Friday, October 2, 2015

Joel 4 (Hebrew) 3 (English)

O my beard and whiskers, what is the prophet doing in this chapter? He tells us to sanctify a war. (You won't find this in other translations. קַדְּשׁוּ מִלְחָמָה They can't believe it.) Then he says to the vanquished, beat your plowshares into swords. Is this sarcasm? Reminds me of Jesus instruction to the disciples to finally get a sword (Luke 22:36).

But I also think this is rhetoric and not a little sarcasm. Christians are strong on piety and weak on rhetoric. This is one of many places where the presented word has exactly its opposite meaning. It is an unexpected juxtaposition.

Jumping Jehoshaphat - that word has a meaning - coming to the valley of Yahweh-judging. What sort of judgment does Yahweh give? He gives judgment in favour of the weak and the homeless. God is prejudiced - a preferential option for the poor. Of this there is no doubt. Go and do likewise. [just look at that second long recitation on the subdominant in bar 15, verse 2.]

Now to this chapter - it will take some time... If you have time, do give me some pointers...