Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Joel. Nothing is known of him apart from his prophecy.

2. DATE. — Probably about 870 B. C., though some place the book later. The prophet himself does not say when he wrote.

3. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — An invasion of locusts, accompanied by a drought, sent as a punishment from God for the sins of the people.

4. PLACE. — Joel belonged to the kingdom of Judah. The prophecy was probably de livered in the temple court.

5. LEADING TOPIC. — An invasion of locusts is described as a reason for national repentance before God, in order that a worse calamity might be averted. The prophet then predicts God's blessings upon the righteous and his punishment of the wicked.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show the necessity of God's people remaining faithful to him; his readiness to forgive when they repent; and his purpose to defend them from their enemies.


Part I. A call to repentance in order to avert a calamity, Ch. 1-2:17.

Part II. Blessings promised to God's people, including the overthrow of the wicked, Ch. 2:18-3.

8. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — The devastation by locusts; the national fast; the merciful character of God; the gift of the Spirit; the “day of the Lord; ” the day of judgment; God to dwell among his people.

9. SPECIAL SINS CONDEMNED. — Of Judah: none are mentioned, but a departure from God seems to be implied. Of the Gentiles: the buying and selling of Israelites.

10. NATIONAL HOPES PRESENTED. — A time of spirituality to be secured; God's people to be restored to a position of pre-eminence over their enemies, to be abundantly blessed, and God to be with them.

11. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — The gift of God's spirit, the subjection of the enemies of God's people, the reconciliation of God and man, were to be realized only in connection with the coming of Christ.

12. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — This book belongs to the beginning of the prophetic writings, its theme furnishes the topic for much of the discussion by later prophets; they treat specially what Joel gives in a general way.

13. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — Devastation by locusts; the practice of selling captives in early times; the history of Greece at this time.