Christian Churches of God

No. 021B




Commentary on Joel


(Edition 1.0 20140903-20140903)


Joel deals with the preparation of the elect particularly from the Messiah and in the last days. It has important aspects of the sanctification of the congregation of Israel as the Temple of God and precedes and is complementary to and preparatory for the writings of Ezekiel.  Bullinger places it with Ezekiel from the fifth year of Jehoiakin’s captivity but it is undated. Some rabbis place it elsewhere. The canon places it between Hosea and Amos.



Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright © 2014 Wade Cox)


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Commentary on Joel

The name Joel means “The Lord is God” and has the same meaning as the name Elijah.


Tradition relegates it between Hosea and Amos in the 8th Century BCE, hence its place in the canon. Theologically it relates to Ezekiel and seems to be concerned with similar aspects.


The Book of Hosea was concerning the guilt of Israel. The Book of Joel is based in the sequence of the tribulation given to Judah for their heresy and error up to and in the latter days. It contains reference to the Temple of God in the Latter Days under its ministry which is the Church of God. That sequence in the Canon is however, no reason to assume it was written with Hosea. It concerns, in the structure;

  1.  A call to Hear
  2. The judgments inflicted
  3. A call to Repent
  4. The judgments are removed with the Restoration.


We see the restoration of Judah in Zion and God dealing with the nations. This was a divine instruction from God to the prophet Joel as we see from verse 1. It is the same form as God sent to David for the Psalms and his instructions as we see from Acts 1:16. All Scripture cannot be broken (Jn. 10:34-36). It is occurring and will carry through to the last days and the Millennium.  Ezekiel’s Temple is Millennial whereas Joel goes up to the Millennium and the restoration of Judah and Zechariah shows what is to occur at and from Jerusalem for and from the millennial restoration.


It is without doubt the basis of the complete antipathy of Hadithic Islam under the Arabs to the Bible and the heresy of the peoples of Palestine, Gaza and Lebanon and the Arabs generally into Egypt. It must be read with the other texts of the prophets to properly see how Yahovah is to restore and deal with Egypt and the sons of Shem also. 



[1] The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethu'el:


Thus God is now to declare what he is to do into the Last Days and beyond through Yahovah of Israel (The Christ) as we see from Zechariah 2:1-9. He is speaking to the old men of Israel who remember, rather than the official elders of the Sanhedrin, and to the inhabitants of the land, both young and old, male and female. God challenges them and shows it has not happened at the time he wrote to them i.e. perhaps under the Babylonians but before the destruction.


 [2] Hear this, you aged men, give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? [3] Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.


Thus this prophecy was to be handed down from generation to generation and was for a time far into the future.


[4] What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. [5] Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.


Ye Drinkers of wine is more appropriate as the verb modifies the noun. It does not mean drunkards but rather those who like wine.


The prophecy declares the desolation of Israel and the Levant because of war. The locusts also symbolised the forces of the North in War whereas the locusts did not naturally come from the North. The four types of locusts were suggested by the Karaite commentator Jepheth b. Ali to be symbolic of the four invasions of Judah each more severe than the previous and this is the probable meaning especially with the use of the term Ha Tsephoni meaning “the Northern one” in 2:20. The Soncino notes that also. His dating, however, is considered completely wrong as its place in the canon would support from the views of the scribes at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah when he supposes it was written. Modern scholars place it later, as they do with all prophecy, to a place after the events have occurred.  However they cannot do this as it is definitely Messianic and there is no doubt it was written well before the close of the Canon in 323 BCE.


Judah was attacked and defeated by the Egyptians and the Babylonians and the Persians also dominated them but permitted them to rebuild the Temple under Darius II The Persian and the provisioning decree was issued by Artaxerxes II for the restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013).


The great desolation that hit and dispersed Judah was the War with Rome and the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE (see the paper War with Rome and the Fall of the Temple (No. 298)). The Edomites were crushed in the Second Century BCE as foretold by the prophet Obadiah. Esau was cut off as a people and destroyed out of Mount Edom.  They were conquered by John Hyrcanus under the Maccabees and absorbed into Judah.  There they became a force in their own right and ruled Judah as the Idumeans under Herod after the battle of Actium gave them supremacy from Rome.  He was a Roman vassal king. They now constitute probably one third of all Hg J Jews.  Many more are Arabs.


[6] For a nation has come up against my land, powerful and without number; its teeth are lions' teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness.


The devastation caused by Rome was great especially the deforestation of the land for siege works.

[7] It has laid waste my vines, and splintered my fig trees; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down; their branches are made white.


The repetition in verses 8-12 is a call to repentance. Verses 13-20 are pleas for repentance.


[8] Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the bridegroom of her youth.


The daily sacrifice was taken away in 70 CE and the cereal and drink offerings removed. Then the Temple itself was destroyed amid great famine due to the destruction of the granaries by the internecine wars of the Jews themselves within the city. It was a prophecy they themselves fulfilled.

[9] The cereal offering and the drink offering are cut off from the house of the LORD. The priests mourn, the ministers of the LORD. [10] The fields are laid waste, the ground mourns; because the grain is destroyed, the wine fails, the oil languishes. [11] Be confounded, O tillers of the soil, wail, O vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley; because the harvest of the field has perished. [12] The vine withers, the fig tree languishes. Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are withered; and gladness fails from the sons of men.


The destruction of the lands of Judah and Palestine was on an ongoing and continual basis until the twentieth century. Judah was a subject people and scattered all over the world. The nation was sent into captivity and subject to persecution under Roman Catholicism right up until the Nazis in WWII. There was and is no Temple in Judah.  The only Temple that exists was set up by Jesus Christ in 27-30 CE and it is a Temple of Living Stones.

[13] Gird on sackcloth and lament, O priests, wail, O ministers of the altar. Go in, pass the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! Because cereal offering and drink offering are withheld from the house of your God.


The only way out of this captivity was by the ministry of the people of God acting in appeal to the Lord. It was to be done in two factors. The first factor was the sanctification process and the second was by the declaration of Solemn Assemblies in the Body of the Elect and the Congregation of Israel. The First sequence of the sanctification was under the Messiah from 27 CE to 30 CE when he began the sanctification process with the apostles and cleansed the Temple before his entry to Jerusalem as the Lamb to be set aside on the 10 day of Abib. From 30 CE the period of 40 Years for repentance of Judah was commenced and ended in 70 CE.


This sequence is also done at the last days for the sanctification of the Temple of God, which Temple we are. The sanctification of the Temple is required by Law and must start from 1 Abib and go to 7 Abib according to God’s instructions to the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 45:20). The Solemnities or solemn assemblies are in the Feasts, the New Moons and the Sabbaths of the Lord (Ezek. 45:17) and it begins from the First Day of the First Month Abib (Ezek. 45:18). This is done in the sequence of the build up to the Passover which begins with the Lord’s Supper on 14 Abib in the evening. It is conducted in commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice the next afternoon as the Passover lamb. However the sanctification is required and the sanctification of the Congregation must contain a fast as we see from Joel, and Ezekiel tells us that those that do not know any better or who make mistakes or who do not understand the sequence of the Temple i.e. the Simple and the Erroneous must be sanctified or fasted for in order that the whole congregation is sanctified for the Passover.


In other words, we are either part of the solution or we are part of the problem.  We are part of the elect fasting for the people that do not know any better or we are part of the people that do not know any better.  This is a direct command to the ministry of God in the Last Days to get the Temple of God ready by prayer and fasting, which Temple we are.


Christ qualified to set up a system that was able to sanctify the congregation to do this.  This sanctification period is not discretionary. The Church of God not doing this will not retain the Lamp-stand of the Last Days and God will raise up another part of the Body.


The process of the sanctification in the build up to Passover always involved the process of fasting in the sanctification and the elect fasted often in this process and that was why it was called in the church the fasting month and it was the spring month as Ramadan in Islam until it was cut loose by the errors of the Hadith.

[14] Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God; and cry to the LORD.


The process of sanctification is recorded as far back as Job (Job 1:5) who sanctified his family through their erroneous sins. The sacrifices are no longer required, being fulfilled by Christ but the sanctification by fasts are still required and always have been required.


This process of sanctification is determined and demanded in the elect just prior to the Day of the Lord and it is required of the whole House of God. Note the process must be instituted by the Ministry sanctifying and calling for a fast. They are required in this sequence to call a solemn assembly.  The reason for this was that after the fall of Thyatira, the Sardis was set up after the Reformation. Sardis did not reinstate the New Moons as Thyatira had kept them.  They did not keep the sanctification period and the only ceremony they managed to keep intact was the Lord’s Supper. They did not keep the Passover feast for the full eight days.  The end group of the Sardis system came out of the Church of God (Seventh Day) under Herbert Armstrong. His ministry were corrupted by Ditheism and they adopted the Hillel Calendar making it almost impossible to keep the Holy days on the correct days due to the postponements. Sometimes they did not even keep them in the correct months. Both these churches and Judaism rarely ever keep the feasts correctly and the WCG system abandoned the full eight days of the Feast of Passover /Unleavened bread in 1965-1967. Thus they had to lose their lamp-stand and be scattered. Thus these errors have to be eliminated from the Churches of God prior to the coming of the Messiah as prophesied here in Joel. It must involve the fast as sanctification and the calling of the Solemn Assemblies of the Passover and Unleavened Bread.


[15] Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.


This verse gives the exact time frame as does the positioning in Ezekiel. It is also accompanied then by disaster among the nations. The only sanctification possible for Judah is through the Body of Christ conducting this process in the Last Days. The arrival of the Witnesses in that time will call Judah and Israel and the whole world to repentance.

[16] Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? [17] The seed shrivels under the clods, the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are ruined because the grain has failed.


This disaster is accompanied by drought which also desolates the pasture of our lands.

[18] How the beasts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed because there is no pasture for them; even the flocks of sheep are dismayed. [19] Unto thee, O LORD, I cry. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has burned all the trees of the field.


The text involves generic drought and fires and worldwide disaster that affects the trees and the wild beasts.  This sequence leads up to and encompasses the time of the Witnesses in Jerusalem (see the paper The Witnesses including the Two Witnesses (No. 135)).


It is the time of the Third Trumpet of Revelation and then goes on to the Fourth Vial of the Wrath of God.

[20] Even the wild beasts cry to thee because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.


This is caused by the increases in temperature commanded by the wrath of God. The so-called scientists are blaming it on human activity which is causing the warming. In a perverse sense that is correct because human disobedience has brought God’s Wrath upon them.  It is cyclical but in this cycle God has his angels pour out God’s wrath upon the sun increasing the process (see also the paper Global Warming Historical Cycles (No. 218B)).


Man-made Global Warming is a satanic accusation levelled at mankind and his immoral behaviour and it will get worse until we repent.


The next chapter concerns the arrival of the Day of the Lord.


[1] Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near, [2] a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.


The wars in the Last Days accelerate into armies that are comprised of cyborgs and robots and instruments of total destruction.  We know that the armies in Syria are using chemical weapons now and that usage increases exponentially into the Wars of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpet.  The Nations of the War machine of the King of the North and the Beast came into the Middle East from Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 and are preparing in 2014 to go back again into Iraq. So also has Russia invaded Ukraine. They bring total desolation. The insanity of the unscriptural errors of fundamentalist Islam brings destruction upon the nations that are caught up in it from the Four Angels at the Euphrates that are set to kill a third of mankind.

[3] Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but after them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them.


These robot and mechanical devices are being brought into production today.


[4] Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses they run. [5] As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle. [6] Before them peoples are in anguish, all faces grow pale.


So also the soldiers are equipped with these devices. But drones and robots are used on an increasing scale.

[7] Like warriors they charge, like soldiers they scale the wall. They march each on his way, they do not swerve from their paths. [8] They do not jostle one another, each marches in his path; they burst through the weapons and are not halted. [9] They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls; they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief. [10] The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.


The army of the Lord is sent in to deal with the destruction caused by this beast.


[11] The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his host is exceedingly great; he that executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?


However God allows and asks the world to repent in prayer and fasting.

[12] "Yet even now," says the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; [13] and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil.


He asks for repentance yet even after the return of the Messiah at the head of the Army of God men will not repent as we see after each of the Vials of the Wrath of God recounted in Revelation are poured out upon them still they will not repent (see the paper The Wars of the Last Days and the Vials of the Wrath of God (No. 141B)).

[14] Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?


Then he recounts his demand for a Sanctified Fast.  We can only sanctify by fasting. The suggestion that Christ did it for us is intellectually absurd as this fast is called not only 2000 years after his ministry but when he is back again to deal with the earth and he is present at the head of the armies of God. This process is demanded so that all the world will participate in the Solemn Assemblies under the Calendar of God (see also the paper God’ Calendar (No. 156)).

[15] Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; [16] gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. [17] Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, "Spare thy people, O LORD, and make not thy heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, `Where is their God?'" [18] Then the LORD became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people. [19] The LORD answered and said to his people, "Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.


The text from verses 13-20 uses the terms “my God” and “your God” as though the God of the priests was different from the God of the prophet. That is so in the last days where the Doctrines of Judaism and also mainstream Christianity and in many of the Churches of God are wrong and in the WCG and offshoots.


It is at the repentance of His people that God relents for these activities have the express purpose of driving them to repentance and behind them the nations of the earth.


The next text refers to the northerners.  These are the Northern Armies of Revelation 9 and Daniel 11, which are the locusts of chapter 1:4.  The locusts of the Levant do not come from the north but the armies of the Northerners do.

[20] "I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his front into the eastern sea, and his rear into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things.


The Eastern Sea is the Salt Sea (also called Dead Sea) (cf. Ezek. 47:18; Zech. 14:8). The utmost sea is the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic. The word “stench” refers to Isaiah 66:24. These are the unrepentant that will not keep the Sabbaths and New Moons of God and that is why their armies are there.  You cannot be part of the elect of God unless you keep His Sabbaths and New Moons (Isa. 66:23) and his Feasts (Zech. 14:16-19).  And you have to take part in the sanctification process including this fast.

[21] "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! [22] Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield.


The context here is that Yahovah of Israel has magnified himself to do great things.  The lands are restored after the Vials of the Wrath of God.

[23] "Be glad, O sons of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD, your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before.


The text has the meaning of in due measure rather than abundantly. It is in appropriate measures to the optimisation of the harvest.

[24] "The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. [25] I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. [26] "You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.


So that thereafter God brought them to repentance. Though allowing the destruction of their harvests, He restores their lands.


Then he gives a promise that he will be in the midst of Israel. They will never again be put to shame. This is the subordinate Yahovah of Israel referred to in Zechariah 2:1-9 and Psalm 45:6-7 which is the Messiah (Heb. 1:8-9). He is sent by Yahovah of Hosts; Ha Elohim; The God.

And my people shall never again be put to shame. [27] You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.


The next text is taken back to refer to the afterward of the original prophecy for generations yet to come. This was repeated as prophecy from verses 28 to 32a by the apostle Peter at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was made available to the elect by the acceptance of Messiah as the Wave Sheaf (Acts 3:18-26). Had the nation repented as directed by Peter the result would have been far different. The words of the prophets would have been fulfilled and the Holy Spirit would have been poured out to the nation and the structure of the following texts would also have been fulfilled in Judah. As it was they did not do so and they were given forty years to repent under the Sign of Jonah and then were surrounded by the Roman Army from 1 Abib 70 CE and the Temple was destroyed and Judah dispersed (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13)).


The restoration occurred under Ezra and Nehemiah and the Light had sprung up from Messiah (Isa. 42:7; Mat.4:12-16; Lk. 2:32). “The Days of the Son of Man” were then present (cf. Lk. 17:22). “Afterwards” is after the restoration which began the Days of the Spirit as seen on the Day of Pentecost when Joel 2:28-29 began to be fulfilled. However, Christ was killed and so was John the Baptist.  Malachi 4:3 thus looked forward to the coming of Elijah at the end of Days.


Females are included in this sense of the spiritual gifts of God also.  The called and gifted were obvious to the elect (cf. also Num.  11:16,17,29).

[28] "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. [29] Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my spirit. [30] "And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. [31] The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. [32] And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

(Text in bold repeated in Acts; cf. also Isa. 46:13; 59:20; Obad. 17; Zech. 14:1-5; Rom. 11:26).


From the year 30 CE, the Holy Spirit was given to all classes of the people of God, the old men, young people. To all who repent and obey in baptism and through God’s law and faith without exception, God will speak and communicate by revelations through dreams and visions which were the two main forms of prophetic revelations that were previously granted to only a small number of humans both priests and prophets.


Christ explained the sequence of v. 31 as following immediately after the tribulation of the last days and followed by the coming of the Messiah in Matthew 24:29; Mark. 13:24ff; Luke 21:25ff.


After the failure to repent in Judah from 30 CE the entire system would play itself out over the dispersion of Judah over the 40 Jubilees in the wilderness as they were 40 years in the wilderness after the Exodus. So also was the Church of God sent there until the Last Days.


God then declared what would be done in those (i.e. Last) days.  The period covers the period from 25 Chislev in 1917 over the period to 2027 and onwards (see the paper The Oracles of God (No. 184)).


[1] "For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, [2] I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehosh'aphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations, and have divided up my land, [3] and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and have sold a girl for wine, and have drunk it.


In those days is a reference to the widening of the prophecy out to the final judgment of the nations when Messiah comes again in his glory (Mat. 25:31-46). The idiom for restoring the fortunes of is bring again the captivity of which is used in Deuteronomy 30:3 (cf. also 42:10; Ps. 126:1,4; Ezek. 16:53ff; Amos 9:14). It is the same as Christ taking captivity captive. These are the nucleus of the nations of Revelation 21:24. (I will [also] gather cf. Zech. 14:2-4).


The place Jehoshaphat (Yahovah has judged) is still preserved in the name of the village of Sh’afat in the Wadi Siti Miriam or Wadi Far’aun between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.  This will extend into a valley at the coming of the Messiah. Yahovah will enter into Judgment (cf. Isa. 66:16; Ezek. 38:22).


The things that the nations did to Judah will be requited on their heads in judgment as we see from Matthew 25 and not in justification by their faith, and that is why the next section deals with what happened to the Levant from the destruction of the Philistine power to their handing over to the Arabs and their absorption into the Arab tribes. That is why these tribes are called Palestinians to this day. The Arabs and nations who dispersed Judah and sold them to the Greeks and other nations are made to pay.

[4] "What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will requite your deed upon your own head swiftly and speedily.


We see that over this period, as Judah was dispersed by the Palestinians, Greeks and Romans and sold abroad, so also will those of Gaza and Tyre and Sidon and the Lebanon generally be dispersed among the Sabeans or Arabs of Sheba in the South East (cf. Job 1:15; 6:19; Isa. 60:6), which happened over the period of the last two millennia and now they are to be relocated by direction of the Kingdom of Israel under Christ. God will recover Israel and Judah from among the nations where they were sold (cf. Isa. 43:5,6 with 49:12; Jer. 23:8).

[5] For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. [6] You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, removing them far from their own border. [7] But now I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will requite your deed upon your own head.  [8] I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabe'ans, to a nation far off; for the LORD has spoken."


At this time God stirs up the nations and brings them down to the valley of decision.

[9] Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare war, stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. [10] Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, "I am a warrior." [11] Hasten and come, all you nations round about, gather yourselves there. Bring down thy warriors, O LORD.


Note the nations are brought down specifically to meet the Heavenly Host. The conflict is noted in Daniel Chapter 12 immediately following the wars of the Last Days.

[12] Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehosh'aphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations round about.


God brings the nations to Jehoshaphat to judge them and destroy their armies and then deal with their nations without any armed forces.


 [13] Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats 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.


The enemies of God are compared first to a "ripe harvest" that it's time to mow, then to "a vat full of” grapes that it is time to tread. (cf. Rev. 14:14-20, 19:15,18). God will then have Christ go forth and deal with the entire world, forcing them to repentance under the Vials of the Wrath of God.

[15] The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. [16] And the LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shake.

(cf. Jer. 25:30; Ezek. 38:18-22; Amos 1:2; roars = thunders)


However, note that the refuge of the Holy People is in Christ through the power of God. The “Place of Safety” is in the hand of God not in any place deemed by man (see the paper The Place of Safety (No. 194)).


But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. [17] "So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy and strangers shall never again pass through it.


Thus the Holy Land as Israel is restored.  The reference to strangers passing through means that people will go there specifically for purposes directed by God in prophecy and under the administration but they will not simply wander through it as a place to use. It is a Holy Place.


There is a great Exodus as referred to by the prophet Isaiah in 65:17-25. The Holy people are restored to the land from all over the world.

[18] "And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the valley of Shittim.


In the last days the fundamentalists of Islam and the division in Egypt will cause great tribulation as it is happening now and it will be reduced to a serious state as was Edom the area of which is now part of Jordan. The people however are scattered in Judah and among the remnants of the Phoenicians.

[19] "Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.


Violence will end among the nations and especially Egypt will pay as is Edom.


This is not the end result for either Egypt or Edom as the nation of Egypt will be restored by the Messiah after the Assyrians and Israel come out of the north and restore the lands from the far north of Iraq and Assyria to the Euphrates and Israel from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt and the Mediterranean to the Arabian Desert absorbing also Jordan as well as Syria, Gaza and Lebanon. The nation of Egypt is restored as the Southern element of the trading alliance of the three nations.

[20] But Judah shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to all generations. [21] I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty, for the LORD dwells in Zion."    


The guilty are thus punished (cf. Ex. 34:7; Num. 14:8; Heb. Nakah is not used of cleansing.  The LXX and the Syr.  render it “make inquisition for” cf. 2Kings 9:7 and the Heb. Nakam is to avenge fr. Nakah).


Yahovah of Israel as Messiah then makes his dwelling at Zion (Heb. Is about to make his dwelling in Zion). Thus ending as Ezekiel does in 48:35.  


The world is then run from Zion as we see from the books of Ezekiel and Zechariah (see the paper Commentary on Zechariah (No. 021K)).