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but refers chap. xxviii. to Bildad. Bernstein considers the whole as a later interpolation, while Rosenmüller and Umbreit consider it genuine.
But it cannot, with propriety, be assigned to either of Job's adversaries; for, though Zophar has spoken but twice, this is obviously by the author's design.
A good deal has been said in defence of this passage, by Kern, Rosenmüller, Umbreit, and Ewald. Hirzel says well, “While Job's opponents wished to prove this proposition against him, that the transgressor did not escape punishment in his life,' and charged it upon Job himself, that, since every transgressor was miserable, therefore every miserable inan was a transgressor ; to stave off this argument, Job had hitherto, though against his better judgment, denied the entire proposition ; and, since his opponents laid it down as a permanent and universal rule, he had confirmed this denial, by adducing numerous examples where the contrary was true. But now he goes on to explain the matter to his friends, and admits that they have rightly apprehended the law by which the transgressor's lot is determined. (verse 12.) He gives a description which agrees with their proposition, (13—23,) as a sort of supplement to his remarks, and then calls their attention to this fact, that, in spite of the justice of their general view, they had yet fallen into an error. (verse 12.) He then adds chap. xxviii., designing to show his opponents how great were the depths of divine wisdom, and how narrow the limits of human knowledge.” Still, after all, we must charge
the poet with obscurity, at the least, if not with inconsistency; for, in spite of his sublime aspirations, he cannot wholly free himself from the common doctrine of retribution. It is scarcely right to maintain that here is an interpolation, though the bombastic passage, (xli. 4 -26,) which disturbs the connection between God's speech (xli. 1–3) and Job's reply, (xlii. 2-6,) is suspicious.
[It is plain xxxi. 38—40, is out of its place. The speech of Job would end finely with verse 37. Chap. xxxi. 38—40, would suit the connection if inserted after verse 25. Chap. xxxviii. 36, disturbs the connection as it now stands, but the sense is preserved if this is placed after verse 38.]
[Dr. Noyes (1. c. p. xxiii.) admits the inconsistency of Job's statements, in xxvii. 7, sqq., with his former assertions, but thinks this not incompatible with the author's design, which was “to throw all possible light upon a moral subject." The object of the poem is advanced by this course, and Job's admission is not inconsistent with his assertions in xxix. 30 and 31, but it is inconsistent with his assertions in xii. 6, 7, xxi. 6—21, xxiv. 2 8, 21–25.]
6 Eichhorn, Allg. Bib. vol. ii. p. 619. On the other hand, see Hirzel, in loc.
Stuhlmann, Bernstein, and Eichhorn, insert xli. 1234, immediately after xl. 7, so that the following order prevails : xli. 1—7, xli. 12—34, ...... xli. 8–11. Ewald considers the whole passage, xl. 15—xli. 26, as spurious, and chiefly for this reason: The sole design of Jehovah's second speech (xl. 6, sqq.) is to answer Job's doubts respecting the justice of the government of the world, and the description of Behemoth and Leviathan is not suited to this end. But the design of xl. 6, sqq., cannot be determined so sharply, (comp. verse 9,) for sharpness of distinction does not belong to the character of our poet. (See Umbreit, Theol. Stud. und Kritiken for 1831, p. 833, sqq. Hir. zel, in loc.) Eichhorn connects xxxix. 30, with xl. 15—24, and places xl. 1– 14, between verses 6 and 7 of chap. xlii. [The passages which involve difficulties in their present order will then stand thus: xxxix. 30, xl. 15 24, xl. 1–7, xli. 12—34, xli. 8—11, xlii. 1–6, xl. 1–14, xlii. 7, sqq., and then all these difficulties vanish. Heath inserts xl. 1-14, between xlii. 6 and 7.]
SUSPICIONS AGAINST THE PROLOGUE AND EPILOGUE.
For the sake of the perfection of the poem, we could wish these historical passages were away. Accordingly they have been rejected by Hasse, Stuhlmann, and Bernstein. But the prosaic style, the occurrence of Satan therein, the use of the name Jehovah, — while Eloahis elsewhere used in the book for its poetic effect, — prove nothing against the genuineness of these passages. There is a contradiction between i. 19, where it appears all Job's children were killed, and xix. 17, where he says, –
“My breath is become loathsome to my wife,
And my supplication to the children of my own body." Compare, also, viii. 4:
• Hasse, Conjectures on the B. Job, in the Magazin für d. bibl. or. Litt. vol. i. p. 162, sqq.
• Herder, Eichhorn, Stuhlmann, and Bertholdt, think the Satan mentioned here is not the common Satan. But this is contrary to all analogy. De Wette, Bib. Dogmat. § 171, and the authors there cited. Hirzel defends the prologue and epilogue, and says, “ Neither belongs to the didactic part of the book. The prologue initiates the reader into divine mysteries, but in the poem itself he must see that all the attempts of Job and his friends are unable to disclose the causes of his affliction. This would give him a hint to abandon inquiry into what was resolved upon in the counsel of God. In the epilogue, the poet restores Job to prosperity, and thus performs a duty to the reader's feelings, which will clearly appear if we consider the opposite case - had he left Job in endless misery. If Job is repaid for unmerited suffering and loss, the reader goes away satisfied with the divine order of things.” But I think he would be confirmed in the common doctrine of retribution, for here a case occurs in actual life where an innocent man suffers to the last, and is not, as in the epilogue, finally restored to happiness. The reader then would be dissatisfied with the divine order of things.
. See Eichhorn, § 644, a. By the use of this word he avoided all the popular and theocratic notions of God.
[Noyes translates 7 , “ children of my mother.” The LXX. render it vious naddaxldwv pov, but the Vulgate literally, filios ventris mei. “ As thy children sinned against him,
He hath given them up to their transgression.” But this contradiction proves little.
More stress is to be laid on the contradiction between xlii. 7, 8, and xxxviii. 2, xl. 2, xlii. 3, in the judgment pronounced on the expressions of Job. The submissiveness of Job (i. 21, 22, and ii. 10) does not agree with what is said here. But still all these considerations are not sufficient to justify us in rejecting the passage.
Now, if all the contested passages are spurious, then the author carried out the sublime idea, that man can pass no judgment upon the government of the world, and the allotment of human destiny; only a confession of his ignorance and humble submission are left for him. But since the critic can venture to reject only the speech of Elihu, then the poem is an attempt to rise above the common doctrine of retribution. But this
So Schultens. But Gesenius (Lex. Heb.) renders it “my brethren."] I cannot agree with Ewald and Hirzel, that the word means grandsons.
a According to Hirzel, Job merely defended his innocence, which his friends had attacked; but the word " is against this view. At least, the poet has expressed himself very obscurely.
(Jehovah said to Eliphaz.....“My wrath is kindled against thee and thy two friends: for ye have not spoken concerning me that which is right, as hath my servant Job. Take ye therefore, &c. ...... my servant Job shall pray for you, (for to him will I have regard,) lest I deal with you according to your folly; for ye have not spoken concerning me that which is right, as hath my servant Job ;” and xlii. 3, [Thou Job sayest,] “Who is it that darkeneth counsel without understanding ?” “I (Job) mentioned what I did not understand, because — what I did not see into was incomprehensible to me.” Dr. Noyes translates differently.)
attempt is successful only in this, — it teaches, 1. that an innocent man may suffer; and, 2. that he must not murmur, but confide in the wisdom of God, who may have good designs in the infliction of suffering, and turn all to the best result. The poet presents this comforting doctrine to his countrymen, when misfortunes and doubts of Providence were wavering before his eyes."
The application of this poem to the condition of the Jewish people, is not to be disguised by the fable, and the scene on which the events take place. Job is a patriarchal character, and the scene is laid in the east, and in the nomadic period of history. Now, if the whole is not a poetic fiction, — and there are many reasons to favor that opinion, but if the poet made use of traditional materials,d yet his intention in working
• § 285.
o Bernstein has placed this in a favorable light, p. 190, sqq. See De Wette, On the Characteristics of Hebrew Spirit, in Daub and Creutzer, l. c. p. 278. Similar opinions may be found in Herman von der Hardt, Com. in Jobum, sive Historia Populi Israelis in Assyr. Exilio, tom. i.; Helmst. 1728, fol. Leclerc, on Job, i. 1. Warburton, Divine Legation, pt. iii. b. vi. § 2, ch. 3. (Peters (1. c.) attempts to rebut the statements of Warburton, respecting the age, &c., of Job.] J. Garnett, Dissertation on the Book of Job, &c.; 2d ed. Lond. 1751.
* See chap. i. 3, 5, xlii. 11. Comp. Gen. xxxiii. 15, xlii. 16. Some writers find too much of the patriarchal and nomadic in the poem. Eichhorn, $ 614, p. 164. Against this, see Bernstein, p. 27, sqq., p. 79, sqq. Numerous passages are opposed to this — v. 4, xv. 28, xxiv. 12, xxix. 7, xxxix. 7, xii. 18, 19, xxxi. 35. Others are in its favor - xxi. 10, sqq., xxix. 6, xxx. 1, sqq. According to i. 3, we must seek the land of Uz (way) in the north of Arabia, and not in the neighborhood of Damascus. See Jer. xxv. 20, Lam. iv. 21, Gen. xxxvi. 28, xxij. 21, x. 23. See Spanheim, Hist. Jobi, cap. iii. p. 35, sqq. Rosenmüller, Prol. in Job. 95. Gesenius, Lexicon. Bertholdt, p. 205, sqq.
d Baba Bathra (p. 15, c. 1) says, “ Job never existed, nor was created.” So says Maimonides, Mar. Nevoch. iii. 22, p. 395, sqq. Junil., De Partibus div. Legis, lib. i. Clericus, Sentimens de quelques Theologiens, p. 274, sqq.