Amos (5: 18–20) and Joel (1: 15) prophesied that there would be a day of the Lord when Israel, or Judah, or all the nations, would be punished—unless they repented (Mal. 4: 5–6). At the end of the OT era there is expectation that the righteous and the wicked will get their deserts in the life to come after death (Wisd. 3: 1–9; 2 Esd. 14: 34–5).

A day of judgement is mentioned in the NT. In ‘that day’ (Luke 17: 30) the Son of Man will be revealed, and although John suggests that judgement is already taking place among Jesus' hearers (John 9: 39) there is also to be a future judgement (John 5: 28–9). Paul speaks often of the ‘day of Jesus Christ’ (e.g. Phil. 1: 6) when Christ in concert with faithful Christians would judge the world (1 Cor. 6: 2). Some of his converts, in their enthusiasm, believed that the day of the Lord was already present (2 Thess. 2: 1–12).