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Book Of Job Essay

2833 words - 12 pages

Hist 588
Prof. Mark Wessner

            My review, for purposes of introduction, is a study of the book of Job in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The authorship of Job is unknown, though some theologians have suggested that it was written by Moses, while others suggest that it is autobiographical.
            Job is one of the books of the Hebrew bible that is actually a poem, though it does not obey the disciplines of poetic meter.  The structure is a rather a simple, didactic poem yet presented in prose.  Job 1 and 2 are the prologues written in prose while Job 3:1-42:6 is more poetic and consists of numerous sppeches by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.  The ...view middle of the document...

    The book of Job is a necessary deus ex machina with which to convince the faithful that God is omniscient and therefore beyond challenge.  To this extent, I believe the Christian audience lends complete credence to the teachings of Job in the most literal context.  But that is not to say that one cannot mount a challenge and remain righteous.
            The book of Job is presented, as indicated, supra, in two different literary genres, i.e., prose and poetry.  Job is wallowing in his sorrow and naturally draws the attention of well wishers, or in Job's case, pontificators, and the poem presents three such friends.  Each of his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar condemn Job and tell him that his suffering is a result of his sinful ways. 
                                                                        Studdard Pg. 3
There are three parts of the monotheistic theodices explored in the book of Job.  The first is the duty to suffer as recompense for sin. When Job protests that the suffering inflicted upon him “outweighs the sands of the seas”1   His three friends accuse Job of perverting God’s justice.  Bildad tells Job that he and his children live for material things and that these things must be given up. 
            This is, according to Bildad, essential to Job’s salvation.  This advice of Bildad dovetails with the requirement to suffer for recompense for sin. 
           The second part of the monotheistic theodices in the book of Job is that suffering is a necessary test of “soul” making.  The Lord taunted Satan with His encomiums about Job’s faith.  Satan, maintained his former argument that Job would break and denounce God, if tested severely.  To this end, God allowed Satan to further test Job, so long as Job’s life was spared.
            Job, as the scripture indicates, withstood the test of soul making and did not curse God as his wife urged, nor did he lose his faith.  Job simply utters, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; The lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.2         
                                                                Studdard 4
The third part of the monotheistic theodicies in the book of Job is a demonstration of the Theodicy of Submission and the mystery of God's sovereignty.
            Job, after hearing his friends condemnations, again protested the sufferings inflicted upon him and once again insisted that he was a pious and righteous man.  God is not inclined to even recognize Job’s protests nor allow any challenge by Job.  God, instead, chastises Job for entertaining the idea that God can do evil.  Job, of course, did not overtly make this feeling known, but the underlying colloquy between God and Job, is an indication of Job’s true but unspoken feelings.  Job does insist upon...

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