"With respect to spirit and body, I was wondering what you (or Philo) might make of this passage from the minor prophets:......."And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." (Joel 2:28-29)"
It's been a while since I looked at Joel, but shooting from the hip.....
It is obvious to me that Joel is using language from Genesis and Exodus as a signification of the inner working of the soul and the 'born again' experience.
Think about it like this:
- 'National Israel' is 'our soul' on a much larger visible scale.
- Our Soul is all about return to 'the promised land', which really is a type of Garden of Eden, Creation, Nirvana, Christ Consciousness.
To be endowed with the 'Spirit of the Lord' is to experience a spiritual 'rebirth' (christ consciousness) and the annointing.
Better said, the 'anointing' is a return to the Garden of Eden in our 'prefallen' condition where we (as Adam) receive again a 'Breath of Life' thus aligning our mind with The Divine.
Keep in mind that Breath, Spirit, Ghost, and Wind are all the same word and are used interchagably in The Bible.
The ancients used to believe that 'our breath' was a manifestation of our soul/spirit, because 'breathing' is the main component of life.
Consider the expression: "He gave up the ghost".
Now consider the Joel's phrase 'pour out my spirit upon all flesh'.
1) When God created man/flesh IN HIS IMAGE he breathed into man the SPIRIT of life.
2) When God instituted the anointing (chistos) ceremony of a Priest or King he specified the POURING of oil upon the elected's head. David through this anointing received the Spirit of God.
3) When God required a sacrifice, the High Priest POURED (shed) the blood upon the altar.
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the SPIRIT of life; and man became a living being.....And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the FLESH in its place......Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one FLESH."
"You shall put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. And you shall take the anointing oil, POUR it on his head, and anoint (christos) him.......Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. You shall take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and POUR all the blood beside the base of the altar......And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments,...and he and his garments shall be hallowed."
"So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint (christos) him; for this is the one!" Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the SPIRIT of the Lord came upon David from that day forward."
What Joel probably is doing is using the 'Mosaic law' and 'Garden talk' as a shadow or tutor to lead the mind to "Christ Consciousness' and the rebirth.
We enter into relationship (return to the garden) with God only through the anointing (christos) of his Spirit....which is poured (shed) like a blood offering.
Jesus (like us) is The lamb of God and The Altar of God.
The snake biting it's own tail.
We die to ourselves in order to live.
This is the order of life.
The author of Acts gets the point.
"When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty WIND (breath/spirit).......And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.....But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them...."this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh"
"So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed (WIND/SPIRIT) on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
It's all about the rebirth and breathing heavenly air again. : )
Joel was most likely written after 500 BC and subject to the 'philosophical big bang' of that era.