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JOEL

The text of this lesson except the questions is taken from the author's "Synthetic Bible Studies."

Joel was probably the earliest of the prophets whose writings have descended to us. His personal history is unknown further than the bare statement, 1:1. His field of labor was presumably Judah rather that Israel, the southern rather than the northern kingdom, because of allusions to the center of public worship which was at Jerusalem, 1:9, 13, 14, 2:15, and because of non-allusions to Israel distinctively. Such places as 2:27, and 3:16 are thought to mean Israel as inclusive of Judah, i. e., the whole united nation. Although it is assumed, that Joel was the earliest of the prophets, yet the evidence is inferential rather than direct. He is presumbably earlier than Amos who is known to have prophesied somewhere about the close of the eighth century B. C, because he seems to be quoted by Amos 5:16-18. He also refers to the same heathen nations as Amos 3:4-6, and to the same physical scourges as prevalent in the land, 1:4, 17, 20. (Compare the marginal references to Amos.)

General Outline of the Book. -- As to the book itself we outline the contents of its chapters thus:

Chapter 1:

Introduction 1-3

Announcement of a coming judgment of locusts 4, 5

Announcement of the coming judgment from the heathen nations, of which that of the locusts is a type 6, 7

A lamentation of sorrow 8-13

A call to repentance 13-20

Chapter 2:

A recurrence to the same judgments 1-3

A description of their executioners in which there is a blending of the idea of the locusts with that of the warriors. The picture is made vivid by the use of the present tense in the Revised Version 4-11

A call to repentance 12-17

A promise of future blessing 18-32

(a) The enemies overthrown (18-20)

(b) The land blessed (21-27)

(c) The Holy Spirit poured out (28-32)

Chapter 3:

This chapter recures to the future blessing spoken of in the preceding chapter, for the purpose of amplifying some of its features, a peculiarity of all the prophets, as was indicated in one of our earlier lessons:

The overthrow of the enemy 1-15

The deliverance of Jerusalem 16, 17

The blessing on the land 18

The permanency of the restoration 19,20

Questions.

1. What chronological relation does Joel bear to the other prophets?

2. To which kingdom were his messages sent?

3. What proof is there of this?

4. What future blessings are predicted for Israel?

5. When was the prophecy of 2:28-32 partially fulfilled?

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