|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 14. - This and the following verses, instead of expressly narrating the execution of the Divine command, present a picture of it. In one part the prophet sees in vision and shows us pictorially the multitudes of the nations pouring on in one continuous stream into the fatal valley. In another compartment of the picture, Jehovah is seen in the awfulness of his majesty and in the fearfulness of his judgments on the wicked, while he is a Refuge and Strength for his people. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. These multitudes are the tumultuous masses. Hamon is from the root הָמָה, to be noisy, or tumultuous. "It is identical," says Pusey, "with our ' hum; ' then noise, and, among others, the hum of a multitude, then a multitude even apart from that noise. It is used of the throng of a large army." The repetition emphasizes the masses as pits, pits, equivalent to "nothing but pits;" or ditches, ditches, equivalent to "full of ditches;" or it expresses diversity, equivalent to "multitudes of the living and multitudes of the dead." Decision is charuts, cut, something decided;
(1) so sharp, severe judgment, from chafers, to cut into, sharpen, dig.
(2) Others understand it in the sense of a threshing-wain, equivalent to charuts morag, a sharpened threshing-instrument. All things being now ready, the immediate proximity of the judgment is announced to be at hand.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision,.... The same with the valley of Jehoshaphat before mentioned; which shows that not any valley of that name is intended, but a certain place so called from the judgments of God in it; and here named "the valley of decision", because here their judgment will be determined, as Kimchi and Jarchi; and at this time the controversy between God, and his people's enemies, will be decided, and at an end: or "the valley of concision", as the Vulgate Latin version; because in this place, and at this time, the nations gathered together in it will be cut to pieces: or, as others, "the valley of threshing" (p); because, as, in Jehoshaphat's time, the Moabites and Ammonites were threshed by the Jews in the valley of Berachah, to which the allusion is; so at this time the antichristian kings and their armies will be threshed and beaten, and destroyed by the men of Judah, God's professing people; see Micah 4:13; these seem to be the words of the prophet, breaking out into this pathetic exclamation, upon a sight of the vast multitudes gathered together in this valley, and slain in it; and the doubling of the word serves to express the prodigious number of them: and this shows that this prophecy refers either to the vast army of the Turks, under the name of Gog, and the great slaughter that will be made of them; and that this valley may be the same with the valley of Hamongog, that is, the valley of the multitude of Gog, where their multitude of slain shall be buried, Ezekiel 39:11; or to that vast carnage of the antichristian kings and their armies at Armageddon, Revelation 16:14; the Targum is,
"armies, armies, in the valley of the division of judgment:''
for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision; that is, the great and terrible day of the Lord, to take vengeance on all the antichristian powers, both eastern and western, is nigh at hand, which will be done in this valley.
(p) "in valle triturationis", Piscatsr.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. The prophet in vision seeing the immense array of nations congregating, exclaims, "Multitudes, multitudes!" a Hebraism for immense multitudes.
valley of decision—that is, the valley in which they are to meet their "determined doom." The same as "the valley of Jehoshaphat," that is, "the valley of judgment" (see on Joe 3:2). Compare Joe 3:12, "there will I sit to judge," which confirms English Version rather than Margin, "threshing." The repetition of "valley of decision" heightens the effect and pronounces the awful certainty of their doom.
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