on Joel 3 :21
For I will cleanse their blood - נקיתי nikkeythi, I will avenge the slaughter and martyrdom of my people, which I have not yet avenged.
Persecuting nations and persecuting Churches shall all come, sooner or later, under the stroke of vindictive justice.
For the Lord dwelleth in Zion - He shall be the life, soul, spirit, and defense of his Church for ever. This prophet, who has many things similar to Ezekiel, ends his prophecy nearly in the same way:
Ezekiel says of the glory of the Church, יהוה שמה Yehovah shammah, The Lord Is There.
Joel says, יהוה שכן בציון Yehovah shochen betsiyon, The Lord Dwelleth in Zion.
Both point out the continued indwelling of Christ among his people.
on Joel 3 :21
For I will cleanse her blood that I have not cleansed - The word rendered "cleansed" is not used of natural cleansing, nor is the image taken from the cleansing of the body. The word signifies only to pronounce innocent, or to free from guilt. Nor is "blood" used of sinfulness generally, but only of the actual guilt of shedding blood. The whole then cannot be an image taken from the cleansing of physical defilement, like the words in the prophet Ezekiel, "then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee" Ezekiel 16:9. Nor again can it mean the forgiveness of sins generally, but only the pronouncing innocent the blood which had been shed. This, the only meaning of the words, fall in with the mention of the "innocent blood," for shedding which, Egypt and Edom had been condemned. The words are the same. There it was said, "because they have shed innocent blood; dam naki;" here, "I will pronounce innocent their blood, nikkethi damam." "How," it is not said. But the sentence on Egypt and Edom explains how God would do it, by punishing those who shed it. For in that He punishes the shedding of it, He declared the "blood" innocent, whose shedding He punished. So in the Revelation it is said, "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held, and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" Revelation 6:10-11. : "Then, at the last judgment, when the truth in all things shall be made manifest, He shall "declare the blood" of His people, who clave to Him and His truth, which blood their enemies thought they had shed justly and deservedly as the blood of guilty persons, to have indeed been innocent, by absorbing them from eternal destruction to which He shall then adjudge their enemies for shedding of it."
For - (literally and) the Lord dwelleth in Zion He closes with the promise of God's abiding dwelling. He speaks, not simply of a future, but of an ever-abiding present. He who is, the unchangeable God , "the Lord, infinite in power and of eternal Being, who gives necessary being to all His purposes and promises," dwelleth now in "Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22; add Galatians 4:26; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10), now by grace and the presence of His Holy Spirit, hereafter in glory. Both of the Church militant on earth and that triumphant in heaven, it is truly to be said, that the Lord dwelleth in them, and that, perpetually. Of the Church on earth will be verified what our Saviour Christ saith, "lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" Matthew 28:20; and of its members Paul saith, that "they" are "of the household of God, an holy temple in the Lord, in whom they are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" Ephesians 2:19, Ephesians 2:21-22. Of the Church triumphant, there is no doubt, that "He" doth and will there dwell, and manifest His glorious presence forever, "in" whose "presence is the fullness of joy, and at His Right Hand" there are "pleasures for evermore" Psalm 16:1-11 :12. It is an eternal dwelling of the Eternal, varied as to the way and degree of His presence by our condition, now imperfect, there perfected in Him; but He Himself dwelleth on for ever. He, the Unchangeable, dwelleth unchangeably; the Eternal, eternally.
: "Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou city of God" Psalm 87:3 Jerusalem, our mother, we thy children now groan and weep in this valley of tears, hanging between hope and fear, and, amid toil and conflicts, "lifting up our eyes" to thee and greeting thee from far. Truly "glorious things are spoken of thee." But whatever can be said, since it is said to people and in the words of people, is too little for the "good things" in thee, which "neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man" 1 Corinthians 2:9. Great to us seem the things which we suffer; but one of thy most illustrious citizens, placed amid those sufferings, who knew something of thee, hesitated not to say, "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" 2 Corinthians 4:17. We will then "rejoice in hope," and "by the waters of Babylon," even while "we sit and weep," we will "remember thee, O Zion. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget" her cunning. "Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, I do not remember thee, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy" Psalm 137:1-9.
O blessed longed-for day, when we shall enter into the city of the saints, 'whose light is the Lamb,' where 'the King is seen in His beauty,' where 'all tears are wiped off from the eyes' of the saints, 'and there shall be no more death neither sorrow nor pain, for the former things have passed away Revelation 21:23; Isaiah 33:17; Revelation 21:4. "How amiable are Thy tabernacle, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea fainteth for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God" Psalm 84:1-2. "When shall I come and appear before God?" Psalm 42:2, when shall I see that Father, whom I ever long for and never see, to whom out of this exile, I cry out, "Our Father, which art in heaven?" O true Father, "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:6, ...), "Father of mercies and God of all comfort!" 2 Corinthians 1:3. When shall 'I see the Word, who was in the beginning with God,' and who 'is God?' John 1:1. When may I kiss His sacred Feet, pierced for me, put my mouth to His sacred Side, sit at His Feet, never to depart from them? O Face, more Glorious than the sun! Blessed is he, who beholdeth Thee, who hath never ceased to say, 'I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not nigh' Numbers 24:17. When will the day come, when, cleansed from the defilement of my sins, I shall, 'with unveiled face, behold the glory of the Lord' 2 Corinthians 3:18, and see the sanctifying Spirit, the Author of all good, through whose sanctifying we are cleansed, that 'we may be like Him, and see Him as He is?' 1 John 3:2. 'Blessed are all they that dwell in Thy house,' O Lord, 'they shall ever praise Thee' Psalm 84:4; forever shall they behold Thee and love Thee."
on Joel 3 :21
3:21 And I will cleanse - Purge away both by the spirit of sanctification and by free pardon in the blood of the redeemer. Their blood - Their sinfulness, which before I had not taken away.