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The Coming Judgment of Nations

[a]“Look, now! In those very days and at that time,
when I restore prosperity to[b] Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather all nations,
    bringing them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
I will set out my case against[c] them there,
    on behalf of my people, my heritage Israel,
whom they scattered among the nations,
    apportioning my land among themselves.[d]
They cast lots for my people—
    they sold a young boy in exchange for a prostitute,
and a girl for wine,
    so they could drink.”

The Lord’s Judgment upon Philistia

“Furthermore, what have you to do with me,
    Tyre, Sidon, and all the sea coasts of Philistia?
        Are you taking revenge on me?
If you are taking revenge on me,
    I’ll send it back on you[e] swiftly and promptly,
since you took my silver and gold,
    carried my precious treasures into your temples,
and sold Judah’s and Jerusalem’s descendants to the Greeks,[f]
    so you can remove them far from their homeland!

“Look, I will bring them up from where you sold them,
    I will turn your revenge back upon you,[g]
and I will sell your sons and daughters into the control of the people of Judah.
    And they will sell them to the people of Sheba, a country far away.”
        Indeed, the Lord has spoken.”

The Lord’s Call to Judgment

“Declare this among the nations:
    ‘Prepare for war!
Wake up your elite forces!
    Let all the soldiers draw near!
        Call them up!
10 Beat your plow blades into swords,
    and your pruning knives into spears!
        Let the frail say, “I am strong!”
11 Hurry and come, all you gentiles!
    Gather yourselves together!’”
        Lord, cause your mighty army[h] to come down.

12 “Let the nations be awakened
    and come to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
        because I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
13 Put in the sickle,
    because the harvest is ripe.
Come and go down,
    because the winepress is full.
The wine vats are overflowing,
    because their evil is great!

14 “Multitudes, multitudes
    in the Valley of Judgment!
For the Day of the Lord is near
    in the Valley of Judgment!
15 The sun and moon will grow dark,
    and the stars will stop shining.

16 “The Lord will roar from Zion,
    and shout from Jerusalem.
The heavens and the earth will shake,
    but the Lord will be the refuge of his people,
        and the strength of the people of Israel.”

God’s Blessings on His People

17 “And truly you will know that I am the Lord your God,
    dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem will be holy,
    and no foreigners will invade her again.
18 It will come about at that time
    that the mountains will drip with newly pressed wine,
the hills will flow with milk,
    and the streams of Judah will flow abundantly.
A fountain will spring from the Temple of the Lord,
    to water the Valley of the Acacias.

19 Egypt will be desolate,
    and Edom will be a desert,
because of violence against the people of Judah
    since they shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah will live forever,
    and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 I will acquit their bloodguilt that has not yet been acquitted.
    For the Lord lives in Zion!”

Footnotes

  1. Joel 3:1 This verse is 4:1 in MT, and so through the end of the chapter.
  2. Joel 3:1 Or bring back the captivity of
  3. Joel 3:2 Or will judge
  4. Joel 3:2 The Heb. lacks among themselves
  5. Joel 3:4 Lit. your head
  6. Joel 3:6 Lit. Jevanites; i.e. descendants of Javan
  7. Joel 3:7 Lit. turn back your reward
  8. Joel 3:11 Lit. mighty ones

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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