|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:9-17 Here is a challenge to all the enemies of God's people. There is no escaping God's judgments; hardened sinners, in that day of wrath, shall be cut off from all comfort and joy. Most of the prophets foretell the same final victory of the church of God over all that oppose it. To the wicked it will be a terrible day, but to the righteous it will be a joyful day. What cause have those who possess an interest in Christ, to glory in their Strength and their Redeemer! The acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favour to some, will be a day of remarkable vengeance to others: let every one that is out of Christ awake, and flee from the wrath to come.
Verse 12. - This verse points out the place where the great assemblage of the heathen is to hold, and the final decision in answer to the prophet's prayer is to take place. Let the heathen he wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat. All the nations that have opposed the kingdom of God, as well as those hostile nations from round about Israel and Judah, in their more immediate neighbourhood; though these, no doubt, are primarily meant. The expression, "be wakened," of this verse corresponds to "waken up" of ver. 9. The force of coming up is explained by some
(1) as implying the ascent to Palestine in order to reach the valley of Jehoshaphat. It is rather
(2) to be understood in the general sense of advancing or marching on; otherwise "to come into the presence of the Most High God" may well be called "a coming up." The decision takes the form of a judicial process conducted by Jehovah, who as Judge takes his seat on a throne of judgment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let the Heathen be awakened, and come to the valley of Jehoshaphat,.... That is, let the enemies of Christ and his church be aroused from that state of security in which they are, and prepare for their own defence; for in such a state the antichristian powers will be before their destruction; see Revelation 18:7; let them bestir themselves, and exert all the rigour and strength they have; let them come in high spirits against the people of God; let them invade the holy land, and come even to the valley of Jehoshaphat; and, when come thither, let them, descend into the place appointed for their ruin: the land of Judea being said to be higher than other countries, going to it is generally expressed by going up to it; otherwise it is more usual to say that men go down a valley than come up to it; and, mention being made again of this valley, shows that the same thing is referred to here as in Joel 3:2; these words are said in answer to the petition in Joel 3:11; for they are spoken by the Lord, as appears by what follows:
for there will I sit to judge all the Heathen round about; thither gathered together from all parts: the allusion is to a judge upon the bench, sitting to hear and try causes, and pass a definitive sentence; and here it signifies the execution of that sentence; such a pleading the cause of his people, as to take vengeance and inflict just punishment upon their enemies; see Psalm 9:4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. See Joe 3:2.
judge all the heathen round about—that is, all the nations from all parts of the earth which have maltreated Israel; not merely, as Henderson supposes, the nations round about Jerusalem (compare Ps 110:6; Isa 2:4; Mic 4:3, 11-13; Zep 3:15-19; Zec 12:9; 14:3-11; Mal 4:1-3).
Joel 3:12 Parallel Commentaries
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