Malachi and Joel

This final week of reading ‘The Twelve’ starts with Malachi, with easy logic in form and content. Malachi follows Zechariah in current Jewish bibles or Tanakh, and concludes the Nevi’im. The opening phrases of sections of Malachi will feel like familiar echoes of the past 2 weeks.

We’re still reading from the Jewish Publication Society translation, which includes the last verses of warning and promise in chapter 3, rather than making a fourth chapter of them. Conveniently, this wraps up our reading on Saturday, so that we can start our next set of readings (‘Corresponding Christians’, 20 of the 27 books of ‘new testament’) on Sunday January 13 – an invitation is posted today.

The back end of the week, we’re concluding this set of readings with Joel. Why? In most of your bibles, Joel is tucked between Hosea and Amos at the beginning of The Twelve. By holding it back to the end, I am being a bit contrarian. While Jerome’s Vulgate gave our conventional ordering, the Septuagint, or as academics code it, “G”, predates that choice, and cuts Joel loose to sit by Obadiah and Jonah.

Newly ordained, with time and cash flow, I bought Hans Walter Wolff’s commentary on Amos in the Hermeneia series in 1984, and his analysis of Joel was just a bonus ‘B-side’, but sold me on a late date for Joel, into the 4th century or 300’s BCE, anticipating ‘Greek’ empire.

Newly subscribed as a member of Unifaith, in Unifor, 35 years later, I’ve joined the community chapter of the union that has been trying to organize clergy for the past 15 years and more. Gretta Vosper got a settlement with good lawyers, but in corrupt and degenerate times, we’ll need some advocacy with resonance with Malachi and Joel.

Can’t see the connections I’m making? Keep reading, or listening to my reading, of these last two of ‘The Twelve’!