King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Joel 3

God’s judgments in the latter days. (1-8) The extent of these judgments. (9-17) The blessings the church shall enjoy. (18-21)

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God’s judgments in the latter days

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

2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;

5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:

6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.

7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head:

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.

The extent of these judgments

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:

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

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

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.

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.

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

15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

17 So shall ye 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.

The blessings the church shall enjoy

18 And it shall come to pass in that day, 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 out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Back. The people were just returned when the nations around fell upon them, and were miraculously defeated. Theod. — We shall follow the system respecting God, given Ezec. xxxviii. C. — Most people, with S. Jerom, suppose that the general judgment is described, though some explain it of the captives delivered from their enemies. W.

Ver. 2. Josaphat, “the judgment of the Lord,” (H.) marks the place where the Judge will sit, on the east of Jerusalem, between the temple and Olivet, whence our Lord ascended into heaven. W. — There also had been seized and treated contumeliously. H. — But many of the Fathers assert that the whole world will be the scene of judgment, and the first author who determines the situation of Josaphat, is one in the works of V. Bede. Here it may denote the great plain reaching from Carmel to the Jordan, where the army of Cambyses perished with its chief. People of almost all nations were there. Ezec. xxxviii. — Land. The Chaldees, now governed by a Persian, had scattered the Jews, and the Idumeans had seized part of their land.

Ver. 3. Boy, to gratify their brutal passions; (Lam. v.) or, they have exchanged such for harlots, (C.) and paid the latter with captive boys. Sept. H.

Ver. 4. Me. These cities and nations had rejoiced at the ruin of the Jews. Ezec. xxv. C. — Coast. Sept. “Galilee of strangers.” H.

Ver. 5. Temples, or palaces. The Chaldeans had done so, and perhaps had sold some to others.

Ver. 6. Greeks: the Ionians carried on such a traffic. Ezec. xxvii. 13. Tyre and the Philistines were ready to sell. ib. xxvi. 2. and xxv. 15.

Ver. 7. Them, particularly under Hystaspes and Artaxerxes.

Ver. 8. Sabeans; probably at the bottom of Arabia. C. — Thirty thousand Tyreans were sold by Alexander. Arrian ii. — The Jews would not fail to purchase. C.

Ver. 9. Prepare. Lit. “sanctify.” H. — God sends Cambyses to chastise Egypt. His turn will then come.

Ver. 11. Down. Many perished in Egypt, the rest in Judea. v. 2.

Ver. 11. Valley, at Jezrahel, the valley of destruction. v. 14.

Ver. 13. Harvest, the time of vengeance. Mat. xiii. 30. Apoc. xiv. 15. C.

Ver. 14. Nations. Heb. hamonim, “multitudes.” H. — This alludes to the place Amona, where God was buried. Ezec. xxx. 15. 18. C. — Sept. “sounds have been heard in the vale of justice,” where sentence has been pronounced and executed. H. — The repetition of peoples and destruction, shews the crowds (H.) which shall be judged and cut in pieces like fuel for the fire. Ps. cxxviii. 4. W.

Ver. 15. Shining. All shall be amazed at the fall of Cambyses. C. ii. 30. Ezec. xxviii. 30. A storm shall overwhelm his army. C.

Ver. 16. Roar, in thunder. Jer. xxv. 30. Amos i. 2. H.

Ver. 17. No more, for a long time. Antiochus and the Romans again profaned the temple. But the Church of Christ is always holy.

Ver. 18. Sweetness; oil and honey. C. — Fountain, &c. viz. the fountain of grace in the Church militant, and of glory in the Church triumphant; which shall water the torrent or valley of thorns, that is, the souls that before, like barren ground, brought forth nothing but thorns, or that were afflicted with the thorns of crosses and tribulations. Ch. — Sept. have, “bands.” Heb. shittim. H. — Abundance shall ensue after the death of Cambyses, as a figure of the graces which shall be granted to Christians. Ezec. xlvii. 2.

Ver. 19. Desolation. Cambyses laid it waste for three years, as Ochus did afterwards. — Edom. Judas and Hican punished them for their former barbarity. Ps. cxxxvi. 7. and 2 Mac. x. 16. Ezechiel xxv. 12. C.

Ver. 20. Judea and Jerusalem. That is, the spiritual Jerusalem, viz. the Church of Christ. Ch. — Judea was unmolested for a considerable time.

Ver. 21. Which must be supplied in Hebrew. The Idumeans had been spared for a long time. But they shall not escape. Chal. &c. C. — The rites of the law could not purify, as the sacraments of Christ do. S. Jer. — God will cleanse his people, and will chastise the Ammonites, &c. who had injured them. Sept. “I will seek (or avenge) their blood, and will not pronounce innocent;” athooso. H. — Sion, in heaven, (M.) and in the tabernacles of the Catholic Church, from the beginning of the world unto eternity. H.