"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Turn to a Merciful God
Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 Commentary
by Stephen B. Reid
There are two patches in Joel's prophetic quilt.1
Scholars do not agree on the editorial history of the book of Joel. Some argue for a ninth century date, while others suggest a Persian period (500-350 BCE). The call for repentance (2:12-13) and the eschatological expectation (2:28-30) function as complementary parts. The inability to date with confidence the book of Joel in general and this passage in particular speaks to the relevance of this message throughout the history of Judah. The book seems to be a patchwork of pieces sewn together into the quilt we have today. The lectionary unit Joel 2:12-13 and 2:28-29 are two patches in the quilt.
The First Patch: A Call to Repentance
The literary context of the book indicates a certain parallelism. The opening chapter that describes the locust plague contains a call to lamentation (1:5-12). The locust and the drought set the stage for the call for repentance. Further, our passage begins with a call to repentance that offsets the call to lamentation. The more immediate literary context of ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL243: Turn to a Merciful God
December 04, 2016
This Narrative Lectionary podcast discusses Joel 2:12-13, 28-29, the reading for Dec. 4, 2016.