Friday, February 17, 2012

Joel and the kingdom

The book of Joel is interesting with regard to the theme of Royal throne. There is no explicit mention of a human King in the book of Joel. Predominantly the book is a book of vindication – the prophet is declaring future hold for God's people in terms of a vindication over and against Judas enemies and a right recompense for what they have suffered (3:19 – 21). God is depicted as a warrior and a judge. The locus of judgment is from Mount Zion and in the city of Jerusalem. These are places of Davidic significance. My theory is that the final form of the text draws together the agency of Yahweh and the royal functions of the covenant King. Covenant Kings were to administer justice executively and judicially. Although the author does not explicitly mention a coming future human Messiah, Yahweh is depicted as somebody that brings about all the proper conditions of a messianic age. In other words, the author does not say that the Messiah himself will be divine, but he certainly draws a strong connection between what God does and what God will bring about. Here we have a subtle hint at the fact that the Messiah must be conceived in some sense as divine.

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