The Day of the Lord

The number of occurrences of “the Day of the Lord” will vary by translation.  Further, sometimes the words, day and Lord, will be in the same verse but will not be arranged as “Day of the Lord.”  So, the exact number of verses to inspect depends on the one compiling the list.  For the purpose of this study, I will stay with those that have “Day of the Lord” so that a first impression may be obtained as to how the phrase was used.

  • Isaiah 13:6 – 11  Isaiah prophesied against Babylon before Babylon broke free from and eventually defeated Assyria.  This Day of the Lord referred to the defeat of Babylon by the Medes (13:17).
  • Ezekiel 13:5  This prediction against the false prophets of Judah (who predicted a rapid restoration) upbraided them for not standing in the weak places of the wall to defend the city, if they were so confident of victory.
  • Ezekiel 30:3  This Day of the Lord describes the victory of Babylon over Egypt and Ethiopia and allies.
  • Joel 2:1  The Day of the Lord was at hand to Joel which sounds like a locust plague.
  • Joel 2:31  This Day of the Lord was set in the Restoration period, although Joel predicted it before the captivity.  Peter confirmed that it came to pass on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:16).
  • Joel 3:14  This Day of the Lord was near to Joel and predicted the recovery of Judah from catastrophe dealt to them by Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and Edom.
  • Amos 5:18 – 20  This Day of the Lord is part of the downfall of the Northern Kingdom.  These verses imply that the people were looking for the Day of the Lord for their rescue, when actually it would be their destruction.
  • Zechariah 1: 14 – 18  The Day of the Lord was to arrive shortly, in the low-numbered 600’s BC.  Zephaniah used locust plagues as his illustration of invading armies.
  • Malachi 4:5  This Day of the Lord would be after John the Baptist.  Jesus verified that this Elijah was John in Matthew 11:14 and 17:12 – 13)
  • Acts 2:20  This Day of the Lord was at the time when the church was established.  Peter confirmed that Joel’s prophesy was about the things happening before their eyes at that moment (2:16).
  • 1 Corinthians 1:8  The “Day of our Lord Jesus Christ” appears to be Judgment Day, since that would be the most important day on which to be blameless.
  • Philippians 1:6  The “Day of Jesus Christ” appears to be Judgment Day.  God will continue to build up the faithful until the end.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:2  This Day of the Lord is certainly Judgment Day because of the “thief in the night” image and the context from 4:13 – 5:11.
  • 2 Peter 3:10 – 12  This Day of the Lord is certainly Judgment Day due to the destruction of heaven and earth.  Note that the faithful can hasten the coming of this day.

The Day of the Lord may describe any time God intervenes in human events.  It may be pleasant or unpleasant.  Several times, it refers to Judgment Day.