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Verses 4-6

Joel 2:4-6. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses

Bochart and many other writers mention the resemblance which the head of a locust bears to that of a horse; whence the Italians call them cavalette. Like the noise of chariots on the mountains shall they leap Or, as the clause may be better rendered, They shall leap on the tops of mountains with the noise of chariots. The locusts being represented as an army attacking the country, and chariots being anciently a part of warlike preparations, the text says that these locusts shall resemble them in their swiftness, noise, and terror. Pliny mentions ( Natural History, lib. 40. cap. 29) locusts “making a noise with their wings, as if they were winged fowls.” Like the noise of a flame of fire, &c. Like the crackling of the fire burning up stubble. Cyril says of them, that while they are breaking their food with their teeth, the noise is like that of flame driven about by the wind. See Bochart on the place. The Baron de Tott, quoted by Harmer, speaking of the clouds of locusts coming from Tartary toward Constantinople, observes, “To the noise of their flight succeeds that of their devouring activity; it resembles the rattling of hailstones, but its consequences are infinitely more destructive. Fire itself eats not so fast, nor is there a vestige of vegetation to be found, when they again take their flight, and go elsewhere to produce like disasters.” As a strong people set in battle array Their noise is like that of the shouts of an army going to be engaged. These expressions are undoubtedly hyperbolical; but yet the noise which such a vast multitude of locusts would make must needs be very great. Before their face the people shall be much pained At seeing their vast multitudes, and the havoc they make of the fruits of the earth, the inhabitants of the land shall be in great pain and anguish, and shall be seized with such a dread and fear as shall make their visage look black and ghastly, like that of persons who are dying.

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