|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.
Verses 9-17. - After a parenthesis of five verses, viz. 4-8, detailing the injurious treatment of the Jews by some of the surrounding nations, and the righteous retribution visited on those nations, the prophet resumes the subject broached at the beginning of the chapter, especially in ver. 2, about the judgment to be visited on the nations in general. The verses now before us describe very graphically the execution of that judgment. Verse 9 pictures the proclamation and other preliminaries of war. Heralds are sent out to make proclamation among the nations. Prepare (margin, sanctify) war. Certain formalities of a religious nature were customary among the heathen when war was proclaimed and prepared for. Thus also among the Jews supplication was made and sacrifices offered, as we read in 1 Samuel 7:8, 9, that before the battle with the Philistines at Mizpeh, the people urged Samuel to make earnest supplication and sacrifice for them, when in compliance he "took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel;" and thus a preparation for war was a consecration of war by religious rites. Wake up the mighty men; or rather,
(1) according to Keil, waken up or arouse the mighty men.
(2) A preferable rendering, according to Wunsche, is, "Wake up, ye mighty men;" while he understands the whole address as directed to the covenant people. It is observable theft one manuscript has העיזו, equivalent to "make strong," i.e. the heroes. In either case, the heroes may be conceived as enjoying peaceful repose when they are rudely roused by the declaration of war; and as the word "war" is indefinite through the absence of the article, it implies, "What a war! how great and terrible!" Let all the men of war drew near; let them come up. The terms here used are technical military terms, summoning the warriors to advance and march onward in haste to the place of conflict.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles,.... This decree of God, concerning the deliverance of his church; and the destruction of their enemies; which is to be proclaimed among them, to the terror of them, and the comfort of God's people, encouraging them to the battle, since they might be sure of victory; for the prophet here returns to give an account of the armies to be gathered together, and to be destroyed in the valley of Jehoshaphat, as appears from Joel 3:12; and to this end heralds are here ordered to make proclamation of war throughout the nations, and to gather them to the battle of Almighty God; whether seriously, or ironically, may be considered; what follows seems to be spoken in the latter way, to the enemies of the church; though they may be interpreted as spoken seriously to the people of God themselves:
prepare war; get all things ready for it, men and arms:
wake up the mighty men; generals, captains, and other officers, men of strength and courage; let them arouse from the sleep and lethargy in which they are, and get themselves in a readiness for war, and put themselves at the head of their troops:
let all the men of war draw near, let them come up; to the land of Judea, and to Jerusalem; that is, either the Christian powers with their armies, to defend Jerusalem against the Turks, and deliver it out of their hands; let them appear on the behalf of the Jews: or else let the enemies of Christ's church and people come up against them, even the most powerful of them; let them muster up all their forces, and do the most they can, they shall not prevail.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
3:9 This - These things which I will do to the enemies of God's people. The Gentiles - The Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Grecians successively. Prepare war - Make ready for wars against the enemies of my people.
Joel 3:9 Parallel Commentaries
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