BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 31

Joel - BibleProject

The book of Joel is a prophetic book in the Old Testament. The first chapter begins with a description of a locust invasion that devastates Judah. The invasion is seen as a warning of greater destruction to come. The prophet then calls for repentance and fasting in preparation for the "Day of the Lord," which will bring judgment on the wicked and salvation for the righteous. Joel sees this as a cosmic event that will shake the entire world. He then describes the restoration of Jerusalem and the people of God. In the New Testament, Peter quotes Joel's prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

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BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 31
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Joel - BibleProject

Lesson Outline of Joel

I. Introduction to Joel

A. Historical and Cultural Context

B. Structure and Outline

II. Literary Features of Joel

A. Style and Language

B. Poetic Structure

III. Themes and Message of Joel

A. Day of the Lord

B. Repentance and Restoration

IV. Significance of Joel in the Old Testament

A. Contributions to a Larger Understanding of the Old Testament

B. Impact on the Original Audience

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-31 Joel

The book of the prophet Joel. It's a short collection of prophetic poems that are both powerful and puzzling. Joel is unique among the prophets for a few reasons. First of all, there's no explicit indication of when this book was written. It's most likely the period of Ezra- Nehemiah after the return from the exile because he mentions Jerusalem and the temple but there doesn't seem to be any Kings. Also unique is that Joel is clearly familiar with many other scriptural books; he alludes to or quotes from the prophets Isaiah, Amos, Zephaniah, Nahum, Obadiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, even the book of Exodus, and this is connected with the last unique feature and that's that Joel never accuses Israel of any specific sin. So like many of the other prophets he announces that God's judgment is coming to confront Israel's sin but he never says why and that's most likely because Joel assumes that like him you have been reading the books of the prophets and so you already know all about Israel's rebellion. Now all together these three features help us understand this fascinating little book: that Joel is a biblical author who was himself immersed in earlier biblical writings and his reflection on them helped him make sense of the tragedies of his day, but also they gave him hope for the future. Let's dive in and we'll see how this book works. In chapters 1 and 2 Joel focuses on the day of the LORD. This is a key theme in the prophets and it describes events in the past when God appeared in a powerful way to save His people or confront evil, think about the plagues in the book of Exodus. But the prophets saw in these past events pointers to a future time when God would again confront evil among his people but also among the nations and bring salvation to the whole world. And so here, in chapters 1 and 2, Joel has brought two parallel poems together that focus on this theme, so chapter one is about a past day of the Lord. He begins by announcing a recent disaster that a locust swarm has devastated Israel and his description of the swarm recalls the day of the Lord against Egypt, remember the eighth plague from Exodus chapter 10, except this time the locusts are being sent against Israel, and so Joel calls on the elders and the priests to lead the people in repentance and prayer and then Joel actually himself repents along with all of the priests. Chapter 2 comes alongside and it has the same poetic design and flow of thought; so Joel announces another day of the Lord except this time it's future not past. It's an imminent disaster coming on Jerusalem. And he begins describing what seems like another wave of locusts but he uses military and cosmic imagery so the locusts become God's army, like cavalry and soldiers that are marching and destroying everything in their path. And the Sun has darkened and the earth quakes and Joel says "The day of the Lord is dreadful; who can endure it?" And so once more Joel calls on the people to pray and repent. And he says how: to rend your hearts not your garments and return to your God. In other words Joel knows that repentance can be just a show that you put on to get out of trouble. And he says God's not interested in that. He wants genuine change, for His people to stop their selfishness and evil, and then Joel says why Israel should repent: because God is gracious and compassionate, He's slow to anger and He's full of love. He's quoting here from the book of Exodus about how God forgave Israel after they made the golden calf, and from that story Joel learned that God's mercy and love is more powerful than His wrath and judgment and so he leads the priests in acts of repentance and prayer asking God to spare His people. Then right after these two poems the scene shifts and we have a short narrative about God's response to the repentance of Joel and the people: "So God was filled with passion for His land and He had pity on His people", and then God says He's going to reverse the devastating effects of this day of the LORD and turn it from judgment into salvation. So first, He's going to defeat the threatening invaders which were presumably the locusts and He's going to turn them all away to their own ruin. Then He's going to restore the devastated land and bring it back to life making it up abundant once more. And finally, God says He's going to bring His divine presence among His people, it will become real and accessible to everyone. Now up to this point the poems tell a powerful story about Joel leading Israel to see how their sin led to disaster and divine judgment and that with the God of mercy there is always hope. But Joel sees in all of these past events an image of the future day of the Lord. And so in the final section of the book Joel writes three more poems that match God's three-part response and he weaves together images from other prophetic books and expands it all into a vision of hope for all creation. So first the hope of God's presence among His people gets expanded into a promise about how one day in the future God's own spirit, His personal life presence, will fill not just the temple but all of His people. And here Joel is drawing upon the promises of Isaiah, and Jeremiah and Ezekiel that God's Spirit would come to transform and empower His people so that they can truly love and follow Him. Joel then picks up God's promise that He'll confront the threatening invader. And Joel sees in these ravaging locusts a similarity to the arrogant violent nations of his own day that ravaged and oppressed people. And so he draws upon the promises of Isaiah, and Zephaniah and Ezekiel about the future day of the Lord when God will confront evil among all the nations and turn their violence back on themselves bringing justice to right all wrongs. And finally Joel picks up the images of the land's restoration, and he sees here a hope for the renewal of all creation. So he draws on the promises of Isaiah and Ezekiel and Zechariah that God's final day of justice will be followed by a restoration of the entire world, a new Eden where God's presence in Jerusalem will flow out like a river and bring about cosmic renewal. And so Joel's poem ends with God's forgiveness and mercy opening up a whole new creation. And so this little book of Joel, it explores profound ideas about how human sin and failure wreak such devastating destruction in our world, about how God longs to show mercy to those who will just own up to their sin and confess it, and about how all of that leads us to hope that God will one day defeat evil in our world but also inside of us and bring His healing presence to make all things new. And that's what the book of Joel is all about.