Joel 2:1
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
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(1) Blow ye the trumpet.—The preaching of the prophet increases in its intensity. Behind the locusts, exemplified by them, there is a still more terrible visitation. He sees on the horizon a mustering of the nations hostile to his people, bent on destroying them. Let the priests stir up the people for a fast, and for the defence of their land by the trumpet. The locusts have done their symbolical work, they have left their mark on the country. Now the day of Jehovah, the manifestation of His power, is approaching—it is imminent.

Joel 2:1. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion — The prophet, having in the preceding chapter described the locusts and caterpillars as a mighty army sent by God, in pursuance of this metaphor now exhorts the people to prepare to meet them, in the same terms as if they were alarmed to oppose an enemy, which was always done by the sound of the trumpet. Danger is proclaimed in this way, Ezekiel 33:3; Ezekiel 33:5; Hosea 5:8; Amos 3:6. Natural means were wont to be used, to prevent the devastations of locusts; pits and trenches were dug, bags were provided, and combustible matter was prepared and set on fire: see Shaw’s Travels, 4to. p. 187. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble — Let them be seized with as terrible an apprehension of this approaching judgment, as if they saw an enemy invading their country.

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.Blow ye the trumpet - The trumpet was accustomed to sound in Zion, only for religious uses; to call together the congregations for holy meetings, to usher in the beginnings of their months and their solemn days with festival gladness. Now in Zion itself, the stronghold of the kingdom, the Holy City, the place which God chose to put His Name there, which He had promised to establish, the trumpet was to be used, only for sounds of alarm and fear. Alarm could not penetrate there, without having pervaded the whole land. With it, the whole human hope of Judah was gone.

Sound an alarm in My holy mountain - He repeats the warning in varied expressions, in order the more to impress people's hearts and to stir them to repentance. Even "the holy mountain" of God was to echo with alarms; the holiness, once bestowed upon it, was to be no security against the judgments of God; yea, in it rather were those judgments to begin. So Peter saith, "The time is come, that judgment must begin at the house of God" 1 Peter 4:17. The alarm being blown in Zion, terror was to spread to all the inhabitants of the land, who were, in fear, to repent. The Church of Christ is foretold in prophecy under the names of "Zion" and of the holy "mountain." It is the "stone cut out without hands, which became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" Daniel 2:34-35. Of it, it is said, "Come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob!" Isaiah 2:3. And Paul says, "ye are come unto mount Zion and unto the city of the living God" Hebrews 12:22. The words then are a rule for all times. The judgments predicted by Joel represent all judgments unto the end; the conduct, prescribed on their approach, is a pattern to the Church at all times. : "In this mountain we must wail, considering the failure of the faithful, in which, "iniquity abounding, charity waxeth cold." For now (1450 a.d.) the state of the Church is so sunken, and you may see so great misery in her from the most evil conversation of many, that one who burns with zeal for God, and truly loveth his brethren, must say with Jeremiah, "Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach" Jeremiah 14:17.

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble - o: "We should be troubled when we hear the words of God, rebuking, threatening, avenging, as Jeremiah saith, 'my heart within me is broken, all my bones shake, because of the Lord and because of the words of His holiness' Jeremiah 23:9. Good is the trouble which people, weighing their sins, are shaken with fear and trembling, and repent."

For the Day of the Lord is at hand - "The Day of the Lord" is any day in which He avengeth sin, any day of Judgment, in the course of His Providence or at the end; the day of Jerusalem from the Chaldees or Romans, the day of antichrist, the day of general or particular judgment, of which James says, "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Behold the Judge standeth before the door" James 5:8-9. : "Well is that called "the day of the Lord," in that, by the divine appointment, it avengeth the wrongs done to the Lord through the disobedience of His people."


Joe 2:1-32. The Coming Judgment a Motive to Repentance. Promise of Blessings in the Last Days.

A more terrific judgment than that of the locusts is foretold, under imagery drawn from that of the calamity then engrossing the afflicted nation. He therefore exhorts to repentance, assuring the Jews of Jehovah's pity if they would repent. Promise of the Holy Spirit in the last days under Messiah, and the deliverance of all believers in Him.

1. Blow … trumpet—to sound an alarm of coming war (Nu 10:1-10; Ho 5:8; Am 3:6); the office of the priests. Joe 1:15 is an anticipation of the fuller prophecy in this chapter.The prophet describeth the locusts as a mighty ar led by God to destroy the land, Joel 2:1-11. He exhorteth to repentance, Joel 2:12-14; prescribeth a general fast and humiliation, Joel 2:15-17; and promiseth mercy from God, Joel 2:18-20. He comforteth Zion with present blessings, Joel 2:21-27; and prophesieth the effusion of the Holy Spirit, and other blessings of the gospel, Joel 2:28-32.

Blow ye the trumpet: the prophet continueth his advice or exhortation to the priests, who were by office appointed to summon the solemn assemblies, and to call them together by sound of trumpet or cornet; and so would he have the priests to gather the people together to fast, and weep, and pray.

In Zion; which taken largely is the same with Jerusalem, though strictly taken it is the hill on which the city of David, or his royal palace, did stand.

Sound an alarm; give notice that all may be prepared against the enemy, let it be known that the enemy is coining, what danger attends his coming, and what provision should be made.

In my holy mountain; in Jerusalem, in Moriah, on which the temple did stand.

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; stand in awe of God’s majesty, fear his displeasure, and do this with a penitent heart, all you that dwell in the land of Canaan, the parched and burnt land.

For the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand: see Joel 1:15.

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain,.... This is spoken to the priests, whose business it was to blow the trumpets for calling solemn assemblies to meet in Zion, the temple built there, called from thence the holy mountain of God. Here the trumpet is ordered to be blown with a broken quivering voice, a tarantantara, to give notice of approaching danger by the locusts, or those enemies signified by them, and to prepare for it, and return to God by repentance;

let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; at the judgments of God coming upon them, and the alarm of them:

for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; the time fixed by him to punish a wicked people, and to pour out his wrath and vengeance on them; the day of his visitation, not in love, but in anger.

Blow ye {a} the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

(a) He shows the great judgments of God which are at hand, unless they repent.

1. Blow ye the horn in Zion] see, in justification of this rendering of shôphâr, on Amos 2:2. The horn is to be sounded, in order to give notice of impending danger, and arouse the people to meet it (cp. on Amos 3:6).

sound an alarm] The word, though it often has the sense of shouting, is used also to denote the long, continuous blast of the horn, which, in contradistinction to a succession of short, sharp notes, was the signal of danger (Numbers 10:9, though the reference there is not to the shôphâr, but to the ḥatzôtzerâh).

tremble] aroused viz., by the ‘alarm,’ from their security.

for the day of Jehovah cometh, for it is at hand (or near)] Repeated, with some variation, from Joel 1:15. at hand (or near), exactly as Joel 1:15, Joel 3:14.

Verses 1-11. - These verses contain a further description of the calamity occasioned by the locusts and the appearance presented by them; the calling of a congregational meeting for penitence and prayer; the reason assigned in the coming of the day of the Lord. Verse 1. - Blow ye the trumpet (margin, cornet) in Zion, and sound an alarm (or, cause it to sound) in my holy mountain. The shophar, or far-sounding horn, and probably the chatsoterah, the hazar or silver trumpet, were called into requisition. The priests are urged with great vehemence, as tiqu shophar and hariu imply, to apprise the people that the day of Jehovah's terrible judgment was near at hand, and to prepare for it. This alarm was to be sounded from Zion, the dry or sunny hill, the holy moun-rain. The noun qadosh like tsadiq, is applied to persons, therefore the noun qodshe is used. It rose to an elevation of 2539 feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea. It was the place of the ark in David's day, and so of the visible symbol of the Divine presence, and therefore the holy mountain, though subsequently Moriah was chosen as the temple-hill. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand. The effect here precedes the cause, as if what is upper. most in the heart comes first to the lips; while the abruptness may, perhaps, express the excitement and intensity of feeling. But how could the Lord's day be said to have come (ba is perfect), and yet to be near at hand? Hengstenberg replies that, in the intuition of the prophet, it had already come, though in reality it was only drawing near. Keil's solution of the difficulty is more satisfactory: every particular judgment that takes place in the history of God's kingdom is the day of the Lord, and yet only approaching as far as the complete fulfilment was concerned. Joel 2:1By blowing the far-sounding horn, the priests are to make known to the people the coming of the judgment, and to gather them together in the temple to pray. Joel 2:1. "Blow ye the trumpet upon Zion, and cause it to sound upon my holy mountain! All the inhabitants of the land shall tremble; for the day of Jehovah cometh, for it is near." That this summons is addressed to the priests, is evident from Joel 2:15, compared with Joel 2:14. On tiq‛ū shōphâr and hârı̄‛ū, see at Hosea 5:8. "Upon Zion," i.e., from the top of the temple mountain. Zion is called the holy mountain, as in Psalm 2:6, because the Lord was there enthroned in His sanctuary, on the summit of Moriah, which He claimed as His own. Râgaz, to tremble, i.e., to start up from their careless state (Hitzig). On the expression, "for the day of Jehovah cometh," see Joel 1:15. By the position of בּוא at the head of the sentence, and that in the perfect בּא instead of the imperfect, as in Joel 1:15, the coming of the day of Jehovah is represented as indisputably certain. The addition of kı̄ qârōbh (for it is near) cannot be accounted for, however, from the fact that in the spiritual intuition of the prophet this day had already come, whereas in reality it was only drawing near (Hengstenberg); for such a separation as this between one element of prophesying and another is inconceivable. The explanation is simply, that the day of the Lord runs throughout the history of the kingdom of God, so that it occurs in each particular judgment: not, however, as fully manifested, but simply as being near or approaching, so far as its complete fulfilment is concerned. Joel now proclaims the coming of the day in its full completion, on the basis of the judgment already experienced, as the approach of a terrible army of locusts that darkens the land, at the head of which Jehovah is riding in all the majesty of the Judge of the world. The description is divided into three strophes thus: he first of all depicts the sight of this army of God, as seen afar off, and its terrible appearance in general (Joel 2:2 and Joel 2:3); then the appearance and advance of this mighty army (Joel 2:4-6); and lastly, its irresistible power (Joel 2:7-11); and closes the first strophe with a figurative description of the devastation caused by this terrible army, whilst in the second and third he gives prominence to the terror which they cause among all nations, and over all the earth.
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