Joel 2:11

11 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?

Read Joel 2:11 Using Other Translations

And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it?
The LORD is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is his mighty army, and they follow his orders. The day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?

What does Joel 2:11 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Joel 2:11

And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army
Either the army of the locusts, whom Pliny F21 calls "pestis deorum", "the plague of the gods"; and the Arabians frequently style them the army of God. It is a tradition of theirs that locusts fell into the hands of Mahomet, with this inscription on their backs and wings,

``we are the army of the most high God;''
and because they were, for that reason Mahomet made a law that none should kill them; (See Gill on Revelation 9:3). These creatures are certainly at his beck and command; he can "command the locust to devour the land", ( 2 Chronicles 7:13 ) ; which may be meant by his uttering his voice here; though Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the Lord's giving notice of this judgment by his prophets before it fame: or this may design the army of the Assyrians or Chaldeans, of which the locusts were all emblem, and which were of the Lord's mustering together, and was at his command; and who is here represented as a General at the head of his army, making a speech to them to animate and encourage them to the battle, and to give them the word of command when to begin the onset: for his camp [is] very great;
or numerous, as both the locusts and Chaldeans were: for [he is] strong that executeth his word;
or "strong is it"; namely, the camp and army of the locusts; which, though feeble in themselves, separately considered; yet being in such large bodies, and the Lord at the head of them, and strengthened by him, were able to fulfil his word; which he can make the least and meanest of his creatures do: or the Assyrian or Chaldean army, which was both numerous and mighty: which the Targum may refer unto, paraphrasing the words,
``for strong are the executors of his word:''
for the day of the Lord [is] great and very terrible, and who can abide
it?
the day appointed by the Lord to take vengeance on the Jews for sin; and this, being the day of his wrath, is very dreadful and intolerable; so any season may be called, in which God remarkably pours down his wrath on men of their sins; see ( Revelation 6:17 ) . Such was the time of Jerusalem's destruction, both by the Chaldeans and Romans.
FOOTNOTES:

F21 Ibid. (Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29.)
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