Joel 1:9
The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD's ministers, mourn.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) The meat offering and the drink offeringi.e., all the outward and visible signs of communion with God are cut off. The means are lost through this visitation. There is a total cessation of “the creatures of bread and wine.” The immediate significance of this fact is naturally appreciated first by “the priests, the Lord’s ministers.”

Joel 1:9-10. The meat-offering and the drink-offering — These offerings always accompanied the daily sacrifice: see Numbers 28:4; Numbers 28:7. The word here and elsewhere translated meat-offering, properly signifies the bread- offering, which was made of flour. It is here foretold, that these daily sacrifices could not be offered as they were wont to be, on account of the scarcity of corn and wine. The field is wasted, &c. — The fields and the whole land have a mournful appearance, being altogether bare, and destitute of fruit for the food of either man or beast. The oil languisheth —

The olive-tree fadeth and produceth no fruit.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 meat offering and the drink offering is cut off - The meat offering and drink offering were part of every sacrifice. If the materials for these, the grain and wine, ceased, through locusts or drought or the wastings of war, the sacrifice must become mangled and imperfect. The priests were to mourn for the defects of the sacrifice; they lost also their own subsistence, since the altar was, to them, in place of all other inheritance. The meat and drink offerings were emblems of the materials of the holy eucharist, by which Malachi foretold that, when God had rejected the offering of the Jews, there should be a "pure offering" among the pagan Joel 1:11. When then holy communions become rare, the meat and drink offering are literally cut off from the house of the Lord, and those who are indeed priests, the ministers of the Lord, should mourn. Joel foretells that, however love should wax cold, there should ever be such. He forsees and foretells at once, the failure, and the grief of the priests. Nor is it an idle regret which he foretells, but a mourning unto their God. : "Both meat offering and drink offering hath perished from the house of God, not in actual substance but as to reverence, because, amid the prevailing iniquity there is scarcely found in the Church, who should duly celebrate, or receive the sacraments." 9. The greatest sorrow to the mind of a religious Jew, and what ought to impress the whole nation with a sense of God's displeasure, is the cessation of the usual temple-worship.

meat offering—Hebrew, mincha; "meat" not in the English sense "flesh," but the unbloody offering made of flour, oil, and frankincense. As it and the drink offering or libation poured out accompanied every sacrificial flesh offering, the latter is included, though not specified, as being also "cut off," owing to there being no food left for man or beast.

priests … mourn—not for their own loss of sacrificial perquisites (Nu 18:8-15), but because they can no longer offer the appointed offerings to Jehovah, to whom they minister.

The meat-offering; which by Divine appointment was to be of fine flour, oil, and frankincense, as Leviticus 2:1, &c.; vi. 14, &c. This meat-offering was necessary to every sacrifice offered under the law; so that without the mincha, or meat-offering, the sacrifice was maimed and illegal.

The drink-offering; required daily, as appears Exodus 29:40,41 Num 28:8; a fourth part of a hin of wine for one lamb, Numbers 28:7.

Is cut off; by the destruction of the vines by the locusts forementioned, all that wine (out of which they ought to, offer the drink-offering) did fail.

From the house of the Lord; it was to be poured out, if wine, and part of the meat-offering was to be burnt on the altar, so both were disposed according to the law in the house of the Lord.

The priests; sons of Aaron, with the Levites.

The Lord’s ministers, who did serve the Lord in the services of the temple.

Mourn; grieve inwardly, and express it by outward signs. These had more cause than others to mourn, for as they had equal cause with others in respect to God, whose service hereby failed, so the priests, in respect to their private gain and maintenance, had more cause to mourn, their provision was by this means shortened. The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord,.... The meat offering was made of fine flour, oil, and frankincense; and the drink offering was of wine; and, because of the want of corn and wine, these were not brought to the temple as usual; and which was matter of great grief to religious persons, and especially to the priests, as follows:

the priests, the Lord's ministers, mourn; partly because they had no work to do, and could not answer to their character, the ministers of the Lord, in ministering about holy things, and bringing the sacrifices and offerings of the people to him; and partly because of their want of food, their livelihood greatly depending on the offerings brought, part of which belonged to them, and on which they and their families lived.

The meat offering and the drink offering is {f} cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD'S ministers, mourn.

(f) The signs of God's wrath appeared in his temple, in so much that God's service was discontinued.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. The meal offering and the drink offering is cut off, &c.] the means of providing them having been destroyed by the locusts. The cessation of the daily sacrifices would be regarded as a national misfortune: even during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, they were maintained as long as possible, and when ultimately they had to be suspended, the people, we are told, “were terribly despondent” (Jos. B. J. VI. 2, 1).

On the nature of the meal-offering, see Leviticus 2; and comp. on Amos 5:22. The drink-offering was a libation of wine, which usually accompanied a burnt-offering. Here the reference is, no doubt, to the meal- and drink-offering, which, according to the Priestly Code (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-8), were to accompany the daily morning and evening burnt-offering. A special meal-offering was also offered daily by the high-priest (Leviticus 6:19-20).

the ministers of Jehovah] Joel 1:13, Joel 2:17; cf. Isaiah 61:6; Jeremiah 33:21. The corresponding verb, to minister, is used often of the sacred services of the priests, as Deuteronomy 10:8; Deuteronomy 18:5; Deuteronomy 18:7; Exodus 28:35; Exodus 28:43, &c.Verse 9. - The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the Lord's ministers, mourn. While all the inhabitants of the land are called to lament, and have abundant cause for lamentation, different classes of society are specified, and the grounds of their sorrow particularized.

1. The meat offering and drink offering accompanied the morning and evening sacrifice, and that sacrifice, with its accompaniments, being an expression of gratitude to God by a daily presentation to him of the firstfruits of his own mercies, was a visible memorial of Jehovah's covenant with his people; while the fact of its being cut off implied the cessation or suspension of that covenant and the people's exclusion from the covenanted mercies of God.

2. But the ministering priests in particular had cause of mourning, indeed a twofold cause:

(1) their occupation was gone when there were no materials at hand wherewith to minister; their office could no longer last, as they wanted the appointed means for the discharge of its prescribed functions;

(2) their livelihood depended largely on those offerings in which they were allowed to have a share, but, when these ceased through failure of the means of supply, the support of the priests of necessity ceased also, or was so curtailed as to threaten the entire want of the means of subsistence. "Their drinking has degenerated; whoring they have committed whoredom; their shields have loved, loved shame. Hosea 4:19. The wind has wrapt it up in its wings, so that they are put to shame because of their sacrifices." סר from סוּר, to fall off, degenerate, as in Jeremiah 2:21. סבא is probably strong, intoxicating wine (cf. Isaiah 1:22; Nahum 1:10); here it signifies the effect of this wine, viz., intoxication. Others take sâr in the usual sense of departing, after 1 Samuel 1:14, and understand the sentence conditionally: "when their intoxication is gone, they commit whoredom." But Hitzig has very properly object to this, that it is intoxication which leads to licentiousness, and not temperance. Moreover, the strengthening of hisnū by the inf. abs. is not in harmony with this explanation. The hiphil hiznâh is used in an emphatic sense, as in Hosea 4:10. The meaning of the last half of the verse is also a disputed point, more especially on account of the word הבוּ, which only occurs here, and which can only be the imperative of יהב (הבוּ for הבוּ), or a contraction of אהבוּ. All other explanations are arbitrary. But we are precluded from taking the word as an imperative by קלון, which altogether confuses the sense, if we adopt the rendering "their shields love 'Give ye' - shame." We therefore prefer taking הבוּ as a contraction of אהבוּ, and אהבוּ הבוּ as a construction resembling the pealal form, in which the latter part of the fully formed verb is repeated, with the verbal person as an independent form (Ewald, 120), viz., "their shields loved, loved shame," which yields a perfectly suitable thought. The princes are figuratively represented as shields, as in Psalm 47:10, as the supporters and protectors of the state. They love shame, inasmuch as they love the sin which brings shame. This shame will inevitably burst upon the kingdom. The tempest has already seized upon the people, or wrapt them up with its wings (cf. Psalm 18:11; Psalm 104:3), and will carry them away (Isaiah 57:13). צרר, literally to bind together, hence to lay hold of, wrap up. Rūăch, the wind, or tempest, is a figurative term denoting destruction, like רוּח קדים in Hosea 13:15 and Ezekiel 5:3-4. אותהּ refers to Ephraim represented as a woman, like the suffix attached to מגנּיה in Hosea 4:18. יבשׁוּ מזּבחותם, to be put to shame on account of their sacrifices, i.e., to be deceived in their confidence in their idols (bōsh with min as in Hosea 10:6; Jeremiah 2:36; Jeremiah 12:13, etc.), or to discover that the sacrifices which they offered to Jehovah, whilst their heart was attached to the idols, did not save from ruin. The plural formation זבחות for זבחים only occurs here, but it has many analogies in its favour, and does not warrant our altering the reading into מזבּחותם, after the Sept. ἐκ τῶν θυσιατηρίων, as Hitzig proposes; whilst the inadmissibility of this proposal is sufficiently demonstrated by the fact that there is nothing to justify the omission of the indispensable מן, and the cases which Hitzig cites as instances in which min is omitted (viz., Zechariah 14:10; Psalm 68:14, and Deuteronomy 23:11) are based upon a false interpretation.
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