The book Of The Bible Joel
The book of Joel starts with a description of a terrible and unparalleled infestation of locusts on the land inhabited by the people of Israel. The prophet Joel in terprets the infestation to be the equivalent of an invading army and the result of the sinfulness of God’s people. Joel calls for repentance before the Day of the Lord and predicts judgment and divine action. Joel’s Day of the Lord also anticipates a restoration or renewal of Israel by God (2.18-27).
There is no clear historical connection of the plague of locusts to a particular time in Israel’s history. Many scholars believe the writing of this book to be sometime after the destruction of Jerusalem, perhaps as late as the fifth or fourth century BCE. The passage in Joel that describes the outpouring of the Spirit (2.28-30) is taken up in the Acts of the Apostles in the NT. St. Peter in his first words at Pentecost (Acts 2.16-21) interprets the coming of the Holy Spirit to be the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. This same text from Joel is offered as a Reading at the Vigil of Pentecost. It is also offered as a choice for the First Reading in the Confirmation liturgy.