Joel 3

1 “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgement on them there for my people, and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered amongst the nations. They have divided my land, 3 and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a prostitute, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. 4 “Yes, and what are you to me, Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Will you repay me? And if you repay me, I will swiftly and speedily return your repayment on your own head. 5 Because you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my finest treasures into your temples, 6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the sons of the Greeks, that you may remove them far from their border. 7 Behold, I will stir them up out of the place where you have sold them, and will return your repayment on your own head; 8 and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the men of Sheba, to a faraway nation, for the LORD has spoken it.” 9 Proclaim this amongst the nations: “Prepare for war! Stir up the mighty men. Let all the warriors draw near. Let them come up. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ 11 Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves together.” Cause your mighty ones to come down there, LORD. 12 “Let the nations arouse themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 13 Put in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe. Come, 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 will roar from Zion, and thunder from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth will shake; but the LORD will be a refuge to his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel. 17 “So you will know that I am the LORD, your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain. Then Jerusalem will be holy, and no strangers will pass through her any more. 18 It will happen in that day, that the mountains will drop down sweet wine, the hills will flow with milk, all the brooks of Judah will flow with waters, and a fountain will flow out from the LORD’s house, and will water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt will be a desolation, and Edom will be a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah will be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 I will cleanse their blood, that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwells in Zion.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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