The Book of Job

The Book of Job

by Anonymous

The theme of The Book of Job is nothing than human suffering and the transcendence of it: it pulses with moral energy, outrage, and spiritual insight.Now, The Book of Job has been rendered into English by the eminent translator and scholar Stephen Mitchell, whose versions of Rilke, Israeli poetry, and the Tao Te Ching have been widely praised. This is the first time ever that the Hebrew verse of Job has been translated into verse in any language, ancient or modern, and the result is a triumph.

  • Series: Bible
  • Language: English
  • Category: Religion
  • Rating: 4.02
  • Pages: 176
  • Publish Date: January 15th 1994 by Harper Perennial
  • Isbn10: 0060969598
  • Isbn13: 9780060969592

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Of all the things the biblical god is and isn't, this sounds most plausible to me: a football fan, namely a fan of the Argentinan national team.

I did remember a few things from Sunday school, but oddly enough, the book that I took the most out of was Job. First, it was the book with the Behemoth and the Leviathan, and I was way into dinosaurs, as I still am. I am now aware of Bill Hicks's answer to this nugget: "Yeah, well, I think God put you on earth to test my faith, buddy." Then one day I got the good news. And, sure enough, the verse was intact in Mitchell's translation"The Accuser covered Job with boils, from his scalp to the soles of his feet. Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself with, and sat down in the dust."Every kid who grows up in a fundamentalist church walks away with one harrowing image stuck in his head forever, and that was mine. Some things, though, had changedapparently, the word "tail" here is a euphemism for genitalia:His penis stiffens like a pine His testicles bulge with vigorIn addition to this, the Behemoth and the Leviathan are now the Beast and the Serpent. Mitchell's translation, though, gets Job very right on several accounts, though. The first is that reading this biblical work in the form of poetry is like seeing it for the first time. If the Bible is outmoded as a source of literal truth, it's certainly not outmoded as a source of wisdom, and its violent, quirky, and entertaining stories are meant to be taken metaphorically, as stories on the nature of faith, or, in Job's case, suffering. It is my belief that Mitchell is correct in saying that Job has seen the justice inherent in the universe:A man who hungers and thirsts after justice is not satisfied with a menu. It is not enough that there may be justice someday in the golden haze of the future: it must be now; must always have been now.Read The Book of Job. Its imagery will burn into your retinas even more in Mitchell's version, despite its few flaws, than it did into mine in Sunday school as a child.

The book of Job really surprised me. The dialogues between Job and his so-called friends were very repetitive. Secondly, Job's personality.

I KNOW what to do: Keep my eyes on God. Why?

Our lives are brief and vanish into cosmic history quickly and completely, and if there is a divine element to the universe, it is not concerned with our constructs of justice, and it is not about us. But the work seems to me to be an invitation for us to grow up and take responsibility for our own lives, crafting meaning for ourselves.

Elihu is the fourth friend of Job's who speaks following the three cycles of speeches by the "Three Comforters." The author explains in a note to the reader that he's left them out because he (and many scholars) regard those parts as later additions to the book of Job . DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE PROSE AND NARRATIVE PARTS OF JOB Some of the basic discrepancies between the prose narrative with which the book begins and ends (just under three chapters) and the poetic dialogues (nearly forty chapters) can be summarized as follows:1. The writing styles are different between the two genres, the prose folk tale and the poetic dialogues. 3. The portrayal of Job differs in the two parts of the book: in the prose he is a patient sufferer; in the poetry he is thoroughly defiant and anything but patient. MY MUSINGS In addition to the preceding comments about discrepancies, it is my understanding that some scholars see indications that the writing style of the dialogue with the fourth figure, Elihu, is different from the rest of the poetic dialogue. Scholars have noted that the term Yahweh (Jehovah) is consistently used in the parts of the Hebrew scriptures that reflect the early southern traditions of the Kingdom of Judah. Based upon the differing terms used for the divine in the two parts of Job, it can be supposed that the folk tale portion of Job originated in Judah, and the writer of the poetry was from the northern kingdom.

I think this is the first time I truly appreciated the poetry in Job. In my opinion, it's even better than many of the Psalms.