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Joel 1:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth For the bridegroom of her youth.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Wail thou, like a virgin girded with sackcloth, for the owner of her youth.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Wail, as a virgin girdeth with sackcloth, For the husband of her youth.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Lament like a virgine girded with sackecloth for the husband of her youth.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Lament to me more than a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Lament 421
{0421} Prime
A primitive root (rather identical with H0422 through the idea of invocation); to bewail.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
like a virgin 1330
{1330} Prime
Feminine passive participle of an unused root meaning to separate; a virgin (from her privacy); sometimes (by continuation) a bride; also (figuratively) a city or state.
girded 2296
{2296} Prime
A primitive root; to gird on (as a belt, armor, etc.).
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
with sackcloth 8242
{8242} Prime
From H8264; properly a mesh (as allowing a liquid to run through), that is, coarse loose cloth or sacking (used in mourning and for bagging); hence a bag (for grain, etc.).
for x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the husband 1167
{1167} Prime
From H1166; a master; hence a husband, or (figuratively) owner (often used with another noun in modifications of this latter sense.
of her youth. 5271
{5271} Prime
Properly passive participle from H5288 as denominative; (only in plural collectively or emphatically) youth, the state (juvenility) or the persons (young people).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Joel 1:8

_ _ Lament — O “my land” (Joel 1:6; Isaiah 24:4).

_ _ virgin ... for the husband — A virgin betrothed was regarded as married (Deuteronomy 22:23; Matthew 1:19). The Hebrew for “husband” is “lord” or “possessor,” the husband being considered the master of the wife in the East.

_ _ of her youth — when the affections are strongest and when sorrow at bereavement is consequently keenest. Suggesting the thought of what Zion’s grief ought to be for her separation from Jehovah, the betrothed husband of her early days (Jeremiah 2:2; Ezekiel 16:8; Hosea 2:7; compare Proverbs 2:17; Jeremiah 3:4).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Joel 1:8-13

_ _ The judgment is here described as very lamentable, and such as all sorts of people should share in; it shall not only rob the drunkards of their pleasure (if that were the worst of it, it might be the better borne), but it shall deprive others of their necessary subsistence, who are therefore called to lament (Joel 1:8), as a virgin laments the death of her lover to whom she was espoused, but not completely married, yet so that he was in effect her husband, or as a young woman lately married, from whom the husband of her youth, her young husband, or the husband to whom she was married when she was young, is suddenly taken away by death. Between a new-married couple that are young, that married for love, and that are every way amiable and agreeable to each other, there is great fondness, and consequently great grief if either be taken away. Such lamentation shall there be for the loss of their corn and wine. Note, The more we are wedded to our creature-comforts that harder it is to part with them. See that parallel place, Isaiah 32:10-12. Two sorts of people are here brought in, as concerned to lament this devastation, countrymen and clergymen.

_ _ I. Let the husbandmen and vine-dressers lament, Joel 1:11. Let them be ashamed of the care and pains they have taken about their vineyards, for it will be all labour lost, and they shall gain no advantage by it; they shall see the fruit of their labour eaten up before their eyes, and shall not be able to save any of it. Note, Those who labour only for the meat that perishes will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their labour. The vine-dressers will then express their extreme grief by howling, when they see their vineyards stripped of leaves and fruit, and the vines withered, so that nothing is to be had or hoped for from them, wherewith they might pay their rent and maintain their families. The destruction is particularly described here: The field is laid waste (Joel 1:10); all is consumed that is produced; the land mourns; the ground has a melancholy aspect, and looks ruefully; all the inhabitants of the land are in tears for what they have lost, are in fear of perishing for want, Isaiah 24:4; Jeremiah 4:28. “The corn, the bread-corn, which is the staff of life, is wasted; the new wine, which should be brought into the cellars for a supply when the old is drunk, is dried up, is ashamed of having promised so fair what it is not now able to perform; the oil languishes, or is diminished, because (as the Chaldee renders it) the olives have fallen off.” The people were not thankful to God as they should have been for the bread that strengthens man's heart, the wine that makes glad the heart, and the oil that makes the face to shine (Psalms 104:14, Psalms 104:15); and therefore they are justly brought to lament the loss and want of them, of all the products of the earth, which God had given either for necessity or for delight (this is repeated, Joel 1:11, Joel 1:12) — the wheat and barley, the two principal grains bread was then made of, wheat for the rich and barley for the poor, so that the rich and poor meet together in the calamity. The trees are destroyed, not only the vine and the fig-tree (as before, Joel 1:7), which were more useful and necessary, but other trees also that were for delight — the pomegranate, palm-tree, and apple-tree, yea, all the trees of the field, as well as those of the orchard, timber-trees as well as fruit-trees. In short, all the harvest of the field has perished, Joel 1:11. And by this means joy has withered away from the children of men (Joel 1:11); the joy of harvest, which is used to express great and general joy, has come to nothing, is turned into shame, is turned into lamentation. Note, The perishing of the harvest is the withering of the joy of the children of men. Those that place their happiness in the delights of the sense, when they are deprived of them, or in any way disturbed in the enjoyment of them, lose all their joy; whereas the children of God, who look upon the pleasures of sense with holy indifference and contempt, and know what it is to make God their hearts' delight, can rejoice in him as the God of their salvation even when the fig-tree does not blossom; spiritual joy is so far from withering then, that it flourishes more than ever, Habakkuk 3:17, Habakkuk 3:18. Let us see here, 1. What perishing uncertain things all our creature-comforts are. We can never be sure of the continuance of them. Here the heavens had given their rains in due season, the earth had yielded her strength, and, when the appointed weeks of harvest were at hand, they saw no reason to doubt but that they should have a very plentiful crop; yet then they are invaded by these unthought-of enemies, that lay all waste, and not by fire and sword. It is our wisdom not to lay up our treasure in those things which are liable to so many untoward accidents. 2. See what need we have to live in continual dependence upon God and his providence, for our own hands are not sufficient for us. When we see the full corn in the ear, and think we are sure of it — nay, when we have brought it home, if he blow upon it, nay, if he do not bless it, we are not likely to have any good of it. 3. See what ruinous work sin makes. A paradise is turned into a wilderness, a fruitful land, the most fruitful land upon earth, into barrenness, for the iniquity of those that dwelt therein.

_ _ II. Let the priests, the Lord's ministers, lament, for they share deeply in the calamity: Gird yourselves with sackcloth (Joel 1:13); nay, they do mourn, Joel 1:9. Observe, The priests are called the ministers of the altar, for on that they attended, and the ministers of the Lord (of my God, says the prophet), for in attending on the altar they served him, did is work, and did him honour. Note, Those that are employed in holy things are therein God's ministers, and on him they attend. The ministers of the altar used to rejoice before the Lord, and to spend their time very much in singing; but now they must lament and howl, for the meat-offering and drink-offering were cut off from the house of the Lord (Joel 1:9), and the same again (Joel 1:13), from the house of your God. “He is your God in a particular manner; you are in a nearer relation to him than other Israelites are; and therefore it is expected that you should be more concerned than others for that which is a hindrance to the service of his sanctuary.” It is intimated, 1. That the people, as long as they had the fruits of the earth brought in in their season, presented to the Lord his dues out of them, and brought the offerings to the altar and tithes to those that served at the altar. Note, A people may be filling up the measure of their iniquity apace, and yet may keep up a course of external performances in religion. 2. That, when the meat and drink failed, the meat-offering and drink-offering failed of course; and this was the sorest instance of the calamity. Note, As far as any public trouble is an obstruction to the course of religion it is to be upon that account, more than any other, sadly lamented, especially by the priests, the Lord's ministers. As far as poverty occasions the decay of piety and the neglect of divine offices, and starves the cause of religion among a people, it is indeed a sore judgment. When the famine prevailed God could not have his sacrifices, nor could the priests have their maintenance; and therefore let the Lord's ministers mourn.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Joel 1:8

The husband of her youth — Espoused to her, but snatched away by an untimely death.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Joel 1:8

Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the (e) husband of her youth.

(e) Mourn grievously as a woman who has lost her husband, to whom she has been married in her youth.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Joel 1:13-15 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. ... Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD [is] at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
Joel 2:12-14 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye [even] to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: ... Who knoweth [if] he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; [even] a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
Isaiah 24:7-12 The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. ... In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.
Isaiah 32:11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird [sackcloth] upon [your] loins.
Jeremiah 9:17-19 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning [women], that they may come: ... For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast [us] out.
James 4:8-9 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. ... Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness.
James 5:1 Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you].

the husband:

Proverbs 2:17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
Jeremiah 3:4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou [art] the guide of my youth?
Malachi 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
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Pv 2:17. Is 22:12; 24:7; 32:11. Jr 3:4; 9:17. Jol 1:13; 2:12. Mal 2:15. Jm 4:8; 5:1.

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