LogosApologia The Day of the Lord is a key theme found in the Old Testament prophetic books. It carries a context of future judgment and foreboding darkness. However, one should not read all of the passages into our future, as some have come and gone. The first appears in Amos and is speaking of the coming Assyrian invasion of the Northern Kingdom (Amos 5:18-20). Zephaniah uses the term to refer to the imminent Babylonian invasion of Judah (Zeph. 1:7, 14). Nevertheless, other passages do refer to a time of ultimate judgment upon the nations and indicate a much wider scope (Eze. 30:3; Joel 3:14; Oba. 15). Most germane to the task here are instances when the prophet seems to speak of an eschatological Day of the Lord (Mal 4:5; Joel 3:2). Even more, the New Testament authors Peter and Paul appropriated the term for the future return of Christ (2 Pet 3:10; 1 Cor. 1:8). Accordingly, we can connect the Day of the Lord to the tribulation and the battle of Armageddon.
The day is to be understood in a broad and a narrow sense. The broad sense encompasses a span of time known in the Hebrew Bible as â€œthe time of Jacobâ€™s distressâ€ (Jer. 30:7) and also in Daniel as â€œa time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that timeâ€ (Da 12:1). Jesus referred to it as the â€œgreat tribulationâ€ (Matt. 24:21; Rev.7:14) just prior to his return. A time described by him in Matthewâ€™s gospel (24:15-28) and in detail through John with the trumpet and bowl judgments found in the book of Revelation. Prior to Armageddon, a substantial part of the broad Day of the Lordâ€™s judgments have occurred concurrent with the trumpets and bowls. Then armies of the nations will only begin to be gathered by the demonic hordes to Armageddon after the sixth bowl is poured out (Rev. 16:12â€“16). The Hebrew Bible supplies more detail.
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