Summary: Where is the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and what will be the final outcome there?
v. 12. The valley of Jehoshaphat is once again named as the location. This is not heavenly warfare. The battle has come to Earth. In time and in a place. You wanted to challenge the God of Heaven? This is your chance to prove what you have.
As to the location of the “valley of Jehoshaphat, I quote from Bible Study Tools, an online help for Bible students, found at the following link:
“A key passage associated with the Campaign of Armageddon mentions that God will assemble all nations in the “Valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel Joel 3:2, Joel 3:12). Some hold that the Valley of Jehoshaphat (“Yahweh shall judge”) refers to the valley situated between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives to the east. It was in this valley where king Jehoshaphat is thought to have overthrown the enemies of Israel, the “valley of Beracah” (2Chr. 2Chr. 20:26).
“Its identification with the Kidron Valley, which began in the fourth century, is somewhat uncertain since no actual valley of this name is known to pre-Christian antiquity. Eusebius located the valley of Jehoshaphat in the Valley of Hinnom, possibly because of the judgments that were associated with that place in connection with the idolatrous kings of Judah (cf. Jer. Jer. 7:31f; Jer. 19:5f, where it is called “the valley of Slaughter”). Since the time of the Pilgrim of Bordeaux (A.D. 333), however, the Kidron has become increasingly the site popularly accepted.
“Others suggest the name is descriptive of what God will accomplish (judgment) at the location rather than any association with an event in the life of King Jehoshaphat. Perhaps it is to be associated with the plain of Esdraelon:
“It is clear both from the contexts of Joel Joel 3:2, Joel 3:12 and from the term used twice in Joel Joel 3:14, “the valley of decision” (cf. Zep. Zep. 3:8), that the name is to be interpreted as the scene of judgment, and not taken from the king of the same name. Eze. Eze. 39:11 and Rev. Rev. 16:16+ seem to locate it in the plain of Esdraelon (Armageddon).”
You may want to dig a little deeper about that valley name, but we must move on…
v. 13. Another clue that we are at the end of time: “the harvest is ripe.” Enough is enough, says God. The period of grace has ended. I did all I could to call men to Myself!
v. 14. Though we know that 2500 years have passed since this announcement, and since God gave the invitation (recorded in Revelation) for beasts of the field to gather for a supper of flesh, yet Joel and John and all keep saying “It is near.” We must hear these words in the light of the One Who speaks them: He is Timeless. A day is as a thousand years. He is merciful. He is ready to judge all today, but He still sees one of His sheep on the hillside, unreached, and His heart yearns. Signs of pending judgment surround every age, but He waits, He waits. Yet it is near. Sense the tension, and be ready.
v.15. More reminders of heavenly bodies malfunctioning. Yes, this is the very end.
v. 16. Deafening roar of a lion sending fear and trembling to the lost, but His people, still on the planet, are hiding in Him, and are safe, even though they are slaughtered by antichrist during this period. Jews in particular have now found a hiding place on Earth. God shelters His own one way or another.
v. 17. Clear evidence of the timing of this prophecy. Almighty God is now living on the planet! Jerusalem is now truly the Holy City, not because of memories of the One Who walked here, but because He walks here now! This is the beginning of the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ!
Israel saved forever. 3:18-21
No real break here, just one more final glimpse at the way the world will look after God brings justice to Planet Earth.
v. 18. Water, milk, wine cover the earth in its Millennial glory.
v. 19. On the other hand Egypt and Edom are desolate.
v. 20. Judah and Jerusalem survive and prosper, into eternity.
v. 21. Vengeance belongs to the Lord, whether now or later.
So there you have the book of Joel. The message is clear and obvious. Nothing is hidden. Some of the prophecies have been fulfilled, some have not. But all have to do with disobedient Jews and disobedient Gentiles. The Jews will be put to shame via the Gentiles, then the Gentiles will be punished by God Himself. The world shall end, but not end. A glorious future will come upon the people of God, and that future is forever.
The fanciful interpretations of modern-day prophecy “experts” and their wild-eyed followers, amaze and then sadden the one who knows his or her Bible. What I have shared in these pages is indeed what will happen. If you kept your Bible open, you read it for yourself!