Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Joel 2:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion - This verse also shows that the temple was still standing. All assemblies of the people were collected by the sound of the trumpet.

The day of the Lord cometh - This phrase generally means a day of judgment or punishment.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Blow ye the trumpet - The trumpet was accustomed to sound in Zion, only for religious uses; to call together the congregations for holy meetings, to usher in the beginnings of their months and their solemn days with festival gladness. Now in Zion itself, the stronghold of the kingdom, the Holy City, the place which God chose to put His Name there, which He had promised to establish, the trumpet was to be used, only for sounds of alarm and fear. Alarm could not penetrate there, without having pervaded the whole land. With it, the whole human hope of Judah was gone.

Sound an alarm in My holy mountain - He repeats the warning in varied expressions, in order the more to impress people‘s hearts and to stir them to repentance. Even “the holy mountain” of God was to echo with alarms; the holiness, once bestowed upon it, was to be no security against the judgments of God; yea, in it rather were those judgments to begin. So Peter saith, “The time is come, that judgment must begin at the house of God” 1 Peter 4:17. The alarm being blown in Zion, terror was to spread to all the inhabitants of the land, who were, in fear, to repent. The Church of Christ is foretold in prophecy under the names of “Zion” and of the holy “mountain.” It is the “stone cut out without hands, which became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” Daniel 2:34-35. Of it, it is said, “Come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob!” Isaiah 2:3. And Paul says, “ye are come unto mount Zion and unto the city of the living God” Hebrews 12:22. The words then are a rule for all times. The judgments predicted by Joel represent all judgments unto the end; the conduct, prescribed on their approach, is a pattern to the Church at all times.: “In this mountain we must wail, considering the failure of the faithful, in which, “iniquity abounding, charity waxeth cold.” For now (1450 a.d.) the state of the Church is so sunken, and you may see so great misery in her from the most evil conversation of many, that one who burns with zeal for God, and truly loveth his brethren, must say with Jeremiah, “Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach” Jeremiah 14:17.

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble - o“We should be troubled when we hear the words of God, rebuking, threatening, avenging, as Jeremiah saith, ‹my heart within me is broken, all my bones shake, because of the Lord and because of the words of His holiness‘ Jeremiah 23:9. Good is the trouble which people, weighing their sins, are shaken with fear and trembling, and repent.”

For the Day of the Lord is at hand - “The Day of the Lord” is any day in which He avengeth sin, any day of Judgment, in the course of His Providence or at the end; the day of Jerusalem from the Chaldees or Romans, the day of antichrist, the day of general or particular judgment, of which James says, “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Behold the Judge standeth before the door” James 5:8-9.: “Well is that called “the day of the Lord,” in that, by the divine appointment, it avengeth the wrongs done to the Lord through the disobedience of His people.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The priests were to alarm the people with the near approach of the Divine judgments. It is the work of ministers to warn of the fatal consequences of sin, and to reveal the wrath from heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. The striking description which follows, shows what would attend the devastations of locusts, but may also describe the effects from the ravaging of the land by the Chaldeans. If the alarm of temporal judgments is given to offending nations, how much more should sinners be warned to seek deliverance from the wrath to come! Our business therefore on earth must especially be, to secure an interest in our Lord Jesus Christ; and we should seek to be weaned from objects which will soon be torn from all who now make idols of them. There must be outward expressions of sorrow and shame, fasting, weeping, and mourning; tears for trouble must be turned into tears for the sin that caused it. But rending the garments would be vain, except their hearts were rent by abasement and self-abhorrence; by sorrow for their sins, and separation from them. There is no question but that if we truly repent of our sins, God will forgive them; but whether he will remove affliction is not promised, yet the probability of it should encourage us to repent.
Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 311

In view of that great day the word of God, in the most solemn and impressive language, calls upon His people to arouse from their spiritual lethargy and to seek His face with repentance and humiliation: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.” “Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children: ... let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar.” “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.” Joel 2:1, 15-17, 12, 13. GC 311.1

To prepare a people to stand in the day of God, a great work of reform was to be accomplished. God saw that many of His professed people were not building for eternity, and in His mercy He was about to send a message of warning to arouse them from their stupor and lead them to make ready for the coming of the Lord. GC 311.2

This warning is brought to view in Revelation 14. Here is a threefold message represented as proclaimed by heavenly beings and immediately followed by the coming of the Son of man to reap “the harvest of the earth.” The first of these warnings announces the approaching judgment. The prophet beheld an angel flying “in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7. GC 311.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 410

Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure. The Lord knoweth them that are His. The sanctified minister must have no guile in his mouth. He must be open as the day, free from every taint of evil. A sanctified ministry and press will be a power in flashing the light of truth on this untoward generation. Light, brethren, more light we need. Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in the holy mountain. Gather the host of the Lord, with sanctified hearts, to hear what the Lord will say unto His people; for He has increased light for all who will hear. Let them be armed and equipped, and come up to the battle—to the help of the Lord against the mighty. God Himself will work for Israel. Every lying tongue will be silenced. Angels’ hands will overthrow the deceptive schemes that are being formed. The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third angel's message. As the Captain of the Lord's host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord's commandment-keeping people triumph, and all opposing elements be defeated. Let no soul complain of the servants of God who have come to them with a heaven-sent message. Do not any longer pick flaws in them, saying, “They are too positive; they talk too strongly.” They may talk strongly; but is it not needed? God will make the ears of the hearers tingle if they will not heed His voice or His message. He will denounce those who resist the word of God. TM 410.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 401

Said Miller in describing that work: “There is no great expression of joy: that is, as it were, suppressed for a future occasion, when all heaven and earth will rejoice together with joy unspeakable and full of glory. There is no shouting: that, too, is reserved for the shout from heaven. The singers are silent: they are waiting to join the angelic hosts, the choir from heaven.... There is no clashing of sentiments: all are of one heart and of one mind.”—Bliss, pages 270, 271. GC 401.1

Another who participated in the movement testified: “It produced everywhere the most deep searching of heart and humiliation of soul before the God of high heaven. It caused a weaning of affections from the things of this world, a healing of controversies and animosities, a confession of wrongs, a breaking down before God, and penitent, brokenhearted supplications to Him for pardon and acceptance. It caused self-abasement and prostration of soul, such as we never before witnessed. As God by Joel commanded, when the great day of God should be at hand, it produced a rending of hearts and not of garments, and a turning unto the Lord with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. As God said by Zechariah, a spirit of grace and supplication was poured out upon His children; they looked to Him whom they had pierced, there was a great mourning in the land, ... and those who were looking for the Lord afflicted their souls before Him.”—Bliss, in Advent Shield and Review, vol. I, p. 271 (January, 1845). GC 401.2

Of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the autumn of 1844. Even now, after the lapse of many years, all who shared in that movement and who have stood firm upon the platform of truth still feel the holy influence of that blessed work and bear witness that it was of God. GC 401.3

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