Joel 4

Chapter 4

I Shall Bring All the Nations to Judgment

1 In those days, and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will gather all the nations together
and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
There I shall bring them to judgment
on account of my people
and my inheritance Israel,
because they have scattered them among the nations
and divided my land among themselves.
3 They cast lots for my people,
trading boys for prostitutes
and girls for wine to drink.

4 What are you to me, Tyre and Sidon and all the regions of Philistia? Are you determined to take vengeance against me? If you seek revenge on me, I will swiftly and speedily have your deeds recoil upon your own hands. 5 You took my silver and gold and carried off my valuable treasures into your temples. 6 You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, thus removing them far away from their own borders.

7 But I will rouse them to leave the places to which you have sold them, and I will make your deeds recoil upon your own heads. 8 I will sell your sons and your daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans,[a] a nation far distant. Thus has the Lord spoken.

The Combat of the Last Judgment

9 Proclaim this among the nations:

Prepare for war!
Summon all the soldiers
to advance for the attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weakling say, “I am a warrior.”
11 Hasten and come, all you nations,
and gather together there;
send us your warriors, O Lord.
12 Let the nations rouse themselves
and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.[b]
For there I will sit in judgment
upon all the neighboring nations.
13 Wield the sickles,
for the harvest is ripe.
Come and trample the grapes,
for the winepress is full.
The vats are overflowing,
for great is their wickedness.
14 Multitudes, multitudes,
in the Valley of Decision.[c]
For the day of the Lord is near
in the Valley of Decision.
15 The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withhold their light.
16 The Lord roars from Zion
and thunders from Jerusalem,
so that the heavens and the earth shake.
However, the Lord is a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
17 Then you will know
that I, the Lord, am your God,
dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem will be holy,
and foreigners shall never again pass through it.

You Will Know That the Lord Is Your God, Dwelling in Zion

18 When that day comes,
the mountains will run with new wine.
The hills will flow with milk,
and all the channels of Judah
will flow with water.
A fountain will spring from the house of the Lord
to water the Valley of Shittim.
19 Egypt will become a desolation
and Edom a desert waste
because of the violence done to the people of Judah
as well as the innocent blood shed in their land.
20 But Judah will be inhabited forever,
and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 I will avenge their blood
and not allow it to go unpunished.
The Lord dwells in Zion.

Footnotes

  1. Joel 4:8 Sabeans: Arab traders.
  2. Joel 4:12 Valley of Jehoshaphat: a symbolic place is determined for the meeting with God; Jehoshaphat means “God is judge.”
  3. Joel 4:14 Valley of Decision: another symbolic name.

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