Joel 3

Listen to Joel 3

The Lord Judges the Nations

1 [a]"For behold, 1in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 2I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And 3I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land,
3 and 4have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.
4 "What are you to me, 5O Tyre and Sidon, and all 6the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, 7I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily.
5 For 8you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples.[b]
6 You have sold 9the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border.
7 Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and 10I will return your payment on your own head.
8 I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the 11Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the LORD has spoken."
9 Proclaim this among the nations: 12Consecrate for war;[c] stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.
10 13Beat your plowshares into swords, and 14your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, "I am a warrior."
11 15Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. 16Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
12 Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to 17the Valley of Jehoshaphat; 18for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
13 19Put in the sickle, 20for the harvest is ripe. 21Go in, tread, 22for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For 23the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 24The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
16 25The LORD roars from Zion, and 26utters his voice from Jerusalem, 27and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is 28a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.

The Glorious Future of Judah

17 29"So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, 30who dwells in Zion, 31my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and 32strangers shall never again pass through it.
18 "And in that day 33the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and 34all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; 35and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of 36Shittim.
19 37"Egypt shall become a desolation and 38Edom a desolate wilderness, 39for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 40But Judah shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem to all generations.
21 41I will avenge their blood, blood I have not avenged,[d] 42for the LORD dwells in Zion."

Joel 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

God's judgments in the latter days. (1-8) The extent of these judgments. (9-17) The blessings the church shall enjoy. (18-21)

Verses 1-8 The restoration of the Jews, and the final victory of true religion over all opposers, appear to be here foretold. The contempt and scorn with which the Jews have often been treated as a people, and the little value set upon them, are noticed. None ever hardened his heart against God or his church, and prospered long.

Verses 9-17 Here is a challenge to all the enemies of God's people. There is no escaping God's judgments; hardened sinners, in that day of wrath, shall be cut off from all comfort and joy. Most of the prophets foretell the same final victory of the church of God over all that oppose it. To the wicked it will be a terrible day, but to the righteous it will be a joyful day. What cause have those who possess an interest in Christ, to glory in their Strength and their Redeemer! The acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favour to some, will be a day of remarkable vengeance to others: let every one that is out of Christ awake, and flee from the wrath to come.

Verses 18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Jeremiah 30:3
  • 2. [Zephaniah 3:8]; See Zechariah 14:2-4
  • 3. Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:31
  • 4. Obadiah 11; Nahum 3:10
  • 5. Isaiah 23:1, 2; Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 1:9
  • 6. [Ezekiel 25:15, 16]
  • 7. [Obadiah 15]
  • 8. [2 Chronicles 21:16, 17]
  • 9. [ver. 3]
  • 10. [See ver. 4 above]
  • 11. See 1 Kings 10:1
  • 12. [Micah 3:5]
  • 13. [Isaiah 2:4]
  • 14. [Isaiah 2:4]
  • 15. [Isaiah 54:15]
  • 16. [Zechariah 14:5]
  • 17. ver. 2
  • 18. Psalms 96:13; Psalms 98:9; Psalms 110:6; Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 3:13; Micah 4:3
  • 19. Revelation 14:15
  • 20. [Jeremiah 51:33; Hosea 6:11; Matthew 13:30, 39; Mark 4:29; John 4:35; Revelation 14:15, 18]
  • 21. Revelation 14:20; [Isaiah 63:2, 3]
  • 22. Revelation 14:20; [Isaiah 63:2, 3]
  • 23. See Joel 1:15
  • 24. See Joel 2:10
  • 25. Joel 2:11; Amos 1:2; [Jeremiah 25:30]
  • 26. Joel 2:11; Amos 1:2; [Jeremiah 25:30]
  • 27. Joel 2:10
  • 28. Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 25:4
  • 29. Joel 2:27; [Ezekiel 6:7]
  • 30. ver. 21; [Ezekiel 43:7]
  • 31. Joel 2:1; Psalms 48:1; Isaiah 65:11; Jeremiah 31:23
  • 32. Isaiah 52:1; Nahum 1:15; Zechariah 14:21; [Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15]
  • 33. Jeremiah 31:12; Amos 9:13
  • 34. Isaiah 30:25
  • 35. Ezekiel 47:1
  • 36. See Numbers 25:1
  • 37. See Isaiah 19:1-17
  • 38. See Isaiah 34:5
  • 39. Obadiah 10
  • 40. Psalms 125:1, 2; Ezekiel 37:25
  • 41. Isaiah 4:4; Ezekiel 36:25, 29
  • 42. [See ver. 17 above]

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Ch 4:1 in Hebrew
  • [b]. Or palaces
  • [c]. Or Consecrate a war
  • [d]. Or I will acquit their bloodguilt that I have not acquitted

Chapter Summary


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, Joe 3:1-3; 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, Joe 3:4-8; an alarm to prepare for the battle of Armageddon, or the destruction that shall be made in the valley of Jehoshaphat, Joe 3:9-15; 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, Joe 3:16-21.

Joel 3 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.