The Day of the Lord
The Day of the Lord is a Biblical
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 term and theme used in both the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 (Old Testament) and the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. A related expression is the Great Day as in "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." which appears in both Old and New Testaments . The meaning of the phrases may sometimes refer to temporal events such as the invasion of a foreign army and capture of a city but it may also be related to predicted events in a later age of earth's history including the final judgment and World to Come
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

. The expression may also have an extended meaning in referring to both the first and second comings of the Jesus Christ
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...


Old Testament Usage

It is used first by Amos
Amos (prophet)
Amos is a minor prophet in the Old Testament, and the author of the Book of Amos. Before becoming a prophet, Amos was a sheep herder and a sycamore fig farmer. Amos' prior professions and his claim "I am not a prophet nor a son of a prophet" indicate that Amos was not from the school of prophets,...

 and subsequently incorporated into prophetic and apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

 texts of the Bible. It relies on military images to describe the Lord as a "divine warrior
Heavenly host
Heavenly host refers to an army of good angels mentioned in the Bible. It is led either by the Archangel Michael, Jesus, or by God himself. Most descriptions of angels in the Bible describe them in military terms, such as encampment , command structure , and combat...

" who will conquer his enemies. In certain prophetic texts of the Old Testament, the enemies of the Lord are Israel's enemies and in these visions the day of the Lord brings victory for the people of ancient Israel. Other prophets use the imagery as a warning to Israel or its leaders and for them, the day of the Lord will mean destruction for the biblical nation of Israel. This concept develops throughout Jewish and Christian Scripture into a day of divine, apocalyptic judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

 at the end of the world.

In the Biblical Canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

, the earliest, direct use of the phrase is in Isaiah 2: "For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low" (Isaiah 2:12). Another early use of the phrase is in Amos
Book of Amos
The Book of Amos is a prophetic book of the Hebrew Bible, one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. Amos, an older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, was active c. 750 BCE during the reign of Jeroboam II, making the Book of Amos the first biblical prophetic book written. Amos lived in the kingdom of Judah...

 5:18-20. Wright suggests that the phrase was already a standard one, and Amos' hearers would take it to mean "the day when Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

 would intervene to put Israel at the head of the nations, irrespective of Israel's faithfulness to Him." Yet Amos declares "Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light" (Amos 5:18, NIV). Because Israel had sinned, God would come in judgement on them. Thus, the day of the Lord is about God chastening his people, whether it be through the Babylonian invasion
Siege of Jerusalem (597 BC)
In 601 BC, in the fourth year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, unsuccessfully attempted to invade Egypt and was repulsed with heavy losses...

 of Jerusalem or a locust plague described in Joel
Book of Joel
The Book of Joel is part of the Hebrew Bible. Joel is part of a group of twelve prophetic books known as the Minor Prophets or simply as The Twelve; the distinction 'minor' indicates the short length of the text in relation to the larger prophetic texts known as the "Major Prophets".-Content:After...

 2:1-11. Yet Joel 2:32 holds a promise that on the Day of the Lord, "everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."

New Testament Usage

This promise is also picked up in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, when Joel 2:28-32 is quoted in Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 2:17-21. The phrase is also used in 1 Thessalonians
First Epistle to the Thessalonians
The First Epistle to the Thessalonians, usually referred to simply as First Thessalonians and often written 1 Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible....

 5:2 to refer either to the rapture
The rapture is a reference to the "being caught up" referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when the "dead in Christ" and "we who are alive and remain" will be caught up in the clouds to meet "the Lord"....

 or to the return of Jesus.

The phrase alludes to a judgment for eternal rewards in 2 Corinthians 1:14 where it says "we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus".

The Book of Revelation also describes the Day of the Lord as an apocalyptic time of God's almighty wrath
Divine retribution
Divine retribution is supernatural punishment of a person, a group of people, or all humanity by a deity in response to some human action.Many cultures have a story about how a deity exacted punishment on previous inhabitants of their land, causing their doom.An example of divine retribution is the...

, which will come upon those who are deemed wicked. The text pictures every man hiding in the rocks of the mountains during a major earthquake to attempt to hide from God's wrath, while celestial phenomenon turns the moon blood red and the sun dark. This celestial phenomenon is also mentioned in Joel 2:31, which foretells the same precise order of events mentioned in Revelation: The moon turns blood red and the sun turns dark before the Great Day of the Lord. Matthew 24:29-31 mentions the same event, yet it places the celestial phenomenon as occurring after the "Tribulation
The Great Tribulation refers to tumultuous events that are described during the "signs of the times", first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet discourse...

 of those days". According to these passages, it then seems that the Day of the Lord is an event closely tied with the Coming of the Messiah to judge the world.

Variant Views

Meredith Kline equates the "Day of the Lord" with the "Lord's Day
Lord's Day
Lord's Day is a Christian name for Sunday, the day of communal worship. It is observed by most Christians as the weekly memorial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is said in the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament to have been witnessed alive from the dead early on the first day of...

", which is usually taken to refer to the Christian weekly day of rest. Kline argues that the "Lord's Day" mentioned in Revelation 1:10 is not first day of the week, but refers to "the already realized heavenly enthronement of the Lord Jesus."
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.