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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Joel 1

Verses 1-20

Joel was especially a prophet to Judah. The burden of his message was the Day of the Lord. It seems to be one remarkable utterance rather than notes of a ministry covering a long period. A terrible locust plague which had devastated the entire country was the occasion of its deliverance. Joel spoke of things which were evident to those whom he addressed, then predicted an immediate judgment, and finally looked far on to the ultimate Day of the Lord.

In the first division are two sections. The prophet interpreted the meaning of the actual locust plague, and said it was the sign of yet severer judgment that was imminent. In dealing with the actual plague he uttered a call to contemplation, and to humiliation.

The call to contemplation was addressed, in the first place, to the old men, and then to all the inhabitants. In his description of the desolation the names, "palmer-worm," 'locust," "canker-worm," "caterpillar," all refer to locusts. The reference may be to different stages in the development of the locust, or to different varieties of the same family. The thought in the prophet's mind was of the complete destruction by the pest. Singling out the drunkards, the worshipers, the husbandmen, and the vinedressers, he reminded them of the completeness of the devastation, showing how it had affected all classes.

In the call to humiliation he began with the priests, calling them to penitence in the presence of the depletion of the house of God. Then addressing the people, he summoned them to sanctify a fast, and charged them to cry to Jehovah, declaring as his reason the truth which had been the burden of his message, "The day of the Lord is at hand." Finally, he voiced the cry of the people in penitence, "Oh Lord, to Thee do I cry."

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Joel 1". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.