Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, "I am strong!"

Joel prophesies war.

Isaiah 2:4 Then He will judge between the nations and arbitrate for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer take up the sword against nation, nor train anymore for war.

Isaiah prophesies peace.

Joel      plowshares --> swords              pruning hooks --> spears
Isaiah        swords --> plowshares                 spears --> pruning hooks

Both prophets lived in the times of the 2 Kings. Why such opposites? Why such a big difference concerning the world that was coming?


There is nothing to resolve here because the two prophets are talking and prophesying about quite different events.

Joel 3

Joel 3 concerns a coming time when the nations would go to war. This certainly occurred when during the time of the Assyrian empire and later during the Babylonian conquests.

Isa 2

Isa 2 concerns a prophecy about "the last days" when all war has ceased (we are obviously not there yet!!) when there would be no more war and people do not even train for war.

Thus, again, they quite different prophecies about different times.


Between the time Joel and Isaiah, there was Micah.

Micah 4:3
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Micah prophesied the future perpetual peace by beating swords into plowshares.

Revelation 11:15
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever."

Joel prophesied war. Micah and Isaiah who came later prophesied peace.


I wouldn't say its opposites or focus so much on the wording, but rather the thematic focus of each of the prophets.

A big emphasis of Isaiah is the salvation of Israel. Isaiah's name means "The LORD saves", and the word for salvation is used 30 times in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah prophesies more about the coming Messiah than any other prophet in the Bible, and the entire latter portion of the book is titled "The Book of Comforts". Although Isaiah, like the other prophets, does also warn of the coming judgment of God, he also speaks greatly of God as the Savior of the world.

The emphasis of Joel, however, is on the judgment of God, specifically the Day of the LORD. Joel uses the phrase "Day of the LORD" five times throughout just three chapters, which is the most than any other book in the Bible. Joel, along with the book of Zephaniah, is one of the two minor prophets that deal exclusively with the Day of the LORD and coming judgment.

Let's also address the context of the passages:

In Isaiah, the passage you described, it speaks of the peace that is to come after God comes and judges the world. In Joel, it talks of God's judgment on that day, where he "arouses the nations". Basically, God is going to rouse the wicked nations and they will take arms against him. God quickly defeats (duh) and there will be no more war and conflict after this. God reigns supreme.

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