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 3:2 “I 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 3:4 “oh 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.