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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Job 1-5

My reading plan is the "chronological" plan, which means it attempts to take me through the Bible in the order of the events--not the historical order of when they were written, or the traditional order in which the passages have been collected.  Because the book of Job takes place in the land of Uz, we set it before Abram leaving the region.

From a literary standpoint, it actually works pretty well to make this transition.  The first 11 books of Genesis are very clearly myth that, like Job, could not ever have been intended to be related to "actual" events on the planet Earth.  Once we get to Abram, the story is likely not historical in the way a modern reader views the word, but I think is at least set as relating to events that transpire in a particular time and place.

The main thrust of job, in chapters 1-5 and frankly through out the book, is that co-creators or not, God is the Boss.  Seemingly at the whim of the adversary, satan in Hebrew, God allow calamities to fall upon Job, up to and including the death of his children.  Then Jobs friend talks about how God blesses the good, frees the captives, etc.  I can't help but wonder how those who suffer must feel when we read similar scriptures from Isaiah.  Although plainly a story, in the Book of Job, things get real.

And interesting component of Job is the conversation between Satan and God and the sons of God.  The NIV translates these to angels.  Um, okay.  But the word is sons of God, and that term is used in Genesis to describe the people knocking boots with the Earth girls, in response to which God limited human life to 120 years.  Religion evolves, and evidence of pretty radical evolution exists in our Bible.  That's all I'm saying.

4 comments:

Matt Dick said...

I love that "Land of Uz" and "Land of Oz" are so similar. It helps.

The book is also a little about theodicy, grace and faith. I've never seen a play or movie recreating Job, but I've always thought that Christianity could support an entire tradition of Telmudic-style scholarship on Job and what the point of it is at bottom.

Also, the entire societies of creatures who reside with God, in heaven, on earth, etc in the first half of the Old Testament has always been on my list to really dig into to try to understand and make sense of, but whenever I start I quickly come to the realization that I need to learn Hebrew first, then Aramaic, then I can try to understand it.

JimII said...

I'll ask around to see if there's a good book on such things. I also find it interesting, but a least as far as what makes it into the canon, I think it is pretty light.

JimII said...

Matt, here's a couple of interesting tid bits. This is a paper that discusses Nephilim, among other things by Daniel O. McClellan. http://tinyurl.com/h9khfnz and here is an interview with him and Dr. Erin Darby talking about some cool statutes found around Judah around the time of the Temple that is just kind of cool. http://tinyurl.com/z3coozg

JimII said...

I guess the interviewer is actually Phillip Sherman. My bad.