Joel 2:13


King James Version (KJV)

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents him of the evil.

American King James Version (AKJV)

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents him of the evil.

American Standard Version (ASV)

and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Jehovah your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Let your hearts be broken, and not your clothing, and come back to the Lord your God: for he is full of grace and pity, slow to be angry and great in mercy, ready to be turned from his purpose of punishment.

Webster's Revision

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth of the evil.

World English Bible

Tear your heart, and not your garments, and turn to Yahweh, your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and relents from sending calamity.

English Revised Version (ERV)

and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God, for he is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, and repenteth him of the evil.

Definitions for Joel 2:13

Rend - To divide; break or tear apart.

Clarke's Joel 2:13 Bible Commentary

Rend your heart - Let it not be merely a rending of your garments, but let your hearts be truly contrite. Merely external worship and hypocritical pretensions will only increase the evil, and cause God to meet you with heavier judgments.

For he is gracious - Good and benevolent in his own nature.

Merciful - Pitying and forgiving, as the effect of goodness and benevolence.

Slow to anger - He is not easily provoked to punish, because he is gracious and merciful.

Of great kindness - Exuberant goodness to all them that return to him.

And repenteth him of the evil - Is ever ready to change his purpose to destroy, when he finds the culprit willing to be saved. See the notes on Exodus 34:6, Exodus 34:7.

Barnes's Joel 2:13 Bible Commentary

And rend your hearts and not your garments - that is, "not your garments only" (see the note at Hosea 6:6). The rending of the clothes was an expression of extraordinary uncontrollable emotion, chiefly of grief, of terror, or of horror. At least, in Holy Scripture it is not mentioned as a part of ordinary mourning, but only upon some sudden overpowering grief, whether public or private . It was not used on occasion of death, unless there were something very grievous about its circumstances. At times it was used as an outward expression, one of deep grief, as when the leper was commanded to keep his clothes rent Leviticus 13:45, or when David, to express his abhorrence at the murder of Abner, commanded "all the people with him, rend your clothes;" Ahab used it, with fasting and haircloth, on God's sentence by Elijah and obtained a mitigation of the temporal punishment of his sin; Jeremiah marvels that neither "the king," Jehoiakim, "nor any of his servants, rent their garments" Jeremiah 36:24, on reading the roll containing the woes which God had by him pronounced against Judah. The holy garments of the priests were on no occasion to be rent Leviticus 10:6; Leviticus 21:10; (probably because the wholeness was a symbol of perfection, from where care was to be taken that the ephod should not accidentally be torn Exodus 28:32; Exodus 39:23) so that the act of Caiaphas was the greater hypocrisy Matthew 26:65; Mark 14:63.

He used it probably to impress his own blasphemous accusation on the people, as for a good end, the Apostles Paul and Barnabas rent their Acts 14:14 clothes, when they heard that, after the cure of the impotent man, the priest of Jupiter with the people would have done sacrifice unto them. Since then apostles used this act, Joel plainly doth not forbid the use of such outward behavior, by which their repentance might be expressed, but only requires that it be done not in outward show only, but accompanied with the inward affections. : "The Jews are bidden then to rend their hearts rather than their garments, and to set the truth of repentance in what is inward, rather than in what is outward." But since the rending of the garments was the outward sign of very vehement grief, it was no commonplace superficial sorrow, which the prophet enjoined, but one which should pierce and rend the inmost soul, and empty it of its sins and its love for sin. : Any very grieving thing is said to cut one's heart, to "cut him to the heart."

A truly penitent heart is called a "broken and a contrite heart." Such a penitent rends and "rips up by a narrow search the recesses of the heart, to discover the abominations thereof," and pours out before God "the diseased and perilous stuff" pent up and festering there, "expels the evil thoughts lodged in it, and opens it in all things to the reception of divine grace. This rending is no other than the spiritual circumcision to which Moses exhorts. Whence of the Jews, not thus rent in heart, it is written in Jeremiah, 'All the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart' Jeremiah 9:26. This rending then is the casting out of the sins and passions."

And turn unto the Lord your God - God owns Himself as still their God, although they had turned and were gone from Him in sin and were alienated from Him. To Him, the true, Unchangeable God, if they returned, they would find Him still "their God." "Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backsliding," God saith by Jeremiah; "Behold, Israel answers, we come unto Thee, for Thou art the Lord our God" Jeremiah 3:22.

For He is very gracious and very merciful - Both these words are intensive. All the words, "very gracious, very merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness," are the same and in the same order as in that revelation to Moses, when, on the renewal of the two tables of the law, "the Lord descended in the cloud and proclaimed the name of the Lord" Exodus 34:5-6). The words are frequently repeated, showing how deeply that revelation sunk in the pious minds of Israel. They are, in part, pleaded to God by Moses himself Numbers 14:18; David, at one time, pleaded them all to God Psalm 85:1-13 :15; elsewhere he repeats them of God, as in this place Psalm 103:8; Psalm 145:8. Nehemiah, in praising God for His forgiving mercies, prefixes the title, "God of pardons" Nehemiah 9:17, and adds, "and Thou forsakedst them not;" as Joel, for the special object here, adds, "and repenteth Him of the evil." A Psalmist, and Hezekiah in his message to Isaiah, and Nehemiah in the course of that same prayer, repeat the two words of intense mercy, "very gracious and very merciful" Psalm 111:4; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 9:31, which are used of God only, except once by that same Psalmist Psalm 112:4, with the express object of showing how the good man conformeth himself to God. The word "very gracious" expresses God's free love, whereby He sheweth Himself good to us; "very merciful" expresses the tender yearning of His love over our miseries (see the note at Hosea 2:19); "great kindness," expresses God's tender love, as love.

He first says, that God is "slow to anger" or "long-suffering," enduring long the wickedness and rebellion of man, and waiting patiently for the conversion and repentance of sinners. Then he adds, that God is "abundant in kindness," having manifold resources and expedients of His tender love, whereby to win them to repentance. Lastly He is "repentant of the evil." The evil which lie foretells, and at last inflicts, is (so to speak) against His Will, "Who willeth not that any should perish," and, therefore, on the first tokens of repentance "He repenteth Him of the evil," and doeth it not.

The words rendered, "of great kindness," are better rendered elsewhere, "abundant, plenteous in goodness, mercy" Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8. Although the mercy of God is in itself one and simple, yet it is called abundant on account of its divers effects. For God knoweth how in a thousand ways to succor His own. Whence the Psalmist prays, "According to the multitude of Thy mercies, turn Thou unto me" Psalm 25:7, Psalm 25:16. "According to the multitude of Thy tender mercies, do away mine offences" Psalm 51:1.

Wesley's Joel 2:13 Bible Commentary

2:13 And repenteth him - He turneth from executing the fierceness of his wrath.

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