Joe 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
in those days – the days told of in the previous chapter
bring again -return, bring back
In the days which lead up to the day of the Lord, He will restore Judah and Jerusalem back from their exile.
- About 613BC Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, took the house of Israel into captivity in Assyria.(2Kings 18)
- About 603BC Sennacherib, King of Assyria then took all of the defenced cities of the house of Judah (2Kings 18, Isaiah 36) and was intent to take Jerusalem as well but God had mercy on Hezekiah, King of the house of Judah, and for a time Jerusalem was spared from captivity.
- Beginning about 494BC Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, began his first siege of Jerusalem and Jerusalem was eventually taken by him and exiled into Babylon.
Joe 3:2 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.
nations – often used of non Hebrew, gentile nations, swarm
Jehoshaphat – Jehovah has judged
plead – (Shaphat) execute judgement, punish
Israel – God prevails
God is going to gather all the heathen nations into the valley of judgement in Israel where He will punish them for the scattering of His people and for the dividing up of the land.
Joe 3:3 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.
Instead of taking advantage of God’s people being scattered among them they esteemed them of little value. They traded them for the lusts of their hearts and for the material things that they might gain through them. They trade the truth for an false/unreliable message and the apostles and messengers for the distractions of the world.
Joe 3:4-5 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:
Tyre – rock
Zidon – hunting
Palestine – Philistia, land of sojourners
God owes nothing to Tyre and Zidon and Palestine. The land is not theirs. They have no reason to become angry with our Father or His people over that which wasn’t given to them and isn’t owed to them. They plan the destruction of Judea as though it were God Himself whom they would smite down, as though they were in charge of the world and our Father would answer to them. Because they actually lay claim to the things of our Father and think to rebuke Him for doing as He will with them, they will lose even that which they have been allowed and their anger and injustice will be turned upon themselves.
Joe 3:6 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.
Grecians – sons of Greece (Javan), mirer, dregs, mud
The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem – shows that the previous verses were referring to the people of Israel (verse 2)
They want Judah and Jerusalem removed far from them, as slaves in a far away land to forget their heritage. What kind of people wish that upon their brother?
Joe 3:7-8 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.
Sabeans – drunkard; him who is coming; people of Sheba – seven, oath
God will bring His people back home and back into His favor. It is those of Palestine, etc. who are going to be distanced from their land, from God and their injustices turned against upon themselves.
Joe 3:9-10 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: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
The nations would rather persecute or do battle with the people of God than to live in peace with them. In arrogance they puff themselves up and seek for war. They will march arrogantly into the day of the LORD.
Joe 3:11-13 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 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. 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.
Like in the days of Noah, the evil has reached fulness and the day of the Lord will arrive. See the sickle harvests of Revelation 14
Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
decision – (‘khaw-roots’) trench, incision, threshing
Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
The LORD is the light of the world and the former lights become dimmed in His presence.
Joe 3:16-17 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. 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.
The true children of God, both in Zion and Jerusalem, will know the strength of their Father and will not lose hope during the their times of trials. Those which remain will know that the LORD is the God of Israel. He is our guiding light and our harbor. The adulterers and squatters will no longer wander through the land.
Joe 3:18 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 of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
All the mountains and hills of the LORD will enjoy the Truth of His Word and Judah will know and accept their Savior.
Joe 3:19 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.
The spiritual desolators will become a barren desolation as God’s wrath will be poured upon them. They persecuted those who did no wrong to them. A desolate wilderness offers no comfort for those who are stranded in it.
Joe 3:20-21 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.
Judah and Jerusalem will be cleansed with the blood of Christ. Their smokey sins will be washed away and man made temples and altars will be retired. Our Father will dwell in Judah AND Israel (Zion).
Our Father is bringing an army upon the whole house of Israel. Like a locust swarm, the people will be stripped of their all of comforts and left to see the naked results of their own godless choices and misplaced trust and faith. Hopefully, some will then be able to open their eyes and ears to the Truth and Faithfulness of our Father.
This desolating army will serve as a final wake-up call for those who are not yet spiritually dead and give them an opportunity to cry out for God their Savior, to fast and pray earnestly for His forgiveness and to repent and place their faith in He who always was their only hope.
When our Father sees and hears the pleading of His people He will be jealous and take pity on Zion and Jerusalem.
In utter arrogance, the children of the evil one, not believing in God and placing their faith in those things outside of God will think to exercise their will upon the earth and upon those who are the heritage of the LORD. Our Father will gather them into the valley of judgement where multitudes, multitudes will be threshed in the valley of threshing.
In the day of the LORD, Judah and Jerusalem will be cleansed with the blood of our Savior. Our Father is merciful to His people and He dwells in Zion. Pray for your neighbors and seek Truth.