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The Promise of Judgment Against the Nations

Look! In those days and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes[a] of Judah and Jerusalem,[b]
I will gather all nations
    and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[c]
    There I will enter into judgment against them
        for the sake of my possession, my people Israel,
        whom they scattered among the nations.
    The nations also divided up my land.
They cast lots for my people
    and traded boys to pay prostitutes.
    They sold girls for wine so that they could drink.
Tell me, what do you have against me,
        Tyre and Sidon, and all you regions of Philistia?
    Are you repaying me for something I have done?
    If you are paying me back,
    I will swiftly and speedily repay onto your own heads what you have done,
because you took my silver and my gold,
    and you carried off my best treasures to your temples.
You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks,
    in order to send them far from their own borders.
See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them,
    and I will make what you have done return on your own heads.
I will sell your sons and daughters into the hands of the people of Judah,
    and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.[d]
    Yes, the Lord has spoken.

The Prophet’s Response

Proclaim this among the nations:
    Consecrate yourselves for war!
    Rouse the strong warriors!
    Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.

10 Beat your plowshares into swords,
    and your pruning knives into spears.
    Let the weakling say, “I am a strong warrior!”
11 Come quickly to help, all you nations from every side,
    and assemble there.
    Bring down your strong warriors, O Lord!

The Lord’s Promise

12 Let the nations be roused.
    Let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
    for there I will be seated to judge all the nations.
13 Swing the sickle,
        for the harvest is ripe.
    Come, trample the grapes,
        for the winepress is full and the vats overflow,
    because the nations’ wickedness is so 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 moon will be darkened,
    and the stars will stop shining.
16 The Lord will roar from Zion
    and shout from Jerusalem.
    The sky and the earth will tremble.
    But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
    a stronghold for the people of Israel.
17 Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy mountain.
    Jerusalem will be holy.
    Foreigners will not pass through her again.

18 In that day the mountains will drip sweet wine,
    and the hills will flow with milk.
    All the stream beds of Judah will run with water.
    A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house.
    It will water the Valley of Acacias.
19 Egypt will be desolate.
    Edom will be a desolate wilderness,
    because of violence they committed against the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood.
20 Judah will be inhabited forever,
    and Jerusalem through all generations.
21 I will pardon their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned.[e]

The Prophet’s Final Praise

    The Lord dwells in Zion!

Footnotes

  1. Joel 3:1 Or return the captives
  2. Joel 3:1 English verses 3:1-21 are verses 4:1-21 in Hebrew.
  3. Joel 3:2 The Hebrew name Jehoshaphat means the Lord judges. The Bible does not mention any literal valley with this name. The name may refer to one of the valleys around Jerusalem, or it may be a figurative name like the Valley of Decision in 3:14.
  4. Joel 3:8 The Sabeans lived in south Arabia.
  5. Joel 3:21 Or I will avenge their blood, which I have not avenged. The text and meaning of the line are uncertain.

The Nations Judged

[a]“In those days and at that time,
    when I restore the fortunes(A) of Judah(B) and Jerusalem,
I will gather(C) all nations
    and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[b](D)
There I will put them on trial(E)
    for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel,
because they scattered(F) my people among the nations
    and divided up my land.
They cast lots(G) for my people
    and traded boys for prostitutes;
    they sold girls for wine(H) to drink.

“Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon(I) and all you regions of Philistia?(J) Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done.(K) For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples.[c](L) You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks,(M) that you might send them far from their homeland.

“See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them,(N) and I will return(O) on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons(P) and daughters to the people of Judah,(Q) and they will sell them to the Sabeans,(R) a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.(S)

Proclaim this among the nations:
    Prepare for war!(T)
Rouse the warriors!(U)
    Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
    and your pruning hooks(V) into spears.(W)
Let the weakling(X) say,
    “I am strong!”(Y)
11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
    and assemble(Z) there.

Bring down your warriors,(AA) Lord!

12 “Let the nations be roused;
    let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,(AB)
for there I will sit
    to judge(AC) all the nations on every side.
13 Swing the sickle,(AD)
    for the harvest(AE) is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes,(AF)
    for the winepress(AG) is full
    and the vats overflow—
so great is their wickedness!”

14 Multitudes,(AH) multitudes
    in the valley(AI) of decision!
For the day of the Lord(AJ) is near
    in the valley of decision.(AK)
15 The sun and moon will be darkened,
    and the stars no longer shine.(AL)
16 The Lord will roar(AM) from Zion
    and thunder from Jerusalem;(AN)
    the earth and the heavens will tremble.(AO)
But the Lord will be a refuge(AP) for his people,
    a stronghold(AQ) for the people of Israel.

Blessings for God’s People

17 “Then you will know(AR) that I, the Lord your God,(AS)
    dwell in Zion,(AT) my holy hill.(AU)
Jerusalem will be holy;(AV)
    never again will foreigners invade her.(AW)

18 “In that day the mountains will drip new wine,(AX)
    and the hills will flow with milk;(AY)
    all the ravines of Judah will run with water.(AZ)
A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house(BA)
    and will water the valley of acacias.[d](BB)
19 But Egypt(BC) will be desolate,
    Edom(BD) a desert waste,
because of violence(BE) done to the people of Judah,
    in whose land they shed innocent blood.
20 Judah will be inhabited forever(BF)
    and Jerusalem through all generations.
21 Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?(BG)
    No, I will not.(BH)

The Lord dwells in Zion!(BI)

Footnotes

  1. Joel 3:1 In Hebrew texts 3:1-21 is numbered 4:1-21.
  2. Joel 3:2 Jehoshaphat means the Lord judges; also in verse 12.
  3. Joel 3:5 Or palaces
  4. Joel 3:18 Or Valley of Shittim

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