God Is a Safe Hiding Place

1-3 “In those days, yes, at that very time
    when I put life back together again for Judah and Jerusalem,
I’ll assemble all the godless nations.
    I’ll lead them down into Judgment Valley
And put them all on trial, and judge them one and all
    because of their treatment of my own people Israel.
They scattered my people all over the pagan world
    and grabbed my land for themselves.
They threw dice for my people
    and used them for barter.
They would trade a boy for a whore,
    sell a girl for a bottle of wine when they wanted a drink.

4-8 “As for you, Tyre and Sidon and Philistia,
    why should I bother with you?
Are you trying to get back at me
    for something I did to you?
If you are, forget it.
    I’ll see to it that it boomerangs on you.
You robbed me, cleaned me out of silver and gold,
    carted off everything valuable to furnish your own temples.
You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem
    into slavery to the Greeks in faraway places.
But I’m going to reverse your crime.
    I’m going to free those slaves.
I’ll have done to you what you did to them:
    I’ll sell your children as slaves to your neighbors,
And they’ll sell them to the far-off Sabeans.”
    God’s Verdict.

9-11 Announce this to the godless nations:
    Prepare for battle!
Soldiers at attention!
    Present arms! Advance!
Turn your shovels into swords,
    turn your hoes into spears.
Let the weak one throw out his chest
    and say, “I’m tough, I’m a fighter.”
Hurry up, pagans! Wherever you are, get a move on!
    Get your act together.
Prepare to be
    shattered by God!

12 Let the pagan nations set out
    for Judgment Valley.
There I’ll take my place at the bench
    and judge all the surrounding nations.

13 “Swing the sickle—
    the harvest is ready.
Stomp on the grapes—
    the winepress is full.
The wine vats are full,
    overflowing with vintage evil.

14 “Mass confusion, mob uproar—
    in Decision Valley!
God’s Judgment Day has arrived
    in Decision Valley.

15-17 “The sky turns black,
    sun and moon go dark, stars burn out.
God roars from Zion, shouts from Jerusalem.
    Earth and sky quake in terror.
But God is a safe hiding place,
    a granite safe house for the children of Israel.
Then you’ll know for sure
    that I’m your God,
Living in Zion,
    my sacred mountain.
Jerusalem will be a sacred city,
    posted: ‘no trespassing.’

Milk Rivering Out of the Hills

18-21 “What a day!
    Wine streaming off the mountains,
Milk rivering out of the hills,
    water flowing everywhere in Judah,
A fountain pouring out of God’s Sanctuary,
    watering all the parks and gardens!
But Egypt will be reduced to weeds in a vacant lot,
    Edom turned into barren badlands,
All because of brutalities to the Judean people,
    the atrocities and murders of helpless innocents.
Meanwhile, Judah will be filled with people,
    Jerusalem inhabited forever.
The sins I haven’t already forgiven, I’ll forgive.”
    God has moved into Zion for good.

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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