Book of Joel

The Book of Joel is part of the Jewish Tanakh, and also the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Joel is part of a group of twelve prophetic books known as the Minor Prophets or simply as The Twelve; the distinction 'minor' indicates the short length of the text in relation to the larger prophetic texts by the "Major Prophets" known as the Nevi'im.

The Prophet

Joelwas probably a resident of Judah, as his commission was to that people. He made frequent visits to Jerusalem (1:14; 2:1, 15, 32; 3:1, 12, 17, 20, 21). The name Joel was common in Israel and is usually interpreted as meaning "Yahweh is God."

Historical context

Scholars debate the date of Joel with four main schools of thought:

*835-796BC During the time when Joash was too young to govern and Jehoiada did so in his place (2 Kings 11; 2 Chron. 23-24).

*About 775-725BC Roughly contemporary with Hosea and Amos.

*About 500BC Roughly contemporary with Zechariah.

*About 639-608BC during Josiah's reign.

ections and themes

#A prophecy of a great public calamity then impending over the land, consisting of a want of water and an extraordinary plague of locusts (1:1-2:11).
#The prophet then calls on his countrymen to repent and to turn to God, assuring them of his readiness to forgive (2:12-17), and foretelling the restoration of the land to its accustomed fruitfulness (18-26).
#Then follows a prophecy which is interpreted as Messianic within Christian tradition.
#Finally, the prophet foretells portents and judgments as destined to fall on the enemies of God (ch. 3, but in the Hebrew text 4).

Use in the New Testament

All quotations taken from the New Revised Standard Version.


Thomas J. Finley, Everyman's Bible Commentary: Joel, Obadiah, and Micah. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996)

Douglas Stuart, Word Biblical Commentary: Hosea - Jonah. (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987)

William Sanford LaSor, Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament, 2nd Ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdsmans Publishing Co., 1996)

External links

* [ "Jewish Encyclopedia"] : Book of Joel
* [ "Catholic Encyclopedia"] : Joel

Jewish translations:
* [ Yoel - Joel (Judaica Press)] translation with Rashi's commentary at

Christian translations:
* [ "Online Bible" at] (ESV)
* [ Joel at The Great Books] (New Revised Standard Version)
* [ Joel at BibleGateway] (New International Version and others)
* [ Joel at BlueLetter Bible] (King James Version and others, plus commentaries)

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