When was Joel 2:28-32 fulfilled?
There was certainly a fulfilment of Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2 because Peter says so.
The Acts of the Apostles records the pouring out of spirit gifts and information being imparted in visions and dreams. The outpouring only lasted to the end of the 1st century AD.
‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood’ is symbolic language and could be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the dispersion of the Jewish nation by the Romans.
This is prophesied by Christ and has been fulfilled.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
I am inclined to believe that ‘that the great and notable day of the Lord’ is still in the future. Joel 2 is dealing with the restoration of the nation of Israel which will take place at Christ’s second coming. There will therefore be a second fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel at that time.
In the last days Jerusalem will again be destroyed and a final scattering of the Jews will take place.
Zechariah 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
What follows this is ‘the great and the terrible day of the LORD’ which will come upon all nations. Christ will return to save the Jews and judge the earth in righteousness.
Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Joel 3:9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
It is not unusual for prophecies to have more than one fulfilment. The sending of Elijah has two – John Baptist performed the role of Elijah at Christ’s first coming but Elijah himself will be sent to the Jews at Christ’s second coming.
Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The circumstance is the same – ‘before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD’
At the coming of John Baptist the majority of the Jews would not hear; but at the coming of Elijah the remnant will.
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,