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For then, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations. They have divided my land, 3and cast lots for my people, and traded boys for prostitutes, and sold girls for wine, and drunk it down.

4 What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will turn your deeds back upon your own heads swiftly and speedily. 5For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. 6You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, removing them far from their own border. 7But now I will rouse them to leave the places to which you have sold them, and I will turn your deeds back upon your own heads. 8I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away; for the L ord has spoken.


Judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat


Proclaim this among the nations:

Prepare war,

stir up the warriors.

Let all the soldiers draw near,

let them come up.


Beat your plowshares into swords,

and your pruning hooks into spears;

let the weakling say, “I am a warrior.”



Come quickly,

all you nations all around,

gather yourselves there.

Bring down your warriors, O L ord.


Let the nations rouse themselves,

and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat;

for there I will sit to judge

all the neighboring nations.



Put in the sickle,

for the harvest is ripe.

Go in, tread,

for the wine press is full.

The vats overflow,

for their wickedness is great.



Multitudes, multitudes,

in the valley of decision!

For the day of the L ord is near

in the valley of decision.


The sun and the moon are darkened,

and the stars withdraw their shining.



The L ord roars from Zion,

and utters his voice from Jerusalem,

and the heavens and the earth shake.

But the L ord is a refuge for his people,

a stronghold for the people of Israel.


The Glorious Future of Judah


So you shall know that I, the L ord your God,

dwell in Zion, my holy mountain.

And Jerusalem shall be holy,

and strangers shall never again pass through it.



In that day

the mountains shall drip sweet wine,

the hills shall flow with milk,

and all the stream beds of Judah

shall flow with water;

a fountain shall come forth from the house of the L ord

and water the Wadi Shittim.



Egypt shall become a desolation

and Edom a desolate wilderness,

because of the violence done to the people of Judah,

in whose land they have shed innocent blood.


But Judah shall be inhabited forever,

and Jerusalem to all generations.


I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty,

for the L ord dwells in Zion.

He afterwards adds, Beat your plowshares into swords. When Isaiah and Micah prophesied of the kingdom of Christ, they said, ‘Beat your swords into pruninghooks, and your spears into plowshares’, (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3.) This sentence is now inverted by Joel. The words of Isaiah and Micah were intended figuratively to show that the world would be at peace when Christ reconciled men to God, and taught them to cultivate brotherly kindness. But the Prophet says here, that there would be turbulent commotions everywhere, so that there would be no use made of the plough or of the pruninghook; husbandmen would cease from their labor, the land would remain waste; for this is the case when a whole country is exposed to violence; no one dares go out, all desert their fields, cultivation is neglected. Hence the Prophet says, ‘Turn your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears;’ that is, field labor will cease, and all will strenuously apply themselves to war. And let the weak say, I am strong, for there will then be no exemption from war. Excuses, we know, availed formerly on the ground of age or disease, when soldiers were collected; and if any one could have pleaded disease, he was dismissed; but the Prophet says, that there will be no exemption then; “God”, he says, “will excuse none, he will compel all to become warriors, he will even draw out all the sick from their beds; all will be constrained to put on arms”. It hence appears how ardently the Lord loves his Church, since he spares no nations and no people, and exempts none from punishment; for all who have vexed the Church must necessarily receive their recompense. Since then God so severely punishes the enemies of his Church, he thereby gives a singular evidence of his paternal love to us.

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