Joel is the prophet of Pethuel who is also an unknown Bible character. It is widely accepted that Joel is a resident of Judah because his commission was to the people in the place.5
The examination of the book is restrained by the absence of a definite date when it is written. As opposed to other prophets who indicated the ruling the nation when the prophecy is given, the Book of Joel did not convey a definite date6. Some scholars support that the prophecy is given during the pre-exilic period (9th century or 835 BC) because of its early placement in the Hebrew canon, the reference to the enemies of Judah including Tyre, Sidon, Philistia, Egypt, and Edom, and the type of government where the elders rule and that is supportive of the time when Joash was king at age seven7. Postexilic proponents however, maintain that the Book of Joel was written in the 6th to 4th century because of the references to temple in Joel 1:9; 13 and 2:17 which is seen to represent the second temple before the destruction of Jerusalem.8 This is in addition to the fact that Joel quotes from other prophets like Ezekiel and the reference to the Greek slave trade.9 However, all the postexilic arguments could also be attributed to the late preexilic period in 7th to 6th century. Furthermore, Joel 3:2 speaks of the division and scattering of Judah which can reference the deportation in 597 BC that is described in 2 Kings 4:10-16 together with the anticipation of the final destruction of Judah (Day of the Lord). Thus, most scholars support that late pre-exilic period. Chisholm argues that Joel 2:18-19 "seems to record God's mercy to Joel's generation, implying they truly repented .... If so, such a sequence of events is difficult to harmonize with the historical record of Judah's final days."10
With its vivid description and imagery, the Book of Joel utilizes the elements of poetry in order to convey his message and God's message to the people. The author has utilized technique of apostrophe by directly addressing literally absent entities as though they can communicate. The entire book is in the form of poetry which showcases the adeptness of the writer to describe images.
The prophecy in the Book of Joel demonstrates three distinct themes namely, punishment, repentance, and redemption. The text establishes that God punishes the people of Judah because of their sins. Joel 1:4 until 2:11 describes the impending calamity that will befall the nation because of their sins. The prophet described the coming thorough devastation by giving four different names to the locusts which will ultimately destroy Judah. The locusts are directly compared with soldiers in the sense that they will be as methodological as armies and will seek to convey ultimate destruction. This day is called the "Day of the Lord"11 where an army from God will rise up and destroy