New American Standard Bible
Who knows whether He will not turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, Even a grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?
King James Bible
Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
Darby Bible Translation
Who knoweth? He might return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, an oblation and a drink-offering for Jehovah your God?
World English Bible
Who knows? He may turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, even a meal offering and a drink offering to Yahweh, your God.
Young's Literal Translation
Who knoweth -- He doth turn back, Yea -- He hath repented, And He hath left behind Him a blessing, A present and libation of Jehovah your God?
Joel 2:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Who knoweth if He will return - God has promised forgiveness of sins and of eternal punishment to those who turn to Him with their whole heart. Of this, then, there could be no doubt. But He has not promised either to individuals or to Churches, that He will remit the temporal punishment which He had threatened. He forgave David the sin. Nathan says, "The Lord also hath put away thy sin." But he said at the same time, "the sword shall never depart from thy house 2 Samuel 12:13, 2 Samuel 12:10; and the temporal punishment of his sin pursued him, even on the bed of death. David thought that the temporal punishment of his sin, in the death of the child, might be remitted to him. He used the same form of words as Joel, "I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious unto me, that the child may live?" 2 Samuel 12:22. But the child died. The king of Nineveh used the like words, "Who can tell if God will return and repent and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?" Jonah 3:9.
And he was heard. God retained or remitted the temporal punishment, as He saw good for each. This of the prophet Joel is of a mixed character. The "blessing" which they crave, he explains to be "the meat offering and the drink offering," which had been "cut off or withholden" from the house of their God. For "if He gave them wherewith to serve Him," after withdrawing it, it was clear that "He would accept of them and be pleased with their service." Yet this does not imply that He would restore all to them. A Jewish writer notes that after the captivity, "the service of sacrifices alone returned to them," but that "prophecy, (soon after), the ark, the Urim and Thummim, and the other things (the fire from heaven) were missing there." As a pattern, however, to all times, God teaches them to ask first what belongs to His kingdom and His righteousness, and to leave the rest to Him. So long as the means of serving Him were left, there was hope of all. Where the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ (whereof "the meat offering and the drink offering" were symbols) remains, there are "the pledges of His love," the earnest of all other blessing.
He says, "leave a blessing behind Him," speaking of God as one estranged, who had been long absent and who returns, giving tokens of His forgiveness and renewed good-pleasure. God often visits the penitent soul and, by some sweetness with which the soul is bathed, leaves a token of His renewed presence. God is said to repent, not as though He varied in Himself, but because He deals variously with us, as we receive His inspirations and follow His drawings, or no.
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
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The Benefits of Christ Made Available to us by the Secret Operation of the Spirit.
if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
'Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.'
"Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will change His mind about the misfortune which He has pronounced against you.
The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off From the house of the LORD. The priests mourn, The ministers of the LORD.
Gird yourselves with sackcloth And lament, O priests; Wail, O ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth O ministers of my God, For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God.
Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
"Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish."
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