New American Standard Bible
They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each march in line, Nor do they deviate from their paths.
King James Bible
They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:
Darby Bible Translation
They run like mighty men; they climb the wall like men of war; and they march every one on his ways, and break not their ranks.
World English Bible
They run like mighty men. They climb the wall like warriors. They each march in his line, and they don't swerve off course.
Young's Literal Translation
As mighty ones they run, As men of war they go up a wall, And each in his own ways they do go, And they embarrass not their paths.
Joel 2:7 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
They shall run like mighty men - They are on God's message, and they linger not, "but rejoice to run their course" Psalm 19:5. "The height of walls cannot hinder the charge of the mighty; they enter not by the gates but over the walls" , as of a city taken by assault. People can mount a wall few at a time; the locusts scale much more steadily, more compactly, more determinately, and irresistibly. The picture unites the countless multitude, condensed march, and entire security of the locust with the might of warriors.
They shall march every one on his ways - There is something awful and majestic in the well-ordered flight of the winged locusts, or their march while yet unwinged. "This," says Jerome, "we have seen lately in this province (Palestine). For when the hosts of locusts came, and filled the air between heaven and earth, they flew, by the disposal of God ordaining, in such order, as to hold each his place, like the minute pieces of mosaic, fixed in the pavement by the artist's hands, so as not to incline to one another a hair's breadth." "You may see the locust," says Theodoret, "like enemies, both mounting the walls, and marching on the roads, and not allowing itself to be dispersed by any violence, but making the assault by a sort of concert." "It is said," says Cyril, "that they go in rank, and fly as in array, and are not severed from each other, but attend one on the other, like sisters, nature infusing into them this mutual love." : "They seemed to be impelled by one common instinct, and moved in one body, which had the appearance of being organized by a leader." : "There is something frightful in the appearance of these locusts proceeding in divisions, some of which are a league in length and 200 paces in breadth." : "They continued their journey, as if a signal had been actually given them to march."
So, of the young brood it is related; : "In June, their young broods begin gradually to make their appearance; no sooner were any of them hatched than they immediately collected themselves together, each of them forming a compact body of several hundred yards square, which, marching afterward directly forward, climbed over trees, walls and houses, ate up every plant in their way, "and let nothing escape them." : "They seemed to march in regular battalions, crawling over everything that lay in their passage, in one straight front." So the judgments of God hold on their course, each going straight to that person for whom God in the awful wisdom of His justice ordains it. No one judgment or chastisement comes by chance. Each is directed and adapted, weighed and measured, by Infinite Wisdom, and reaches just that soul, for which God appointed it, and no other, and strikes upon it with just that force which God ordains it. As we look on, God's judgments are like a heavy sleet of arrows; yet as each arrow, shot truly, found the mark at which it was aimed, so, and much more, does each lesser or greater judgment, sent by God, reach the heart for which He sends it and pierces it just as deeply as He wills.
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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"He breaks through me with breach after breach; He runs at me like a warrior.
The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks;
No one in it is weary or stumbles, None slumbers or sleeps; Nor is the belt at its waist undone, Nor its sandal strap broken.
They do not crowd each other, They march everyone in his path; When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks.
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