Joel was a prophet of Israel, believed to have lived in the 9th Century BCE. He was the second of the twelve minor prophets and is the author of the Book of Joel in the Old Testament.
He is mentioned only once as the son of Pethuel (Joel 1:1).
Joel was from Judea and is known to have preached there. He is linked to the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Joel’s book in the Old Testament focuses on Judah and Zion with themes of judgement and hope for repentance in a time of disaster. At the time, there were locust plagues that destroyed wine and grain, both offerings to the temple.
Joel does write that the Lord’s kingdom will be fruitful and void of suffering, which is why he focused on repentance.
The following prophesy by Joel was used by Saint Peter in his homily on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
St Peter was preaching to the crowd that the 11 were not drunk after the tongues of fire came upon them. Instead he quoted Joel in the hope of warning them about Gods wrath if they don’t accept Jesus as Lord and repent. St Peter does not forget the good news, he includes it at the end of the prophesy.
St Paul also uses Joel’s prophesy in Romans 10:11 – 13.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved