Lutherans/The book of Joel

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Question
My question is this.  Ch. 1 describes a locust plague in detail.  But, I am not sure he is talking about locusts at all.  I believe he is using the locust plague when he is really talking about an invasion by the armies of the North.  I believe he uses the locusts plague to get across to the reader the devastation that the armies are capable of,  What do you think?  Judy Meadows

Answer
Judy:

Thank you for your question.  It is my understanding that you are in agreement with most Old Testament scholars on this.  The prophet, like all of the prophets, uses metaphor and imagery to convey a powerful message to the people of God.

As you say, just as a swarm of locusts devastate the land, and strip everything in their path, so will the invading armies destroy all that seems safe.  Historically, the invading Assyrians leveled towns, destroyed crops and orchards, pillaged the capital of Samaria, and killed or carried away most of the people of the land. The Northern Kingdom ceased to exist, and the people we disbursed among the other conquered lands of the Assyrians. These became the "Lost Tribes" of Israel, never to return.  

I hope that this is helpful

Martin Eldred

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Martin W. Eldred

Expertise

I have been a Lutheran Christian for 55 years and a Lutheran pastor for almost 27. I can answer most general questions about Luther, Lutheran History, Lutheran Theology, and a Lutheran approach to Biblical Interpretation. I am ELCA, for those who know what that means, and I tend to be moderate theologically. I hope that I can converse with those that are either more conservative or liberal than I, and especially with those who are really just seeking.

Experience

Pastors are "generalists" and generally have a working knowledge on many subjects. We are also used to working with a variety of answers from a variety of people. I teach a great deal, especially in the area ofthe New Testament. I particulalry enjoy the Pauline literature.

Organizations
I have been a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international gathering of biblical scholars and teachers, since the late 1980s.

Publications
I have written a few book reviews for the journal, "Lutheran Quarterly."

Education/Credentials
I have a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Religion (Biblical Studies)and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and I am currently completing a PhD in New Testament.

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