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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Joel

- Joel

by Thomas Coke

THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET JOEL.

IT seems most probable, that this prophesy of Joel is to be placed in the reign of Ahaz, after the Edomites had smitten Judah, and used great violence; (compare 2Ch 28:17 and Joel 3:19.) and after the Philistines had invaded their cities, and slain and expelled their inhabitants, (compare 2Ch 28:18 and Joel 3:4.) and were both of them triumphing in their success: upon which account God particularly threatens them by Joel. And as to the Philistines, this prophesy was executed against them in the reign of Hezekiah, who succeeded Ahaz; it being expressly predicted of him by Isaiah, that he should dissolve their government and destroy them, Isaiah 14:29. &c. and his history of Hezekiah furnishes us with the accomplishment. The prophesy before us consists of four parts, and relates only to the kingdom of Judah. The prophet first describes and bewails the havoc which should be made by the locusts, and the distress of the country by the excessive heat and drought, ch. Joe 1:1 to Joel 2:12. Secondly, he exhorts the Jews to repentance, with a promise on that condition of God's removing the judgment, taking them into his favour, and restoring to them their former plenty, ch. Joel 2:12-27. Thirdly, he foretels the plentiful effusion of the Holy Spirit which should happen in the latter days, ch. Joel 2:28-32. And, fourthly, he proclaims God's judgments against the neighbouring nations, that had unjustly invaded, plundered, and carried his people into captivity; and, as Kimchi says, delivers a prophesy which was to come to pass in the days of the Messiah: ch. 3. The style of Joel differs much from that of Hosea; but, though of a different kind, is equally poetical. It is elegant, perspicuous, clear, diffusive, and flowing; and at the same time very sublime, nervous, and animated. He displays the whole power of poetic description in the first and second chapters, and at the same time his fondness for metaphors, comparisons, and allegories; nor is the connection of his subjects less remarkable than the grace of his diction. It is not, however, to be denied, that in some places he is very obscure, which every one will observe on reading the latter part of this prophesy. See Lowth's 21st Prelection, and Chandler on Joel.