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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Joel 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible


Joel is nowhere dated in terms of a king’s reign or a historical event whose date is known to us. The book belongings to about the 9th century BC, a time when the enemies of the Jews were Philistia, Edom, Egypt, and Phoenicia. Its early place in the sequence of prophetic books also indicates an early date.

Joel was from Judah and prophesied to his own countrymen warning them of the coming "day of the Lord" ( Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1-2; Joel 3:1; cf. Joel 2:15, Joel 2:23, Joel 2:32). The book has been called a "literary gem" because of its fluent and polished style.

A terrible locust plague and drought gave the occasion for Joel’s prophecy (Joel 1:2, Joel 1:17-20). We often remember Joel as the prophet of Pentecost because of Joel 2:28-32 (cf. Acts 2:17-20).

Overview of the Book of Joel

Joel describes the terror of a real locust plague suffered by Judah which foreshadowed the day of the Lord for that nation (Joel 2:1-11). Joel pleads for repentance (Joel 2:12-17) and looked to the blessings of deliverance and prosperity which would follow if the people turned (Joel 2:18-27). He closes with God’s promise to bless mankind through the outpouring of His Spirit (Joel 2:28-32). The great blessings to result from that event are described prophetically (Joel 3:1-21).

The Day of the Lord

"The Day of the Lord" is an important these which runs through several prophetical books (Isaiah 2:12f; Ezekiel 13:5; Joel ; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:7, Zephaniah 1:14; Zechariah 14:1).

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament this expression relates to the Biblical doctrine of God’s judgment. In the O.T. it is that day when a nation receives its just due for sin. There was no one specific day on which this would occur for all nations. Each nation, as announced by different prophets, was judged at a time chosen by God.

The day of the Lord was not only for Israel and Judah but also Babylon (Isaiah 1:1), Egypt (Jeremiah 1:1), and other nations (Joel 3:14). The ultimate "day of the Lord," foreshadowed by all other times of judgment in history, is the final Judgment before Christ (cf. 2 Peter 3:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10).

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Verse Comments

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Joel 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/joel-1.html. 2021.
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