Joel 2:29
And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) And also (better, even) upon the servants. . . .—The result of which promise, according to St. Peter’s interpretation, is “They shall prophesy.” “The promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).

2:28-32 The promise began to be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, and it was continued in the converting grace and miraculous gifts conferred on both Jews and Gentiles. The judgments of God upon a sinful world, only go before the judgment of the world in the last day. Calling on God supposes knowledge of him, faith in him, desire toward him, dependence on him, and, as evidence of the sincerity of all this, conscientious obedience to him. Those only shall be delivered in the great day, who are now effectually called from sin to God, from self to Christ, from things below to things above.And also upon the servants - God tells beforehand that he would be no respecter of persons. He had said, that He would endow every age and sex. He adds here, and every condition, even that of slaves, both male and female. He does not add here, that they shall prophesy. Under the law, God had provided for slaves, that, even if aliens, they should by circumcision be enrolled in His family and people; that they should have the rest and the devotion of the sabbath; and share the joy of their great festivals, going up with their masters and mistresses to the place which God appointed. They were included in one common ordinance of joy; "Ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye and your sons and your daughters, and (literally) your men slaves and your women slaves, and the Levite which is within your gates" Genesis 17:23, Genesis 17:27; Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 12:12, Deuteronomy 12:18; Deuteronomy 16:11, Deuteronomy 16:14. In the times before the Gospel, they doubtless fell under the contempt in which the Pharisees held all the less educated class; "These people who knoweth not the law" (i. e., according to the explanation of their schools) "is cursed."

Whence it was a saying of theirs , "Prophecy doth not reside except on one wise and mighty and rich." As then elsewhere it was given as a mark of the Gospel, "the poor have the Gospel preached unto them," so here. It was not what the Jews of his day expected, for he says, "And on the servants too." But he tells beforehand, what was against the pride both of his own times and of the time of its fulfillment, that "God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world and things which are despised hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence" 1 Corinthians 1:27-30. The prophetic word circles round to that wherewith it began, the all-containing promise of the large out-pouring of the Spirit of God; and that, upon those whom the carnal Jews at all times would least expect to receive it. It began with including the pagan; "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;" it instances individual gifts; and then it ends by resting on the slaves; "and on these too in those days will I pour out My Spirit." The order of the words is significant. He begins, "I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh," and then, in order to leave the mind resting on these same great words, he inverts the order, and ends, "and upon the servants and upon the handmaidens I will pour out My Spirit." It leaves the thoughts resting on the great words, "I will pour out My Spirit."

The Church at Rome, whose "faith was spoken of throughout the whole world" Romans 1:8, was, as far as it consisted of converted Jews, made up of slaves, who had been set free by their masters. For such were most of the Roman Jews , "who occupied that large section of Rome beyond the Tiber." Most of these, Philo says, "having been made freemen, were Roman citizens. For having been brought as captives to Italy, set free by their purchasers, without being compelled to change any of their country's rites, they had their synagogues and assembled in them, especially on the sabbath."

Peter, in declaring that these words began to be fulfilled in the Day of Pentecost, quotes them with two lesser differences. "I will pour out of My Spirit, and upon My servants and My handmaidens." The words declare something in addition, but do not alter the meaning, and so Peter quotes them as they lay in the Greek, which probably was the language known by most of the mixed multitude, to whom he spake on the day of Pentecost. The words, "I will pour out My Spirit," express the largeness and the fullness of the gift of Him , "Who is Very God, Unchangeable and Infinite, who is given or poured out, not by change of place but by the largeness of His presence." The words, "I will pour out of My Spirit," express in part, that He who is Infinite cannot be contained by us who are finite; in part, they indicate, that there should be a distribution of gifts, although "worked by One and the Same Spirit," as the prophet also implies in what follows.

Again, the words, "the servants and the handmaidens," mark the outward condition; the words "My servants and My handmaidens," declare that there should be no difference between "bond and free." The servants and handmaidens should have that highest title of honor, that they should be the servants of God. For what more can the creature desire? The Psalmist says to God, "Lo I am Thy servant and the son of Thine handmaid" Psalm 116:16; and God gives it as a title of honor to Abraham and Moses and Job and David and Isaiah (Genesis 26:24; Numbers 12:7; Joshua 1:2; 2 Kings 21:8; Job 1:8; Job 2:3; Job 42:7-8; 2 Samuel 7:5, etc.; Isaiah 20:3), and Abraham and David call themselves the servants of God, Genesis 19:19; Psalm 86:2, Psalm 86:4, and Paul, Peter, and Jude, "servants of Jesus Christ" Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10; 2 Peter 1:1; Jde 1:1, and James, "the servant of God" (James 1:1; also Titus 1:1); and the blessed Virgin, "the handmaid of the Lord Luke 1:38, Luke 1:48; yea, and our Lord Himself, in His Human Nature is spoken of in prophecy as (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 52:13; Zechariah 12:8; Ezekiel 34:23-24; Ezekiel 37:24-25) "the Servant of the Lord."

29. And also—"And even." The very slaves by becoming the Lord's servants are His freemen (1Co 7:22; Ga 3:28; Col 3:11; Phm 16). Therefore, in Ac 2:18 it is quoted, "My servants" and "My handmaidens"; as it is only by becoming the Lord's servants they are spiritually free, and partake of the same spirit as the other members of the Church. And also, with equal freeness, upon the servants and upon the handmaids, upon the meanest believers: see Galatians 3:28 Colossians 3:11.

My Spirit, of sanctification and adoption. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour my Spirit. Men servants and maidservants should partake of the gifts and grace of the Spirit in great, abundance; and many of them were effectually called by grace, through the ministry of the word; and some servants became ministers of it; all which appears from 1 Corinthians 7:21; for that is not true what the Jews (p) say, the Shechinah or divine Majesty does not rest but upon a wise man, and one mighty and rich; or prophecy, as Maimonides (q) has it.

(p) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 92. 1.((q) Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 32.

And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. Even those holding menial positions will share in the same spiritual illumination (comp. in the N.T. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11)."Woe to them! for they have flown from me; devastation to them! for they have fallen away from me. I would redeem them, but they speak lies concerning me. Hosea 7:14. They did not cry to me in their heart, but howl upon their beds; they crowd together for corn and new wine, and depart against me." The Lord, thinking of the chastisement, exclaims, Woe to them, because they have fled from Him! Nâdad, which is applied to the flying of birds, points back to the figures employed in Hosea 7:11, Hosea 7:12. Shōd, used as an exclamation, gives the literal explanation of 'ōi (woe). The imperfect 'ephdēm cannot be taken as referring to the redemption out of Egypt, because it does not stand for the preterite. It is rather voluntative or optative. "I would (should like to) redeem them (still); but they say I cannot and will not do it." These are the lies which they utter concerning Jehovah, partly with their mouths and partly by their actions, namely, in the fact that they do not seek help from Him, as is explained in Hosea 7:14. They cry to the Lord; yet it does not come from the heart, but (כּי after לא) they howl (יילילוּ, cf. Ges. 70, 2, note) upon their beds, in unbelieving despair at the distress that has come upon them. What follows points to this. Hithgōrēr, to assemble, to crowd together (Psalm 56:7; Psalm 59:4; Isaiah 54:15); here to gather in troops or crowd together for corn and new wine, because their only desire is to fill their belly. Thus they depart from God. The construction of סוּר with ב, instead of with מן or מאחרי, is a pregnant one: to depart and turn against God.
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