Learn how every element of Job is an essential element in the weaving of a literary and theological masterpiece. Examine the enigmatic origins and context of Job, its textual tradition, its complex structural relationships, and keys to its elegant poetry. This volume never loses sight of the big picture or the details. It constantly surveys the progress of Job, unravels the identity of its characters, and attempts to identify the distinctive viewpoints of the book’s speakers. The textual notes, which center on explaining why the English versions of Job differ so amazingly from one another, support the author's carefully worded translation.
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.
“‘it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand’ (32:8–9). His point about retribution is that it is not some balancing mechanism in the universe that operates ruthlessly and inescapably, but rather is a channel by which God speaks to humans. Suffering is not so much a mystery; it is more a revelation.” (Page xli)
“Here we learn what Job never learns, that his suffering had a particular cause and that it subserved a purpose. The cause of Job’s suffering is unmistakably the Satan’s challenge that Job’s piety is not disinterested and God’s acceptance of the challenge; the purpose of the suffering is to substantiate God’s assessment of Job’s piety and so justify God’s claim to disinterested piety from humans.” (Page 17)
“Which means to say: I knew you, but did not know you; what I knew of your workings (through the principle of retribution) was real knowledge, but it was not the whole truth about you. The whole truth is that you are ultimately unknowable, and your reasons are in the last analysis incomprehensible.” (Page xlvi)
“He cannot defend himself against the pain which God is inflicting on him; he can only defend himself verbally. But since God is not saying anything, Job can only defend himself verbally by creating a scenario where both he and God are obliged to speak, each in his own defense. In short, Job summons God to a lawsuit! He challenges God to give an account of himself—to explain what Job has done wrong to deserve such suffering. But of course since Job believes he has done nothing wrong, implicitly he challenges God to confess that he and not Job is the criminal.” (Page xliii)