Joel 2:20 speaks about a northerner or Northern army, depending on translation, that will be removed. Who or what exactly is this referring to?
NKJV - 20 "But I will remove far from you the northern army, And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, With his face toward the eastern sea And his back toward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done monstrous things."
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
The Northern Army I believe is the forces described in both Ezekiel 38-39 and in Daniel 11:40 and following. It is a coalition of forces that come against Israel but are defeated by God.
One very interesting point to check out is the description of the battle in Ezekiel 39. There, the prophet describes a CLEANUP procedure after the battle. Nowhere else in scripture is there a cleanup procedure described in a battle. It usually says how many were killed, and the who and where and that is that. But in Ezekiel there is a specific cleanup procedure described.
In Eze 39:9-14 the procedure would have been unknown at the time of writing, but today it makes perfect sense.
Since Ez. 39 speaks of a yet future battle, the cleanup described is none other than TEXTBOOK US Army NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) cleanup procedure.
Think I'm reaching here? Go online and google up the following declassified US Army NBC training manual.
TM 3-9905-001-10 Dept of the Army, Dept of Defense et al.
Take this manual and line it up against the cleanup procedures described in Ez. 39 9-14 and you will see the exact match up.
It is AMAZING how God spoke to the prophet of this yet future battle in such incredible detail.