Joel 3 (New International Reader's Version)

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The LORD Judges the Nations

1 "At that time I will bless Judah and Jerusalem with great success again. 2 I will gather all of the nations together. I will bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them. I will punish them for what they have done to my people Israel. They scattered them among the nations. They divided up my land among themselves. 3 They cast lots for my people. They sold boys into slavery to get prostitutes. They sold girls to buy some wine to drink. 4 "Tyre and Sidon, why are you doing things like that to me? And why are you doing them, all of you people in Philistia? Are you trying to get even with me for something I have done? If you are, I will pay you back for it in a quick and speedy way. 5 You took my silver and gold. You carried off my finest treasures to your temples. 6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks. You wanted to send them far away from their own country. 7 "But now I will stir them up into action. I will bring them back from the places you sold them to. And I will do to you what you did to them. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah. And they will sell them to the Sabeans far away." The LORD has spoken. 9 Announce this among the nations. Tell them to prepare for battle. Nations, get your soldiers ready! Bring all of your fighting men together and march out to attack. 10 Hammer your plows into swords. Hammer your pruning tools into spears. Let those who are weak say, "We are soldiers!" 11 Come quickly, all of you surrounding nations. Gather together in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Lord, send your soldiers down from heaven! 12 The LORD says, "Stir up the nations into action! Let them march into the valley where I will judge them. I will take my seat in court. I will judge all of the surrounding nations. 13 My soldiers, swing your sickles. The nations are ripe for harvest. Come. Stomp on them as if they were grapes. Crush them until the winepress of my anger is full. Do it until the wine spills over from the places where it is stored. The nations have committed far too many sins!" 14 Huge numbers of soldiers are gathered in the valley where the LORD will hand down his sentence. The day of the LORD is near in that valley. 15 The sun and moon will become dark. The stars won't shine anymore. 16 The LORD will roar like a lion from Jerusalem. His voice will sound like thunder from Zion. The earth and sky will tremble. But the LORD will keep the people of Israel safe. He will be a place of safety for them.

The LORD Blesses His People

17 The LORD says, "You will know that I am the LORD your God. I live in Zion. It is my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be my holy city. People from other lands will never attack it again. 18 "At that time fresh wine will drip from the mountains. Milk will flow down from the hills. Water will run through all of Judah's valleys. A fountain will flow out of my temple. It will water the places where acacia trees grow. 19 But Egypt will be deserted. Edom will become a dry and empty desert. They did terrible harm to the people of Judah. My people were not guilty of doing anything wrong. But Egypt and Edom spilled their blood anyway. 20 My people will live in Judah and Jerusalem forever. The land will be their home for all time to come. 21 Egypt and Edom have spilled my people's blood. I will punish them for it." THE LORD LIVES IN ZION!
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