Joel/Obadiah/Malachi (Niv Application Commentary Series)
Synopsis: Joel, Obadiah, Malachi, which is part of the NIV Application Commentary Series, helps readers learn how the messages of Joel, Obadiah, and Malachi can have the same powerful impact today that they did when they were first written. ...
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Synopsis: Joel, Obadiah, Malachi, which is part of the NIV Application Commentary Series, helps readers learn how the messages of Joel, Obadiah, and Malachi can have the same powerful impact today that they did when they were first written.
Description: These three short prophetic books of the Old Testament each contain a dual message. On one hand are messages of impending judgment-for all peoples on the Day of the Lord, for an enemy of Israel, and for Israel herself. On the other hand are messages of great hope-of the pouring out of God's Spirit, of restoration and renewal, and of a coming Messiah.
Placing judgment and hope together in such a manner may seem paradoxical to a contemporary mindset. But the complete message of these prophets gives a fuller picture of God - who despises and rightly judges sin and rebellion, but who also lovingly invites people to return to him so that he might bestow his wonderful grace and blessings. It is a message no less timely today than when these books were first written, and David W Baker skilfully bridges the centuries in helping believers today understand and apply it.
These three short prophetic books of the Old Testament each contain a dual message. On one hand are messages of impending judgment--for all peoples on the Day of the Lord, for an enemy of Israel, and for Israel herself. On the other hand are messages of great hope--of the pouring out of God's Spirit, of restoration and renewal, and of a coming Messiah. Placing judgment and hope together in such a manner may seem paradoxical to a contemporary mindset. But the complete message of these prophets gives a fuller picture of God--who despises and rightly judges sin and rebellion, but who also lovingly invites people to return to him so that he might bestow his wonderful grace and blessings. It is a message no less timely today than when these books were first written, and David W. Baker skillfully bridges the centuries in helping believers today understand and apply it. Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip from our world to the world of the Bible. But they leave us there, assumi
Three prophets who have the same powerful impact today as when they were first written Joel, Obadiah, and Malachi are prophets of both God's judgment and God's promise of hope. While Joel points to the universal scope of God's judgment as he likens it to an army of locusts, he also promises that God will pour out his Spirit on all flesh. Obadiah delivers a message to Edom, the enemy of Israel, who will be brought low by God's consuming fire, yet he also describes restoration and deliverance for God's people. Malachi brings God's judgment home-to Israel herself. But at the same time he predicts the coming of a Messiah who will lead the people to a realization of all their hopes and dreams. This unique and award winning series shows readers how to bring the ancient message into a modern context while it explains not only what the Bible meant but also how it speaks powerfully today.
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David W. Baker (Ph.D., University of London) is professor of Old Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary and the monograph editor for the Evangelical Theological Society. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, and commentaries on the Minor Prophets for both the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series and for NIV Application Commentary.
His other commentaries include Numbers (The Believers Church Bible Commentary), Genesis (Apollos Old Testament Commentary), Introduction to the Pentateuch, co-authored with and L. Daniel Hawk, Leviticus (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary), Isaiah (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary) and 1 & 2 Kings (Teach the Text Commentary Series)
Koorong - Editorial Review.
- Table Of Contents
- Series Introduction
- General Editor's Preface
- Author's Preface
- Introduction To Joel
- Outline Of Joel
- Annotated Bibliography On Joel
- Text And Commentary On Joel
- Introduction To Obadiah
- Outline Of Obadiah
- Annotated Bibliography On Obadiah
- Text And Commentary On Obadiah
- Introduction To Malachi
- Outline Of Malachi
- Annotated Bibliography On Malachi
- Text And Commentary On Malachi
- Scripture Index
Introduction to Joel WESTERN ECONOMIES, WHICH depend largely on manufacturing, service, and technology, react strongly to market fluctuations. The stock market plays a significant role by indicating the public face of economic health. Vacillations in it not only reflect but also affect the entire economy. This is not the case in every society, however. For example, in more agriculturally based societies, such as in North America before the Industrial Revolution or in the ancient Near East during the period of the Old Testament, other factors play into economic fortune or failure. Events that affect crops or herds precipitate economic weal or woe. Timely, sufficient rainfall aid crop production, while blight or drought cripples it. A disastrous event for agriculturalist and pastoralist alike is an infestation of locusts. When they hatch and swarm, they can be as dense as four to five thousand insects per square meter, and they strip all green foliage, destroying crops and trees.1 This then depletes the next season's fodder for livestock as well as grain for the family larder. With no large-scale ability to stockpile supplies, such an event places nations in grave peril. This is the situation driving Joel's prophecy. His hearers know and fear agricultural calamities. Such things also serve as the metaphorical vehicle to symbolize another rapacious catastrophe, an invading enemy army. The prophet plays off these two events in his prophecies. He likens the two events as both being catastrophic, but also as times in which Yahweh restores his people's fortunes. This kind of hope in the face of catastrophe is not one that sits well with many Christians today. A 'health and wealth gospel' understands blessing as flowing inevitably from a right relationship with God, while suffering indicates a breach in one's relationship with him. Joel gives a different take on this. He does not imply that blessing means elimination of obstacles and pain, but rather that God's presence, bringing one through these events, which are a natural concomitant to all human existence, is where blessing really resides. 1. For a sobering look at the number and power of such swarms, see the following website from the United Nations (http://www.fao.org/NEWS/GLOBAL/LOCUSTS/ Locuhome.htm). See also J. A. Lockwood, Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect That Shaped the American Frontier (New York: Basic, 2004). Joel the Person THE STATED WRITER of these prophecies is Joel, whose name means 'Yah[weh] is God.' While a ringing affirmation of faith at any time, it is an especially appropriate name during a period when Baalism was making inroads into Israel, evidence for which is suggested by some.2 Since religious syncretism was a constant threat to God's people from the time of the Conquest to at least the time of Josiah (640--609 B.C.; 2 Kings 23:4--5) and possibly even until the postexilic period (Zech. 12:11), the name does not provide much interpretational help. It is used in the Old Testament during this entire time period.3 The only other identifying feature of Joel is his father's name, Pethuel, which is otherwise unknown. From internal evidence, Joel is a man of all the people. He announces suffering for all levels of society, from leader to common field laborer. All suffer, but also all will be blessed and restored. This extends not only throughout the various social strata, but also through divisions of age and sex (cf. 2:28-- 29). Joel's announcements are tinged more with empathy than with condemnation. He lays little blame for the situation on God's people (five times referring to them as 'my people': 2:26--27); rather, he offers them the hope arising from judgment against their oppressors. Geopolitical Context THE PROPHECIES OF JOEL are directed toward Judah (3:1, 6, 8, 18, 19, 20) and Jerusalem (2:32; 3:1, 6, 16, 17, 20). 'Israel' is mentioned only three times, once indicating the northern kingdom that has already been exiled (3:2) and twice referring to the entire nation, including and perhaps being coterminous with Judah (2:27; 3:16). Holy sites such as the temple ('the house of the LORD,' 1:9, 14; cf. 2:17; 'the house of your/our God,' 1:13, 16); and 'Zion' (2:1, 15, 23, 32; 3:16, 17, 21) are frequent, while there is no reference to any strictly northern Israelite sites. Unlike other prophets such as Amos, where both Israel and Judah find a place, Joel reserves his comments for Judah. An unidentified army threatens Judah (2:1--11), while other peoples are explicitly identified in 3:4--8, raising the prophecies onto the world stage. The three enemies of Judah---Tyre, Sidon, and the 'regions of Philistia' (3:4)--- sell Judeans to the Ionians (Greeks, 3:6) and are themselves sold to the Sabaeans (3:8). Tyre is an island city on the Phoenician coast in what is now 2. J. L. Crenshaw, Joel (AB; New York: Doubleday, 1995), 46--47. 3. S. L. McKenzie, 'Joel (PERSON),' ABD, 3:873. Lebanon, about twenty-five miles south of Sidon. An ancient town, it is known from Egyptian, Assyrian, and Ugaritic sources as well as later, classical sources. It was connected to the mainland by a causeway under Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. In the tenth century B.C., its rulers befriended Israel (e.g., 2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 5), but later the relationship degenerated (e.g., Amos 1:9--11), culminating with Tyrian celebration when Jerusalem fell to Babylon, and she was able to benefit from Judah's demise (Ezek. 26:1). Sidon to the north is also an ancient coastal city mentioned in early extrabiblical sources, including some coins identifying it as the 'mother of Tyre.'4 It experienced conflict with Israel as early as the judges period (Judg. 10:12) and was taken by Babylon at the same time that Jerusalem fell (cf. Jer. 25:22; 27:3; 47:4). The last reference indicates that Tyre and the Philistines would fall at the same time. The five cities of Philistia (Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath) are situated further south on the Mediterranean coastline to the west of the Dead Sea. The settlers in the region apparently originated in the Aegean Sea area and arrived from the west and north at almost the same time as the Israelites moved into the land from the south and west. Conflict between the two peoples vying for the same territory was fierce, as reflected in Judges and throughout the life of David, who was able to subdue them (1 Sam. 17; 18:6-- 9, 25--27, 30; 19:8), though conflict was not eliminated (cf. 1 Kings 15:27; 16:15; 2 Chron. 21:16--17). Subdued by Assyria and Babylonia, the Philistines became a Persian colony, losing their own identity.5 The two other nations received exiles. Judeans and Jerusalemites ended up among the Ionians (3:6, 'Greeks'; Heb. yewanm �m). Mention is first made of the eponymous ancestor Javan (yawm anm ), a descendant of Japheth, in the Table of Nations (Gen. 10:2, 4; cf. 1 Chron. 1:5), but the nation itself is only mentioned in later biblical texts (Isa. 66:19; Ezek. 27:13, 19; Zech. 9:13; Dan. 8:21; 10:20; 11:2). Although it reached its greatest dominance over the region during the Hellenistic period (338--146 B.C.), Greece had contacts and influence in Israel from at least the seventh century B.C.