English Standard Version
Before them peoples are in anguish; all faces grow pale.
King James Bible
Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
American Standard Version
At their presence the peoples are in anguish; all faces are waxed pale.
At their presence the people shall be in grievous pains: all faces shall be made like a kettle.
English Revised Version
At their presence the peoples are in anguish: all faces are waxed pale.
Webster's Bible Translation
Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
Joel 2:6 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
To this threat the prophet appends in the concluding strophe, both the command to return to the Lord, and the promise that the Lord will raise His smitten nation up again, and quicken them anew with His grace. The separation of these three verses from the preceding one, by the division of the chapters, is at variance with the close connection in the actual contents, which is so perfectly obvious in the allusion made in the words of Hosea 6:1, "Come, and let us return," to those of Hosea 5:15, "I will go, and return," and in טרף וירפּאנוּ (Hosea 6:1) to the similar words in Hosea 5:13 and Hosea 5:14. Hosea 6:1. "Come, and let us return to Jehovah: for He has torn in pieces, and will heal us; He has smitten, and will bind us up. Hosea 6:2. He will quicken us after two days; on the third He will raise us up, that we may live before Him." The majority of commentators, following the example of the Chald. and Septuagint, in which לאמר, λέγοντες, is interpolated before לכוּ, have taken the first three verses as an appeal to return to the Lord, addressed by the Israelites in exile to one another. But it would be more simple, and more in harmony with the general style of Hosea, which is characterized by rapid transitions, to take the words as a call addressed by the prophet in the name of the exile. The promise in v. 3 especially is far more suitable to a summons of this kind, than to an appeal addressed by the people to one another. As the endurance of punishment impels to seek the Lord (Hosea 5:15), so the motive to return to the Lord is founded upon the knowledge of the fact that the Lord can, and will, heal the wounds which He inflicts. The preterite târaph, as compared with the future 'etrōph in Hosea 5:14, presupposes that the punishment has already begun. The following יך is also a preterite with the Vav consec. omitted. The Assyrian cannot heal (Hosea 5:13); but the Lord, who manifested Himself as Israel's physician in the time of Moses (Exodus 15:26), and promised His people healing in the future also (Deuteronomy 32:39), surely can. The allusion in the word ירפּאנוּ to this passage of Deuteronomy, is placed beyond all doubt by Hosea 6:2. The words, "He revives after two days," etc., are merely a special application of the general declaration, "I kill, and make alive" (Deuteronomy 32:39), to the particular case in hand. What the Lord there promises to all His people, He will also fulfil upon the ten tribes of Israel. By the definition "after two days," and "on the third day," the speedy and certain revival of Israel is set before them. Two and three days are very short periods of time; and the linking together of two numbers following one upon the other, expresses the certainty of what is to take place within this space of time, just as in the so-called numerical sayings in Amos 1:3; Job 5:19; Proverbs 6:16; Proverbs 30:15, Proverbs 30:18, in which the last and greater number expresses the highest or utmost that is generally met with. הקים, to raise the dead (Job 14:12; Psalm 88:11; Isaiah 26:14, Isaiah 26:19). "That we may live before Him:" i.e., under His sheltering protection and grace (cf. Genesis 17:18). The earlier Jewish and Christian expositors have taken the numbers, "after two days, and on the third day," chronologically. The Rabbins consequently suppose the prophecy to refer either to the three captivities, the Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Roman, which has not ended yet; or to the three periods of the temple of Solomon, of that of Zerubbabel, and of the one to be erected by the Messiah. Many of the fathers, on the other hand, and many of the early Lutheran commentators, have found in them a prediction of the death of Christ and His resurrection on the third day. Compare, for example, Calovii Bibl. illustr. ad h. l., where this allusion is defended by a long series of undeniably weak arguments, and where a fierce attack is made, not only upon Calvin, who understood these words as "referring to the liberation of Israel from captivity, and the restoration of the church after two days, i.e., in a very short time;" but also upon Grotius, who found, in addition to the immediate historical allusion to the Israelites, whom God would soon liberate from their death-like misery after their conversion, a foretype, in consequence of a special divine indication, of the time "within which Christ would recover His life, and the church its hope." But any direct allusion in the hope here uttered to the death and resurrection of Christ, is proved to be untenable by the simple words and their context. The words primarily hold out nothing more than the quickening of Israel out of its death-like state of rejection from the face of God, and that in a very short period after its conversion to the Lord. This restoration to life cannot indeed be understood as referring to the return of the exiles to their earthly fatherland; or, at all events, it cannot be restricted to this. It does not occur till after the conversion of Israel to the Lord its God, on the ground of faith in the redemption effected through the atoning death of Christ, and His resurrection from the grave; so that the words of the prophet may be applied to this great fact in the history of salvation, but without its being either directly or indirectly predicted. Even the resurrection of the dead is not predicted, but simply the spiritual and moral restoration of Israel to life, which no doubt has for its necessary complement the reawakening of the physically dead. And, in this sense, our passage may be reckoned among the prophetic utterances which contain the germ of the hope of a life after death, as in Isaiah 26:19-21, and in the vision of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 37:1-14.
That it did not refer to this in its primary sense, and so far as its historical fulfilment was concerned, is evident from the following verse. Hosea 6:3. "Let us therefore know, hunt after the knowledge of Jehovah. His rising is fixed like the morning dawn, that He may come to us like the rain, and moisten the earth like the latter rain." ונדעה נר corresponds to לכוּ ונשׁוּבה in Hosea 6:1. The object to נדעה is also את־יהוה, and נדעה is merely strengthened by the addition of נרדּפה לדּעת. The knowledge of Jehovah, which they would hunt after, i.e., strive zealously to obtain, is a practical knowledge, consisting in the fulfilment of the divine commandments, and in growth in the love of God with all the heart. This knowledge produces fruit. The Lord will rise upon Israel like the morning dawn, and come down upon it like fertilizing rain. מוצאו, His (i.e., Jehovah's) rising, is to be explained from the figure of the dawn (for יצא applied to the rising of the sun, see Genesis 19:23 and Psalm 19:7). The dawn is mentioned instead of the sun, as the herald of the dawning day of salvation (compare Isaiah 58:8 and Isaiah 60:2). This salvation which dawns when the Lord appears, is represented in the last clause as a shower of rain that fertilizes the land. יורה is hardly a kal participle, but rather the imperfect hiphil in the sense of sprinkling. In Deuteronomy 11:14 (cf. Deuteronomy 28:12 and Leviticus 26:4-5), the rain, or the early and latter rain, is mentioned among the blessings which the Lord will bestow upon His people, when they serve Him with all the heart and soul. This promise the Lord will so fulfil in the case of His newly quickened nation, that He Himself will refresh it like a fertilizing rain. This will take place through the Messiah, as Psalm 72:6 and 2 Samuel 23:4 clearly show.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
blackness. Heb. pot.
They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.
For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.
Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale?
Desolate! Desolation and ruin! Hearts melt and knees tremble; anguish is in all loins; all faces grow pale!
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.