Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Joel 3

Coffman's Commentaries on the BibleCoffman's Commentaries


The prophecy of this chapter is one of the most remarkable in the whole Bible; and, for centuries, interpreters have found no agreement in what to make of it. More than 150 years ago, Adam Clarke wrote that, “This is a part of the prophecy which is difficult to understand; all interpreters are at variance upon it,’“ himself leaning toward the view that it referred to certain victories or changes in the fortunes of the secular state of Israel. It is our conviction that most of the failure to understand Joel 3 derives from a misunderstanding of the secular state and fleshly nation of the Jews as the principal, or even the sole, subject of God’s concern and of his prophetic word, i.e., a confusion of the two Israel’s of God, the one of the flesh alone, the other of the spirit and mind of Abraham. It is of this latter Israel, the true Israel alone, that the great prophecies of the O.T. are speaking, some notable exceptions occurring at a time when the two were commingled with a secular state which the fleshly Israel had injected into God’s plans by their rebellion against him and their insistence upon having a king. As during the subsequent centuries the true Israel was necessarily mingled with the secular, and indeed confused with it, there were indeed many prophecies and references to “Israel” which applied to them both.

But in this chapter, one should forget all about the secular Israel, the Jewish state, the Hebrew nation, the fleshly Israel, the old Israel, etc. All of the references to Judah, Jerusalem, Zion, “my heritage Israel,” etc. are used in a spiritual sense of the church and kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord. The very first verse of this chapter dates everything in it subsequently to the Day of Pentecost; and that leaves the secular Israel completely out of it.

The first section of the chapter, in highly metaphorical language, speaks of the “true Israel” receiving the forgiveness of sins, and of the judgments of God upon the nations which opposed his purpose (Joel 3:1-7). Section two (Joel 3:9-13) has the same meaning as the gathering of the nations for the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16); and it also has the summoning of all nations to the Final Judgment, presented under the figure of the sickle and the harvest as is also the case in Revelation 14. The reign of Christ is depicted in section three (Joel 3:14-17), during which time, the Lord “roars from Jerusalem” (in the N.T. which originated there), and also during which time the “people of Israel” (the church of Jesus Christ) will find their refuge in Jehovah (not in literal Jerusalem). All men during this phase of divine history will be caught up in “the valley of decision,” where will be determined their destiny as servants either of Christ, or of the devil.

The final section of this chapter (Joel 3:18-21) is a figurative presentation of the wonderful spiritual blessings available in the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 1

“For behold in those days, and at that time, when I shall bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.

“In those days, and at that time” Cole said that this “points to the distant and vague future”;(F1) and, although that might be true as it seemed to the people of Joel’s day, it is not so for us. What is clearly meant is that “in the times of the pouring out of God’s Spirit upon all flesh,” as prophesied immediately before these words, the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem will be “brought back.” And of course, we know exactly when that time began, namely, on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ. As Keil noted, “All of the views which refer these words to events before the Christian era are irreconcilable with the context.”(F2) Everything in this chapter is to occur after the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon all flesh. Hailey correctly identified the time-frame of this chapter with “the dispensation following Pentecost.”(F3) All applications of these words to some future millennium, or to pre-Christian episodes, are incorrect.

“I shall bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem” One is at once aware of variations from this rendition, “The RSV (and a number of translations) rendering it in the more general sense of restore the fortunes.”(F4) This change was evidently made in order to accommodate the interpretation of this place as pertaining to secular Israel, an interpretation denied by the literal meaning of the words, because “even after the returns of the sixth and fifth centuries, many Jews still remained in exile.”(F5) However, the ASV and all of the ancient versions harmonize with the KJV in this place, “bring again the captivity of Judah”; and “this is the literal translation.”(F6) It is therefore a very general and widespread captivity which is the subject of the prophecy. What is it? Jesus mentioned it in the first public sermon he ever preached:

“He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18).

This is the only release of captives that can properly be identified with the dispensation of the Spirit of God; and it is clearly a release from bondage and servitude of sin that is meant. “It is the deliverance from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the Son of God.”(F7) The terrible captivity of the Jews (in the general sense) is to Satan, whose servants they chose to become when they cried, “We have no king but Caesar,” and “his blood be upon us and upon our children.” Likewise, the vast majority of the whole Gentile world as well are engaged in the very same servitude of the evil one. It is that captivity, preeminently, and above all others, with which God has always been concerned. In speaking of Jews and Gentiles, let it ever be remembered that all alike, both Jews and Gentiles, are invited by the gospel of Christ to receive the turn of their captivity. Whosoever will may come! This sublime truth makes it impossible to suppose that God has in any manner wronged Israel by his refusal to accommodate to their carnal view of God’s kingdom which identified it with their state! The fact that Amos “spoke of `an entire captivity’ (Amos 1:6; Amos 1:9),”(F8) at a period long before either the Assyrian or Babylonian captivities occurred, shows the ancient prophets did not restrict this to a physical captivity. Then, as now, the problem was sin and rebellion against God.

“Turning again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem” thus refers to the times of regeneration in the kingdom of Christ, that is, to this present dispensation of the gospel when all men, of every race and nation, if they so desire, may receive the forgiveness of their sins and the restoration of their broken fellowship with the Father.

Verse 2

“I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgment upon them there for my people Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have parted my land.

“The valley of Jehoshaphat” “This is not to be thought of as a literal place in Palestine, but as an ideal place where judgment is to be executed.”(F9) This is the same as the place called Armageddon (Revelation 16); and in both cases, it is the place where God will execute his wrath upon evil men; and absolutely no “battle” of any kind is prophesied as occurring at either site. This judgment of God upon “all nations” who have persecuted God’s people has already taken place repeatedly in history, as witnessed by Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, Gomorrah, Assyria, Nineveh, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and Jerusalem; and it is still going on! (See my Commentary on Revelation, pp. 374-378.)

“My people Israel whom they have scattered among the nations” Many expositors think only of the dispersion of the Jews; but more than that is meant.

The people and inheritance of God are not merely the O.T. Israel as such, but the church of the Lord, (the true Israel) of both covenants, upon which the Spirit of God is poured out.(F10)

The “scattering” here must then be applied to all of the many “scatterings” that were inflicted upon the old Israel, as well as to the “scatterings” of Christians all over the world, a very considerable number of which have resulted directly from vicious persecution by evil nations, as that which arose around the martyrdom of Stephen, the dispersion of the faithful that came about from the persecutions of the apostolic missionaries, as Paul, who fled from place to place, with a result of congregations being planted all over the Roman empire; and this pattern continues indefinitely and even into modern times; it was persecutions which drove the early colonies to the New World in the 17th century. Thus the scattering of God’s people among the nations is not a one-shot episode that happened to ancient Israel. No wonder the commentators cannot decide what “scattering” is meant here!

“And have parted my land” Here again, “my land” is wrongly read as “Palestine”; but the notion that any such place is any more “God’s land” than North America or any other place on earth should have been laid to rest twenty centuries ago. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (Psalms 24:1). The parting, or dividing of God’s land therefore refers to the horrible divisions that have come upon the earth through the devices of wicked men. The whole world today is divided, because the only basis of unity through “one new man in Christ Jesus” has been denied and rejected by evil men. This passage teaches that the ultimate judgment of God will fall upon humanity for their sins. Deane was near the common consensus of opinions in this comment:

“This must be referred to the long subsequent time (from Joel) when Palestine became a Roman province, its capital leveled with the ground; then the great dispersion of the covenant people among the nations commenced, and continues to the present day.”(F11)

Apparently, however, Deane failed to include here the similar “scattering” of the true Israel and the “divisions” of mankind resulting from wickedness. They also, of course, are included.

Verse 3

“And have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.

There have been many examples of the unconscionable wickedness represented by these examples of it. Significantly, fornication, drunkenness, and human slavery, especially child-abuse, are prominent here; and these are universally the hallmark of evil societies.

Verse 4

“Yea, and what are ye to me, O Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head.

The omission of the names of many nations that were just as wicked as these cited has been widely misinterpreted, all kinds of allegations regarding the date of the prophecy being made to turn on the singular mention of just these; but these do not make up any kind of list, being merely well-known examples of horrible wickedness leading at last to God’s judgment. Robinson spoke of this and other such data, as “obviously too indefinite to be of any great value in deciding the prophet’s date.”(F12) It is significant that Amos also used these very examples of rampant wickedness. “Amos singles out the very nations mentioned by Joel, and reproaches them with such offences as Joel specifies (Amos 1:6-12).”(F13)

“If ye recompense me” Jamieson explained the meaning here thus: “If ye injure me (my people) in revenge for fancied wrongs, I will requite you in your own coin, swiftly and speedily.”(F14) In all history, those nations which have undertaken to destroy Christianity have themselves been speedily destroyed. Secular Israel, pagan Rome, Assyria and Babylon are ancient examples, especially Jerusalem and Rome; but there are modern examples also. Hitler burned the Bibles at Nuremburg, but the fire did not go out until Berlin was totally ruined. God is still in control of his world.

Verses 5-8

“Forasmuch as ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly precious things, and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem unto the sons of the Grecians, that ye may remove them far from their border; behold, I will stir them up out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head; and I will send your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the men of Sheba, to a nation far off: for Jehovah hath spoken it.”

This is merely an elaboration of the ancient divine principle that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”; and it applies to states and nations as well as to individuals. There is no hint in a passage like this of any divine approval of such things as slavery; Joel was merely citing some well-known examples of “retribution in kind” as prophecy of the way it would always be under the government of God. When a nation was victorious, they sold their captives as slaves; but, in turn, when they were defeated, their citizens were likewise sold into slavery. David took the sword of Goliath and hung it up in the temple (or tabernacle); and when Babylon took the Israelites captive, they looted the treasures of the temple and placed them in the temples of pagan deities. The prophecy is presented in the imagery of such things which were well known and understood by the ancients. Adonibezek is a classical example of the retribution in kind that marked pre-Christian societies. He had his thumbs cut off and was compelled to grovel for food under the king’s table, because he had inflicted similar atrocities upon others. There is no need to multiply examples of such things nor to attempt any specific detail of exactly what events Joel used here as the source of his imagery, as they were very many indeed. The selling into slavery here, “would not be literal or physical selling, but an avenging by divine judgment of the shameful treatment inflicted upon the people of the Lord.”(F15)

Verse 9

“Proclaim ye this among the nations; prepare war; stir up the mighty men; let the men of war draw near, let them come up.

“Here God is proclaiming that the nations themselves will be the instruments of his judgment. The seeds of destruction are sown in the forces of destruction.”(F16) Furthermore, the destructive nations themselves will be destroyed, and their gathering together for violence is a prophecy of their own doom also. There is thus a forenotice here of that episode in Revelation 16, where the evil spirits went forth to gather the kings of the earth “unto the war of the great day of God” (Revelation 16:14). (See my commentary on Revelation, pp. 374-378.)

Verse 10

“Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

This passage was once cited by President Truman when a group of five preachers called upon him during the Korean war and were received in the White House office. Some of the area preachers in Washington, D.C. had been preaching from the contrasting passage in Isaiah 2:4 about beating swords into plowshares, etc.; and the President, asked, “Why don’t you preachers preach all the Bible?” He then turned to this passage and read from the Bible (which had just been presented to him), from this very verse, adding, “I don’t think these are minor prophets at all; some of the most important things in the Bible are found in these short books.” It was this writer’s privilege to share in that visit and the President’s words regarding the minor prophets have always been remembered as solemn truth.

Here again, one encounters the notion that the origin of this verse was in Isaiah, and that Joel was merely giving a “parody of what that prophet wrote”;(F17) and such an idea fits in nicely with opinions of a late post-exilic date; but the student should see again the comments under Joel 2:32, above, for a discussion of the true origin of prophetic statements. There is absolutely no evidence whatever that either Isaiah or Joel quoted the other in these passages; as a matter of fact, if either of them had done so, he would have said so. “For Jehovah hath spoken it” (Joel 3:8) is a frequently recurring note in this prophecy.

Rather than being a command upon the part of the Lord that the nations of earth should arm for war, it would appear to be a prophecy of what they will, through their wickedness, actually do, converting the total economy of their societies to the making of instruments of destruction, even the humblest implements of agriculture being also involved in the perversion. Is not this a perfect picture of what is going on in the world at this very time? Conditions symbolized by this are a prelude to the great and final judgment itself. The language would appear to be similar to that which is said in Revelation 22:11:

“He that is unrighteousness, let him do unrighteousness still:
And he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still:
And he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still:
And he that is holy, let him be made holy still…

What is indicated by such words as our verse (Joel 3:10), and also by this N.T. quotation, is that the time of the Final Judgment has almost arrived; and there is no need whatever for nations of the earth, which have hardly ever done anything else except prepare for war, to make any significant change; it is too late for that. The immediate reference in this very short paragraph in Joel 3:12 and Joel 3:13 to the “sickle” of judgment, and the “winepress” of God’s wrath strongly supports this impression. The time indicated by Joel’s words here is near the close of the era when, denying the benign teachings of the Saviour’s kingdom, men shall beat plowshares into swords, etc.: it comes at a time when the final and irrevocable rebellion of all mankind shall be approaching its climax.

Myers gave a spiritual interpretation of this verse, reading it as equal to, “What Amos said to Israel, `Prepare to meet your God (Amos 4:12).’ The military terms employed to accentuate the seriousness of the conflict must not be allowed to obscure the real meaning.”(F18) Without doubt, this is an acceptable understanding of this place; but our own preference favors the view given above.

Verse 11

“Haste ye, and come, all ye nations round about, and gather yourselves together: cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Jehovah.

The gathering of the nations in their opposition to God, which is prophesied to come at the general hardening of mankind that is prophesied as preceding the Final Judgment is here represented as an act of God Himself, indicating judicial hardening. Thus, in the case of Judas, Jesus commanded him, “What thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:27).

“Thy mighty ones to come down” Some expositors are inclined to view the assembled nations as an assembly convened to execute the will of God, but we believe the assembly here is a spiritual thing, referring to the unanimity with which human nations shall oppose God, and that this is a prophecy of their assembly not to execute God’s wrath upon others, but as the occasion when God will execute his judgment UPON THEM! The next two verses would appear to make that certain. Keil was of course correct in seeing something here far greater than a few neighboring nations of ancient Israel. He wrote:

“These are not merely the neighboring nations to Judah, but all heathen nations who have come in contact with the kingdom of God, i.e., all the nations of the earth without exception, inasmuch as before the last judgment the gospel of the kingdom is to be preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10).(F19)

Verse 12

“Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I set to judge all the nations round about.

“Jehoshaphat” has the meaning of, “The Lord judges, or has judged.”(F20) The scene, therefore is the eternal judgment, not that of any earthly event at all. The language is metaphorical. “The figure of a great battle between the nations and the warriors of God is joined to that of the nations gathered around before the judge of all the earth.”(F21)

“Cause thy mighty ones to come down” is a reference to the angels of God, always mentioned in connection with judgment scenes, especially in the N.T. The “mighty ones” are not therefore, in any sense, ’righteous nations’ but the angels of heaven; and there is not going to be any kind of a literal conflict on earth to decide the fate of anything; God’s fiat will determine that.

Verse 13

“Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come tread ye; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Revelation 14:14-20 appears to be founded entirely upon this conception introduced in these few verses of Joel. See CRE for extensive comment on this, for practically all of it is applicable here.

This verse surely supports the view that the “mighty ones” from above, spoken of as “coming down” in the preceding verse, must be the angels of God, for, “Down to N.T. times the eschatological harvesters are usually the angels (Matthew 13:39; Revelation 14:14-20).”(F22) This double figure of the judgment under the imagery of the grain harvest and of the grape harvest suggests much important truth regarding God’s final judgment of humanity. It will come at a time when human wickedness has run its course, borne its fruit, and arrived at a state where there is nothing else left to do except to reap it! There has been some refinement of the double figure by subsequent sacred authors who used the treading of the winepress as particularly indicative of God’s wrath, and the gathering of the wheat into the garner as indicating the salvation of the righteous.

Verse 14

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision.

“The tumult of the nations in the valley of decision is not accidental, nor of their own volition; it is because they have been summoned there by the Lord, `for the day of the Lord is near.’“(F23)

“The valley of decision is the same as the valley of Jehoshaphat, the repetition heightens the effect.”(F24)

On the fact of God’s causing the nations to move into the valley of decision, two facts are pertinent:

(1) in the very nature of man’s probation, he is always in the valley of decision as long as he is on earth, and

(2) when either individuals or whole nations exhibit a final and stubborn attitude of rebellion against God, judicial hardening always occurs eventually, as in the classical instance of Pharaoh, or of Judas, or of secular Israel.

Every man is in the valley of decision now; and his “battle of Armageddon” is a thing of the heart and mind and soul, and not a matter of nations and battlefields.

Verse 15

“The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

Such terminology as this is used in Rev. 6:12:17, following the pattern throughout the Bible in references to the judgment of the Final Day. We do not pretend to know what this means; but it would appear to be certain that cosmic disturbances of the very greatest magnitude will attend God’s final arraignment and judgment of the prince of his creation, namely, man.

That the final day is always considered “near” (Joel 3:14) by the inspired authors appears to derive from two things:

(1) in the sense of recurring judgments upon the incorrigibly wicked, as seen in so many historical examples, notably the destruction of Jerusalem, that day in its immediate application and impending sense is indeed always near, always impending and threatening to occur at any time;

(2) all such lesser judgments are likewise omens or tokens of the great and final event that shall consummate all things and usher in the new heaven and the new earth.

Furthermore, this ultimate and final event is uncertain as to the time. Not even Christ in the limitation of his flesh knew when it would be; and, therefore, the thoughtful of every generation have received it in the words of the prophets as “near at hand.” There is a sense, too, in which it is indeed “near” to every generation; because, for all practical purposes, the day of death for every man may be equated with the day of judgment as far as it pertains to him.

Verse 16

“And Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but Jehovah will be a refuge unto his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel.

The figure of the Lord roaring out of Zion and Jerusalem is a reminder of “how” the Lord does his roaring, namely, through his word, which traditionally, and even in the instance of the gospel, comes not from Rome, Salt Lake City, Boston, or Moscow, but from Jerusalem! The shaking of the heavens and the earth show that the figure of the final judgment is still being used. The author of Hebrews specifically equated the shaking of the earth with its “removal” (Hebrews 12:26-28) at the time of the great judgment. (See my Commentary on Hebrews, pp. 334-336.)

“Jehovah will be a refuge to his people… a stronghold to the children of Israel” There is no reference here to the fleshly members of Abraham’s descendants; it is the spiritual remnant, the genuine children of Abraham, the spiritual Israel which is meant. Note also, that their refuge and stronghold will not be a fortress in Jerusalem, but God himself, namely, as recipients of his blessings under the new covenant “in Christ.” Those commentaries which explain this in fanciful terms of how the “Jews were victorious over their cruel foes under Antiochus,”(F25) and envision this as a prophecy that God will come to Jerusalem and protect and promote Israel in the physical and secular sense have failed to see the eternal and worldwide proportions of this great passage in its truly spiritual sense.

Verse 17

“So shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God, dwelling in Zion my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.

This is a description of the spiritual Zion, mentioned in the preceding verse. It was beautifully understood and commented upon by Hailey in these words:

“Spiritual Zion is impregnable; strangers will not pass through her as they did physical Jerusalem. The kingdom over which Jehovah reigns from Zion is one that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28); it will stand forever” (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14).(F26)

“Jerusalem shall be holy” This, more than anything else, demands a spiritual application of these words. In no absolute sense was the literal Jerusalem ever “holy”; nor can there be any reasonable postulation of its holiness in the earthly sense, as long as the world stands. The only “holy Jerusalem” known to the Word of God is that of “the new Jerusalem which cometh down from God out of heaven,” which to be sure is a symbol of the glorified church of Jesus Christ.

Verse 18

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of Jehovah, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

This verse begins a paragraph concluding the whole prophecy in which there is a metaphorical description of the wonderful blessings available to the children of God in their service of Christ and his kingdom. It may well be admitted that it is very unlikely that Joel himself fully understood these words, that probably being the very reason that God gave him the description in metaphorical terms that he COULD understand. Joel was not writing for himself alone and his own generation merely, but he most certainly did know that the words he gave had implications for other generations to come; because, as an apostle expressed it:

“To whom it was revealed (that is, to the prophets), that not unto themselves, but unto you did they minister these things, which have now been announced to you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven” (1 Peter 1:12).

What is seen in this verse is a picture of universal peace, security, plenty, and tranquility. It is appropriate to remember that even for Christians the blessings here are not literal, but spiritual. A literal view of this passage is impossible. It is a picture of the spiritual joys in the days of the outpouring of God’s Spirit, namely, in the days of the present dispensation of the N.T.

“The valley of Shittim” was a very dry and unproductive area; and the imagery is that through the great spiritual blessings available in Christ, some of the most unpromising situations shall yield precious fruit for the kingdom.

Verse 19

“Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

This continues to be metaphor. Egypt and Edom were traditional enemies of God’s people; and the ruin of such nations (all such) was here prophesied. It has continued to be fulfilled throughout all history. Those very nations on earth today where the gospel is not known are the very places where debauchery, poverty, wretchedness, violence and starvation are among their principal characteristics.

The Hebrew interpretation of this passage was cited by Deane: “In the day of the Lord, God will make an end of all the nations in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and then great goodness shall accrue to Israel.”(F27) Of course, that is the same old carnal misunderstanding of God’s Word that resulted in the Jewish rejection of the Messiah to begin with; and it is exactly the view of all kinds of millenarians who have fallen into the same old error. As Deane pointed out, “This passage does not teach the earthly glorification of Palestine and desolation of Egypt and Idumaea.”(F28)

Verse 20

“But Judah shall abide for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

Judah and Jerusalem here, as frequently, are symbols of God’s true Israel upon earth (both the old and the new), that is, God’s true covenant people of both the O.T. and the N.T. It is the perpetual continuation of God’s covenant people upon earth which is indicated by this, and the words may not be applied carnally to any heavenly guarantee of the inviolability of the secular state, whether that of Israel, or any other. The N.T. renewal of this promise is in Matthew 28:18-20, where is recorded Christ’s promise to “be with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.” The simple meaning of this whole passage is, “That in the days of the Spirit, God would establish his spiritual people and dwell among them.”(F29)

Verse 21

“And I will cleanse their blood which I have not cleansed: for Jehovah dwelleth in Zion.

As Myers pointed out, “The Lord dwells in Zion” is almost a signature of validity with which Joel closes his book.”(F30) This word is one of assurance and encouragement and a guarantee of the eternal continuity and abiding presence of the Lord among his people. They will never be deserted or forsaken. No matter what may happen around them, nothing can really happen to them; for they are God’s! Myers also observed the similarity of this and the preceding verse to the concluding passage of Matthew cited under verse 20:

“This reminds the reader of the last verse in Ezekiel, “The Lord is there!” It is the most reassuring promise and truth of the Bible, comparable to the last promise of our Lord” (Matthew 28:20).(F31)

Thus is concluded this marvelous prophecy of times far beyond his own generation, and involving information regarding the fate of every man ever born upon the planet earth, or who may yet be born. There is indeed a sense of awesome appreciation for words so weighty and so charged with eternal significance to men. The climax of the prophecy came in this third chapter where are depicted in terms of the most amazing metaphor the blessings of the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joel 3". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/joel-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
Ads FreeProfile