Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Joel

Book Overview - Joel

by Joseph Parker

Joel

[Note.—"We have no account in the Bible of the personal history of Joel, nor does tradition give much light in relation to him. He was the son of Pethuel ( Joel 1:1), and, it is said, of the tribe of Reuben. It is inferred from his writings that he lived in Judah, probably not later than the reign of Uzziah, which extended from810 b.c. to758 b.c.; for when he mentions the enemies of his country, he names the Phoenicians, Philistines, Idumeans, and Egyptians (chap. Joel 3:4-19), but makes no reference to the Assyrians and Babylonians, which he probably would have done had those two empires been already formidable to the Jews. The whole book indicates, moreover, that the prophet lived at a time when the people of Judah had not fallen into that extreme depravity which, in later times, drew down upon them such heavy chastisements. Uzziah had indeed begun to lift up his heart ( 2 Chronicles 26:16); but the evil seems as yet rather a subject of prophecy than of history, though given in historical form. He was contemporary with Hosea and Amos; and as they addressed Israel, so he addressed Judah. His style is remarkably clear and elegant; obscure only towards the close, where its beauties are shaded by allusions to events not yet accomplished. The double destruction foretold in chaps, i, ii, xi, the first by the locusts, the second by the enemies of whom they were harbingers, is painted in terms that are reciprocally metaphorical, and admirably adapted to the twofold character of the description. Joel was held in great reverence by the ancient Jews, and is quoted by both Peter and Paul ( Acts 2, Romans 10:13)."—Angus"s Bible Handbook.]