A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and
Alluding to the gloomy and thick darkness caused by the locusts, which sometimes come in prodigious numbers, like thick clouds, and darken the air; so the land of Egypt was darkened by them, ( Exodus 10:15 ) ; historians and travellers relate, as Bochart F6 has shown, that these creatures will fly like a cloud, and darken the heavens at noonday, cover the sun, and hinder the rays of it from touching the earth; though all these phrases may be expressive of great afflictions and calamities, which are often in Scripture signified by darkness, as prosperity is by light; see ( Isaiah 8:22 ) ( 9:1 ) ; as the morning spread upon the mountains;
as the morning light, when it first appears, diffuses itself in a moment throughout the earth, and is first seen on the tops of the mountains F7; so these locusts, and this calamity threatened, should suddenly and at once come, and be spread over the whole land; and which could no more be resisted than the morning light. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, in connection with the next clause, "as the morning spread upon the mountains, a people much and mighty"; but the accents will not admit of it; though it may seem a little improper that the same thing should be as a dark day, and: the morning light; wherefore Cocceius understands the whole of the day of Christ, which was light to many nations, and darkness to the wicked Jews: a great people and a strong;
numerous and mighty, many in number, mighty in strength; so the locusts are represented as a nation and people for might and multitude, ( Joel 1:6 ) ; an emblem of the Chaldeans and Babylonians, who were a large and powerful people: there hath not been ever the like, neither shall any more after it,
[even] to the years of many generations;
that is, in the land of Judea; otherwise there might have been the like before in other places, as in Egypt, and since in other countries. Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, account for it thus; that it was never known, before or since, that four kinds of locusts came together; as for the plague of Egypt, there was but one sort of them, they say; but it is best to understand it of the like not having been in the same country: and such a numerous and powerful army as that of the Chaldeans had not been in Judea, and made such havoc and desolation as that did; nor would any hereafter, for many generations, even until the Romans came and took away their place and nation.