- a Minor Prophet of the postexilic period.
- a book of the Bible bearing his name.
- a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “the Lord is God.”
noun Old Testament
- a Hebrew prophet
- the book containing his oracles
masc. proper name, from Hebrew Yoh’el, name of a minor Old Testament prophet, literally “the Lord is God;” the same name as Elijah (q.v.) but with the elements reversed. But the personal name that became common in Devon and Cornwall and the Breton districts of Yorkshire and the Eastern Counties immediately after the Conquest is from Old Breton Iudhael, from Iud- “chief, lord” + hael “generous.” It is the source of the modern British surname Joel, as well as Jewell, Joule, and Jolson.