Sunday, May 31, 2009

Job 27

It does not seem necessary to me either to attribute the last verses of this speech to Zophar (Cheney) or to think that Job is telling the friends what he used to believe (Tur Sinai). I think there is a sufficient clue to add a colon : and a pair of quotation marks and let the last verses be ill-fitting dogma that Job will not submit to based on the argument so far. So Job summarizes the traditional religious doctrine of recompense of the wicked - a doctrine that he considers empty of truth.

and Job continued to lift up his parable and he said

the One lives
he has turned away my judgment
and the Sufficient has embittered my being
for all the while my breath is in me
and the spirit of God in my mouth
have my lips spoken injustice
and my tongue, has it uttered deceit?

A curse on me if I justify you
till I expire I will not turn away my completeness from me
in my righteousness I hold fast and will not let go
my heart does not reproach me in my day
let it be that my enemy is as the wicked
and one rising against me as unjust

for what hope has a hypocrite that he will gain?
for God extracts his being
his cry will the One hear
when upon him trouble comes?
if on the Sufficient he delights
he would call on God at all times

I will instruct you in the hand of the One
that with the Sufficient I will not hide
lo you, all of you, you have discerned
and how in this vanity will you vainly continue:

this "portion of a wicked human with the One
and inheritance of oppressors from the Sufficient that they take

if his children are multiplied for the sword
and his offspring not satisfied with bread
what's left of him in death will be buried
and his widows will not weep

if he piles up silver like dust
and like clay prepares clothing
he prepares but the just one will be clothed
and silver the innocent will apportion

he builds as a moth his house
and as a booth the keeper makes
the rich lies down and is not gathered
his eyes he opens and he is not

destructions take hold of him like water
storm steals him by night
the east wind lifts him up and he goes
and he is whirled from his place

and he casts away and shows no mercy
from his hand to flee he flees
they will clap their open palms at him
and hiss at him from his place"

What is the nature of Job's completeness that he will not turn away from? Such that he will swear by the living God that he has? Why would God say that Job has spoken truth about him? It seems to me that Job finds the role of the complete individual outside of any reference to a redemptive covenant whereas the psalms stress the redemptive acts of God for all.

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