Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: “The LORD will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, Against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise will come to the ends of the earth-For the LORD has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,” says the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, disaster shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth. And at that day the slain of the LORD shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground. Wail, shepherds, and cry! Roll about in the ashes, you leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled; you shall fall like a precious vessel. And the shepherds will have no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard. For the LORD has plundered their pasture, and the peaceful dwellings are cut down because of the fierce anger of the LORD. He has left His lair like the lion; for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the Oppressor, and because of His fierce anger.” (Jer. 25:30-38) [emphasis added]When we recall the extensive parallels between the previous chapter and Joel, it is little surprise that Joel expresses the same theme. This angel gives a roar as a lion to awaken the people of the earth in preparation for the judgment of God against all nations:
Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow-For their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:12-16)The nations will soon be gathered to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (a compound from Hebrew Yahweh and shaphat, meaning “Jehovah has judged”3 ), and there God “will sit to judge all the surrounding nations” (Rev. 16:12-16+, which see). Notice too, the winepress motif, symbolized in this chapter by the mighty angel’s stance: standing upon both sea and land. Although both the Jewish nation and the Gentile nations will be judged according to Jeremiah, Joel reminds us of an extremely important distinction between Israel and all other nations: Israel alone is God’s chosen nation and has unconditional everlasting promises of divine protection (Isa. 44:21; Jer. 31:35-37; 33:20-22; Rom. 11:1, 25-29). Therefore, in the midst of the judgment of God, “the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:16).4 Isaiah also records God’s promise to defend Jerusalem and Mount Zion. He stirs himself “As a lion roars, and a young lion over his prey” (Isa. 31:4). See commentary on Revelation 12.seven thunders uttered their voices
John had earlier noted there were thunderings proceeding from God’s throne (Revelation 5:5+) along with voices. It is probably that these seven thunderous voices which followed the great cry . . . were nothing less than seven pronouncements from the very throne of God.8
1 M. R. Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four Group, 2002), Rev. 10:3.
2 “We have already seen who it is that is called ‘the Lion from the tribe of Judah.’ ”—J. A. Seiss, The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), Rev. 10:3.
3 James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996), H3092.
4 This does not refer to the believers in general for nowhere are believers called the children of Israel. This uniquely designates the physical seed of Jacob. Believers are the spiritual seed of Abraham (Rom. 4:11-18; Gal. 3:7-8, 29). “ ‘Abraham’s seed,’ therefore, is not necessarily equivalent of a Jew or a member of the people of Israel. God’s promise to Abraham encompassed both ‘a great nation’ and ‘all peoples on earth’ (Gen. 12:2-3). Both of these groups, therefore, share the fulfillment of that promise in the salvation of God without being merged into each other. It is significant that when the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise is related to the Gentiles, it is specifically this statement about ‘all nations,’ not any reference to the ‘great nation’ or Israel, that the apostle uses as OT support (Gal. 3:8). Again, there is sharing, but not identity.”—Robert L. Saucy, “Israel and the Church: A Case for Discontinuity,” in John S. Feinberg, ed., Continuity And Discontinuity (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988), 254.
5 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), 76.
6 E. W. Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1984, 1935), Rev. 10:4.
7 “As usual, interpretation has run wild as to the seven thunders. As a few illustrations may be cited: Vitringa, the seven crusades; Daubuz, the seven kingdoms which received the Reformation; Elliott, the bull fulminated against Luther from the seven-hilled city, etc.”—Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies, Rev. 10:3. “Some would have use believe that these seven thunders are the Papal Bulls issued against Luther and the Reformation [Elliott, vol. ii., p. 100, etc.]. If this be so, then God sealed the book in vain for all know what those thunders uttered.”—Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation, Rev. 10:4.
8 Henry Morris, The Revelation Record (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1983), Rev. 10:3.