heroes, whom He sends down thither. Joel 3:9. "Proclaim ye this among the nations; sanctify a war, awaken the heroes, let all the men of war draw near and come up! Joel 3:10. Forge your coulters into swords, and your vine-sickles into spears: let the weak one say, A hero am I. Joe 3:11. Hasten and come, all ye nations round about, and assemble yourselves! Let thy heroes come down thither, O Jehovah! Joel 3:12. The nations are to rise up, and come into the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there shall I sit to judge all the heathen round about." The summons to prepare for war (Joel 3:9) is addressed, not to the worshippers of Jehovah or the Israelites scattered among the heathen (Cyr., Calv., Umbreit), but to the heathen nations, though not directly to the heroes and warriors among the heathen, but to heralds, who are to listen to the divine message, and convey it to the heathen nations. This change belongs to the poetical drapery of thought, that at a sign from the Lord the heathen nations are to assemble together for war against Israel. קדּשׁ מלחמה does not mean "to declare war" (Hitzig), but to consecrate a war, i.e., to prepare for war by sacrifices and religious rites of consecration (cf. 1 Samuel 7:8-9; Jeremiah 6:4). העירוּ: waken up or arouse (not wake up) the heroes from their peaceful rest to battle. With יגּשׁוּ the address passes over from the second person to the third, which Hitzig accounts for on the ground that the words state what the heralds are to say to the nations or heroes; but the continuance of the imperative kōttū in Joel 3:10 does not suit this. This transition is a very frequent one (cf. Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 34:1), and may be very simply explained from the lively nature of the description. עלה is here applied to the advance of hostile armies against a land or city. The nations are to summon up all their resources and all their strength for this war, because it will be a decisive one. They are to forge the tools of peaceful agriculture into weapons of war (compare Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3, where the Messianic times of peace are depicted as the turning of weapons of war into instruments of agriculture). Even the weak one is to rouse himself up to be a hero, "as is generally the case when a whole nation is seized with warlike enthusiasm" (Hitzig). This enthusiasm is expressed still further in the appeal in Joel 3:11 to assemble together as speedily as possible. The ἁπ. λεγ. עוּשׁ is related to חוּשׁ, to hasten; whereas no support can be found in the language to the meaning "assemble," adopted by the lxx, Targ., etc. The expression כּל־הגּוים by no means necessitates our taking these words as a summons or challenge on the part of Joel to the heathen, as Hitzig does; for this can be very well interpreted as a summons, with which the nations call one another to battle, as the following ונקבּצוּ requires; and the assumption of Hitzig, Ewald, and others, that this form is the imperative for הקּבצוּ, cannot be sustained from Isaiah 43:9 and Jeremiah 50:5. It is not till Joel 3:11 that Joel steps in with a prayer addressed to the Lord, that He will send down His heavenly heroes to the place to which the heathen are flowing together. Hanchath an imper. hiph., with pathach instead of tzere, on account of the guttural, from nâchath, to come down. The heroes of Jehovah are heavenly hosts, or angels, who execute His commands as gibbōrē khōăch (Psalm 103:20, cf. Psalm 78:25). This prayer is answered thus by Jehovah in Joel 3:12 : "Let the nations rise up, and come into the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will He hold judgment upon them." יעורוּ corresponds to העירוּ in Joel 3:9; and at the close, "all the heathen round about" is deliberately repeated. Still there is no antithesis in this to "all nations" in Joel 3:2, as though here the judgment was simply to come upon the hostile nations in the neighbourhood of Judah, and not upon all the heathen universally (Hitzig). For even in Joel 3:2 כל הגוים are simply all the heathen who have attacked the people of Jehovah - that is to say, all the nations round about Israel. Only these are not merely the neighbouring nations to Judah, but all heathen nations who have come into contact with the kingdom of God, i.e., all the nations of the earth without exception, inasmuch as before the last judgment the gospel of the kingdom is to be preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10).

It is to the last decisive judgment, in which all the single judgments find their end, that the command of Jehovah to His strong heroes refers. Joel 3:13. "Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, tread, for the win-press is full, the vats overflow: for their wickedness is great." The judgment is represented under the double figure of the reaping of the fields and the treading out of the grapes in the wine-press. The angels are first of all summoned to reap the ripe corn (Isaiah 17:5; Revelation 14:16), and then commanded to tread the wine-presses that are filled with grapes. The opposite opinion expressed by Hitzig, viz., that the command to tread the wine-presses is preceded by the command to cut off the grapes, is supported partly by the erroneous assertion, that bâshal is not applied to the ripening of corn, and partly upon the arbitrary assumption that qâtsı̄r, a harvest, stands for bâtsı̄r, a vintage; and maggâl, a sickle (cf. Jeremiah 50:16), for mazmērâh, a vine-dresser's bill. But bâshal does not mean "to boil," either primarily or literally, but to be done, or to be ripe, like the Greek πέσσω, πέπτω, to ripen, to make soft, to boil (see at Exodus 12:9), and hence in the piel both to boil and roast, and in the hiphil to make ripe of ripen (Genesis 40:10), applied both to grapes and corn. It is impossible to infer from the fact that Isaiah (Isaiah 16:9) uses the word qâtsı̄r for the vintage, on account of the alliteration with qayits, that this is also the meaning of the word in Joel. But we have a decisive proof in the resumption of this passage in Revelation 14:15 and Revelation 14:18, where the two figures (of the corn-harvest and the gathering of the grapes) are kept quite distinct, and the clause כּי בשׁל קציר is paraphrased and explained thus: "The time is come for thee to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." The ripeness of the corn is a figurative representation of ripeness for judgment. Just as in the harvest - namely, at the threshing and winnowing connected with the harvest - the grains of corn are separated from the husk, the wheat being gathered into the barns, the husk blown away by the wind, and the straw burned; so will the good be separated from the wicked by the judgment, the former being gathered into the kingdom of God for the enjoyment of eternal life, - the latter, on the other hand, being given up to eternal death. The harvest field is the earth (ἡ γῆ, Revelation 14:16), i.e., the inhabitants of the earth, the human race. The ripening began at the time of the appearance of Christ upon the earth (John 4:35; Matthew 9:38). With the preaching of the gospel among all nations, the judgment of separation and decision (ἡ κρίσις, John 3:18-21) commenced; with the spread of the kingdom of Christ in the earth it passes over all nations; and it will be completed in the last judgment, on the return of Christ in glory at the end of this world. Joel does not carry out the figure of the harvest any further, but simply presents the judgment under the similar figure of the treading of the grapes that have been gathered. רדוּ, not from yârad, to descend, but from râdâh, to trample under foot, tread the press that is filled with grapes. השׁיקוּ היקבים is used in Joel 2:24 to denote the most abundant harvest; here it is figuratively employed to denote the great mass of men who are ripe for the judgment, as the explanatory clause, for "their wicked (deed) is much," or "their wickedness is great," which recals Genesis 6:5, clearly shows. The treading of the wine-press does not express the idea of wading in blood, or the execution of a great massacre; but in Isaiah 63:3, as well as in Revelation 14:20, it is a figure denoting an annihilating judgment upon the enemies of God and of His kingdom. The wine-press is "the wine-press of the wrath of God," i.e., "what the wine-press is to ordinary grapes, the wrath of God is to the grapes referred to here" (Hengstenberg on Revelation 14:19).

The execution of this divine command is not expressly mentioned, but in Joel 3:14. the judgment is simply depicted thus: first of all we have a description of the streaming of the nations into the valley of judgment, and then of the appearance of Jehovah upon Zion in the terrible glory of the Judge of the world, and as the refuge of His people. Joel 3:14. "Tumult, tumult in the valley of decision: for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision." Hămōnı̄m are noisy crowds, whom the prophet sees in the Spirit pouring into the valley of Jehoshaphat. The repetition of the word is expressive of the great multitude, as in 2 Kings 3:16. עמק החרוּץ not valley of threshing; for though chârūts is used in Isaiah 28:27 and Isaiah 41:15 for the threshing-sledge, it is not used for the threshing itself, but valley of the deciding judgment, from chârats, to decide, to determine irrevocably (Isaiah 10:22; 1 Kings 20:40), so that chârūts simply defines the name Jehoshaphat with greater precision. כּי קרוב וגו (compare Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1) is used here to denote the immediate proximity of the judgment, which bursts at once, according to Joel 3:15.

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