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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Joel 1



Verse 1

TITLE. The word of the LORD. Therefore not Joel"s. This is the Divine key to the book Joel"s pen, but not Joel"s words, Compare Acts 1:16 for a similar fact concerning David.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

Joel = Jehovah [is] GOD.

the son of Pethuel. This does not imply that Pethuel was a prophet. It merely distinguishes this Joel from others of the same name.

Verse 2

Hear. Note this indication of the formula of Joel"s prophetic utterances. See App-82.

ye. Hebrew has no proper vocative. The simple Noun with the Article takes its place.

old men. Not official elders, but those whose memory goes back farthest.

Hath . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis (App-38), for emphasis. Compare Joel 2:2.

Verse 3

Tell ye your children. Ref to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 6:6, Deuteronomy 6:7; Deuteronomy 11:19). App-92. Compare Psalms 78:3-8.

children = sons. Note the Figure of speech Climax (App-6).

Verse 4

That which, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:38). Compare Joel 2:25. The English of this verse is beautifully idiomatic, but twelve Hebrew words condense the whole. See below.

palmerworm. This is named first of four different stages of the locust. English = hairy caterpiller Hebrew gazam, or the gnawer. The pupa stage.

locust. Hebrew. "arbeh = the swarmer. The imago stage.

cankerworm. Hebrew. yelek = the devourer.

caterpillar. Hebrew hasil = the consumer. The larva stage. Compare Joel 2:25, and Nahum 3:15, Nahum 3:16.

These four words show the completeness of the destroying agencies. The Heb, reads
"Gnawer"s remnant,
Swarmer eats:
Swarmer"s remnant,
Devourer eats
Devourer"s remnant,
Consumer eats. "

Verse 5

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27. L

new wine. Hebrew. asis, App-27.

Verse 6

a nation. See Joel 2:20; and compare Dan 11. Put for the great destroying powers which are symbolized in Joel 1:4

by the locusts. Compare Joel 2:2, Joel 2:11, Joel 2:25. Rev 9.

My land. So called because Jehovah is about to put in His claim. The end-time is here referred to, when He will do this:

"the day of the Lord". See Joel 1:15, and Joel 2:1, &c.

Verse 7

He. The nation of Joel 1:6.

My vine . . . My fig tree. Note this "My", for Jehovah is about to recover His People Israel, as the issue of "the day of the Loan". Compare Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:14. Isaiah 5:1-6; Isaiah 27:2. Hosea 10:1. Also for the fig-tree compare Hosea 9:10. Matthew 21:19. Luke 13:6, Luke 13:7.

barked = reduced to splinters or chips. Hebrew &c kezaphah. Occurs only here. The root is connected with foam, compare Hosea 10:7.

Verse 8

Lament. Feminine. agreeing with "land", Joel 1:6.

Verse 9

meat offering = the meal or gift offering. Hebrew. minchah. See App-43. Reference to Pentateuch (Lev 2). App-92. Compare Joel 2:14.

drink offering. Ref to Pentateuch (Exodus 29:40. Leviticus 23:13. Numbers 15:3-10) and App-92. See App-43.

ministers. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 3:6, &c.) App-92.

field . . . wasted. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6). Hebrew. shuddad. . . sadeh

land = soil. Hebrew "adamah Not the same word as in verses: Joel 2:6, Joel 2:14, &c., in this book; but the same as in Joel 2:21. Verses 10-12 show why the offerings cannot be brought.

new wine. Hebrew tirosh. App-27. Same word as in Joel 2:19, Joel 2:24. Not the some as in Joel 1:5 and Joel 8:18.

Verse 12

men. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

Verse 13

ministers of the altar. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 30:20). App-92.

lie all night, &c. The symbol of mourning; p. 2 Samuel 12:16.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

Verse 14

a solemn assembly = a day of restraint. Hebrew. "azarah. Occurs only here, in Joel 2:15; 2 Kings 10:20; and Isaiah 1:13. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 23:36. Numbers 29:35. Deuteronomy 16:8) where the feminine form "azereth is used (App-92). It is found also in 2 Chronicles 7:9, Nehemiah 8:18.

gather the elders. There being no mention of a king in this book is held by some as pointing to the time of Athaliah"s usurpation. But see notes on p. 1224, and App-77.

Verse 15

the day of the LORD. See note on Isaiah 2:12. This is the great subject of Joel"s prophecy, already the. "at hand".

destruction from the ALMIGHTY. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6). Hebrew. ke shod mishshaddai = mighty destruction from the Almighty. Compare Isaiah 13:6.

the ALMIGHTY = the All-bountiful. Hebrew. Shaddai. App-4. In this connection it is similar to "the wrath of the Lamb" (Revelation 6:16, Revelation 6:17) in its violent contrast.

Verse 16

Is not . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

joy and gladness. Ref to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 12:6, Deuteronomy 12:7; Deuteronomy 16:11, Deuteronomy 16:14, Deuteronomy 16:15).

Verse 17

The seed, &c. Note the Figure of speech Anabasis (App-6) in this verse.

Verse 18

the beasts, Compare nos. Joel 4:3

Verse 19

to Thee will I cry. Compare Psalms 50:15.

the fire. Compare Joel 2:3.

wilderness = common land.

Verse 20

rivers = waters of the Aphikim. See note on "channels", 2 Samuel 22:16.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joel 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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