3:1 For, behold, in a those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
(a) When I will deliver my Church, which consists of both Jews and Gentiles. 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the b valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
3:3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have c given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.
(b) It appears that he alludes to the great victory of Jehoshaphat, whom God used without mans help to destroy the enemies, ( 2 Chronicles 20:20-26 ); also he is referring to this word Jehoshaphat, which signifies pleading or judgment, because God would judge the enemies of his Church, as he did there.
(c) That which the enemy received for the sale of my people, they bestowed upon harlots and drink. 3:4 Yea, and d what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me e a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly [and] speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;
(d) He takes the cause of his Church in hand against the enemy, as though the injury were done to himself. 3:8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they f shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken [it].
(e) Have I done you wrong, that you will render me the same?
(f) For afterward God sold them by Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great, because of the love he had for his people, and by this they were comforted, as though they themselves had sold them. 3:10 g Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I [am] strong.
(g) When I will execute my judgments against my enemies, I will cause everyone to be ready, and to prepare their weapons to destroy one another, for my Churchs sake. 3:13 Put ye in the h sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great.
(h) In this way he will encourage the enemies when their wickedness is completely ripe to destroy one another, which he calls the valley of Gods judgment. 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the i hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
(i) God assures his own against all trouble, that when he destroys his enemies, his children will be delivered. 3:17 So shall ye know that I [am] the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass k through her any more.
(k) The strangers will no longer destroy his Church: and if they do, it is the fault of the people, who by their sins make the breach for the enemy. 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall l drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
3:19 m Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence [against] the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
(l) He promises to his Church abundance of graces, See , which would water and comfort the most barren places; ( Amos 9:13 ).
(m) The malicious enemies will have no part of these graces. 3:21 For I will n cleanse their blood [that] I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.
(n) He had allowed his Church before this to lie in their filthiness, but now he promises to cleanse them and to make them pure unto himself.