Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

TMP029/1 Joel

Joel saw this plague of locusts as God's judgement on the nation.Until that point in time Judah had always taken God's blessings for granted and faith had become formalism and sin and immorality were everywhere to be found.
The locust plague was but god's warning to Judah, according to Joel if the people really repented and returned to full fellowship with their God they would find blessing again.So Joel's prophecy is set against this back-cloth of economic disaster but worse was to come if the nation did not return to God's way.

Literary Form

Joel's literary style is rich and vivid,his style is classical and very logical in construction, it is easy to follow his thought patterns. His arguements or presentation of the prophetic message follows a clear and orderly sequence, beginning with a warning and then developing into instruction.

Joel intergrated in a very clever and literary way his prophetic message into the facts of history. He uses simile and, metaphor with ease and repetation and recapitulation as the means of communication. (Simile & Metaphor 1:6,2:2-7,9,11,20,25,3:13 16.) (Repetition & Recapitulation 1:4 & 2:2-5,1:5 & 3:18,1:6 & 2:2,5;3:9, 1:8 & 1: 9, 1:13. )

Theological Values.

The need to rely on God and on Him alone is one of the major teachings in this particular book.

1.....God's soverign power in the guiding of His world toward the final goal, that is, the fulfilling of His will this is a major theological theme. (1:15,2:1-4,18;20,25-27,28-32.)

2.....Yahweh alone is God and there is no other god.(2:27).

3.....Yahweh is the God of mercy.(2:13,17).

4.....Yahweh is love, patience, justice (2:13,1:15,3:1-8,12,13) righteousness (2:23).His children must worship him in purity (2:13), his children's salvation is by grace alone and through faith.(2:32).

5.....Formal worship is an essential part of the religious experience of Isreal.(1:9,13-14,16,2:13-17,26-27.)

6.......Having said that mere external practices are insufficient they must of necessity be coupled with trust and, faith.(2:13, 18-19,26-27,32,3:21).

7.....The place of prayer and repentance is emphasized. (1:13-14,19-20,2:12-13,17,19.)

8.....In chapters 1:15,2:1,2:11-13.Joel clearly reveals that all sin must be judged.

9.....Also that judgement may be carried out through natural disasters, such as famine or through the use of another nation, such as the invasion of isreal by Assyria. (2: 1-11).

10....Joel also teaches that God is always ready to bless His children through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (2:28-
29) or through signs and wonders.(2:30-31).

11....God promises reconciliation not only with Himself but with each other in God's prepared land.(2:32-3:1).

12....Nations that have oppressed isreal will be dealt with and judged.(3:2,12-13).The final battle of all time will take place somewhere near the city of Jerusalem. (3:9-16) On that day God Himself will descend to lead his people in victory (3:16-17) and peace and prosperity will reign.(3;1718,20-21).

13.... In this book of Joel,there is clear teaching about 'the day of the Lord'.This phrase is continually used as the day that all Isreal must look for.

Canonicity & text.

There are no problems concerning the canonicity and text of this book.If the LXX, Peshitta and the Latin vulgate versions are compared,there is general agreement.There are a few additions to the LXX text which are found in ch.1:5,8,18,2:12 & 3:1 and these according to the scholars are of questionable value. As well as that the M.T. has a few additions of doubtful status. (1;7, 17-18, 2:11, 3:11) but if these three versions are compared uniformity and commonness would seem to prevail."


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