The Day of the LORD
Blaine Robison, M.A.
Published 27 May 2017; Revised 21 March 2020
Terminology: In order to emphasize the Hebraic and Jewish nature of Scripture and its central figure I use the terms Tanakh (Old Testament), Torah (Law), Besekh (New Testament), Yeshua (Jesus), and Messiah (Christ).
The expression "Day of the LORD" (Heb. Yom YHVH; Grk. Hēmera Kuriou), or hereinafter Yom ADONAI, is a climactic event that brings earth's history to a close and inaugurates the age to come when God will be king over the earth. Moreover, Yom ADONAI is to be identified with the Day of Messiah Yeshua, because Yeshua is ADONAI (Matt 4:7, 10; John 1:1; 8:58; 21:7; Acts 10:36; Php 2:11; cf. Ex 15:2; Ps 27:2; 118:14; Isa 12:2). Yom ADONAI emphasizes both judgment of the wicked and the nations aligned against Israel. Yeshua's name means "salvation" so it is fitting that on Yom ADONAI he brings deliverance of God's people and resurrection of the dead. We should note that in the context of this subject both the Hebrew and Greek words for "day" refer to a specific 24-hour day on the calendar.
Some interpreters prefer to interpret Yom ADONAI with ambiguity, treating prophetic content as symbolic of spiritual happenings or treating the time as indefinite. However, if God can create the heavens and the earth in six days (Ex 20:11), then He can in one day accomplish everything He promised to do.
Yom ADONAI: Isa 13:6, 9; Lam 2:22; Ezek 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Obad 1:15; Zeph 1:7, 8, 14, 18; 2:2, 3; Zech 14:1; Mal 4:5; Acts 2:20; 1Cor 5:5; 1Th 5:2; 2Th 2:2; 2Pet 3:10.
Day of Judgment: Matt 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36; 2Pet 2:9; 3:7; 1Jn 4:17.
Day of Messiah: Php 1:6, 10; 2:16.
Day of Redemption: Eph 4:30.
Day of Wrath: Zeph 1:15, 18; Rom 2:5; Rev 6:17.
End of the Age: Matt 13:40.
Last Day: John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48.
That Day: Mic 2:4; 4:6; 5:10; 7:11-13; Zeph 1:15; Zech 12:3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11; 13:1, 2, 4; 14:4, 6, 7, 8, 13; Matt 7:22; 24:36; 26:29; Mark 13:32; 14:25; Luke 10:12; 17:13; 21:34; 2Tim 1:12, 18; 4:8.
The list below summarizes prophecies found in both the Tanakh and the Besekh that relate to Yom ADONAI. The prophecies are listed in order of their appearance in the Bible and not necessarily in order of anticipated fulfillment. A chronology of fulfillment may be deduced from the book of Daniel (Chap. 7, 9, 12), Yeshua's Olivet Discourse (Matt 24─25; Mark 13) and the order of seals, trumpets and bowls in the book of Revelation. See the End Times section of my website for commentaries on those portions of Scripture.
Caveat: I urge extreme caution in relying on any contemporary author who engages in date setting for end time events. "NO MAN KNOWS" (Eccl 8:7; 10:14; Matt 24:36, 42, 50; Mark 13:32). In this regard the Jewish sentiment expressed in the Talmud bears consideration: "Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end" (Sanhedrin 97b).
Prophecies in the Tanakh
Before Yom ADONAI
● A boastful adversary of God will arise (Dan 7:8, 19-25).
● The boastful adversary of God will attempt to change times and laws (Dan 7:25).
● The boastful adversary of God will instigate a great war against the people of God (Dan 7:25).
● A time of great distress occurs for Israel (Dan 12:1).
● There will be a massive volcanic eruption and then the sun will be darkened and the moon will look like blood (Joel 2:30-31).
● All nations will be gathered against Jerusalem to battle (Zech 12:3; 14:1-2).
● All the tribes of Israel will repent and mourn so that the remnant may be saved (Zech 12:10-14).
● Elijah will appear (Mal 4:5).
On Yom ADONAI
● This will be a day of judgment on the nations (Isa 13:6; Ezek 30:3;Obad 1:15; Zeph 2:3; Zech 12:9).
● This will be a day of clouds (Ezek 30:3).
● This will be a day of resurrection (Dan 12:2, 13).
● This will be a day of darkness (Amos 5:18, 20; Zech 14:6).
● There will be multitudes in the valley of decision (judgment) (Joel 3:14).
● This will be a day of destruction and battle (Zeph 1:15-16).
● The Messiah will stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4).
Prophecies in the Besekh
Before Yom ADONAI
● Elijah will appear (Matt 17:11; Mark 9:12; Rev 11:3-6).
● The great tribulation will occur (Matt 24:29; Mark 13:24; Rev 7:9-14).
● The sun will be darkened and the moon will look like blood (Matt 24:30; Acts 2:20; Rev 6:12).
● All the tribes of Israel will repent and mourn so that the remnant may be saved (Matt 24:30).
● A great apostasy will occur (2Th 2:3).
● The Man of Lawlessness will be revealed (2Th 2:3).
● The Man of Lawlessness will instigate a war against the people of God (Rev 11:7; 13:7).
On Yom ADONAI
● The heavens will be shaken and the evil works of the world will be brought to an end by fire (Matt 24:29; Mark 13:25; 1Cor 3:13-15; 2Pet 3:10-12).
● God's people will be gathered from heaven and earth (Matt 13:41; 24:31; 25:32; Mark 13:27; 2Th 2:1
● The dead will be raised (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48).
● Yeshua will return to the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem (Acts 1:9-12).
● God's judgment will be exacted on the nations (Rom 2:5).
● The disciples of Yeshua will be saved (1Cor 5:5; Php 2:16; 2Th 1:10).
● This will be a day of destruction (1Th 5:2-3).
● The day will come like a thief in the night for the unbelieving (1Th 5:2; 2Pet 3:10).
● The wicked will be punished for afflicting the righteous (2Th 1:5-10).
● Yeshua will return to earth in glory and his disciples will be gathered from heaven and earth (2Th 2:1-2).
● Yeshua will slay the Man of Lawlessness (2Th 2:8).
● There will be multitudes in the valley of decision (judgment) (Rev 16:13-16).
What a day that will be!! Therefore, understanding the importance of the biblical prophecies, all disciples of Yeshua should heed the exhortation of Peter, "what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness, 12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God?" (2Pet 3:11-12 HNV).
For Further Reading
Jonathan Bernis, A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days. Chosen Books, 2013.
Bob Gundry, First the Antichrist. Baker Books, 1997.
Daniel Juster, Revelation: The Passover Key. Destiny Image Publishers, 1991.
Dan Juster & Keith Intrater, Israel, the Church and the Last Days. Destiny Image Publishers, 2003.
George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1956.
© 2017-2020 Richard Blaine Robison. All rights reserved.