Joel: Misplaced Prophet of the Locust Plague

Joel vividly portrays the dependence of human life upon God's favor.

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Apocalyptic Imagery and Hopes for National Revival: More Evidence Supporting a Late Date for Joel

As to its date, in addition to liturgical practices and language, the whole tone of the book suggests that we are dealing with a period sometime after the restoration of the Second Temple. Note in particular that the imagery of God dwelling in Zion and the Temple as a fount of blessing recalls the exilic and postexilic ideology of the prophets Ezekiel (47: 1‑12) and Zechariah (chapter 14). Moreover, the latter prophet even presents us with a similar apocalyptic battle against the nations, portrayed through images of deadly terror and dark horror.  The result is an apocalyptic fantasy with more than a trace of the smoldering hopes for national revival and the imagined collapse of the foreign rulers.

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Michael Fishbane

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. His research spans the spectrum of biblical and Jewish studies and he has written numerous books in Jewish Studies.