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Exposition of the Old and New Testament, by John Gill, [1746-63], at

Joel Introduction


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In some Hebrew Bibles this prophecy is called "Sepher Joel", the Book of Joel; in the Vulgate Latin version, the Prophecy of Joel; and in the Syriac version, the Prophecy of the Prophet Joel; and the Arabic version, the Prophet Joel; and so the Apostle Peter quotes him, Act 2:16. His name, according to Hillerus (a), signifies "the Lord is God"; but others derive it from lay, which in "Hiphil" is lyawh, and signifies "he willed, acquiesced, or is well pleased, so Abarbinei; and hence Schmidt thinks it answers to Desiderius or Erasmus. According to Isidorus (b), he was born at Bethoron, in the tribe of Reuben, and died and was buried there; and so says Pseudo-Epiphanius (c). In what age he lived is not easy to say. Aben Ezra expressly affirms there is no way to know it; and so R. David Ganz (d) says, his time we know not; and likewise Abarbinel. Some think he prophesied about the same time Hoses did, after whom he is next placed; and so Mr. Whiston (e) and, Mr. Bedford (f) make him to prophesy much about the same time with Isaiah and Hoses, about eight hundred years before Christ; but, in the Septuagint version, this book is in the fourth order, and not Hoses, but Amos and Micah, are placed before him; and so the author of Juchasin (g) puts the prophets in this order, first Hoses, then Amos, next Isaiah, then Micah, and after him Joel. Some of the Jewish writers, as Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abendana relate, make Joel contemporary with Elisha, and say he prophesied in the, lays of Jehoram the son of Ahab, when the seven years' famine called for came upon the land, Kg2 8:1. Both in Seder Olam Rabba and Zuta (h) he is placed in the reign of Manasseh; and so in Hilchot Gedolot, as Jarchi observes. And it seems indeed as if he prophesied after the ten tribes were carried captive, which was in the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, since no mention is made of Israel but with respect to future times, only of Judah and Jerusalem, But, be it when it will that he prophesied, there is no doubt to be made of the authenticity of this book, which is confirmed by the quotations of two apostles out of two: Peter and Paul, Act 2:16.

(a) Onomast. Sacr. p. 856. (b) De Vita & Mart. Sanct. c. 4. (c) De Vita Proph. c. 14. (d) Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 14. 2. (e) Chronological Tables, cent. 7. and 8. (f) Scripture Chronology, B. 6. c. 2. p. 646. (g) Fol. 12. 1, 2. (h) P. 55, 105. Ed. Meyer.

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