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21

Do not fear, O soil;

be glad and rejoice,

for the Lord has done great things!

22

Do not fear, you animals of the field,

for the pastures of the wilderness are green;

the tree bears its fruit,

the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

 

23

O children of Zion, be glad

and rejoice in the Lord your God;

for he has given the early rain for your vindication,

he has poured down for you abundant rain,

the early and the later rain, as before.

24

The threshing floors shall be full of grain,

the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

 

25

I will repay you for the years

that the swarming locust has eaten,

the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,

my great army, which I sent against you.

 

26

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,

and praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has dealt wondrously with you.

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

27

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,

and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

 

God’s Spirit Poured Out

28

Then afterward

I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

and your young men shall see visions.

29

Even on the male and female slaves,

in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

 


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21-23. In an ascending gradation, the land destroyed by the enemy, the beasts of the field, and the children of Zion, the land's inhabitants, are addressed, the former two by personification.

Lord will do great things—In contrast to the "great things" done by the haughty foe (Joe 2:20) to the hurt of Judah stand the "great things" to be done by Jehovah for her benefit (compare Ps 126:2, 3).

22. (Zec 8:12). As before (Joe 1:18, 20) he represented the beasts as groaning and crying for want of food in the "pastures," so now he reassures them by the promise of springing pastures.

23. rejoice in the Lord—not merely in the springing pastures, as the brute "beasts" which cannot raise their thoughts higher (Isa 61:10; Hab 3:18).

former rain … the rain … the former … the latter rain—The autumnal, or "former rain," from the middle of October to the middle of December, is put first, as Joel prophesies in summer when the locusts' invasion took place, and therefore looks to the time of early sowing in autumn, when the autumnal rain was indispensably required. Next, "the rain," generically, literally, "the showering" or "heavy rain." Next, the two species of the latter, "the former and the latter rain" (in March and April). The repetition of the "former rain" implies that He will give it not merely for the exigence of that particular season when Joel spake, but also for the future in the regular course of nature, the autumn and the spring rain; the former being put first, in the order of nature, as being required for the sowing in autumn, as the latter is required in spring for maturing the young crop. The Margin, "a teacher of righteousness," is wrong. For the same Hebrew word is translated "former rain" in the next sentence, and cannot therefore be differently translated here. Besides, Joel begins with the inferior and temporal blessings, and not till Joe 2:28 proceeds to the higher and spiritual ones, of which the former are the pledge.

moderately—rather, "in due measure," as much as the land requires; literally, "according to right"; neither too much nor too little, either of which extremes would hurt the crop (compare De 11:14; Pr 16:15; Jer 5:24; see on Ho 6:3). The phrase, "in due measure," in this clause is parallel to "in the first month," in the last clause (that is, "in the month when first it is needed," each rain in its proper season). Heretofore the just or right order of nature has been interrupted through your sin; now God will restore it. See my Introduction to Joel.

24. The effect of the seasonable rains shall be abundance of all articles of food.

25. locust … cankerworm … caterpiller … palmer worm—the reverse order from Joe 1:4, where (see on Joe 1:4) God will restore not only what has been lost by the full-grown consuming locust, but also what has been lost by the less destructive licking locust, and swarming locust, and gnawing locust.

26. never be ashamed—shall no longer endure the "reproach of the heathen (Joe 2:17), [Maurer]; or rather, "shall not bear the shame of disappointed hopes," as the husbandmen had heretofore (Joe 1:11). So spiritually, waiting on God, His people shall not have the shame of disappointment in their expectations from Him (Ro 9:33).

27. know that I am in the midst of Israel—As in the Old Testament dispensation God was present by the Shekinah, so in the New Testament first, for a brief time by the Word made flesh dwelling among us (Joh 1:14), and to the close of this dispensation by the Holy Spirit in the Church (Mt 28:20), and probably in a more perceptible manner with Israel when restored (Eze 37:26-28).

never be ashamed—not an unmeaning repetition from Joe 2:26. The twice-asserted truth enforces its unfailing certainty. As the "shame" in Joe 2:26 refers to temporal blessings, so in this verse it refers to the spiritual blessings flowing from the presence of God with His people (compare Jer 3:16, 17; Re 21:3).

28. afterward—"in the last days" (Isa 2:2) under Messiah after the invasion and deliverance of Israel from the northern army. Having heretofore stated the outward blessings, he now raises their minds to the expectation of extraordinary spiritual blessings, which constitute the true restoration of God's people (Isa 44:3). Fulfilled in earnest (Ac 2:17) on Pentecost; among the Jews and the subsequent election of a people among the Gentiles; hereafter more fully at the restoration of Israel (Isa 54:13; Jer 31:9, 34; Eze 39:29; Zec 12:10) and the consequent conversion of the whole world (Isa 2:2; 11:9; 66:18-23; Mic 5:7; Ro 11:12, 15). As the Jews have been the seedmen of the elect Church gathered out of Jews and Gentiles, the first Gospel preachers being Jews from Jerusalem, so they shall be the harvest men of the coming world-wide Church, to be set up at Messiah's appearing. That the promise is not restricted to the first Pentecost appears from Peter's own words: "The promise is (not only) unto you and to your children, (but also) to all that are afar off (both in space and in time), even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Ac 2:39). So here "upon all flesh."

I will pour out—under the new covenant: not merely, let fall drops, as under the Old Testament (Joh 7:39).

my spirit—the Spirit "proceeding from the Father and the Son," and at the same time one with the Father and the Son (compare Isa 11:2).

sons … daughters … old … young—not merely on a privileged few (Nu 11:29) as the prophets of the Old Testament, but men of all ages and ranks. See Ac 21:9; 1Co 11:5, as to "daughters," that is, women, prophesying.

dreams … visions—(Ac 9:10; 16:9). The "dreams" are attributed to the "old men," as more in accordance with their years; "visions" to the "young men," as adapted to their more lively minds. The three modes whereby God revealed His will under the Old Testament (Nu 12:6), "prophecy, dreams, and visions," are here made the symbol of the full manifestation of Himself to all His people, not only in miraculous gifts to some, but by His indwelling Spirit to all in the New Testament (Joh 14:21, 23; 15:15). In Ac 16:9; 18:9, the term used is "vision," though in the night, not a dream. No other dream is mentioned in the New Testament save those given to Joseph in the very beginning of the New Testament, before the full Gospel had come; and to the wife of Pilate, a Gentile (Mt 1:20; 2:13; 27:19). "Prophesying" in the New Testament is applied to all speaking under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and not merely to foretelling events. All true Christians are "priests" and "ministers" of our God (Isa 61:6), and have the Spirit (Eze 36:26, 27). Besides this, probably, a special gift of prophecy and miracle-working is to be given at or before Messiah's coming again.

29. And also—"And even." The very slaves by becoming the Lord's servants are His freemen (1Co 7:22; Ga 3:28; Col 3:11; Phm 16). Therefore, in Ac 2:18 it is quoted, "My servants" and "My handmaidens"; as it is only by becoming the Lord's servants they are spiritually free, and partake of the same spirit as the other members of the Church.




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