The Day of the Lord
'h 'hmera toui kuriou (he hemera tou kuriou) “the day of the Lord”
The International Standard Bible Encyclopeaedia
“The idea is a common OT one. It denotes the consummation of the kingdom of God and the absolute
cessation of all attacks upon it.
It is a “day of visitation” (Isaiah 10:3)
It is a day “of the wrath of Jehovah” (Ezekiel 7:19)
It is a “great day of Jehovah” (Zeph. 1:14)
The entire conception in the OT is dark and forboding.
On the other hand the NT idea is pervaded with the elements of hope and joy and victory. In the NT it is
eminently the day of Christ, the day of His coming in the glory of His father. The very conception of Him as the “Son of Man” points to this day John 5:27 – “And he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is ta son of man”
It is true in the NT there is a dark background to the bright picture, for it still remains a “day of wrath”
(Romans 2:5-6), a “great day” ( Rev. 6:17; Jude 6), a “day of God” (2 Peter 3:12), a “day of Judgment” (Matthew 10:15; 2 Peter 3:7; Romans 2:16)
Sometimes it is called “that day” (Matthew 7:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Timothy 4:8) and again it is
called “the day” without any qualification whatever, as if it were the only day worth counting in all the history of the world and of the race (1 Corinthians 3:13)
To the unbeliever, the NT depicts it as a day of terror; to the believer, as a day of joy. For on that day
Christ will raise the dead, especially His own dead, the bodies of those that believed in Him – “that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39)
In that day He comes to His own (Matthew 16:27), and therefore it is called
· “the day of our Lord Jesus” (2 Corinthians 1:14),
· “the day of Jesus Christ” or “of Christ” (Philippians 1:6-10)
· the day when there “shall appear the sign of the Son of man in Heaven” (Matthew 24:30).
All Paulinec literature is especially suffused with this longing for the “parousia,” the dye of Christ’s
The entire conception of that day centers therefore in Christ and points to the everlasting establishment
of the kingdom of heaven, from which sin will be forever eliminated, and in which the antithesis between Nature and grace will be changed into an everlasting synthesis.
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible
Day of the Lord (Yahweh) – Together with associated expressions like “the day of the wrath of Yahweh” and “that day,” it designates God’s decisive intervention in history for judgment. (Elsewhere decisive events are called “days,”cf. “the day of Midian” in Isaiah 9:4; “the day of Jazreel” in Hos. 1:11. Heb. Has no special word for “hour.”)
The expression was evidently current in the time of Amos in the 8th cent. B.C, indicating the time when Yahweh would avenge His people on their enemies. Amos turns it back upon those who use it, for the day will bring judgment upon sinful Israel was well (Amos 5:18-20; 6:3; 8:9; chapters 1 and 2). Already Amos’s vision of the day oscillates between battles, natural disasters and supernatural calamities, but he ends on a note of hope. The day will usher in a new age (9:11f., which is interpreted christologically in Acts 15:16f)
The expression figures a great deal in subsequent prophecy. The theme of judgment is developed by Isaiah (cf. chapters 2 and 22), but like other prophetic books Isaiah telescopes numerous themes together. Most prophets look forward to the day of the Lord, but there is a sense in which it was fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC (Lamentations 1:21; Ezekiel 34:12). Sometimes the prophet foretells the impending judgment of a particular nation: Babylon (Is.13); Edom (Is.34); Egypt (Jer.46; Ezek. 30); Philistines (Jer. 46);
After describing the horrors of the day in great detail, Zephaniah (Zeph 1) mentions by name the surrounding nations before announcing the judgment and restoration of Jerusalem. Obadiah 15 announces that “the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations.” Zechariah 12-14 paints a vivid and detailed picture of the desolation of Jerusalem on that day.
The day of the Lord is also associated with universal restoration and in places is connected with the Messiah.
Malachi stresses the unbearable judgment and purging as well as the healing and joy that the day will bring (Mal. 3:2;4:1f). He also speaks of the messenger, “Elijah” who will herald the day.
Jeremiah speaks of “that time” and “those days” rather than of the day of the Lord (Jer. 3:6ff; 4:11; 50:4). The thought seems to be the same.
Tim LaHaye “Charting the End Times”
In spite of God’s long-suffering and mercy, the majority of mankind will reject Him, even during the Tribulation. However, when He comes in power, called by Peter the “day of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:10-12), He will destroy all those who have rejected His offer of free salvation. Isaiah 34 gives more detail, but this “day of the Lord” signals that time when, at the end of the Millennial kingdom, God will destroy this old sin-cursed earth. We know that a world catastrophe (the Flood) separates our present world from the previous one, and Peter uses this as a sign that another catastrophe will end this present order and user in a new one, which he calls the “new heavens and a new earth” (vers 13)
Zephaniah 1:14-18 provides one of the most colorful descriptions of “the great day of the Lord,” which we commonly call the Tribulation period. Zephaniah 2:1-2 says that there will be a worldwide regathering of Israel before the Day of the Lord.
“The Popular Dictionary of Bible Prophecy”
The term day of the Lord is used in several senses in Scripture. The OT prophets sometimes used the term of an event to be fulfilled in the near future. At other times, they used the term of an event in the distant eschatological future (the future Tribulation period). The immediate context of the term generally indicates which sense is intended. In both cases, the day of the Lord is characterized by God actively intervening supernaturally in order to bring judgment against sin in the world. The day of the Lord is a time in which God actively controls and dominates history in a direct way, instead of working through secondary causes.
The NT writers generally use the term of the judgment that will climax in the future seven-year Tribulation period (2 Thessalonians 2:2; Revelation 16-18), as well as the judgment that will usher in the new earth in the end times (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 20:7-21:1; see also Isaiah 65:17-19; 66:22; Revelation 21:1). It is this theme of judgment against sin that runs like a thread through the many references to the day of the Lord.
Revelation 17-18 – Babylon is destroyed in a single day
“Tribulation” – this word means “a pressing, pressure” anything which burdens the spirit.
Paul uses it in Romans s2:9 and 2 Thess. 1:6 as affliction
Matthew 24:29 it refers to persecution