the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust –
my great army 4 that I sent against you.
3:2 Then I will gather all the nations,
and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. 5
I will enter into judgment 6 against them there
concerning my people Israel who are my inheritance, 7
whom they scattered among the nations.
They partitioned my land,
Are you trying to get even with me, land of Philistia? 9
I will very quickly repay you for what you have done! 10
3:5 For you took my silver and my gold
and brought my precious valuables to your own palaces. 11
[2:25] sn The plural years suggests that the plague to which Joel refers was not limited to a single season. Apparently the locusts were a major problem over several successive years. One season of drought and locust invasion would have been bad enough. Several such years would have been devastating.
[2:25] 2 sn The same four terms for locust are used here as in 1:4, but in a different order. This fact creates some difficulty for the notion that the four words refer to four distinct stages of locust development.
[2:25] 4 sn Here Joel employs military language to describe the locusts. In the prophet’s thinking this invasion was far from being a freak accident. Rather, the Lord is pictured here as a divine warrior who leads his army into the land as a punishment for past sin and as a means of bringing about spiritual renewal on the part of the people.
[3:2] 5 sn There is a play on words here. Jehoshaphat in Hebrew means “the Lord has judged,” and the next line in v. 2 further explicates this thought. The location of this valley is uncertain (cf. v. 12). Many interpreters have understood the Valley of Jehoshaphat to be the Kidron Valley, located on the east side of old Jerusalem. Since this is described as a scene of future messianic activity and judgment, many Jews and Muslims have desired to be buried in the vicinity, a fact attested to in modern times by the presence of many graves in the area. A variation of this view is mentioned by Eusebius, Onomasticon 1:10. According to this view, the Valley of Jehoshaphat is located in the Hinnom Valley, on the south side of the old city. Yet another view is held by many modern scholars, who understand the reference to this valley to be one of an idealized and nonliteral scene of judgment.