Joel 3

Listen to Joel 3
1 “At the time of those events,” says the LORD, “when I restore the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land.
3 They threw dice to decide which of my people would be their slaves. They traded boys to obtain prostitutes and sold girls for enough wine to get drunk.
4 “What do you have against me, Tyre and Sidon and you cities of Philistia? Are you trying to take revenge on me? If you are, then watch out! I will strike swiftly and pay you back for everything you have done.
5 You have taken my silver and gold and all my precious treasures, and have carried them off to your pagan temples.
6 You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, so they could take them far from their homeland.
7 “But I will bring them back from all the places to which you sold them, and I will pay you back for everything you have done.
8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the people of Arabia, a nation far away. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
9 Say to the nations far and wide: “Get ready for war! Call out your best warriors. Let all your fighting men advance for the attack.
10 Hammer your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Train even your weaklings to be warriors.
11 Come quickly, all you nations everywhere. Gather together in the valley.” And now, O LORD, call out your warriors!
12 “Let the nations be called to arms. Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I, the LORD, will sit to pronounce judgment on them all.
13 Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the grapes, for the winepress is full. The storage vats are overflowing with the wickedness of these people.”
14 Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the LORD will soon arrive.
15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine.
16 The LORD ’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel.
17 “Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, live in Zion, my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be holy forever, and foreign armies will never conquer her again.
18 In that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk. Water will fill the streambeds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the LORD ’s Temple, watering the arid valley of acacias.
19 But Egypt will become a wasteland and Edom will become a wilderness, because they attacked the people of Judah and killed innocent people in their land.
20 “But Judah will be filled with people forever, and Jerusalem will endure through all generations.
21 I will pardon my people’s crimes, which I have not yet pardoned; and I, the LORD, will make my home in Jerusalem with my people.”

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.

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Verses 3:1-21 are numbered 4:1-21 in Hebrew text.
  • [b]. Jehoshaphat means “the judges.”
  • [c]. Hebrew They cast lots.
  • [d]. Hebrew to the peoples of Javan.
  • [e]. Hebrew to the Sabeans.
  • [f]. Greek version reads for the harvest time has come. Compare Mark 4:29 .
  • [g]. Hebrew valley of Shittim.
  • [h]. Hebrew Zion.

Chapter Summary

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, 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