Joel means “Jehovah is God.” Although the Scripture does not mention his ministry elsewhere, it appears from references to Judah (Joel 3:1,6) and Jerusalem (Joel 2:1,15) that he prophesied in the southern kingdom.

Date and Destination:

Although Joel did not directly date his prophecy like other prophets by listing the kings during whose reigns he ministered, the circumstantial evidence points to the ninth century BC—either during the illegal renegade rule of Queen Athaliah or the early days of the boy king Joash, who had providentially escaped Athaliah’s deadly plot against the royal seed (2 Kings 11-12). Dating Joel’s prophecy to about 830 BC would mark him along with Obadiah among the first of the writing prophets. Notwithstanding the circumstantial evidence, even some conservatives would date Joel to the postexilic period.


The day of the Lord: judgment and restoration.


To call the nation to repentance in order to escape judgment and to experience God’s gracious revival.


The Contribution of Joel to Redemptive Revelation
The days were dark, both politically and spiritually. With the slaying of the royal seed, it appeared that God’s redemptive purpose in Christ was in jeopardy. There seemed to be little prospect for hope, but not even wicked Athaliah could frustrate God’s purpose and plan. The Lord raised up the prophet Joel to provide the theological interpretation of all the tragic events of the day and to announce details of God’s fixed plans for the future. Joel made it clear that what to sight seemed to be a natural disaster—the locust plague—was in reality a manifestation of the day of the Lord. God had directly, supernaturally, and unmistakably intervened into human affairs to accomplish His purpose of judgment against the nation’s sin. The locusts were dedicated and obedient soldiers under the command of the Lord Himself.

Joel declared not only that God had punished, but that He would punish again with even greater severity and devastation unless the people repented. Using both the past and future day of the Lord as the incentive, the prophet issued two great calls for repentance (Joel 1:13-14; 2:12-17). Turning to the Lord was the only hope. But it was a real hope because God does not turn away those who turn to Him. Not only was there going to be an Israel preserved for the messianic fullness of time, there was going to be a magnificent outpouring of the Holy Spirit to advance God’s kingdom to the ends of the earth.


  1. Introduction (Joel 1:1)
  2. Invasion of Locusts: Disaster Explained (Joel 1:2-20)
    1. Extent and Effects of the Invasion (Joel 1:2-12)
    2. Call to Repentance in Light of the Disaster (Joel 1:13-14)
    3. Recognition of Divine Agency in the Disaster (Joel 1:15-20)
  3. Day of the Lord: Destruction Threatened (Joel 2:1-17)
    1. The Destruction as Imminent and Irresistible (Joel 2:1-11)
    2. The Call to Repentance in Light of Impending Destruction (Joel 2:12-17)
  4. Restoration: Conditions Reversed (Joel 2:18-32)
    1. Physical Restoration of the Land (Joel 2:18-27)
    2. Spiritual Revival of the People (Joel 2:28-32)
  5. Judgment of God: Justice Executed (Joel 3:1-21)
    1. Judgment against the Nations (Joel 3:1-15)
    2. Judgment in Behalf of Israel (Joel 3:16-21)

Extracted from: Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes(Beeke, Joel R. 2015. Reformation Heritage Books).

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