Period: Possibly c.618-608 B.C.
Title: The English, Hebrew, Greek and Latin versions all name this book after Joel, the prophet whose ministry is recorded in the book. The name Joel (Hebrew Yo’el) means “The Lord is God.”
Summary: The book of Joel begins by describing a devastating swarm of locusts that cause national disaster to the agriculture of Israel. Joel calls the nation of Judah to a day of repentance due to divine judgment. The last portion of the book is concerned with events associated with “the day of the Lord.” The message illustrated is that if Judah repents, God will richly bless them and forgive them.
The locusts as harbinger of the day of the Lord: Chapter 1:2 – 2:17
- A threefold calamity: locusts, drought and fires: 1:2-20
- The scourge as the forerunner of the judgment day: 2:1-17
The averting of judgment and bestowal of blessing: Chapter 2:8-3: 21
- The blessings in the immediate future: 2:18-27
- The outpouring of God’s Spirit: 2:28-32
- Judgment upon the nations: 3:1-16
- The blessings on God’s people: 3:17-21