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Yahweh’s Judgment on the Nations

[a] For look! In those days, and in that time, when I will return[b] the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations, and I will bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will argue a case against them[c] there concerning my people and my inheritance Israel whom they have scattered among the nations, and my land that they have divided. For my people they cast lots,[d] and they traded[e] the male child for the prostitute, and the female child they sold for wine and they drank it.

What are you to me, O Tyre and O Sidon, and all of the regions of Philistia? Are you repaying to me what is deserved? If you are recompensing me, I will return swiftly and quickly what you deserve on your head! For you have taken my silver and my gold, and my beautiful treasures you have carried into your temples. And the sons of Judah and Jerusalem you sold to the sons of the Greeks, in order to remove them from their border. Look! I am rousing them from the place where you have sold them, and I will return what you deserve on your head! I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans and to a nation far away, for Yahweh has spoken.

Yahweh’s Judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat

Proclaim this among the nations:
    Prepare for war![f]
        Stir up the mighty warriors;
let them approach and come up;
    let all the men of war approach.
10 Beat your cutting tools of iron into swords
    and your pruning hooks into spears;
        let the weakling say, ‘I am a mighty warrior!’
11 Hurry and come,
    all the nations, from all around,
        and gather yourselves there.
Bring down your mighty warriors, O Yahweh!
12 Let the nations be roused and let them come up
    to the valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit to judge
    all the nations from all around.
13 Send forth the sickle,
    for the harvest is ripe!
        Go tread,
for the winepress is full!
    The vats overflow,
        because their evil is great!
14 Commotion, commotion
    in the valley of decision!
For the day of Yahweh is near
    in the valley of decision!
15 The sun and the moon grow dark,
    and the stars have withheld[g] their splendor.
16 And Yahweh roars from Zion;
    from Jerusalem he utters his voice,
and the heavens and the earth shake.
But Yahweh is a refuge for his people,
    and a protection for the children of Israel.
17 And you will know that I, Yahweh your God,
    am dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.
And Jerusalem will be a place of holiness,
    and strangers will pass through it no longer.
18 And it will happen on that day;
the mountains will drip new wine,
    and the hills will flow with milk,
    and all the channels of Judah will flow with water.
A spring from the house of Yahweh will come forth,
    and it will water the valley of Acacia Trees.[h]
19 Egypt will become a desolation,
    and Edom will become a desolate desert,[i]
because of the violence they did against the children of Judah,
    in whose land they have shed innocent blood.
20 But Judah will be inhabited forever,
    and Jerusalem for all generations.[j]
21 I will cleanse their bloodguilt[k] that I did not cleanse,[l]
    for Yahweh is dwelling in Zion.

Footnotes

  1. Joel 3:1 Joel 3:1–21 in the English Bible is 4:1–21 in the Hebrew Bible
  2. Joel 3:1 Or “restore”
  3. Joel 3:2 Literally “a matter with them”
  4. Joel 3:3 Hebrew “lot”
  5. Joel 3:3 Literally “gave”
  6. Joel 3:9 Literally “Sanctify a battle”
  7. Joel 3:15 Literally “gathered”
  8. Joel 3:18 Or “the wadi Shittim”
  9. Joel 3:19 Literally “desert of desolation”
  10. Joel 3:20 Or “for each generation”
  11. Joel 3:21 Literally “I will not leave unpunished their blood”
  12. Joel 3:21 Or “I did not consider innocent”

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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:

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

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

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.

13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats 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 shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

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.

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.

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 out of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

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.

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

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

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