All we now of the final Old Testament prophet, Joel, we know from reading his short book.
He prophesied in Jerusalem at a time just after the 2nd temple had been rebuilt (Joel 2:17), but, beyond that, no one is certain when he was active. But, since he is not mentioned by Ezra, Nehemiah or Malachi (who were all contemporaries of each other), and was active after the temple had been rebuilt, it is safe to say he was after them… making him the final OT prophet.
Joel’s immediate concern was a plague of locusts. For an agricultural society, this meant devastation, famine, and eventual death. But, for Joel, it was also an opportunity to try to get the people to turn back to God in faith…
I. Current Conditions
– The Devastation… Joel 1:1-12,15-18
– The Proclamation… Joel 1:13,14
– The Supplication… Joel 1:19,20
II. Coming Conditions
Joel describes 3 future “days”:
– The Day of Pentecost… Joel 2:28-32
See Acts 2:14-18; Rev. 6:12-14.
– The Day of the Lord (the Great Tribulation)… Joel 2:1-21; 3:1-16 (key verses are v.12,13)
– The Day of Christ (the Millennial Reign)… Joel 2:22-27; 3:17-21
It would be almost 400 years between Joel’s prophecy and the start of the New Testament… almost 400 years of relative spiritual silence. Joel’s words would be the final words given to mankind. But, these words – if that is all mankind had – would be enough to be aware of the coming Messiah.
One rarely knows when “last words” might be heard… or what those “last words” might be. But, as long as those “last words” are words of instruction, the responsibility to obedience lies on those to whom those “last words” are given.
You can read Joel’s story – our final Bible person of the Old Testament – by reading the book of Joel, named after him.