About Jesus Steve Sweetman
My Commentary On Joel
This Section - Chapter 3:1 - 16
Verse 1 says "in those days and
in that time." To me,
this tells me that the Day of the Lord is more than just one day, the day
Jesus returns to earth. Joel
says that in those days God will restore the fortunes of Israel. You might say that as
was under the rule of King David so it will be, and even more so, the most
important nation on earth.
I believe God began the restoration
They say in Israel
today there are Jews who have relocated from 122 different countries.
The return of the Jews to the Promised
Land is the prerequisite to the Day of the Lord being fulfilled. This
tells me that we're getting close to the end.
In verse 2 we see that in the day that
God restores the fortunes of
God gathers the nations in this valley
to bring judgment on them for the way theyíve treated Israel. Most Prophetic Futurists view this as the Battle of Armageddon or
possibly the war of Ezekiel 38 and 39, depending on how you interpret
those wars. Most think what
God does in this period of history is multi-facetted. This
battle is no exception. Part
of the reason for this battle is to judge the nations of the world for
their treatment of Israel. From the perspective of the
nations and the anti-Christ, it is to wage war on God.
Jesus obviously appears on the scene and defeats the nations and
the anti-Christ with a word from His mouth.
Another reason for this war is to
bring one last judgment on
Note also in verse 2 the words
"all nations." All
nations of the world will come to fight and be judged by Jesus.
I do not believe that any will be excluded.
There are no exceptions, and that includes any of our western
nations. I understand that the
word "all" does not always mean "all" when we read it
in the Bible. The context
often has to be addressed to see just how we interpret that word
"all," but here, I believe that "all" means
"all," as in "all nations."
I know that some believe that only some nations will join in this
attack, but that is not my position at the moment.
One reason why some
people believe that not all nations will come to fight the Jews is found
in Matthew 25:31 and following. There
Jesus said that He will return in heavenly glory, to sit on His earthly
There are other Scriptures that tell
of this last great war when all nations are gathered in the Valley for
Judgment. Zephaniah 3:8 is
another good one. It reads as
follows. "I have decided
to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms to pour out my wrath on
them - all my fierce anger. The
whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger."
This is one very powerful verse.
We all should know that no one fools around with God.
The whole world, not one part exempt, will experience the judgment
We might ask at this
point if this last great battle is the battles or battles that Joel spoke
of in chapters 1 and 2. It
seems to me that what is being spoken of here is not what was spoken of in
chapters 1 and 2. Because of
the nature of the locust invasions, four in all, some suggest that the
invading armies take place over time, maybe centuries.
Whatever you think, the Joel 3 war is not what we see in chapters 1
and 2, or so I think.
Judgment comes to the Jews and to the
world in the Great Tribulation. One
reason why the judgment comes to the nations of the world is because of
their treatment of the Jews. Throughout
history nations have scattered the Jews as it says here in verse 2.
The interesting part of the last half of verse 2 is that we note
God does not like His land, that is Israel
being divided. As I write
this, in 2017, the "two state solution" is being talked about
for Israel. That means the nations of
the world want to divide Israel
in half, half for the Arab Palestinians, and half for the Jews.
God does not like this idea. Beyond
Note in verse 2 the words "my
land and my people." This
parcel of land that is so controversial these days doesn't just belong to
Concerning God's land being divided,
that is presently the big debate right now when it comes to Israel. It's called the "two
state solution." The
nations want to actually divide the 25 percent of the land that the Jews
were promised back in 1922. Just
think about this.
It has been an ongoing process in the
United Nations to pass motions against
For some, the words "I will put
them (the nations) on trial" relates to what Jesus said in Matthew
25:31 to 46. There, Jesus
gathers the nations of the world as stated here in Joel and elsewhere.
Many Bible teachers believe that the separation of the sheep and
goats in this passage is the separation of the nations who are for
Concerning the dividing of the land
Verse 3 begins with the word
is in reference to the nations who have attacked
Verse 3 speaks of trading boys for
prostitutes and casting lots for Godís people. The idea here is that the
nationís leaders do what they want with Israel. They tell
In Exodus 21:16 we see how God views
the selling of people into slavery. "He
who kidnaps a man and sells him ... will surely be put to death" (NKJV).
This clearly states the Biblical position on slavery, something
some people believe the Bible doesn't really speak to.
Verses 4 through 6 speak of the way
It is interesting to note that both Tyre
were destroyed by the Muslims in and around the tenth century.
I'm not sure if that means anything to this verse, but both of
these regions, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, part of Israel
today, lost their ethnicity centuries ago.
The land of the Philistia is present
The nations of the world are heavily
influenced by the devil.
God specifically states that if
Verses 5 and 6 state why God is upset
There is no Jewish temple in
Note in verse 5 that which was stolen
6 states that "you" (the attacking nation) sold the people of
Verse 7 is one of a number of passages
in the Bible that clearly state the God will cause the Jews to return to
their homeland. Once this has
taken place, then God will do to those nations what those nations have
done to the Jews. It is all
about the Abrahamic Covenant. That
is, "those who bless
The beginning of the Jews returning to
their homeland began in the mid 1800's.
It slowed down during the Hitler years and the Second World War by
Verse 8 speaks of the Sabeans.
It says that they are a land far away.
Historically speaking, they are associated with
Verses 8 and 9 show how God will deal
with the nations of the world at the end of this age. He
will deal with them in the same way that they have dealt with His people
the Jews. He also says that He
will return Israel to the land He gave them, which by the way, is a lot
more land than they presently have, as seen in Genesis 15.
Verse 9 is a call for war. Many
people donít view God as a warrior, but here you see Him as being just
that. It is God who actually
calls the nations to war, which I believe here, is the last great war we
often call the Battle of Armageddon. God
calls the nations to attack Israel. What He is doing is He is
really just setting them up. They
go to fight Israel
and find out that they are actually fighting God and end up losing.
In verse 10 God says to "beat
your ploughs into swords," just the opposite of what we normally
understand when we hear the words plows and swords. God
doesnít say in this verse to beat swords into ploughs as He does
elsewhere. He is telling the
nations to get ready for war, the last great war.
Again, it is not culturally correct these days but God is a God of
war. Look how Jesus is
pictured in the first chapter of Revelation and you will see that to be
Note the words "let the weak say
I am strong." We sing a
Christian song these days with these words in it.
I do not know if the author of this song had this verse in mind,
but if he did, the song has the wrong understanding of this verse.
The song suggests that the week can find strength in the Lord, and
that is correct, but this verse is all about warfare. In context, I
believe the weak are the nations who attack Israel.
In verse 12 God tells the nations to
come to the Valley of Jehoshaphat and get ready to fight, and come quickly. This is
interesting in the sense that we often think that this final battle is the
idea of the anti-Christ, but according to this verse it's God's idea.
A close study of the book of Revelation will show you that the
nations of the world at this time in history will actually know that they
are attempting to fight against God. As
weird as that may sound, the nations will attempt to do just that.
Going back to verse 11,
you will notice the word "quickly."
In our day of jet fighters, drones, computers, and satellite
technology, things can happen very quickly, and that includes this war.
In Joel's day, the beginning of a war could take a very long time.
The nations of the world will think
that it is them who have decided to fight, but in reality, as it is with
much of history, God is behind this war.
The reason why the nations go to the Middle East is to fight
Note the words "bring down your
warriors, Lord." Some
people believe these warriors are angels.
Matthew 25:31 and 32 tells us that all the holy angels will return
with Jesus. At that time,
Jesus will judge the nations. The
last great battle ends in the most important court case in history.
Every nation in the world will be judged for how they have treated
As a side note,
In verse 13 we see the words
"swing the sickle for the harvest is ripe."
This is a grape harvester's knife.
Isaiah 63 speaks to this verse in Joel.
We see here that Jesus fights and the language here speaks of the
winepress of judgment, as we also see in Revelation 14:18 to 20.
This is almost a direct quote from Joel 3:13.
Joel 3:13 is talking about a harvest of judgment, not a harvest of
saints as many might think. The
point here is that the
In verses 13 and 14 we see multitudes
in the valley of decision. Representatives
from every nation will be gathered to fight against God. For
these nations it is the ultimate battle, but for God it is the beginning
of final judgment.
Some people might suggest that the word "decision" here is in reference to the armies making decisions. I see this decision making on God's part. It is God who is deciding and He is doing so as He puts the nations on trial as we have seen in Matthew 25.
This final great battle is Godís
judgment on the nations of the world.
We can't confuse this with the Great White Throne Judgment that
appears in Revelation 20. In
that judgment nations aren't judged. Individuals
are judged according to what they have done.
Once this individual judgment is over, this earth and the universe
will flee away and disappear. A
new heaven and a new earth will take its place as we read in the last 2
chapters of Revelation.
In verse 14 we read the words
"valley of decision." We
often think of the valley of decision as man making the decision to fight,
but many scholars believe this decision refers to God making the decision
to judge the nations of the world.
The term "Day of the Lord"
in verse 14 in my thinking speaks to that last great day of the Day of the
Lord. It's the ultimate Day of
the Lord when Jesus ends it all.
In verse 15 we see the sun, moon, and
stars darkened and not being able to shine. This
confirms for us that what is happening here is certainly at the end of
this age. This is end time imagery. This
has never happened in human history to this date.
In verse 16 we note that the
"Lord will roar from
If you do a serious
study or even a close reading of the book of Revelation you may note, as I
have, that everything the Apostle John hears from heaven is very loud to
his ears. Either heavenly
sounds are louder or our temporal ears just can't handle the sounds of
heaven. Whatever the case,
Jesus can, does, and will, roar.
For God's people Israel, during this time when Jesus roars, He will be a refuge. At the same
time, when the wrath of the Lamb is poured out on the nations of the
world, God will protect His people. He
will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication as Zechariah 12:10 says.
He will save the survivors of the Great Tribulation, otherwise known as the time of Jacobs trouble as seen in Jeremiah 30:7.