Joel

Author and His Times

Joel appears to be Jew.  Dating and audience is difficult to determine.  Some point to a post-exile time assuming that 3.2-3 references the exile, as well as the fact that no king or idolatry are mentioned.

Outline

I. (1) Immediate Disaster (Locust Plague)

II. (2.1-17) Future Disaster (God’s Judgment Army upon Israel likened to Locusts – Maybe Babylon?)

III. (2.18-32) God’s Response (Restoring Years the Locusts Ate; then the New Age of the Spirit)

IV. (3) Battle and Judgment on the Nations

Distinctive

Great book for repentance in general terms – Joel pushes repentance but hardly mentions the sins from which to repent.  Also great for its rich picture of restoration – “restoring the years the locust have eaten.”

How to Read It

The “Day of the Lord” will be a time of destruction on Israel’s oppressors, yet as they were failing to consider, a day of destruction for Israel itself.  Trying to interpret historical connections of Joel’s prophecy may be fun, yet also inclusive.

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