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The Book of Joel

Commentary On The Book of Joel

I will do the Joel Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.

The author is Joel, a prophet of Judah. Not much is known about him (Joel 1:1). Joel means "Jehovah is God."

As to why it was written; to warn of God's imminent judgment on a sinful people.

To whom it was written, since Joel was a resident of Judah, the Southern kingdom, it makes sense that he writes to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, of whom he makes frequent mention (Joel 1:14; 2:1,15,32; 3:1,12,17,20,21)

Joel probably lived in the time of King Uzziah (about 800 BC), so that is probably the time it was written, although this is uncertain. If so, Amos and Isaiah were his contemporaries.

What Joel writes about is:

  1. A prophecy of a great public calamity, consisting of drought and a horrible locust plague (Joel 1:1-2:11).
  2. An urgent cry to repent to his fellow country men, assuring them God was willing to forgive (Joel 2:12-17).
  3. Prophecy of the land being restored to fruitfulness (Joel 2:18-26).
  4. A Messianic prophecy, quoted by Peter (Acts 2:39)
  5. .Prophecy fortelling judgments that would fall on God's enemies (Joel 3).

Brief Outline of Joel

#1 Judgments on the people for their sins:

  • A. Plague of locusts (Joel 1:4-9).
  • B. Severe drought (Joel 1:10-20).
  • C. Enemy invasion (Joel 2:1-10).

#2 Calls to repentance and prayer (Joel 2:12-17).

#3 Deliverance promised (Joel 2:18-20)

#4 Prophecy of a great refreshing season:

  • In nature (Joel 2:23-24).
  • Outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-30).

#5 A valley of decision:

  • Prophecy of Gentile nations judged (Joel3:1-16).
  • Prophecy of Zion to receive glorious blessing (Joel 3:17-21).

The prophecy of Joel may not seem important to you, for it has only three brief chapters. But, this little Book is like an atomic bomb . . . not very big, but very potent and extremely powerful.

We know very little about the prophet Joel. All we are told about him is in Joel 1:1, “The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.” Joel means “Jehovah is God,” and it was a very common name. Some people think that the prophet Joel was a son of Samuel because 1 Samuel 8:1–2 says, “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel ….” But if we read further, . . . the next verse tells us, “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment” (1 Sam. 8:3). Samuel’s son could NOT have been the same man as God's prophet Joel.

Joel prophesied in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. All through his prophecy he refers to “the house of the Lord.” (Joel 1:9,14; 3:18). Joel also mentions Jerusalem in Joel 3:20, “But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.” In Joel 3:17, it states, “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” So we know that Joel was a prophet in the southern kingdom of Judah.

Joel prophesied as one of the early prophets. It is thought by some scholars that Joel prophesied about the time of the reign of Joash, king of Judah. That would mean that he was contemporary with and probably knew Elijah and Elisha. Others think Joel probably lived in the time of King Uzziah, so that is probably the time it was written. If so, Amos and Isaiah were contemporaries.

Joel’s theme is “the day of the Lord.” He makes specific reference to it five times: Joel 1:15; 2:1–2; 2:10–11; 2:30–31; and 3:14–16. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel all refer to the Day of the Lord. Sometimes the prophets call it “that day.” Zechariah particularly emphasizes “that day.” Just what is “that day”? It is the Day of the Lord, or the Day of Jehovah. Joel is the one who introduces the Day of the Lord in prophecy. Way back in Joel’s time, he saw further than any other prophet saw . . . he saw the Day of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord includes the Millennial Kingdom which will come at the Second Coming of Christ, but Joel makes it very clear that it begins with the Great Tribulation Period, the time of great trouble. If you want to set a boundary at the end of the Day of the Lord, it would be the end of the Millennium when the Lord Jesus puts down all unrighteousness and establishes His eternal Kingdom here on the Earth. . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_millennial_kingdom.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_tribulation_what.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_tribulation,_why.htm

The Day of the Lord does not include the period when the church is in the world. The prophets neither spoke about nor wrote about the church.

There are several special features about the prophecy of Joel which I would like to point out. Joel was the first of the writing prophets, and as he looked down through the centuries, he saw the coming of the Day of the Lord. He did not see the church, none of the prophets did. When the Lord Jesus went to the top of the Mount of Olives, men who were schooled in the Old Testament came and asked Him, “What is the sign of the end of the age?” Our Lord didn’t mention His cross to them at that time, nor did He tell them then about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He didn’t tell them about the church period or mention the Rapture to them. Instead, the Lord went way down to the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The events He predicted will identify it for the people who will be there when the Day of the Lord begins: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matt. 24:15). That is how we are to know the beginning of the Day of the Lord. Joel will make it clear to us that it begins with night, meaning it begins as a time of trouble. The Hebrew day begins at sunset. Genesis tells us, “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5). We today begin at sunup, but God begins at sundown. The Day of the Lord, therefore, begins with night (trouble).

Unlike Hosea, Joel says practically nothing about himself. Hosea brings out the scandal in his home, and his unfaithful wife. We do not know whether Joel had a wife or not. Unlike many of the other prophets, Joel does not condemn Israel for idolatry. Earlier in their history, at the time Joel prophesied, idolatry was not the great sin in Israel. Joel will mentions only one sin, drunkenness.

Joel opens his prophecy with a unique description of a literal plague of locusts. Then he uses that plague of locusts to compare with the future judgments which will come upon this Earth. The first chapter is very dramatic and literary gem. It is a remarkable passage of Scripture, unlike anything you will find any where else in literature.

Finally, Joel’s prophecy contains the very controversial passage in which he mentions the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which was referred to by the apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost (Joel 2:28–29). There are different interpretations concerning the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, which we will look at in detail when we come to it.

Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (KJV) “After this”. . . after what? After He calls out the church from this world, God will again turn to His program with Israel, which is the time that the Day of the Lord refers. Acts 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. (KJV) Today God is calling out of the Gentiles a people (the church); in that day, all the Gentiles who enter the Kingdom will see God rightly, and seek the Lord.

Book Of Joel

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3. Home Page



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