Joel 1:5
Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and howl, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Awake, ye drunkards—i.e., awake from such an insensibility as wine causes. The people failed to see the hand of God in the terrible calamity, like an acted parable, of the locusts. Insensate, as the revellers in the halls of Belshazzar, they carried on their feasting even while the enemies were at the city gates.

It is cut off from your mouth.—Either joy and gladness, as given in the LXX., or the means of indulgence have been suddenly taken away.

Joel 1:5. Awake, ye drunkards — From the long sleep occasioned by your intoxication. Kimchi comments thus on the place: “You, who accustom yourselves to get drunk with wine, awake out of your sleep, and weep night and day; for the wine shall fail you, because the locust shall devour the grape.” The exhortation implies, that the calamity should particularly affect those who were given to an excess of drinking, and that it should touch them in a tender part; the wine which they loved so well should be cut off from their mouths. Observe, reader, it is just with God to take away those comforts which are abused to luxury and excess.1:1-7 The most aged could not remember such calamities as were about to take place. Armies of insects were coming upon the land to eat the fruits of it. It is expressed so as to apply also to the destruction of the country by a foreign enemy, and seems to refer to the devastations of the Chaldeans. God is Lord of hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases, can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by the weakest and most contemptible creatures. It is just with God to take away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess; and the more men place their happiness in the gratifications of sense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them. The more earthly delights we make needful to satisfy us, the more we expose ourselves to trouble.Awake, ye drunkards, and weep - All sin stupefies the sinner. All intoxicate the mind, bribe and pervert the judgment, dull the conscience, blind the soul and make it insensible to its own ills. All the passions, anger, vain glory, ambition, avarice and the rest are a spiritual drunkenness, inebriating the soul, as strong drink doth the body. : "They are called drunkards, who, confused with the love of this world, feel not the ills which they suffer. What then is meant by, "Awake, ye drunkards and weep," but, 'shake off the sleep of your insensibility, and oppose by watchful lamentations the many plagues of sins, which succeed one to the other in the devastation of your hearts?'" God arouse those who will be aroused, by withdrawing from them the pleasures wherein they offended Him. Awake, the prophet cries, from the sottish slumber of your drunkenness; awake to weep and howl, at least when your feverish enjoyments are dashed from your lips. Weeping for things temporal may awaken to the fear of losing things eternal. 5. Awake—out of your ordinary state of drunken stupor, to realize the cutting off from you of your favorite drink. Even the drunkards (from a Hebrew root, "any strong drink") shall be forced to "howl," though usually laughing in the midst of the greatest national calamities, so palpably and universally shall the calamity affect all.

wine … new wine—"New" or "fresh wine," in Hebrew, is the unfermented, and therefore unintoxicating, sweet juice extracted by pressure from grapes or other fruit, as pomegranates (So 8:2). "Wine" is the produce of the grape alone, and is intoxicating (see on [1130]Joe 1:10).

Awake: great drinkers of intoxicating liquors are apt to sleep and be secure, the prophet doth therefore here call to them, as to sleepers, and by one apt word expresseth a double duty, vigilance of mind as well as of the body; so may this be paralleled with Romans 13:11 1 Thessalonians 5:6 1 Peter 5:8, or Ephesians 5:14.

Ye drunkards; riotous livers, such as Proverbs 23:30-32 Isaiah 5:11,12, whose life is nothing but a continued feasting with choicest wines, and in excess, such as Amos 6:4-6, describeth.

Weep and howl; lament your condition with sober tears, for the sorrows coming upon you are just matter of weeping; nor will an ordinary degree of weeping suffice, cry out and howl, like men surprised with insupportable miseries, Isaiah 13:6 14:31 15:2.

All ye drinkers of wine, who offend by an inordinate use of wine, for it is not to be understood of every one that drinketh wine, but of such as before are called drunkards, who are in love with wine.

Because of the new wine, which is sweet and pleasing to the taste, and no doubt drank without stint or measure by men of that age, against which Joel prophesieth.

For it is cut off from your mouth; suddenly cut off, even when you are ready to drink it, and totally, all cut off by these devouring vermin; which as it was a narrative of what was already done, refers to that waste and famine by the locusts; as it is allegorical and predictive, it will be more dreadfully fulfilled when the enemies of Judah shall destroy all. Awake, ye drunkards, and weep: and howl, all ye drinkers of wine,.... Who are used to neither, either to awake or to howl, being very prone to drowsiness upon their drinking bouts, and to mirth and jollity in them; but now should be awake, and sober enough, not as being a virtue in them, but through want of wine; and for the same reason should howl, as follows:

because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth; the locusts having spoiled the vines and eaten the grapes, no new wine could be made, and so none could be brought in cups to their mouths; nor they drink it in bowls, as they had used to do; and which, being sweet and grateful to their taste, they were wont to drink in great abundance, till they were inebriated with it; but now there was a scarcity, their lips were dry, but not their eyes. The word, Kimchi says, signifies all liquor which is squeezed by bruising or treading.

Awake, ye {c} drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

(c) Meaning, that the reason for their excess and drunkenness was taken away.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5–12. All classes are to unite in lamenting this calamity, which has not only (1) deprived them of some of their most valued luxuries, Joel 1:5-7, but also (2) interrupted the public worship of God, Joel 1:8-10, and (3) even left them destitute of the means of subsistence, Joel 1:11-12.

Awake, ye drunkards] viz. from the sleep of intoxication (Genesis 9:24; Proverbs 23:35), which the ruin of the vintage will soon render impossible.

howl] in wild and desperate grief: so Joel 1:11; Joel 1:13. Comp. on Amos 8:3.

because of the sweet wine] Heb. ‘âsîs: see on Amos 9:13.

from your mouth] where it is a source to you of gratification.Verse 5. - Three classes are called on to lament - the winebibbers, the husbandmen, and the priests. The verses before us (vers. 5-7) contain the prophet's appeal to the drunkards. Their sin had not alarmed them; the danger with which their soul was imperilled bad not aroused them; now, however, the heavy visitation that awaited them would affect them more vehemently, touching them more nearly. Deprived of the means of their favourite indulgence, they are urged to awake from their stupid slumber and perilous day-dream. They are summoned to weep, shedding silent but bitter tears, and howl, venting their so,row and disappointment in loud and long lamentation: Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine! He backs this exhortation by a most cogent and unanswerable reason - because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. The word asis is explained by Kimchi thus: "Wine is called עסיס, and so every kind of drink that goes out (is pressed out) by bruising and treading is called עסיס, according to the meaning of the root עסס in Malachi 3:21. "I will not visit it upon your daughters that they commit whoredom, nor upon your daughters-in-law that they commit adultery; for they themselves go aside with harlots, and with holy maidens do they sacrifice: and the nation that does not see is ruined." God would not punish the daughters and daughters-in-law for their whoredom, because the elder ones did still worse. "So great was the number of fornications, that all punishment ceased, in despair of any amendment" (Jerome). With כּי הם God turns away from the reckless nation, as unworthy of being further addressed or exhorted, in righteous indignation at such presumptuous sinning, and proceed to speak about it in the third person: for "they (the fathers and husbands, not 'the priest,' as Simson supposes, since there is no allusion to them here) go," etc. פּרד, piel in an intransitive sense, to separate one's self, to go aside for the purpose of being alone with the harlots. Sacrificing with the qedēshōth, i.e., with prostitutes, or Hetairai (see at Genesis 38:14), may have taken its rise in the prevailing custom, viz., that fathers of families came with their wives to offer yearly sacrifices, and the wives shared in the sacrificial meals (1 Samuel 1:3.). Coming to the altar with Hetairai instead of their own wives, was the climax of shameless licentiousness. A nation that had sunk so low and had lost all perception must perish. לבט equals Arab. lbṭ: to throw to the earth; or in the niphal, to cast headlong into destruction (Proverbs 10:8, Proverbs 10:10).
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