The Book of Joel
Introduction to the Book of Joel in the Bible
Joel 2:1-3 - Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land [is] as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
Joel 3:9-11 - Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I [am] strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survey - Joel
Quick Overview of Joel. – – 1: 1-2:27 – – The plague of locusts – – 2:38-3:21 – – the approaching day of the Lord.
The prophet Joel showed up in Israel during a time of the most terrible plague of locusts in the nation's history. Joel came and prophesied to the land of Judah before the plague came. He warned the people of Judah that the devastation was going to sweep across the land very soon. He called for a season of fasting, mourning, and repentance. He warned them of God's judgment in the imagery of the impending invasion of locusts. He called the people of Judah and Jerusalem to weep over the sins, and to fast and repent because the day of the Lord is approaching. Soon the plague came and devastated the whole land and its effects were clearly seen and felt. The locusts came like a storm, they darkened the skies and every green thing was left barren. There was no hope of escape and they left utter decimation in their path. Joel seized upon the imagery of the locusts as a type of the greater judgement that would come on "the Day of the Lord" in the last days: Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty . . . The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? Joel 1:15, 2:11. Joel also gave a message of hope and prophesied of great blessings that would follow and the glories of the Messiah's kingdom.
The name "Joel" means "Jehovah is God." Other than his name and the fact that he was the son of Pethuel, there is little known about this man Joel, other than the fact that he wrote a very powerful book. Although it is not certain it seems that he prophesied around 800 BC during a time when Judah was experiencing prosperity and security. God was kind enough to give ample warning before such a devastating judgment.
When the plague of locusts came the land of Judah suffer dramatically, and what followed after was a time of famine drought. The plague was described by Joel in four stages, and Joel pointed to the greater judgment that was to swarm upon the nation if they did not turn from their ways and seek the Lord with their whole heart. He called them to fast, and to repent, and to weep over their sins (Joel 2:12). Joel also gave a promise of hope and spoke of the great blessings that would follow in the kingdom of the Messiah.
Joel described the coming "day of the Lord." In the New Testament after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and on the day of Pentecost Peter rose to speak to the people of Israel regarding the last days. Peter described what they were seeing as "that which was spoken by the prophet Joel" (Acts 2:16). The church age has always been seen by Christians as a time to be alert and aware that the Lord is returning in judgment. Today is the day of salvation, the door is open and "the fields are white unto harvest." (John 4:35) but one day Jesus will be taking "vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
The prophet Joel's vivid description of the plague, and the style in which this short three chapter book was written has made it a powerful classic of Hebrew literature.
The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :
Outline of the Book of Joel
Joel 1 - The terrible plague of locusts
Joel 2:1-27 - The coming day of the Lord, repentance, and restoration
Joel 2:28-3:21 - The outpouring of the Holy Spirit, judgment upon the
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