6.51 Joel -- God and Grasshoppers

The book of Joel is another oddity among the diverse prophetic literature of the Old Testament.  The identity of the author is unknown, and even the century in which he lived is unclear.  It doesn’t help that there are about a dozen other Joels in the Old Testament, none of whom can be identified with this one.  One reason it is hard to pin this book down is that it lacks references to contemporary kings or world events.  Yet his message is not dependent on knowing the historical background.  His references to Judah and Jerusalem suggest that he lived in the southern kingdom.


Joel spoke of other nations’ scorn for Israel (Joel 2:17), but this was practically a constant in prophetic history.  There is no explicit mention of empires such as Assyria and Babylonia, as was common in other prophets.  The few references to specific nations -- Tyre, Sidon, Philistia, Greeks, Sabeans, Egypt, Edom (all in chapter 3) -- reflect longstanding grievances more than contemporary events.