Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Joel 2:20

Context
NETBible

I will remove the one from the north 1  far from you. I will drive him out to a dry and desolate place. Those in front will be driven eastward into the Dead Sea, 2  and those in back westward into the Mediterranean Sea. 3  His stench will rise up as a foul smell.” 4  Indeed, the Lord 5  has accomplished great things.

XREF

Ex 10:19; De 11:24; 2Ki 8:13; Jer 1:14; Eze 39:12-16; Eze 47:7,8,18; Joe 1:4-6; Joe 2:2-11; Zec 14:8

NET © Notes

sn The allusion to the one from the north is best understood as having locusts in view. It is not correct to say that this reference to the enemy who came form the north excludes the possibility of a reference to locusts and must be understood as human armies. Although locust plagues usually approached Palestine from the east or southeast, the severe plague of 1915, for example, came from the northeast.

tn Heb “his face to the eastern sea.” In this context the eastern sea is probably the Dead Sea.

tn Heb “and his rear to the western sea.” The western sea refers to the Mediterranean Sea.

sn Heb “and his foul smell will ascend.” The foul smell probably refers to the unpleasant odor of decayed masses of dead locusts. The Hebrew word for “foul smell” is found only here in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for “stench” appears only here and in Isa 34:3 and Amos 4:10. In the latter references it refers to the stench of dead corpses on a field of battle.

tn The Hebrew text does not have “the Lord.” Two interpretations are possible. This clause may refer to the enemy described in the immediately preceding verses, in which case it would have a negative sense: “he has acted in a high-handed manner.” Or it may refer to the Lord, in which case it would have a positive sense: “the Lord has acted in a marvelous manner.” This is clearly the sense of the same expression in v. 21, where in fact “the Lord” appears as the subject of the verb. It seems best to understand the clause the same way in both verses.



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