Joel 1:15 MEANING

Joel 1:15
(15) Alas.--The exclamation is repeated three times in the LXX. and Vulg., thus giving occasion to Jeremy Taylor's comment: "When the prophet Joel was describing the formidable accidents in the day of the Lord's judgment, and the fearful sentence of an angry judge, he was not able to express it, but stammered like a child, or an amazed imperfect person, A. A. A. diei, quia prope est Dies Domini" ("Christ's Adv. to Judgment," Serm. iii., pt. 3).

Almighty.--Shaddai. A title signifying the omnipotence of God, especially with reference, as here, to His power to destroy. The Hebrew preserves the alliteration, Shod Mishaddai, destruction from the destroyer. The Almighty was the general title of God. "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God ALMIGHTY, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them." (See Note on Genesis 17)

Verse 15. - Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Some understand these words as suggested by the prophet to the people, that they might use them in their solemn and sorrowful appeal to the Almighty. This is favoured by the Syriac, which adds, "and say," as if the prophet prescribed to them the substance of their address. We prefer taking them as the prophet's own words, which he era-ploys to justify the urgency of the appeal contained in the two preceding verses to the ministers of religion, the priests, to the magistrates, the elders, and to all the mere-bets of the community, even all the inhabitants of the land. The day referred to is the time of the judgment that was coming on the land through the locusts. The day of the Lord, first mentioned, it is said, by Joel, is the day when he inflicts judgments on sinners, as in the present instance; it may be a presage of that judgment that brought ruin on their city, temple, and nation. It may be an emblem of that judgment that wound up their nation by the destruction of their capital, or even of the final judgment when God shall destroy impenitent sinners and deliver his saints. This day of the Lord comes suddenly, secretly, and irresistibly; and, when it comes, it is a destruction from the Almighty, or, according to the Hebrew paronomasia, keshod misshaddai, equivalent to "ruin from the Resistless." The day of God's anger against Judah is a presage of that day when, as Judge of all, Jew and Gentile, he will take vengeance on his enemies. Joel's prophetic glance reached onward and forward, not only to the close of the Jewish, but to the conclusion of the Christian, dispensation.

1:14-20 The sorrow of the people is turned into repentance and humiliation before God. With all the marks of sorrow and shame, sin must be confessed and bewailed. A day is to be appointed for this purpose; a day in which people must be kept from their common employments, that they may more closely attend God's services; and there is to be abstaining from meat and drink. Every one had added to the national guilt, all shared in the national calamity, therefore every one must join in repentance. When joy and gladness are cut off from God's house, when serious godliness decays, and love waxes cold, then it is time to cry unto the Lord. The prophet describes how grievous the calamity. See even the inferior creatures suffering for our transgression. And what better are they than beasts, who never cry to God but for corn and wine, and complain of the want of the delights of sense? Yet their crying to God in those cases, shames the stupidity of those who cry not to God in any case. Whatever may become of the nations and churches that persist in ungodliness, believers will find the comfort of acceptance with God, when the wicked shall be burned up with his indignation.Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand,.... A time of severer and heavier judgments than these of the locusts, caterpillars, &c. which were a presage and emblem of greater ones, even of the total destruction of their city, temple, and nation, either by the Chaldeans, or by the Romans, or both:

and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come; unawares, suddenly, and irresistibly: there is in the Hebrew text an elegant play on words, which may be rendered, as "wasting from the waster", or "destruction from the destroyer, shall it come" (x); even from the almighty God, who is able to save and destroy, and none can deliver out of his hands; see Isaiah 13:6; the word signifies one powerful and victorious, as Aben Ezra observes; and so it does in the Arabic language.

(x) "uti vastitas a Deo vastatore", Drusius.

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