Day of the Lord

The “Day of the Lord” in the Old Testament

The Day of the LORD in the Old Testament1

The expression “the Day of the Lord” is sometimes thought to refer to the time of the end of this age.2 Unquestionably, there are passages which do refer to the eschaton, and we shall look at them, but not every usage of the phrase can be slotted into the last days—the locust plague in Joel 1 being a case in point.

In Joel 1 the Day of the Lord speaks of Yahweh using things in the natural world to punish His people. Four descriptions of the locusts are given in Joel 1:4 and 2:25 (which could describe four separate varieties of locust). This appears to tie together Joel 1 and 2. Additionally, Joel 1:6 depicts the teeth of the locusts as lion’s fangs, which is figurative, so we must take into account similes when reading about the appearance of the army in Joel 2:4 as like horses.3 For reasons such as these, Thomas Finley believes that Joel 1:5- 2:25 describes a contemporary locust infestation.4

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