Judah’s Enemies Will Be Punished
3 “Yes, at that time I will bring back the people of Judah and Jerusalem from captivity. 2 I will also gather all the nations together. I will bring all these nations down into Jehoshaphat Valley.[a] There I will judge them. Those nations scattered my people, Israel. They forced them to live in other nations, so I will punish those nations. They divided up my land. 3 They threw lots for my people. They sold boys to buy a prostitute, and they sold girls to buy wine to drink.
4 “Tyre! Sidon! All of you areas of Philistia! You are not important to me![b] Are you punishing me for something I did? You might think that you are punishing me, but I will soon punish you. 5 You took my silver and gold. You took my precious treasures and put them in your temples.[c]
6 “You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks. That way you could take them far from their land. 7 You sent my people to that faraway place, but I will bring them back. And I will punish you for what you did. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah. Then they will sell them to the faraway Sabeans.[d]” This is what the Lord said.
Prepare for War
9 Announce this among the nations:
Prepare for war!
Wake up the strong men!
Let all the men of war come near.
Let them come up!
10 Beat your plows into swords.
Make spears from your pruning hooks.[e]
Let the weak man say,
“I am a strong soldier.”
11 All you nations, hurry!
Come together in that place.
Lord, bring your strong soldiers.
12 Wake up, nations!
Come to Jehoshaphat Valley.
There I will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations.
13 Bring the sickle,
because the harvest is ripe.[f]
Come, walk on the grapes,
because the winepress is full.
The barrels will be full and spilling over,
because their evil is great.
14 There are many, many people in the Valley of Decision.[g]
The Lord’s special day is near in the Valley of Decision.
15 The sun and the moon will become dark.
The stars will stop shining.
16 The Lord God will shout from Zion.
He will shout from Jerusalem,
and the sky and the earth will shake.
But the Lord God will be a safe place for his people.
He will be a place of safety for the people of Israel.
17 “Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.
I live on Zion, my holy mountain.
Jerusalem will become holy.
Strangers will never pass through that city again.
A New Life for Judah Promised
18 “On that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine.
The hills will flow with milk,
and water will flow through all the empty rivers of Judah.
A fountain will come from the Lord’s Temple.
It will give water to Acacia Valley.
19 Egypt will be empty.
Edom will be an empty wilderness,
because they were cruel to the people of Judah.
They killed innocent people[h] in their country.
20 But there will always be people living in Judah.
People will live in Jerusalem through many generations.
21 Those people killed my people,
so I really will punish them!”
The Lord God will live in Zion!
- Joel 3:2 Jehoshaphat Valley This name means “The Lord judges.”
- Joel 3:4 You are not important to me Literally, “What are you to me?”
- Joel 3:5 temples Here, the temples were used to worship idols.
- Joel 3:8 Sabeans A group of people from the Arabian Desert.
- Joel 3:10 pruning hooks These tools were used to prune (cut) branches of trees. Read Isa. 2:4.
- Joel 3:13 harvest is ripe This time of judgment is compared to harvest time.
- Joel 3:14 Valley of Decision This is like the name “Jehoshaphat Valley.”
- Joel 3:19 killed innocent people Literally, “shed innocent blood.”