on Joel 1 :11
on Joel 1 :11
Be ye ashamed, O ye farmers - The prophet dwells on and expands the description of the troubles which he had foretold, setting before their eyes the picture of one universal dessolation. For the details of sorrow most touch the heart, and he wished to move them to repentance. He pictures them to themselves; some standing aghast and ashamed of the fruitlessness of their toil others giving way to bursts of sorrow, and all things around waste and dried. Nothing was exempt. Wheat and barley, widespread as they were (and the barley in those countries, "more fertile" than the wheat,) perished utterly. The rich juice of the vine, the luscious sweetness of the fig the succulence of the ever-green pomegranate, the majesty of the palm tree, the fragrance of the eastern apple, exempted them not. All, fruitbearing or barren, were dried up, for joy itself, and every source of joy was dried up from the sons of men.
All these suggest a spiritual meaning. For we know of a spiritual harvest, souls born to God, and a spiritual vineyard, the Church of God; and spiritual farmers and vinedressers, those whom God sends. The trees, with their various fruits were emblems of the faithful, adorned with the various gifts and graces of the Spirit. All well-nigh were dried up. Wasted without, in act and deed, the sap of the Spirit ceased within; the true laborers, those who were jealous for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts were ashamed and grieved. : "Husbandmen" and "vinedressers," are priests and preachers; "farmers" as instructors in morals, "vinedressers" for that joy in things eternal, which they infuse into the minds of the bearers. "Husbandmen," as instructing the soul to deeds of righteousness; vinedressers, as exciting the minds of hearers to the love of wisdom. Or, "farmers," in that by their doctrine they uproot earthly deeds and desires; "vinedressers," as holding forth spiritual gifts." "The vine is the richness of divine knowledge; the fig the sweetness of contemplation and the joyousness in things eternal." The pomegranate, with its manifold grains contained under its one bark, may designate the variety and harmony of graces, disposed in their beautiful order. "The palm, rising above the world." : "Well is the life of the righteous likened to a palm, in that the palm below is rough to the touch, and in a manner enveloped in dry bark, but above it is adorned with fruit, fair even to the eye; below it is compressed by the enfoldings of its bark; above, it is spread nut in amplitude of beautiful greenness. For so is the life of the elect, despised below, beautiful above. Down below, it is, as it were, enfolded in many barks, in that it is straitened by innumerable afflictions. But on high it is expanded into a foliage, as it were, of beautiful greenness by the amplitude of the rewarding."
on Joel 1 :11
1:11 Be ye ashamed - This is a just cause why you should lament and enquire why God is so displeased with you.