Joel 3

The Lord judges the nations

1 ‘Judah and Jerusalem were once great.

One day, at that time, I will make them great again.

2 Then I will bring all the nations together.

I will bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

3:2The Valley of Jehoshaphat means a place where God judged people.

There I will judge against them

because of what they did to my children, my people Israel.

Those nations pushed my people out into other countries.

They broke up my land and each took pieces.

3 They played games to win my people.

They gave boys to buy women to have sex with them.

They sold girls so that they could get wine to drink.

4 You people in Tyre, Sidon, and of all the land of the people called Philistines, listen. You cannot say that I have done anything wrong. You want to punish me. If you do this, I will soon do the same to you. 5 You took my silver and my gold, and you put all my riches in your temples. 6 You sold the people from Judah and Jerusalem to the Greek people. You wanted to send them a long way from their own country. 7 Now I will bring them back from the places to which you sold them. I will do to you what you have done to them. 8 I will sell your sons and daughters to the people in Judah. And they will sell them to the people called Sabeans, who live far away. I, the Lord, have spoken.’

9 Tell this news to the people in all the countries:

Get ready for war!

Shout to the soldiers.

Make all the men who fight get ready to attack.

10 Make your ploughs into swords.

Make the tools that you use on the farm into spears.

The weak man must say, ‘I am strong!’

11 Come quickly, you people who live round Israel.

And get together in the valley.

Lord, send down your army to attack them.

12 ‘Wake up the people in all the countries!

Bring them into the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

I will sit there to judge the people from every place.

13 Now is the time to cut down the fruits.

They are ready for you to bring them in.

Walk all over the grapes.

The winepress is full of them.

They come over the top.

The people in all countries have done so many bad things.’

14 Many nations are in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

It is there that the day of the Lord will soon come.

15 The sun and moon will become dark.

The stars will not shine.

16 The Lord will shout from Zion.

He will make a great noise from Jerusalem.

The earth and the sky will move about.

But the Lord will keep his people safe.

God will bless his people

17 ‘Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.

You will know that I live in Zion, my holy hill.

Jerusalem will be holy.

Strangers will never take it again.

18 In that day new wine will run from the mountains.

And milk will run from the hills.

All the valleys of Judah will have rivers of water.

Water will come from the house of the Lord

and it will water the Valley of Acacias.

19 But Egypt will be empty,

and Edom will become a desert.

They attacked the people in Judah,

and they killed them for no good reason.

20 My people will always live in Jerusalem and Judah.

21 I will forgive all the wrong things that they have done.’

The Lord has made his home in Zion!