Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
joe 1:1Came to Joel - Probably in the latter end of Jeroboam the second's reign over Israel and in the days of Uzziah, over Judah.
joe 1:2Old men - The oldest among you, who can remember things done many years ago.
joe 1:4Palmer - 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.
joe 1:5Is cut off - Suddenly cut off even when you are ready to drink it, and totally cut off by these devouring vermin.
joe 1:6A nation - An innumerable multitude of locusts and caterpillars, called a nation here, as Solomon calls the conies and the ant, Pro 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.
joe 1:8The husband of her youth - Espoused to her, but snatched away by an untimely death.
joe 1:9The drink - offering - By the destruction of the vines, all wine (out of which they ought to offer the drink - offering) failed.
joe 1:10The 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.
joe 1:11Be ye ashamed - This is a just cause why you should lament and enquire why God is so displeased with you.
joe 1:14Sanctify 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.
joe 1:15The 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.
joe 1:16Cut off - Devoured by locusts, or withered with drought.
joe 1:17Laid desolate - Run to ruin because the owners discouraged with the barrenness of the seasons, would not repair them.
joe 1:19The fire - The immoderate heats. The wilderness - The world, only means places not ploughed, and less inhabited than others.
joe 1:20Cry - They utter their complaints, their sad tones, they have a voice to cry, as well as an eye to look to God.