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Book of Joel

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Old Testament and Tanakh
Jewish, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox
Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox
Russian and Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodox
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Books of Nevi'im
First Prophets
1. Book of Joshua
2. Book of Judges
3. Books of Samuel
4. Books of Kings
Later Prophets
5. Book of Isaiah
6. Book of Jeremiah
7. Book of Ezekiel
8. Minor prophets


The Book of Joel is part of the Jewish Tanakh, and also the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Joel is part of a group of twelve prophetic books known as the Minor Prophets or simply as The Twelve; the distinction 'minor' indicates the short length of the text in relation to the larger prophetic texts known as the "Major Prophets".

The Prophet

Joel was probably a resident of Judah, as his commission was to that people. He made frequent visits to Jerusalem (1:14; 2:1, 15, 32; 3:1, 12, 17, 20, 21). The name Joel was common in Israel and is usually interpreted as meaning Yahweh is God.

Historical context

Scholars debate the date of Joel with five main schools of thought:

  • 835-796BC During the time when Joash was too young to govern and Jehoiada did so in his place (2 Kings 11; 2 Chron. 23-24).
  • About 775-725BC Roughly contemporary with Hosea and Amos.
  • About 500BC Roughly contemporary with Zechariah.
  • About 639-608BC during Josiah's reign.

Support for a post-exilic date includes:[1]

  • The capture of Jerusalem and subsequent captivity is referenced as happening in the past (Malachi 1:6-7,9-11; 3:1,5-6,17)
  • Kings are not referenced (Malachi 1:1) but rather priests and ministers of the altar as the leaders of the land (Malachi 1:13, 2:15-17)
  • Presence of aramaic expressions in the language

Sections and themes

  1. A prophecy of a great public calamity then impending over the land, consisting of a want of water and an extraordinary plague of locusts (1:1-2:11).
  2. The prophet then calls on his countrymen to repent and to turn to God, assuring them of his readiness to forgive (2:12-17), and foretelling the restoration of the land to its accustomed fruitfulness (18-26).
  3. Then follows a prophecy which is interpreted as Messianic within Christian tradition.
  4. Finally, the prophet foretells portents and judgments as destined to fall on the enemies of God (ch. 3, but in the Hebrew text 4).

Use in the New Testament

Joel New Testament
Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit. I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls. (Joel 2:28-32) "In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit;and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below,blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:17-21)
Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls. (Joel 2:32) For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (Romans 10:13)

All quotations taken from the New Revised Standard Version.

References

  1. Hendriksen, William (1947, first paperback edition 1995). Survey of the Bible: A Treasury of Bible Information, Fourth Revised Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. pp. 276–277. ISBN 8-8010-5415-X. 

Further reading

Thomas J. Finley, Everyman's Bible Commentary: Joel, Obadiah, and Micah. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996)

Douglas Stuart, Word Biblical Commentary: Hosea - Jonah. (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987)

William Sanford LaSor, Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament, 2nd Ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdsmans Publishing Co., 1996)

External links


Jewish translations:

Christian translations:

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