Pastor John Hagee, head of Protestant Evangelicals from San Antonio, Texas, is really giving it to Obama for trying to divide Jerusalem. It happens that it is all one city today under Israel's domain as it's capital. The USA still has not accepted it as such. Hagee is the leader of one Christian group that really is pro Israel and has done much to help Israel. He's blaming the contagious Ebola virus on Obama's actions of having Kerry push for a divided Jerusalem. Hagee quoted Joel 3:2, so I had to stop and look it up in my Tanakh (Bible) and find in mine it is listed under 3:4, but has a little different wording-different translators. The Evangelicals believe in the Old Testament writings, which makes them different from quite a few other Protestants and Catholics.
Joel was the 2nd in order of the 12 Minor Prophets. He lived possibly as early as the 9th century BCE, and more probably as late as the 4th century BCE. Rashi tells us he was the son of Samuel and was a contemporary of Elisha and Joel, Nahum and Habakkuk who all prophesied during the rein of Manasseh.(720-692 BCE) The chapter Hagee is referring to, 3-4, talks of the "Day of the Lord" when G-d will restore his people from captivity and punish their enemies in the plain of Jehoshaphat. The problem in dating his work is that the text doesn't clearly indicate his date. We've had the Assyrians come and take away our people when they attacked in 721 BCE so he could be referring to this time. Or, he could be talking about the Babylonian attack in 597 BCE and again in 586 BCE, which is the most likely one if you discount Rashi's opinion. Rashi (1040-1105 CE) was born in Troyes France and studied in the Rhineland of Germany and is the most well known commentator of the Bible. .Our Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in the last Babylonian attack of 586 BCE. I tend to agree with Rashi and that Joel wrote much earlier. .
It almost reads like a novel. G-d says to announce this among the nations; " prepare for war; arouse the mighty men; let all the men of war approach and ascend. Beat your plows into swords and your pruning forks into spears, even the weak one will say, "I am mighty." Let all the surrounding nations hurry and come, and let them gather together; there G-d will demolish your warriors. Let the nations rouse themselves and go up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit and judge all the nations from all around."
One of the fears some people have today is that Jews can be wiped out being in one place, Israel, by Iran so easily with an A bomb. There would go half of all the Jews in the world again, which is what happened in the Holocaust. Yet Joel saw this happening in reverse to the armies against Israel. G-d will be able to wipe THEM out.
That does seem to be what's happening today. Mostly men, but some women are coming from far and wide to join up with IS today, who will then want to attack Jordan and Israel after taking Iraq and Syria. I note that the usual beating swords into plows is reversed as they recycle their implements into war machines.
G-d will have the last word. G-d has been addressing his agents of destruction who are now ready to "harvest the crops" of Divine vengeance. In 4:21 he says-"Though I will cleanse the nations by forgiving many of their sins (and this is G-d speaking, not any other savior) I will not forgive them for the bloodshed they perpetrated against Israel. When G-d dwells in Zion (Jerusalem), at the End of Days, they will be punished."
Joel's big prophecy was about warning the people of a 7 year famine caused by locusts which was first foretold by Elisha. He was sent to elaborate on it. He was hoping that the people would take the impending disaster to heart and avert it by repenting. He pictured the locusts as invading armies. He used the 4 species of locusts as an allegory for the 4 conquerors of the land; Babylonia, Persia, Greece and Rome.
Isn't this interesting? Babylonia is still with us as Iraq and it's largest city is Baghdad. Persia is today's Iraq. Greece and Rome haven't changed much at all but may be representing the rest of the West today. The West has quit holding Israel as something to be defended against the countries coming under the umbrella of Babylonia and Iran who are against her.
In his prophecy about the locusts, their total destruction is compared to the ravages of a raging fire and an invading army. He sees the locusts causing total destruction as if they had been preceded and followed by a raging fire. Isn't this what happened in 70 CE when Jerusalem fell? It was burned down and then the Romans, who had been occupiers, turned it into a Roman city.
Where is Jehoshaphat that is referred to at the End of Days? "The Kidron Valley is the valley on the eastern side of The Old City of Jerusalem, separating the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. It continues east through the Judean Desert, towards the Dead Sea, descending 4000 feet along its 20 mile course. The settlement Kedar, located on a ridge above the valley, is named after it. The neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz bears the valley's Arabic name. The Bible calls the Valley "Valley of Jehoshaphat - Emek Yehoshafat.” It appears in Jewish eschatologic prophecies, which include the return of Elijah, followed by the arrival of the Messiah, and the War of Gog and Magog and Judgment Day.
Tanach, the Stone Edition (Old Testament) ArtScroll Series.