New International Reader's Version

Joel 3:1-21

The Lord Judges the Nations

1“At that time I will bless Judah and Jerusalem

with great success again.

2I will gather together all the nations.

I will bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

There I will put them on trial.

I will judge them for what they have done

to my people Israel.

They scattered them among the nations.

They divided up my land among themselves.

3They cast lots for my people.

They sold boys into slavery to get prostitutes.

They sold girls to buy some wine to drink.

4“Tyre and Sidon, why are you doing things like that to me? And why are you doing them, all you people in Philistia? Are you trying to get even with me for something I have done? If you are, I will pay you back for it in a quick and speedy way. 5You took my silver and gold. You carried off my finest treasures to your temples. 6You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks. You wanted to send them far away from their own country.

7“But now I will stir them up into action. I will bring them back from the places you sold them to. And I will do to you what you did to them. 8I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah. And they will sell them to the Sabeans. The Sabeans are a nation that is far away.” The Lord has spoken.

9Announce this among the nations.

Tell them to prepare for battle.

Nations, get your soldiers ready!

Bring all your fighting men together

and march out to attack.

10Hammer your plows into swords.

Hammer your pruning tools into spears.

Let anyone who is weak say,

“I am strong!”

11Come quickly, all you surrounding nations.

Gather together in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

Lord, send down your soldiers from heaven!

12The Lord says,

“Stir up the nations into action!

Let them march into the valley

where I will judge them.

I will take my seat in court.

I will judge all the surrounding nations.

13My soldiers, swing your blades.

The nations are ripe for harvest.

Come and stomp on them as if they were grapes.

Crush them until the winepress of my anger is full.

Do it until the wine spills over

from the places where it is stored.

The nations have committed far too many sins!”

14Huge numbers of soldiers are gathered in the valley

where the Lord will hand down his sentence.

The day of the Lord is near in that valley.

15The sun and moon will become dark.

The stars won’t shine anymore.

16The Lord will roar like a lion from Jerusalem.

His voice will sound like thunder from Zion.

The earth and the heavens will tremble.

But the Lord will keep the people of Israel safe.

He will be a place of safety for them.

The Lord Blesses His People

17The Lord says,

“You will know that I am the Lord your God.

I live in Zion.

It is my holy mountain.

Jerusalem will be my holy city.

People from other lands

will never again attack it.

18“At that time fresh wine will drip from the mountains.

Milk will flow down from the hills.

Water will run through all Judah’s valleys.

A fountain will flow out of my temple.

It will water the places where acacia trees grow.

19But Egypt will be deserted.

Edom will become a dry and empty desert.

They did terrible harm to the people of Judah.

My people were not guilty of doing anything wrong.

But Egypt and Edom spilled their blood anyway.

20My people will live in Judah and Jerusalem forever.

The land will be their home for all time to come.

21Egypt and Edom have spilled my people’s blood.

Should I let them escape my judgment?

No, I will not.”

The Lord lives in Zion!

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