Beat Your Plowshares into Swords
3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem (the return from Babylon -- 604 to 535 B.C. or 585 to 515 B.C.)
2 I will also gather all nations (c. 523-522 B.C.), and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. Figuratively, this valley can be anywhere "the Lord Judges" -- also known as hell or Gehenna or the Valley of the sons of Hinnom (just south of Jerusalem -- Eusebius -- including Kidron Valley). According to Herodotus 3:26, Cambyses sent an army to threaten the Oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis. The army of 50,000 men was halfway across the desert when a massive sandstorm sprang up, burying them all. This was their valley where "the Lord Judges" in 523-522 B.C. People of almost all nations composed Cambyses' army.
According to most ancient historians, in Persia the throne was seized by a man posing as Cambyses' brother Bardiya, most likely a magus, or a Zoroastrian priest named Gaumata. Some modern historians consider that this person really was Bardiya, whereas the story that he was an impostor was spread by Darius I after he became monarch.
Whoever this new monarch was, Cambyses attempted to march against him, but died shortly after under disputed circumstances. According to Darius, who was Cambyses' lance-bearer at the time, he decided that success was impossible, and died by his own hand in 522 BC. Herodotus and Ctesias ascribe his death to an accident. Ctesias writes that Cambyses, despondent from the loss of family members, stabbed himself in the thigh while working with a piece of wood. He died eleven days later from the wound. Herodotus' story is that while mounting his horse, the tip of Cambyses' scabbard broke and his sword pierced his thigh - Herodotus mentions it is the same place where he stabbed a sacred cow in Egypt. He then died of gangrene of the bone and mortification of the wound. Some modern historians suspect that Cambyses was assassinated, either by Darius as the first step to usurping the empire for himself, or by supporters of Bardiya. According to Herodotus (3:64) he died in Ecbatana, i.e. Hamath; Josephus (Antiquites xi. 2. 2) says the place was Damascus. That was his valley where "the Lord judges."
3 And they have cast lots (sun and moon) for my people; and have given a boy (Coma) for (the hire of) an harlot (Virgo), and sold a girl (Virgo) for (solar red radius line) wine, that they might drink. Such treatment had been predicted ages before, and was verified by contemporaneous history (cp. Leviticus 26:33, and Deuteronomy 28:36 for the prediction; and Josephus, De Bell. Jud., 6.9.2,3, for one fulfilment). Ninety-seven thousand prisoners were disposed of as follows: those under seventeen years of age were publicly sold; some exiled to work in Egyptian mines; others reserved to fight with wild beasts in the amphi-theatre. Also in the time of Hadrian four Jewish captives were sold for a measure of barley. Nay, more, the Syrian commander, Nicanor, bargained by anticipation for the sale of such Jews as should be taken captive in the Maccabean war. )
4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;
5 Because ye have taken my silver (moon cup) and my gold (sun), and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: when Nebuchadnezzar's conquered Judah, then the items of YHWH's Temple in Jerusalem were taken in 586 B.C.. to the temple of Marduk in Babylon and put on display (2 Ki. 24:13; 25:15; Dan. 5:2).
6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.
7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head (red sun wound).
Alexander, and his successors, restored to liberty many Jews in bondage in Greece (see Josephus, Antiquities, 13.5; Wars of the Jews, 3:9:2).
The Ionian Greeks carried on such a traffic, Ezekiel 27:13. Tyre and the Philistines were ready to sell, Ezekiel 26:2 and 25:15, particularly under Hystaspes and Artaxerxes.
8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it.
This refers to Arab traders who controlled the eastern trade routes until they were overthrown by the Mineans who became the dominant power in southern Arabia around the 400's B.C. The Queen of Sheba was a member of this tribal identity (cf. Ps. 72:10 Jer. 6:20 and Ezek. 27:22). The Tyrians and Philistines, when they seized any of the children of Judah and Jerusalem, either took them prisoners in war or kidnapped them, they sold them to the Grecians (with whom the men of Tyre traded in the persons of men, Ez. 27:13),
This threat would certainly be fulfilled, for Jehovah had spoken it (cf. Isaiah 1:20). This occurred partly on the defeat of the Philistines by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6-7) and Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:8), where Philistine prisoners of war were certainly sold as slaves; but principally after the captivity, when Alexander the Great and his successors set many of the Jewish prisoners of war in their lands at liberty (compare the promise of King Demetrius to Jonathan, "I will send away in freedom such of the Judaeans as have been made prisoners, and reduced to slavery in our land," Josephus, Ant. xiii. 2, 3), and portions of the Philistian and Phoenician lands were for a time under Jewish sway; when Jonathan besieged Ashkelon and Gaza (1 Maccabees 10:86; 11:60); when King Alexander (Balas) ceded Ekron and the district of Judah (1 Maccabees 10:89); when the Jewish king Alexander Jannaeaus conquered Gaza, and destroyed it (Josephus, Ant. xiii. 13, 3; bell. Jud. i. 4, 2); and when, subsequent to the cession of Tyre, which had been conquered by Alexander the Great, to the Seleucidae, Antiochus the younger appointed Simon commander-in-chief from the Ladder of Tyre to the border of Egypt (1 Maccabees 1:59).
The Persian Artaxerxes Mnemon and Darius Ochus, and chiefly the Greek Alexander, reduced the Phoenician and Philistine powers. Thirty thousand Tyrians after the capture of Tyre by the last conqueror, and multitudes of Philistines on the taking of Gaza, were sold as slaves. The Jews are here said to do that which the God of Judah does in vindication of their wrong, namely, sell the Phoenicians who sold them, to a people "far off," as was Greece, whither the Jews had been sold. The Sabeans at the most remote extremity of Arabia Felix are referred to (compare Jer 6:20; Mt 12:42).
9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:
10 Beat your (lunar) plowshares into swords and your (lunar) pruninghooks into spears (lunar crescent in Orion-Taurus): let the weak say, I am strong.
11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about (Gemini): thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.
12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
13 Put ye in the (lunar or Bootes) sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow (solar red wine; blood of slain); for their wickedness is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision (Milky Way valley -- 523-522 B.C.): for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
Nations. Hebrew hamonim, "multitudes." The repetition of these key words indicates more than one fulfillment.
15 The sun (political ruler -- Cambyses) and the moon (royal family) shall be darkened, and the stars (army) shall withdraw their shining.
16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Roar, in thunder, Jeremiah 25:30 and Amos 1:2.
16. (Compare Eze 38:18-22). The victories of the Jews over their cruel foe Antiochus, under the Maccabees, may be a reference of this prophecy; but the ultimate reference is to the last Antichrist, of whom Antiochus was the type. Jerusalem being the central seat of the theocracy (Ps. 132:13), it is from thence that Jehovah discomfits the foe.
17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain (Milky Way hump): then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains (Milky Way hump ir red radius line) shall drop down new wine (red radius line or sun wine), and the hills shall flow with milk (white lunar crescent; it rotated from a valley v.14 to a mountain in v.18 ), and all the (Milky Way) rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the (red radius line) house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
19 Egypt shall be a desolation (Cambyses victorious at Battle of Pelusium -- 525 B.C., and laid it waste for three years till 522 B.C., as Ochus did afterwards), and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness (Judas and Hican punished them for their former barbarity, Ps. 136:7., and 2 Macc. 10: 16., and Ez. 25: 12), for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land (red sun in Virgo).
Judea was unmolested for a considerable time.
The Idumeans had been spared for a long time. But they shall not escape. (Chaldean, etc.)
20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.