Enlightened by Darkness - Vol.3 As Darkness Spreads
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All we are taught is that direct, personal communication with the divine is possible. When Job achieved it, he and God began with a clean slate. The new, knowing Job now re-states his inquiries using the future tense.
That is between the two of them. The book leaves us with one, final secret. Ethan Dor-Shav is a communications strategist. Moses Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed , trans.
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Maimonides soon clarifies that this common presupposition is inapplicable to Job. Epistle of James Ambrose J. Job All biblical quotes have been translated by the author on the basis of the New King James Version and the original Hebrew. Concerns about style and editorial changes are valid.
The False Promise of Enlightenment
Ibn Ezra saw the Book of Job as a translation of an earlier Aramaic source, a fact that allows for scribal errors in the Masoretic text. The structure of the book, therefore, is simple: 1 prose prologue; 2 the Job-Elifaz-Job-Bildad-Job-Zofar dialogues split into two ; 3 the Job-Elifaz dialogue split into two ; 4 two long speeches by Job and Elihu; 5 the God-Job dialogue split into two ; 6 prose epilogue.
The inner logic of each speaker over the duration of the book teaches more than the Ping-Pong dynamic of the spliced speeches. Indeed, though it is beyond the scope of this essay to address, the three friends represent three different schools of thought which Job must confront: Elifaz is the mystic—and thus the most important of the three—as well as a true prophet in his own right. Bildad is the traditionalist, and Zofar the rationalist.
The gods rewarded him… and returned to him his previous estate. Cited in E. Genesis This assertion is troubling only if you believe in Satan as an independent, ungodly force. The author does not. For him, had Satan been mistaken about Job, God would not have allowed the test to commence. See Job , , The atrocities they accused Job of were way out of proportion to his actual shortcomings, and these friends neglected to see how he was changing before their eyes. The four traits which typify the early Job are repeated in and Deuteronomy Psalms It cannot, of course, be proven that these verses were known to the author of the Book of Job.
See Job , The word tam appears over a dozen times in the Book of Job and hardly anywhere else in the Hebrew canon. It seems, therefore, to be the essential aspect of the early Job. Both Jacob and Job grow out of this credulous character. Hollingdale Harmondsworth, United Kingdom: Penguin, , p.
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To underscore this failing, we return to precisely the same issue at the end of the book, when Job offers sacrifices on behalf of his friends. In this case, God makes it clear that the demand is for prayer to be offered in conjunction with a ritual act. All three elements are absent from the sacrifice in chapter 1. Jeremiah Isaiah Moshe David Kasuto, ed.
Job ,13, II Samuel At most, they kept a silent mourning, as Aaron did when informed of the death of his two sons Leviticus See S. There is no sin in this, it is not a moral fault, but it is a dire failing. Israel J.
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Job , Job rightly grieves his bereavement…. He is human. This is a beautiful insight. It is possible that, as a devout Christian, Andersen is compelled to ignore the contradiction because, for Job to prefigure Jesus, he must be saintly to begin with. Kohlberg describes six stages of inner change:.
Job reaches this state in chapter 3. Job is angry because he sees that all of his toil, and his assumed piety, did not serve his self-interest i.
The speech also exemplifies what Kohlberg calls an isolative perspective. This takes shape as Job begins to talk about his friends, family, servants, etc. To enter society through social roles, as depicted in the text, is mentioned by Kohlberg as well. At stage 4, in contrast, the respondent becomes more broadly concerned with society as a whole.
As Job continues to speak, he clearly moves from one-on-one relationships in his closed circle of friends to a vision of society at large. Job reaches it in his final speech by asserting not only his personal responsibility but also higher, abstract principles of morality and justice. I favor the reading that Job made only seven offerings, as this was the number of his sons. This is a typical number of animals to be sacrificed, and the same number is repeated in with the parallel story. In the end, the three friends fail to console Job because they all believe he is being rightfully punished.
Cruelty and insensitivity lie down this path. Both books drive the point home by suggesting that the fate of a stillborn child is enviable Job and Ecclesiastes As he lies in the ashes, Job faces the reality of his impending death. Job , 10, 20, Except for an abstract prayer that God grant his wish to die Job , God is not yet described as one who fulfills wishes, but merely as a force of destiny.
It is reasonable, then, to compare the speech with an Egyptian text from the third to second millennium b. Pritchard, ed. Ecclesiastes Raju and Albury Castell, eds. This personal richness [of the emerging inner psychic reality] develops out of simultaneous love-hate experience which implies the achievement of ambivalence, the enrichment and refinement of which leads to the emergence of concern. There are a growing number of researchers and theoreticians in this emerging field of psychotherapy. Also, unlike his wealth, the number of his children does not multiply at the conclusion of the book, and the text quite conspicuously avoids talking about new children being born.
Kohlberg teaches that at this final stage of moral development, what is right is defined by the decision of conscience. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, regarding reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons.
According to these people, the principles of justice require us to treat the claims of all parties in an impartial manner, respecting the basic dignity of all people as individuals. The principles of justice are therefore universal. He offers prayers for his friends, names his daughters, and gives them land—all expressions of repentance for his early deficiency toward them. Nemo and Levinas read Job correctly as an exercise in revelation, though they completely ignore the content of the revelation itself.
The identification of Wisdom with light starts hesitantly with Job and the three friends. It is then picked up and highlighted by Elihu and by God. Job is thus likely to be the doctrinal source of much Kabbalistic thought.
Call for Papers: Beyond the Literary Canon
See also Job A fascinating example of this understanding can be found in Job Were Job to die, the entire experiment would be pointless. Deuteronomy 14 establishes the connection between wine and blood. Accordingly, Job is never described as feverish or too frail to respond. In keeping with Hebrew Scripture in general, the Book of Job brushes away all simplistic solutions regarding the afterlife. Not a single speaker mentions the picturesque idea of an unearthly Garden of Eden, for no such place existed in Jewish theology.
Not for a moment would Job accept that some ghostlike double can live in bliss, drinking heavenly nectar under the wings of angels. Alice K. Gerber commented on the first phase of this development as well. Gerber, Psychology of Suffering , pp. Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed , p. This is a reference to the heavenly soul, or neshama , composed of light. This describes the descent of the life force, the nefesh , into the underworld. Proverbs It is imperceptive to read these verses as if they deal merely with the visible light of daytime, shining above people who are still in the flesh.
Semantically, we have no other frame of reference for eternal life aside from the temporal, animal-type one, which we enjoy on Earth.