Handbook of Joel
A Plague of Locusts
The Coming Day of God
Prediction of Gospel Age
And Outpouring of Holy Spirit
Like Zephaniah, it is a book of Coming Judgment. Like Revelation, is forecasts the Earth's Harvest (3:13, 14; Revelation 14:15, 16).
ls not indicated in the book itself. Usually considered one of the earliest of the prophets of Judah, in the time of Joash (about 830 B.C.); or possibly in the reign of Uzziah (about 750 B.C.).
An appalling famine, caused by an unprecedented plague of locusts, followed by prolonged drouth, had devastated the land. The locust is an insect, resembling a large grasshopper. The four different names used in 1:4 indicate different species of locusts, or different stages of growth. Vast clouds of locusts, darkening the sun, swarming upon the earth, devouring every green thing, brought the people to their knees. Gad heard their cry, removed the locusts, and promised an era of prosperity. These locusts suggest, and may be typical of, those in Revelation 9:1-11.
In Acts 2:17-21 Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 as a prediction of "the day" he was inaugurating. This means that God intended the passage to be a forecast of the Gospel era. It would be a day of judgment for the nations (3: 1-12). To Joel himself that meant enemy nations of his own times, Sidonians, Philistines, Egyptians and Edomites (3:4,
19). But more. The great battle in the valley of Jehoshaphat (valley of Kidron on the east side of Jerusalem, 3:9-12), is spoken of in connection with the "harvest" (13), the "valley of decision" (14), God "uttering his voice from Jerusalem" (16), the "heavens and earth being shaken" (16), and the "fountain flowing from the house of God (18)-all of which is a continuation of the thought about the Holy Spirit era of 2:28-32. So, as a whole, the passage seems to be a picture of the Christian age, in which God's Word, embodied in the Gospel of Christ, and borne by the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit to all mankind, would be the sickle, in a grand harvest of souls.