3:9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for a holy war!
Call out the warriors!
Let all these fighting men approach and attack! 1
Let the weak say, ‘I too am a warrior!’ 5
all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves 7 to that place.”
Bring down, O Lord, your warriors! 8
3:12 Let the nations be roused and let them go up
to the valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit in judgment on all the surrounding nations.
1 tn Heb “draw near and go up.”
2 sn Instead of referring to the large plow as a whole, the plowshare is simply the metal tip which actually breaks the earth and cuts the furrow.
3 sn This implement was used to prune the vines, i.e., to cut off extra leaves and young shoots (M. Klingbeil, NIDOTTE 1:1117-18). It was a short knife with a curved hook at the end sharpened on the inside like a sickle.
4 sn This conversion of farming instruments to instruments of war is the reverse of Isa 2:4 (cf. Mic 4:3), where military weapons are transformed into tools for farming. Isaiah describes a time of kingdom blessing and prosperity, whereas Joel describes a time of eschatological conflict and judgment.
5 sn The “weak” individual mentioned here is apparently the farmer who has little or no military prowess or prior fighting experience. Under ordinary circumstances such a person would be ill-prepared for assuming the role of a soldier. However, in the scene that Joel is describing here even the most unlikely candidate will become a participant to be reckoned with in this final conflict.
6 tn This Hebrew verb is found only here in the OT; its meaning is uncertain. Some scholars prefer to read here עוּרוּ (’uru, “arouse”) or חוּשׁוּ (khushu, “hasten”).
7 tc The present translation follows the reading of the imperative הִקָּבְצוּ (hiqqavÿtsu) rather than the perfect with vav (ו) consecutive וְנִקְבָּצוּ (vÿniqbbatsu) of the MT.
8 tc Some commentators prefer to delete the line “Bring down, O