New American Standard Bible
For a nation has invaded my land, Mighty and without number; Its teeth are the teeth of a lion, And it has the fangs of a lioness.
King James Bible
For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
Darby Bible Translation
For a nation is come up upon my land, strong and without number: his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a lioness.
World English Bible
For a nation has come up on my land, strong, and without number. His teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a lioness.
Young's Literal Translation
For a nation hath come up on my land, Strong, and there is no number, Its teeth are the teeth of a lion, And it hath the jaw-teeth of a lioness.
Joel 1:6 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For a nation is come up upon my land - He calls this scourge of God a "nation," giving them the title most used in Holy Scripture, of pagan nations. The like term, "people, folk," is used of the "ants" and the "conies" Proverbs 30:25-26, for the wisdom with which God teaches them to act. Here it is used, in order to include at once, the irrational invader, guided by a Reason above its own, and the pagan conqueror. This enemy, he says, is "come up" (for the land as being God's land, was exalted in dignity, above other lands,) "upon My land," i. e. "the Lord's land" Hosea 9:3, hitherto owned protected as God's land, a land which, Moses said to them, "the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year" Deuteronomy 11:12. Now it was to be bared of God's protection, and to be trampled upon by a pagan foe.
Strong and without number - The figure is still from the locust, whose numbers are wholly countless by man. Travelers sometimes use likenesses to express their number, as clouds darkening the sun (see the note at Joel 2:10) or discharging flakes of snow ; some grave writers give it up, as hopeless. : "Their multitude is incredible, whereby they cover the earth and fill the air; they take away the brightness of the sun. I say again, the thing is incredible to one who has not seen them." "It would not be a thing to be believed, if one had not seen it." "On another day, it was beyond belief: they occupied a space of eight leagues (about 24 English miles). I do not mention the multitude of those without wings, because it is incredible." : "When we were in the Seignory of Abrigima, in a place called Aquate, there came such a multitude of locusts, as cannot be said. They began to arrive one day about terce (nine) and until night they cease not to arrive; and when they arrived, they bestowed themselves. On the next day at the hour of prime they began to depart, and at mid-day there was not one, and there remained not a leaf on the trees. At this instant others began to come, and staved like the others to the next day at the same hour; and these left not a stick with its bark, nor a green herb, and thus did they five days one after another; and the people said that they were the sons, who went to seek their fathers, and they took the road toward the others which had no wings. After they were gone, we knew the breadth which they had occupied, and saw the destruction which they had made, it exceeded three leagues (nine miles) wherein there remained no bark on the trees."
Another writes of South Africa ; "Of the innumerable multitudes of the incomplete insect or larva of the locusts, which at this time infested this part of Africa, no adequate idea could be conceived without having witnessed them. For the space of ten miles on each side of the Sea-Cow river, and eighty or ninety miles in length, an area of 16, or 1800 square miles, the whole surface might literally be said to be covered with them. The water of the river was scarcely visible on account of the dead carcasses which floated on the surface, drowned in the attempt to come at the weeds which grew in it." : "The present year is the third of their continuance, and their increase has far exceeded that of a geometrical progression whose whole ratio is a million." A writer of reputation says of a "column of locusts" in India ; "It extended, we were informed, 500 miles, and so compact was it when on the wing, that, like an eclipse, it completely hid the sun; so that no shadow was cast by any object, and some lofty tombs, not more than 200 yards distant, were rendered quite invisible."
In one single neighborhood, even in Germany, it was once calculated that near 17,000,000 of their eggs were collected and destroyed . Even Volney writes of those in Syria , "the quantity of these insects is a thing incredible to anyone who has not seen it himself; the ground is covered with them for several leagues." "The steppes," says Clarke , an incredulous traveler, "were entirely covered by their bodies, and their numbers falling resembled flakes of snow, carried obliquely by the wind, and spreading thick mists over the sun. Myriads fell over the carriage, the horses, the drivers. The Tartars told us, that persons had been suffocated by a fall of locusts on the "steppes." It was now the season, they added, in which they began to diminish." : "It was incredible, that their breadth was eight leagues."
Strong - The locust is remarkable for its long flights. "Its strength of limbs is amazing; when pressed down by the hand on the table, it has almost power to move the fingers" .
Whose teeth are the teeth of a lion - The teeth of the locust are said to be "harder than stone." : "They appear to be created for a scourge; since to strength incredible for so small a creature, they add saw-like teeth admirably calculated to "eat up all the herbs in the land."" Some near the Senegal, are described as "quite brown, of the thickness and length of a finger, and armed with two jaws, toothed like a saw, and very powerful." The prophet ascribes to them the sharp or prominent eye-teeth of the lion and lioness, combining strength with number. The ideal of this scourge of God is completed by blending numbers, in which creatures so small only could exist together, with the strength of the fiercest. : "Weak and short-lived is man, yet when God is angered against a sinful people, what mighty power does He allow to man against it!" "And what more cruel than those who endeavor to slay souls, turning them from the Infinite and Eternal Good, and so dragging them to the everlasting torments of Hell?"
LibraryThe Prophet Joel.
PRELIMINARY REMARKS. The position which has been assigned to Joel in the collection of the Minor Prophets, furnishes an external argument for the determination of the time at which Joel wrote. There cannot be any doubt that the Collectors were guided by a consideration of the chronology. The circumstance, that they placed the prophecies of Joel just between the two prophets who, according to the inscriptions and contents of their prophecies, belonged to the time of Jeroboam and Uzziah, is …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
Of the Public Fast.
They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.
The LORD utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?
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