Joel 2:20 - 3:21

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Text: Joel 2:20-3:21

We have seen that -


We have also seen -


There must be -

A. External forms of contrition as well as a sincere heart repentance - 2:12-15

There must also be -

B. Repentance on a nation-wide scale, including all classes and ages - 2:16-17

In addition, there is -

C. The promise of the returning mercy of the Lord - 2:18-19

As we continue, we conclude chapter 2 with -


There is -

A. The terrible overthrow of Israel's invaders from the north - 2:20

This was partially fulfilled by at least one historical event. Depending on when Joel was written, it could have been the defeat of -

1. Sennacherib and the Assyrians or Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians

It will be completely fulfilled in the defeat of -

2. The world power of the last days

Joel 2:20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army [whether Assyria, Babylon, or the northern army in the tribulation], and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea [i.e. the Dead Sea], and his hinder part [i.e. his back] toward the utmost sea [i.e. toward the western sea, meaning the Mediterranean Sea], and his stink shall come up [i.e. his stench, i.e. the stench of their rotting bodies, will come up], and his ill savour [i.e. his foul odor or his foul smell] shall come up, because he hath done great [i.e. monstrous] things.

The northern army will be scattered and destroyed in the desert between the east sea (the Dead Sea) and the utmost sea (the Mediterranean).

Not only is there the overthrow of the Israel's invaders from the north, but there is also -

B. Rain from the Lord after the locust plague and drought, 2:21-27

Joel 2:21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great [i.e. marvelous] things.

The effects of the locust invasion will be reversed -

Joel 2:22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field [i.e. you wild animals]: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring [i.e. open pastures are springing up, which means open pastures are turning green], for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.

Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain [i.e. the rain in Sept.-Oct] moderately [i.e. faithfully], and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month [i.e. the rain in March-April].

Joel 2:24 And the floors [i.e. the threshing floors] shall be full of wheat, and the fats [i.e. vats] shall overflow with wine and oil.

Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

Joel 2:26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed [i.e. My people (i.e. Israel) will never be put to shame].

Joel 2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else [i.e. and there is no other, implying no other god]: and my people [i.e. Israel] shall never be ashamed [i.e. will never be put to shame].

Furthermore -

C. This rain is a prefiguration of outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days, 2:28-32

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward [i.e. after this - after Israel's future repentance and restoration in connection with the second coming of Christ], that I will pour out my spirit [i.e. My Holy Spirit] upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

The Holy Spirit will at that time be poured out on all classes in Israel who belong to the believing remnant.

Peter quoted this passage in Acts 2:16-21 on the Day of Pentecost, indicating that the coming of the Holy Spirit was a partial fulfillment of this promise. However, Pentecost did not exhaust this prediction. Its complete fulfillment will take place at the beginning of the Millennium following the second coming of Christ.

Joel 2:29 29 And also upon the servants [i.e. My menservants] and upon the handmaids [i.e. My maidservants] in those days will I pour out my spirit [i.e. My Holy Spirit].

Verses 30-31 speak of ominous signs of God's judgment on His enemies in the tribulation -

Joel 2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars [i.e. columns or billows] of smoke.

Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible [i.e. awesome] day of the LORD come.

According to verse 32, all who turn to Jesus as Messiah, calling on His name, will be saved to enter the Millennium with Him -

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered [i.e. saved - referring to a physical deliverance - saved Jews will be delivered at the second coming of Christ and will enter the millennium]: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant [i.e. the survivors] whom the LORD shall call.

This verse is quoted in Romans 10:13 where saved refers to the salvation of the soul rather than to a physical deliverance from the oppression of an enemy.

We move on to -


We see -

A. The final slaughter of unbelievers; divine judgment upon the final dictator - 3:1-16

There is -

1. The foreshadowing judgment upon Phoenicia and Philistia, now oppressing Judah - 3:1-13

It pictures God's future judgment on the enemies of Israel in the tribulation. At the second coming of Christ, Israel will be regathered to Palestine.

Joel 3:1 - For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

Matthew 24:31 - And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Joel 3:2 - I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat [Jehoshaphat means Yahweh judges, Jehovah judges, or the LORD judges], and will plead [i.e. I will enter into judgment] with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land [i.e. They have also divided up my land].

Joel 3:3 - And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy [i.e. have given a boy as payment] for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

Also, at the Second Coming of Christ, the Gentiles will be judged for their treatment of Israel ( It is the judgment of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:40, 45) in the valley of Jehoshaphat (which means Yahweh judges, Jehovah judges, or the LORD judges; and may refer to the Kidron Valley on the east of Jerusalem).

Matthew 25:40 - And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:45 - Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Joel 3:4 - Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine [i.e. Philistia]? will ye render me a recompence? [i.e. will you retaliate against Me? or Are you repaying Me for something I have done?] and if ye recompense me [i.e. if you do retaliate against Me or If you are paying me back], swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence [i.e. retaliation] upon your own head.

Joel 3:5 - Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things [i.e. My prized possessions or My precious treasures].

Joel 3:6 - The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians [i.e. the Greeks], that ye might remove them far from their border.

Joel 3:7 - Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence [i.e. retaliation] upon your own head.

Joel 3:8 - And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans [They were a trading people who lived in Arabia], to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.

More immediate judgment was announced on the Phoenicians and Philistines, who were notorious slave traders. Verse 8 was fulfilled in 345 B.C., when Artaxerxes III sold the Sidonians into slavery, and in 332 B.C., when Alexander the Great did the same to the people of Tyre and Gaza.

Joel 3:9 - Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles [i.e. among the nations]; Prepare war [i.e. prepare for war!], wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.

Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks [i.e. pruning knives] into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

Get ready for war.

Note the reversal of verse 10 in Micah 4:3

Micah 4:3 - And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

This beating of their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks cannot occur until after the battle of Armageddon.

Joel 3:11 - Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen [i.e. all you nations], and gather yourselves together round about [i.e. all around]: thither [i.e. there] cause thy mighty ones [i.e. the LORD's armies] to come down [i.e. to come down (to the valley of Jehoshaphat)], O LORD.

Is this what Revelation of Jesus Christ 16:14 and Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:14 are referring to?

Revelation of Jesus Christ 16:14 - For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:14 - And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Joel 3:12 - Let the heathen [i.e. the nations] be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about [i.e. all the surrounding nations].

Joel 3:13 - Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe [a picture of harvesting grain]: come, get you down [i.e. tread]; for the press [i.e. the winepress] is full [it compares the annihilation of the enemies to treading grapes in a winepress], the fats [i.e. the vats] overflow [it suggests with their wickedness]; for their wickedness is great.

The wicked are a harvest . . . ripe for judgment.

It is reminiscent of -

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:17-19 - 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Not only do we see the foreshadowing judgment upon Phoenicia and Philistia, but we also see -

2. The foreshadowing triumphs of the Maccabean age - 3:14-16

Joel 3:14 - Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

The valley of decision is the same as the valley of Jehoshaphat (verse 2), where God will decide about men, not where men decide about God.

The Lord will decide who is saved and, therefore, who enters the Millennium and who is put to death and sent to Hades.

Joel 3:15 - The sun and the moon shall be darkened [i.e. will grow dark], and the stars shall withdraw their shining [i.e. will diminish their brightness].

The darkening of the sun, moon, and stars serves as an ominous sign of the approaching day of the LORD.

Joel 3:16 - The LORD also shall roar out of [i.e. from] Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of [i.e. a shelter for] his people, and the strength of the children of Israel [i.e. (the LORD will be) the strength for the people of Israel].

Finally, we see -

B. The Millennial triumph and peace for Jerusalem, including the whole family of the redeemed - 3:17-21

Joel 3:17 - So shall ye know [i.e. Israel will know] that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more [i.e. no aliens will ever pass through her again].

Joel 3:18 - And it shall come to pass in that day [the day of Messiah's reign in His earthly millennial kingdom], that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD [i.e. out of the millennial temple], and shall water the valley of Shittim [i.e. a dry valley near the northern end of the Dead Sea].

The fountain coming out of the temple will be a reminder that the LORD is the source of the land's fertility.

Joel 3:19 - Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for [i.e. because of] the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

Joel 3:20 - But Judah shall dwell [i.e. abide] for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

Judah and Jerusalem will be inhabited forever.

Joel 3:21 - For I will cleanse [i.e. avenge] their blood that I have not cleansed [i.e. avenged] [speaking of the judgment of the nations in verse 19]: for the LORD dwelleth [i.e. is living] in Zion.

The LORD's dwelling in Zion assures the glorious future of Israel in the millennium.


This sermon is the 3rd part of the series, Study of Joel. Other sermons in this series are: