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The problematic Book of Job - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Well, I plowed thru Job, as I plowed thru the rest of the Xtian Bible, in my amazing journey, last year. I really loved the Oxford Study Bible, it had extremely useful footnotes. I highly recommend it.

Job did not drive me crazy, I did not hate it. I gave it rather short shrift, as I have trouble with whining and with poetry. I was amazed at the courtroom metaphors, from so long ago!

As far as a successful, yet evil guy, what about Solomon? So-called wise, yet it is accepted by scholars he did not actually write Proverbs, which are mostly based on Egyptian wisdom teachings. As is the Wisdom of Solomon, a non-canonical book. (If the Wisdom is part of Jewish canon, my apologies.)

He was a big shot king (not trying to be disrespectful), ancestor to the Xtian savior, yet he worshipped the Canaanite gods! If you think that is evil. I don't myself, but it is written in the "OT" he worshipped the wrong guys in later life.
post #22 of 30
The kings need their own thread, in some ways. I feel like the Bible doesn't like them. It's not just that they are wealthy and powerful. There is a general anti-king vibe. Kings and Chronicles (and of course, the books of the Prophets) take the side of the prophets and trash most of the kings, especially the powerful kings of the northern kingdom after the split. they only like a few of them for being reformers and monotheists. This is a general trend, the anti-king trend.

Take a look at I Samuel 8:4-22. Samuel gets really angry that the people want a king in the first place instead of a prophet/judge leader like him. In a divinely inspired diatribe, he trashes the whole notion of kingship, especially the part about corvee labor, tithing, and high taxation.

Anyway, I wouldn't say that the Bible characterizes Solomon as evil, the narrative is more ambivalent. The criticism is more implicit than that, and more about realpolitik. It's not just his support of Canaanite polytheistic religions, it's also that he sells cities in the north to Hiram of Tyre (I think!) and sets the stage for his son to lose the northern kingdom. It's certainly not Solomon's fault if people attribute texts to him that academic biblical scholars think he didn't write--that's not a reflection on his character in the text!

I love reading the king stuff, though. There are so many parallels with contemporary politics that it blows my mind.
post #23 of 30
Reading Job personally to me is a matter of the heart. So many times when reading the Bible we look at it from an analytical point of view. We try to comprehend it with our mind. I would consider honestly asking God what He desires you to get from this study. If we read the Bible just for intellectual benefit, we can so easily lose what God maybe personally trying to teach in our relationship with Him.
What God has personally spoken to me through Job is that Satan had to ask God's permission to do anything to him. Job's enemy was not God. It was Satan. He was the one who wanted Job to curse God. In the end Job's heart was still turned to God.
I wonder how many of us could go through what Job went through and still turn to God.
I think we blame Him for tragedies rather than our true enemy.
God is more interested in our hearts.
This is my personal take on this especially after a year of some tragedy.
post #24 of 30
I love the poetry in the Bible. Of course, I love language. Job is great reading for cadence. And probably a whole bunch of other styles, I'm just too tired to think right now. :LOL

Captain Optomism, I love the kings of the Bible too. They are so powerful, but still written as men that sometimes make mistakes.

Solomon is my favorite. My favorite book is Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, where basically (paraphrasing, of course) he says that he's had it all, women, power, wealth, etc, and it's all worthless. That all that really matters is loving God and worshipping him. And Solomon screwed up a whole bunch to get to that point. There's just so much to learn.

And yeah, you're not kidding about how relevant some of the past is today. Everything does go in cycles.
post #25 of 30
I love the poetry of Job, psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, etc. I also love the king stuff in the Bible. I agree there are so many parallels with contemporary politics. I find it fascinating reading.

I think if there is an anti-king thread, it is to make the point that God wanted the Jews to be different, set apart from the surrounding nations. He wanted them to make Him their king; a nation under God, following His direction and hearing His voice alone. The Israelities wanted to be like the nations around them and begged God to give them a King. First he raised up leaders (judges) of which Deborah (a woman) was one. Eventually He gives in to their pleas for a king. He gives them what they want, which is a pale subsitute for being governed by the Almighty Himself.

post #26 of 30
Okay, still haven't read it, but did clarify with DH what it was he'd said to me about Job/Iyov ...

There's a midrash/understanding of Job that says that he was one of Pharoah's advisors/necromancers/magicians in Egypt, along with Yitro (Jethro) and Bilaam.

Yitro felt anguish about the pain of the Israelites, and pressed Pharoah on the subject, and then left Pharoah's service, thereby meriting his future.
Bilaam supported Pharoah enthusiastically in causing the pain of the Israelites, and thereby "merited" his future.
Job did not complain of it, nor did he enjoy it, but just went along and said nothing. And by just going along and saying nothing, letting it unfold, he ended up with his future. And even I know what that was.

As someone I know used to say, that is truly Torah for our times.

- Amy
post #27 of 30
Thread Starter 
pardon my language but...
Holy freakin' shit Amy!

Thank your husband for blowing off the top of my head. I could probably use a good airing out now and then. Any and all resources to this effect gratefully recieved, by the way.

edit cuz it makes more sense when the letters are in a particular order.
post #28 of 30
just wanted to post that I'm lurking and learning...

where is my Book of Job anyway....maybe i can complicate it all with Blake's Job. That oughta be nutty...

as i wander off, talking to myself to dig through my bookcases...
post #29 of 30
Has anyone read JOB: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein?

Just wondering...
post #30 of 30
kama ... :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL

Always happy to blow a mind.

- Amy
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