Joel 3:8-14

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, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.


God now states in no uncertain terms that he is going to take their sons and daughters and sell them to the Sabeans.  If you recall it was the Sabeans that killed the children of Job which means they had been around for over 2,000 years, so they have a long history.  And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.  (Job 1:15)  The Sabeans were located in the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula  which would have been a very far distance from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  It will happen because the LORD had spoken it which means it will come to pass in his timing and in his way.


Joel 3:9

Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:


Here God is taunting the Gentile nations because they believed that they were invincible and here God is goading them on to prepare for war, not against Judah but against him.  He tells them to get your mighty men prepared for battle and also all the men of war to come against God who they believed they had defeated because they defeated the people of Judah and Israel.  Basically what God was saying was “try me and see if your strength prevails against me personally?”  To respond to that challenge would be a person’s death!


Joel 3:10

Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.


Here is a call to arms that even if they are farmers using farm implements they must now take those peaceful instruments and turn them into instruments of war.  Those that are weak, let them have faith in their implements of war which would give them a false confidence.  This type of situation was experienced in the far east in Japan and Okinawa.  During the time of the feudal lords, the common people could not fight back against them because they had weapons of war like spears and swords but all the peasants had were farming implements.  What they did was they started creating defense and offensive weapons from farming implements and used them in conjunction with Karate and Kung Fu and were able to battle the warlords successfully.  The Nunchakus made famous by Bruce Lee was one of the fighting instruments that came out of that time period.


Joel 3:11

Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.


Here the LORD is telling them to set yourselves in array for battle and names them as “heathens” because that was the type of nations that surrounded Israel.  He is now challenging the heathen nations who prided themselves on being so strong that nothing could stand in their way especially empires like Assyria and Babylon.  God specifically sends the challenges to the “mighty ones” to come down to battle.  He is assembling them in a certain place.  He might be goading them toward Jerusalem and Judah which of course if they do start marching, they will never reach their goal.  The LORD’s army is definitely not of this earth which Elisha and Gehazi saw for themselves.  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.  (2 Kings 6:17) 


Joel 3:12

Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.


Here we have God telling the heathen to waken or be stirred up and come to the valley of Jehoshaphat which is the day of judgment for those nation surrounding Israel that have persecuted them.  The judgment they will receive will be the destruction of their nations and their power as empires will no longer be there and will be just a weak entity.  It is like on Judgment Day at the end of time, these heathens will stand for the final judgment when all the nations of the world will be gathered before the throne of Christ.  They will give an account for their sins against God and those nations who persecuted the Christian will give an account for their sins against the body of Christ.


Joel 3:13

Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.


Here we have two scenarios the first one is the harvest of the earth where both believers and unbelievers will be reaped from the earth.  The unsaved will go to judgment and the believers will go into Heaven.  {15} And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  {16} And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  (Revelation 14:15-16)  In Joel 3:13 the sickle being put into the earth is also the judgment which will take place of both the Assyrians and the Babylonians because their sins have now become complete.  There is a certain time that God waits for because of his patience but while he waits these heathen nations continue to mount up their sins it Heaven.  But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.  (Genesis 15:16)  God was telling Abraham that Israel would serve Egypt and when the fullness of the iniquity of the Amorites are fulfilled, then Israel will be free from Egyptian bondage and will be divinely empowered to deal with the Amorites.


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 like the valley of Jehoshaphat which is the place where God will gather the nations that have sinned against him.  On the last day that place is at the judgment seat of Christ where it will be too late to make any decisions for the purpose of rectifying a concluding situation.  Here it is speaking about the empires that have destroyed each other as opposing armies.  The Assyrians were conquered by the Babylonians and the Babylonians were conquered by the Medes and Persians and the Medes and Persians were conquered by Greece and Greece was conquered by Rome.  The valley of decision and Jehoshaphat is where the place of judgment exists.  It is not a specifically named valley but it speaks about the day of the LORD which each preceding empire faced in being conquered.