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by Matthew Poole
Since so many undeterminable points of less moment occur in our prophet, as of what tribe he was, whether his father were a prophet, whether he prophesied in Jeroboam's or Hezekiah's time, whether contemporary with Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah; whether he preached to the ten tribes, or to the two tribes, or to both; whether the locusts are literal only, or typical and significative of enemies, or how many years they continued, what nations they did prefigure, when the execution began, when it ended; or when he began, or how long he continued to prophesy; -we may well rest ourselves contented in the undisputable things of greater moment, such as are, the Divine authority with which he came, attested by himself, Joel 1:1, and confirmed to us by the apostle, Acts 2:17; Romans 10:13, and by Christ himself, Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25; all he spake is the word of God. The pernicious consequences of national sins, such as were visible on God's own people at this very time in parching droughts, devouring locusts, and famine; the only method for removing these judgments, fasting, prayer, and amendment of our life; the successive sufferings of the church under the several monarchies till the coming of the Messiah, with the wonderful preservation of the good during those times; the just and final decisions God will make for his against their oppressors in those kingdoms, doing it by raising the succeeding empire to punish and overthrow the precedent; the conversion of the Jews, the calling of the Gentiles; the advancement of the kingdom of the Messiah and communications of gifts and graces to his church; the final and universal decision of all things that concern God and his church on the one side, and their enemies on the other; the general judgment of quick and dead, -are the great subjects he doth in plainer or darker terms set before us. In unfolding of the whole, whose excludes the letter and historical reference will fail on one hand, and whose excludes the typical and mystical reference will err as much on the other hand. In a due and just application of both lieth the true mean, which hath been aimed at in this enterprise, and how far attained is submitted to the judgment of those that read the ensuing annotations.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25