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Joel Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Joel 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the 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.

valley of Jehoshaphat. The valley of Jehoshaphat is probably where the confederation of Ammon, Moab, and Edom were miraculously defeated when they came against Judah and King Jehoshaphat in the general region between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. It has also been suggested as the valley between Mount Zion and Mount Olivet. The exact location is unknown, but evidently the whole region will be filled with armies when God gathers all nations there, probably on their way to Armageddon (note 2 Chronicles 20). It may be centered around the valley of Berachah (2 Chronicles 20:26).

parted my land. The land promised to Abraham, from the Nile to the Euphrates, has been “parted” by many nations in the four thousand years since. Most recently, the land was divided between Israel and Jordan by the United Nations in 1948, and has been in contention ever since.

Joel 3:3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

Joel 3:4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head;

Joel 3:5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:

Joel 3:6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.

Grecians. There is ample evidence that the Greek nation was well established and the Greek peoples widely known by the time of Joel. The prophet here looks beyond the Babylonian captivity to the subsequent Persian rule and then that of the Greek empire.

Joel 3:7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head:

Joel 3:8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Joel 3:9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:

Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

plowshares into swords. This exhortation is for the nations to prepare to fight the returning Savior (Revelation 16:13-14). Note its reversal when the battle of Armageddon is over, and Christ's kingdom begins (Isaiah 2:4).

Joel 3:11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.

thy mighty ones. These “mighty ones” must be the armies of the saints with Christ in heaven, as they “come down” with Him to smite and judge the rebellious nations at Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21).

Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.

Joel 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

the harvest is ripe. Compare Revelation 14:18: “Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.”

Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

valley of decision. “Decision” here means “judicial verdict.” The multitudes of the rebelling nations are about to be sentenced and executed!

Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

withdraw their shining. Compare Joel 2:30-31. It is at this time that the full promise normally associated with Pentecost (Acts 2:19-20) will be completely fulfilled.

Joel 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 hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

roar out of Zion. The Lord is “the lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5), and His powerful coming will be to the nations like the triumphant roar of a mighty lion, shaking the very heavens.

Joel 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 through her any more.

Joel 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall 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.

Joel 3:19 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.

Joel 3:20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

dwell for ever. God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David will surely be fulfilled, as they were unconditional and eternal.

Joel 3:21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

Lord dwelleth in Zion. God Himself, in the person of His Son, will reign from the earthly Jerusalem for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6), then in the New Jerusalem for ever (Revelation 22:3-5).