1:7 [An army of locusts] has destroyed my grapevines and ruined my fig trees, stripping their bark and destroying it, leaving the branches white and bare. I did a little study on vines and fig trees. It appears to me that the vines and vineyard is a reference to Israel while the fig tree is a reference to Judah. They might be used interchangeably but this is what they appear to be at a quick look up. I know for sure that when Jesus cursed the fig tree, He was making a point of cursing the physical Jews/Judahites.
1:11 Despair, all you farmers! Wail, all you vine growers! Weep, because the wheat and barley—all the crops of the field—are ruined. I hardly think this was only speaking of crops. I believe that the wheat and the barley are a reference to believers and He's saying these crops of people have been ruined because of the pervasive wickedness.
2:12 (NLT) That is why the Lord says, "Turn to me now, while there is time."
2:12 (NAS) "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart..." One suggests that it will be too late at some point. The other doesn't.
2:13-14 Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before. What a beautiful invitation.
2:22 Don't be afraid, you animals of the field! The pastures will soon be green. The trees will again be filled with luscious fruit; fig trees and grapevines will flourish once more.
(NAS) Do not fear, beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, for the tree has borne its fruit, the fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. Hmmm...do we see any difference?
2:28-29 (NAS) "It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Wow, ALL mankind! Based on the preceding verses, this appears to be in the MK.
2:32 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved... This may be just a minor technicality, but in context, this verse is speaking of Tribulation and the word in the Greek actually seems to be more like "delivered." The passage in NAS seems to convey a different feel than NLT and seems to be saying that in Tribulation, anyone who calls on the Lord will be delivered and escape the judgments of God. Check it out:
2:32 (NAS) "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls."
3:2, 12-14 (NAS) I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land.
...Let the nations be aroused 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, tread, for the wine press 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. Okay, so I'm wondering at the possibilities here. Traditionally, we think this is at the end of this age before the MK or at the start of the MK. But I clearly see nations being gathered here and a Judgment of some sort taking place. Could this be at the END of the MK? Matthew 25:31-46 appears to be the second resurrection and the White Throne Judgment. This passage seems to go along with it.
Another little nugget. In my NLT footnotes it says that "Jehoshaphat" means "the Lord judges." And I also wonder if the multitudes in the "valley of decision" are those who never had the chance to hear and who are getting their chance. I have always wondered what this valley of decision is in relation to the Judgment. Any other input?
1:6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father... Can you imagine being priests to Yahweh?
1:7 BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. Some people say that "clouds" is a reference to many people. I don't know. But if every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, this HAS to be after the MK in the Judgment Age.