Introduction to Joel
Joel (meaning “Jehovah is God”) was a prophet in Judah, probably one of the earliest of her writing prophets. However, the date of his prophecy is uncertain, since there are no contemporary kings or other chronological data given.
Nothing is known about Joel personally except that he probably lived in Jerusalem and that his father’s name was Pethuel (Joel 1:1). Indications that his prophecy was one of the earliest are that there is little condemnation of the sins of the people and no warning of impending invasion by either Assyria or Babylonia. Nor is there any mention of the northern kingdom of Israel.
On the other hand, Joel speaks much of the coming “day of the LORD” (Joel 1:15) and God’s judgment on the nations, looking far ahead to the end times. A recent devastating plague of locusts was taken by Joel as a type of the day of the Lord.
One significant confirmation of Joel’s authorship of the book is the fact that the Apostle Peter used a portion of it in his famous sermon on the day of Pentecost, attributing it to Joel (Acts 2:16-21, citing Joel 2:28-32), and noting that a portion of this significant prophecy had been fulfilled in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the early church.