Joel: The Locusts

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The Locusts

Day of the Lord, Blessings and judgments.

Background: Possibly written around 830 BC during reign of Joash on the occasion of a double plague of locusts and drought
Theme: The Great and Terrible Day of the LORD
Outline: Locusts prefigure Day of the LORD, Blessings and Judgments
Key Verse: "The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?" (Joel 2:11, NIV)

Joel Chapter Index


The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Vol I, Old Testament) is an excellent resource and is referred to as the BKC.

On the disputed dates of authorship, the NIV Study Bible states, "In either case, its message is not significantly affected by a later date." The date is disputed, with Mr. Chisholm (BKC) preferring 597-587 BC. In my background I have preferred the earlier 830 BC date. It is best to keep an open mind on this one. [Chad Woodburn] While I personally am cautious of most "late dates" for various events and books (a reaction to liberal, higher-critical theology), when I come to Joel, I do prefer the late date. We’ll find out for sure when we talk to him. Note that Mr. Chisholm includes over 1000 years within the ‘Day of the LORD’. This is even clearer in the last paragraph on the page. [CW] Undoubtedly the standard evangelical view. It is also the view with which I am in complete disagreement. I believe the Day of the Lord is referring to a single calendar day on which He comes in battle to defeat His enemies.

I agree with Mr. Woodburn on this, and while some events may continue past a single day, the day in which the Lord returns will be a ‘24 hour’ type of day.

I. Introduction (1:1)

II. The Locust Plague (1:2-20)

1:8 2 Bethulah is translated 38 time as virgin, 7 times as maid, and 5 times as maiden in the KJV (Young’s Analytical Concordance). It is not certain from the text whether or not the ladies referred to are virgins every case where the words maid or maiden are used. In no case is it demonstrable from the text that the maid or maiden is not a virgin. For instance, as far as we can determine, none of these ladies was a wife, a mother, a prostitute or a widow. This casts some doubt, although it does not disprove, that newlyweds are in view here. I prefer the view that a betrothed couple is being referred to.

III. The Coming Day of the Lord (2:1-11)

IV. A Renewed Call to Repentance (2:12-17)

V. Forgiveness and Restoration (2:18-27)

VI. Promises of a Glorious Future (2:28-3:21)

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Updated March 2012

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