Joel 2 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

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(Read all of Joel 2)
2:1 Blow ye a the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand;

(a) He shows the great judgments of God which are at hand, unless they repent.

2:2 A b day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a c 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.

(b) Of affliction and trouble.
(c) Meaning, the Assyrians.

2:3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land [is] as the garden of d Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

(d) The enemy destroyed our plentiful country, wherever he went.

2:6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces e shall gather blackness.

(e) They will be pale and black because of fear, as in (Nahum 2:10).

2:8 Neither shall one f thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and [when] they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.

(f) For none will be able to resist them.

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

(g) Read (Joel 2:31; Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 3:15; Matthew 24:29)

2:11 And the LORD shall h utter his voice before his army: for his camp [is] very great: for [he is] strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD [is] great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

(h) The Lord will stir up the Assyrians to execute his judgments.

2:13 And i rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

(i) Mortify your affections and serve God with pureness of heart, and not with ceremonies.

2:14 Who knoweth [if] he will k return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; [even] a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

(k) He speaks this to stir up their slothfulness, and not that he doubted of God's mercies, if they did repent. For the way in which God repents, See Geneva

2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the l children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

(l) That as all have sinned, so all may show forth signs of their repentance, so that men seeing the children who are not free from God's wrath, might be the more deeply touched with the consideration of their own sins.

2:18 Then will the LORD be m jealous for his land, and pity his people.

(m) If they repent he shows that God will preserve and defend them with a most fervent affection.

2:20 But I will remove far off from you the n northern [army], and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the o east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

(n) That is, the Assyrians your enemies.
(o) Called the Salt Sea, or Persian Sea: meaning, that even though this army was so great that it filled all from this sea to the Mediterranean Sea, yet he would scatter them.

2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain p moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].

(p) That is, such as would come by just measure, and would be sent when God was reconciled with them.

2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour q out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream r dreams, your young men shall see visions:

(q) That is, in greater abundance, and more broadly than in times past. And this was fulfilled under Christ, when God's graces and his Spirit under the Gospel were abundantly given to the Church; (Isaiah 44:3; Acts 2:17) (John 7:38-39).
(r) As they had visions and dreams in ancient times, so will they now have clearer revelations.

2:30 And I will shew s wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

(s) He warns the faithful what terrible things would come, with the intent that they should not look for continual quietness in this world: and yet in all these troubles he would preserve them.

2:31 The t sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

(t) The order of nature will seem to be changed because of the horrible afflictions that will be in the world; (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 3:15; Matthew 24:29).

2:32 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; (Romans 10:13).