Joel 1:10
The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.
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(10) The new wine.—The necessaries and delights of life are all gone: “the wine that maketh glad the heart of man, the oil that makes his face to shine, the bread that strengthened man’s heart” (Psalm 104:15).

1:8-13 All who labour only for the meat that perishes, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their labour. Those that place their happiness in the delights of sense, when deprived of them, or disturbed in the enjoyment, lose their joy; whereas spiritual joy then flourishes more than ever. See what perishing, uncertain things our creature-comforts are. See how we need to live in continual dependence upon God and his providence. See what ruinous work sin makes. As far as poverty occasions the decay of piety, and starves the cause of religion among a people, it is a very sore judgment. But how blessed are the awakening judgments of God, in rousing his people and calling home the heart to Christ, and his salvation!The field is wasted, the land mourneth - As, when God pours out His blessings of nature, all nature seems to smile and be glad, and as the Psalmist says, "to shout for joy and sing" Psalm 65:13, so when He withholds them, it seems to mourn, and, by its mourning, to reproach the insensibility of man. Oil is the emblem of the abundant graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, and of the light and devotion of soul given by Him, and spiritual gladness, and overflowing, all-mantling charity. 10. field … land—differing in that "field" means the open, unenclosed country; "land," the rich red soil (from a root "to be red") fit for cultivation. Thus, "a man of the field," in Hebrew, is a "hunter"; a "man of the ground" or "land," an "agriculturist" (Ge 25:27). "Field" and "land" are here personified.

new wine—from a Hebrew root implying that it takes possession of the brain, so that a man is not master of himself. So the Arabic term is from a root "to hold captive." It is already fermented, and so intoxicating, unlike the sweet fresh wine, in Joe 1:5, called also "new wine," though a different Hebrew word. It and "the oil" stand for the vine and the olive tree, from which the "wine" and "oil" are obtained (Joe 1:12).

dried up—not "ashamed," as Margin, as is proved by the parallelism to "languisheth," that is, droopeth.

The field is wasted; the soil that was wont to be fat and fruitful, and did shout with fruits, now lieth waste, horrid to look upon, and such as promises no fruit; the famine in their houses, and the ceasing of the sacrifices in the house of God, is like to be perpetuated.

The land mourneth; the inhabitants of the land, by a usual figure, here called the land.

The corn is wasted; the wheat and barley, their bread corn, is eaten up in its greenness by these devouring locusts, whether in the letter by vermin, or in the figure by the Babylonians.

The new wine is dried up; the word may as well be rendered is ashamed, or confounded; it is then a figurative expression, which this prophet useth, Joel 1:12,17, in the last of which it is rendered withered; if you retain, as well you may, our version, it plainly tells us the heats and drought with them were so great, that the vines were withered, and all their hopes of new wine by this means cut off.

The oil; the olive trees, as the vines, fade too, and promise very little oil.

Languisheth; neither able to send sap from the root to maintain its verdure, nor to put forth berries, or to bring them to maturity. Now as these words declare what barrenness was now upon the land, so it is a plain account of the reason why the priests are called to mourn, and why the meat-offering and drink-offering are cut off; these must cease when that ceaseth which made them up corn, wine, and oil.

The field is wasted,.... By the locust, that eat up all green things, the grass and herbs, the fruit and leaves of trees; and also by the Chaldeans trampling on it with their horses, and the increase of which became fodder for them:

the land mourneth; being destitute, nothing growing upon it, and so looked dismally, and of a horrid aspect; or the inhabitants of it, for want of provision:

for the corn is wasted; by the locusts, and so by the Assyrian or Chaldean army, before it came to perfection:

the new wine is dried up: in the grape, through the drought after mentioned: or, "is ashamed" (r); not answering the expectations of men, who saw it in the cluster, promising much, but failed:

the oil languisheth; or "sickens" (s); the olive trees withered; the olives fell off, as the Targum, and so the oil failed: the corn, wine, and oil, are particularly mentioned, not only as being the chief support of human life, as Kimchi observes, and so the loss of them must be matter of lamentation to the people in general; but because of these the meat and drink offerings were, and therefore the priests in particular had reason to mourn.

(r) "erubuit", Tigurine version, Mercer, Liveleus; "puduit", Drusius, Tarnovius; "pudefit", Cocceius. (s) "infirmatum est", Montanus. So some in Vatablus.

The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: {g} the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

(g) All comfort and substance for nourishment is taken away.

10. the ground mourneth] the country being personified, as Isaiah 33:9; Jeremiah 12:4; Jeremiah 12:11; Jeremiah 23:10; cf. on Amos 1:2. Conversely, at harvest time, when the fruits of the earth are abundant, “the vales shout for joy, and sing” (Psalm 65:13).

the corn … the new wine (or must) … the fresh oil] The three principal products of the soil of Palestine, often mentioned together as a triad of blessings (Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 28:51; Hosea 2:8), bestowed by Jehovah upon His people, or, it may be, withheld, in the event of their unfaithfulness. The words, though they may be used with reference to the corn in the ears, and the juice in the grapes and the olives, denote more particularly these products after they have been adapted partially for the food, or use, of man. Corn (dâgân) is thus the grain of wheat after it has been threshed and freed from the husk (“from the threshing-floor,” Numbers 18:27); new wine, or must (tîrôsh), is the freshly-expressed juice of the grape, sometimes, at any rate, if not always, slightly fermented (Hosea 4:11), and described as a sustaining (Genesis 27:37), invigorating (Zechariah 9:17), and exhilarating (Jdg 9:13) beverage; fresh oil (yitzhâr) is similarly the freshly-expressed juice of the olive. On tîrôsh, see more fully the Additional Note at the end of the Book (p. 79). The oil which, when pressed, the fruit of the olive yields, is almost a necessary of life in Palestine: it is used in cooking and for food, where we should employ butter; it is burnt in lamps; it is in habitual use for anointing the person (see on Amos 6:6); it has medicinal virtues (Isaiah 1:6; Luke 10:34); it was used in ancient times in sacrifice (Leviticus 2:1; Leviticus 2:6, &c.), and it was prized as a gift (1 Kings 5:11; Hosea 12:1; Isaiah 57:9). Being a valuable commodity, it was subject to tithe (Deuteronomy 14:23; Nehemiah 13:5). See further Tristram, N. H. B. p. 373 ff.; Van Lennep, Bible Lands, p. 124 ff.; Whitehouse, Primer of Heb. Antiquities, pp. 104–110.

is dried up] Better, sheweth shame (cf. R.V. marg.), the ‘new wine’ being personified (cf. Isaiah 24:7, where it is said to ‘mourn’), just as the ‘ground’ is in the first part of the verse. Comp. of Lebanon (though the Heb. word used is a different one), Isaiah 33:9.

languisheth] The same word, said of trees of which the foliage has been stripped off, or is withering, Joel 1:12; Isaiah 16:8; Isaiah 24:7; Nahum 1:4.

Additional Note on Chap. Joel 1:10 (tîrôsh)

Tîrôsh occurs thirty-eight times in the O.T. It is mentioned generally as a valued product of the soil, by the side of corn in Genesis 27:28; Genesis 27:37; Deuteronomy 33:28; 2 Kings 18:32 (= Isaiah 36:17); Isaiah 62:8; Hosea 2:9; Hosea 7:14; Hosea 9:2 (implicitly); Zechariah 9:17; Psalm 4:7; Proverbs 3:10 (implicitly); and by the side of corn and “fresh oil” (yitzhâr) together in Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 28:51; Jeremiah 31:12; Hosea 2:8; Hosea 2:22; Joel 1:10; Joel 2:19; Joel 2:24; Haggai 1:11; 2 Chronicles 32:28; Nehemiah 5:11; cf. Micah 6:15; and as the highly prized product of the vine, “gladdening God (or gods) and men” (i.e. offered to the former in libations and welcome to the latter at feasts) in Jdg 9:13, and bringing a blessing in Isaiah 65:8; cf. Isaiah 24:7. It is mentioned further, also with corn and “fresh oil,” as subject to tithe (Deuteronomy 12:17; Deuteronomy 14:23; Nehemiah 13:5; Nehemiah 13:12), and the payment of firstfruits (Deuteronomy 18:4; Numbers 18:12; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Nehemiah 10:37; cf. Nehemiah 10:39). Lastly, it is mentioned in Hosea 4:11, in company with “whoredom and wine,” as “taking away the heart” (i.e. the understanding). From these passages it appears that tîrôsh was a beverage (Isaiah 62:8), prepared from the fruit of the vine (Isaiah 65:8; Micah 6:15), and possessed of sustaining (Genesis 27:37) and invigorating (Zechariah 9:17) properties. Hosea 4:11 shews further that it was, at least in some cases, fermented; and “gladdening,” in Jdg 9:13, which would naturally, in this connexion, have the force of “exhilarating” (cf. the same word of yayin “wine,” in Psalm 104:15), suggests the same inference. Whether, however, tîrôsh denoted always a fermented liquid, is more than we can say. Isaiah 65:8Verse 10. - The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. This verse is closely connected with the preceding, for the failure of the meat offerings and drink offerings was owing to the devastation of the country and the destruction of its crops by the locust-plague. The field was laid waste by them, nor was it a field here and there, or a solitary district; it was the whole land without exception or exemption that had cause to grieve, "if aught inanimate e'er grieves." This is expressed by one of those paronomasias of which the Hebrews were so fond, thus, shuddad sadheh, abhelah adhamah, equivalent to "field falls, ground grieves;" or "field fruitless, land laments." The oblation, or meat offering, consisted of flour mingled with oil; the libation, or drink offering, consisted of wine. There were also firstfruits of corn and wine and oil; while all the produce of the land was tithabla. Now, however, the corn was wasted and the oil languished; and therefore the meat offering had partially failed or entirely ceased; the new wine was dried up, and therefore the drink offering must needs have been given up. The mention of corn and wine and oil in particular is owing to their connection with the temple service, for the firstfruits, tithes, oblations, and libations depended largely upon them. Joel 1:10The whole nation is to mourn over this devastation. Joel 1:8. "Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. Joel 1:9. The meat-offering and the drink-offering are destroyed from the house of Jehovah. The priests, the servant of Jehovah. mourn. Joel 1:10. The field is laid waste, the ground mourns: for the corn is laid waste: the new wine is spoiled, the oil decays. Joel 1:11. Turn pale, ye husbandmen; howl, ye vinedressers, over wheat and barley: for the harvest of the field is perished. Joel 1:12. The vine is spoiled, and the fig-tree faded; the pomegranate, also the palm and the apple tree: all the trees of the field are withered away; yea, joy has expired from the children of men." In Joel 1:8 Judah is addressed as the congregation of Jehovah. אלי is the imperative of the verb אלה, equivalent to the Syriac 'elā', to lament. The verb only occurs here. The lamentation of the virgin for the בּעל נעוּריה, i.e., the beloved of your youth, her bridegroom, whom she has lost by death (Isaiah 54:6), is the deepest and bitterest lamentation. With reference to חגרת־שׂק, see Delitzsch on Isaiah 3:24. The occasion of this deep lamentation, according to Joel 1:9, is the destruction of the meat-offering and drink-offering from the house of the Lord, over which the servants of Jehovah mourn. The meat and drink offerings must of necessity cease, because the corn, the new wine, and the oil are destroyed through the devastation of the field and soil. Hokhrath minchâh does not affirm that the offering of the daily morning and evening sacrifice (Exodus 29:38-42) - for it is to this that מנחה ונסך chiefly, if not exclusively, refers - has already ceased; but simply that any further offering is rendered impossible by the failure of meal, wine, and oil. Now Israel could not suffer any greater calamity than the suspension of the daily sacrifice; for this was a practical suspension of the covenant relation - a sign that God had rejected His people. Therefore, even in the last siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, the sacrificial worship was not suspended till it had been brought to the last extremity; and even then it was for the want of sacrificers, and not of the material of sacrifice (Josephus, de bell. Jud. vi. 2, 1). The reason for this anxiety was the devastation of the field and land (Joel 1:10); and this is still further explained by a reference to the devastation and destruction of the fruits of the ground, viz., the corn, i.e., the corn growing in the field, so that the next harvest would be lost, and the new wine and oil, i.e., the vines and olive-trees, so that they could bear no grapes for new wine, and no olives for oil. The verbs in Joel 1:11 are not perfects, but imperatives, as in the fifth verse. הבישׁ has the same meaning as bōsh, as in Jeremiah 2:26; Jeremiah 6:15, etc., to stand ashamed, to turn pale with shame at the disappointment of their hope, and is probably written defectively, without ו, to distinguish it from הובישׁ, the hiphil of יבשׁ, to be parched or dried up (Joel 1:10 and Joel 1:12). The hope of the husbandmen was disappointed through the destruction of the wheat and barley, the most important field crops. The vine-growers had to mourn over the destruction of the vine and the choice fruit-trees (Joel 1:12), such as the fig and pomegranate, and even the date-palm (gam-tâmâr), which has neither a fresh green rind nor tender juicy leaves, and therefore is not easily injured by the locusts so as to cause it to dry up; and tappūăch, the apple-tree, and all the trees of the field, i.e., all the rest of the trees, wither. "All trees, whether fruit-bearing or not, are consumed by the devastating locusts" (Jerome). In the concluding clause of Joel 1:12, the last and principal ground assigned for the lamentation is, that joy is taken away and withered from the children of men (hōbbı̄sh min, constr. praegn.). כּי introduces a reason here as elsewhere, though not for the clause immediately preceding, but for the הבישׁוּ and הילילוּ in Joel 1:11, the leading thought in both verses; and we may therefore express it by an emphatic yea.
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