Joel 2:2
New International Version
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.

New Living Translation
It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again.

English Standard Version
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

Berean Study Bible
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like the dawn overspreading the mountains a great and strong army appears, such as never was of old, nor will ever be in ages to come.

King James Bible
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

New King James Version
A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.

New American Standard Bible
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

NASB 1995
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

NASB 1977
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.

Amplified Bible
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and of thick [dark] mist, Like the dawn spread over the mountains; There is a [pagan, hostile] people numerous and mighty, The like of which has never been before Nor will be again afterward Even for years of many generations.

Christian Standard Bible
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and total darkness, like the dawn spreading over the mountains; a great and strong people appears, such as never existed in ages past and never will again in all the generations to come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and dense overcast, like the dawn spreading over the mountains; a great and strong people appears, such as never existed in ages past and never will again in all the generations to come.

American Standard Version
a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The day of darkness and of thick darkness a day of clouds and of dark fog like the dawn that is spread on the mountains, a people many and strong the likes of which has not been from eternity, and after it shall not be until the years of a generation of generations

Brenton Septuagint Translation
for a day of darkness and gloominess is near, a day of cloud and mist: a numerous and strong people shall be spread upon the mountains as the morning; there has not been from the beginning one like it, and after it there shall not be again even to the years of many generations.

Contemporary English Version
It will be dark and gloomy with storm clouds overhead. Troops will cover the mountains like thunderclouds. No army this powerful has ever been gathered before or will be gathered again.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and whirlwinds: a numerous and strong people as the morning spread upon the mountains: the like to it hath not been from the beginning, nor shall be after it even to the years of generation and generation.

English Revised Version
a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

Good News Translation
It will be a dark and gloomy day, a black and cloudy day. The great army of locusts advances like darkness spreading over the mountains. There has never been anything like it, and there never will be again.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and overcast skies. A large and mighty army will spread over the mountains like the dawn. Nothing like this has ever happened. Nothing like this will ever happen again.

International Standard Version
A day of doom and gloom, a day of clouds and shadows like the dawn spreads out to cover the mountains— a people strong and robust. Never has there been anything like it, neither will anything follow to compare with it, even through the lifetime of generation upon generation."

JPS Tanakh 1917
A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, As blackness spread upon the mountains; A great people and a mighty, There hath not been ever the like, Neither shall be any more after them, Even to the years of many generations.

Literal Standard Version
A day of darkness and thick darkness, "" A day of cloud and thick darkness, "" As darkness spread on the mountains, "" A people numerous and mighty, "" Like there has not been from of old, "" And after it there is not again—Until the years of generation and generation.

NET Bible
It will be a day of dreadful darkness, a day of foreboding storm clouds, like blackness spread over the mountains. It is a huge and powerful army--there has never been anything like it ever before, and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come!

New Heart English Bible
A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As blackness spreading on the mountains a great and powerful people; there has never been the like, neither will there be any more after them, even after the years of many generations.

World English Bible
A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn spreading on the mountains, a great and strong people; there has never been the like, neither will there be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

Young's Literal Translation
A day of darkness and thick darkness, A day of cloud and thick darkness, As darkness spread on the mountains, A people numerous and mighty, Like it there hath not been from of old, And after it there is not again -- till the years of generation and generation.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Army of Locusts
1Blow the ram’s horn in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming; indeed, it is near— 2a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like the dawn overspreading the mountains a great and strong army appears, such as never was of old, nor will ever be in ages to come. 3Before them a fire devours, and behind them a flame scorches. The land before them is like the Garden of Eden, but behind them, it is like a desert wasteland—surely nothing will escape them.…

Cross References
Matthew 24:21
For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again.

Revelation 9:2
The star opened the pit of the Abyss, and smoke rose out of it like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit.

Lamentations 1:12
Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see! Is there any sorrow like mine, which was inflicted on me, which the LORD made me suffer on the day of His fierce anger?

Ezekiel 32:7
When I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light.

Ezekiel 34:12
As a shepherd looks for his scattered sheep when he is among the flock, so I will look for My flock. I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.

Ezekiel 38:9
You and all your troops, and many peoples with you will go up, advancing like a thunderstorm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

Daniel 9:12
You have carried out the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us a great disaster. For under all of heaven, nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.

Daniel 12:1
"At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of distress, the likes of which will not have occurred from the beginning of nations until that time. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.

Joel 1:2
Hear this, O elders; and give ear, all who dwell in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your fathers?

Joel 1:6
For a nation has invaded My land, powerful and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and its fangs are the fangs of a lioness.

Joel 2:10
Before them the earth quakes; the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness.

Joel 2:11
The LORD raises His voice in the presence of His army. Indeed, His camp is very large, for mighty are those who obey His command. For the Day of the LORD is great and very dreadful. Who can endure it?

Joel 2:25
I will repay you for the years eaten by locusts--the swarming locust, the young locust, the destroying locust, and the devouring locust--My great army that I sent against you.

Joel 2:31
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD.

Amos 4:13
For behold, He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind and reveals His thoughts to man, who turns the dawn to darkness and strides on the heights of the earth--the LORD, the God of Hosts, is His name."

Amos 5:18
Woe to you who long for the Day of the LORD! What will the Day of the LORD be for you? It will be darkness and not light.

Zephaniah 1:15
That day will be a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,


Treasury of Scripture

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread on the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

A day of darkness.

Joel 2:10,31
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: …

Joel 3:14,15
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision…

Exodus 20:21
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

as.

Amos 4:13
For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

a great.

Joel 2:5,11,25
Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array…

Joel 1:6
For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.

there.

Joel 1:2,3
Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? …

Exodus 10:6,14
And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh…

Daniel 12:1
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

many generations.

Deuteronomy 32:7
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Psalm 10:6
He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.









(2) The morning spread upon the mountains.--The Hebrew word here used for morning is derived from a verb, Shachar, which has for one meaning "to be or become black," for the second "to break forth" as light. From this latter signification is derived the word for morning--dawn; from the former comes the word "blackness," which gives the name Sihor to the Nile (Isaiah 23:3). It seems accordingly more in harmony with the present context to take the sense of the word in its reference to blackness, and to understand it as indicating a thick, dark, rolling cloud settled upon the mountain top. The description following comprehends equally the natural and political locusts.

Verse 2. - A day of darkness and of glooming, a day of clouds and of thick darkness. It was, indeed, a day of Divine judgment, a day of sore distress. Besides the common terms for "darkness" and "cloud," there are two other terms, אֲפֵלָה, thick and dense darkness, such as ensues after sunset; the root אָפַל, though not used in the Hebrew, is cognate with the Arabic afala, properly, to "set as the sun:" compare naphal, nabhal, abhal; while עְרָפֶל is blended from the triliterals עָרִיפ, a cloud, and אָפַל, to be dark (compare ὀρφνός and ὀρφνή), darkness of donas, thick clouds.

(1) Some understand this darkness literally, as in the description of the plague of locusts in Egypt it is written, "They covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened."

(2) Others understand it figuratively, as light denotes prosperity, and darkness adversity. Thus Kimchi says, "Affliction is likened to darkness, as joy is likened to light." At the same time, he mentions the literal exposition: "Or," he says, "through the multitude of the locusts the land is darkened;" and refers to Exodus 10:15, "For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened." As the morning spread upon the mountains.

(1) Some explain this of the locust-army stretching far like the morning light, as it breaks over the hills. Thus Pococke, "If shachar be rendered, as most generally, the morning, and the light thereof meant, then the meaning thereof seems to express the sudden coming and the widespreading of the thing spoken of, so as not to be hindered, in that resembling the morning light, which in a moment discovers itself on the tops of the mountains (on which it first appeareth), though at never so great a distance one from another." The wide and quick diffusion of this plague, like that of the morning light, is the thing meant. But

(2) Keil understands shachar of the yellow light which proceeds from swarms of locusts as they approach, and translates, "Like morning dawn spread over the mountains is it" (i.e. the glimmer on their wings). "The prophet's meaning," he adds, "is evident enough from what follows. He clearly refers to the bright glimmer, or splendour, which is seen in the sky as a swarm of locusts approaches, from the reflection of the sun's rays from their wings." Thus the subject is neither yom nor 'am, which the Vulgate, contrary to the accents, joins to it.

(3) Others. again, connect the expression closely with the "darkness" preceding, and translate, "Like the morning twilight spread upon the mountains," that is, before it descends into the valleys. Rather, as Wunsche, "Like the gray of the morning," etc. (comp. Exodus 10:15 and שחוד and שיחור). Exposition

(1) is confirmed by Rashi, who says, "The locusts and the palmer-worms are spread over the mountains, as the morning dawn is spread through (in) an the world." Similarly Aben Ezra, "Like the dawn which is diffused in an instant." Kimchi's comment is fuller, but to the same effect: "As the morning dawn which is spread over the mountains as in an instant, for there is called the beginning of the sun in his going forth, because of their height; so then the locusts are spread and extended over the land in an instant." With this exposition of the clause we may compare Virgil's -

"Postera vix summos spargebat lumine montes
Orta dies."


"The following daybreak had scarce begun
to sow the mountain-tops with light."
There hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. This is a hyperbolic mode of speech, to denote the extraordinary and unusual severity of the disaster. The Hebrew commentators are at pains to reconcile what appears to them a discrepancy. They say, "It was never known before or since that four kinds of locusts came to-together;" as for the plague of Egypt;there was but one sort of them, they say. The correct explanation is that the like had not been in the same country, that is, the land of Judaea, though elsewhere there might have been the like, as in Egypt before, or in other countries since.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
a day
י֧וֹם (yō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3117: A day

of darkness
חֹ֣שֶׁךְ (ḥō·šeḵ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2822: The dark, darkness, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness

and gloom,
וַאֲפֵלָ֗ה (wa·’ă·p̄ê·lāh)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 653: Duskiness, misfortune, concealment

a day
י֤וֹם (yō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3117: A day

of clouds
עָנָן֙ (‘ā·nān)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6051: A cloud, the nimbus, thunder-cloud

and blackness.
וַעֲרָפֶ֔ל (wa·‘ă·rā·p̄el)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6205: Cloud, heavy cloud

Like the dawn
כְּשַׁ֖חַר (kə·ša·ḥar)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 7837: Dawn

overspreading
פָּרֻ֣שׂ (pā·ruś)
Verb - Qal - QalPassParticiple - masculine singular
Strong's 6566: To break apart, disperse

the mountains
הֶֽהָרִ֑ים (he·hā·rîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 2022: Mountain, hill, hill country

a great
רַ֣ב (raḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7227: Much, many, great

and strong
וְעָצ֔וּם (wə·‘ā·ṣūm)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 6099: Powerful, numerous

people appears,
עַ֚ם (‘am)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

such as
כָּמֹ֗הוּ (kā·mō·hū)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's 3644: Like, as, when

never
לֹ֤א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

was
נִֽהְיָה֙ (nih·yāh)
Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

of
מִן־ (min-)
Preposition
Strong's 4480: A part of, from, out of

old,
הָ֣עוֹלָ֔ם (hā·‘ō·w·lām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5769: Concealed, eternity, frequentatively, always

nor will ever be
לֹ֣א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

in ages
שְׁנֵ֖י (šə·nê)
Noun - feminine plural construct
Strong's 8141: A year

to come.
וְאַֽחֲרָיו֙ (wə·’a·ḥă·rāw)
Conjunctive waw | Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's 310: The hind or following part


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OT Prophets: Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess (Jl Joe.)
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