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Commentary On Joel Amos Obadiah by Jean Calvin

Joel 1:10

10. The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

10. Vastatus est ager, luxit terra (hoc est, luxerunt terrae incolae;) quia vastatum est (idem est verbum vel, quia periit) frumentum, aruit (est a verbo yvs, non a vvs, quod significat pudefacere: quanquam utraque radix significationem hanc admittit apud Hebraeos: quia ergo aruit) mustum et exterminatum est (infirmatum ad verbum, ab 'ml; sed significat debilitatum esse) oleum.

The Prophet goes on here with the same subject, and uses these many words to give more effect to what he said; for he knew that he addressed the deaf, who, by long habit, had so hardened themselves that God could effect nothing, at least very little, by his word. This is the reason why the Prophet so earnestly presses a subject so evident. Should any one ask what need there was of so many expressions, as it seems to be a needless use of words; I do indeed allow that all that the Prophet wished to say might have been expressed in one sentence, as there is here nothing intricate: but it was not enough that what he said should be understood, except the Jews applied it to themselves, and perceived that they had to do with God; and to make this application they were not disposed. It is not then without reason that the Prophet labors here, and enforces the same thing in many words.

Hence he says, The field is wasted, and the land mourns; for the corn has perished, for dried up has the wine, for destroyed has been the oil. And by these words he intimates that they seeing saw nothing; as though he said, |Let necessity extort mourning from you; ye are indeed starving, all complain of want, all deplore the need of bread and wine; and yet no one of you thinks whence this want is, that it is from the hand of God. Ye feel it in your mouth, ye feel it in your palate, ye feel it in your throat, ye feel it in your stomach; but ye feel it not in your heart.| In short, the Prophet intimates that the Jews were void of right understanding; they indeed deplored their famine, but they were like brute beasts, who, when hungry, show signs of impatience. So the Jews mourned, because their stomach disquieted them; but they knew not that the cause of their want and famine was their sins. It afterwards follows --

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