Joel (prophet): life, prophecy, interpretation. Prayer and Akathist to the Prophet Joel
In the 5th century BC on the territory of the presentPalestine, the prophet Joel was born - one of the twelve "small" prophets of Israel. Such a name these God's chosen received not for the insignificance of their deeds, but only for the limited amount of records left behind. Joel was the first in their turn. It is his prophecies that have come down to us in writing.
The Wrath of God in the People of Israel
According to Old Testament texts, a prophet was born inZaordan region, in the ancient city of Bophorus. When he reached adulthood, terrible misfortunes fell upon the kingdom of Judah. There was a terrible drought, from which a significant part of the crop was lost, and what was saved was destroyed by countless flocks of locusts, soaring in such numbers that they blocked the sunlight.
Throughout the Promised Land, people died in the thousands,and wherever laughter was heard before, only groans and sobs were heard from now on. The people did not know what to do and how to get rid of the misfortune that has come. At this desperate time, Joel the prophet turned to them with words that were inspired by the breath of God.
Call to prayer for salvation
He urged his compatriots to leavetime all earthly care and turn your soul to the Almighty. These events, described in the Old Testament, occurred five centuries before the descent into the world of our Savior Jesus Christ, therefore his name is not mentioned in the text. Joel also refers to the Lord as it was accepted in that era by the ancient Jews - Jehovah.
Joel the Prophet called his fellow countrymento offer prayers for salvation to Jehovah - the only one in whose power it was to grant life to the creations of His hands or to take it away. Endowed with the sacred gift of providence, he speaks of the coming "day of the Lord," bearing in himself the punishment for those transgressions that people committed, departing from their commandments. Everything that happened then in Judea and despised the people was, in his words, only a small part of the future troubles. Nothing and no one will save people from the impending wrath of God, except for profound and sincere prayer, full of humility and repentance.
Rid of the Wrath of God
The day is near when the sun is dark,The earth will be shaken and Jehovah will appear, accompanied by an innumerable army, from which no one who lives on earth will hide. The day of vengeance is already coming, and therefore there is no time to lose. Joel (the prophet) called upon all, without exception, immediately to take over the post and gather in the temple. There priests on behalf of the whole people will have to cry out to the Lord, asking for the deliverance from His wrath.
The Jewish people showed prudence and did everythingas God's chosen one said to them. As a result, the Lord changed his anger to mercy, sending abundant rain on the earth and scattering the locust swarms. On top of all, He spoke to the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah, and with His mouth was Joel the prophet. Through him, Jehovah announced that he relieved people of death only by the prayers they had taken up. He promised his people that he would continue to protect him from all pains in the future. It will take away from people drought, disease and invasion of foreigners, but subject to observance of the commandments given through the prophet Moses.
And then through the prophet Joel the Almighty againannounced the intimacy of the "day of the Lord", in which only those who will call on His name will be saved. Pagans, who worship man-made idols, await the imminent and terrible death. So Jehovah said, and so the prophet Joel conveyed his words to the people. His prophecies gave hope to God's chosen people that the Lord will not abandon him, whatever misfortunes may happen.
The Interpretation of Joel's Prophecies
Much of what Joel's prophecies contain,was subsequently interpreted as a prediction of events that occurred already in the New Testament times. In particular, the words that God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh will be taken as a promise of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, a confirmation of which can be found in the pages of the New Testament. In detail studying his statements, theologians of the whole world see in them also prophecies about the coming manifestation of the people of the Lord in the flesh.
Today, among the Old Testament saints who discoveredthe road to the Son of God, a special place is occupied by the prophet Joel. His life is not rich in details about the earthly path, but is full of predictions, which largely predetermined the historical path of Israel. The memory of the saint is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on November 1 each year. On this day, the troparion of the prophet Joel, the Akathist, is heard in the temples, and prayers are prayed for his intercession before the Throne of God.