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JOEL CHAPTER THREE

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Joel. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

****** EXCERPT FROM JOEL CHAPTER TWO ******

Or skip to the beginning of chapter 3:

(Joel 2:28-32) IN THE DAY OF THE LORD, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY AND FOREVER, THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL BE POURED OUT UPON ALL MANKIND RIGHT AFTER THE LORD'S TEMPORAL JUDGMENT UPON THE EARTH. THE PEOPLE OF THE LORD WILL RECEIVE REVELATION FROM GOD - THEY WILL PROPHESY, DREAM DREAMS, SEE VISIONS - SERVING AS ORACLES OF GOD AS THEY RULE OVER THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH. AND BEFORE THE GREAT AND AWESOME DAY OF THE LORD, THERE WILL BE WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. BLOOD AND FIRE, COLUMNS OF SMOKE. THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, THE MOON TO BLOOD RED RED. AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD, I.E., REPENT UNTO FAITH ALONE IN THE LORD ALONE TO DELIVER ONE UNTO TEMPORAL AND ETERNAL SALVATION IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE SAVED. BUT ONLY THE REMNANT CHOSEN BY THE LORD WILL CHOOSE TO BELIEVE AND BE SAVED - THE PEOPLE OF THE LORD BEING PRIMARILY IN VIEW THROUGHOUT THIS PASSAGE

(Joel 2:12 NKJV) ''' "Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." (Joel 2:13 NKJV) So rend [tear] your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:14 NKJV) Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him - A grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God? (Joel 2:15 NKJV) Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; (Joel 2:16 NKJV) Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. (Joel 2:17 NKJV) Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, "Spare [Have pity upon] Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach [disgrace], That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?' " (Joel 2:18 NKJV) Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, And pity [i.e, have compassion for] His people. (Joel 2:19 NKJV) The LORD will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I will send you grain and new wine [lit., grape juice] and [fresh olive] oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach [disgrace] among the nations. (Joel 2:20 NKJV) But I will remove far from you the northern army, And will drive [it] away into a barren and desolate land, With [its] face toward the eastern sea And [its] back toward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done monstrous things." (Joel 2:21 NKJV) Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the LORD has done marvelous things! (Joel 2:22 NASB) Do not fear, beasts of the field, For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, For the tree has borne its fruit, The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. (Joel 2:23 NKJV) Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully [lit. "for righteousness" in the sense of 'because He is righteous and faithful'], And He will cause the rain to come down for you - The former ['Spring'] rain, And the latter ['Autumn'] rain in the first month. (Joel 2:24 NKJV) The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine [grape juice] and [fresh olive] oil. (Joel 2:25 HOLMAN) "[And] I will [have repaid] you for the years that the swarming locust ate, the young locust, the destroying locust, and the devouring locust - My great army that I [will have] sent against you. (Joel 2:26 NKJV) You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. (Joel 2:26 CBL) And [you will have eaten] abundantly, eating and being satisfied and [you will have praised] the name of Yahweh your God, because of what [wonderful works] He has done with you. And My people will not ever again be put to shame. (Joel 2:27 NKJV) And you will [have known] that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. (Joel 2:28 NKJV) And it shall [have] come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh [all mankind - implying that all mankind are believers]; Your sons and your daughters will [have] prophesied, your old men will dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:29 NKJV) And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:30 NKJV) And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. (Joel 2:30 YLT) And I will [have given] wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, Blood and fire, and columns of smoke. (Joel 2:31 NKJV) The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD. (Joel 2:32 NKJV) And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved [in the sense of delivered from temporal destruction / premature physical death]. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls." ''' =

Verses 28-32 bring an astounding close to chapter two. For the first time in history and forever, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all mankind evidently right after the LORD's temporal judgment upon the earth, (cf. "afterward," Joel 2:28). These verses portray a series of unique events which so far in history have not taken place to the degree, chrononlogy and simultaneity stipulated in the Book of Joel. Note that centuries later, the Apostle Peter referred to the imminent fulfillment of Joel chapter two in his time as a result of the disciples speaking in tongues. He indicated to the multitude of people who were around him that what was about to occur in his time was the fulfillment of what was prophesied in the Book of Joel, which included the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all mankind, not just a few disciples. The commencement of that Day, Peter indicated, was predicated upon all Israel's acceptance of her Messiah / Savior Jesus Christ, which did not occur. Hence the Day of the LORD did not commence at that time, ; nor has anything taken place relative to the Day of the LORD to the degree, chrononlogy and simultaneity stipulated in the Book of Joel, as some contend.

According to the contenxt of the Book of Joel, the pouring out of the Spirit upon all mankind implied that all mankind who survive the judgment part of the Day of the LORD will have repented unto a moment of faith alone in the LORD's provision of temporal deliverance from harm and eternal life in the eternal Kingdom of God. This universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Jews and Gentiles alike will evidently occur during the blessing part of the Day of the LORD - at the commencement of the eternal Kingdom of God. So all of those individuals whose lives the LORD preserved during His judgment period of the Day of the LORD will receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. Even the manservants and maid servants of the LORD who will serve the people of Israel will receive the indwelling Spirit. And the sons and daughters of Israel will also receive other spiritual gifts: the old men of Israel will dream dreams of revelation from the LORD, the young men of Israel will see visions of revelation from the LORD. This will evidently occur in order to enable Israel to be the ruling nation of the eternal Kingdom of God. For each Israelite will become an oracle of God to one another and to the Gentiles did, (Joel 2:28-29).

Verses 30-32 return to the time just before the first portion of the Day of the LORD - the judgment / destructive part. What was portrayed in these verses goes far beyond what locusts can do. Furthermore, what was portrayed in these verses did not accompany any judgment of the LORD upon Judah - including the locust plagues, as some contend, to the creationwide scope, degree of severity, or spontaneity stipulated. Nor for that matter, did Joel 2:30-32 accompany any event in history up to the present time: "And I will [have given] wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, Blood and fire, and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD."

[Compare Joel 2:10-11]:

(Joel 2:10 NKJV) "The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon will [have grown] dark [lit., black], And the stars will diminish [lit., be gathered up] their brightness.

(Joel 2:11 NKJV) The LORD [has given] voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the Day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?" ...............................[(Joel 2:30-31)].

All of humanity will be confronted by the LORD in the destructive / judgment part of the Day of the LORD with such ferocity that no one will be able to endure it - unless one called upon the name of the LORD to be saved - in the sense of trusting in His capacity and willingness to provide that salvation. The phrase rendered, "For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance," refers to the key focus of the LORD during the Day of the LORD: His chosen people, Israel - the people associated with Mount Zion and Jerusalem. Nevertheless, only a remnant called by the LORD from the people of the LORD and all of humanity will choose to believe in Him to save them and be delivered from His temporal destruction and enter into the eternal Kingdom of God: "And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved [in the sense of delivered from temporal destruction / temporal destruction / premature physical death]. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls," (Joel 2:32).

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM JOEL CHAPTER TWO ******

I) [Joel 3:1-21]:

(Joel 3:1 NKJV) "[The LORD said, (Joel 2:19)] For behold, in those days and at that time [the days of the Day of the LORD - the judgment portion] When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,

(Joel 3:2 ASV) [And] I [will have gathered] all the [Gentile] nations, and I [will have brought them down] into the valley of Jehoshaphat: and I [will have executed] judgment upon them there [concerning] My people and for My [inheritance] Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have [divided up] My land,

(Joel 3:3 ASV) And [they] have cast lots for My people, and have given a boy [in payment] for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.

(Joel 3:4 NKJV) Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head;

(Joel 3:5 NKJV) Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions.

(Joel 3:6 NKJV) [And] the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders.

(Joel 3:7 NKJV) Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head.

(Joel 3:8 NKJV) [And] I will [have sold] your sons and your daughters Into the hands of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a [nation] far off; For the LORD has spoken.

(Joel 3:9 NKJV) Proclaim this among the nations: 'Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all men of war draw near, Let them come up.

(Joel 3:10 NKJV) Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'

(Joel 3:11 NKJV) Assemble and come, all you [surrounding] nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones [warriors] to go down there, O LORD.

(Joel 3:12 NKJV) Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.

(Joel 3:13 NASB) Put [forth] the sickle, for the harvest [has ripened]. Come, tread, for the wine press [has become] full; The vats [have overflowed], for their wickedness is great.

(Joel 3:14 NKJV) Multitudes, multitudes [are] in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

(Joel 3:15 NKJV) The sun and moon will [have grown] dark [lit., black], And the stars will diminish [lit., be gathered up] their brightness.

(Joel 3:16 NKJV) [And] the LORD ... will roar from Zion, And [will] utter His voice from Jerusalem; [And] the heavens and earth will [have shaken]; But the LORD will be a shelter [a refuge] for His people, And [a stronghold for] the children [lit., sons] of Israel.

(Joel 3:17 NKJV) So you [Israel] shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens [lit., strangers] shall ever pass through her again.

(Joel 3:18 NKJV) And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD And water the Valley of Acacias,

(Joel 3:19 NASB) Egypt will become a waste, And Edom will become a desolate wilderness, Because of the violence done to the sons of Judah, In whose land they have shed innocent blood.

(Joel 3:20 NASB) But Judah will be inhabited forever And Jerusalem for all generations.

(Joel 3:21 NKJV) For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the LORD dwells in Zion."

A) (3:1-8) IN THE JUDGMENT DAYS OF THE YET FUTURE DAY OF THE LORD, THE LORD WILL BRING THOSE OF HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL WHO WERE CAPTIVES IN FOREIGN LANDS BACK TO THE PROMISED LAND. AND THE LORD WILL GATHER THE NATIONS INTO THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT UPON THEM FOR ENSLAVING HIS PEOPLE, DIVIDING UP HIS LAND AND HIS POSSESSIONS - HIS GOLD AND SILVER - AND RETURN THEIR RETALIATION IN KIND

(Joel 3:1 NKJV) "[the LORD said, (v. 19)] For behold, in those days and at that time [the days of the Day of the LORD - the judgment portion] When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, (Joel 3:2 ASV) [And] I [will have gathered] all the [Gentile] nations, and I [will have brought them down] into the valley of Jehoshaphat: and I [will have executed] judgment upon them there [concerning] My people and for My [inheritance] Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have [divided up] My land, (Joel 3:3 ASV) And [they] have cast lots for My people, and have given a boy [in payment] for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. (Joel 3:4 NKJV) Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head; (Joel 3:5 NKJV) Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions. (Joel 3:6 NKJV) [And] the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders. (Joel 3:7 NKJV) Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head. (Joel 3:8 NKJV) [And] I will [have sold] your sons and your daughters Into the hands of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a [nation] far off; For the LORD has spoken." =

The phrase rendered "In those days" refers to a time of the future, to the first part of the Day of the LORD which continues to be in view in chapter 3 - the judgment of God: the bringing of His wrath upon the nations of the world before He commences His eternal Kingdom of God upon the earth and pours out His Spirit and blessings upon all those of Israel and the nations of the world who survive, (Ref. Joel 2:28-32). The judgment of the LORD will evidently include bringing back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem to their land - the promised land. This cannot have captives of ancient times in view; for those people are no longer alive. But certain numbers of the descendants of the ancient people of Israel who will survive God's judgment in the Day of the LORD are in view. This implies a future captivity of the people of the LORD by the actions of the nations of the world in time preceding the future Day of the LORD, (Joel 3:1).

And at that time, the LORD will gather all the Gentile nations and bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat [lit., "Jehovah has judged"]. The phrase rendered "The valley of Jehoshaphat," refers to a place of the LORD's ultimate judgment. This name is only mentioned in the Book of Joel, (vv. 3:2, 12). It's geographical location is uncertain. Some contend that it will be a new location caused by the splitting of the Mount of Olives at the Messiah's return, (Zech 14:4). Most likely it will be located in a portion of the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem, where Scripture indicates that the nations of the world will gather to do battle, evidently with one another and then the LORD, (cf. Joel 3:9-14). This implies that the LORD will motivate the nations of the world to come to war with Him. Since the LORD is justified in destroying anything in His creation that has rebelled against His sovereignty, then He certainly is justified in summoning His enemies to war against Him. For the Gentile nations throughout history will have scattered the people of the LORD - His inheritance - among the nations of the world. And they will have divided up the LORD's possessions and His land - the Promised Land - which He set aside for His people as an inheritance, (Joel 3:2).

The nations of the world over history will have done despicable things to the inheritance of the LORD - His land, possessions and His people, Israel - such as casting lots for a boy and giving him into slavery for a harlot; and selling a girl for wine to drink - so little have they valued the people of the LORD. Such evil practices have always been common amongst the nations of the world. The LORD named the cities of Tyre and Sidon and the people of the coastal cities of Philistia - evidently as key examples of the Gentile nations in the world and their characteristic rebelliousness against Him, and their evil toward anything to do with Him. The cities mentioned were all coastal cities on the Mediterranean Sea, actively involved in trade, including slave trade in ancient times. Peoples of ancient times and their geographical areas which are cited point to their descendants and their activities in those geographic locations at the future time of the Day of the LORD. The evil treatment of the LORD's people, land and His possessions over history are taken personally by the LORD. He implied that the nations of the world throughout history have had an attitude of mockery and retaliation toward Him - toward His sovereignty. The LORD warned them not to retaliate against Him for bringing His people back to their land. In view of the fact that the future Day of the LORD is in view, this must imply that Israelites from all over the world will then be drawn to return to their promised land. He declared that He will bring the nations' retaliation against Him upon their own heads, (Joel 3:3-4).

The LORD declared that since the nations had taken His silver and gold and other prized possessions and carried them off into their own temples /palaces; and sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks [lit., "Javan," descendants of Noah's son Japheth - an area in Asia Minor, heavily colonized by a number of Greek city states, hence rendered "Greeks"] in order to remove His people far from their own borders; then the LORD will raise them out of the place to which they had sold them and return the nations' retaliation upon their own heads. This implied that the nations of the world have retaliated against the LORD Himself: Hence the LORD will sell their sons and daughters into the hands of the people of Judah and to the Sabeans. The word rendered "Sabeans," from which the name "Sheba" was derived, which the verse defined as a nation far off, (v. 8b), referred to the country from which the queen of Sheba came - a country which in ancient times was noted for its slave commerce. The Hebrew root of this word "shev" means "captivity." This was a nation located in the far away southwestern corner of the Arabian peninsula, in the area of present-day Yeman, (Joel 3:5-8).

B) (3:9-14) THE PEOPLE OF THE NATIONS - FROM THE WEAK TO THE STRONG - WILL BE CALLED TO FACE THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD BY DOING BATTLE WITH THE LORD'S ANGELIC WARRIORS IN THE VALLEY OF JEHOSOPHAT. MULTITUDES UPON MULTITUDES WILL BE ANNIHILATED BECAUSE THEIR WICKEDNESS WAS SO GREAT

(Joel 3:1 NKJV) "[the LORD said, (v. 19)] For behold, in those days and at that time [the days of the Day of the LORD - the judgment portion] When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, (Joel 3:2 ASV) [And] I [will have gathered] all the [Gentile] nations, and I [will have brought them down] into the valley of Jehoshaphat: and I [will have executed] judgment upon them there [concerning] My people and for My [inheritance] Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have [divided up] My land, (Joel 3:3 ASV) And [they] have cast lots for My people, and have given a boy [in payment] for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. (Joel 3:4 NKJV) Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head; (Joel 3:5 NKJV) Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions. (Joel 3:6 NKJV) [And] the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders. (Joel 3:7 NKJV) Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head. (Joel 3:8 NKJV) [And] I will [have sold] your sons and your daughters Into the hands of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a [nation] far off; For the LORD has spoken. (Joel 3:9 NKJV) Proclaim this among the nations: 'Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all men of war draw near, Let them come up. (Joel 3:10 NKJV) Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' (Joel 3:11 NKJV) Assemble and come, all you [surrounding] nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones [warriors] to go down there, O LORD. (Joel 3:12 NKJV) Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. (Joel 3:13 NASB) Put [forth] the sickle, for the harvest [has ripened]. Come, tread, for the wine press [has become] full; The vats [have overflowed], for their wickedness is great. (Joel 3:14 NKJV) Multitudes, multitudes [are] in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision." =

The LORD instructed unidentified messengers to call to the nations of the world to prepare for war - evidently against the LORD Himself: "Proclaim this among the nations: 'Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all men of war draw near, Let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' Assemble and come, all you [surrounding] nations, And gather together all around." And then the messengers directed their message to the LORD to bring down His warriors - evidently His angelic forces: "Cause Your mighty ones [warriors] to go down there, O LORD." And the battlefield will be in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, with the LORD Himself sitting in judgment of all the nations of the world surrounding His chosen people, Israel: "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations." Once more the LORD repeated the call for the nations of the world to come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat - to be judged by Him, (Joel 3:2; 9-12).

The language of verse 13 utilized the imagery of the mowing down of grain at harvest time, and the treading down of grapes in a wine press with the wine overflowing - picturing the massive slaughter and spilling of blood of the battle to come in the Day of the LORD - the absolute annihilation of all those who opposed Him - the result of the wrath of God upon multitudes upon multitudes of the wicked, rebellious nations of the world by His angelic warriors - because their wickedness was so great! "Put [forth] the sickle, for the harvest [has ripened]. Come, tread, for the wine press [has become] full; The vats [have overflowed], for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes [are] in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision." The phrase "valley of decision" referred to the "valley of Jehoshaphat, " - the valley of the judgment of the LORD, (cf. Joel 3:2, 12) - the site where the LORD would bring His wrath down upon the wicked nations of the world, (Joel 3:13-14).

C) (3:15-17) THE SUN AND MOON WILL HAVE GROWN DARK, AND THE STARS WILL DIMINISH. AND THE ROAR OF THE LORD WILL BE UTTERED FROM JERUSALEM, SHAKING THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH WITH FEAR. BUT THE LORD WILL BE A SHELTER AND A STRONGHOLD FOR HIS PEOPLE, THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. AND SO ALL ISRAEL WILL KNOW THE LORD - THAT HE IS THE LORD THEIR GOD, DWELLING IN ZION HIS HOLY MOUNTAIN. AND JERUSALEM WILL BE HOLY, NO ONE AT ENMITY WITH THE LORD WILL EVER PASS THROUGH HER GATES AGAIN

(Joel 3:15 NKJV) "The sun and moon will [have grown] dark [lit., black], And the stars will diminish [lit., be gathered up] their brightness. (Joel 3:16 NKJV) [And] the LORD ... will roar from Zion, And [will] utter His voice from Jerusalem; [And] the heavens and earth will [have shaken]; But the LORD will be a shelter [a refuge] for His people, And [a stronghold for] the children [lit., sons] of Israel. (Joel 3:17 NKJV) So you [Israel] shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens [lit., strangers] shall ever pass through her again." =

And once more, Joel addressed the creationwide effects of the Day of the LORD and His ultimate protection of His people, the children of Israel - repeating verbatim Joel 2:10b in verse 15: "The sun and moon will [have grown] dark [lit., black], And the stars will diminish [lit., be gathered up] their brightness." Then in verse 15: "[And] the LORD ... will roar from Zion, And [will] utter His voice from Jerusalem; [And] the heavens and earth will [have shaken]; But the LORD will be a shelter [a refuge] for His people, And [a stronghold for] the children [lit., sons] of Israel." While Joel 2:10c is part of a passage which has in view the armies of the world converging upon Israel like a locust plague ; Joel 3:15 and 16 have in view the LORD exercising His wrath upon His enemies - the nations of the world - and the protection of His people from them. His roar from Zion - His voice from Jerusalem - will shake the heavens and the earth with fear; and yet He will be a stronghold for His people - the children of Israel, (Joel 3:15-16).

The phrase rendered "So you [Israel] shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens [lit., strangers] shall ever pass through her again," referred primarily to the great signs in the heavens and the earth stipulated in verses 15 and 16. The emphasis was that these signs will point to the all important sovereignty of God - especially to Israel. The LORD God of Israel will have shown to them and to the world that He is the LORD, their God; that He will forever dwell in Zion in His holy mountain. And He will make Jerusalem forever holy - set apart for His presence, and be amongst His people, Israel. No strangers will ever pass through her again, in the sense of being at enmity with Him, (Joel 3:17)

D) (3:18-21) AND IN THE BLESSING PART OF THE FUTURE DAY OF THE LORD, THERE WILL BE UNPARALLELED PROSPERITY FOR JUDAH FOREVER; BUT EGYPT AND EDOM WILL BE DESOLATE BECAUSE OF THE VIOLENCE DONE TO THE SONS OF JUDAH. BUT JUDAH AND JERUSALEM WILL BE INHABITED FOREVER. FOR THE LORD WILL ACQUIT THEM OF THE GUILT OF BLOODSHED WHICH HE HAD NOT HERETOFORE FORGIVEN - FOR THE LORD WILL DWELL FOREVER IN ZION

(Joel 3:18 NKJV) "And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD And water the Valley of Acacias, (Joel 3:19 NASB) Egypt will become a waste, And Edom will become a desolate wilderness, Because of the violence done to the sons of Judah, In whose land they have shed innocent blood. (Joel 3:20 NASB) But Judah will be inhabited forever And Jerusalem for all generations. (Joel 3:21 NKJV) For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the LORD dwells in Zion." =

And in that future time - and for the rest of eternity, there will be unparalleled prosperity: "And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD [the Temple] And water the Valley of Acacias," with the phrase rendered "the Valley of Acacias," literally, the "Wadi Shittim," Wadi meaning gorge, and Shittim meaning "acacia," i.e., that which pertains to the genus of woody leguminous plants. Shittim is located on the border between Moab and Israel, beyond Jordan. So there will be a fountain of water - a spring - flowing from the Temple; and even formerly arid areas will be well watered and flourish with plant life, (Joel 3:18).

Verse 19 declares that Egypt and Edom will become a waste, a desolate wilderness because of the violence done to the sons of Judah, in whose land they had shed innocent blood. Evidently, Egypt and Edom were key examples of nations which had done wicked things to the people of the LORD. On the other hand verses 20-21 declare that Judah and Jerusalem will be inhabited forever. For the LORD will acquit His people of their guilt of bloodshed, whom He had not acquitted in the past for their lack of national repentance, (cf. Joel 2:12-32 ). And the last phrase of the Book of Joel: "For the LORD dwells in Zion" - dwells forever in His holy mountain, (cf. Joel 3:17) - a fitting close to the book and to history, (Joel 3:19-21).