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Go to Bible: Joel 2
“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet. In this context it would be blown to warn the people of a coming army.
“for the day of Yahweh comes.” See commentary on Joel 1:15.(top)
“a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” This phrase is also found in Zephaniah 1:15.
“a large and strong people comes.” Although many armies have attacked Israel since the time of Joel, this verse describes the army that will attack Israel in the Great Tribulation.(top)
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“his camp is very large.” This refers to the large size of the army.
“survive it.” The Hebrew is “endure it,” but we think of “enduring” something as being able to put up with it. In this case, it means “survive it” or “live through it.” The vast majority of mankind will die in the Tribulation of the Day of the Lord.(top)
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”Who knows.” God had pronounced destruction upon Israel, but that did not mean that there was no chance He would change His mind, or at least some of the severe consequences, if His people did not repent and return to Him. That certainly happened in the case of Jonah and Nineveh. If that did happen, instead of total destruction, God would “leave behind” people and a harvest that would allow for the worship of Yahweh to continue with grain and drink offereings.(top)
“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet. In this context, the shofar is blown to call for an assembly of the people, whereas in Joel 2:1 it was blown as a warning of the approaching army. The shofar was blown for different reasons, and so the reader has to be sensitive to the context to understand why it was blown.(top)
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“weep between the porch and the altar.” The “porch” is at the front of the Temple, which faced east, so the priests would be in the Temple courtyard between the Holy Place and the altar in the courtyard of the Temple.
”Where is their god.” The word “god” is lower case because this was the pagan nations speaking and they would have thought of the God of Israel as just another “god” of a nation, like Chemosh was the chief god of the Moabites or Marduk was the chief god of the Babylonians.(top)
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“the eastern sea.” That is, the Dead Sea.
“the western sea.” That is, the Mediterranean Sea.(top)
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“the former rain and the latter rain.” There was one rainy season in Israel, and it usually started in mid to late October and ended in April. The rains at the start of the season got the planting going, and were called the “former” rains. The rains at the end of the wet season allowed the grain to come to maturity and were called the “latter” rains. [For more on the rainy season and the former and latter rain, see commentary on James 5:7].(top)
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