Joel 3:15
The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
3:9-17 Here is a challenge to all the enemies of God's people. There is no escaping God's judgments; hardened sinners, in that day of wrath, shall be cut off from all comfort and joy. Most of the prophets foretell the same final victory of the church of God over all that oppose it. To the wicked it will be a terrible day, but to the righteous it will be a joyful day. What cause have those who possess an interest in Christ, to glory in their Strength and their Redeemer! The acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favour to some, will be a day of remarkable vengeance to others: let every one that is out of Christ awake, and flee from the wrath to come.The sun and the moon shall be darkened - This may be, either that they shall be outshone by the brightness of the glory of Christ, or that they themselves shall undergo a change, whereof the darkness at the Crucifixion was an image. An ancient writer says ; "As in the dispensation of the Cross the sun failing, there was darkness over all the earth, so when the 'sign of the Son of man' appeareth in heaven in the Day of Judgment, the light of the sun and moon and stars shall fail, consumed, as it were by the great might of that sign." And as the failure of the light of the sun at our Lord's Passion betokened the shame of nature at the great sin of man, so, at the Day of Judgment, it sets before us the awfulness of God's judgments, as though "it dared not behold the severity of Him who judgeth and returneth every man's work upon his own head;" as though "every creature, in the sufferings of others, feared the judgment on itself." 15. (See on [1136]Joe 2:10; [1137]Joe 2:30). See Joel 2:10. When God doth in the valley of decision punish any of the kingdoms which persecuted and oppressed his church, the punishment shall be so great as to darken the glory of such kingdoms, it shall be to the utter overthrow of those kingdoms and governments; and so it was effected on Babylon by the Mede and Persian; so on this by the Grecians, and on them by their intestine wars, and by the Romans at last on these and on the murderers of Messiah. The sun and moon shall be darkened,.... Both the politic and ecclesiastic state of antichrist shall be ruined and destroyed; it shall "fare" with Rome Papal as it did with Rome Pagan, at the time of its dissolution; see Revelation 6:12;

and the stars shall withdraw their shining: antichristian princes and nobles in the civil state, and the clergy of all ranks in the church state, shall lose their glory.

The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The sun and the moon are black; and the stars withdraw their shining] Preternatural signs of the approaching ‘day.’ The words are repeated verbatim from Joel 2:10 b.Verses 15-17. - These verses picture the accompaniments of the judgment, yet not the judgment itself. Verse 15. - The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The densely packed masses are already in the valley of decision, awaiting the judgment about to be executed upon them. But before the judgment actually bursts upon them, and in preparation for it, the sky is overcast; darkness, as a portent of the approaching storm, envelops them; the lights of heaven are put out. The pitchy darkness of a night in which neither moon nor stars appear is sufficiently dismal and awful; still more terrible, if possible, is darkness in the daytime, when the light of the sun is turned into blackness. The first accompaniment of the storm is addressed to the eye, and consists in the extinguishing of the greater light which rules the day, and the lesser lights which rule the night. The next accompaniment of the coming tempest is addressed to the ear, and consists in the voice of the Lord rolling in terrific peals along the heavens - the voice of the Lord like the roaring of a lion ready to pounce upon its prey: the utterance of the Divine voice when the God of glory thundereth. The third accompaniment is yet more awe-inspiring., consisting in a convulsion that pervades both earth and sky; the whole frame of nature shakes; the earthquake's shock, so frightful to bird and beast and man, has a corresponding agitation in the heavens. Warning against false security. The earthly prosperity of the people and kingdom was no security against destruction. Because Israel had fallen away from its God, it should not enjoy the blessing of its field-produce, but should be carried away to Assyria, where it would be unable to keep any joyful feasts at all. Hosea 9:1. "Rejoice not, O Israel, to exult like the nations: for thou hast committed whoredom against thy God: hast loved the wages of whoredom upon all corn-floors. Hosea 9:2. The threshing-floor and press will not feed them, and the new wine will deceive it." The rejoicing to which Israel was not to give itself up was, according to Hosea 9:2, rejoicing at a plentiful harvest. All nations rejoiced, and still rejoice, at this (cf. Isaiah 9:2), because they regard the blessing of harvest as a sign and pledge of the favour and grace of God, which summon them to gratitude towards the giver. Now, when the heathen nations ascribed their fights to their gods, and in their way thanked them for them, they did this in the ignorance of their heart, without being specially guilty on that account, since they lived in the world without the light of divine revelation. But when Israel rejoiced in a heathenish way at the blessing of its harvest, and attributed this blessing to the Baals (see Hosea 2:7), the Lord could not leave this denial of His gracious benefits unpunished. אל־גּיל belongs to תּשׂמח, heightening the idea of joy, as in Job 3:22. כּי זנית does not give the object of the joy ("that thou hast committed whoredom:" Ewald and others), but the reason why Israel was not to rejoice over its harvests, namely, because it had become unfaithful to its God, and had fallen into idolatry. זנה מעל, to commit whoredom out beyond God (by going away from Him). The words, "thou lovest the wages of whoredom upon all corn-floors," are to be understood, according to Hosea 2:7, Hosea 2:14, as signifying that Israel would not regard the harvest-blessing upon its corn-floors as gifts of the goodness of its God, but as presents from the Baals, for which it had to serve them with still greater zeal. There is no ground for thinking of any peculiar form of idolatry connected with the corn-floors. Because of this the Lord would take away from them the produce of the floor and press, namely, according to Hosea 9:3, by banishing the people out of the land. Floor and press will not feed them, i.e., will not nourish or satisfy them. The floor and press are mentioned in the place of their contents, or what they yield, viz., for corn and oil, as in 2 Kings 6:27. By the press we must understand the oil-presses (cf. Joel 2:24), because the new wine is afterwards specially mentioned, and corn, new wine, and oil are connected together in Hosea 2:10, 24. The suffix בּהּ refers to the people regarded as a community.
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