Joel 3

Joel 3  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 10
There is evidently a very wide and solemn judgment which does not come into the accounts of Matt. 24 and 25. We find it, to say nothing of details, in Isa. 66, and in this chapter—a warrior judgment, general, universal in its character, but dealing with adversaries, nations, not individuals. There are those spared in Isaiah. This mainly relates to the Beast, and Gog, but then to the nations in possession of Immanuel's Land to the Euphrates. The submission of nations or kings, through fear, is not the individual, sessional judgment of Matt. 25 (Psa. 18); compare Psa. 78:65, though there anticipative. Matt. 25 is a sessional judgment, where the conduct of individuals is inquired into. In the very nations who may have submitted, and been spared as such, I suppose individuals may be judged, just as nations are called Christian now, and so far submit to Christ, but individuals are judged. Open enemies may be destroyed by the Lord coming in power.
It seems to me that this chapter is, in the Hebrew, a true division. First, there is a general statement that the ravages of the nations, prefigured by the insect-caused famine, are set aside by mercies, and the deliverance of God, closing in chapter 2:27. It is temporal deliverance. He removes the Northern army, the Land is not to fear, blessing is there on repentance, no more reproach of famine, etc. But this is not all. On the repentance of His people, and accompanying this intervention of Jehovah in favor of His people, when He returns to dwell among them, 'afterward' (akhare-ken, 'thereafter') He will pour out His Spirit. Verses 30-32 are also apart, describing the signs that accompany it, ushering in the day of the Lord, a day of judgment and terror, but in which the Remnant, called of the Lord, will be delivered. For the Lord will 'roar out of Zion,' but be the Hope of His people. Verses 28, 29 of chapter 2 (in the Hebrew, chapter 3: 1, 2) are consequent on the Lord's intervention, introduced by their repentance, only the temporal deliverance is pursued to the end previously, to the end of verse 27.
I have noticed it already, in a measure, somewhere, but I turn again to this chapter, i.e., Joel 2 (in Hebrew, chapter 3, in part). The temporal answer, on the cry of repentance, closes with verse 27. Verses 30-32 (in Hebrew, chapter 3: 3-5) come before the great and terrible day, and there is deliverance for those who call, and whom Jehovah shall call. The promise of the Spirit comes in as a supplement to what precedes, but evidently consequent on Jehovah's visiting His people. It is akhare-ken (thereafter), ' now,' in the application made by Peter. It is after the intervention of God in favor of His people. We know it had been rejected, still the little Remnant had, in only so much greater faithfulness, owned Him, and so, though not in a temporal kingdom and rest, got the blessing—the spiritual part. And indeed, at the end, it will be only a Remnant, only the rest of the prophecy will then be fulfilled.
The Assyrian is to be distinguished from Babylon. The Assyrian attacks the Land, and comes to naught. In Babylon, the people were in captivity. The Assyrian is therefore, properly, against the Jews or Israelites, as connected with God, not Christ and the Remnant. The first two chapters of Joel describe this army of the latter day come up into, and against the Land, and its wrath. There is more, i.e., as to the saints which I notice not here. Joel is all of what befalls the Land, specially in the last day. There is the alarm and the gathering.
Ezek. 28 and 39 also fully describe this Northern army. He is noticed too in Mic. 5:5. Ezek. 31 also, I think, alludes to the same thing. In Isaiah to we have a very full account of the same power. In Isa. 28:2, we have the same person, and in verse H. All the following chapters of Isaiah, to the end of chapter 33, describe the same power, and its failure, etc., before Jerusalem, not chapter 34. The account of chapter 36, etc., is, of course, the type of it. I may remark, in passing here, that it would seem that in chapter 30: 33, the Antichristian king also is introduced; the destruction, or furnace, being of all, and therefore, when mentioned, he also is introduced. I would read gam hi lammelek hocan, also' (i.e., not 'merely' is it there for the Assyrian) ‘it for the king is,' or 'has been,' ‘made ready,' ‘prepared.' I do not think 'the king' is ever used for Assyria, but the Anti-christian power, and gam hi (also it), etc., seems to me to bear out the supposition.
I believe the tidings out of the North and East in Dan. 11:44, to refer to the same Assyrian power. The North and the East are the Chaldeans and Persians. In Ezekiel it is the Northern army; so Joel. These seem clearly (perhaps Turkey, rid then all the image save the Roman power) under the Russian power, therefore Northern, to be the great power against the Land, designated Assyrian.
We have one other prophecy (though there are other allusions) to notice definitely—Nahum, Nineveh and its burden. This is, though under a different aspect, yet in many respects the same power. It is not Egypt, and it is not Babylon, nor is it the saints nor the Jews. It is the corporate estate from which the Assyrian is manifested in the Land, as Antichrist is the firstborn of Babylon, and the chief of her strength. The two are shown in a passage, I have omitted to notice—Isa. 14 And I note here that Assyria is mentioned last, though quite previous in its typical facts, because such was the order of the prophetic mind. The result, as stated in the chapter is remarkable. We may note as to Nineveh, as also of Assyria (therefore it begins, ' Woe to the crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim ') that the ten tribes were that with which it had to do. The nations will be involved according to the proportion in which the testimony of God has been amongst them, and hence specially as brought into knowledge or responsibility of the covenant, and hence am-mim (the peoples) though not am-mi (My people) and further, as connected with the Jews or Israelites, hence the expression, which 'have not heard My fame, nor heard My glory.' Hence the typical importance of Jonah's mission to the Ninevites, yet they were not the Land (he ge) nor therefore the Apostasy, nor addressed from the Lord. However, the general testimony, putting the whole te-vel (habitable earth) under responsibility, is well known. Hence too it is, I suppose, stated that there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the am-mim, causing them to err. The goyim (nations) are all sifted. However they are involved in the general judgment as in Isa. 14 But I doubt whether tes oikoumenes holes (of the whole world) (Rev. 16:14), is more than those included in our present inquiry. Isa. 24 sets the general judgment plainly afloat in its current over the whole earth, as in verse 4, but there it is only languisheth.' See also Ezekiel, "Them that dwell," etc., "in the isles."
I have omitted here references to the Psalms. There the general reference is to the Gog and Magog invasion, which is properly the Jewish one. However, all the heathen are in the net.