>>Make your Mark<<
Get some . . .? :)
I'm thoroughly intrigued by the linkages you offered relative to Joel -- some shootin' from the hip, Huckleberry! :)
>>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.<<
Obvious to me, now, as well. Thank you. Still and whereas, like you (it appears), I tend almost exclusively to allegory in a consideration of scripture, I try to keep in remembrance the facility of literality/materiality in having conveyed me to where I reside philosophically/spiritually at present. I am reminded of Jesus' words to his disciples at the Last Supper:
"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Lk 22:19)
I am equally reminded of Ten Commandment fame,
"Honour thy father AND thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." (Deut 5:16, my emphasis)
". . . AND thy mother . . . ," something the AEs appear to have forgotten, IMHO, in their astral preoccupations and material diddlings.
>>Think about it like this:
- 'National Israel' is 'our soul' on a much larger visible scale.<<
I did, and it prompted me to re-examine OT conceptualizations of the soul, or NEPHESH, a "breathing creature" (according to Strong's). The first reference to "soul" reads thusly:
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Gen 2:7)
Specifically a RAW or FRESH "breathing creature," and, in that NEPHESH, or soul, stems from the root, NAPHASH, "breathe," or "be breathed upon," or figuratively, REFRESHED, one does indeed get a sense of a renewal or the "born again" experience . . .
To me, however, there appears a distinction between soul and spirit -- soul being the life force, the breathing part, which is movement or animation in the creature, the process traceable, ultimately, to when the spirit of God "moved upon the face of the waters." It is spirit, or RUWACH, which initiates, which gives meaning, purpose, direction. "God is a spirit," according to John, and it is this spirit that walked with Adam in the garden "in the cool of the day" -- it is this spirit as well, that "will not strive with man forever, for he is also flesh." (Gen 3:8, 6:3)
"Strive" is DUWN, to rule, judge or contend. In the Greek, AGONISOMAI, or struggle, compete, contend, or endeavor, and used thusly:
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So, run, that ye may obtain. And every man that STRIVETH for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (1Cor 9:24-27)
"Run," which is movement or animation in the creature; the "mastery," which suggests the receipt of the facility of discernment and judgement; the "crown," I think, is self-explanatory (even more so, when one considers the mockery of Jesus' crown of thorns).
In this sense then, body is at first virtually indistinguishable from soul. Israel (national, or otherwise) strikes me then as yet body, rather than soul. This resonates with me most particularly when one considers Jesus' own instruction to his disciples, to wit:
"And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease . . . these twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely have ye received, freely give." (Mt 10:1-8)
"Cleansing, casting out, healing," etc.; all of which appears a necessary and bodily redemptive process leading to the distinctive separation of body and soul -- a mastery, preparatory to the receipt of the spirit -- the crowning glory -- purpose, meaning, direction, which, as you note, culminates in Acts, Chapter Two.
The promised land is none other than the body, the flesh, the material, cleansed of the curse brought upon it by Adam's disobedience in the matter of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I'll leave off here, Wireloop. I have no major objection to the remainder of your well considered reply to my query. Indeed, with the exception of what appears to be a somewhat intemperant antagonism where matters of the body are concerned, I'm pleasantly surprised to agree with most of what you've posted here and elsewhere.
I'll close with a the following:
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other . . ." (1Cor 7:1-5)
As Paul says elsewhere, "This is a great mystery . . ." (Eph 5:32)