My wife asked my yesterday why I kept thinking and talking Job. It is because it is the locus classicus of human suffering and the demand for divine explanation.
Today I wondered, “Are we cursed like Job?” Then I wondered, was he cursed or just human, experiencing life with all its loss and suffering.
Cursed or Living?
6 thoughts on “Quick Take: Job again”
I a word Job is a parable – a mashal. And a dramatic and rhetorical unity. This conclusion I come to since Job continues his ‘parable’ in his final speeches. And there are strong inclusio signals in the opening and closing frames. Important also to note that the accuser is not present in the closing frame. + all those key words in the speeches of Yhwh that reflect chapter 3.
This is using my facebook rather than wordpress account – let’s see if the comment posts.
It worked Bob! I think you may well be right about Job being a mashal but I don’t think that changes the question of whether this is depicting “real life” (experience) or a cursed life.
I see the precision of your comment now – yes; it is real life and extremely difficult. But it is contrasting ‘real life’ with the threatened plagues of Deuteronomy 28 – which Job experiences in the sequence given. Consider the
successive destruction of Job’s livestock and children, Deuteronomy 28:31-32 and the final straw, Job 2:7 echoes
Deuteronomy 28:35. All this in the context of blessings and cursings.(Detail in Ticciati).
I have not attempted to see what the te’amim tell me about the theology and music of Deuteronomy. That would be a good exercise – but I too am busy with the plagues of this life 18 months into cancer therapy.
Bob, I am sorry to hear about your cancer! I will be praying for you.
Today I suddenly thought: did Job feel the pain and the suffering extra strongly, because he was righteous? He believed in a righteous God, in treating his neighbours rightly and in being treated rightly himself. But the latter seemed not the case for him. So, not only did he suffer, but he also lost his world view and struggled with his God view. Isn’t that a paradox: righteousness makes you be more sensitive for what is wrong? No, of course not, because that is exactly what righteousness is, but still, it doesn’t feel fair.
Eveline, I need a “like” button! I agree with you and you have spurred further thought on the matter.