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Verses 1-2

Joel 3:1-2. For, &c. This particle shows the connection of this chapter with the latter part of the preceding: as if he had said, As an earnest of the accomplishment of these predictions, my people shall be restored to their own land, and then their enemies shall be humbled: see note on Joel 2:28. In those days, when I shall bring again Namely, out of Babylon, (to which deliverance this promise seems primarily to refer,) the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem As the type of the whole remnant which shall be saved. I will also gather all nations In the type the expression means, all those nations that had oppressed Judah; in the antitype, all the nations that had been enemies to Christ and his church. And will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat That is, into the place of judgment; for the word Jehoshaphat signifies divine judgment, or, the place where Jehovah will execute judgment. Thus the valley of Jezreel signifies the place where God’s arm, or strength, would exert itself. The expression likewise alludes to the valley of Berachah, or of blessing, as it was afterward called, mentioned 2 Chronicles 20:26, the place in which Jehoshaphat obtained a remarkable victory; or, where God, by his miraculous interposition, so infatuated the enemies of his people, that they destroyed one another, and few or none of them that came against Judah escaped. Archbishop Newcome considers it as a prediction of an extraordinary battle which was to be won in that valley, probably, he thinks, by Nebuchadnezzar, which would utterly discomfit the ancient enemies of the Jews, and resemble that victory of Jehoshaphat. But it seems more probable that the prediction principally refers to a general discomfiture of the enemies of God’s church in the latter days, probably to that foretold Isaiah 66:16, or to the battle of Gog and Magog, described Ezekiel 39:0., and that of Armageddon, spoken of Revelation 16:14; Revelation 16:16. And I will plead with them I will require of them the reason why they thus used my people. God pleads with men, and vindicates the cause of oppressed truth and righteousness by his judgments. Then the consciences of the guilty fly in their faces, and force them to acknowledge the justice of the punishments they suffer. For my people and for my heritage Israel, &c. The prophets in the Old Testament often denounced judgments against Edom, Moab, and other hostile neighbours of the Jews, who took advantage of their calamities to vent their spite against them. But since all nations are summoned to answer the impeachment here mentioned, we may suppose the word Israel to comprehend the faithful of all ages; and then we may observe, that the judgments denounced against the church’s enemies, are chiefly for their hatred and cruelty toward God’s servants.

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