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Joel 1:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ye old men - Instead of הזקנים hazzekenim old men, a few MSS. have הכהנים haccohanim, ye priests, but improperly.

Hath this been in your days - He begins very abruptly; and before he proposes his subject, excites attention and alarm by intimating that he is about to announce disastrous events, such as the oldest man among them has never seen, nor any of them learnt from the histories of ancient times.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Hear this, ye old men - By reason of their age they had known and heard much; they had heard from their fathers, and their father‘s fathers, much which they had not known themselves. Among the people of the east, memories of past times were handed down from generation to generation, for periods, which to us would seem incredible. Israel was commanded, so to transmit the vivid memories of the miracles of God. The prophet appeals “to the old men, to hear,” and, (lest, anything should seem to have escaped them) to the whole people of the land, to give their whole attention to this thing, which he was about to tell them, and then, reviewing all the evils which each had ever heard to have been inflicted by God upon their forefathers, to say whether this thing had happened in their days or in the days of their fathers.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The most aged could not remember such calamities as were about to take place. Armies of insects were coming upon the land to eat the fruits of it. It is expressed so as to apply also to the destruction of the country by a foreign enemy, and seems to refer to the devastations of the Chaldeans. God is Lord of hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases, can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by the weakest and most contemptible creatures. It is just with God to take away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess; and the more men place their happiness in the gratifications of sense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them. The more earthly delights we make needful to satisfy us, the more we expose ourselves to trouble.
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