Came to Joel - Probably in the latter end of Jeroboam the second's reign over Israel and in the days of Uzziah, over Judah.
Old men - The oldest among you, who can remember things done many years ago.
Palmer-worm - Four sorts of insects, are here mentioned, which succeeded each other, and devoured all that might be a support to the Jews, whence ensued a grievous famine.
Is cut off - Suddenly cut off even when you are ready to drink it, and totally cut off by these devouring vermin.
A nation - An innumerable multitude of locusts and caterpillars, called a nation here, as Solomon calls the conies and the ant, Proverbs 30:25,26, and perhaps a prognostick of a very numerous and mighty nation, that ere long will invade Judah. Strong - Mighty in power, and undaunted in courage, if you refer it to the Assyrian or Babylonians; if to those vermin, they are, though each weak by itself, yet in those multitudes, strong and irresistible. A great lion - Such waste as lions make, these the locusts do, and the Assyrians will make.
The husband of her youth - Espoused to her, but snatched away by an untimely death.
The drink-offering - By the destruction of the vines, all wine (out of which they ought to offer the drink-offering) failed.
The corn - The wheat and barley, is eaten up in its greenness. Dried up - The drought was so great, that the vines were withered, and all their hopes of new wine cut off. The oil - The olive-trees. Languisheth - This is a plain account of the reason why the priests were called to mourn, and why the meal-offering and drink-offering were cut off.
Be ye ashamed - This is a just cause why you should lament and enquire why God is so displeased with you.
Sanctify ye - Ye priests, set apart a day wherein to afflict yourselves, confess your sins, and sue out your pardon. Into the house - The courts of the temple, where the people were wont to pray.
The day of the Lord - A day of greater trouble than yet they felt, troubles which God will heap upon them. Shall it come - Unless fasting, prayers and amendment prevent.
Cut off - Devoured by locusts, or withered with drought.
Laid desolate - Run to ruin because the owners discouraged with the barrenness of the seasons, would not repair them.
The fire - The immoderate heats. The wilderness - The world, only means places not ploughed, and less inhabited than others.
Cry - They utter their complaints, their sad tones, they have a voice to cry, as well as an eye to look to God.