Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Joel Chapter 3

Joel Chapter 3

Jumping Jehoshaphat!

  • “The day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (NRSV 3:14), and this time people from foreign nations are the target.
  • God rounds up all the nations who’ve done Israel wrong in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which means “Yahweh judges.”
  • Fun fact: One line of interpretation going back to medieval rabbinical commentary says that this is a metaphor, not a reference to a literal valley. Another tradition places it in the Kidron Valley, believed to be the site of the saintly zombie apocalypse or the last resurrection, depending on one’s point of view.
  • In a trollish twist on Isaiah 2:4, God tells the Gentiles, or foreigners, to beat their ploughshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears so he can kick their butts in a war and sell their children off as slaves. If there were a Minor Prophets version of the WWE, God would be the Ultimate Warrior.
  • All the foreigners will be cleared out of Jerusalem, surrounding nations will be reduced to barren wasteland, God’s people will return from captivity, and the mountains of Judah will flow with wine forever. Eventually.

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