Job the name of two persons, of different form in the original.
1. (אַיּוֹב, Iyob', persecuted; Sept. and N.T. 1ώβ.) An Arabian patriarch and hero of the book that bears his name; mentioned elsewhere only in Eze 14:14,20; James 5, 11. The various theological, moral, and philosophical questions connected with his history are involved in the discussion of the poem itself, and we therefore treat them in considerable detail in that connection, aside from their critical bearings.
I. Analysis of Contents. —
1. The Introduction (Job 1:1-2,10) supplies all the facts on which the argument is based. Job, a chieftain in the land of Uz (apparently a district of Northern Arabia — see Uz), of immense wealth and high rank, is represented to us as a man of perfect integrity, and blameless in all the relations of life. The highest goodness and the most perfect temporal happiness are combined in his person; under the protection of God, surrounded by a numerous family, he enjoys in advanced life (from 42:16 it has been inferred that he was about seventy years old at this time), an almost paradisiacal state, exemplifying the normal results of human obedience to the will of a righteous God.
One question, however, could be raised by envy: May not the goodness which secures such direct and tangible rewards be a refined form of selfishness? In the world of spirits, where all the mysteries of existence are brought to light, Satan, the accusing angel, suggests this doubt, and boldly asserts that if those external blessings were withdrawn Job would cast off his allegiance. The question thus distinctly propounded is obviously of infinite importance, and could only be answered by inflicting upon a man, in whom, while prosperous, malice itself could detect no evil, the calamities which are the due, and were then believed to be invariably the results, even in this life, of wickedness. The accuser receives permission to make the trial. He destroys Job's property, then his children; and afterwards, to leave no possible opening for a cavil, is allowed to inflict upon him the most terrible disease known in the East. SEE JOBS DISEASE. Each of these calamities assumes a form which produces an impression that it must be a visitation from God, precisely such as was to be expected, supposing that the patriarch had been a successful hypocrite, reserved for the day of wrath. Job's wife breaks down entirely under the trial — in the very words which Satan had anticipated that the patriarch himself would at last utter in his despair, she counsels him "to curse God and die." (The Sept. has a remarkable addition to her speech at 2:9, severely reproaching him as the cause of her bereavements.) Job remains steadfast. The destruction of his property draws not from him a word of complaint; the death of his children elicits the sublimest words of resignation which ever fell from the lips of a mourner — the disease which made him an object of loathing to man, and seemed to designate him as a visible example of divine wrath, is borne without a murmur; he repels his wife's suggestion with the simple words, "What! shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil?" "In all this Job did not sin with his lips."
2. The Controversy (2, 11-31, 40). — Still it is clear that, had the poem ended here, many points of deep interest would have been left in obscurity. Entire as was the submission of Job, he must have been inwardly perplexed by events to which he had no clue, which were quite unaccountable on any hypothesis hitherto entertained, and seemed repugnant to the ideas of justice engraven on man's heart. It was also most desirable that the impressions made upon the generality of men by sudden and unaccountable calamities should be thoroughly discussed, and that a broader and firmer basis than heretofore should be found for speculations concerning the providential government of the world. An opportunity for such discussion is afforded in the most natural manner by the introduction of three men representing the wisdom and experience of the age, who came to condole with Job on hearing of his misfortunes. Some time appears to have elapsed in the interim, during which the disease had made formidable progress, and Job had thoroughly realized the extent of his misery. The meeting is described with singular beauty. At a distance they greet him with the wild demonstrations of sympathizing grief usual in the East; coming near, they are overpowered by the sight of his wretchedness, and sit seven days and seven nights without uttering a word (Job 2:11-13). This awful silence, whether Job felt it as a proof of real sympathy, or as an indication of inward suspicion on their part, drew out all his anguish. In an agony of desperation he curses the day of his birth, and sees and hopes for no end of his misery but death (ch. 3).
This causes a discussion between him and his friends (ch. 4-31), which is divided into three main parts, each with subdivisions, embracing alternately the speeches of the three friends of Job and his answers: the last part, however, consists of only two subdivisions, the third friend, Zophar, having nothing to rejoin; a silence by which the author of the book generally designates the defeat of Job's friends, who are defending a common cause. (It has, however, been argued with much force by Wemyss, that some derangement has occurred in the order of the composition; for Job 27:13-23, appears to contain Zophar's third address to Job, while ch. 28 seems to be the conclusion of the whole book, containing the moral, added perhaps by some later hand.) But see below, § 5.
(a.) The results of the first discussion (chap. 3-14) may be thus summed up. We have on the part of Job's friends a theory of the divine government resting upon an exact and uniform correlation between sin and punishment (Job 4:6,11, and throughout). Afflictions are always penal, issuing in the destruction of those who are radically opposed to God, or who do not submit to his chastisements. They lead, of course, to correction and amendment of life when the sufferer repents, confesses his sins, puts them away, and turns to God. In that case restoration to peace, and even increased prosperity, may be expected (Job 5:17-27). Still the fact of the suffering always proves the commission of some special sin, while the demeanor of the sufferer indicates the true internal relation between him and God.
These principles are applied by them to the case of Job. They are, in the first place, scandalized by the vehemence of his complaints, and when they find that he maintains his freedom from willful or conscious sin, they are driven to the conclusion that his faith is radically unsound; his protestations appear to them almost blasphemous; they become convinced that he has been secretly guilty of some unpardonable sin, and their tone, at first courteous, though warning (compare ch. 4 with ch. 15), becomes stern, and even harsh and menacing. It is clear that, unless they are driven from their partial and exclusive theory, they must be led on to an unqualified condemnation of Job.
In this part of the dialogue the character of the three friends is clearly developed. Eliphaz represents the true patriarchal chieftain, grave and dignified, and erring only from an exclusive adherence to tenets hitherto unquestioned, and influenced in the first place by genuine regard for Job and sympathy with his affliction. Bildad, without much originality or independence of character, reposes partly on the wise saws of antiquity, partly on the authority of his older friend. Zophar differs from both: he seems to be a young man; his language is violent, and at times even coarse and offensive (see, especially, his second speech, ch. 20). He represents the prejudiced and narrow-minded bigots of his age.
In order to do justice to the position and arguments of Job, it must be borne in mind that the direct object of the trial was to ascertain whether he would deny or forsake God, and that his real integrity is asserted by God himself. His answers throughout correspond with these data. He knows with a sure inward conviction that he is not an offender in the sense of his opponents: he is therefore confident that, whatever may be the object of the afflictions for which he cannot account, God knows that he is innocent. This consciousness, which from the nature of things cannot be tested by others, enables him to examine fearlessly their position. He denies the assertion that punishment follows surely on guilt, or proves its commission. Appealing boldly to experience, he declares that, in point of fact, prosperity and misfortune are not always or generally commensurate; both are often irrespective of man's deserts; "the tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure" (12:6). In the government of Providence he can see but one point clearly, viz. that all events and results are absolutely in God's hand (Job 12:9-25), but as for the principles which underlie those events he knows nothing. In fact, he is sure that his friends are equally uninformed, and are sophists defending their position, out of mere prejudice, by arguments and statements false in themselves and doubly offensive to God, being hypocritically advanced in his defense (Job 13:1-13). Still he doubts not that God is just, and although he cannot see how or when that justice can be manifested, he feels confident that his innocence must be recognized. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him; he also will be my salvation" (Job 13:14,16). There remains, then, but one course open to him, and that he takes. He turns to supplication, implores God to give him a fair and open trial (Job 13:18-28). Admitting his liability to such sins as are common to man, being unclean by birth (Job 13:26; Job 14:4), he yet protests his substantial innocence, and in the bitter struggle with his misery he first meets the thought which is afterwards developed with remarkable distinctness. Believing that with death all hope connected with this world ceases, he prays that he may be hidden in the grave (Job 14:13), and there reserved for the day when God will try his cause and manifest himself in love (verse 15). This prayer represents but a dim, yet a profound and true presentiment, drawn forth, then evidently for the first time, as the possible solution of the dark problem. As for a renewal of life here, he dreams not of it (verse 14), nor will he allow that the possible restoration or prosperity of his descendants at all meets the exigencies of his case (ver. 21, 22).
(b.) In the second discussion (ch. 15-21) there is a more resolute, elaborate attempt on the part of Job's friends to vindicate their theory of retributive justice. This requires an entire overthrow of the position taken by Job. They cannot admit his innocence. The fact that his calamities are unparalleled proves to them that there must be something quite unique in his guilt. Eliphaz (ch. 15), who, as usual, lays down the basis of the argument, does not now hesitate to impute to Job the worst crimes of which man could be guilty. His defense is blasphemous, and proves that he is quite godless; that he disregards the wisdom of age and experience, denies the fundamental truths of religion (verse 3-16), and by his rebellious struggles (ver. 25-27) against God deserves every calamity which can befall him (ver. 28-30). Bildad (ch. 18) takes up this suggestion of ungodliness, and, after enlarging upon the inevitable results of all iniquity, concludes that the special evils which had come upon Job, such as agony of heart, ruin of home, destruction of family, are peculiarly the penalties due to one who is without God. Zophar (ch. 20) draws the further inference that a sinner's sufferings must needs be proportioned to his former enjoyments (ver. 5-14), and his losses to his former gains (ver. 15-19), and thus not only accounts for Job's present calamities, but menaces him with still greater evils (ver. 20-29).
In answer, Job recognizes the hand of God in his afflictions (Job 16:7-16, and Job 19:6-20), but rejects the charge of ungodliness; he has never forsaken his Maker, and never ceased to pray. This, being a matter of inward consciousness, cannot of course be proved. He appeals therefore directly to earth and heaven: "My witness is in heaven, and my record is on high" (Job 16:19). The train of thought thus suggested carries him much further in the way towards the great truth — that since in this life the righteous certainly are not saved from evil, it follows that their ways are watched and their sufferings recorded, with a view to a future and perfect manifestation of the divine justice. This view becomes gradually brighter and more definite as the controversy proceeds (Job 16:18-19; Job 17:8-9, and perhaps 13-16), and at last finds expression in a strong and clear declaration of his conviction that at the latter day (evidently that day which Job had expressed a longing to see, Job 14:12-14) God will personally manifest himself as his nearest kinsman or avenger SEE GOEL, and that he, Job, although in a disembodied state (מַבּשָׂרַי, without my flesh). should survive in spirit to witness this posthumous vindication, a pledge of which had already often been given him (עֵינִי רָאוּ) — he, notwithstanding the destruction of his skin, i.e. the outward man, retaining or recovering his personal identity (Job 19:25-27). There can be no doubt that Job here virtually anticipates the final answer to all difficulties supplied by the Christian revelation.
On the other hand, stung by the harsh and narrow minded bigotry of his opponents, Job draws out (chap. 21) with terrible force the undeniable fact that, from the beginning to the end of their lives, ungodly men, avowed atheists (ver. 14, 15), persons, in fact, guilty of the very crimes imputed, out of mere conjecture, to himself, frequently enjoy great and unbroken prosperity. From this he draws the inference, which he states in a very unguarded manner, and in a tone calculated to give just offense, that an impenetrable veil hangs over the temporal dispensations of God.
(c.) In the third dialogue (chap. 22-31) no real progress is made by Job's opponents. They will not give up and cannot defend their position. Eliphaz (ch. 22) makes a last effort, and raises one new point which he states with some ingenuity. The station in which Job was formerly placed presented temptations to certain crimes; the punishments which he undergoes are precisely such as might be expected had those crimes been committed; hence he infers they actually were committed. The tone of this discourse thoroughly harmonizes with the character of Eliphaz. He could scarcely come to a different conclusion without surrendering his fundamental principles; and he urges with much dignity and impressiveness the exhortations and warnings which in his opinion were needed. Bildad has nothing to add but a few solemn words on the incomprehensible majesty of God and the nothingness of man. Zophar, the most violent and least rational of the three, is put to silence, and retires from the contest (unless we adopt the above suggestion of a transposition of the text).
In his last two discourses Job does not alter his position, nor, properly speaking, adduce any new argument, but he states with incomparable force and eloquence the chief points which he regards as established (ch. 26). All creation is confounded by the majesty and might of God; man catches but a faint echo of God's word, and is baffled in the attempt to comprehend his ways. He then (ch. 27) describes even more completely than his opponents had done the destruction which, as a rule, ultimately falls upon the hypocrite, and which he certainly would deserve if he were hypocritically to disguise the truth concerning himself, and deny his own integrity. He thus recognizes what was true in his opponents' arguments, and corrects his own hasty and unguarded statements. Then follows (chap. 28) the grand description of Wisdom, and the declaration that human wisdom does not consist in exploring the hidden and inscrutable ways of God, but in the fear of the Lord, and in turning away from evil. The remainder of this discourse (ch. 29-31) contains a singularly beautiful description of his former life, contrasted with his actual misery, together with a full vindication of his character from all the charges made or insinuated by his opponents.
Taking a general view of the argument thus far, Job's three friends may be considered as asserting the following positions:
(1.) No man being free from sin, we need not wonder that we are liable to calamities, for which we must account by a reference, not to God, but to ourselves. From the misery of the distressed, others are enabled to infer their guilt; and they must take this view in order to vindicate divine justice,
(2.) The distress of a man proves not only that he has sinned, but shows also the degree and measure of his sin; and thus, from the extent of calamity sustained, may be inferred the extent of sins committed, and from this the measure of impending misfortune.
(3.) A distressed man may recover his former happiness, and even attain to greater fortune than he ever enjoyed before, if he takes a warning from his afflictions, repents of his sins, reforms his life, and raises himself to a higher degree of moral rectitude. Impatience and irreverent expostulation with God serve but to prolong and increase punishment; for, by accusing God of injustice, a fresh sin is added to former transgressions.
(4.) Though the wicked man is capable of prosperity, still it is never lasting. The most awful retribution soon overtakes him; and his transient felicity must itself be considered as punishment, since it renders him heedless, and makes him feel misfortune more keenly.
In opposition to them, Job maintains:
(1.) The most upright man may be highly unfortunate — more so than the inevitable faults and shortcomings of human nature would seem to imply. There is a savage cruelty, deserving the severities of the divine resentment, in inferring the guilt of a man from his distresses. In distributing good and evil, God regards neither merit nor guilt, but acts according to his sovereign pleasure. His omnipotence is apparent in every part of the creation, but his justice cannot be seen in the government of the world; the afflictions of the righteous, as well as the prosperity of the wicked, are evidence against it. There are innumerable cases, and Job considers his own to be one of them, in which a sufferer has a right to justify himself before God, and to appeal to some other explanation of his decrees. Of this right Job freely avails himself, and maintains it against his friends.
(2.) In a state of composure and calmer reflection, Job qualifies, chiefly in his concluding speech, some of his former rather extravagant assertions, and says that, although God generally afflicts the wicked, and blesses the righteous, still there are exceptions to this rule, single cases in which the pious undergo severe trials; the inference, therefore, of a man's guilt from his misfortunes is by no means warranted. For the exceptions established by experience prove that God does not always distribute prosperity and adversity after this rule, but that he sometimes acts on a different principle, or as an absolute lord, according to his mere will and pleasure.
(3.) Humbly to adore God is our duty, even when we are subject to calamities not at all deserved; but we should abstain from harshly judging of those who, when distressed, seem to send forth complaints against God.
3. Thus ends the discussion, in which it is evident both parties had partially failed. Job has been betrayed into very hazardous statements, while his friends had been on the one hand disingenuous, on the other bigoted, harsh, and pitiless. The points which had been omitted, or imperfectly developed, are now taken up by a new interlocutor (ch. 32-37), who argues the justice of the divine administration both from the nature of the dispensations allotted to man, and from the essential character of God himself. Elihu, a young man, descended from a collateral branch of the family of Abraham, has listened in indignant silence to the arguments of his elders (Job 32:7), and, impelled by an inward inspiration, he now addresses himself to both parties in the discussion, and specially to Job. He shows, first, that they had accused Job upon false or insufficient grounds, and failed to convict him, or to vindicate God's justice. Job, again, had assumed his entire innocence, and had arraigned that justice (Job 33:9-11). These errors he traces to their both overlooking one main object of all suffering. God speaks to man by chastisement (ver. 14, 19-22) — warns him, teaches him self-knowledge and humility (ver. 16, 17) — and prepares him (ver. 23) by the mediation of a spiritual interpreter (the angel Jehovah of Genesis) to implore and to obtain pardon (ver. 24), renewal of life (ver. 25), perfect access and restoration (ver. 26). This statement does not involve any charge of special guilt, such as the friends had alleged and Job had repudiated. Since the warning and suffering are preventive as well as remedial, the visitation anticipates the commission of sin; it saves man from pride, and other temptations of wealth and power, and it effects the real object of all divine interpositions, the entire submission to God's will. Again, Elihu argues (Job 34:10-17) that any charge of injustice, direct or implicit, against God involves a contradiction in terms. God is the only source of justice; the very idea of justice is derived from his governance of the universe, the principle of which is love. In his absolute knowledge God sees all secrets, and by his absolute power he controls all events, and that for the one end of bringing righteousness to light (verse 21-30). Man has, of course, no claim upon God; what he receives is purely a matter of grace (Job 35:6-9). The occasional appearance of unanswered prayer (verse 9), when evil seems to get the upper hand, is owing merely to the fact that man prays in a proud and insolent spirit (ver. 12, 13). Job may look to his heart, and he will see if that is true of himself.
Job is silent, and Elihu proceeds (ch. 36) to show that the almightiness of God is not, as Job seems to assert, associated with any contempt or neglect of his creatures. Job, by ignoring this truth, has been led into grave error, and terrible danger (ver. 12; comp. 18), but God is still drawing him, and if he yields and follows he will yet be delivered. The rest of the discourse brings out forcibly the lessons taught by the manifestations of goodness as well as greatness in creation. Indeed, the great object of all natural phenomena is to teach men—"Who teacheth like him?" This part differs from Job's magnificent description of the mystery and majesty of God's works, inasmuch as it indicates a clearer recognition of a loving purpose — and from the address of the Lord which follows, by its discursive and argumentative tone. The last words are evidently spoken while a violent storm is coming on, in which Elihu views the signs of a Theophany, such as cannot fail to produce an intense realization of the nothingness of man before God.
4. The Almighty's Response. — From the preceding analysis it is obvious that many weighty truths have been developed in the course of the discussion — nearly every theory of the objects and uses of suffering has been reviewed — while a great advance has been made towards the apprehension of doctrines hereafter to be revealed, such as were known only to God. But the mystery is not as yet really cleared up. The position of the three original opponents is shown to be untenable — the views of Job himself to be but imperfect — while even Elihu gives not the least intimation that he recognizes one special object of calamity. In the case of Job, as we are expressly told, that object was to try his sincerity, and to demonstrate that goodness, integrity in all relations, and devout faith in God can exist independent of external circumstances. This object never occurs to the mind of any one of the interlocutors, nor could it be proved without a revelation. On the other hand, the exact amount of censure due to Job for the excesses into which he had been betrayed, and to his three opponents for their harshness and want of candor, could only be awarded by an omniscient Judge.
Accordingly, from the midst of the storm, Jehovah, whom Job had several times vehemently challenged by appeal to decide the contest, now speaks. In language of incomparable grandeur he reproves and silences the murmurs of Job. God does not condescend, strictly speaking, to argue with his creatures. The speculative questions discussed in the colloquy are unnoticed, but the declaration of God's absolute power is illustrated by a marvelously beautiful and comprehensive survey of the glory of creation, and his all-embracing providence by reference to the phenomena of the animal kingdom. He who would argue with the Lord must understand at least the objects for which instincts so strange and manifold are given to the beings far below man in gifts and powers. This declaration suffices to bring Job to a right mind: he confesses his inability to comprehend; and therefore to answer his Maker (Job 40:3-4). A second address completes the work. It proves that a charge of injustice against God involves the consequence that the accuser is more competent than he to rule the universe. He should then be able to control, to punish, to reduce all creatures to order — but he cannot even subdue the monsters of the irrational creation. Baffled by leviathan and behemoth, how can he hold the reins of government, how contend with him who made and rules them all?
5. Job's unreserved submission terminates the trial (ch. 38-12. There is probably another transposition at Job 40:1-14, which belongs after Job 42:1-6). He expresses deep contrition, not, of course, for sins falsely imputed to him, but for the bitterness and arrogance which had characterized some portion of his complaints. In the rebuke then addressed to Job's opponents the integrity of his character is distinctly recognized, while they are condemned for untruth, which, inasmuch as it was not willful, but proceeded from a real but narrow minded conviction of the divine justice, is pardoned on the intercession of Job. The restoration of his external prosperity, which is an inevitable result of God's personal manifestation, symbolizes the ultimate compensation of the righteous for all sufferings undergone upon earth.
II. Design of the Book. —
1. From this analysis it may seem clear that certain views concerning the general object of the book are partial or erroneous.
a. It cannot be the object of the writer to prove that there is no connection between guilt and sorrow, or that the old orthodox doctrine of retribution was radically unsound. Job himself recognizes the general truth of the doctrine, which is, in fact, confirmed by his ultimate restoration to happiness.
b. Nor is the development of the great doctrine of a future state the primary object. It would not, in that case, have been passed over in Job's last discourse, in the speech of Elihu, or in the address of the Lord God. In fact; critics who hold that view admit that the doctrine is rather suggested than developed, and amounts to scarcely more than a hope, a presentiment, at the most a subjective conviction of a truth first fully revealed by him "who brought life and immortality to light." (See Pareau, De Immortalitatis notis in libro Jobi, Devent. 1807.) The cardinal truth of the immortality of the soul is, indeed, clearly implied throughout Job's reasoning, as it is elsewhere assumed in the O.T. (comp. Mt 22:32); and this thought, in fact, constitutes the afflicted patriarch's ground of consolation and trust, especially in that sublime passage (19:25-27) where he expresses his confidence in his posthumous vindication, which could be of no satisfaction unless his spirit should survive to witness it. Yet this belief is nowhere carried out at length, as would have been the case had this been the main theme of the epopee. Much less is the later doctrine of the resurrection of the body contained in the poem. SEE RESURRECTION.
2. It may be granted that the primary design of the poem is that which is distinctly intimated in the introduction, and confirmed in the conclusion, namely, to show the effects of calamity in its worst and most awful form upon a truly religious spirit. Job is no Stoic, no Titan (Ewald, p. 26), struggling rebelliously against God; no Prometheus victim of a jealous and unrelenting Deity: he is a suffering man, acutely sensitive to all impressions inward and outward, grieved by the loss of wealth, position, domestic happiness, the respect of his countrymen, dependents, and followers, tortured by a loathsome, incurable, and all but unendurable disease, and stung to an agony of grief and passion by the insinuations of conscious guilt and hypocrisy. Under such provocation, being wholly without a clue to the cause of his misery, and hopeless of restoration to happiness on earth, he is shaken to the utmost, and driven almost to desperation. Still in the center of his being he remains firm and unmoved — with an intense consciousness of his own integrity — without a doubt as to the power, wisdom, truth, or absolute justice of God, and therefore awaiting with longing expectation the final judgment which he is assured must come and bring him deliverance. The representation of such a character, involving the discomfiture of man's great enemy, and the development of the manifold problems which such a spectacle suggests to men of imperfect knowledge, but of thoughtful and inquiring mind, is the more direct object of the writer, who, like all great spirits of the ancient world, dealt less with abstract propositions than with the objective realities of existence. Such is the impression naturally made by the book, and which is recognized more distinctly in proportion as the reader grasps the tenor of the arguments, and realizes the characters and events.
3. Still, beyond and beneath this outward and occasional design there evidently lies a grander problem, which has exercised the reflection of all pious and considerate minds, and which we know was vividly pressed upon the contemplation even of the Oriental saint of early times (Psalm 37). Hence the nearly unanimous voice of critics and readers has decided that the ultimate object of the book is the consideration of the question how the afflictions of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked can be consistent with God's justice. But it should be observed that the direct problem exclusively refers to the first point, the second being only incidentally discussed on occasion of the leading theme. If this is overlooked, the author would appear to have solved only one half of his problem: the case from which the whole discussion proceeds has reference merely to the leading problem.
There is another fundamental error which has led nearly all modern interpreters to a mistaken idea of the design of this book. They assume that the problem could be satisfactorily solved only when the doctrine of retribution in another life had been first established, which had not been done by the author of the book of Job: a perfect solution of the question was therefore not to be expected from him. Some assert that his solution is erroneous, since retribution, to be expected in a future world, is transferred by him to this life; others say that he cut the knot which he could not unloose, and has been satisfied to ask for implicit submission and devotedness, showing at the same time that every attempt at a solution must lead to dangerous positions: blind resignation, therefore, was the short meaning of the lengthened discussion. Upon the doctrine of retribution after death our author does not enter; but that he knew it may be inferred from several passages with great probability; as, for instance, 14:14, "If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." The if here shows that the writer had been before engaged in considering the subject of life after death; and when such is the case, a pious mind will necessarily indulge the hope, or will, at least, have an obscure presentiment of immortality. The truth also of God's undoubted grace, on which the doctrine of immortality is based, will be found clearly laid down in chap. 19. Still the author does not recur to this hope for the purpose of solving his problem; he did not intend in his discussion to exceed the limits of what God had clearly revealed, and this was in his time confined to the vague notion of life continued after death. but not connected with rewards and punishments. From these considerations it appears that those interpreters who, with Bernstein, De Wette, and Umbreit, assume that the book of Job was of a skeptical nature, and intended to dispute the doctrine of retribution as laid down in the other books of the Old Testament, have entirely misunderstood it.
On nearer examination, however, it appears that the doctrine of retribution after death is not of itself alone calculated to lead to a solution of the problem. The belief in a final judgment is firm and rational only when it rests in the belief in God's continued providential government of the world, and in his acting as sovereign Lord in all the events of human life. Temporary injustice is still injustice, and destroys the idea of a holy and just God. A God who has something to redress is no God at all. Even the ancient heathen perceived that future awards would not vindicate incongruities in divine providence here (see Barth, Notes to Claudian, 1078 sq.). God's just retribution in this world is extolled throughout the Old Testament. The New Testament holds out to the righteous promises of a future life, as well as of the present; and our Savior himself, in setting forth the rewards of those who, for his sake, forsook everything, begins with this life (Mt 19:29). A nearer examination of the benedictions contained in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) shows that none of them exclusively refer to future blessings; the judgment of the wicked is in his view proceeding without interruption, and therefore his examples of the distribution of divine justice in this world are mingled with those of requital in a future order of things. The Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their own sacrifices (Lu 13:1), were in Christ's opinion not accidentally killed; and he threatens those who would not repent that they should in like manner perish. That sickness is to be considered as a punishment for sin we are clearly taught (Joh 5:14; Lu 5:20,24): in the former passage it is threatened as a punishment for sins committed; in the latter it is healed in consequence of punishment remitted. The passage in Joh 9:2-3, which is often appealed to in proof that our Lord did not consider sickness as a punishment for, does not prove this, but only opposes the Jewish position—founded on the mistaken doctrine of retribution—that all severe sicknesses and infirmities were consequences of crimes. The solution of the problem regarding the sufferings of the righteous rests on two positions:
(1.) Their Necessity. — Even the comparatively righteous are not without sin, which can be eradicated only by afflictions, and he who patiently endures them will attain a clearer insight into the otherwise obscure ways of God. The trials of the pious issue at once from God's justice and love. To him who entertains a proper sense of the sinfulness of man, no calamity appears so great as not to be deserved as a punishment, or useful as a corrective.
(2.) The Compensations attending them. — Calamity, as the veiled grace of God, is with the pious never experienced alone, but manifest proofs of divine favor accompany or follow it. Though sunk in misery, they still are happier than the wicked, and when it has attained its object it is terminated by the Lord. The consolations offered in the Old Testament are, agreeably to the weaker judgment of its professors, derived chiefly from external circumstances, while in the New Testament they are mainly spiritual, the eye being, moreover, directed beyond the limits of this world.
It is this purely correct solution of the problem which occurs in the book of Job. It is not set forth, however, in any one set of speeches, but is rather to be gathered from the concurrent drift of the entire discussion. For,
[1.] The solution cannot be looked for in Job's speeches, for God proves himself gracious towards him only after he has been corrected and humbled himself. Although the author of the book does not say (Job 1:22; Job 2:10; comp. 42:7) that Job had charged God foolishly, and sinned with his lips, yet the sentiment calling for correction in his speeches is clearly pointed out to be that "he was righteous in his own eyes, and justified himself rather than God" (Job 32:1-2). The entire purity of his character did not prevent his falling into misconceptions and even contradictions on this important topic, which the discussion only tended the more to perplex. Job continues to be embarrassed for the solution, and he is only certain of this, that the explanation of his friends cannot be satisfactory. Job erred chiefly in not acknowledging his need of chastisement; notwithstanding his integrity and sincere piety, this prevented him from apprehending the object of the calamity inflicted on him, led him to consider God's dispensations as arbitrary, and made him despair of the return of better days. The greatness of his sufferings was in some measure the cause of his misconception, by exciting his feelings, and preventing him from calmly considering his case. He was in the state of a man tempted, and deserving God's indulgence. He had received considerable provocation from his friends, and often endeavored to soften his harsh assertions, which, particularly in ch. 27 leads him into such contradictions as must have occurred in the life of the tempted; he is loud in acknowledging the wisdom of God (ch. 28), and raises himself at times to cheering hopes (comp. ch. 19). But this can only excuse, not justify him, and therefore it is in the highest degree honorable to him that he remains silent when, in Elihu's speeches, the correct solution of the question is suggested, and that he ultimately acknowledges his fundamental error of doing justice to himself only.
[2.] The solution of the question mooted cannot be contained in the speeches of Job's friends. Their demeanor is reproved by God, and represented as a real sin, so much so, indeed, that to obtain pardon for them Job was directed to offer a propitiatory sacrifice. Their error proceeded from a crude notion of sin in its external appearance; and, inferring its existence from calamity, they were thus led to condemn the afflicted Job as guilty of heinous crimes (ch. 32). The moral use of sufferings was unknown to them, which evidently proved that they themselves were not yet purged and cleared from guilt. If they had been sensible of the nature of man, if they had understood themselves, they would on seeing the misery of Job, have exclaimed, "God be merciful to us sinners!" There is, indeed, an important correct principle in their speeches, whose center it forms, so much so that they mostly err only in the application of the general truth. It consists in the perception of the invariable connection between sin and misery, which is indelibly engrafted on the heart of man, and to which many ancient authors allude. The problem of the book is then solved by properly uniting the correct positions of the speeches both of Job and his friends, by maintaining his innocence as to any moral obliquity (although cherishing a view which must have resulted in spiritual pride, had not the Lord thus mercifully exposed its character before it ripened into guilt), and at the same time avoiding the idea that misfortune is necessarily a punitive infliction (being only a curse when it follows the violation of the physical laws of the Creator, and even then capable of being overruled for the welfare of his saints), thus tracing the errors of both parties to a common source, the want of a sound insight into the nature of sin. Job considers himself righteous, and not deserving of such inflictions, because he was not conscious of having committed any crime; and his friends fancy they must assume that he was highly criminal, in order to justify his misery.
[3.] The solution of the question at issue is not exclusively given in the addresses of God, which contain only the basis of the solution, not the solution itself. In setting forth his majesty, and in showing that imputing to him injustice is repugnant to a correct conception of his nature, these addresses establish that there must be a solution which does not impair divine justice. This is not, indeed, the solution itself, but everything is thus prepared for the solution. We apprehend that God must be just, but it remains further to be shown how he can be just, and still the righteous be miserable.
[4.] Nor yet can we justly regard the speech of Elihu as affording altogether a correct solution of this main question; for, as the preceding analysis has shown, it falls short of the purpose, and the text itself (Job 38:2) expressly states its bewilderment and incompetency. Nevertheless, the position of this in the poem, and the general agreement of its doctrines with the final result, indicate that it contains, in germ at least, the correct solution, as far as human sagacity can go. The leading principle in Elihu's statement is, that calamity in the shape of trial was inflicted even on the comparatively best men, but that God allowed a favorable turn to take place as soon as it had attained its object. Now this is the key to the events of Job's life. Though a pious and righteous man, he is tried by severe afflictions. He knows not for what purpose he is smitten, and his calamity continues; but when he learns it from the addresses of Elihu and God, and humbles himself, he is relieved from the burden which oppresses him, and ample prosperity atones for the afflictions he has sustained (the last vestige of injustice on the part of the Almighty in thus afflicting a good man at the instance of Satan, and for the sake of the example to future ages, disappearing with the consideration that the subject of it himself required the severe lesson for his own spiritual profit). Add to this that the remaining portion of Elihu's speeches, in which he points to God's infinite majesty as including his justice, is continued in the addresses of God; that Elihu foretells God's appearance; that he is not punished by God as are the friends of Job; in fine, that Job, by his very silence, acknowledges the problem to have been solved by Elihu; and his silence is the more significant, because Elihu had urged him to defend himself (Job 33:32), and because Job had repeatedly declared he would "hold his peace" if it was shown to him wherein he had erred (Job 6:24-25; Job 19:4). This view of the book of Job has among modern authors been supported chiefly by Stäudlin (Beiträge zur Religions und Sittenlehre, 2, 133) and Stickel (Das Buch Hiob, Lpzg. 1842), though in both it is mixed up with much erroneous matter; and it is further confirmed by the whole Old Testament giving the same answer to the question mooted which the speeches of Elihu offer: in its concentrated form it is presented in Ps 37; Ps 44; Ps 73.
At the same time, it must be conceded that the reprehension of Elihu's speech by Jehovah himself, as savoring of presumption, intimates, as the tenor of the whole succeeding portion of the poem also implies, that there are mysteries in divine providence, the full solution of which, in this life at least, God does not deign nor think best to make to his creatures who are the subjects of them. The inscrutability of God's ways by human judgment is a necessary inference from his infinity, and the character of this life as a probation requires the withholding of many of his plans in order to their proper disciplinary effects. Especially is the saint required to "wall by faith and not by sight," and the growth and fullest exercise of this faith can only occur under such circumstances as those in which Job was placed. While it is preeminently the doctrine of both the Old and the New Testament that afflictions are the earthly lot of the righteous, it is equally a maxim under both dispensations that the most ennobling motive for their patient endurance is the simple fact that they are dispensed by our heavenly Father, who alone fully knows why they are best for us. Could the subject of them at the time perceive clearly their necessity and advantage, half their value would be destroyed; for an assurance of this he must trust the known kindness and wisdom of the Hand that smites him (Heb 12:1). It was this sublime position, finally attained by the tried patriarch (Job 23:10), which gilds his character with its most sacred hue. The above is substantially the view of the moral design of the book entertained by the latest expositors (e.g. Conant, Delitzsch, etc.), although they do not bring out these ethical considerations with sufficient distinctness.
It remains to consider the view taken by Ewald respecting the design of the book of Job. He justly rejects the common, superficial view of its design, which has recently been revived and defended by Hirzel (see his Commentar, Lpzg. 1839), and which represents the author as intending to show that man cannot apprehend the plans of God, and does best to submit in ignorance, without repining at afflictions. Nowhere in the whole book is simple resignation crudely enjoined, and nowhere does Job say that he submits to such an injunction. The prologue represents his sufferings as trials, and the epilogue declares that the end had proved this consequently the author was competent to give a theodicy with reference to the calamity of Job and if such is the case he cannot have intended simply to recommend resignation. The Biblical writers, when engaged on this problem, know how to justify God with reference to the afflictions of the righteous, and have no intention of evading the difficulty when they recommend resignation (see the Psalms quoted above, and, in the New Testament, the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. 12). The view of the book of Job alluded to would isolate it, and take it out of its natural connection. Thus far, then, we agree with Ewald, but we cannot approve of his own view of the design of the book of Job. According to his system, "calamity is never a punishment for sins committed, but always a mere phantom, an imaginary show, above which we must raise ourselves by the consciousness of the eternal nature of the human mind, to which, by external prosperity, nothing can be added, and from which, by external misfortune, nothing can be taken away. It was (says Ewald) the merit of the book of Job to have prepared these sounder views of worldly evil and of the immortality of mind, transmitting them as fruitful buds to posterity." But such a system as this must be abortive to console under any considerable affliction, and is equally opposed to the whole tenor of Scripture, which, while recognizing the reality and naturalness of sorrow, and even allowing its exhibition, yet knows how effectually to cure its wounds by the most substantial considerations. Nor is it in accordance with the book itself, which nowhere impugns or mitigates the extent of Job's calamities, but, from the high vantage ground of the prologue and epilogue, impresses us with a more solemn insight into their significance than even Job was enabled to take, and throughout the discussion (both on the part of the three friends — whose argument is based upon their tangibility as evidence of the divine displeasure, and especially in the key furnished by Elihu — which exalts them to the most interesting degree of importance in the moral discipline of the people of God), admits and therefore seeks to justify their pungency. Their design is as far from stoicism as from insensibility. Viewed in the light of the foregoing purpose, this book becomes one of the most precious legacies to the Church to which tribulation in this world has been left as a heritage; and a sublime exposition of some of the most interesting problems of religious experience in its most highly developed phase.
III. Historical Character of the Work. — On this subject there are three opinions.
(1.) Some contend that the book contains an entirely true history.
(2.) Others assert that it contains a narrative entirely imaginary, and constructed by the author to teach a great moral truth.
(3.) The third opinion is that the book is founded on a true history, which has been recast, modified, and enlarged by the author.
1. The first view, taken by numerous ancient interpreters, is now abandoned by nearly all expositors. Until a comparatively late time, the general opinion was not only that the persons and events which it describes are real, but that the very words of the speakers were actually recorded. It was supposed either that Job himself employed the latter years of his life in writing it (A. Schultens), or that at a very early age some inspired Hebrew collected the facts and sayings, faithfully preserved by oral tradition, and presented them to his countrymen in their own tongue. Some such view seems to have been adopted by Josephus, for he places Job in the list of the historical books, and it was prevalent with all the fathers of the Church. In its support several reasons are adduced, of which only the first and second have any real force; and even these are outweighed by other considerations, which render it impossible to consider the book of Job as an entirely true history, but which may be used in defense of the third view alluded to. It is said.
(1.) That Job is (Eze 14:14-20) mentioned as a public character, together with Noah and Daniel, and represented as an example of piety.
(2.) In the Epistle of James (Jas 5:11), patience in sufferings is recommended by a reference to Job.
(3.) In the Greek translation of the Sept. a notice is appended to the book of Job, evidently referring to Ge 36:33, and stating that Job was the king Jobab of Edom. It is as follows: "And it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord will raise up. This is translated out of a Syrian book. He dwelt indeed in the land of Ausitis, on the confines of Idumaea and Arabia. His first name was Jobab; and having married an Arabian woman, he had by her a son whose name was Ennon. He was himself a son of Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and his mother's name was Bosorra; so that he was the fifth in descent from Abraham. And these were the kings who reigned in Edort, over which country he also bore rule. The first was Balak, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba. And after Balak, Jobab, who is called Job; and after him Asom, who was governor from the region of Thaimanitis; and after him Adad, son of Barad, who smote Madian in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And the friends who came to him were Eliphaz of the sons of Esau, the king of the Thaimanites; Baldad, the sovereign of the Sauchaeans; and Sophar, the king of the Minaians." An account is given at the close of the Arabic version so similar that the one has every appearance of having been copied from the other, or of their having had a common origin. Aristaeus, Philo, and Polyhistor acknowledged the account to be true, as did the Greek and Latin fathers. It is not unlikely that the tradition is derived from the Jews. This statement is too late to be relied on, and originates in an etymological combination, SEE JOBAB; and that it must be erroneous is to a certain extent evident from the contents of the book, in which Job is not represented as a king.
(4.) In the East numerous traditions (see D'Herbelot, s.v. Ayoub) about the patriarch and his family show the deep impression made by his character and calamities: these traditions may possibly have been derived from the book itself, but it is at least equally probable that they had an independent origin. Indeed, Job's tomb continues to be shown to Oriental tourists. Now the factor a Job having lived somewhere would not of itself prove that the hero of our narrative was that person, and that this book contained a purely historical account. Moreover, his tomb is shown not in one place, but in six, and, along with it, the dunghill on which Job is reported to have sat! (See Carpzov, Introd. 2, 33; Jahn, Einleit. 1, 1, 761; Michaelis, Einleit. 1, 1; Bertholdt, 5, 2040).
(5.) Dr. Hales and others have even gone so far as to fix his exact year, by a calculation of the constellation alluded to in 9:9; 38:31; but the uncertainty of such a process is too evident to need consideration, as the very names of the planets alluded to are doubtful.
Against this view it must be remarked generally, that the whole work is arranged on a well-considered plan, proving the author's power of independent invention; that the speeches are, in their general structure and in their details, so elaborate that they could not have been brought out in the ordinary course of a conversation or disputation; that it would be unnatural to suppose Job in his distressed state to have delivered such speeches, finished with the utmost care; and that they exhibit uniformity in their design, fullness, propriety, and coloring, though the author, with considerable skill, represents each speaker whom he introduces arguing according to his character. Moreover, in the prologue and epilogue, as well as in the arrangement of the speeches, the figures 3 and 7 constantly occur, with the decimal number formed by their addition. The transactions between God and Satan in the prologue absolutely require that we should distinguish between the subject matter forming the foundation of the work and its enlargement, which can be only done when a poetical principle is acknowledged in its composition. God's speaking out of the clouds would. be a miracle, without an object corresponding to its magnitude, and having a merely personal reference, while all the other miracles of the Old Testament are in connection with the theocratical government, and occur in the midst and for the benefit of the people of God.
2. Impelled by the force of these arguments, many critics have adopted the opinion either that the whole work is a moral or religious apologue, or that, upon a substratum of a few rudimental facts preserved by tradition, the genius of an original thinker has raised this, the most remarkable monument of the Shemitic mind. The first indications of this opinion are found in the Talmud (Baba Bathra, 15:1). In a discussion upon the age of this book, while the Rabbins in general maintain its historical character, Samuel Bar- Nachman declares his conviction "Job did not exist, and was not a created man, but the work is a parable." Hai Gaon (Ewald and Duke's Beiträge, 3, 165), A.D. 1000, who is followed by Jarchi, altered this passage to "Job existed, and was created to become a parable." They had evidently no critical ground for the change, but bore witness to the prevalent tradition of the Hebrews. Maimonides (Moreh Nebochim, 3, 22), with his characteristic freedom of mind, considers it an open question of little or no moment to the real value of the inspired book. Ralbag, i.e. R. Levi Ben-Gershom, treats it as a philosophic work. A late Hebrew commentator, Simcha Arieh (Schlottmann, p. 4), denies the historical truth of the narrative on the ground that it is incredible that the patriarchs of the chosen race should be surpassed in goodness by a child of Edom. This is worth noting in corroboration of the argument that such a fact was not likely to have been invented by an Israelite of any age.
In opposition to this view, the following arguments may be adduced:
(1.) It has always seemed to pious writers incompatible with any idea of inspiration to assume that a narrative, certainly not allegorical, should be a mere fiction, and irreverent to suppose that the Almighty would be introduced as a speaker in an imaginary colloquy.
(2.) We are led to the same conclusion by the soundest principles of criticism. Ewald says (Einl. p. 15) most truly, "The invention of a history without foundation in facts — the creation of a person, represented as having a real historical existence, out of the mere head of the poet — is a notion so entirely alien to the spirit of all antiquity, that it only began to develop itself gradually in the latest epoch of the literature of any ancient people, and in its complete form belongs only to the most modern times." In the canonical books there is not a trace of any such invention. Of all people, the Hebrews were the least likely to mingle the mere creations of imagination with the sacred records reverenced as the peculiar glory of their race.
It is true that the arguments advanced by Ewald to show the historical character of the chief features of the book are not entirely conclusive, especially the literature of the name Job, which may have reference to the character he sustains in the narrative (from אָיִב, to hate, q.d. "the assailed," i.e. tempted; see Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 81); still they must be allowed to have some weight, and, taken in connection with the general usage of Scripture in its poetical and rhetorical amplifications, and especially with the considerations presently to be adduced in relation to the author of this. book, justify the presumption of a historical foundation, not only for the facts and personages represented in the book, but also, to a certain extent, for the speeches.
(3.) To this it must be added that there is a singular air of reality in the whole narrative, such as must either proceed naturally from a faithful adherence to objective truth, or be the result of the most consummate art. The effect is produced partly by the thorough consistency of all the characters, especially that of Job, not merely as drawn in broad, strong outlines, but as developed under a variety of most trying circumstances;
partly also by the minute and accurate account of incidents which in a fiction would probably have been noted by an ancient, writer in a vague and general manner. Thus we remark the mode in which the supernatural trial is carried into execution by natural agencies — by Chaldean and Sabaean robbers — by whirlwinds common in and peculiar to the desert — by fire — and, lastly, by the elephantiasis (see Schlottmann, p. 15; Ewald, l. c.; and Hengstenberg), the most formidable disease known in the East. The disease was indeed one which the Indians and most Orientals then probably believed to be peculiarly indicative of divine wrath, and would therefore be naturally selected by the writer (see the analysis above). But the symptoms are described so faithfully as to leave no doubt that the writer must either have introduced them with a view to giving an air of truthfulness to his work, or have recorded what he himself witnessed or received from an exact tradition. The former supposition is confuted by the fact that the peculiar symptoms are not described in any one single passage so as to attract the reader's attention, but are made out by a critical and scientific examination of words occurring here and there at intervals in the complaints of the sufferer. The most refined art fails in producing such a result; it is rarely attempted in the most artificial ages, was never dreamed of by ancient writers, and must here be regarded as a strong instance of the undesigned coincidences which the soundest criticism regards as the best evidence of genuineness and authenticity in any work.
3. Luther first suggested the theory which, in some form or other, is most generally received. In his introduction to the first edition of his translation of the Bible he speaks of the author as having so treated the historical facts as to demonstrate the truth that God alone is righteous; and in the Tischreden (ed. Walch, 22, 2093) he says: "I look upon the book of Job as a true history, yet I do not believe that all took place just as it is written, but that an ingenious, pious, and learned man brought it into its present form." This position was strongly attacked by Bellarmine and other Roman theologians, and was afterwards repudiated by most Lutherans. The fact that Spinoza, Clericus, Du Pin, and Father Simon held nearly the same opinion, the first denying, and the others notoriously holding low views of the inspiration of Scripture, had of course a tendency to bring it into disrepute. J.D. Michaelis first revived the old theory of Bar-Nachman, not upon critical, but dogmatic grounds. In a mere history the opinions or doctrines enounced by Job and his friends could have no dogmatic authority; whereas, if the whole book were a pure inspiration, the strongest arguments could be deduced Room them on behalf of the great truths of the resurrection and a future judgment, which, though implied in ether early books, are nowhere so distinctly inculcated. The arbitrary character of such reasoning is obvious. At present no critic doubts that the narrative rests on facts, although the prevalent opinion among Continental scholars is certainly that in its form and general features, in its reasonings and representations of character, the book is a work of creative genius.
Taking this view, we must still abstain from undertaking to determine what the poet derived from tradition, and what he added himself, since we know not how far tradition had already embellished the original fact. Thus much only will it be safe to conclude: that the individual really existed, possibly in the region indicated; that he literally underwent a trial substantially like that represented, and that a discussion grew out of it, held, perhaps, between him and a party of his friends after its first severity was passed, covering the essential principles developed in the book, but briefly and simply expressed.
IV. Descent. Country, and Age of the Author. —
1. Opinions differed in ancient times as to the nation to which the author belonged, some considering him to have been an Arab, others an Israelite. Various indications favor the latter supposition:
(1st), We find in our book many ideas of genuine Israelitish growth: the creation of the world is described, in accordance with the prevailing notions of the Israelites, as the immediate effect of divine omnipotence; man is formed of clay; the spirit of man is God's breath; God employs the angels for the performance of his orders; Satan, the great enemy of the children of God, is his instrument for tempting them; men are weak and sinful; nobody is pure in the sight of God, moral corruption is propagated. There is promulgated to men the law of God, which they must not infringe, and the transgressions of which are visited on offenders with punishments. Moreover, the nether world, or Sheol, is depicted in hues entirely Hebrew. To these particulars might, without much trouble, be added many more, but the deep searching inquirer will particularly weigh,
(2dly), the fact that the book displays a strength and fervor of religious faith such as could only be expected within the domain of revelation. Monotheism, if the assertions of ancient Arabian authors may be trusted. prevailed, indeed, for a long period among the Arabs, and it held its ground at least among a portion of the nation till the age of Mohammed, who obtained for it a complete triumph over polytheism, which was spreading from Syria. Still the god of the Arabs was, is those of the heathens generally were, a retired god, dwelling far apart, while the people of the Old Covenant enjoyed the privilege of a vital communion with God; and the warmth with which our author enters into this view incontrovertibly proves that he was an Israelite.
(3dly), As regards the language of our book, several ancient writers asserted that it was originally written in the Aramaean or Arabic tongue, and afterwards translated into Hebrew by Moses, David, Solomon, or some unknown writer. Of this opinion was the author of the Appendix in the Septuagint, and the compiler of the tract on Job added to the works of Origen and Jerome; in modern times it has been chiefly defended by Spanheim, in his Historia Jobi. But for a translation there is too much propriety and precision in the use of words and phrases; the sentences are too compact, and free from redundant expressions and members; and too much care is bestowed on their harmony and easy flow. The parallelism also is too accurate and perfect for a translation, and the whole breathes a freshness that could be expected from an original work only.
Sensible of the weight of this argument, others, as Eichhorn, took a medium course, and assumed that the author was a Hebrew, though he did not live among his countrymen, but in Arabia. "The earlier Hebrew history," they say, "is unknown to the author, who is ignorant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In portraying nature, also he proves himself always familiar with Arabia, while he is silent respecting the characteristics of Palestine. With Egypt he must have been well acquainted, which can be accounted for better by supposing him to have lived in Arabia than in Palestine." Hitzig and Hirzel accordingly, among the latest writers, hold that the writer was an Egyptian. Wetzstein and Delitzsch say that he was a native of the Hauran. The occasional use of the name Jehovah however, appears to imply a later date than the Exode, and the absence of allusion to the events of Jewish history, it has been thought, may be accounted for by the peculiar line of argument (from natural religion) pursued in the book, as in Ecclesiastes. It has further been suggested that the author, without directly mentioning the Pentateuch, frequently alludes to portions of it, as in 3:4, to Ge 1:3; in 4:19, and 33:6, to Moses' account of the creation of man in 5:14, to De 32:32; in 24:1, to De 25:4. Moreover, history says nothing of the Israelites having permanently taken up their residence in the land of Arabia, so as to allow the supposition of the above origin of the book of Job by a Hebrew thus isolated from Palestine; nor will most of the arguments adduced to prove the acquaintance (and therefore neighborhood) of the author with Egypt bear a close examination. Thus it is a mistake to suppose that the description of the working of mines in ch. 28 must necessarily have reference to Egypt; Phoenicia, Arabia, and Edom afforded much better materials. That the author must have known the Egyptian mausolea rests on an erroneous interpretation of 3:14, which may also be said of the assertion that 29:18, refers to the Egyptian mythus of the phoenix. Casting aside these arbitrarily assumed Egyptian references, we have only the following: Our author knows the Egyptian vessels of bulrushes, 9:26; the Nile grass, 8:12, the Nile horse (Behemoth) and the crocodile (Leviathan), 11:15; 41:l. Now, as these things belong to the more prominent peculiarities of a neighboring country, they must .have been known to every educated Israelite: the vessels of bulrushes are mentioned also in Isa 18:2. Neither are we disposed to adopt the compromising view of Stickel, who assumes that the author wrote his book in the Israelitish territory indeed, but close to the frontier, in the far southeast of Palestine. That the author had there the materials for his descriptions, comparisons, and imagery set better before his eyes than anywhere else, is true, for there he had an opportunity of observing mines, caravans, drying up of brooks, etc. But this is not sufficient proof of the author having lived permanently in that remote part of Palestine, and of having there written his book: he was not a mere copyist of nature, but a poet of considerable eminence, endowed with the power of vividly representing things absent from him. 2. As to the age of the author of this book, we meet with three opinions: (a.) That he lived before Moses. or was, at least. his contemporary. (b.) That he lived in the time of Solomon, or in the centuries next following — the opinion of Hahn, Schlottmann (Berl. 1857). and Delitzsch.
(c.) That he lived shortly before, or during, or even after the Babylonian exile.
Against this last view (adopted by Le Clerc among earlier interpreters, and among modern expositors by Bernstein, Gesenius, Umbreit, and De Wette) it is conclusively objected,
(1.) That the book is referred to in the Old Testament itself (Eze 14:14-20) as well known before the Chaldaean exile. Others, with less plausibility, urge what they deem imitations of various sentiments and even passages of Job in the ante-exilian prophets, e.g. Jer 20:14, comp. with Job 3 (see Küper, Jeremias librorum sacrorum interpres atque vindex, p. 164 sq.); La 2:16, comp. Job 16:13; La 3:7,9, comp. Job 19:8; Isa 40:2, comp. Job 1 (and 10:17; 14:14); Isa 51:9, comp. Job 26:13. Isa 19:5, comp. Job 14:11; Ps 107:42, comp. Job 5:16.
(2.) The absence of those Chaldaisms in Job which occur in books written about the time of the captivity.
(3.) The poetical character of the book, which is wholly different from the declining style of the later period.
The most complete statement of the reasons in support of the opinion that the book of Job was written between the age of Moses and the Exile may be found in Richter's essay, De AEtate Jobi definienda, reprinted in Rosenmüller's edition of Lowth's Pralectiones de Poesi Sacra Hebroeorum, in which he maintains that it was written in the age of Solomon. Most of these reasons, indeed, are either not conclusive at all, or not quite cogent. Thus it is an arbitrary assumption, proved by modern researches to be erroneous, that the art of writing was unknown previous to the age of Moses. The assertion, too, that the marks of cultivation and refinement observable in our book belonged to a later age rests on no historical ground. Further, it cannot be said that for such an early time the language is too smooth and neat, since in no Shemitic dialect is it possible to trace a progressive improvement. The evident correspondence also between our book and the Proverbs and Psalms is not a point proving with resistless force that they were all written at the same time. Nor is it altogether of such a kind that the authors of the Proverbs and Psalms (comp. especially Ps 39:13, with Job 7:19; Job 14:6; Job 10:20-21; Job 7:8,21, in the Hebrew Bible), can be exactly said to have copied our book; but it may be accounted for by their all belonging to the same class of writings, by the very great uniformity and accordance of religious conceptions and sentiments expressed in the Old Testament, and by the stability of its religious character. The striking coincidence, in particular, observable between the eulogy of "wisdom" contained in Job 28 and the numerous similar didactic strains found in the writings of Solomon (comp. especially Pr 3:4), may be accounted for by the above supposition that this chapter was added by a later hand than the author of the rest of the book, or at least as a sequel to the traditional part of the poem.
The traditionary view of the authorship of the book of Job ascribes it to Moses; the arguments in favor of this view have been collected by Spanheim, and may be seen with replies in Wemyss (Life and Times of Job, p. 82 sq.). The following leading points are deserving of consideration:
(1.) There is in the book of Job no direct reference to the Mosaic legislation; and its descriptions and other statements are suited to the period of the patriarchs; as, for instance, the great authority held by old men, the high age of Job, and fathers offering sacrifices for their families — which leads to the supposition that when our book was written no sacerdotal order yet existed. Nor is this ignoring of all the most interesting objects and associations of Judaism fully explainable on the ground of the author's desire to base the question at issue wholly on religious consciousness and experience; for many of the incidents of Jewish and even patriarchal history were too apposite to his topic to be passed over (e.g. the overthrow of Pharaoh and the destruction of the cities of the plain), unless we suppose a degree of studied impersonation at variance with the naturalness and practical aims of Scripture.
(2.) The language of the book of Job seems strongly to support the opinion of its having been written as early as the time of Moses. It has often been said that no writing of the Old Testament may be more frequently illustrated from the Arabic than this book. Jerome observes (Proefat. in Dan.), "Jobum cum Arabica lingua plurimam habere societatem;" and Schultens proved this so incontrovertibly that Gesenius was rather too late in denying the fact (see his Geschichte der Hebräischen Sprache, p. 33). Now, from this character of its language we might be induced to infer that the work was written in the remotest times, when the separation of the dialects had only begun, but had not yet been completed. It is true that this peculiarity of idiom is not such as to be of itself conclusive as to the date; and it might even have been to some extent assumed in order to correspond with the foreign garb of the poem. It also contains some Aramaisms and other signs of degeneracy, but these (unless attributable to copyists) may easily be accounted for by the supposition of a later editorship merely.
(3.) The Jewish tradition of the authorship of Moses (see Otho, Lex. Rabbin. p. 323; comp. Tobit 2, 12; Euseb. Proep. Ev. 9, 25), although not entirely uniform, seems to have been firmly established at an early period; and, lightly as it has been treated by some (see Dr. Davidson, in the new ed. of Home's Introd. 2, 727), still affords the only writer of sufficient note to whom the work has ever been definitely ascribed. The facilities enjoyed by Moses during his quiet sojourn in Midian were greater perhaps than those of any other Hebrew author for such a production; and the contemplations of his active and well stored mind may have furnished as ample a motive for the task as can be found at any other period, or in the case of any other writer to whom the book has been assigned, even if no special outward occasion can be shown to have led to the literary effort at that time. This date, moreover, is precisely such as to admit the incorporation of Jewish theology without its history, and affords a locality where all the elements of the poem were at hand.
(4.) The period in which Job himself lived is a distinct question from that of the age in which the book was written, it being only necessary (on the supposition of the reality of the narrative) to locate the author subsequently to the times of his hero, and under such circumstances as to suggest the topic. The ante-Mosaic date of Job's life is evident from his longevity (probably two centuries and a half, 43:16, 17 where the Sept. expressly gives his total age as 240 years, assigning, however, 170 of these as preceding his affliction), which seems to mark him as contemporary with Peleg, Reu, or Serug (B.C. 2414-2122), as well as from the primitive character of his social relations, which are similar to those of Abraham (B.C. 2163-1988). His country could not have been far from the Sinaitic peninsula. SEE UZ. There is thus found to be a reasonable presumption in favor of the Mosaic authorship of this book, so far as time and place are concerned, while there is no internal evidence decidedly opposed to the tradition in its favor. Our conclusion, as being the most probable combination. of all the facts in the case, is that, as a recitative poem in a rudimentary form, it was originally framed, in Job's age (by that romance style of composition spontaneous with Orientals), and that, in its Arabic dress, it was gathered by Moses from the lips of the Midianitish bards during his residence among them; that it was first composed by him in the Hebrew language, but not reduced to its present complete form till considerably later, perhaps by Solomon. This progressive kind of authorship is vindicated by the fact that other epics have come down to us through similar stages of heroic legend, oral preservation, collection, formal composition, and editorship, and is even illustrated in the origin of other less obscurely traceable books of the Bible. SEE GENESIS.
(5.) In defense of the theory that the book was written during the Assyrian invasion, B.C. cir. 700, see the introduction to Merx's Buch Job (Jena, 1870).
V. Integrity of the Book. — It is satisfactory to find that the arguments employed by those who impugn the authenticity of considerable portions of this book are, for the most part, mutually destructive, and that the most minute and searching investigations bring out the most convincing proofs of the unity of its composition, and the coherence of its constituent parts. One point of great importance is noted by the latest and one of the most ingenious writers (M.E. Rénan, Le Livre de Job, Par. 1859) on this subject. After some strong remarks upon the inequality of the style, and appearance of interpolation, M.E. Rénan observes (p. 44): "The Hebrews, and Orientals in general, differed widely from us in their views about composition. Their works never have that perfectly defined outline to which we are accustomed, and we should be careful not to assume interpolations or alterations (retouches) when we meet with defects of sequence which surprise us." He then shows that in parts of the work, acknowledged by all critics to be by one hand, there are very strong instances of what Europeans might regard as repetition, or suspect of interpolation: thus Elihu recommences his argument four times; while discourses of Job, which have distinct portions, such as to modern critics might seem unconnected and even misplaced, are impressed with such a character of sublimity and force as to leave no doubt that they are the product of a single inspiration. To this just and true observation it must be added that the assumed want of coherence and of logical consistency is, for the most part, only apparent, and results from a radical difference in the mode of thinking and enunciating thought between the old Eastern and modern European.
1. Objections have been made to the introductory and concluding chapters
(1.) on account of the style. Of course there is an obvious and natural difference between the prose of the narrative and the highly poetical language of the colloquy. Yet the best critics now acknowledge that the style of these portions is quite as antique in its simple and severe grandeur as that of the Pentateuch itself (to which it bears a striking resemblance: see above, and comp. Lee, Job, p. 49), or as any other part of the book, while it is as strikingly unlike the narrative style of all the later productions of the Hebrews. Ewald says with perfect truth, "These prosaic words harmonize thoroughly with the old poem in subject matter and thoughts, in coloring and in art; also in language, so far as prose can be like poetry."
(2.) It is said, again, that the doctrinal views are not in harmony with those of Job. This is wholly unfounded. The fundamental principles of the patriarch, as developed in the most solemn of his discourses, are identical with those maintained throughout the book. The form of worship belongs essentially to the early patriarchal type; with little of ceremonial ritual, without a separate priesthood, thoroughly domestic in form and spirit. The representation of the angels, and their appellation, "sons of God," peculiar to this book and to Genesis, accord entirely with the intimations in the earliest documents of the Shemitic race.
(3.) It is, moreover, alleged that there are discrepancies between the facts related in the introduction, and statements or allusions in the dialogue. But the apparent contradiction between 19:17 and the statement that all Job's children had perished rests upon a misinterpretation of the words בּנֵי בַטנַי, "children of my womb," i.e. "of the womb that bare me" — "my brethren," not "my children" (compare 3:10) indeed, the destruction of the patriarch's whole family is repeatedly assumed in the dialogue (e.g. 8:4; 29:5). Again, the omission of all reference to the defeat of Satan in the last chapter is quite in accordance with the grand simplicity of the poem (Schlottmann, p. 39, 40). It was too obvious a result to need special notice, and it had, in fact, been accomplished by the steadfast faith of the patriarch even before the discussions commenced. No allusion to the agency of that spirit was to be expected in the colloquy, since Job and his friends are represented as wholly ignorant of the transactions in heaven. At present, indeed, it is generally acknowledged that the entire work would be unintelligible without these portions.
(4.) The single objection (Rénan, p. 40) which presents any difficulty on the ground of anachronism is the mention of the Chaldeans in the introductory chapter. It is certain that they first appear in Hebrew history about the year B.C. 770. But the name of Chesed, the ancestor of the race, is found in the genealogical table in Genesis (22:22), a fact quite sufficient to prove the early existence of the people as a separate tribe. It is highly probable that an ancient race bearing that name in Kurdistan (see Xenoph. Cyr. 2, 1, 34; Anab. 4, 3, 4; 5, 5, 17) was the original source of the nation, who were there trained in predatory habits, and accustomed, long before their appearance in history, to make excursions into the neighboring deserts, a view quite in harmony with the part assigned to them in this book.
2. Strong objections are made to the passage chap. 27, from ver. 7 to the end of the chapter. Here Job describes the ultimate fate of the godless hypocrite in terms which some critics hold to be in direct contradiction with the whole tenor of his arguments in other discourses. Dr. Kennicott, whose opinion is adopted by Eichhorn, Froude, and others, held that, owing to some confusion or omission in the MS., the missing speech of Zophar has been put into the mouth of Job. The fact of the contradiction is denied by able writers, who have shown that it rests upon a misapprehension of the patriarch's character and fundamental principles. He had been provoked under circumstances of peculiar aggravation into statements which at the close of the discussion he would be anxious to guard or recall: he was bound, having spoken so harshly, to recognize, what, beyond doubt, he never intended to deny, the general justice of divine dispensations even in this world. Moreover, he intimates a belief or presentiment of a future retribution, of which there are no indications in any other speaker (see ver. 8). The whole chapter is thoroughly coherent: the first part is admitted by all to belong to Job; nor can the rest be disjoined from it without injury to the sense. Ewald says, "Only a grievous misunderstanding of the whole book could have misled the modern critics who hold that this passage is interpolated or misplaced." Other critics have abundantly vindicated the authenticity of the passage (Hahn, Schlottmann, etc.). As for the style, E. Rénan, a most competent authority in a matter of taste, declares that it is one of the finest developments of the poem. It certainly differs exceedingly in its breadth, loftiness, and devout spirit from the speeches of Zophar, for whose silence satisfactory reasons have already been assigned (see the analysis). This last argument, however, applies rather to chap. 28, which may, without any impeachment of the integrity of the poem, be regarded as an embellishment representing the times and sentiments of the final editor (i.e. Solomon).
3. The last two chapters of the address of the Almighty have been rejected as interpolations by many, of course rationalistic, writers (Stuhlman, Bernstein, Eichhold, Ewald, Meier), partly because of an alleged inferiority of style, partly as not having any bearing upon the argument; but the connection of reasoning, involved, though, as was to be expected, not drawn out, in this discourse, has been shown in the preceding analysis; and as for the style, few who have a true ear for the resonant grandeur of ancient Hebrew poetry will dissent from the judgment of E. Rénan, whose suggestion, that it may have been written by the same author at a later date, is far from weakening the force of his observation as to the identity of the style.
4. The speech of Elihu presents greater difficulties, and has been rejected by several rationalists, whose opinion, however, is controverted not only by orthodox writers, but by some of the most skeptical commentators. The former support their decision on the apparent, and, to a certain extent, the real difference between this and other parts of the book in tone of thought, in doctrinal views, and, more positively, in language and general style. Much stress also is laid upon the facts that Elihu is not mentioned in the introduction nor at the end, and that his speech is unanswered by Job, and unnoticed in the final address of the Almighty. These points were observed by very early writers, and were accounted for in various ways. On the one hand, Elihu was regarded as a specially inspired person (Schlottmann, p. 53). In the Seder Olam (a rabbinical system of chronology) he is reckoned among the prophets who declared the will of God to the Gentiles before the promulgation of the law. S. Bar-Nachman (12th century) notes his connection with the family of Abraham as a sign that he was the fittest person to expound the ways of God. The Greek fathers generally follow Chrysostom in attributing to him a superior intellect, while many of the best critics of the last two centuries consider that the true dialectic solution of the great problems discussed in the book is to be found in his discourse. On the other hand, Jerome, who is followed by Gregory, and many ancient as well as modern writers of the Western Church, speak of his character and arguments with singular contempt. Later critics, chiefly rationalists, see in him but an empty babbler, introduced only to heighten by contrast the effect of the last solemn and dignified discourse of Job. The alternative of rejecting his speech as an interpolation was scarcely less objectionable, and has been preferred by Stuhlman, Bernstein, Ewald, Rénan, and other writers of similar opinions in other countries. A candid and searching examination, however, leads to a different conclusion. It is proved (see Schlottmann, Einl. p. 55) that there is a close internal connection between this and other parts of the book. There are references to numerous passages in the discourses of Job and his friends; so covert as only to be discovered by close inquiry, yet, when pointed out, so striking and natural as to leave no room for doubt. Elihu supplies exactly what Job repeatedly demands a confutation of his opinions, not merely produced by an overwhelming display of divine power, but by rational and human arguments, and proceeding from one not, like his other opponents, bigoted and hypocritical, but upright, candid, and truthful (comp. 33:3, with 6:24, 25). The reasonings of Elihu are moreover such as are needed for the development of the doctrines inculcated in the book, while they are necessarily cast in a form which could not without irreverence be assigned to the Almighty. As to the objection that the doctrinal system of Elihu is in some points more advanced than that of Job or his friends, it may be answered, first, that there are no traces in this discourse of certain doctrines which were undoubtedly known at the earliest date to which those critics would assign the interpolation, whereas it is evident that if known they would have been adduced as the very strongest arguments for a warning and consolation. No reader of the Psalms and of the Prophets could have failed to urge such topics as the resurrection, the future judgment, and the personal advent of Messiah. Secondly, the doctrinal system of Elihu differs rather in degree than in kind from that which has been either developed or intimated in several passages of the work, and consists chiefly in a specific application of the mediatorial theory, not unknown to Job, and in a deeper appreciation of the love manifested in all providential dispensations. It is quite consistent with the plan of the writer, and with the admirable skill shown in the arrangement of the whole work, that the highest view as to the object of afflictions, and to the source to which men should apply for comfort and instruction, should be reserved for this, which, so far as regards the human reasoners, is the culminating point of the discussion. Little can be said for Lightfoot's theory that the whole work was composed by Elihu, or for E. Rénan's conjecture that this discourse may have been composed by the author in his old age; yet these views imply an unconscious impression that Elihu is the fullest exponent of the truth. It is satisfactory to know that two of the most impartial and discerning critics (Ewald and Rénan); who unite in denying this to be an original and integral portion of the work, fully acknowledge its intrinsic excellence and beauty.
There is no difficulty in accounting for the omission of Elihu's name in the introduction. No persons are named in the book until they appear as agents, or as otherwise concerned in the events. Thus Job's brethren are named incidentally in one of his speeches, and his relatives are, for the first time, in the concluding chapter. Had Elihu been mentioned at first, we should of course have expected him to take part in the discussion, and the impression made by his startling address would have been lost. Job does not answer him, nor, indeed, could he deny the cogency of his arguments, while this silence brings out a curious point of coincidence with a previous declaration of the patriarch (6:24, 25). Again, the discourse, being substantially true, did not need correction, and is therefore left unnoticed in the final decision of the Almighty. Nothing, indeed, could be more in harmony with the ancient traditions of the East than that a youth, moved by a special and supernatural impulse to speak out God's truth in the presence of his elders, should retire into obscurity when he had done his work. More weight is to be attached to the objection resting upon diversity of style and dialectic peculiarities. The most acute critics differ indeed in their estimate of both, and are often grossly deceived (see Schlottmann, p. 61); still, there can be little doubt as to the fact. It may be accounted for either on the supposition that the author adhered strictly to the form, in which tradition handed down the dialogue — in which case the speech of a Syrian might be expected to bear traces of his dialect — or that the Chaldaic forms and idioms, which are far from resembling later vulgarisms or corruptions of Hebrew, and occur only in highly poetic passages of the oldest writers, are such as peculiarly suit the style of the young and fiery speaker (see Schlottmann, Einl. p. 61). It has been observed, and with apparent truth, that the discourses of the other interlocutors have each a very distinct and characteristic coloring, shown not only in the general tone of thought, but in peculiarities of expression (Ewald and Schlottmann). The excessive obscurity of the style, which is universally admitted, may be accounted for in a similar manner. A young man speaking under strong excitement, embarrassed by the presence of his elders and by the peculiar responsibility of his position, might be expected to use language obscured by repetitions, and, though ingenious and true, yet somewhat intricate and imperfectly developed arguments, such as, in fact, present great difficulties in the exegesis of this portion of the book.
VI. Commentaries. — The following is a list of the exegetical helps on the whole book exclusively, the most important being designated by an asterisk
[*] prefixed: Origen. Selecta (in Opp. 2, 499); also Scholia (in Bibl. Patr. Gallandii, 14); Anon. Commentarius (in Origen's Opp. 2, 850); Athanasius, Excerpta (in Opp. 1, 2, 1003); Jerome, Commentarius (in Opp. Suppos. 11, 566); Philippus, Expositio (in Jerome's Opp. Spur. 3, 833; also in Bede's Opp. 4; also Basil. 1527, fol.), Augustine, Annotationes (in Opp. 3, 823); Chrysostom, Homilioe. (in Opp. Spur. 6, 681); Ephrem Syrus, Scholia (in Syriac, in Opp. 3, 1-20); Gregory, Moralia (in Opp. 1, 1; also translation in English, Oxford, 1844-50, 4 vols. 8vo); Olympiodorus, etc., Catena (Lugdunum, 1586, 4to London. 1657, folio) ; Bruno Astensis, In Jobum (in Opp. 1); Rupert, In Jobum (in Opp. 1, 1034); Peter of Blois, Compendium (in Opp. 3, 19); Aquinas, Commentarii (in Opp. 1; also Ven. 1505, fol.; Rom. 1562, 4to), Banolas (i.e. Ralbag), פֵּרוּשׁ (Ferrara, 1477, 4to; with various supercomments, Naples, 1486, 4to; and in Bomberg's Rabbinic Bibles), Arama, מֵאַיר (Salonica, 1517, folio; Riva da Trento, 1562, 4to; Ven. 1567, 4to); Bugenhagen, Adnotationes (Argent. et Basil. 1526, 8vo); Bucer, Commentaria (Argent. 1528, folio); OEcolampadius, Exegemata (Basil. 1531, fol., 1533, 1536, 4to; Genev. 1532, 1553, 1578, fol.; in French, (Genev. 1562, 4to); Borrhäus, Commentarius (Argent. 1532, Basil. 1539, 1544, Genev. 1590, fol.); Cajetan, Commentarius (Rom. 1535, folio); Is. ben-Salomon (ha-Kohen), פֵּרוּשׁ (Constantin. 1545, 4t6); Titelmann, Elucidatio (Paris, 1548, 1550, 8vo; 1553, 12mo; Lugd. 1554, Antw. 1566, 12mo); Ferus, Explicatio (Col. 1558, 1574, Lugdun. 1567, 8vo); Lutzius, Adnotationes (Basil. 1559, 1563, 8vo); Calvin, Sermons (in French. Genev. 1563, 1611, fol.; in Lat. ib. 1569, 1593, fol. [also in Opp. 3]; in Eugl., Lond. 1584, fol.; in Germ., Herb. 1587, 4 vols. 4to); Strigel, Scholia (Lipsiae, 1566, 1571, 1575, 8vo); Steuch, narrationes (Ven. 1567, 4to); Fobian (Mos. b.-El.), תִּרגּוּם, etc. (modern Greek in Heb. characters, Constantinople, 1576, 4to), Ibn-Jaish (Bar. ben-Is.), מָקוֹר בָּרוּך [includ. Ecclesiastes] (Constant. 1576, fol.); Marloratus, Expositio (Genev. 1581, 4to); De Huerga, Commentaria [on ch. 1-18, includ. Cant.] (Complut. 1582, fol.) , Beza, Commentarius (Genev. 1583, 1589, 1599, 4to); Stunica, Commentaria (Tolet. 1584, Romae, 1591, 4to); Lavater, Conciones (Tigur. 1585, fol.) ; Rollock, Commentarius (Geneva, 1590, 8vo); Duran (Sim. ben-Zemach), אוֹהֵב מַשׁפָּט (Venice, 1590,4to; also in Frankfurter's Rabbinic Bible); Farissol (Abr.b.-Mard.), פֵּרוּשׁ (in the Rabbinic Bibles); Mord. b.-Jacob (of Cracow), פֵּרוּשׁ (Prague, 1597, 4to); *De Pineda [Roman Cath.], Commentarii (Madrit. 1597-1601, 2 vols. folio; Colon.
1600, 1605, 1685, Antwp. 1609, Venet. 1619, 1709, Ursel. 1627, Paris, 1631, Lugdun. 1701, fol.) Alschech, חֶלקִת מחוֹקֵק (Venice, 1603, 4to; Jesnitz, 1722, fol.); Feuardentius, Homilioe [on prose parts] (Par. 1606, fol.); Strack, Predigten (Cassel, 1607, 4to); Humfry, Dialogue (Lond. 1607, 4to); Joannes a Jesu Maria, Paraphrasis (Rom. 1611, 4to), Piscator, Commentarius (Herb. 1612, 8vo); De Pineda, Commentarius (Colon. 1613, 1701, fol.); Rühlich, Predigten (Wittenb. 1617, 3 vols. 4to) ; Janson, Enarrratio (Lovan. 1623, 1643, folio); Quarles, Meditations (London, 162-1, 4to); Sanctius, Commentarii (Lugd. 1625, folio; Lips. 1712, 4to); Olearius, Predigten (Lpzg. 1633, 1665, 1672, 4to); Drusius, Scholia (Amsterd. 1636, 4to; also in Crit. Sac.); Diodati, Explications [includ. Psalm, etc.] (in French, Genev. 1638, 4to); Vavassor, Metaphrasis (Par. 1638, 12mo, 1679, 8vo; Francf. 1654, 4to); Bolducius, Commentaria (Par. 1638, 2 vols. fol.); Abbott, Paraphrase (Lond. 1640, 4to); Cocceius, Diagrammata (Franec. 1644, fol.; also in Opp. 1) ; Corderius, Elucidatio (Antw. 1646, 1656, fol.) ; Schultetus, Analysis (Stet. 1647, Francf. 1684, fol.); Sennault. Paraphrase (London, 1648, 4to); Meiern, Commentari [including Prov., etc.] (L.B. 1651, fol.); Codureus, Scholia (Paris, 1651, 4to); Caryl, Exposition (London, 1651, 1664, 1694, 6 vols. 4to; 1666, 1677, 2 vols. fol.); Witzleben, Jobi gens (Sorae, 1656, 4to); Leigh, Adnotationes [including other poet. books] (Lond. 1657, fol.); Durham, Exposition (London, 1659, 8vo); Chemnitz, Persona Jobi (Jen. 1665, 4to, and since); Brenius, Notoe (transl. by Cuper, Amst. 1666, 4to); Zeller, Auslegung (Hamb. 1667, 4to); Spanheim, Historia (Genev. 1670, 4to; L. B. 1672, 8vo); Mercer, Commentarius (Genev. 1673, L. Bat. 1651. folio); Hack, Postill (Hamb. 1674, 4to); Hottinger, Analysis (Tigur. 1679, 8vo); *Seb. Schmidt, Commentarius (Argent. 1680, 1690, 1705, 4to); Fabricius, Predigten (Norimb. 1681, 4to); Patrick, Paraphrase (Lond. 1685, 8vo); Clark, Exercitations [poetical] (Edinb. 1685, fol.); Van Hoecke, Vytlegging (Leyd. 1697, 4to); Hutcheson, Lectures (London, 1699, fol.); Blackmore, Paraphrase (Lond. 1700, folio); Antonides, Verklaaring (Leyd. 1700, 4to; in Germ. F. a. M. 1702, 4to); Stisser, Predigten (Lpz. 1704, 4to); Isham, Notes [includ. Prov., etc.] (Lond. 1706, 8vo); Kortüm, Anmerk. (Lipsiae, 1708, 4to); Daniel, Analysis (in French, Leyd. 1710, 12mo); Ob. ben-J. Sphorno, צֶדֵק מַשׁפִּט (in the Rabb. Bibles and in Duran's Comment.; in Latin, Gotha, 1713-14, 3 vols. 4to); Egard, Erläuterung (Halle, 1716, 4to); Michaelis, Notoe (Halle, 1720, 4to); Scheuchzer, Naturwissensch., etc. (Zur. 1721, 4to); Distel, De salute
uxoris Jobi (Alt. 1722, 4to); Is. ben-Salomon Jabez, יַראִת שִׁדִּי (in the Amst. Rabb. Bible, 1724); Von der Hardt, In Jobum (vol. 1, Helmst. 1728, fol. [vol. 2 never appeared, having been, it is said, consigned to the flames by the author himself as absurd]); Crinsoz, Notes (in French, Rotterd. 1729, 4to); Hardouin, Paraphrase (in French, Par. 1729, 12mo); Duguet, Explication [mystical] (Par. 1732, 4. vols. 12mo); Anon. Explication (in French, Par. 1732, 2 vols. 12mo); Fenton, Annotations [includ. Psalm] (London, 1732, 8vo); Hoffmann, Erklärung (Hamb. 1734, 4to); S. Wesley, Dissertationes (Lond. 1736, fol.); Vogel, Commentarius (Lugd. 1757, 2 vols. 4to; abridged, ibid. 1773, 8vo); *Schultens, Commentarius (L.B. 1737, 2 vols. 4to), also Animandversiones (Tr. ad Rh. 1708, 8vo), and Observationes (Amst. 1748, 8vo) ; abridged by Grey (Lond. 1741, 8vo) and by Vogel (Hal. 1773-4, 2 vols. 8vo); Baumgarten, Auslegung (pt. 1, Hal. 1740, 4to); Oetinger, Anmerkung. (F. a. M. 1743, 8vo); Koch, Anmerkung. (Lemg. 1743-7, 3 vols. 4to); Bahrdt, Erklärung (Lipsiae, 1744, 4to); Bellamy, Paraphrase (Lond. 1748, 4to); Reinhard, Erklär. (Lpz. 174950, 2 vols. 4to); Hodges, Scope, etc. (London, 1750, 4to, 1756, 8vo; Dubl. 1758, 8vo); Garnet Dissertation (Lond. 1751, 4to); Chappelow, Paraphrase (Camb. 1752, 2 vols. 4to); Heath, Essay (London, 1755, 4to; ib. 1756, 4to); Peters, Dissertation [against Warburton] (Lond. 2d ed. 1757, 8vo); Boullier, Observationes (Amst. 1758, 8vo); Stuss, De Epopoea Joboea (Gotha, 1758, 4to); Ceruti, Giobbo (Rome, 1764, 1773, 8vo), J. Uri-Scheraga, בֵּית יִעֲקֹב אֵשׁ (F. a. O. 1765, fol.); Sticht, De colloquio Dei cum Satana (Altona, 1766, 4to); Grynaeus, Anmerkung. (Basel, 1767, 4to); Froriep, Ephraemiana in J. (Lipsiae, 1769, 8vo); Cube, Uebers. (Berl. 1769-71, 3 vols. 8vo); Meintel, Erklärung (Nürnb. 1771, 4to), also Metaphrasis (ibid. 1775, 4to); Scott, Remarks (London, 1771, 4to, 1773, 8vo); Anon. Hist. of Job (Lond. 1772, 8vo); Dresler, Erläut. [on parts] (Herb. 1773, 8vo); Eckermann Umschreibung (Lüb. 1778, 4to); also Animadversiones (ibid. 1779, 8vo); Reiske, Conjecturoe [includ. Proverbs] (Lips. 1779, 8vo); Dessau, פֶּשֶׁר דָּבָר (Berl. 1779, 4to); Sander, Hiob (Lpz. 1780, 8vo); Moldenhauer, Uerbersetz. (Lpz. 1780-1, 2 vols. 8vo); Hufnagel, Anmerk. (Erlang. 1781, 8vo); Kessler, Anmerkung. (Tübingen, 1784, 8vo); Schnurrer, Animadversiones [on parts] (Tüb. 1787 sq., 2 pts. 4to); Greve, Notoe [on last ch.] (Davent. 1788, 4to); Dathe, Notoe [includ. Prov., etc.] (Hal. 1789, 8vo); Ilgen, Natura Jobi (Lipsiae, 1789, 8vo); Heins, Anmerk. (in Danish, Kiöbenh. 1790, 8vo); Ab. Wolfssohn, תִּרגּיּם (Prague, 1791, Vienna, 1806, 8vo); Bellermann, Num
sit liber J. historia (Erf. 1792, 4to); also De Jobi indole (ib. 1793, 4to); also Ueber d. Plan Hiob (Berlin, 1813, 8vo); Muntinghe, Anmerk. (in Dutch, Amster. 1794, 8vo); in Germ., Lpz. 1797, 8vo); Jacobi, Annotationes [on parts] (Jen. 1795, 8vo); Garden, Notes (Lond. 1796, 8vo); Bergius, Exercitationes (Upsala, 1796, 8vo); Pape, Versuch (Götting. 1797, 8vo); Wheelden, Delineation, etc. (Lond. 1799, 8vo); Block, Uebers. (Ratzeb. 1799, Hamb. 1804, 8vo); Riedel, Gesänge (Pressb. 1799, 8vo); Satanow, תִּרגּוּם, etc. (Berlin, 1799, 8vo); Richter, De oetate Jobi (Lipsiae, 1799, 4to); Eichhorn, Uebers. (Lpz. 1800, 8vo; also in his Biblioth. 4, 10 sq.); Kern, Inhalt, etc. (in Bengel's Archiv, 8, 352 sq.); also Observationes (Tüb. 1826, 4to); Stuhlmann, Erläut. (Hamburg, 1804, 8vo); Stock, Notes (Bath, 1805. 8vo); Ottensosser, תֵּרגּוּם, etc. (Offenb. 1807 [?], 8vo); Pareau, De immortalitate, etc. (Davent. 1807, 8vo); Polozk (Pinch. ben-Jeh.), פַּינהָס גַּבעִת (Wilna, 1808, 4to); Gaab, Hiob (Tüb. 1809, 8vo); Elizabeth Smith [ed. Randolph], Annotations (London, 1810. 8vo); *Good, Notes (Lond. 1812, 8vo); G.H. Bernstein, Zweck, etc. (in Keil's Analekten, 1813, I, 3:1-137); Neumann, Charakteristik, etc. (Bresl. 1817, 4to); Middeldorpf. Syr.-hexapl. etc. (Vratisl. 1817, 4to); Bridel, Commentaire (in part only, Paris, 1818, 8vo); Schärer, Erläut. (Bern, 1818-20, 2 vols. 8vo); Jäger, De integritate, etc. (Tüb. 1820, 8vo); Autenrieth, Hiob (Tüb. 1823, 8vo); Melsheimer, Anmerk. (Mannh. 1823, 8vo); *Umbreit, Ausleg. (Heidelb. 1824, 1832, 8vo; in Engl., Edinb. 1836-7, 2 vols. 12mo); *Rosenmüller, Scholia (Lipsiae, 1824, 8vo); Hrubieszow, בַּאוּרַים (Lemberg, 1824, 1834,Warsaw, 1838, 8vo); Hunt, Translation (Bath, 1825, 8vo); Levasseur, Traduction (Par. 1826, 8vo); Blumenfeld, Comment. (in Heb., Vienna, 1826, 8vo); Fry, Exposition (Lond. 1827, 8vo); Böcksel, Erläut. (Hamb. 1830, 8vo); Koster, Uebers. [includ. Eccles.] (Schleswig, 1831, 8vo); G. Lange, Uebers. (Halle, 1831, 8vo); Petri, Commentationes (Brunsw. 1833, 4to); Sachs, Charakt. etc. (in Stud. und Krit. 1834, p. 910 sq.); Jeitteles, תִּרגּוּם, etc. (Vienna, 1834, 8vo); Knobel, De Jobi argumento (Vratisl. 1835, 8vo); Arnheim, Commentar (Glog. 1836, 8vo); *Ewald, Erklär. (Gött. 1836, 8vo); Fockens, De Jobeide (Zütphen, 1836, 8vo); *Lee, Commentary (Lond. 1837, 8vo); Anon. Paraphrase [poetical, on last 10 ch.] (Lond. 1838, 8vo); Dessauer, תִּרגּוּם, etc. (Pressb. 1838, 8vo); Holzhausen, Uebers. (Gott. 1839, 8vo); Hölscher, Uebers. (Osnab. 1839, 8vo); Laurens, Traduction [includ. Psalms] (Par. 1839, 8vo); *Wemyss, Job's Times (Lond. 1839, 8vo); *Hirzel, Erklär. (Lpz. 1839, ed.
Olshausen, 1852, ed. Dillmann, 1864, 8vo); Justi, Erläuter. (Kassel, 1840, 8vo); Jenour, Translation (London, 1841, 8vo); *Vaihinger, Erläuter. (Stuttg. 1842, 1856, 8vo); Stickel, Benzerk. (Lpzg. 1842, 8vo); J. Wolfson, Erläut. (Lpzg. 1843, 8vo); Gleiss, Beiträge (Hamb. 1845, 8vo); Polak, Ijjob (in Dutch, Amst. 1845, 8vo); Tattam, Tr. from Coptic (London, 1846, 8vo); Heiligstedt, Comment. (in new ed. of Maurer, Lips. et Berl. 1847, 8vo); Welte, Erklär. (Freib. 1849, 8vo); Hahn, Commentary (Berlin, 1849, 8vo); *Noyes, Notes (Bost. 1850, 1854, 1867, 12mo); Barnes, Notes (N.Y. and Lond. 1850, 1854, 2 vols. 12mo). *Schlottmann. Erläut. (Berlin, 1851, 8vo); Mercier, Commentarius [including Prov.] (Lugd. 1651, fol.); Froude, Job (in the Westminster Rev. 1853; reprinted in Short Studies, London, 1858); Kempe, Lectures (London, 1855, 12mo); Evans, Lectures (London, 1856, 8vo); Krahmer, Hiob (in the Theol. Literaturbl. 1856); *Hengstenberg, Hiob (Berl. 1856, 1870 sq., 8vo); Anonym. Illustrationes (Lond. 1856, 8vo); *Conant, Job (in public. of American Bible Union, N.Y. 1856, 4to and 12mo); Carey, Explanation (Lond. 1858, 8vo); *Ebrard, Erläut. (Land. 1858, 8vo); C.H. Bernstein, Bar-Hebroei Scholia (Vratislav, 1858, 8vo); Berkholz, Hiob (Riga, 1859, 8vo).; *Rénan, Livre de Job (Paris, 1859, 1860, 8vo); Crelier, Livre de Job [against Rénan] (Par. 1860, 8vo); Hupfeld, Bedeutung, etc. (in the Zeitschr. f. Christ. Wissensch. Aug. and Sept. 1860); Wagner, Sermons (Lond. 1860, 8vo); Simson, Kritik (Königsberg, 1861, 4to); Leroux, Traduction (Par. 1861, 8vo); Davidson, Commentary (vol. 1, Lond. 1862, 8vo); Odiosus, Erläut. (Berlin, 1863, 8vo); Croly, Job (Lond. 1863, 8vo); Bernard, Job (vol. 1, Lond. 1864, 8vo); Rodwell, Translation (London, 1864, 8vo): *Delitzsch, Commentar (Lpz. 1864, 8vo; in English, Edinb. 1866, 2 vols. 8vo); Mourad, Oversalt. (Kjobenh. 1865, 8vo); Mathes, Verklaaring (Utrecht, 1866,2 vols. 8vo); Reuss, Vortrag (Strassb. 1869, 8vo); Anon. Notes (Lond. 1869, 4to); Volk, Summa, etc. (Dorpat, 1870, 4to). SEE POETRY.