The Book of Joel, one of the Old Testament books within the section of Minor Prophets, holds a powerful message that resonates through the ages. Joel, a prophet of Israel, delivers a poignant call to repentance, hope, and restoration. The book opens with a vivid description of a devastating locust invasion, which Joel uses as a metaphor for impending judgment and destruction. However, amidst the gloom, a ray of hope emerges as Joel calls the people to repentance and a wholehearted return to the Lord. Joel presents a dual focus: the immediate consequences of the locust plague and a broader prophetic vision of the Day of the Lord—a future time of divine judgment, restoration, and pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Through vivid imagery, Joel underscores the urgency of turning back to God and highlights the promise of God’s gracious response.

As you journey through the Book of Joel, you will encounter themes of repentance, restoration, the sovereignty of God, and the coming of the Messianic age. Joel’s words remind us of God’s faithfulness in times of trial and His desire to bring His people healing, redemption, and renewal. May the Book of Joel encourage us to examine our hearts, turn to God in times of trouble, and trust in His promise of restoration. Let its timeless message stir within us a longing for God’s righteous judgment and a hope that shines brightly amid times of darkness.

PURPOSE: The Book of Joel serves as a prophetic call to repentance, warning of divine judgment for disobedience while offering the hope of restoration through sincere return to God.

AUTHOR: “Joel the son Pethuel” (1:1). The name Joel in Hebrew means “Yahweh is God.” His message is concerned primarily with Jerusalem and Judah. The book of Joel has traditionally been accepted as the work of one author.

DATE: We take it to be an early date, during the reign of Joash (or Jehoash) in Judah, about 830 B.C. Arguments for the pre-Exilic date are strong. The prominence of the priests and the absence of the nobles and king are due to the fact that Jehoida the high priest was ruling for the boy king, Joash. The term Israel could be used in the book appropriately of Judah as the rightful heir of the spiritual blessings of Jacob.

STYLE: The style of the book is classical, resembling that of Amos and Micah.

OCCASION FOR THE WRITING: The immediate occasion for the writing of the book was the devastation of the land by a double plague of locusts and drought. Poetically, the prophet depicts the invasion of the locusts under the figure of an army, suggesting that they are a forerunner of the “Day of the Lord.”

ADDRESSEE: The book’s primary audience is the people of Judah, particularly during the post-exilic period.

SETTING: The basic setting of the book is the post-exilic period, when the Jewish community, having returned from Babylonian exile, faced challenges in rebuilding and restoring their land and religious practices. The locust plague described in Joel as both a literal affliction and a prophetic representation of divine judgment. This setting is crucial for understanding the book’s emphasis on repentance, the consequences of disobedience, and the promise of restoration, as it addresses the historical and spiritual challenges confronted by the people of Judah during their efforts to rebuild their nation and renew their covenant with God.


  1. Joel 2:12, “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.”
  2. Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
  3. Joel 2:32, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

KEY PEOPLE: The Book of Joel primarily focuses on the prophet Joel himself, the spokesperson for God’s message. In addition to Joel, no specific individuals are mentioned by name in the book. The narrative revolves around the broader community of Judah and its response to the prophetic call for repentance, as well as the consequences of their actions and the promise of restoration. The key figures, therefore, are more representative of the collective people of Judah rather than specific individuals. The book emphasizes the relationship between the community and God, the importance of repentance, and the divine response to the faithfulness or disobedience of the people as a whole.


  1. The devastation caused by a locust plague and a call to lamentation.
  2. The locust invasion as a metaphor for divine judgment, a call to repentance, and the promise of restoration.
  3. Prophecies about the Day of the Lord, God’s judgment on the nations, and the ultimate restoration of Judah.