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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Joel 2

Introduction

CHAP. II.

He sheweth unto Zion the terribleness of God's judgment: he exhorteth to repentance, prescribeth a fast, and promiseth a blessing thereon: he comforteth Zion with present and future blessings.

Before Christ 800.

Verse 1

Joel 2:1. Blow ye the trumpet, &c.— The prophet in the preceding chapter describes the locusts as the army of God; and now, in pursuance of the same metaphor, exhorts the people to prepare to meet them, in the same terms as if they were alarmed to oppose an enemy, which was always done by the sound of the trumpet. The trumpet in Zephaniah is the same which sounds in Joel; and therefore both proclaim the same event;—the destruction of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar. See Zephaniah 2:1-2. The same famine, drought, and destruction from the Almighty, are foretold by Jeremiah: and indeed the destruction of Jerusalem, and the subsequent captivity under Nebuchadnezzar, are mentioned by all the prophets who lived from the days of Uzziah to those of Zedekiah; in the eleventh year of whose reign the city was besieged. See Sharpe's Second Argument.

Verse 2

Joel 2:2. A day of darkness, &c.— We have in this and the following verses a description of the locusts: their fierceness and speed, Joel 2:4.; the noise and din of their approach, Joel 2:5.; the order and regularity of their march, Joel 2:7-8.; their darkening the very lights of heaven by their number and flight, Joel 2:10.; the havoc that they should occasion, Joel 2:3.; the places that they should invade, Joel 2:7; Joel 2:9.; and the consternation and distress which they should bring upon all the inhabitants of the land, Joel 2:6; Joel 2:10. For an account of these terrible destroyers, we refer the reader to the note on Exodus 10:4. Houbigant begins the second verse, after the Chaldee and LXX, thus; Lo! a mighty people and a strong spread themselves like the morning upon the mountains, there hath not been, &c.

Verse 5

Joel 2:5. Shall they leap, &c.— Shall they make a sound; as the noise of a flame of fire devouring the stubble. Bochart has shewn abundantly how this description agrees with the locusts. He tells us from several authors, that they fly with a great noise, as St. John also describes them, Rev 9:9 that they may be heard at six miles distance; and that when they are eating the fruits of the earth, the sound of them is like that of a flame driven by the wind. See Chandler.

Verse 6

Joel 2:6. Before their face, &c.— At their approach the people tremble: all faces contract paleness.

Verses 7-8

Joel 2:7-8. They shall run, &c.— Bochart again shews how exactly this description agrees with the locusts; first, They shall run. Now their manner of fighting is thus described; they strike or wound, not as they stand, but as they run. Secondly, They run as mighty men: what are more innumerable or strong than locusts, says St. Jerome, whom no human pains can resist? Thirdly, They shall march every one in his way, and not break their ranks: and in the next verse, Neither shall one thrust nor press his comrade. St. Jerome tells us, "I lately saw in this province, that when the swarms of locusts come, they fly in such exact order by the disposition and command of God, that every one keeps his place, like the squares in a chequered pavement, and does not vary from it so much as a point or a nail's breadth." The same is observed by other writers cited by Bochart: and what is farther remarkable, before the body of them come to any place, they send scouts and messengers as it were to view the ground, and measure it out for their use; as the same last-mentioned writer remarks from Sigibertus, concerning the locusts which destroyed France in the year 874. The meaning of the last clause in Joel 2:8. When they fall upon the sword, &c. is, that swords shall be no match for them: such being their natural lightness and hardness, that though they shall fall on them they shall not be wounded. See Rev 9:9 and Chandler.

Verse 9

Joel 2:9. They shall run to and fro Shall range about. Bishop Warburton observes, that the fine conversion of the subjects in Joel is remarkable. The prophesy is delivered in the first chapter; Awake, ye drunkards, &c. and repeated in the second; Blow, ye the trumpet, &c. In the first chapter the locusts are described as a people: For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number. But, that we may not be mistaken in the primary sense,—the plague of locusts; the ravages described are the ravages of insects; chap. Joel 1:7. In the second chapter, the hostile people are described as locusts; Joel 2:2-9. But, that we may not mistake the secondary sense, namely, the invasion of a foreign enemy, they are compared, we see, to a mighty army. This art in the complexture of the prophesy, is truly divine, and renders all chicane to avoid a double sense ineffectual; for in some places of the prophesy, dearth by insects must needs be understood; in others, desolation by war; so that both senses are of necessity to be admitted: and here let me observe, that had the commentators on this prophesy but attended to the nature of the double sense, they would not have suffered themselves to have been so embarrassed, or have spent so much time in freeing the prophet from an imaginary embarrassment (though at the expence of the context) on account of the same prophesies having in one part that signification primary, which in another is secondary: a circumstance, which is so far from inaccurate, that it gives the highest elegance to the discourse; and joins the two senses so closely, as to obviate all pretence for a division, to the injury of the sacred writer. See Div. Leg. book 6: sect. 6. We may just observe, in confirmation of what has been here advanced, that the 10th and 11th verses cannot with any great propriety be understood literally of locusts, but of the destruction by the Chaldeans. See the note on Isaiah 13:9-12. Some read the 10th verse throughout in the present tense: The earth quakes, the heavens tremble—the sun and moon become dark, &c.

Verse 11

Joel 2:11. Before his army, &c.— Before his army, that his camp may be very great, that it be strong to execute his command for the day, &c.

Verse 13

Joel 2:13. And rend your heart, &c.— The rending of garments was used by almost all the ancients, as a token of deepest sorrow. The expression before us is a proper Hebraism; and the truest sense of it is, Rend your hearts, and not your garments only. The prophet does not forbid the external appearances of grief and mourning, but on the contrary requires them; as is plain from the foregoing verse, and the 16th and 17th. But he cautions them against an external, hypocritical show of sorrow, and exhorts them to rend their hearts, that is, to cherish that broken and contrite spirit, that sincere and unfeigned repentance for their sins, from which the rending of their garments ought to proceed, with which it should be accompanied. See Hosea 6:6. We might close this verse at the words, Of great kindness; and begin the 14th thus, And he that repents him of iniquity, how knows he, but he [God] may return, and repent, and may cause a blessing to be left after him, even a bread-offering, &c. But Dr. Chandler reads the 14th verse, Who knows but he [God] will return and repent, and cause to leave so much plenty behind him, that there may be a meat-offering and a drink-offering to Jehovah your God? However, Houbigant thinks all this is harsh; and accordingly he renders the verse, Who will consider, return, and repent, that he may leave him a blessing, &c.

Verse 16

Joel 2:16. Sanctify the congregation We read in Exo 19:10 of God's commanding the people to sanctify themselves. This sanctification consisted in their solemn preparation to come before God, by washing themselves and their clothes, cleansing themselves from all legal impurities, &c. as may be seen in Joe 2:14-15 of that chapter. In like manner, the prophet here exhorts the people to a solemn attendance at the temple of God; to fast, and mourn, and pray before him; and therefore commands the people to be sanctified; that is to say, to prepare themselves for this humiliation, as well by cleansing themselves from all legal impurities, as by contrition of heart; and by abstaining from all sensual pleasures, however innocent and allowable at other times, as is much more than intimated by the last clause of the verse. Absolute self-denial is but a reasonable preparation to keep a day of solemn humiliation before God for national sins or calamities. This kind of abstinence was even recommended among the heathens, as a necessary preparation for solemn worship. See Herod. lib. ii. c. 64. Tibull. lib. ii. eleg. 1. 2 Chronicles 20:13. 1Co 7:5 and Chandler.

Verse 17

Joel 2:17. Between the porch and the altar This porch seems to be the same with that mentioned 1Ki 6:3 which was twenty cubits long, and overlaid within with pure gold, 2 Chronicles 3:4. This porch separated the temple from the court of the priests; in which court was the altar of burnt-offerings; and between this altar and the porch of the sanctuary was the station of the priests when they ministered to Jehovah. It was common among the Jews to have certain forms of prayer or praise prescribed to the priests, at their public ministrations. Such was this delivered by the prophet, Spare thy people, &c. Upon which St. Jerome observes very well, that it opens the mystery, and manifestly shews what that strong and mighty nation is, which was represented under the locusts; namely, the heathen; the nations who were the enemies of the Jews. See Chandler and Pocock.

Verse 20

Joel 2:20. But I will remove, &c.— The locusts are here styled the northern army, because they entered the land at Hamath, one of the northern borders, and passed quite through it till they came to the southern parts about the Dead Sea, which have been barren and desolate ever since the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah; and there they were either famished, or perished in the water. This is Lowth's opinion: but to this it is objected, that the locusts are, in every other place, said to come from the east. The northern army is an appellation given to the army of Nebuchadnezzar, as coming from Babylon, a city lying to the north of Jerusalem. The prophet speaks of this army under the similitude of the locusts. See Chandler, and Sharpe. By the words east and utmost, are implied the Dead and Mediterranean Seas. Instead of, Because he hath done, we may read, Although he hath done, &c.

Verse 21

Joel 2:21. Fear not, O land, &c.— In the former part of this prophesy the land is elegantly represented as mourning, the beasts groaning, and the herds of cattle as greatly distressed; the rivers of water as dried up, and the pastures of the wilderness as all consumed. In the same elegant strain the prophet calls upon the land to rejoice, and the beasts of the field to be glad; because the rain should descend, the trees yield their increase, the earth its plenty, and every thing minister to the joy and comfort of the inhabitants: so that though the threatening ran, that the land (which looked, before the locusts invaded it, like the garden of Eden) should appear behind them like a desolate wilderness; the blessing intimated upon their repentance is, that the desolate wilderness should be again turned into a garden of Eden, and abound with every thing for usefulness and pleasure. See the Observations, p. 23.

Verse 23

Joel 2:23. The former rain moderately The former rain in benignity: or, as Houbigant renders it, A teacher of righteousness. See Observations, p. 22.

Verse 25

Joel 2:25. And I will restore to you the years, &c.— Concerning these years, it said in chap. Joe 1:4 that the locusts shall eat what the palmer-worm hath left, &c. Chandler renders it, I will recompense to you the years, &c. God, says Houbigant, restored fertility to the land, when he drove from Judaea the northern people, or the army of Sennacherib, who came after the locusts had destroyed Judaea, as the prophet had foretold in the 6th verse of the former chapter.

Verse 26

Joel 2:26. And ye shall eat in plenty, &c.— And ye shall certainly eat, and be satisfied, &c. Dr. Sharpe observes, that these words cannot, with any degree of sense, or propriety of language, be interpreted of any other joyful event, than the return of captive Israel and Judah from Babylon.

Verse 28

Joel 2:28. Afterward Kimchi says, that this is the same as, In the last days, Isa 2:2 and it is explained by St. Peter, Act 2:17 of the times of the Gospel. The rabbies affirm, that wherever the words occur, they denote the time of the Messiah; and therefore they refer this prophesy expressly to his days, and make it descriptive of that event which is spoken of Isaiah 11:9. The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. This is unquestionably the true meaning; and though the things here prophesied of were not to happen till several ages afterwards, yet was the prophesy highly proper to encourage the minds of the pious Jews; as it was an assurance to them, that let them be brought ever so low, by this or any other calamity, yet God would preserve them a people, till all the promises made to their forefathers should be actually accomplished; and especially till the Messiah should come, under whom the knowledge of God should spread itself among all the nations of the earth, and the gifts of the Spirit of God should be poured out in a much more abundant manner than ever they were before. See Chandler.

Dr. Sharpe observes, that the prophet Joel first describes the distress of the Jews by drought and famine; and their destruction in the great day of the Lord, the day of darkness and gloominess, the like to which had never been, nor should be any more after it, to the years of many generations. Then the trumpet sounds again, and proclamation is made of the great things which the Lord will do for his people and his land. He will remove from them the northern army, and restore the years that they had lost by the great army which he had sent among them. After this, the usual transition is made to the gospel age, under the second temple. The extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, which then was poured out upon all flesh, is next foretold in the clearest and strongest terms. The other great day of the Lord, the last destruction of Jerusalem, has then its place; and this part of the prophesy closes with some remarkable words, which may be considered as a short and comprehensive view of the gracious declarations in the new covenant; Joel 2:32. The word רוח ruach, here used for Spirit, often signifies in Scripture those excellent gifts conferred by God on any particular persons; and particularly the gifts of understanding and prophesy, as well as the richest graces on the church at large. See 2 Kings 2:9. Isaiah 2:2-3.Acts 19:2; Acts 19:2; Acts 19:6. The word flesh is to be understood of man only, as in Genesis 6:12.Isaiah 66:23; Isaiah 66:23. &c. &c. So that this prophesy is evidently very extensive, and intended to comprehend persons of every nation, and of all sorts and ranks; as appears from the very next words, Sons and daughters, &c. expressions which denote persons of every age and condition. The gifts here promised are, 1. Prophesy: a word which is used in a very large sense in the sacred writings. See the note on Numbers 25:2. Dreaming of dreams: a method by which God made known his will to the patriarchs and prophets, by impressing their minds while they were asleep, with the things that he intended to communicate: sometimes directly, without any parabolical representation, which was a pure dream; as to Solomon and others: sometimes under such representations and images, as might either be a pure vision, or a vision and dream mixed; as in the case of Pharaoh, Joseph, Daniel, and others. 3. Visions: which sometimes agree with dreams, as they are a representation of divine things to persons in a deep sleep; but differ in this, that the pure dream is always a communication from God to the mind, without the impression of sensible objects on the imagination, and always in a deep sleep; whereas the vision is constantly impressed upon the imaginative faculty, and sometimes happens to the prophet while he is awake. Thus Elijah had a vision from God upon mount Horeb; and St. Peter, to reveal to him that the proselytes were to be admitted into the Christian church: St. John seems to have received all his Revelations in the same manner. In these visions or trances all the external senses seem bound up, that the mind may be wholly attentive to the divine impressions. It is added in the last place, In those days I will pour out my Spirit on the men-servants and the maidservants; to denote that rich and poor, bond and free, persons of all ranks, should be favoured with all the various gifts of that Spirit; as is plain from the beginning of the prophesy; I will pour out, &c. After which the prophet explains the effusion,—by the grant of prophesy, dreams and visions, accompanied with all gospel-grace. What he says, therefore, concerning the men and maid-servants, clearly signifies, that they also shall have the Spirit in all its gifts, as plentifully as the Jews themselves. See Dr. Chandler, and the dissertation at the end of his commentary on Joel. But we must never forget, that on the day of Pentecost, when these rich gifts of the Spirit were poured out, the gospel dispensation or peculiar kingdom of Christ was opened; and greater measures of divine grace were poured forth on the church than ever were given before; and that this abundant measure of the Spirit of grace still continues to be effused on all Christian believers, and will be the grand means of ushering in and establishing the universal reign of Christ upon earth.

Verse 30

Joel 2:30. And I will shew wonders, &c.— Whoever will be at the pains to compare our Saviour's prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem, Matthew 24:0 with the present passage, will have no doubt concerning the application of this part of Joel's prophesy.

Verse 32

Joel 2:32. Whosoever shall call, &c.— This expression seems to have a double meaning in the sacred writings. Sometimes it signifies to call oneself by or to be called by the name of Jehovah: thus, Genesis 4:26. As it is in the margin of our Bibles; Then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord; that is to say, to be called the sons of God, in opposition to those who were called the sons of men. See Genesis 6:2.Judges 18:29; Judges 18:29. Isaiah 44:5; Isaiah 48:1. In other places, the expression unquestionably signifies solemn invocation or worship of God; and in whatever sense you understand it, the meaning is, that all Christians, who are named from Christ their Lord, or all the true worshippers of God, should escape the calamities of this dreadful day. It is added, In mount Sion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance. This terrible day was to fall on mount Sion and Jerusalem; nevertheless the true worshippers of God should escape thence, and not share in the common calamity. Nor should this be the case only of those who dwelt in Jerusalem; but of all the rest whom Jehovah should call: the remainder of all the true worshippers and obedient and faithful followers of God, not only in Jerusalem, but in all other places, should, according to the promise of God, have a merciful escape, and a gracious deliverance afforded them. See Matthew 24:21-22. All these predictions were abundantly accomplished in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. See Chandler.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, The heavy judgment coming upon the people of Israel is here set forth.

1. The alarm is spread. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain, to give notice of the invading foe, and to prepare them for the approaching danger. This was the priest's office, who, as the watchman upon Zion's walls, must warn sinners of the wrath of God ready to light upon them, and urge them, while there is hope, to flee from it. The judgments at the door should make the people tremble, and the fatal day is nigh, to punish the transgressors, a day of darkness, &c. when the very sun should be obscured with clouds of locusts; or, as their phrases may signify, the deepest calamities would overtake them; as the morning spread upon the mountains, coming suddenly, and spreading universally and irresistibly; or the air should be so darkened with the swarms of insects, that at mid-day the light should not exceed the dawning of the morning.

2. The army is marshalled in battle array. A great people and a strong, supplying by multitude what they singly want in might; nor were there ever before, nor shall there be hereafter, such ravages committed by them in Judaea. As they advanced, they swept the land as with the besom of destruction; and behind them the country looked black and barren as if fire had devoured it; so that what was as the garden of Eden before them, quickly appeared as a desolate wilderness, nothing escaping their devouring jaws. Swift and bold as horses, they rushed on; and, as rattling chariots over the rugged mountains, the sound of them was heard afar off, leaping as they advanced, and terrible as the roaring of devouring fire, which spreads resistless on every side; marching firm, embodied in exact battalion, as soldiers keep their ranks. In vain against them the sword is drawn; they elude the stroke, or those that fall are not found wanting, so vast is their multitude. Not only the country is devoured by them, but the cities are covered, the houses are filled with them; and these were the forerunners and emblems of the Chaldean armies, which should in like manner spread desolations on every side, destroy the country; sack the cities, plunder and make captive the inhabitants, and leave Judaea a wilderness without man or beast. Note; (1.) There is no fence against God's judgments. (2.) The sound of them in other lands should be to us loud calls to repentance.

3. Great would be the terror spread through the had by these invaders. The people, seized with pangs as a woman in travail, would be in the deepest consternation, and every face gather blackness, livid as the corpse from which the spirit is fled. The very earth shall quake before them, the heavens tremble, and the luminaries thereof be darkened, obscured by the locusts; or figuratively, it bespeaks the deep distress of the inhabitants, from the king upon the throne to the lowest of the people. And well indeed may they tremble who see the wrath of God thus revealed against them. For,

4. This is his doing. It is his army, that marches under his direction, animated by his voice, who, as their captain, leads them on to victory, too numerous to be opposed, too strong to be resisted, since they are sent to execute his word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can abide it? Note; The impenitent sinner must needs perish, unable to oppose the arm of Omnipotence, or bear up under the strokes of his fierce anger.

2nd, To oppose these desolating judgments, when they came, were vain; to avert them, before they arrived, was yet possible; and the way is prescribed:
1. By a penitent return to God.

[1.] Let a solemn fast be proclaimed, (see chap. Joel 1:14.) and all summoned to appear before God, from the highest to the lowest, from the hoary head to the babe that sucks the breast; the universal judgment called for deep and universal abasement: nor must the bridegroom or bride be absent. In public calamities all private joys must be swallowed up.

[2.] Let the priests, with deepest mourning and most fervent supplications, pour forth their complaints to God, and, standing between the porch and the altar, on which now no sacrifices smoked, with tears of heartfelt woe cry unto God, if mercy yet is to be found, Spare thy people, O Lord: they plead that relation which, though an aggravation of their sin, yet ministers a ground for hope that yet the Lord would not utterly cast them off; and give not thine heritage to reproach, by driving them into strange countries to seek for food, or suffering them, thus impoverished, to fall an easy prey into the hands of their enemies, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Not only their lives and characters but God's glory was concerned; and for his own great name's sake, though they deserved no favour, they must plead for his interposition. Note; (1.) The ministers of God must themselves be deeply affected, if they would affect the hearts of their people. (2.) Mercy is all that a miserable sinner can ask at God's hand.

[3.] Let the people join their ministers with prayers and tears, and heartfelt humiliation, and (without which every outward expression of distress is but hypocrisy) turn unto the Lord their God in simplicity and truth, deeply convinced of the evil of their sins, and truly abhorring themselves in the view of them; putting away the accursed thing, and cleaving to the Lord with full purpose of heart, through his grace, to approve henceforward their unshaken fidelity to him. In this way, sinners as we are, a door of hope will yet be opened for us.

2. The most powerful arguments are suggested to engage them hereunto. He is called the Lord your God, who has not yet disclaimed his relation to them, for he is gracious and merciful; and, though highly provoked, he is not inexorable; he delights not in the death of a sinner; slow to anger, unwilling, even after repeated offences, to destroy the guilty; waiting with astonishing patience; and of great kindness, ready to receive him the moment he relents and returns; and repenteth him of the evil, changing the afflictive dispensations of his providence towards the penitent, and, instead of wrath, thinketh upon mercy: and surely nothing can break the obdurate heart, if such tender pity and undeserved compassion lead us not to repentance. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, averting the heavy temporal calamities threatened, of which they might entertain good hope if they turned truly to him, and have a blessing behind him, not as departing from them, but as coming to their rescue, and staying the ravages of the locusts; even a meat-offering and a drink-offering unto the Lord our God? for their desires were more intent on having God's altar supplied than their own tables covered; and this was a gracious evidence of the truth of their repentance.

3. God gives them the strongest assurance that he will hear their prayer, and will both help them and glorify himself. He will be jealous for his land, for his great name's sake, and pity his people in their deep distress. Their plenty shall be restored, their reproach be removed, and their devourers destroyed, and cast in heaps into the sea, filling the air with the stench of their putrid carcases; because he hath done great things, because of the mischief they have occasioned; or, for he will do great things, God will make bare his arm for their rescue, and do for them the great things promised in this and the following verses. Some apply this to the destruction of Sennacherib's army; and probably these locusts, both in their invasion and destruction, were a figure of the Assyrians. Note; God will assuredly hear when his believing people cry; and their enemies and his shall know the fierceness of his wrath.

3rdly, Many great and precious promises are here added, for the comfort and joy of the faithful people of God.
1. Their fears shall be all removed. The Lord will do great things for them; rescuing them wonderfully from the hands of every enemy, whether the locusts or Chaldeans; as he will also save the souls of sincere believers in Christ Jesus from every spiritual foe, and deliver them from the fears of guilt, and the powers of corruption.

2. Their joys shall be restored. Their temporal comforts shall abound; the devastations of the locusts shall be repaired; the pastures which had been devoured shall spring afresh, watered with the dew of heaven. The rain, moderately descending in its season, shall fertilize the soil, and cause their corn, their vineyards, their olive and fig-trees, to shoot vigorously, and bring forth fruit abundantly; so that their garners should be filled, and their fats overflow. And, what is far better than even their restored plenty, he will give them spiritual consolation, and the sanctified enjoyment of their comforts. They shall rejoice in the Lord their God, ascribing to him the praise of all their mercies, and happy in a sense of his love and favour. By experience now they shall be brought to know God's gracious presence in the midst of them, and that he alone is God, even their God, and none else; all idols being utterly rejected by them, and his great name alone adored and exalted: and this will be most eminently the case, when that teacher of righteousness (as the words may be rendered, instead of the former rain moderately) whom God would send, even the divine Messiah, should come, and by his own obedience unto death work out, and in his Gospel direct us to, that great atonement and redemption, which is the grand source of every believer's joy.

3. They shall never be ashamed; never have cause to be so, through want of food, as before: or rather, the Lord their confidence will never disappoint the hope of his faithful people; he will be their rock and refuge in every time of need.

4. The very beasts that groaned and cried to God, shall have the cause of their fears and cries removed. The pastures of the wilderness do spring; even to them hath God respect, for his mercies are over all his works, Jonah 4:11.

4thly, The promises from Joe 2:28 to the conclusion of the chapter, evidently look forward, in the first place, to the introduction of the Gospel, and its establishment in the world; and, secondly, to those last and glorious days which shall precede and usher in the universal reign of Christ: and in all the former troubles of the people of God, the prospect of these blessed days was a great support under their afflictions.

1. There shall be a most plenteous effusion of the Spirit, as on the apostles at the day of Pentecost, to which this prophesy is expressly applied, Act 2:16-17 and afterwards upon all flesh, Gentiles as well as Jews, who should be made partakers of the Holy Ghost, both of his miraculous powers, as well as the ordinary gifts and graces that he bestows; the latter of which still continue, though the former have ceased, yet perhaps not for ever. Old and young, persons of both sexes, should alike partake of this blessing, and even the meanest servants and hand-maidens not be excluded from this unspeakable gift. Thus they should be enabled to prophesy; either to foretel things to come, as Agabus, the daughters of Philip, and others, Acts 11:28; Acts 13:1; Acts 21:9-10.; or to speak the truths of God to the edification of others; or to join in his praises with enlarged hearts; in all of which senses the word prophesy is used.

2. A scene of dreadful prodigies shall follow, which had their primary accomplishment in the dreadful ravages of the Roman army in Judaea, and the strange sights and appearances in the air which ushered in the destruction of Jerusalem, and will also precede the final coming of the eternal Judge, and usher in the great and the terrible day of the Lord. Happy would it he for the sinner, if the tremendous views of that awful day's approach might alarm his conscience, and awaken his concern, to fly to the bosom of Jesus for shelter from the wrath to come, that he may be hidden there in the day of the Lord's fierce anger.

3. The faithful in that great day are secured from fear of evil. It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered, as those were who believed in Jesus, and fled to Pella on the approaching siege of Jerusalem. And, more generally, this must be extended to all Christ's faithful people, who in and through him find salvation from all the great enemies of their souls; and, waiting upon him by faith in ceaseless prayer, obtain from him help in every time of need. For in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, in the gospel church, shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, who is faithful to all his promises; and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call, when he collects his ancient people from all their dispersions, cuts off all the obstinately impenitent, and brings in the fulness of the Gentiles. Blessed and happy are they who have a part in this salvation: may my lot be with them!

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joel 2". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/joel-2.html. 1801-1803.