Email Question on the Day of the Lord in Ezekiel and Joel

We very often receive very good questions from those visiting our sites. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time to share that correspondence with other visitors. Nonetheless, I wanted to share the post below.


Here is the question from “Steve”


What do THESE texts refer to ?  What “days” are they speaking of ?

EZ 12:23  the days are at hand

EZ 30:3  the day of the Lord is near

Zeph 1:14  the great day of the Lord is near

Joel 1:15 for the day of the Lord is near


Here is my answer:

Steve, Ezekiel and Zephaniah were both written in the context of the Babylonian invasion of Judah / Jerusalem in the sixth century BC. That was the Day of the Lord that was near. The language that is used is typical Hebraic poetic/ apocalyptic language. Anytime that YHVH intervened in history, by using one nation to invade and destroy another nation in a judgment decreed by God, it was called the Day of the Lord.

Note that in Ezekial 12 God said the Day was near. The people denied that, claiming, essentially, that God does not tell time like man. God condemned that way of thinking, and emphatically told them that the Day would be in their generation. This is critically important and I discuss this in my book Can God Tell Time.

I develop and document this extensively in my book Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, and in another of my books The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat.

There is a lot of debate about the dating of Joel, whether in the time of the Assyrian invasion of Israel, the Babylonian invasion of Judah, or even some other occasion. What is clear is that a locust invasion, under the Sovereign control of God, was being used to judge Israel. And, it truly was near when the prophet wrote.

As westerners we tend to be more literalistic in our expressions, literature, and understanding. This is not true of the ancient Hebrews. It is wrong for us to impose our Occidental (Western and Greek) way of thinking on ancient Hebraic texts. 

I hope this helps just a little.

I urge you to check out one of my books just mentioned and do the study. I think you will find it invigorating!

For His Truth, and In His Grace,

Don K. Preston