The Date of the Book of Joel

The Date of the Book of Joel THE DATE OF THE BOOK OF JOEL BY F. R. STEPHENSON Newcastle upon Tyne The period during which the prophet Joel lived is uncertain. Historical evidence is slight but the character and content of his writings indicate a probable date between about B.C. 450 and 350, although Jewish tradition fixes a much earlier period-the eighth century B.C. Both EISSEFELDT 1) and PFEIFFER 2) prefer a post-exilic or perhaps late post-exilic date giving the principal reasons as follows. 1. The sale of Jewish slaves to the Greeks by the Phoenicians (iii 6). 2. No mention of the monarchy, indicated by i 2, ii 16. 3. The exile and scattering of the Jews throughout the world (iii 2). In particular, PFEIFFER favours a date close to 350 B.C. for the writing of the book. In attempting to provide further evidence for the date use can be made of Joel's reference to eclipses. Joel is one of the few biblical writers who clearly alludes to total lunar and solar eclipses. His statement in ii 31, "The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood"-, is unique in the Old Testament. Total eclipses of the sun, because of their Vetus Testamentum Brill

The Date of the Book of Joel

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© 1969 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
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