Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Joel 1:4

Context
NETBible

What the gazam-locust left the ‘arbeh-locust consumed, 1  what the ‘arbeh-locust left the yeleq-locust consumed, and what the yeleq-locust left the hasil-locust consumed! 2 

XREF

Ex 10:4; Ex 10:12-15; De 28:38,42; 1Ki 8:37; 2Ch 6:28; 2Ch 7:13; Ps 78:46; Ps 105:34; Isa 33:4; Jer 51:14,27; Joe 2:25; Am 4:9; Am 7:1; Na 3:15-17; Re 9:3-7

NET © Notes

tn Heb “eaten.” This verb is repeated three times in v. 4 to emphasize the total devastation of the crops by this locust invasion.

tn The four Hebrew terms used in this verse are of uncertain meaning. English translations show a great deal of variation in dealing with these: (1) For ָגּזָם (gazam) KJV has “palmerworm,” NEB “locust,” NAB “cutter”, NASB “gnawing locust,” NIV “locust swarm,” NKJV “chewing locust,” NRSV, NLT “cutting locust(s),” NIrV “giant locusts”; (2) for אַרְבֶּה (’arbeh) KJV has “locust,” NEB “swarm,” NAB “locust swarm,” NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NLT “swarming locust(s),” NIV “great locusts,” NIrV “common locusts”; (3) for יֶלֶק (yeleq) KJV has “cankerworm,” NEB “hopper,” NAB “grasshopper,” NASB “creeping locust,” NIV, NIrV “young locusts,” NKJV “crawling locust,” NRSV, NLT “hopping locust(s)”; (4) for חָסִיל (khasil) KJV has “caterpillar,” NEB “grub,” NAB “devourer,” NASB, NLT “stripping locust(s),” NIV, NIrV “other locusts,” NKJV “consuming locust,” NRSV “destroying locust.” It is debated whether the Hebrew terms describe different species of locusts or similar insects or different developmental stages of the same species, or are virtual synonyms. While the last seems more likely, given the uncertainty over their exact meaning, the present translation has transliterated the Hebrew terms in combination with the word “locust.”

sn Four different words for “locust” are used in this verse. Whether these words represent different life-stages of the locusts, or whether virtual synonyms are being used to underscore the severity of damage caused by the relentless waves of locust invasion, is not entirely certain. The latter seems more likely. Many interpreters have understood the locust plagues described here to be symbolic of invading armies that will devastate the land, but the symbolism could also work the other way, with real plagues of locusts described in the following verses as an invading army.



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