Yahweh wants to harvest the wicked ones (Joel 3:13-3:13)

“Put in the sickle!

The harvest is ripe!

Go in!

Tread!

The wine press is full!

The vats overflow!

Their wickedness is great!”

Yahweh, via Joel, wanted the Israelites to get out their sickles. The harvest of wickedness was ripe. They were to go in and tread down the wicked ones. The winepress and the vats were full and overflowing with great wickedness. It was time to take action.

Advertisements

Judgment of all the countries (Joel 3:2-3:3)

“I will gather

All the nations.

I will bring them down

To the valley of Jehoshaphat.

I will enter

Into judgment

With them there.

On account of my people,

On account of my heritage,

Israel,

Because they have scattered them

Among the nations.

They have divided

My land.

They have cast lots

For my people.

They have traded boys

For prostitutes.

They have sold girls

For wine.

They have drunk it down.”

Yahweh, via Joel, said that he was going to gather all the countries of the world together in the valley of Jehoshaphat. That would have to be a big place. Actually, they were dealing with the known world of the near East at that time. Jehoshaphat means the valley of decision or the Lord judges. This was probably some place close to Jerusalem, perhaps the Kidron valley. Yahweh was going to judge these countries on what they had done to his people, his heritage, Israel. They had scattered the Israelites among the various countries. They had divided the land of Israel. They had gambled over his people, trading boys for prostitutes and selling girls for wine to get drunk on. Yahweh was going to lay down his judgment on them.

The people will be satisfied (Joel 2:26-2:26)

“You shall eat

In plenty.

You shall be satisfied.

You shall praise

The name of Yahweh.

Your God.

He has dealt wondrously

With you.

My people

Shall never again

Be put to shame.”

Now the Israelites would be satisfied with plenty of food. They would then praise Yahweh, their God, because he has treated them so wonderfully. Then Yahweh, via Joel, said that they would never again be ashamed.

Punishment for forgetting Yahweh (Hos 13:6-13:8)

“When I fed them,

They were satisfied.

They were satisfied,

So that

Their heart was proud.

Therefore,

They forgot me.

So,

I will become

Like a lion to them.

Like a leopard,

I will lurk

Beside the way.

I will fall upon them

Like a bear

Robbed of her cubs.

I will tear open

The covering

Of their heart.

I will devour them

Like a lion.

Just like a wild animal

Would mangle them.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, warned the Israelites that he had fed them. Once they were satisfied with food, they had become proud. They forgot all about Yahweh. Thus, he was going to become like a lion or leopard lurking along their paths. He would attack them, like a bear who had been robbed of cubs. He was going to tear open the covering around their hearts. He would devour them like a wild animal would mangle its prey. They had better watch out.

The return from exile (Hos 11:10-11:11)

“They shall go after Yahweh.

He will roar

Like a lion.

When he roars,

His children

Shall come trembling

From the west.

They shall come trembling

Like birds

From Egypt.

They shall come trembling

Like doves

From the land of Assyria.

‘I will return them

To their homes.’

Says Yahweh.”

The compassion of Yahweh will lead the Israelites to return to Israel and Ephraim. Yahweh would roar like a lion. When his children, the Israelites, heard this roar, they would come trembling back to Israel. They would come from the west, like birds from Egypt. They would also return like trembling doves from Assyria. Yahweh said that he would return them to their homes.

The punishment of Gibeah (Hos 10:9-10:10)

“Since the days of Gibeah,

You have sinned!

O Israel!

There they have continued.

Shall not war overtake them

In Gibeah?

I will come

Against the wayward people

To punish them.

Nations shall be gathered

Against them,

When they are punished

For their double iniquity.”

Gibeah was just north of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin. The first battle of Gibeah was at the time of the Judges, chapters 19-21. The men of Gibeah raped the wife of an Ephraim Levite. However, he got the other tribes of Israel to attack the people of Benjamin. Finally, the Israelites were successful in defeating the people of Gibeah, in the territory of Benjamin. Clearly, the men of Gibeah had sinned. So, had Israel. Thus, the Israelites were successful. Now it looks like there would be another fight against Gibeah that was once destroyed. They would be punished again for their double iniquity, since they had raped 2 women. They also would not turn over the men who did this.

Israel does not need a king or Yahweh (Hos 10:3-10:4)

“Now they will say.

‘We have no king!

We do not fear Yahweh!

What could a king

Do for us?’

They utter mere words.

They make covenants

With empty oaths.

Thus,

Litigation springs up

Like poisonous weeds,

In the furrows of the field.”

Now the Israelites would say that they did not need a king. They did not fear Yahweh. What good would a king do for them? The Israelites had become very independent. As a result, they uttered mere words. They made false treaties. This then led to contentious litigation and lawyers springing up like poisonous weeds in the well tilled fields. This state of anarchy led to all kinds of disputes.