Sunday, March 15, 2009

Job 3

Recap - sticking with the order of the received text.

After this opened Job his mouth and slandered his day
And Job answered and said
Perish! day in which I was born
and the night that said a warrior-child is conceived

That day - let it be darkness
let God not seek for it from above
nor let a sunbeam on it shine
let darkness and obscurity redeem it
let a cloud dwell on it
let blackness of day terrify it

That night - let gloom take it
let it not rejoice the days of the year
into the number of months let it not come
behold that night - let it be barren
let no joyful cry come into it
let them blaspheme it that curse the day
those ready to rouse Leviathan
let the stars of its twilight be dark
let it expect light but have none
neither let it see the eyelids of dawn

because it did not shut the doors of my belly
or conceal misery from my eyes
Why did I not from the womb die
from the belly exit and expire?
For what purpose did knees receive me
and breasts for me to suckle?

For now I would be lying down and quiet
I would be asleep
then it would be rest for me
with kings and counselors of earth
who built desolations for themselves
or with chiefs with their gold
their houses filled with silver

I find myself wondering if the poet was consciously mimicking the psalms - in this case, psalms 3, 4, and 49. The writer and the speaker are refusing to see anything but the miserable moment - understandably!

or as an abortion hidden I had not been
as infants who did not see light
there wicked ones leave off trouble
and there rest those who are weary of strength
together prisoners are at ease
they do not hear the voice of the oppressor
small and great there he is
servant free from his lords

Why give to the miserable light
and sustenance to the bitter being
those tarrying for death and it is not
who dig for it as treasure
who rejoice toward a tomb
glad when they find a grave
to a warrior whose way is concealed
and from whom God has screened himself

for in the face of my bread, my sighing comes
and poured out like waters are my cries
for the dread I dreaded has arrived
and what I was afraid of is come to me
I have no ease nor am I quiet
nor am I at rest and trouble has come

Note re bread: TS has 'before the threat' citing Aramaic origin of the word that in Hebrew sounds/looks like bread.

I have coloured those words that seem to act as sound envelopes. TS postulates that some of chapter 4 is Eliphaz quoting parts of what Job said but that is not written in this first speech. I have my doubts but let's see what comes.

For other Job related posts, click here.

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