New American Standard Bible
With a noise as of chariots They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle.
King James Bible
Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
Darby Bible Translation
Like the noise of chariots, on the tops of the mountains, they leap; like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
World English Bible
Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains do they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
Young's Literal Translation
As the noise of chariots, on the tops of the mountains they skip, As the noise of a flame of fire devouring stubble, As a mighty people set in array for battle.
Joel 2:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains shall they leap - The amazing noise of the flight of locusts is likened by those who have heard them, to all sorts of deep sharp rushing sounds. One says , "their noise may be heard six miles off." Others , "within a hundred paces I heard the rushing noise occasioned by the flight of so many million of insects. When I was in the midst of them, it was as loud as the dashing of the waters occasioned by the mill-wheel." : "While passing over our heads, their sound was as of a great cataract." : "We heard a noise as of the rushing of a great wind at a distance." : "In flying they make a rushing rustling noise, as when a strong wind blows through trees." : "They cause a noise, like the rushing of a torrent." To add another vivid description , "When a swarm is advancing, it seems as though brown clouds were rising from the horizon, which, as they approach, spread more and more. They cast a veil over the sun and a shadow on the earth. Soon you see little dots, and observe a whizzing and life. Nearer yet, the sun is darkened; you hear a roaring and rushing like gushing water. On a sudden you find yourself surrounded with locusts."
Like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble - The sharp noise caused by these myriads of insects, while feeding, has also been noticed. : "You hear afar the noise which they make in browsing on the herbs and trees, as of an army which is foraging without restraint." : "When they alight upon the ground to feed, the plains are all covered, and they make a murmuring noise as they eat, when in two hours they devour all close to the ground." : "The noise which they make in devouring, ever announces their approach at some distance." : "They say, that not without a noise is their descent on the fields effected, and that there is a certain sharp sound, as they chew the grain as when the wind strongly fanneth a flame."
Their noise, Joel says, is like the "noise of chariots." Whence John says Revelation 9:9, the sound of their wings was as the sound of many horses rushing to battle. Their sound should be like the sound of war-chariots, hounding in their speed; but their inroad should be, where chariots could not go and man's foot could rarely reach, "on the tops of the mountains" . A mountain range is, next to the sea, the strongest natural protection. Mountains have been a limit to the mightiest powers. The Caucasus of old held in the Persian power; on the one side, all was enslaved, on the other, all was fearlessly free . Of late it enabled a few mountaineers to hold at bay the power of Russia. The pass of Thermopylae, until betrayed, enabled a handful of men to check the invasion of nearly two million.
The mountain-ridges of Spain were, from times before our Lord, the last home and rallying-place of the conquered or the birth-place of deliverance . God had assigned to His people a spot, central hereafter for the conversion of the world, yet where, meantime, they lay enveloped and sheltered "amid the mountains" which "His Right Hand purchased" Psalm 78:54. The Syrians owned that "their God" was "the God of the hills" 1 Kings 20:23; and the people confessed, "as the hills are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people" Psalm 125:2. Their protection was a symbol of His. But His protection withdrawn, nothing should be a hindrance to those whom He should send as a scourge. The prophet combines purposely things incompatible, the terrible heavy bounding of the scythed chariot, and the light speed with which these countless hosts should in their flight bound over the tops of the mountains, where God had made no path for man. Countless in number, boundless in might, are the instruments of God. The strongest national defenses give no security. Where then is safety, save in fleeing from God displeased to God appeased?
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.
They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
"Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrible.
Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble And dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard, And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones.
"They seize their bow and javelin; They are cruel and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, Marshalled like a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Babylon.
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