Joel 4

 

כִּי הִנֵּה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה וּבָעֵת הַהִיא אֲשֶׁר (אָשׁוּב) [אָשִׁיב] אֶת־שְׁבוּת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם׃   4:1

Joel 4:1   “For behold, in those days and in that time,

                          when I will turn back the captivity of Judah and of Jerusalem,

The word in the parentheses is assumed to be in error.   I disagree with that assessment.  I believe the word is properly spelled and does not need the correction in the brackets.

וְקִבַּצְתִּי אֶת־כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם וְהוֹרַדְתִּים אֶל־עֵמֶק יְהוֹשָׁפָט וְנִשְׁפַּטְתִּי עִמָּם שָׁם עַל־עַמִּי וְנַחֲלָתִי יִשְׂרָאֵל   4:2 אֲשֶׁר פִּזְּרוּ בַגּוֹיִם וְאֶת־אַרְצִי חִלֵּקוּ׃

Joel 4:2   then I will gather all the nations

                           and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat,

                  and I will be a Judge against them there

                           on behalf of My people and My possession, Israel,

                  whom they dispersed throughout the nations,

                           when they plundered My land.”name Jehoshaphat literally means the Lord judges, or the Lord has judged (although some translate it as the Lord will judge, which is not accurate).  The valley is not mentioned elsewhere in the bible, only in this chapter.  It is thought by some to be either the valley of Hinnom or the brook of Kidron, both near Jerusalem.

וְאֶל־עַמִּי יַדּוּ גוֹרָל וַיִּתְּנוּ הַיֶּלֶד בַּזּוֹנָה וְהַיַּלְדָּה מָכְרוּ בַיַּיִן וַיִּשְׁתּוּ׃   4:3

Joel 4:3   “Then they cast lots concerning My people,

                            and they gave the youth into harlotry,

                  and the young female they sold for wine that they drank.”

וְגַם מָה־אַתֶּם לִי צֹר וְצִידוֹן וְכֹל גְּלִילוֹת פְּלָשֶׁת הַגְּמוּל אַתֶּם מְשַׁלְּמִים עָלָי וְאִם־גֹּמְלִים אַתֶּם עָלַי   4:4     קַל מְהֵרָה אָשִׁיב גְּמֻלְכֶם בְּרֹאשְׁכֶם׃

Joel 4:4   “But then, what were you to me, Tyre and Zidon, and all territories of Philistia?  Were you rendering retribution on My behalf?  Then if you did not render retributions on My behalf, swiftly, speedily, I will repay your retribution on your head.”

אֲשֶׁר־כַּסְפִּי וּזְהָבִי לְקַחְתֶּם וּמַחֲמַדַּי הַטֹּבִים הֲבֵאתֶם לְהֵיכְלֵיכֶם׃   4:5

Joel 4:5   “My silver and My gold that you took, you brought My rich treasures to your temples,

וּבְנֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְנֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם מְכַרְתֶּם לִבְנֵי הַיְּוָנִים לְמַעַן הַרְחִיקָם מֵעַל גְּבוּלָם׃   4:6

Joel 4:6   and you sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the children of the Jevanim so as to put them far from their territory.”

The word Jevanim apparently means Greeks or Ionians.  This realization puts Joel well after the earlier periods in which he was supposed to have prophesied (see Joel 1:1).  He must have been active during the ancient or classic Greek periods, possibly as early as the seventh century BCE and as late as the mid fourth century BCE.

הִנְנִי מְעִירָם מִן־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־מְכַרְתֶּם אֹתָם שָׁמָּה וַהֲשִׁבֹתִי גְמֻלְכֶם בְּרֹאשְׁכֶם׃   4:7

Joel 4:7   “Behold, I am rousing them from the place where you sold them, and I will repay your retribution on your head.”

וּמָכַרְתִּי אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶם וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם בְּיַד בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה וּמְכָרוּם לִשְׁבָאיִם אֶל־גּוֹי רָחוֹק כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר׃   4:8

Joel 4:8   “So I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the men of Sheba, to a remote nation.  Surely the Lord has spoken.”

קִרְאוּ־זֹאת בַּגּוֹיִם קַדְּשׁוּ מִלְחָמָה הָעִירוּ הַגִּבּוֹרִים יִגְּשׁוּ יַעֲלוּ כֹּל אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה׃   4:9

Joel 4:9   Proclaim this among the nations!

                           Prepare war!

                  Rouse the mighty men!

                           Let all the men of war approach,

                  let come up.

כֹּתּוּ אִתֵּיכֶם לַחֲרָבוֹת וּמַזְמְרֹתֵיכֶם לִרְמָחִים הַחַלָּשׁ יֹאמַר גִּבּוֹר אָנִי׃   4:10

Joel 4:10   Beat your plowshares into swords

                            and your pruning knives into spears!

                     Let anyone weak say, “I am strong.”

עוּשׁוּ וָבֹאוּ כָל־הַגּוֹיִם מִסָּבִיב וְנִקְבָּצוּ שָׁמָּה הַנְחַת יְהוָה גִּבּוֹרֶיךָ׃   4:11

Joel 4:11   Hurry, and come, all the nations from all around, and assemble!

                            O Lord, bring down Your mighty ones there!

יֵעוֹרוּ וְיַעֲלוּ הַגּוֹיִם אֶל־עֵמֶק יְהוֹשָׁפָט כִּי שָׁם אֵשֵׁב לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת־כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם מִסָּבִיב׃   4:12

Joel 4:12   “Let the nations be aroused

                             that they come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat,

                    for there will I sit to judge all the nations from all around.”

שִׁלְחוּ מַגָּל כִּי בָשַׁל קָצִיר בֹּאוּ רְדוּ כִּי־מָלְאָה גַּת הֵשִׁיקוּ הַיְקָבִים כִּי רַבָּה רָעָתָם׃   4:13

Joel 4:13   Let loose the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.

                            Come, tread down, for the wine press is full,

                    the vats overflow.

                             Indeed their wickedness is great.

הֲמוֹנִים הֲמוֹנִים בְּעֵמֶק הֶחָרוּץ כִּי קָרוֹב יוֹם יְהוָה בְּעֵמֶק הֶחָרוּץ׃   4:14

Joel 4:14   Crowds roaring in the valley of decision!

                            For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

The valley of decision is thought to be another name for the valley of Jehoshaphat.

שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ קָדָרוּ וְכוֹכָבִים אָסְפוּ נָגְהָם׃   4:15

Joel 4:15   Sun and moon darken,

                            and stars withdraw their glow.

וַיהוָה מִצִּיּוֹן יִשְׁאָג וּמִירוּשָׁלִַם יִתֵּן קוֹלוֹ וְרָעֲשׁוּ שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ וַיהוָה מַחֲסֶה לְעַמּוֹ וּמָעוֹז לִבְנֵי   4:16           יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

Joel 4:16   And the Lord shall roar from Zion,

                            and put forth His voice from Jerusalem,

                    and heaven and earth shall quake,

                            but the Lord is a Refuge for His people

                    and a Stronghold for the children of Israel.

וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם שֹׁכֵן בְּצִיּוֹן הַר־קָדְשִׁי וְהָיְתָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם קֹדֶשׁ וְזָרִים לֹא־יַעַבְרוּ־בָהּ   4:17    עוֹד׃

Joel 4:17   “Then you will know that I am the Lord, your God,

                             dwelling in Zion, the mount of My holiness,

                    and Jerusalem shall be holy,

                             and strangers shall not tread in her again.”

וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַהוּא יִטְּפוּ הֶהָרִים עָסִיס וְהַגְּבָעוֹת תֵּלַכְנָה חָלָב וְכָל־אֲפִיקֵי יְהוּדָה יֵלְכוּ מָיִם וּמַעְיָן   4:18 מִבֵּית יְהוָה יֵצֵא וְהִשְׁקָה אֶת־נַחַל הַשִּׁטִּים׃

Joel 4:18   And it shall be, on that day,

                             the mountains shall drip sweet wine

                     and the hills issue milk,

                             and all the channels of Judah shall distribute water,

                     and a spring shall go forth from the house of the Lord,

                             and it shall water the valley of Shittim.

The name for the valley, that is, Shittim, literally means acacias.  Therefore, it is thought to be the arid valley of Kidron, because acacias grow in dry soil.

מִצְרַיִם לִשְׁמָמָה תִהְיֶה וֶאֱדוֹם לְמִדְבַּר שְׁמָמָה תִּהְיֶה מֵחֲמַס בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר־שָׁפְכוּ דָם־נָקִיא   4:19   בְּאַרְצָם׃

Joel 4:19   Egypt shall be as a desolation,

                             and Edom shall be for a wasted wilderness,

                    because of injustice to the children of Judah

                             by which they shed innocent blood in their land.

וִיהוּדָה לְעוֹלָם תֵּשֵׁב וִירוּשָׁלִַם לְדוֹר וָדוֹר׃   4:20

Joel 4:20   But Judah shall remain forever, with Jerusalem,

                              for generations and generations.

וְנִקֵּיתִי דָּמָם לֹא־נִקֵּיתִי וַיהוָה שֹׁכֵן בְּצִיּוֹן׃   4:21

Joel 4:21   “And their blood I had not held innocent,

                              I will hold innocent.

                    And the Lord shall be dwelling in Zion.”

Joel is another prophet who does not mention any oral interaction with the people.  For all we know this book is his only contribution to prophetic revelation for the populous of Israel.

 

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