Joel 2:32
And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
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(32) Deliverance.—Or, perhaps better, those that escape. St. Paul quotes from this verse (Romans 10:13), transferring the reference to the Messianic advent, to prove the universality of the deliverance effected by our Lord, who abolished the difference between Jew and Greek. In His Church, the heavenly Jerusalem, freed from the persecutions and defilements of the world, there is salvation for all who call upon the name of the Lord, their names are inscribed upon the roll as citizens of Zion.

Joel 2:32. And whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord — Whosoever, having heard the gospel, shall repent and believe in Christ, and call on him, or shall make application to God in prayer through him, shall be delivered — Namely, from temporal and eternal destruction: thus St. Paul interprets this passage, Romans 10:13. For to believe in Christ, give ourselves up to him, and profess ourselves his disciples, is the most effectual, and indeed the only effectual means of escaping the judgments coming upon the unbelieving and disobedient, and likewise of being preserved from the wrath to come. The prediction, as it stands here in the prophecy, chiefly refers to those in Jerusalem who believed in Jesus as the true Messiah; for these, having a firm faith in what he had said, upon seeing some of the signs come to pass which he had foretold should precede the destruction of Jerusalem, they quitted the city in time, and so saved their lives, and escaped all those dreadful calamities which the unbelieving Jews suffered during the siege. For in mount Zion, &c., shall be deliverance — The gospel is described as taking its rise from Jerusalem, and as being from thence carried to all nations. The deliverance, therefore, here said to be in mount Zion, is deliverance by embracing the gospel, which had its rise there. Or mount Zion and Jerusalem may be here put for the gospel church, the mystical Jerusalem, the city of the Messiah, the only place of salvation present and eternal. As the Lord hath said — That is, according to his promises and declarations by his prophets. And in the remnant — Or, among the remnant, whom the Lord shall call — Namely, to believe in Christ, and by him to wait for eternal life. Or, whom the Lord shall appoint to be preserved. This may primarily be understood of those who were converted by the preaching of Christ and his apostles, and who therefore escaped the vengeance which involved the rest of the nation, Acts 2:40; 1 Thessalonians 2:16. These are called the σωζομενοι, such as should be saved, or delivered, Acts 2:47. But there is another remnant of the Jews included in this promise, who shall be converted at the end of the world, when the obstinate and incorrigible shall be destroyed. In this sense the word remnant is often understood: see the margin. This sense of the word agrees well with what follows in the next chapter. 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.Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord - To call upon the name of the Lord, is to worship Him, as He is, depending "upon" Him. "The name of the Lord," expresses His True Being, That which He is. Hence, so often in Holy Scripture, people are said to "call on the Name of the Lord," to bless the Name of the Lord, to praise the Name of the Lord, to sing praises to His Name, to make mention of His Name, to tell of His Name, to know His Name" but it is very rarely said "I will praise the Name of God" (Psalm 69:31; Hebrew), for the Name rendered "the Lord," expresses that He is, and that He Alone is, the Self-Same, the Unchangeable; the name rendered "God" is not the special Name of God. Hence, as soon as people were multiplied and the corrupt race of Cain increased, people "began," after the birth of Enos, the son of Seth, "to call upon the Name of the Lord" Genesis 4:26, i. e., in public worship. Abraham's worship, in the presence of the idolatries of Canaan, is spoken of, under the same words, "he called upon the Name of the Lord" Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 21:33; Genesis 26:25. Elijah says to the prophets of Baal, "call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the Name of the Lord" 1 Kings 18:24. Naaman the Pagan says of Elisha, "I thought that he would come out to me, and stand and call on the Name of the Lord his God" 2 Kings 5:11. Asaph and Jeremiah pray God; "Pour out Thy wrath upon the pagan that have not known Thee, and upon the kingdom (families Jerome) which have not called upon Thy Name" Psalm 79:6; Jeremiah 10:25; and Zephaniah fortells the conversion of the Pagan, "that they may all call upon the Name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent" Zephaniah 3:9.

To "call" then "upon the Name of the Lord" implies right faith to call upon Him as He is; right trust in Him, leaning upon Him; right devotion, calling upon Him as He has appointed; right life, ourselves who call upon Him being, or becoming by His Grace, what lie wills. They "call" not "upon the Lord," but upon some idol of their own imagining, who call upon Him, as other than He has revealed Himself, or remaining themselves other than those whom He has declared that He will hear. For such deny the very primary attribute of God, His truth. "Their" God is not a God of truth. But whosoever shall in true faith and hope and charity have in this life worshiped God, "shall be delivered," i. e., out of the midst of all the horrors of that Day, and the horrible damnation of the ungodly. The "deliverance" is by way of "escape" (for such is the meaning of the word , "he shall be made to escape, slip through" (as it were) perils as imminent as they shall be terrible. Our Lord uses the like word of the same Day, "Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" Luke 21:36. Those who so call upon Him in truth shall be heard in that day, as He says, "Ask and it shall be given you; Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you" Matthew 7:7; John 16:23.

: "That calling on God whereon salvation depends, is not in words only, but in heart and in deed. For what the heart believeth, the mouth confesseth, the hand in deed fulfilleth, The Apostle saith, "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:3; yet this very "saying" must be weighed not by words, but by the afflictions. Whence, we read of Samuel, "And Samuel among those who call upon His Name," and of Moses and Aaron, "These called upon the Lord, and He heard them" Psalm 99:6.

For in Mount Zion ... shall be deliverance - Repentance and remission of sins" were to "be preached in the Name" of Jesus, "in all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" Luke 24:47. "There" was, under the Old Testament, the center of the worship of God; there was the Church founded; thence it spread over the whole world. "The place," "whither the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord" Psalm 122:4, where God had set His Name, where alone sacrifice could lawfully be offered, stands, as elsewhere, for the whole Church. Of that Church, we are in Baptism all made members, when we are made members of Christ, children of God, and heirs of heaven. Of that Church all remain members, who do not, by viciousness of life, or rejecting the truth of God, cast themselves out of it. They then are members of the soul of the Church, who, not being members of the visible communion and society, know not, that in not becoming members of it, they are rejecting the command of Christ, to whom by faith and love and in obedience they cleave. And they, being members of the "body" or visible commumion of the Church, are not members of the "soul" of the Church, who, amid outward profession of the faith, do, in heart or deeds, deny Him whom in words they confess. The deliverance promised in that Day, is to those who, being in the body of the Church, shall by true faith in Christ and fervent love to Him belong to the soul of the Church also, or who, although not in the body of the Church shall not, through their own fault, have ceased to be in the body, and shall belong to its soul, in that through faith and love they cleave to Christ its Head.

As the Lord hath said - By the prophet Joel himself. This which he had said, is not man's word, but God's; and what God had said, shall certainly be. They then who have teared and loved God in this their day, shall not need to fear him in that Day, for He is the Unchangeable God; as our Blessed Saviour says; "heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" Mark 13:31. God had said of both Jews and Gentiles, united in one; "Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful to His land and unto His people" Deuteronomy 32:43.

And in the remnant - While foretelling His mercies in Christ, God foretells also, that "few they be that find them" Matthew 7:14. It is evermore "a remnant, a residue, a body which escapes;" and so here, the mercies should be fulfilled, literally, "in the fugitives," in those who flee from the wrath to come. All prophecy echoes the words of Joel; all history exemplifies them. Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, all foretell with one voice, that a remnant, and a "remnant" only, shall be left. In those earlier dispensations of God, in the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; in His dealings with Israel himself at the entrance into the promised land, the return from the captivity, the first preaching of the Gospel, the destruction of Jerusalem, "a remnant" only was saved. It is said in tones of compassion and mercy, that "a remnant should be saved. The remnant should return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God" (Isaiah 10:20; add Isaiah 10:21-22; Isaiah 6:9-13, etc.). "The Lord of hosts shall be for a crown of glory to the residue of His people" Isaiah 28:5. "The Lord shall set His Hand to recover the remnant of His people which shall be left" (Isaiah 11:11, add 16). "I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them" Jeremiah 23:3. "Publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel" Jeremiah 31:7. "Yet I will leave a remnant, that ye may have some that escape the sword among the nations" Ezekiel 6:8. "Therein shall be left a remnant which shall be brought forth" Ezekiel 14:22. "I will surely gather the remnant of Israel" (Micah 2:12; add Micah 4:7 : Micah 5:3, Micah 5:7-8). "Who is a God like Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?" Micah 7:18. "The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity" (Zephaniah 3:13; add Zephaniah 2:9). "The residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city" Zechariah 14:2. It is then a summary of the declarations of the prophets, when Paul says, "Even so, at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded" Romans 11:5, Romans 11:7. And so the prophet says here;

Whom the Lord shall call - He had said before, "whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be delivered." Here he says, that they who should "so call on God," shall themselves have been first "called by God." So Paul, "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord" 1 Corinthians 1:2. It is all of grace. God must first call by His grace; then we obey His call, and call upon Him; and He has said, "call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me" Psalm 50:15. God accounts our salvation His own glory.

32. call on … name of … Lord—Hebrew, Jehovah. Applied to Jesus in Ro 10:13 (compare Ac 9:14; 1Co 1:2). Therefore, Jesus is Jehovah; and the phrase means, "Call on Messiah in His divine attributes."

shall be delivered—as the Christians were, just before Jerusalem's destruction, by retiring to Pella, warned by the Saviour (Mt 24:16); a type of the spiritual deliverance of all believers, and of the last deliverance of the elect "remnant" of Israel from the final assault of Antichrist. "In Zion and Jerusalem" the Saviour first appeared; and there again shall He appear as the Deliverer (Zec 14:1-5).

as the Lord hath said—Joel herein refers, not to the other prophets, but to his own words preceding.

call—metaphor from an invitation to a feast, which is an act of gratuitous kindness (Lu 14:16). So the remnant called and saved is according to the election of grace, not for man's merits, power, or efforts (Ro 11:5).

Yet when nature seems out of course, and such terrible convulsions overthrow all states and kingdoms, and nothing but ruin and destruction appear on every side, yet then most certainly

it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord; whoso heareth the gospel, repenteth of sin, believeth in Christ, and prayeth for grace, peace, and glory; whoso worshippeth the Father through the Son in truth and faith;

shall be delivered; either delivered from those sad outward afflictions, or else, which is infinitely better, from eternal miseries, which will swallow up the unbelieving and impenitent world. When the Jews who rejected Christ were destroyed by the Romans, all (as Eusebius reports) the Jews that believed in Christ and submitted to the gospel escaped.

In Mount Zion; in the true church, typified by Zion, the city of David; and in Jerusalem; not local Jerusalem; there was the chief place of slaughter, blood, fire, and death; but mystical Jerusalem, the church and city of the Messiah;

shall be deliverance; salvation, whether temporal or eternal, or both;

as the Lord hath said; according as God hath promised; and this promised deliverance gives the believer satisfaction and rest, whether in life or by death.

And in the remnant, not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also, whom the Lord shall call; called of God to be his peculiar people; called to the knowledge of Christ, to profess his name, to believe in Christ, and by him to wait for eternal life and glory, John 10:16 Acts 13:46 Romans 11:4,5,7. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered,.... Or "saved", as in Acts 2:21; from those miseries and calamities before described, from the impending ruin and destruction of the city; and so it was, that those that believed in Christ, that were in the city, had an intimation of it beforehand, and removed from thence to a place called Pella (w), and so escaped being involved in the common calamity: though this also may be understood of a spiritual deliverance and salvation by Christ, from sin, Satan, and the world, and from the second death, and wrath to come, and out of the hands of every enemy; which such share in who call on the name of the Lord, pray to him for grace and mercy, life and salvation, through Christ; that have a spiritual knowledge of God in Christ, real and sincere desires after him, and trust and confidence in him, which this phrase supposes; and which also includes the whole worship of God, internal and external, performed in a spiritual and evangelical manner; see Romans 10:13;

for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said; either by this prophet, or some others before him; see Psalm 14:7; this cannot be understood literally of Mount Zion and Jerusalem, unless it be of deliverance out of it; not in it, for Jerusalem was the seat of blood, confusion, and distress; but mystically of the church of Christ, often called Zion and Jerusalem, Hebrews 12:22; hither the deliverer came, here he is, and to be seen; from hence the word of the Lord came, the Gospel of salvation, which proclaims deliverance to the captives; here it is to be heard, met with, and found, Isaiah 2:3;

and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call; not merely externally, by the outward ministry of the word; but internally, according to his purpose, and by his grace, powerfully and effectually, to the special blessings of grace here, and eternal glory hereafter: these are the remnant according to the election of grace; the little flock to whom God gives the kingdom; the few that enter in at the strait gate; the little city, and few men in it, delivered by the poor wise man; these share in the deliverance of Zion, and shall be certainly and completely saved, with an everlasting salvation. This may respect not only the remnant, or a small number of the Jews that believed in Christ, upon his first coming, and the preaching of the Gospel by his apostles, but the call and conversion of them in the latter day; which sense connects the words better with the following chapter.

(w) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 5. p. 75.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call {u} on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the {x} remnant whom the LORD shall call.

(u) God's judgments are for the destruction of the unbelievers, and to exhort the godly to call upon the name of God, who will give them salvation.

(x) Meaning the Gentiles by this; Ro 10:13.

32. Those however who have responded to the grace given to them (Joel 2:28 f.), and are the true servants of Jehovah, will be secure, even in the midst of such alarming manifestations (cf. Joel 3:16 b).

call on] this is the conventional rendering of the Hebrew phrase employed; but it means properly to call with, i.e. to make use of the name in calling; and it may denote (according to the context) either to proclaim (Exodus 33:19), or to announce publicly, celebrate (Isaiah 12:4; Psalm 105:1), or as here, to invoke (so Genesis 4:26; Genesis 12:8, and most frequently). The meaning is of course not an invocation rendered merely by the lips (the “Lord, Lord” of Matthew 7:21), but one which is also the expression of the genuine feelings of the heart. In the context, it is evident that the prophet is speaking only of the Jews; but the terms used by him are perfectly general (“whosoever”); the conditions of salvation are not membership in Israel, but trust in God: hence implicitly others besides Israel are included in the expression; and in this wider sense the words are quoted by S. Paul (Romans 10:13) to shew that the Greek not less than the Jew is entitled to share in the salvation of the Gospel.

shall be deliverance] there shall be those that escape (R.V.),—viz. from the impending judgment (comp. in the Hebr. Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 37:32). The same words in Obadiah 1:17 “But in Mount Zion there shall be those that escape,” whence indeed the clause following, “as Jehovah hath said,” makes it probable that Joel quotes them.

and among the fugitives (shall be) those whom Jehovah calleth] i.e. among the fugitives who in various places escape the disaster there will be some whom Jehovah will also call to His salvation. The reference is probably to the Jews dispersed among the heathen: amongst these also there will be some worthy to participate in the deliverance more abundantly shared in by their brethren of Judah and Jerusalem.

The word rendered fugitives is the one which regularly denotes those who succeed in escaping after an engagement, the capture of a city, &c., as Joshua 10:20 (“the fugitives which took flight of them”), 28, 37, 39 (R.V. none remaining; but the root, as Arabic shews, means to run away in fright): comp. Joshua 8:22 “left them no fugitive, and none escaping”; similarly Jeremiah 42:17.

The words from Joel 2:28 to Joel 2:32 (delivered) are quoted in Acts 2:17-21[46] by St Peter, with reference to the outpouring of the Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. It would be incorrect, however, to regard a particular occasion as exhausting the fulfilment of the prophecy. Joel’s words—like Jeremiah 31:33 f., for instance,—look rather to that fuller illumination to be enjoyed in general by God’s people in the future, which is to be a characteristic of the Christian Church throughout the ages; they are “not a prediction of the event of Pentecost, but of the new order of things of which Pentecost was the first great example” (A. B. Davidson, Expositor, March, 1888, p. 208).

[46] In the main (though there are slight deviations) from the LXX. ‘Notable’ (ἐπιφανὴς) in Joel 2:20 as here in LXX. Joel 2:31 : ἐπιφανὴς is a rend. of נורא (as though = נִרְאֶה) elsewhere; see Joel 2:11; Jdg 13:6; Habakkuk 1:7; Malachi 1:14; Malachi 4:5. The phrasing of Acts 2:39, “For to you is the promise and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God may call,” is evidently based upon Joel 2:32 b.Yet Jehovah has done still more for Israel. Hosea 7:15. "And I have instructed, have strengthened their arms, and they think evil against me. Hosea 7:16. They turn, but not upwards: they have become like a false bow. Their princes will fall by the sword, for the defiance of their tongue: this is their derision in the land of Egypt." יסּר here is not to chastise, but to instruct, so that זרועתם (their arms) is to be taken as the object to both verbs. Instructing the arms, according to the analogy of Psalm 18:35, is equivalent to showing where and how strength is to be acquired. And the Lord has not contented Himself with merely instructing. He has also strengthened their arms, and given them power to fight, and victory over their foes (cf. 2 Kings 14:25-26). And yet they think evil of Him; not by speaking lies (Hosea 7:13), but by falling away from Him, by their idolatrous calf-worship, by which they rob the Lord of the glory due to Him alone, practically denying His true divinity. This attitude towards the Lord is summed up in two allegorical sentences in Hosea 7:16, and the ruin of their princes is foretold. They turn, or turn round, but not upwards (על, an adverb, or a substantive signifying height, as in Hosea 11:7; 2 Samuel 23:1, not "the Most High," i.e., God, although turning upwards is actually turning to God). From the fact that with all their turning about they do not turn upwards, they have become like a treacherous bow, the string of which has lost its elasticity, so that the arrows do not hit the mark (cf. Psalm 78:57). And thus Israel also fails to reach its destination. Therefore its princes shall fall. The princes are mentioned as the originators of the enmity against God, and all the misery into which they have plunged the people and kingdom. זעם, fury, here defiance or rage. Defiance of tongue the princes showed in the lies which they uttered concerning Jehovah (Hosea 7:13), and with which they blasphemed in a daring manner the omnipotence and faithfulness of the Lord. זו stands, according to a dialectical difference in the mode of pronunciation, for זה, not for זאת (Ewald, 183, a). This, namely their falling by the sword, will be for a derision to them in the land of Egypt: not because they will fall in Egypt, or perish by the sword of the Egyptians; but because they put their trust in Egypt, the derision of Egypt will come upon them when they are overthrown (cf. Isaiah 30:3, Isaiah 30:5).
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