Joel: The Day of The Lord

WRITER:
The Book of Joel bears its author’s name and means “Jehovah is God.” Little is known of Joel’s background with the exception that his father was Pethuel (1:1) and Luke confirms him as a prophet (Acts 2:16). Some have suggested that Joel is the son of Samuel (1 Sam. 8:1-2). This is impossible since his father’s name has been given, and Samuel’s son did not walk in the ways of the Lord (1 Sam. 8:3). The name Joel was very common in Judah during the time this prophecy was written. Although it is not stated, most likely Joel was from Judah and resided in Jerusalem, since he makes so many references to that area (1:9; 2:15-17, 23, 32; 3:1). Some have suggested that Joel was a priest but this is highly doubtful since he does not include himself with them (1:13-14; 2:17).

DATE:
Joel does not date the time of his writing, but it was probably written between 838-756 B.C., because no mention is made of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasion of the land. This would make Joel a contemporary to Elijah and Elisha.The date is preferred since no king was mentioned in the book. It is very possible that Joel wrote during the time of Joash’s (a boy king) hiding. After the death of Ahaziah, his mother (Queen Athaliah) had all her grandchildren put to death, but baby Joash escaped being hidden in the Temple complex by his aunt Jehosheba and the high priest Jehoiada for six years. At the age of seven he was crowned king of Judah (2 Ki. 11). The book could have been written just prior to Joash’s crowning in 835 B.C.

RECIPIENTS:
Joel wrote to Judah and Jerusalem (3:1, 17) prophesying against: the Temple, priesthood, and its offerings (1:9). Whenever Israel is mentioned it has reference to the twelve tribes during the day of the Lord (3:2) in the latter days, not the ten tribes of the northern kingdom.

THEME:
The theme of Joel is The day of the Lord (1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14). Although the theme is introduced by Obadiah (v. 15), it is Joel who develops it. The day of the Lord refers to the direct intervention of God in the affairs of man. The visitation of the Lord upon Judah in Joel’s day was a foreshadowing of a greater fulfillment in the future. Thus, The day of the Lord covers the: Rapture (1 Th. 4:13-18); Tribulation (Rev. 6-19); Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20); and the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). It is not only a time of judgment of Israel’s enemies, but a time of great blessing too.

I. INSECT PLAGUE (1:1-20)

  1. Declaration of the Lord (vv.1-3)
  2. Devastation by the locust (vv. 4, 6-7)
  3. Discouraging Lament (vv. 5, 8-14)
  4. Day of the Lord (v.15)
  5. Drought of the Land (vv. 16-20)

II. INVASION PREDICTED (2:1-11)

  1. Alarm Sounded (v. 1)
  2. Awesomeness Seen (vv. 2-3)
  3. Army’s Strength (vv. 4-11)

III. INTERCESSORY PRAYER (2:12-17)

  1. Plea for Repentance (v. 12)
  2. People are to Repent (vv.13-16)
  3. Priests are to Repent (v. 17)

IV. INTERVENTION PROMISED (2:18-27)

  1. Pity on Lamentors (v. 18)
  2. Promise to Lamentors (vv. 19-20)
  3. Protection of the Lord (vv. 21-22)
  4. Penalty from the Lord (vv. 23-27)

V. RETURN OF MESSIAH (2:28-3:1)

  1. The Spirit’s Indwelling (2:28-29)
  2. The Signs of Invasion (2:30-31)
  3. The Salvation for Israel (2:32-3:1)

VI. RETRIBUTION ON THE MULTITUDES (3:2-8)

  1. A.Place of Judgment (vv. 2, 4)
  2. Purpose of Judgment (vv. 5-6)
  3. Proclamation of Judgment (vv. 7-8)

VII. REVENGE ON THE MULTITUDES (3:9-17)

  1. Announcement of Armageddon (vv. 9-10)
  2. Assembly for Armageddon (vv. 11-12)
  3. Awesomeness of Armageddon (vv. 13-15)
  4. Arrival of the Anointed (vv. 16-17)

VIII. RESTORATION IN THE MILLENNIUM (3:18-21)

  1. Renovation of Israel (v. 18)
  2. Ruin of Egypt and Edom (v. 19)
  3. Residences of Israel (vv. 20-21)

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