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Still more emphatic is the condemnation which follows in the final scene of the whols, which is introduced by Job's penitential confession of his sin (ch. xlii.), this condemnation being pronounced first of all formally and directly by requiring of them a definite expiation of their offense, and by God's declaration that He graciously accepted Job's intercession in their behalf, and then circumstantially in the fact that Job's prosperity, dignity and honor are restored, and that his earthly possessions are given back to him two-fold. The problem of the book thus seems to meet with a solution that is sufficiently profound, and the sufferings of the pious Job are an example and a demonstration of the existence of sufferings which are essentially designed to prove, test, purify and establish the innocence of the right. eous ones on whom they fall.
Note.—The orthography Hiob, first introduced by Luther in his German translation, was intended simply to hinder the word from being pronounced with a consonantal J (comp. Hebr. 21, Gen. xlvi. 13), and to indicate the presence of an aspi. rate at the beginning of the dissyllable. But inasmuch as this x at the beginning of the word does not according to our Dotions constitute an audible breathing, and since it serves rather to make more prominent that internal consonantal YodhBound, which the Daghesh in the second radical expresses, the word is, with Ewald, Dillmann, and other moderns, to be written Ijob (Engl. Iyob). (The form lijob (or Iyyob) would involve a needless hardening of that consonantıl Yodh, as well as a useless pleonasm, such as would be e. g. the rendering of 58927 by Dauiyyel.) We come near enough, however, to. the Hebrew sound of the name if we adhere to the 'TÁB of the Greek and the Job of tho Latin Bible, with a correct pronunciation of the initial sound.--As respects the etymology of i'x, the attempt of the LXX. to identify this name and its dependents with that of the Edomite prince 371, a grandson of Esau (Gen. xxxvi. 33), may be set aside as etymologically impossible and historically undemonstrable (comp. & 2). The two explanations given above in the text are the only ones that deserve more minute minute consideration. of these the second, which finds the basis of the word in the Arab. 318, * to turn" (of which the Heb. 3'X is only a dialectic variation) might seem to deserve the preference for the following reasons : 1. Because in any case Job's final turning, conversion to God, constituted an original characteristic feature of Job's conduct and destiny. 2. A specifically Hebrew etymon of the name seems to be less in harmony with the position and ethnographical peculiarities of the land of Uz. 3. The form Jinx, from 'X, “to treat hostilely,” judging by the analogy of most such formations as follow Siop, should have not a passive, but an active sense (comp. Ewald, Lehrb. & 155, c). 4. Finally, such a form, if in fact expressing the passive meaning, "the assailed, persecuted one," seems to express the thought too indefinitely, because the essential thought that the hostile treatment was " from God" is not also expressed. Influenced by these arguments, Kromayer, J. D. Michaelis, Bertholdt, Eichhorn, Rosenmüller among the older commentators, Ewald, Delitzsch, Dillmann, etc., among the latest, have preferred to explain the name after the Arabic, partly with a reference to the Koran, in which (Sur. 38, ver. 40) the Job of the Old Testament history is introduced by the designation "the returning, the repentant”one. The passage referred to, however, Ecarcely suffices to establish this explanation beyond question, for: (a) That passage of the Koran (vers. 16 and 29) applies the same predicate"the one turning, or changing himself”-to David and Solomon, (b) Tbe sufferir; which the hero of our book endures seems far more characteristic of him than the final change which takes place in him. (c) The notion of " being assailed, persecuted," assigned to Ji'x, does not necd to be supplemented by the clause-“on the part of God"-seeing that the sufferings of our hero proceeded in no small degree from the hostility of men, and most of all from that of his best friends. (d) That the language of Uz, the land of Job's nativity, was predominantly Arabic, is by no means an established fact, but is on the contrary at variance with the decidedly Hebrew cast of the other proper names in the book, and especially those of the three danghters of Job (ch. xlii. 14). (R)
in Hebrew with a passive significatiou is supported by some weighty examples, especially 775, “ born.” It will be seen accordingly that there is a series of strong arguments to justify the explanation of the word in accordance with the Hebrew etymology, as explained by Gesenius, First, de Wette, Umbreit, Hirzel, Heiligstedt, Hävernick, Davidson (Introduction, Vol. II., p. 174) (Hengstenberg, Noyes, A. B. Davidson, Carey, Schlottmann, Wordsworth, Rodwell], etc. The theory that the name is fictitious, and intentionally denotes a purely allegorical character is disproved by either one of the two definitions in question, and still more by the considerations to be adduced in the sequel in favor of the historical reality of the principal persons and facts of the Darrative.
קְטוֹל The use of words in the form
82. THE HISTORICAL MATERIAL OF THE BOOK. From the above exhibition of the contents and course of thought in the book it is clear that it is no mere fiction, as has been frequently maintained from early times (first by R. Resh Lakish in the Talmud, Baba bathra, fol. xv. 1; then by Maimonides, Salmasius, Le Clerc, J. D. Michaelis, Dathe, Bertholdt, Bernstein, Augusti, Bruno Bauer (Reuss, Merx), etc.). This theory, that the material of the narrative had its origin in the author's imagination, is disproved by the following considerations, in addition to the concrete historical character which attaches to the name Job, as well as to the names of the other chief personages of the story.-1. The fact that the country where the scene of the action is laid, the land of Uz, did not stand in close connection with Israel, and that no other reason can well be assigned for the choice of this particular country than the fact of its having been already designated by a
definite historical tradition; especially seeing that a purely fictitious investiture corresponding to the spirit and character of the action, which, while it is not indeed theocratic, is nevertheless intensely religious and specifically monotheistic, would have much more naturally suggested some Israelitish locality.* 2. The fact that it must have been important for the author to illustrate the lofty truth to be demonstrated by an example, the historical reality of which could not have been denied by his contemporaries; or, in other words, that a purely parabolical dress would have been very ill-suited to the religious and didactic purpose by which he was governed. 3. The fact that the setting forth of pure invention as actual history would be, according to the correct observation of Ewald and Dillmann, “entirely foreign to the spirit of early antiquity, and moreover entirely superfluous in view of the great abundance of legends, which were then accessible.” 4. Finally, the mention of Job, along with Noah and Daniel in the book of Ezekiel (ch. xiv. 14–20); a mention which by no means rests solely on the text of our book, but which assuredly proceeds from the desire to name three characters in the circle of sacred history famed for their wisdom and piety (comp. my Bearbeitung des Proph. Daniel, p. 11 seq.), and which accordingly is a direct attestation to the historical reality of the person of our hero, a proof which, on account of the pre-exilic antiquity of the prophecies of Ezekiel, is stronger than that furnished by the later allusions to the history of Job in the Book of Tobit (ch. ii. 12, 15), and in the Epistle of James (ch. v. 11).
These arguments for the historical verity of the narrative are indeed far from sufficient to prove that in every particular it is to be regarded as veritable history, and that this book is accordingly to be taken altogether out of the class of the poetical products of the Old Testament Literature, and to be assigned to the class of historical books. This crude opinion, ruthlessly destructive as it is of the poetic character of the book, has found defenders from the time of the Alexandrian translators, whose attempt at identifying Job with Jobab (Gen. xxxvi. 33), the son of Zerah, and the grandson of Esau (see the Appendix to Job xlii. 17, at the end of Commy.: προϋπήρχεν δε το όνομα αυτού Ιωβά). Ην δε ο πατήρ αυτού Ζαρέθ, κ.
2.) rests on that sort of an exaggerated historical view of the historic material of the book. So according to all appearance Josephus (c. Apion. I. 8); and so in like manner many Rabbis, and Church Fathers, and more particularly in modern times the orthodox Reformed of the 16th and 17th Centuries, as e.g., Fr. Spanheim, whose Historia Jobi (Opp. T. II., p. 1703) took the ground that only by maintaining the historical reality of the contents of the book can the author be vindicated against the charge of a fraudulent invention (in historia sit, fraus scriptoris); also the celebrated orientalist Alb. Schultens, in Leyden, who endeavored to show that the book is a true narrative, relating a colloquy of ancient Eastern sages in the poetic improvisatory style of the Arabian tales. The principal reasons which may be urged against this extreme historical theory are the following: 1. The plan and purpose of the whole book, which on the one side resembles a drama, on the other a philosophical dialogue (comp. & 3). 2. The scene in heaven with which the story begins (ch. i. 6 seq.), which like the theophany in ch. v. 38 seq., could be regarded as historic only in the sense of a history characterized by strong idealization. 3. The poetic completeness of the discourses, which, notwithstanding all that may be alleged respecting their affinity to the proverbial discourses which the Arabian sages improvised in poetic form, with those e. g. found in the celebrated Consessus of the Hariri, bear nevertheless the impress of an earnest, not to say laborious artistic effort, and of which Luther without doubt said truly in his Table-Talk: “People do not talk that way in temptation.” 4. The poetic transparency and intentional regularity of the relations and facts which are described, as shown by comparing the introductory verses
* Henghtenberg (Beiträge zur Einl. ins. A. T., II. 302 goq.) explains the course of the Israelitish author of the book in placing the action in a foreign land, on the ground that it is bis purpose "to solve the problem from the standpoint of that knowledge of God which prevails among men universally and outside of the theocracy." This is not incorrect in so far as it is in fact very obviously the poet's aim to stamp an extra-Israelitish character on the whole action and discussion (comp.
5, together with the Note). But to say that from beginning to end he invented his material, that he imagined a pious man like Job, belonging to the heathen ladd of Uz, a personality such as in fact could not have existed within tbe bounds of heathenism, this is a supposition improbable in itself, which has no points of support in the book itsell, and no analogies in the remaining religious literature of that remote antiquity.
of the prologue with the concluding verses of the epilogue. (Observe in particular the exact doubling of Job's former possessions in cattle, according to ch. xlii. 12, as also the round numbers in the same passage, and in vers. 13 and 16). 5. The sublime profundity of the religious and ethical problem treated of in the book, and the impressive power of the truths brought forward to aid in its solution ; and in general the ideal beauty of the whole, which cannot possibly be explained apart from the reflective and artistically creative activity of a poetic genius endowed in unusual measure by the Spirit of God.
We are left accordingly to that view which has of late met with such wide, and indeed almost exclusive acceptance, which assumes along with a historic kernel, a free poetic treatment by the author of the material derived from the ancient legend, a treatment which invests such material with great depth and beauty. It is precisely the view which Luther expressed in his Table-Talk: "I hold that the book of Job is a true history, which was afterwards put into a poem; and that what is here said happened to a man, although not precisely according to the words wbich are here recorded.” And modern writers (Jahn, Döderlein, Eichhorn, Rosenmüller, Umbreit, Vaihinger, Ewald, Hirzel, Dillmann, Delitzsch, Davidson (Schlottmann, Canon Cook in Smith’s Bib. Dict., and in Bible (Speaker's) Commentary; McClintock & Strong's Cyclopædia, Art.“ Job;" Princeton Review, Vol. XXIX., p. 284], etc., have discussed this view, and argued in favor of it at length. Just where the historical kernel ceases, and the poetic vesture begins, it would be impossible precisely to define. This difficulty is especially due to the fact that the material which served the poet for his creative use was not history in the strict sense of the word, but history which had passed through the channels of legendary tradition, and also to the fact that there were no variations of the legend, of equal value and approximating a like antiquity with that which lies at the basis of our book.* All that can with much probability be assumed to be true is that along with the person, the abode, and the surroundings of Job, the fact of the sudden overthrow of his prosperity and of his pious constancy in adversity had been transmitted to the poet by the legend. Still further, the nature of the calamities which had overtaken him, and particularly of his bodily suffering, may well have been a part of the historical tradition. So correctly Ewald, Heiligstedt, Hirzel, Håvernick, etc., against Hahn, Hengstenberg, Schlottmann, Davidson and others, who needlessly think that the poet represents his hero as afflicted with elephantiasis for the simple reason that of all the diseases known to him this was the most horrible and loathsome. Had there been any variation in the ancient tradition respecting the nature and characteristics of Job's disease, such an opinion might be regarded as having more definite port. But in view of the fact that we have only one source of information, it cannot be doubted that the nature of the disease from which the pious patriarch suffered is also to be taken as a part of the original tradition.
In respect to the age of Job, many conjectures have been indulged in since that gloss of the Septuagint which represented him as a contemporary of the sons of Jacob, or rather of Joseph, and thus as belonging to the pre- Mosaic period. In accordance with that intimation, he has been assigned to the period intervening between the age of Joseph and that of Moses (Chrysostom, Carpzovius, Lightfoot [Carey, Lee), etc.; or still later as an early contemporary of Moses (Kennicott, Remarks on Select Passages of Scripture, p. 152) [Wordsworth]; or even to the pre-Abrahamic period (e. g. Hales, Analysis of Sacred Chronology, II. 53 seq., where an attempt is made, on the basis of astronomic computations, to determine the year 2130 B. C., or 818 after the flood, as the time of Job's affliction and trial of his constancy); or finally he has been assigned to the post-patriarchal and post-Mosaic age, as a
* That the Koran furnishes traditional intelligence about Job (comp. Note on 1), that in consequence thereof families of distinction among the ancient Arabians were wont to give the name Job to those connected with them, or to boast of their descent from the pious patriarch of that name, that in Arabia down to the Fourth Century of our era the supposed grave of the pious sufferer was the scene of religious pilgrimages and observances, and that even in modern times not less tban six different places in the East have put forth claims to be the genuine burial-places of Job (comp. Jahn, Einleitung, II. 761 seq.; Winer, Reallexikon, I. 493; J. C. Wetstein in the Appendix to Delitzsch's Commy.; G. Flügel, Hiob bei den Muhamedanern iu Ersch & Gruber's Encyclopädie)-all this of course deserves no consideration as a means of enlarging or elucidating our historical information concerning Job. Of just as little value in this respect is the long appendix to ch. xlii. 17 found in the LXX. /
contemporary of the Judges, or of Solomon, or of Nebuchadnezzar, or of Ezra, etc. (comp. below & 5, the remarks on the time when the book was composed). It is evident that most of these attempts at determining the time, and especially those which presuppose the absolute historical reality of the material, without any legendary or poetic drapery, are altogether arbitrary. It may be urged, however, in general that the following reasons make it probable that Job lived and suffered in the time of the patriarchs, and consequently before Moses :
1. The extreme age, extending far beyond one hundred and forty years, to which he lived, according to ch. xlii. 16.
2. The mention of the gold coin, no DP (ch. xlii. 11), with which we are made acquainted through the histories of Jacob and Joshua (Gen. xxxiii. 19; Josh. xxiv. 32), which is the only coin anywhere mentioned in the book, and which is accordingly a witness to the probability that it belongs to the patriarchal age.
3. The mention of the musical instruments, Jay, Aute, nis, guitar, and on, tymbal (ch. xxi. 12; xxx. 31), the only instruments recognized in Genesis (Gen. iv. 21 ; xxxi. 27), which accordingly are of the most ancient sort.
4. The mention-which also carries us back into the age of Genesis—of writing on stone, by means of an iron stylus, or chisel (ch. xix. 23 seq.); along with which, indeed in the same passage, and in ch. xxxi. 35, mention is also made of writing on parchment or in a book (1002 ans), a mode of writing, however, which indisputably belongs to the pre-Mosaic age, as a glance at the monuments of Ancient Egypt will show.
5. The act of Job in officiating as priest in the family circle, offering an atoning sacrifice (ch. i. 5), which reminds us decidedly of the same act on the part of Noah (Gen. viii. 20), and of Jacob (Gen. xxxv. 2; comp. on the other side Ex. xix. 10; Num. xi. 18; Josh. vii. 13).
6. The number seven, which was so characteristic of the worship of antiquity, and which appears in the bullocks and rams offered by Job (comp. ch. xlii. 8 with Num. xxiii. 1; also Gen. vii. 2 seq; viii. 19 seq., etc.).
7. The reference, characteristic of the religious physiognomy of the pre Mosaic age, to the idolatrous adoration of the sun and moon, and to the worship of the stars, or Sabaism (see ch. xxxi. 26; and comp. Deut. iv. 19; xvii. 3).
These are the arguments which are usually urged to prove that Job was a contemporary of the pre-Mosaic patriarchs. Granting that some of them, particularly those cited under 6 and 7, are of less force, and are equally applicable to a later period, they yield in the main a considerable degree of probability that the time fixed on above is approximately correct. An approximate estimate, however, is all that can be reached by such an investigation into the age of a point of history wrapped in the mist of a poetic legend. Comp. still further our remarks on the concluding verses of the Epilogue, ch. xlii. 12-17, where additional traces may be found of Job's having belonged to the patriarchal age.
83. THE POETIC ART-FORM OF THE BOOK. The task which lay before the author as respects the artistic treatment of his material, was essentially two fold. First he was to put his material in narrative form, in a style of poetic description, elevating and transfiguring the concrete historic fact into the ideal truth of transactions of eternal significance. Next he was to discuss reflectively the problem which constitutes the religious and ethical kernel of these transactions, touching the possibility and the divinely ordained purpose of unmerited suffering on the part of men.
The first part of his task he accomplishes in the sections of prose narrative, the Prologue and the Epilogue, which open and close the book. The second part receives the author's attention in the discourses of the book, which are far more extensive and elaborate, which in form and language are thoroughly poetic, and in which alone direct expression is given to that which is obviously the scope
purpose of the work as a whole—the discourses, to wit, of Job, of his three friends, of Elihu, and also of Jehovah, who personally appears to give to the conflict its final solution. These discourses exhibit to the last detail a high degree of elaboration and poetic art. The opening discourse by Job in ch, iii., which contains the theme of the discussion,
belongs to the preparatory part of the book, in which the foundations of the problem are laid down, in connection with the introductory information conveyed by the Prologue concerning the events which befel Job, and the supra-mundane occasions of the same as consisting in God's permissive agency and Satan's agency as tempter (chs. i., ii.). The discourses of Job's three friends, or rather opponents, together with the replies which the object of their attacks makes to each one individually (ch. iv.-xxviii.), carry on the entanglement of the conflict to be described. This consists in a three-fold series of unjust accusations of Job, proceeding from the standpoint of an external and one-sided conception of the legal doctrine of retribution, corresponding to which we have a series of arguments by Job, which are not less one-sided, which in part are violently passionate and morally unsound, in which he asserts his innocence, and casts suspicions on the justice of God's ways. Job himself prepares the way for the final solution of the conflict in the exhibition which he makes of genuine theocratic piety in the monologue appended to the three acts of the colloquy, where he appears as one who has been brought back to a more thoughtful appreciation of his condition, and for that same reason as triumphing over the reproaches of his three friends (ch. xxix.-xxxi.; comp. above p. 6). The solution receives its completion indeed only in the three following stages of the conclusion; the first of which is signalized by the appearance of Elihu, who exhibits the utmost that human wisdom can contribute by way of answer to the difficult questions which arise in respect to the significance of the sufferings of the innocent (ch. xxxii.-xxxvii.); the second by the long address of Jehovah to Job which sets forth the adjudication of the point in controversy in accordance with the divine point of view, the argument here being general in its character (ch. xxxviii. xli.); the third finally by the concrete actual decision rendered between the contending parties by the distribution of punishment and reward to the one and the other respectively (ch. xlii.).*
According to the views here expressed, it may seem doubtful with which of the varieties of poetry familiar and current among ourselves this book should be classified; for it evidently exhibits characteristics which belong to several. In its Prologue and Epilogue we find the objective description and the childlike naïveté in narrative which distinguish the epic style. Not a few parts of the discourses have a lyric, and in particular an elegiac tone. In its special object and its general scope, it is indisputably didactic. But it is as a drama, more especially a drama pre-eminently earnest in tone and pervaded by a religious philosophy as to its contents, as a tragedy of religious philosophy, that it exhibits itself at first sight to
* Such in substance is the plan of the poem as conceived by most moderns, who maintain the genuineness of Elihu's discourses, especially Hahn, p. 4 seq.; De itzsch, I., p. 15; Schloitmann, p. 20 seq. If the genuineness of the discourses referred to be controverted, the analysis of the whole porm would receive only one unessential moditication, to wit, that one of the constituents which prepare the way for the final solution must be omitted, a constituent, however, which is highly conspicuous and influential. Compare e. g. the following analysis by Dillmann (p. xviii. seq.), which is on the whole closely related to that given above: “ Forasmuch as the bistory here set forth is the history of u controversy, the whole resolves itself into three divisions: the opening, the entanglement, the solution.-In the opening of the problem (ch. i.-iii.), the piety and the prosperity «f the hero are briefly set forth, a glance is given at a transaction taking place in beaven between God and Satan, in which a decision is formed affecting Job's destiny, and theu in rapid succession are described the calamities which swept away his prosperity, and the believing resignation of the sufferer, which does not give way under the sneers of his wife, and which only »fter the advent of the three friends and their gloomy silence is driven into an expression of captious complaint and doleful despair.—The entanglenient (ch, iv.-xxviii.), by virtue of the fact that the friends now enter into a colloquy with Job, shapes itself into a controvérsial discussion between him and them the part of Job, however, this discussion reveals at the same time an inward soul-strug.le, in which he must work his way up out of the errors of superstition and unbelief back again to sobriety of thought and a right belief. Not until he has brought his faith and his religion out of this struggle, not only unharmed, but inwardly strengthened, can the solution follow. Here We have, as the first step, the hero on whom the burden of his sad destiny stil presses heavily, setting forth in u long discourse, or soliloquy, the perplexing enigma, that he should have been cast down out of his former s'ate of favor and prosperity into his present misery, althougn he could solemnly affirm that he had not permitted himself any, not even the slightest departure from God's ways in thought, word or deed, and earnestly yearning for a ray of divine light, and for deliverance (ch. xxix.-xxxi.). Whereupon God then appears to the trfed soff-ser, at first, however, only in order, through the majesty of His divide appearance, ard His lofty divine discourse, to lead him freely and voluntari y to take b«ck and repeut of h s presumptuous sinful sperches, which he bad delivered in the heat of the struggle (ch. xxxviii. xli. 6). Only when tbus humbled and purified by penitence, does God now expressly vindicate him as against the friends, deliver him, and endow him anew with gr ater prosperity (ch. xlli. 7-17). This decision in actual life carries with it als the solution of the theoretical qnestions involved: it is proved that eren an innocent man may suffer for his own groil, and for the fur therance of his spiritual life."-So also Ewald in his elaborato exhibition of the inward progress of the poem (p. 25 seq.).