Joel ~ “Yahweh is God”


Most likely Joel (1:1). We know very little about Joel as there is very little mentioned in this book and there is no character in the Bible that fits Joel's profile.

Date and Context

As there is very little historical context given in the book itself, one of the biggest clues used to estimate the date of Joel is the lack of any reference to an established king (both in the beginning of the book and in the judgements throughout). Given this clue, the majority of commentators today will date the book sometime shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/6 BC.

Personally, however, I argue that the book was more likely written sometime during the 9th century B.C. (probably around 830 B.C.). I argue this for three reasons:

  1. The ‘reign’ of Athaliah and subsequent reign of Joash who started ruling at age 7 (2 Kings 11-12, 2 Chronicles 23-24) would have been a time in which the king would have been weak/not a prominent figure.
  2. (The weakest argument) The similarities between Joel and the book of Obadiah (Joel 2:32 w/ Obadiah 17 and Joel 3:3 w/ Obadiah 11) suggest that Joel was written earlier rather than later.
  3. Why would Joel use locusts as an example of judgement if Jerusalem had just been destroyed and the people had been sent into exile?


  • Theology of Judgement. Joel presents us with a theology of judgement, principally identifying two aspects of judgement. First, while some judgements occur/have occurred in a localized and limited sense, there will be a day (the Day of Yahweh/the LORD) of final and ultimate judgement. The proper response in light all judgement from God is repentance. Secondly, we see the two 'sides' of judgement. For those opposed to God, judgement represents the dispensing of His righteous wrath, yet for those who have submitted to God’s rule and authority, judgement justly poured out on those who hate God and His people is a welcome deliverance and salvation.


0. Introduction [1:1]

I. Judgement of God; Present & Future (Curses) [1:2 - 2:11]

A. Recent Judgements [1:2-12]

B. Call to Repentance in Light of the Day of Yahweh [1:13-20]

C. The Day of Yahweh [2:1-11]

II. Repentance [2:12 - 2:17]

  • This is the 'bridge' between the previous section (with curses) and the next section (with blessings).

III. Restoration (Blessings) [2:18 - 3]

A. Physical Restoration [2:18-27]

B. Spiritual Restoration [2:28-32]

C. National Restoration (and Judgement) [3]


  • The reference to locusts is not just about locusts. As described in Deuteronomy 28:38-42, locusts destroy crops which means no food and no offerings (see: Joel 2:13-14, Psalm 50, Hosea 9:4).
  • Our understanding of the “Day of Yahweh/the LORD”, which was introduced with this name by Obadiah, is greatly expanded by the book of Joel. In Acts 2:17-21, the Apostle Peter uses Joel as the basis for his argument that the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost is a sign that we are entering the latter days. In other words, the process given in Joel (Spirit > prophecy/visions > wonders > Day of Yahweh) has begun (the first domino has fallen). Understanding Joel gives Peter's argument more force: 'In light of the coming judgement that Joel has talked about, repent and call upon the name of Yahweh.' (major paraphrase).

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