Joel . It is a biblical book of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanach . He is considered one of the so-called ” Minor Prophets ” (in relation to the length of the text, not to the importance of its content) and is located, in Christian Bibles, between the books of Hosea and Amos .
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- 1 meaning of Joel name
- 2 Atmosphere of the time
- 3 Main message
- 4 Importance of the message
- 5 Synthesis
- 6 Sources
Name meaning Joel
It means “Jehovah is God.” About Joel, Petuel’s son , nothing is definitively known. He was a common Hebrew man in Old Testament times. Numerous references made Joel regarding Jerusalem (1:14, 2: 1, 15, 32; 3: 1, 6, 16, 17, 20, 21) seem to indicate that resided in that city .
We can not fix the date of the plague of locusts that forms the historical background of this book . There are discrepancies regarding the date on which it was written, although we can affirm that the book does not depend at all on its date, and its message is valid for today’s man .
Atmosphere of the time
The evil Queen Athalia seized power in a bloody coup, but was overthrown after a few years. Joash ascended the throne, but he was only seven years old and in great need of spiritual guidance. Joash followed God in his early years, but then turned away from Him.
A plague of locusts had come to discipline the nation. Joel called on the people to return to God before a much greater judgment occurred .
Importance of the message
God judges people for their sins , but He is merciful to those who turn to Him , and offers them eternal salvation.
A plague of locusts had devastated the land of Judah. While Joel, the son of Petuel , meditated on this calamity, the Word of Jehovah came to him and he became a great prophet who proclaimed to his people the divine implications of this catastrophe . The book , which bears his name, records Joel’s sermon on this occasion.
The prophet describes this plague by comparing it to his human army which, advancing, leaves behind it desolate land (1: 4-12; 2: 2-10). Joel knows that in the attack of this plague, God is manifesting himself. Yes, it is Jehovah’s army (2: 1), and the day of the invasion is Jehovah’s day – the day of God’s judgment against a sinful people (1:15; 2: 1, 11). The prophet urges the people to convert, and at the same time expresses the hope that God will repent and refrain from punishing (1:14; 2:12:17).
Joel’s ministry was undoubtedly more successful than that of many of the other prophets, since God’s forgiveness (2: 18-27) indicates that the people repented from their hearts . “And I will drive the north (that is, the locust) away from you … and I will give you back the years that the caterpillar ate” (2:20; 25) constitute the promises the prophet makes in the name of God.
But Joel’s sermon was not over yet. More dire judgments awaited the world that neither recognized the wisdom of God, nor adhered to the common levels of ethics of the pagan nations (3: 2-8). God will mercifully send His Spirit upon all flesh (2:28, 29), but the Gentile nations will be judged and punished (3: 1, 2, 9-16). From this wrath, God’s people will be delivered (2:32). Then Judah and Jerusalem will enjoy wonderful prosperity and will be eternally blessed with the divine presence (3: 18-21).
Through these words, Joel expresses human hope and divine promise that God is sovereign in this world , and will make his will be done on earth as it is in heaven . The kingdoms of this world “have become of our Lord and his Christ ; and He shall reign for ages of ages “( Revelation 1:15).