(1) That time.—The whole course of the events of the world is shown to lead up by Divine providence to the Great Day of the Lord, when “the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain, and the Lord shall be exalted.” Then will be “the times of the restitution of all things;” then will the people of God be brought out of captivity, and vengeance executed upon their enemies. This progress, with its final consummation, is the subject of the concluding lines of Joel’s prophecy.
A fountain shall come forth.—The spiritual fertilising power of the knowledge of the Lord is compared to the life-giving influence of a stream of water, which causes luxuriance to the trees on its banks. This imagery is exemplified by Ezekiel, who traces the course of the waters issuing from under the threshold of the house of the Lord (Ezekiel 47). (Comp. Zechariah 14:8; Revelation 22:1.)
The valley of Shittim.—Heb., acacias. Shittim, in the land of Moab, is symbolical of the barrenness and sterility of land where there is no water; of the dry places of the world, where there are trees lacking moisture: the heathen, to whom God is not known, shall yet become covered with the knowledge of the Lord.
The Lord dwelleth in Zion—i.e., over a raging and swelling world, probably unconscious of Him, the Lord nevertheless reigns in the heavenly Jerusalem, and all His redeemed shall dwell securely under His eternal rule. “And the name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah Shammah, the LORD IS THERE (Ezekiel 48:35).