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Joel 2:3

Context

2:3 Like fire they devour everything in their path; 1 

a flame blazes behind them.

The land looks like the Garden of Eden 2  before them,

but behind them there is only a desolate wilderness –

for nothing escapes them! 3 

Joel 2:5

Context

2:5 They sound like 4  chariots rumbling 5  over mountain tops,

like the crackling 6  of blazing fire consuming stubble,

like the noise of 7  a mighty army 8  being drawn up for battle. 9 

1 tn Heb “a fire devours before it.”

2 tn Heb “like the garden of Eden, the land is before them.”

3 tn Heb “and surely a survivor there is not for it.” The antecedent of the pronoun “it” is apparently עַם (’am, “people”) of v. 2, which seems to be a figurative way of referring to the locusts. K&D 26:191-92 thought that the antecedent of this pronoun was “land,” but the masculine gender of the pronoun does not support this.

4 tn Heb “like the sound of.”

sn The repetition of the word of comparison (“like”) in vv. 4-7 should not go unnoticed. The author is comparing the locust invasion to familiar aspects of human invasion. If the preposition has its normal force here, it is similarity and not identity that is intended. In other words, locusts are being likened to human armies, but human armies are not actually present. On the other hand, this Hebrew preposition is also on occasion used to indicate exactitude, a function described by grammarians as kaph veritatis.

5 tn Heb “jostling” or “leaping.” There is question whether this pictures chariots rumbling over the mountains (e.g., 2 Sam 6:14,16; 1 Chr 15:29; Nah 3:2) or the locusts flying – or “leaping” – over the mountains (e.g., Job 21:11); see BDB 955 s.v. רָקַד.

6 tn Heb “sound.”

7 tn The phrase “the noise of” does not appear in the Hebrew, but is implied by the parallelism, so it has been supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

8 tn Heb “people.”

9 tn Heb “being arrayed of battle.”



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