The Nations Will Be Judged
3 “For behold, in those [climactic] days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather together all the [Gentile] nations [that were hostile to My people]
And bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the Lord has judged).
And there I will deal with them and enter into judgment with them there
For [their treatment of] My people, My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations,
And [because] they have encroached on My land and divided it up.
“They have also cast lots for My people,
And have traded a boy for a prostitute
And have sold a girl for wine that they may drink.
4 Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre and Sidon and all the [five small] regions of Philistia? Will you pay Me back for something [I have supposedly done to you]? Even if you do pay Me back, I will swiftly and speedily return your deed [of retaliation] on your own head.(A) 5 Because you have taken My silver and My gold and have carried My precious treasures to your temples and palaces, 6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the Greeks, so that you may send them far away from their territory, 7 behold, I am going to stir them up from the place where you have sold them [and return them to their land], and I shall return your action [of retaliation] on your own head. 8 Also I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the [a]Sabeans, to a distant nation,” for the Lord has spoken.(B)
Proclaim this among the [pagan] nations:
Prepare a war! Stir up the mighty men!
Let all the men of war come near, let them come up!
Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, “I am strong!”(C)
Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations,
And gather yourselves there;
Bring down, O Lord, Your mighty ones (Your warriors).
Let the nations be stirred [to action]
And come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
For there I will sit to judge and punish
All the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle [of judgment], for the harvest is ripe;
Come, tread [the grapes], for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for the wickedness [of the people] is great.(D)
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision (judgment)!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision [when judgment is executed].(E)
The sun and the moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
The Lord thunders and roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem [in judgment of His enemies],
And the heavens and the earth tremble and shudder;
But the Lord is a refuge for His people
And a stronghold [of protection] to the children of Israel.(F)
Then you will know and understand fully that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem will be holy,
And strangers [who do not belong] will no longer pass through it.
Judah Will Be Blessed
And in that day
The mountains will drip with sweet wine
And the hills will flow with milk;
And all the brooks and riverbeds of Judah will flow with water,
And a fountain will go out from the house of the Lord
To water the [desert] Valley of Shittim.(G)
Egypt will become a waste,
And Edom will become a desolate wilderness,
Because of their violence against the children of Judah,
In whose land they have shed innocent blood.(H)
But Judah shall be inhabited forever
And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
And I shall avenge their blood which I have not avenged,
For the Lord dwells in Zion.
- Joel 3:8 Some archeologists believe this to be the ancient kingdom of Sheba (modern day Yemen). The Sabeans were involved primarily in the lucrative spice trade.
New International Version
The Nations Judged
3 [a]“In those days and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes(A) of Judah(B) and Jerusalem,
2 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.
3 They cast lots(G) for my people
and traded boys for prostitutes;
they sold girls for wine(H) to drink.
4 “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) 5 For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples.[c](L) 6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks,(M) that you might send them far from their homeland.
7 “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. 8 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)
9 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
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)