Day of the Lord
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
DAY OF THE LORD (YAHWEH) (יֹ֣ום יְהוָ֑ה; LXX ἡ ἡμέρα [του̂] Κυρίου). Together with associated expressions like “the day of the wrath of Yahweh” and “that day,” it designates God’s decisive intervention in history for judgment. (Elsewhere decisive events are called “days,” cf. “the day of Midian” in
The expression was evidently current in the time of Amos in the 8th cent. b.c., indicating the time when Yahweh would avenge His people on their enemies. Amos turns it back upon those who use it, for the day will bring judgment upon sinful Israel as well (
The day of the Lord is also associated with universal restoration, and in places is connected with the Messiah. “In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious. In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant which is left of his people” (
Joel’s description of the day of the Lord might at first seem to refer to a plague of locusts (
Jeremiah speaks of “that time” and “those days” rather than of the day of the Lord (cf.
OT prophecy stresses the imminence of the day of the Lord. Men need to prepare for it without delay. God’s justice and judgment are certain, as is His mercy. Sometimes prophetic utterances found partial fulfillment in particular events. But these are, in fact, foretastes or trailers of the decisive acts of God in the coming of Christ, the outpouring of the Spirit and Christ’s return in final judgment and glory.
L. Cerný, The ἡμέρα, G2465, in TDNT, II, 943-953; E. Jenni, “ ” IDB, I, 784f.; H. H. Rowley, The Faith of Israel (1956), 177-201; S. Mowinckel, He that Cometh (1956), passim; G. von Rad, “The Origin of the Concept of the Day of Yahweh,” JSS, IV (1959), 97-108; Theology, II (1965), 119-125; D. S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (1964) passim.and Some Relevant Problems (1948); G. Delling,