Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Joel and Jonah, and Other Perplexing Questions about the Nations in the Twelve

I keep asking who the nations are in Joel 3-4.  Joel 3:5 simply throws it all out of order for me.  Who is Israel and the nations after we are told by Joel that it is those who call upon the name of the Lord who are saved from the Day of YHWH?

James Nogalski says about Jonah:
 "By stressing YHWH’s compassionate character, Jonah 4:2 accuses YHWH, through the discontent of the prophet, of being too soft. [YHWH’s compassion gets in the way of justice, for the prophet]  Further, to make matters worse, YHWH exercises compassion upon the nations… as well as YHWH’s own people.  By satirizing Jonah’s myopic view, of course, the story of Jonah challenges particularistic attitudes that do no take account of YHWH’s salvific work in the world.” 


Noting this and the meristic relationship Joel has with Jonah (and Obadiah), one wonders who the nations actually are in Joel 3-4.  Joel seems to be pretty universalistic in view of the broader context of the Twelve. It seems we don't really find out who Israel is until Acts 7-ish. 

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