Joel 3v1- (chapter 4 in the Hebrew Bible)
v1: In those days and at that time – If you are a good student of prophecy you will be aware that, although we are not in those final seven years yet, end time events have already begun.
· I will bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem. The regathering of Jews to the land of Israel is an end time event! After 2000 years of “radio silence” Israel became a nation again in 1948. People have been flocking back to it since then. This re-establishing of the nation of Israel is going to be (and is already) a catalyst of conflict (see v2)
v2: ALL nations are going to be gathered up into the valley of Jehoshaphat (which means G-d has judged). This valley is also called Jezreel and Megiddo (Armageddon).
· The nations are going to see how G-d behaves concerning His inheritance – Israel.
· Divided up my land: Baruch believes this is yet unfulfilled. We can expect the Land of Israel to be divided up in the future, and what we’re going to see is that this is going to lay the foundation for a time, again, of Jewish persecution.
v3: The nations are not going to see the significance of G-d’s covenant people.
v4: Philistia – Philistines; a word applied to the Palestinians today.
This verse is talking about those to the north and east of Israel.
· I will return your retaliation: Num 24v9
v5: Those things that are precious to G-d they have taken. They used that which belongs to G-d for pagan purposes.
v6: Greeks: Europeans. They stand in opposition to the will of G-d – they want to take the people outside of the land, away from where G-d has called them to be. There is a battle going on in regard to where these people are going to dwell.
v8: Matt 7v2
v9: G-d is warning the nations to get ready for war. These should not catch up by surprise. Prophetically there is going to be war -not just one war but many wars in the last days (Matt 24v6-7).
v10: Zechariah 12v8. Those who are weak, small, have no resources etc G-d is going to make mighty and strong. Why? Because they rely upon Him and seek His will.
v12: The valley – the place where the enemy is going to be defeated so that the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d can be brought about.
v13: Rev 14v17-20, Rev 19v15
v14: Valley of decision – we would expect it to say “valley of Jehoshaphat”. This decision has been set. It has already been determined.
v15: Joel 2v10b. This is in contrast to what we saw in Joel 2v31. These are two different events. At the time of the rapture (blessed hope) the moon will become red like blood. At the second coming of Yeshua the moon will become dark. This verse is talking about the second coming of Yeshua. The sky is going to be in utter darkness (Ex 12v29 – death came to every home which had not dealt correctly with the blood of the lamb, see also Matt 24v29-30)- the light of the world is coming!
v16: Roar – the Lion of Judah is going to roar. This is a Messianic prophecy.
· The time of the Gentiles has come to an end and G-d moves His attention back to the lost sheep of Israel (Luke 21v24, Roms 11v25 – even at this late stage there is still hope for the Gentiles – mixed multitude – Ex 12v38)
v17: Aliens – no foreign gods will ever be worshipped in Jerusalem again.
v18: Judgment brings condemnation for some, but vindication for others.
· Wine is symbolic of joy and happiness. The mountains, high places of worship, are going to drip with this new wine.
· Milk speaks of sustenance. When we are joyful we are going to be sustained (Neh 8v10)
· Water is synonymous with blessing.
· What is significant about acacia wood is that the Ark of the Covenant was made from it – these housed the commandments of G-d.
v19: Edom (modern day Jordan) takes its most significant place not in the past but in the future. When Messiah returns one of the first places He’s going to is Edom – Isaiah 63v1-6.
Edom is related to Esau. Esau spurned his birthright and was not interested in being a blessing to others.
· Violence – the Hebrew word used is “Hamas”. This word means doing violence for the sake of rejoicing over the misery and the suffering of others (Gen 6v13, Matt 24v37-39)
v21: Aquit: Cleanse, pardon
· Bloodguilt – a blood associated with impurity and shame.
G-d gives two options here: He will either clean or He will not clean. In Egypt, through many signs, G-d gave all the people an opportunity to either be cleansed and forgiven or not to be cleansed and forgiven. This acquittal or “not acquittal” hinged on whether the people kept the Passover or not – whether they sought redemption or not.
This is how Joel’s prophecy ends: Do you want to be cleansed? Choose redemption. Do you not want to be cleansed? Reject it. It’s that simple.