Joel
ג'ואל
Reading 0,11 - 3 Chapters - 73 verses - 2,034 words


  

  

Vital Statistics


 Purpose:  To warn Judah of God's impending judgment because of its sins and to urge the people to turn back to God
 Author: Joel son of Pethuel 
 Original audience:  The people of Judah (the southern kingdom) 
 Date written: Probably during the time Joel may have prophesied, from approximately 835-796 B.C.
 Setting:  The people of Judah had become prosperous and complacent. Taking God for granted, they had turned to self-centeredness, idolatry, and sin. Joel warned them that this kind of lifestyle would inevitably bring God's judgment     
 Key verses:  “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. (2:12, 13)
 Key people:  Joel, the people of Judah
 Key place:  Jerusalem 



Author

    The prophet Joel cannot be identified with any of the 12 other figures in the OT who have the same name. He is not mentioned outside the books of Joel and (Acts 2:16). The non-Biblical legends about him are unconvincing. His father, Pethuel (1:1), is also unknown. Judging from his concern with Judah and Jerusalem (2:32; 3:1,6,8,16-20), it seems likely that Joel lived in that area.



Date

    The book contains no references to datable historical events. Many interpreters date it somewhere between the late seventh and early fifth centuries B.C. In any case, its message is not significantly affected by its dating. 

    The book of Joel has striking linguistic parallels to the language of Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Some scholars maintain that the prophets borrowed phrases from one another; others hold that they drew more or less from the religious literary traditions that they and their readers shared in common - liturgical and otherwise. 



Theological Message

    Joel sees the massive locust plague and severe drought devastating Judah as a harbinger of the "great and dreadful day of the Lord (2:31). (The locusts he mentions in 1:4; 2:25 are best understood as real insects, not as allegorical representations of the Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks and Romans, as held by some interpreters.) Confronted with this crisis he calls on everyone to repent: old and young (1:2-3), drunkards (1:5), farmers (1:11) and priests (1:13). He describes the locusts as the Lord's army and sees in their coming a reminder that the day of the Lord is near. He does not voice the popular notion that the day will be one of judgment on the nations but deliverance and blessing for Israel. Instead - with Isaiah (2:20-21), Jeremiah (4:5-9), Amos (5:18-20) and Zephaniah (1:7-18) - he describes the day as one of punishment of unfaithful Israel as well. Restoration and blessing will come only after judgment and repentance.        

 


Joel Interpretive Challenges


It is preferable to view chap. 1 as describing an actual invasion of locusts that devastated the Land. In chap. 2, a new level of description meets the interpreter. Here the prophet is projecting something beyond the locust plague of chap. 1, elevating the level of description to new heights, with increased intensity that is focused on the plague and the immediate necessity for true repentance. The prophet’s choice of similes, such as “have the appearance of horses” (2:4), and “ like warriors” (2:7), suggests that he is still using the actual locusts to illustrate an invasion which can only be the massive overtaking of the final Day of the Lord.


A second issue confronting the interpreter is Peter’s quotation from Joel 2:28-32 in Ac 2:16-21. Some have viewed the phenomena of Ac 2 and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as the fulfillment of the Joel passage, while others have reserved its fulfillment to the final Day of the Lord only— but clearly Joel is referring to the final terrible Day of the Lord. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, was not a fulfillment, but a preview and sample of the Spirit’s power and work to be released fully and finally in the Messiah’s kingdom after the Day of the Lord.


Outline



I. Title (1:1)


II. Judah Experiences a Foretaste of the Day of the Lord (1:2-2:17)

A. A Call to Mourning and Prayer (1:2-4)

B. The Announcement of the Day of the Lord (1:15-2:11)

C. A Call to Repentance and Prayer (2:12-17)

III. Judah is Assured of Salvation in the Day lo the Lord (2:18-3:21)

A. The Lord’s Restoration of Judah (2:18-27)

B. The Lord’s REnewal of His People (2:28-32)

C. The Coming of the Day of the Lord (ch.3)

  1. The nations judged (3:1-6)

  2. God’s people blessed (3:17-21)





Joel Horizontal




1:1 - Joel, son of Pethuel





1:2 - Give ear, all inhabitants





1:4 - Locust has eaten


Judgement



1:5 - Against my Land





1:8 - Priest mourn



Judgement


1:11 - Harvest - has perished



by


1:13 - Cereal / drink offering withheld  



Locusts


1:14 - Sanctify a fast





1:15 - Alas for the day!


Repent


Repent

1:17 - Grain has failed




or

1:19 - Unto you I cry

Judah



be

2:1 - Sound the alarm




Judged

2:3 - Fire devours before them


Judgement

Day


2:4 - Appearance of horses



of


2:6 - Like warriors they change



the


2:12 - Return to the Lord



Lord


2:15 - Call a solemn assembly


Repent

(ph)


2:17 - Spare your people - Lord





2:18 - Pit on his people





2:20 - Remove the northerner





2:21 - Fear  not, o Land


Physical



2:23 - Rain for your vindication


rest

Restauration


2:24 - Will restore you





2:26 - I the Lord





2:28 - Pour out my spirit


Spirit



2:30 - Parents in heaven / earth


tual


Promise

3:1 - Gather all nations




of

3:4 - Will requite your deed




Restauration

3:9 - Prepare war

Universal

Judgement

Final


3:11 - Judge all the nations


on

Day


3:13 - Put in the sickle


nations

Of the


3:14 - Valley of decision



Lord


3:16 - Lion roars from Zion



(sp)


3:17 - Jerusalem shall be holy





3:18 - Mountain drip sweet wine


Blessing



3:19 - Will avenge their blood


God’






Notes 


 Introduction  Horizontal 2 The Day of the Lord 
 Locust  Literal or Figurative? Joel Fulfillment Joel Horizontal