Joel 2:13
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.

King James Bible
And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Darby Bible Translation
and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Jehovah your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great loving-kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

World English Bible
Tear your heart, and not your garments, and turn to Yahweh, your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and relents from sending calamity.

Young's Literal Translation
And rend your heart, and not your garments, And turn back unto Jehovah your God, For gracious and merciful is He, Slow to anger, and abundant in kindness, And He hath repented concerning the evil.

Joel 2:13 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And rend your hearts and not your garments - that is, "not your garments only" (see the note at Hosea 6:6). The rending of the clothes was an expression of extraordinary uncontrollable emotion, chiefly of grief, of terror, or of horror. At least, in Holy Scripture it is not mentioned as a part of ordinary mourning, but only upon some sudden overpowering grief, whether public or private . It was not used on occasion of death, unless there were something very grievous about its circumstances. At times it was used as an outward expression, one of deep grief, as when the leper was commanded to keep his clothes rent Leviticus 13:45, or when David, to express his abhorrence at the murder of Abner, commanded "all the people with him, rend your clothes;" Ahab used it, with fasting and haircloth, on God's sentence by Elijah and obtained a mitigation of the temporal punishment of his sin; Jeremiah marvels that neither "the king," Jehoiakim, "nor any of his servants, rent their garments" Jeremiah 36:24, on reading the roll containing the woes which God had by him pronounced against Judah. The holy garments of the priests were on no occasion to be rent Leviticus 10:6; Leviticus 21:10; (probably because the wholeness was a symbol of perfection, from where care was to be taken that the ephod should not accidentally be torn Exodus 28:32; Exodus 39:23) so that the act of Caiaphas was the greater hypocrisy Matthew 26:65; Mark 14:63.

He used it probably to impress his own blasphemous accusation on the people, as for a good end, the Apostles Paul and Barnabas rent their Acts 14:14 clothes, when they heard that, after the cure of the impotent man, the priest of Jupiter with the people would have done sacrifice unto them. Since then apostles used this act, Joel plainly doth not forbid the use of such outward behavior, by which their repentance might be expressed, but only requires that it be done not in outward show only, but accompanied with the inward affections. : "The Jews are bidden then to rend their hearts rather than their garments, and to set the truth of repentance in what is inward, rather than in what is outward." But since the rending of the garments was the outward sign of very vehement grief, it was no commonplace superficial sorrow, which the prophet enjoined, but one which should pierce and rend the inmost soul, and empty it of its sins and its love for sin. : Any very grieving thing is said to cut one's heart, to "cut him to the heart."

A truly penitent heart is called a "broken and a contrite heart." Such a penitent rends and "rips up by a narrow search the recesses of the heart, to discover the abominations thereof," and pours out before God "the diseased and perilous stuff" pent up and festering there, "expels the evil thoughts lodged in it, and opens it in all things to the reception of divine grace. This rending is no other than the spiritual circumcision to which Moses exhorts. Whence of the Jews, not thus rent in heart, it is written in Jeremiah, 'All the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart' Jeremiah 9:26. This rending then is the casting out of the sins and passions."

And turn unto the Lord your God - God owns Himself as still their God, although they had turned and were gone from Him in sin and were alienated from Him. To Him, the true, Unchangeable God, if they returned, they would find Him still "their God." "Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backsliding," God saith by Jeremiah; "Behold, Israel answers, we come unto Thee, for Thou art the Lord our God" Jeremiah 3:22.

For He is very gracious and very merciful - Both these words are intensive. All the words, "very gracious, very merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness," are the same and in the same order as in that revelation to Moses, when, on the renewal of the two tables of the law, "the Lord descended in the cloud and proclaimed the name of the Lord" Exodus 34:5-6). The words are frequently repeated, showing how deeply that revelation sunk in the pious minds of Israel. They are, in part, pleaded to God by Moses himself Numbers 14:18; David, at one time, pleaded them all to God Psalm 85:1-13 :15; elsewhere he repeats them of God, as in this place Psalm 103:8; Psalm 145:8. Nehemiah, in praising God for His forgiving mercies, prefixes the title, "God of pardons" Nehemiah 9:17, and adds, "and Thou forsakedst them not;" as Joel, for the special object here, adds, "and repenteth Him of the evil." A Psalmist, and Hezekiah in his message to Isaiah, and Nehemiah in the course of that same prayer, repeat the two words of intense mercy, "very gracious and very merciful" Psalm 111:4; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 9:31, which are used of God only, except once by that same Psalmist Psalm 112:4, with the express object of showing how the good man conformeth himself to God. The word "very gracious" expresses God's free love, whereby He sheweth Himself good to us; "very merciful" expresses the tender yearning of His love over our miseries (see the note at Hosea 2:19); "great kindness," expresses God's tender love, as love.

He first says, that God is "slow to anger" or "long-suffering," enduring long the wickedness and rebellion of man, and waiting patiently for the conversion and repentance of sinners. Then he adds, that God is "abundant in kindness," having manifold resources and expedients of His tender love, whereby to win them to repentance. Lastly He is "repentant of the evil." The evil which lie foretells, and at last inflicts, is (so to speak) against His Will, "Who willeth not that any should perish," and, therefore, on the first tokens of repentance "He repenteth Him of the evil," and doeth it not.

The words rendered, "of great kindness," are better rendered elsewhere, "abundant, plenteous in goodness, mercy" Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8. Although the mercy of God is in itself one and simple, yet it is called abundant on account of its divers effects. For God knoweth how in a thousand ways to succor His own. Whence the Psalmist prays, "According to the multitude of Thy mercies, turn Thou unto me" Psalm 25:7, Psalm 25:16. "According to the multitude of Thy tender mercies, do away mine offences" Psalm 51:1.

Joel 2:13 Parallel Commentaries

The Locust-Swarms
JOEL ii. 12, 13. Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. This is one of the grandest chapters in the whole Old Testament, and one which may teach us a great deal; and, above all, teach us to be thankful to God for the blessings which
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

The Holy Spirit of Promise
The Holy Spirit was promised through the prophets. "Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."--Isa.
J. W. Byers—Sanctification

Whether Deeds Deadened by Sin, are Revived by Penance?
Objection 1: It would seem that deeds deadened by sin are not revived by Penance. Because just as past sins are remitted by subsequent Penance, so are deeds previously done in charity, deadened by subsequent sin. But sins remitted by Penance do not return, as stated above ([4804]Q[88], AA[1],2). Therefore it seems that neither are dead deeds revived by charity. Objection 2: Further, deeds are said to be deadened by comparison with animals who die, as stated above [4805](A[4]). But a dead animal cannot
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Benefits of Christ Made Available to us by the Secret Operation of the Spirit.
1. The Holy Spirit the bond which unites us with Christ. This the result of faith produced by the secret operation of the Holy Spirit. This obvious from Scripture. 2. In Christ the Mediator the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be seen in all their fulness. To what end. Why the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of the Father and the Son. 3. Titles of the Spirit,--1. The Spirit of adoption. 2. An earnest and seal. 3. Water. 4. Life. 5. Oil and unction. 6. Fire. 7. A fountain. 8. The word of God. Use
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Cross References
Genesis 37:34
So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.

Exodus 34:6
Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;

2 Samuel 1:11
Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so also did all the men who were with him.

Job 1:20
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Psalm 86:5
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

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