Joel Chapter 3a

Joel Chapter 3A

 Chapter 3 of Joel emphatically points out a future of events in the world, all nations, and specifically Israel/Jerusalem that no one will or can escape. This is a global judgement.

Joel 3:1 In the very first verse we find the words “in those days.” It is not often one would consider the word “those” important in a sentence. Usually used as a general identity. The Hebrew for “those” in this verse is hem [pronounced haym]. Hem is used only when meaning or giving an emphatic. “…in those days.” This is to emphasize a specific to the people of Israel and the world aroused by anti-Christ Satan. We address this in the latter sentence of verse 1. It continues through the rest of Joel 3.

Joel 3:1b “I will bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” If a person does not give much thought to a full understanding of this latter part of Joel 3:1, it reads like Jerusalem/Judah will again be brought into captivity. That is NOT what it means. “I shall again…” The word ‘again’ is shuwb [pronounced shoob]. It means to return or turn back. In short, to go back to the beginning point turning back the captivities and hatred of God’s chosen people; turn back the captivities and divisions of the city Jerusalem. But there will be a massive death toll in and around Jerusalem and Israel. In Kidron God judges Israel’s enemies with his tongue. All nations of the world will now be judged. (see next verse).

Joel 3:2I will also gather all the nations”, This means all, not some of the nations of the world. Whether the United Sates still exists or is broken into separate governing territories we do not know but we do know that “ALL” includes the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America. This may sound impossible. Consider what the word “all” means. In Hebrew it means “no exceptions.”
 

“and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat”. This valley is named after King Jehoshaphat but not until around 400 A.D. It is a valley in Israel where many wars have been fought throughout history. Lying between the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem it is also known as the Kidron Valley, a valley of decisions which means judgement. There are three valleys of significance associated with Jerusalem. Refer to this website’s article on the Hebrew letter SHIN. These valleys include Hinnon, Kidron, and a central valley that runs through the middle of Jerusalem. The other two are on opposite outskirts of Jerusalem.

NOTE: This is the battle between a returning God Jehovah and Satan who is using mankind for his own purposes. It is often identified as the Battle of Armageddon. Problem! Megiddo is 50 miles north of Jerusalem. Kidron is south east of Jerusalem. How might one explain this seemingly contradiction of locations? *Megiddo will be the gathering place of national forces. They will march on Jerusalem from there. One may be stunned to know that Muslim’s point to this same valley as the scene of a great future battle. The valley is crowded with both Muslim and Jewish grave sites, a desired place for burial.

*Valley of Jezreel begins at Megiddo to the north of Jerusalem, paralleling the Jordan River, and connects to the Valley of (Jehosephat) Kidron in Jerusalem.

“and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of my people and mine inheritance Israel,” This is also why the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron) is identified as where God will sit in judgement [see Joel 3:12]. Think upon this passage. The lands of Israel (Palestine) have been divided both by God through Joseph assigning territories for each of the 12 tribes, and by conquering nations. The name Palestine comes from the Romans renaming Judah after they destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. Romans exiled millions of Israelis to the hinterlands of Europe. France and Britain divided the Middle East after WW1.

“whom they have scattered among the nations: and they have parted my land.” God allowed nations and empires to scatter his people to the four corners of the earth. However, He did not authorize their cruel and deadly treatment of his chosen people. Retribution will be made by God on those who put tributary taxes on and desolated lands in Israel i.e., the Promised Land. The name Palestine comes from the Romans renaming Israel after they destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. Millions of Israelis lived or scattered to Spain (Iberian Peninsula). The 1492-1503 A.D. Spanish Inquisition was against the Jews of Spain at the sanctioning hand of the Roman Pope. They were shipped throughout Europe, northern Africa, to Asia, to the Isles of the sea and ocean, and sold into slavery (Joel 3:3) across the globe. There is a multitude of other examples. Look up a list of some of the good and bad at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_antisemitism.

JIV: God uses Joel 3 to assure Israel that the invading nations throughout history will be dealt with by him.

Joel 3:4oh Tyre and Zidon…” It is likely that the mention of these two city-states of old are symbolic of the nations of the world where God/Jesus is given no honor or worship. The church is raptured by this time in Joel. David Guzik’s Commentary puts it this way:

Will you retaliate against Me? God virtually challenges the nations [of the world] to come against Him or His people. He vows to return your retaliation upon your own head to those who come against Him or His people. The nations treated God’s people with contempt and had no sense of their worth. Therefore, God will repay them with the contempt they put upon His [God’s] people, vowing to return your retaliation upon your own head.
(Guzik’s Commentary on the Book of Joel) [emphasis mine].

This challenge of retaliation follows a gathering of international armies of the world at Megiddo, 50 miles north of Jerusalem. God basically says, come up to the Valley of Kidron (Jehoshaphat) just outside Jerusalem and we will see who is annihilated. Hmmm? God against the world he created. [For deeper insight, read Revelation 16:12-18]

Joel 3:7, 8 “…sons and daughters are sold even unto a nation far off.” Just as enemy nations over the centuries have sold Israelis into bondage and slavery, scattering them to the four winds, God’s retribution will be likewise. The sons and daughters of retribution, according to Joel 3:8 are Sabeans. The Sabeans according to historians live in the Lands of Sheba (Bible and secular history records of the Queen of Sheba/Sheva and King Solomon). It is known today as Ethiopia.

As the armies of the world gather in Megiddo, God in essence states, “Will you dare challenge or retaliate against me [in Jerusalem]? According to Ezekiel 4 that God will put hooks in their jaws and drag them from Megiddo to Kidron to be judged. Their intent will be to invade Jerusalem. God’s intent is to pass judgment. The hooks in Ezekiel 4 are not literal but will be something like an enticement one cannot refuse. Anger and revenge are great enticements. Who is being enticed? All the nations of the world against Jerusalem led by the spirit or personage of anti-Christ meaning Lucifer. Does Satan know this destiny? It is possible he does know. Here is why.

 (JIV) Like the sinful nature of man, guided by Satan, a person who cannot get what s/he wants, the same will destroy it to keep it out of the hands of another. Satan will realize if he does not already understand by this time, the world will no longer be subjected to his and his minion’s (fallen angels called demons) evil. His jealous nature will be…if I cannot have them, then neither will God. Satan by now only wishes to destroy mankind keeping them out of eternity in the heaven from which he was cast out. Perhaps (conjecture) he thinks having them spend eternity in Hell with him is a form of victory. Oh so little does he know.

Rev. Jstark
2021

Joel 2

Joel Chapter 2 (Sound the alarm)

Essentially this is a continuation from the close of the previous chapter in Joel. It is part of the generation-to-generation message…Sound the alarm [Joel 1:3]. The Day of the Lord approaches as does the morning sun from behind the mountains in the east. It is no longer a question of when will it happen but more like: Here It Is! We see the signs Joel told to us. Here they are right in front of us.

This is not a message to the church as defined in the Book of Acts but a message and a charge to sound the alarm to Israel…The Lord approaches. What generation it is when Christ returns to set up his kingdom in Jerusalem we do not know. We do know if one studies scripture, some of the signs as discussed in Joel 2:1b will be seen by the believers. Others are unique to Israelis.

Joel 2:1 How do we know this is about Israel and not the church. Where is the Lord’s mountain as Joel points out in chapter 2:1? We find this answer in Isaiah 2:2-5.

2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow into it. 3 Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law. And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. 5 O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the LORD.”

For out of Zion… We know that Zion is an alternative name for Jerusalem is built on Mount Zion. Jerusalem itself is on a higher plateau than surrounding geography. My eldest brother-in-law once said about being in old Jerusalem, “everything is up hill. Even when one is walking down hill it still seems to be a climb.” (Eugene Whittum; his visit to Israel)

There are many references in scripture as to what will happen to the mountains of this world once the Day of the Lord means his Millennial reign. Simply put …Jerusalem will rise, water from under the Throne of God in Jerusalem will flow both toward the Mediterranean Sea and to the Jordan River filling the Dead Sea with fresh waters, and mountains will bow in recognition of the high point in the world, Jerusalem. The known environment and geographies will change.

To define or describe the world geography during the Millennial reign is like archeologists’ trying to find the original land of the Garden of Eden. The Noahtic flood erased all traces of it. When the Day of the Lord appears, known landmarks will change in such a way none can describe the event. We know is there are going to be significant land a sea change.

To better understand this passage and Joel 2:2, one needs to go to Joel 3:2 but that will be property of our next chapter commentary.

Joel 2:2 Some commentators and theologians wish to take the mention of “a great and strong people,“ out of context. Some suggest altering the colon to a comma so it fits the commentator’s opinion agenda. We mentioned earlier in article one of Joel that we defer to the most common sense and simplest explanation. There will be a strong and mighty people coming up against Jerusalem. One logical reason to default to this interpretation is the fact Joel is talking about the Day of the Lord: end time. He is talking about Israel, not the church. Thought? How can believers return to the earth with Jesus if they have not yet left earth?

Another consideration is Joel 3:2. He describes all nations of the world aligning against Israel. The church as bodies of believers is raptured. Such a global alignment against Jerusalem has never happened before 2021, and certainly will not happen again once Jesus is seated upon his throne in Jerusalem. Isn’t this what the verse explicitly states? Why complicate it with one’s personal preference instead of accepting what is written?

Joel 2:3 states in part…”The land is as the Garden of Eden before them.” Before who? The attacking enemy forces. Israel today has transformed their lands. They have planted millions of trees. They are recreating a land almost like the initial and same lands of the Canaanites, a land of milk and honey. The enemy forces *invading Israel, an army like never has been and never again will be, as defined in chapter 1 of Joel, the land of Israel will be totaled, stripped like the first, second and third levels of invading locusts who strip all green vegetation. The travesty brought upon Israel (Jerusalem) must be so drastic these chosen people of God will finally plead for God’s intercession and their redemption. This will end the seven-year Tribulation of Israel. It will come at a horrendous cost to them AND the invading nations.

            *Armageddon

Repentance is always the solution. This message to Israel from Joel, like all messages and warnings from the prophets of Israel, is destined to failure. Not the prophecy but the people will fail to pay heed. Some had temporary effects of repentance but backsliding soon followed.

Joel 2:13  “…and [tear apart] your hearts and not your garments.” What Joel is saying, demonstration of garment tearing looks good but that is not the solution. Render one’s heart instead. Weep before the Lord God with a broken heart, thus a broken will. Often self-deception creeps in, in times like this. When this happens does one think true repentance comes from demonstrative actions? We suggest this to be true of some who step forward by itself, when given an invitation to accept Christ, does not save anyone. It is the heart that must change.

Far too many alter calls are those seeking pacification, not salvation It is more fire insurance than salvation assurance. Similar is receiving a much-desired Christmas gift. Once it is in hand the desire may be lost. It never was the right motive. What about New Year resolutions? The true goal is to make one, not live it out.

Joel 2:17 is very revealing. Joel writes: “Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'” Israel has fallen backwards so many times other nations ask this question. Where is their (Israel’s) God? In modern terms it is akin to a person saying loudly, there is victory in Jesus, but when others look at him or her, they counter with, “are you trying to convince me or yourself?” The person’s life is like a pendulum on a grandfather clock.

Joel 2:18 forward is subject to the time on the calendar and whether or not this is at the return of Jesus to Jerusalem. Is Joel speaking of an event that has yet to happen or is he speaking in past tense only because God’s judgements are preordained. Consider verse 19b. “I will no longer make you a reproach to other nations.” The next few verses speak of conditions that do not yet exist in Israel. Fruit trees give of their FULL POTENTIAL. Abundant rain in a land that demands irrigation today. Great pasture for the beasts of the wild. Conclusion? Joel is speaking of a time yet to happen.  Joe 2:24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.” This has not happened in history. It MUST BE end time prophecy.

Here is what some identify as “the taker.” Verse 26, 27 states: “You will praise the name of your God; God’s people will never again be put to shame.” This too has not yet happened in Israel or with the scattered Israelis. Verse 28…”and it shall come to pass AFTERWARD.” This helps us time stamp the events of Joel. It does not help us to identify Joel’s time on earth, but it does tell us Joel is discussing is a future yet to happen.

[LITV] Joel 2:28-31 “And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (29) And also I will pour out My Spirit on the slaves and on the slave-girls in those days. (30)  And I will give signs in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and columns of smoke. (31)  The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah. (32)  For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved. For salvation shall be in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as Jehovah has said, and among the survivors whom Jehovah shall call.”

Rev Jstark
2021

Joel 1: 1-13 (1b)

Joel 1:13 to end of chapter

This is the King James Bible translated in 1611. There is no copyright.

Joel 1:13 “Gird up and lament, priests. Howl, ministers of the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, ministers of my God. For the food offering and the drink offering are held back from the house of your God.”

Joel is giving instructions to pass on generation to generation (see 1:3). It is not what to do now but what to do then. We know this by reading verse 15. That time to which Joel refers is end time [Tribulation] now at hand. All blessings are held back. It is called “the day of the Lord-Jehovah” by Joel.

Joe 1:14  “Set apart a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the elders, all those living in the land, into the house of Jehovah your God, and cry to Jehovah. (v15) Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is[then] at hand. And it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.”

Israelis (Judeans?) are instructed by Joel as to the time, the identification or summary of the issues to be noted, and what to do about it. When? At mid-tribulation when sacrificing, not meeting, but sacrificing in the Temple to Jehovah will no longer be permitted. Includes identity issues through verse 18].

Dry, parched land and river beds.

Here is a list of the travesties that are signs of that time for Israel.

  1. Food and drink offerings are [forcibly] held back (this indicates the time it will happen)
  2. Food is cut off to the population
  3. No joy or gladness can be found
  4. Seed shrivels even before it is planted
  5. Storage bins (cupboards and stores) lay empty and broken
  6. Animals (beasts) pale for lack of subsistence
  7. Open area grazing is no longer available to herds
  8. The farmer’s field and crops has perished
  9. The grape vine and fig are dried up meaning dead
  10. The pomegranate, palm, and apple trees are dead
  11. Sheep who graze the nubbins of grass cannot find food.
  12. River and water supplies dry up
  13. The wilderness becomes without grass or fern.

It will take this amount of devastation to finally get the “Jews” to turn from G-d to God. To turn one who is in their eyes a crucified fake now into their Messiah.

This is no longer a nation of people. No king is even mentioned. No empire is mentioned. Joel speaks to Israelis as if one-on-one: father-to-son, generation to the next generation. This is a continuous clause meaning it will need to be an ongoing “pass it on” thing for the PEOPLE descending from the Tribes of Jacob, not as an existing nation or kingdom. This sounds post Babylonian exile.

Rev Jstark – 2021

Joel – Introduction – Part 1

Book of Joel – Introduction and Joel 1:1-12

Joel is the second of the 12 Minor Prophets found in most main-stream bibles. His life, family, and occupation can only be conjectured. We find the name of his father but little else is provided. Often a prophet will list a king or two during his ministry. That makes it easier to calculate a time. Joel does not do this. Following is one person’s guess of his time.

We do know that this book is about the Kingdom of Judah and perhaps others not mentioned but alluded to. We do not know of a precise date for his life and activities. Joel has four sections:

  1. the time of the locust (imagery or metaphorical)
  2. a warning that more calamity is coming (Judah? Israel? Israelis?)
  3. another call to repentance
  4. the Day of the Lord (Israel and all nations)

There is either much imagery or some form of actuality yet to be discovered or played out in the writings of Joel. We at Ahabiblemoments.com feel too much liberty is taken by many commentators or theologians. They complicate it, too often bending it toward a denominational plank or platform.

A great rule of thumb is to default to the most obvious. The Bible is written to be understood, not to be complicated. To understand scripture, one must have an open mind/heart and wisdom that is sought by a deliberate and personal petitioning of God to provide it. Then there is the oft ignored personal point. What is the motive of the one seeking understanding?

In writing another Minor Prophet commentary for ahamoments.com we keep in mind that the Old Testament is about a nation (Israel and Moses’ Law). The New Testament is about humans as individuals and God’s grace through Jesus. We should also be reminded that the early church did NOT HAVE the New Testament. Their salvation message came from Old Testament books, study, and acceptance. Much or the early church focused on Isaiah just as did the Ethiopian Eunuch when Phillip boarded his chariot and explained the New Testament plan of salvation.

Joel is not another doom-and-gloom book. It runs the entire gamut. It begins with warning and ends with the end of this world and the beginning of eternity where time is no more. Time was created back in Genesis 1.

P.S. Doom and gloom in scripture is sometimes better portrayed as warnings. It is something that can often be avoided when Israel came back to God. They seldom did. When they did, it didn’t last long.

When we study the prophets, we find they pretty much have the same basic ingredients: (1) warning of impending judgment because of the nations’ sinfulness; (2) a description of the sin; (3) a description of the coming judgment; (4) a call for repentance; and (5) a promise of future deliverance. [Bible.org; https://bible.org/seriespage/7-minor-prophets]

To time-stamp Joel is difficult. He leaves no road signs. For a good review of the historical summary judgements and chronology of Joel, one should read https://bible.org/seriespage/7-minor-prophets. We will remain within the stated parameters and stated context of Joel in this commentary. As we often state in our Bible Book commentaries in ahabiblemoments.com

  1. We Teach – You Decide
  2. JIV means Jim’s Introspective View

When things are not evident, we do not try to spiritualize verses or sections of scripture to make fit a denominational point of view or doctrine. Our denomination at ahabiblemoments is the same one of the New Testament disciples.

 Joel Chapter 1:1-12

Joel immediately uses parallel examples to begin his book; one that is current in the time of Joel and one that is prophetic. Locusts are not uncommon in Israel; a very *common issue in the Middle East countries. Following what is on the heels of COVID 19, the locust of 2020 in the Middle East are invasive once again. In a prime example of horrible timing, the locusts are reportedly the worst they have been in decades in countries like Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia … and are ravaging thousands of acres of crops in Yemen, Pakistan and India. [tmz.com; 2020]. To use locust as a parallel to a future event for Judah/Israel, perhaps the globe, is a big help to picture in Judean minds what Joel is talking about in his prophetic parallel.

*This is probably why the Pharaoh in the time of Moses gave little heed to the plague of locust. They were a common place occurrence. For a somewhat humorous look or take on this go to https://babylonbee.com/news/pharaoh-blames-plague-of-locusts-water-turning-to-blood-on-climate-change

Chapter 1:1-12 sets the stage for what has happened in the past and will on a much larger scale in Israel’s future. It is important for Israelis to pass on this information father-to-son, parents-to-children. If one does not know how can one be prepared? The simple answer is “they will not even be aware.” Too often this is akin to what some hope is a fundamental principle about attending church, bible studies, having devotions, reading commentaries. The information is there but few take the time to study it yet alone institute it. Going through the Bible in one year has more of a goal of making it within the year allotted time than it has to do with gaining knowledge, understanding, conviction, desire, and personal action. For Israel and the ultimate blessings and restoration promised by Joel to occur, Israel will need to experience the judgments of the Tribulation. It is this combination that will cause them to return to the Lord. Locusts are not a blessing. It is what Israel will need to pass through in God allowing (locust judgment) upon Israelis as a people to finally wake them up to the realization that Jesus was and still is their Messiah. Joel is stating that before the promise of redemption comes to His chosen people, they will need to be totally stripped of alternatives.

NOTE: Locust come out of nowhere giving little if any forewarning.

Joe 1:2 “Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land!” You inhabitants of THE land. This is specific. Joel is referring to Israel; some suggest it is just Judah. Then Joel states it is unlike prior infestations. He continues in verse 3 to explain this is not an immediate invasion of enemies who will strip the land and people of possessions. It is not the future invasion of Assyrians or the Babylonians. It is not the holocausts of the Spanish Inquisition in 1492 – 1503. It is not Hitler’s Nazis. Joel prophesies that two thirds of Israel will die at this time of invasion. Zechariah 13:8-7 tells us the same. Joel is prophesying that this is generations into the future.

Joel 1:6For a *nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a fierce lion.” Some commentaries wish to draw a parallel with Daniel’s dream interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. If so it would need to be the toes that are a combination of clay and iron.

*Nation: In the Hebrew, the word is gôy. It can mean a Gentile people, troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.

Most often it refers to gentiles meaning non-Israeli. “…its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it has the jaw teeth [cheek teeth] of a lioness.” Here is the truth in Joel’s prophecy. The locusts come in three waves [verse 4] to utterly and totally devastate a crop.  In this case those of God’s chosen people. The lioness’ cheek teeth grind their prey over and over.

Verse 7 is how we know the locust are but a metaphor. There My vine is desolation, and it has splintered My fig tree. He has stripped it,” It is not an “it” as would be used to identify something other than a human. This makes the above notation gôy of the word NATION meaning gentiles, not locust or a troop of animals.

Joel 1:9 is a reference to mid-tribulation in Jerusalem when the antichrist refuses offerings to be made in the rebuilt Temple to Jehovah but then must be made to him. The 3 ½ year mark. Even as Covid 19 ravished not only the world, but the minds of people, it has become a tool of governments to dominate one’s thought. Fear makes allowances for losing rights as a member of the human race. It is a play designed for the coming antichrist.

Joel 1:9The food offering and the drink offering have been cut off from the house of Jehovah; the priests, Jehovah’s ministers, mourn.”

Cut off meaning by the antichrist. Israelis will in initially accept the promises of the antichrist until he demands they worship him at the 3 1/2 year mark.

House of Jehovah meaning the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.

Joel 1:10-12 describe the devastation it will take to wake up the drunkard (Israel) to the fact of God the Father and God the begotten son. As stated earlier, there must come a point of absolute devastation and leaving NO alternative for Israel.

Next: We find the beginning of the solution beginning in Joel 1:13.

Rev. Jstark
2021