The Book of Joel



Background of Joel
Time: UNKNOWN
Place: Judah
Kings: UNKNOWN


Political Backdrop: UNKNOWN
Pre-Exilic Work:
·       Oncoming day of destruction could be Babylonian exile
·       Joel doesn’t need to identify the Babylonians – because it’s obvious?
·       References the Temple – is the Temple still standing? (1:14)

Post-Exilic Work:
·       Against Edom (4:19), who aided in the destruction of the First Temple.
·       Mention of Ionians in 4:6 – Greek inhabitants from Ionia (today’s Turkey), implies quite late.
·       Intertextuality implies later than other books, e.g. Jonah, Amos, Ezekiel.
·       Is Joel prophetic or apocalyptic?



Primary Themes of Joel:

·       Famine and/or Invasion / the ‘Day of the Lord’ (Natural/Supernatural)
o   Real or imagined?
o   Past or present?

·       Intertextuality   
o   Joel refers to: Torah, Jeremiah, Amos, Jonah, etc

·       Unknown Sin of Israel/Judah


·       Disaster, repentance, redemption






Structure of Joel


Content
Verses
Section 1: Natural Disaster (Famine)

Chapter 1
Description of disaster
       Real/imagined, past/present/future?

1:1-12
Call to Repentance

1:13-14
Description of disaster, now entitled ‘the Day of the Lord’
       Still in natural mode

1:15-18
Call to Repentance

1:19-20


Section 2: Unnatural Disaster (Day of the Lord)

2:1-17
Description of disaster
        Supernatural – God leads army

2:1-11
v.11
Call to repentance

2:12-17


Section 3: Redemption

2:18-4:21
God responds to repentance with compassion

2:18
God restores natural harmony

2:19-27
God gifts prophecy
        Mentions of terrible Day of the Lord
        Mentions of remnant

Chapter 3
God restores political harmony
        Return from exile

4:1-3
God judges the foreign nations

4:4-12
The land will be plentiful, and the enemy lands will be desolate

4:13-21





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