Joel 3

1 For then, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations. They have divided my land,
3 and cast lots for my people, and traded boys for prostitutes, and sold girls for wine, and drunk it down.
4 What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will turn your deeds back upon your own heads swiftly and speedily.
5 For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples.
6 You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, removing them far from their own border.
7 But now I will rouse them to leave the places to which you have sold them, and I will turn your deeds back upon your own heads.
8 I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away; for the Lord has spoken.
9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare war, stir up the warriors. Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weakling say, "I am a warrior."
11 Come quickly, all you nations all around, gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O Lord.
12 Let the nations rouse themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the neighboring nations.
13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
16 The Lord roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shake. But the Lord is a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
17 So you shall know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.
18 In that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the Wadi Shittim.
19 Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of the violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they have shed innocent blood.
20 But Judah shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem to all generations.
21 I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty, for 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.

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Ch 4.1 in Heb
  • [b]. Or [palaces]
  • [c]. Heb [sanctify war]
  • [d]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [e]. Gk Syr: Heb [I will hold innocent their blood that I have not held innocent]

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