1 "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgment on them there for my people, and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations. They have divided my land, 3 and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a prostitute, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. 4 "Yes, and what are you to me, Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Will you repay me? And if you repay me, I will swiftly and speedily return your repayment on your own head. 5 Because you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my finest treasures into your temples, 6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the sons of the Greeks, that you may remove them far from their border. 7 Behold, I will stir them up out of the place where you have sold them, and will return your repayment on your own head; 8 and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the men of Sheba, to a faraway nation, for Yahweh has spoken it." 9 Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Stir up the mighty men. Let all the warriors draw near. Let them come up. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' 11 Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves together." Cause your mighty ones to come down there, Yahweh. 12 "Let the nations arouse themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 13 Put in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the winepress is full, the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great." 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of Yahweh is near, in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. 16 Yahweh will roar from Zion, and thunder from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth will shake; but Yahweh will be a refuge to his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel. 17 "So you will know that I am Yahweh, your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain. Then Jerusalem will be holy, and no strangers will pass through her any more. 18 It will happen in that day, that the mountains will drop down sweet wine, the hills will flow with milk, all the brooks of Judah will flow with waters, and a fountain will come forth from the house of Yahweh, and will water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt will be a desolation, and Edom will be a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah will be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 I will cleanse their blood, that I have not cleansed: for Yahweh dwells in Zion."
The prophecy in this chapter is thought by some to relate to the latter times of the world, when God shall finally deliver his people from all their adversaries; and it must be confessed that the figures employed are so lofty as to render it impossible to restrain the whole of their import to any events prior to the commencement of the Christian era. The whole prophecy is delivered in a very beautiful strain of poetry; by what particular events are referred to is at present very uncertain, vv. 1-21.
INTRODUCTION TO JOEL 3
This chapter, which some make the fourth, contains a prophecy of God's judgments on all the antichristian nations at the time of the Jews' conversion, and the reasons of them, Joel 3:1; a threatening of Tyre and Zidon, by way of retaliation, for carrying the riches of the Jews into their temples, and selling their persons to the Greeks, Joel 3:4; an alarm to prepare for the battle of Armageddon, or the destruction that shall be made in the valley of Jehoshaphat, Joel 3:9; and after that an account of the happy state of the church of Christ, their safety and security, plenty, prosperity, and purity, to the end of the world, Joel 3:16.
*More commentary available by clicking individual verses.