March 1, 2011

Minor Prophets XXVII: Hebrew Inclusio

What is an inclusio and why is it in Joel 2:28-29?

The simplest explanation of inclusio is: The surrounding or the “bracketing” of a passage of text with the same set of words at the start and at the end. In the case of verse 28 and 29 we see the bracketing or repetition of “I will pour out my Spirit”. In the context of this passage we are The Day of The Lord again. This time though it is most likely not dealing with something in the near future but in a more distant future (Longman & Garland 336). This is eschatological in nature. The end result being God’s provision for His own people: The Spirit. Where Hosea mainly saw the need for God to pour out His punishment, Joel “sees” a little beyond to a time when God will pour out His Spirit on all believers.

This adds impact upon our understanding of the passage from both a prophetic point of view and a stylistic literary point of view.

What is interesting is the duality and repetition. Beginning and end. The Spirit was initially meant in the beginning for the people of the covenant primarily (a nation of priests), the Jews of the Old Testament. But there is a day coming, in the end or latter days when the Spirit will be on all, male-female, young-old regardless of status. It is ironic (or purposeful) that the Spirit would come at the beginning and end of this literary portion and then in the Old and then New Testament or chronologically/historically.

Longman, Tremper, and David E. Garland. "Predictions Concerning The Future Circumstances." The Expositor's Bible Commentary-Daniel-Malachi . Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 20062010. 336. Print.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...