PENTECOST - 825 b.C.

 © Carlos Padilla, June 2013


Joel, the prophet was called by God to proclaim the Day of the Lord, both to the people of Judah, as well as to the neighbour nations, in prophecy. No doubt Joel is one of the twelve prophetic pillars that make the group of the so called Minor Prophets. He begins his prophecy with the phrase common to all: "The Word of the Lord that came to..." this time to Joel. His prophecy initiates a description of a series of consecutive plagues that come to the kingdom of Judah, to inform the nation of its moral and spiritual decadence before God.

Once he makes sure they have received the message,  the second part of the message of God to the people follows, in the middle of chapter 2, which is no other than, they must convert to Him with all their heart from their wicked ways, with fast, cry and lamentation, for the matter is grievous. The Lord includes a promise of blessing and prosperity without precedent, and also reminds them that God is in the midst of Israel.

The second part of chapter 2 is a prophecy that we have read as fulfilled, in part, in Acts of the Apostles, also chapter 2, in the Day of Pentecost, about the pouring of the Holy Spirit. It also tells of eschatological events in the heavens and on earth. Before he finishes his exposition, the prophecy that Joel received from God announces that in the Day of the Lord two relevant events will come to pass. The first is that Judah will come back from captivity, and so will Jerusalem. The second is that He will gather all nations in the Valley of Decision, 3:14, where they shall repent, or else be judged.

Finally the prophecy concludes with the roar from Zion, and Judah will be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem, from generation to generation, while the Lord will inhabit in Zion.





The Prophet

Prophet Joel (Yō’Ēl in Hebrew) "God is" was son of Pethuel. He is the first of the written prophets. The second of the twelve minor prophets in the canon. Prophet to Judah. His prophecy is short but deep. Joel fulfils the requirements of the true prophet: Not to teach other gods, did not participate in divination, and his prophecies have fulfilled. Joel, also fulfils the mission of lifting his people through the message that God gives him. It is not only a matter of warning from judgment, from the terrible Day of the Lord that will, by all means, be fulfilled in those that did not obey the call to repent– but that also, with them or with out them, God will bless the remnant of faith. Also the future of the people will be blessed because it is for love to His name, it is the plan of God and it shows the glory of God in all its fullness.


The book in the canon

The book is found in the canon placed the second of the group of the called Minor Prophets. It is the first of the written prophets to Judah in the chronological order, after the oral prophets, who are included in the books of Kings and of Chronicles. In the canon of the Hebrew Bible it is found in the group of the Nebilim or latter prophets, while in the Septuagint it is in a section before the last, dedicated to the prophetic books: The Twelve, that has become known as Dodekapropheton. In the Vulgate it is found, as in the other Christian Bibles, in the last section with the twelve minor prophets.


Who's is the audience of the book

Joel is focused on Judah in times of the pre-exilic, before Judah was invaded by the Assyrian empire due to their stubbornness to sin. Joel lives in a different kingdom to the glorious that Israel had lived, when Judah was part of it, with David as the king that had unified the children of Jacob. Due to sin, after the kingdom of Solomon, and caused by inner fights of the children of David for the succession to the throne, also due to Solomon's idolatry and other sins, the prophets warned of division and destruction. Now Joel found himself receiving the first prophetic message to be written for the divided kingdom, in his case, to Judah. On the other hand, no king is mentioned as being in power at the time, and his message is to the priests, elders and the people, which is logical taking into account the young age (seven years old, according to 2Chronicals 24), at which Joash takes the throne.

In the regency, and latter kingdom of Joash he commands a collect from the people to repair the walls of the Temple, but on the other hand, after the death of Jehoidada, he cedes before the people and keeps the high places where the people use to offer sacrifices in ways of idolatry, being disobedient to God and bringing on them the wrath of God. The personal situation of Joel was of the security for having the message of God, knowing that the people were stubborn, and foreseen how the invasion was going to take place, but with the hope of a future time of glory with blessing and kingdom coming through the hand of Yahweh.


The times of the book

The times of the book are around the period between 835 and 825 b.C. Before and after, also contemporary to Joel we find Elijah and Elisha, prophets to Israel. At the same time we find Obadiah, prophet to the nations.

At the time the kings of Judah were: Asa, Jehoram, Joash reigning and priest Jehoidada in the ministry, in times of the ministry of Joel, Jehoshaphat and Athaliah, 2Kings 2:13. And kings of Israel were: Baasha, Jehu reigning in time of the ministry of Joel, the other Joash, of Israel, Ahab and Omri. In the Assyrian empire were rulers at the time: Shalmaneser II, whom was succeeded by Shamshiadad V, also while Joel was in Ministry.

The nations that are mentioned are: Phoenicia, Philistine, Egypt and Edom, not mentioning as enemies Assyria, Babylon, Chaldea or Persia, which gives us an idea of where would the people of Judah expect an attack from, and exactly those whom they never thought of, would be the invaders. The prophecy that Joel received referred to unexpected and successive attacks using the different plagues that they suffered as a parable. Time would show them that the invasion of Assyria was the deserved judgement for leaving God.

As a historic support for the times of the book of Joel, as well as these data, we can refer to the book of A.F. Kirkpatrick "The Doctrine of the Prophets" where he concludes, with much information, that the date that we have mentioned, against some liberal critics, is correct. Amongst the arguments and data, the ruling system stands out, which was not a monarchy, but more a regency in the style of government of the priests and elders of the people. In 2Kings 11:4, we are provided the data that Joash took the throne when he has seven years old, so he had to be guided, in his case, by his uncle Jehoidada, the priest.

On the other hand we can add that the data that refers to the book of Amos, as it is the case of the mounts that will drip with new wine, in Joel 3:18, is a reference to Amos 9:13, where the context supports that Joel wrote before. Or by referring to the Bible Text that the "king will roar from Zion..." that we find in Joel 3:16, as well as in Amos 1:2, allows us to place Joel with assurance before Amos.


The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord, as exposed by Joel, includes four events. The first one is to do with the plagues that hit Judah. The second, with the call to repent, which brings the Holy Spirit upon all flesh. The third initiates with the supernatural judgment of God to the nations. And the fourth with the culmination of the project of God that takes Judah to a blessing promised before, for the glory of God and for testimony to Judah, to the nations and to the Church.


The Plagues

They begin to be announced by Joel through devastation plagues. It tells that what was not eaten by the palmerworm, was eaten by the locust, and what was left, the cankerworm eat, and what was left the caterpillar eat. This plagues would laid waste His vine and would strip His fig tree, its branches would be white. The wheat, the wine, the oil, the barley, the harvest of the field would be devastated; the stock would suffer. The palm tree, the apple tree, and all the trees of the field would be withered. The seed shrivels under the clods and the storehouses shambled. Herds of cattle, flocks of sheep would have no pasture. Dry would be the brooks of the waters, and the fields burned by fire, Joel 1:8-20. A desolation panorama which Judah seams to not reach initially. The warning begins with Joel 1:

1The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. 2Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 3Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. 4That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.


Warning for Judah

This warning was more than just an event, is was a parable of the nation that would invade Judah: Assyria, in Joel 2:2. Judah is used to known enemies, those that they think they know. These, in the case of Tyre, Sidon (both in Phoenicia, and Sidon under Egypt according to Homer) and Philistia. If these are a foreshadow of the palmerworm, the locust, and the cankerworm, now a new plague appears: the caterpillar, a plague of proportions of those in Egypt by Moses, which allows us to understand that the judgment is serious, and can foreshadow Assyria, the new powerful empire that would conquer all the land. According to William MacDonald in his Old Testament Biblical Commentary, it would be a foreshadowing of the four empires that would govern over the people of God: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome. The four plagues are at the same time, the four phases of development of the caterpillar since its born until its adult stage: palmerworm, locust, cankerworm and caterpillar, really the similarity with the development of the empires is great, especially if we compare it with the statue of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that Daniel the prophet would interpret.

This parable is of use in life, and in the Church. The enemies that we know and control, more or less, we think they are the only ones that can attack us. But when man persists in sinning, God raises an enemy that we do not know. In the same way, this happens to the nations in history. In the case of Judah, what one would not devastate, the next one would if Judah didn't repent from its evil ways. The warning to Judah comes with these plagues, that are greatly devastating, that are a wake up call to repentance for Judah. The invasion of a an enemy not mentioned, not known as such, a new enemy that the Lord raises to discipline His people. The day of the Lord, here, takes the connotation of day of judgment. Joel 2:2-11:

11And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?


God is merciful

God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness, therefore calls for the repentance of His people, through the prophets, Joel 2:12-19. God seeks true repentance of the heart "...And rend your heart, and not your garments...", that those whom He calls may return to Him. In a prophecy of the world power of the end time days, the prophet promises blessing from God in 2:20-32, which was fulfilled in the victory over the invaders of the north; Sennacherib. This is, then, the second part of the Day of the Lord.


The Holy Spirit poured out upon all flesh


The Holy Spirit upon all flesh is the third consequence of the Day of the Lord. After the devastating plagues that destroyed Judah in the prophecy, we have travelled along the history of the book until we found the message of the Lord’s mercy, in the raining of blessings promised to those who repent. The armies of the enemies are defeated by God’s providence. These rains are the advent of how the people would react in the prophecy, and symbolizes the future pouring, as if it was referring to a “guided wind” that would fill them with the Spirit of God, in Joel 2:28-32:

28And 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: 29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32And 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.

The rain that the Lord sends after the drought and the caterpillar plague, links to the prophecy of the pouring of the Holy Spirit, which is, in part, fulfilled at Pentecost which is a promise not only for Judah, or for the entire Israel, but one that fulfils in the Church, something that was not being foreshadowed in the times of the prophet and that Judah would not understand. Also, the promise of the Holy Spirit is made by Jesus Christ to the Church when He tells them that in a few days they would be baptized with Him. The last part that we can foreshadow is, either in the millennium, or either in eternity when we will be filled with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. The Text is found in Acts 2:14-21:

1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance... ...14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

The main character of the event of the pouring of the Holy Spirit is Himself. The story that Luke tells and that we know as Acts of the Apostles, really are the Acts of the Holy Spirit, through the apostles, and this is how it will be in the Church until the day it will be caught up.




The nations judged


Nations judgment, is the fourth part, which comprises two phases, in which we find the consequence of the instauration of the Day of the Lord, as we find in Joel 3:9-12:

9Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 11Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 12Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.

The fourteenth verse of the third chapter tells us of the Valley of Decision, while in the other verses is telling us of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. If we understand that we are talking of the same valley, this verse clarifies what is happening in it, by calling it of decision. We find the scene in other prophets as Isaiah 23:1-28; or in Ezekiel 26:1-28; in Amos 1:9-10; in Zechariah 9:1-4 and also in the New Testament, in Matthew 11:21-22; and in Luke 10:13-14.


The decision is the one to be taken before the call of the Gospel. Nations, in this case, as well as each individual, will, in that Day, receive their reward on their decision to gather in the valley to make war on Jerusalem, as well as all the impious way they treated Judah and their children, selling them, spreading them, likewise nations and individuals do with those that are in need. The Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 25:31-46, leaves no doubt on how the fruit of the enemies of God will be reveled:

31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

As well as seeing, through each one’s fruits, what is in the heart –which God weighs even before the foundation of the world– also the evil and lack to fear God of the pagan nations can be seen, because they took the silver, the gold and the precious things of Yahweh to their pagan temples. For this they will be receivers of the wrath of God, because the Day of the Lord is nigh. The concept wrath of God is a consequence of His justice. The Word reminds us that God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness, which means that when His wrath comes is because man has not received the multiple opportunities to repent.


Again, all that is precious to God, the pagan nations use for their cult. That way, the sinning man, in his own mind, uses the precious things of his own life –which are to be enjoyed in God’s blessing– and uses them for his own cult, as it can be marriage, children, work, relations, even his own relation and service in the local church. God, however, gives reward of all those who repent of their wicked ways, and as the blessing is promised to Judah, it is also promised to all those who believe and do the Word of God in Christ.




Prophecy of the future blessing of Judah


Finally, the second of the last part, from the four parts that the great Day of the Lord in the book of Joel takes us to the final blessing of the people of God, in Joel 3:20-21:

20But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

Gleason L. Archer, in his book A Survey of Old Testament Introduction,  comments on Joel 3:17-21, that this is the millennial triumph for Jerusalem, in company of all those redeemed. The end of Joel we find in Amos 1:2.



We conclude that Joel includes: The message to prevent Judah and Israel from judgment, using plagues, and, in specific, the caterpillar: 1. To call them to repentance: 2:12-27. To show the power and the mercy of God in the Day of the Lord: 2. To pour out the Holy Spirit on all flesh: 2:28-32, as foreshadow of the work of Jesus Christ in the day of Pentecost: Acts 2:17-21. The future resurrection of Judah, by the grace of God inhabiting in Zion 3:16-21.

The doctrinal lesson and its practical use, that we have been unfolding along the book of Joel, comes to conclusion. The life of the disciple of Christ, no matter in which nation he lives, and no matter to which family he belongs, will have a final characteristic, which is that his expectation will always be the Day of the Lord. This Day will be reflected in his previous life, in the calling of God through the circumstances lived, as a preparation of the soul, a symbol of the land that receives the plagues, as for the experience in Christ in his church that God inhabits in the midst of His people.

Document Q, base of the synoptic Gospels, proves that the central message that the people of Israel receive at the beginning of the Jewish Church, is that the dependence and hope, is still in the Messiah, the Son of Man and in His return at the end of times. His characteristics don't change: God is just; God punishes the sinner; God loves the sinner and warns him with prophecy; God calls to repentance; God defends his people; God defends His Church; God is the same yesterday, and to day and for ever; God pours out His Spirit upon those who love Him; God fulfils His word and will reign for ever. Amen.




  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.

  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.

  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

   Copyright © Yahshua.net All rights reserved.  At Yahshua.net  we authorize using these texts, by previous request, without altering the content and quoting the source.