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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.

As God defers his judgments when miserable men groan under their burdens, the Prophet uses a form of speech, which represents God as not delaying, but, on the contrary, as hastening to judgment, though this be not perceived by carnal minds; for these two things well agree together — God waiting his opportunity as to the ungodly and suspending the punishment they deserve — and yet quickly accelerating their destruction; for he is said to defer with respect to men, because one day with us is like a hundred years; and he is said to hasten, because he knows the exact points of time. So he says in this place, Put forth the sickle, for the harvest has ripened. He uses metaphorical words, but he afterwards expresses without a figure what he means and says, that their wickedness had multiplied

But there are here two metaphors, the one taken from the harvest, and the other from the vintage. The Prophet calls those reapers who have been destined to execute his judgment; for God makes use as it were of the hired work of men, and employs their hands here and there as he wills. He afterwards adds another metaphor, taken from the vintage, Full, he says, are the presses and the vats overflow; and at last he expresses what they mean, — that their wickedness had multiplied, that is, that it was overflowing. God said to Abraham, that the wickedness of the Canaanites was not then completed; and long was the space which he mentioned for he said that after four hundred years he would take vengeance on the enemies of his people: that was a long time; and Abraham might have objected and said “Why should God rest for so long a time?” The answer was this, — that their wickedness was not as yet completed. But the Prophet says here, that their wickedness had multiplied; he therefore gives to God’s servants the hope of near vengeance, as when the harvest approaches and the vintage is nigh at hand; for then all have their minds refreshed with joy. Such is the Prophet’s design; to encourage the faithful in their hope and expectation of a near deliverance, he declares that the iniquities of their enemies had now reached their full measure, so that God was now ready to execute on them his vengeance. This is the purport of the whole. It follows —

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