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Commentary On Joel Amos Obadiah by Jean Calvin

Joel 1:18

18. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.

18. Quomodo ingemuit bestia? Confusa sunt armenta boum? Quia desunt illis pascua: etiam greges ovium desolati sunt.

The Prophet amplifies his reproof, that even oxen as well as other animals felt the judgment of God. There is then here an implied comparison between the feeling of brute animals and the insensibility of the people, as though he said, |There is certainly more intelligence and reason in oxen and other brute animals than in you; for the herds groan, the flocks groan, but ye remain stupid and confounded. What does this mean?| We then see that the Prophet here compares the stupidity of the people with the feeling of animals, to make them more ashamed.

How, he says, has the beast groaned? The question serves to show vehemence; for if he had said in the form of a narrative, that the animals groaned, that the cattle were confounded, and that the flocks perished, the Jews would have been less affected; but when he exclaims and, moved with astonishment, speaks interrogatively, How does the beast groan? He, no doubt, wished to produce an effect on the Jews, that they might perceive the judgment of God, which they had before passed by with their eyes closed, though it was quite manifest. It follows --

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