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Being the Book of Ecdcsiaitei 

3SS piget. Omamenul cbth. Sm«ll quarto. 

to Pnpaiation 


Uniform with The Book of Job and A Gentle Cynic 


lu reauim, laaguage, hiicory, retigiiiQ, mmmern, 

Uw, art and literature 
With map and 164 illultritiona. Octavo, Baud. 


With a Map of the Near Eaat. Itcno. 


The ilory of Alia Minor and ita relation 10 the 

Great Conflict 

14 illuitraliant and a map. llmo. 


A dlKUHIOD of the I 
the baiii I 


tE^fjf BSoofe of 3(ob 





"A noble booki all mcn't book" 



: Cn'iiT?'"':?-.'^^'^!!?^^^'''''"*^*. 





*Let him not boast who puts hit armor on. 
As he who puts it off, the battle done.** 



WITTY Frenchmafh' once re- 
marked of the Bible that as a 
collection it was plus c'drbre que 
connu. It is in the hope of making 
a contribution towards having.tbe- 
most celebrated of the books of the 
Bible better known — and by that 
I mean a deeper penetration into 
its real meaning and significance — that I offer a 
new translation which, based on an entirely revised 
Hebrew text, will be found to differ materially from 
the current translations. Preceding the translation 
and forming the first part of the work, I have given 
the results of a study of the origin, growth and inter- 
pretation of the Book of Job, which represents the 
outcome of many years of devotion to this remarkable 
production of antiquity, dealing with problems that 
are as vital and as puzzling to-day as they were two 
milleniums ago when the book, after an extended 
process of amplification, reached its final form. 

TTie Book of Job may be said to have suffered 
from its celebrity. Regarded by universal consent as 
the literary masterpiece of the Old Testament and, 
indeed, as one of the masterpieces in world literature, 
the average person feels himself dispensed by virtue 
of this admission from reading it, much as Milton's 
Paradise Lost is universally admired but compara- 


tively little read, except as a task frequently assigned 
to those whose immaturity prevents them from ap- 
preciating it. The Attitude of the average person to- 
wards Job seems -'to be, why read in order to con- 
firm an opinion -i^Hilch one is ready to take on faith ? 

It is porhkp's not surprising that Job should be 
little rearf,.;for the English translations of the book — 
taking -th^tr cue from the King James Version of l6l I 
— rhgke it a most uninviting and, one is tempted to 
_ad\ unprofitable task. As an English classic the 
King James Version will, as a matter of course, always 
retain the distinguished position that it holds, but as a 
translation it is in need of a much more thorough re- 
vision than has been given to it either in the Revised 
Version of 18S5 or in the many other English trans- 
lations that have since been published. The trans- 
lation of the whole Bible issued by the American 
Baptist Pubhcation Society in 1913 goes further than 
others in adopting corrections where the text is mani- 
festly corrupt, and while this is gratifying it leaves, in 
the case of the Book of Job, a large number of pas- 
sages untouched in which the text cannot possibly be 
correct for the sufficient reason that it gives no sense. 
Another recent translation of the Old Testament is 
that published by the American Jewish Publication 
Society in 1916. It was prepared by a body of com- 
petent scholars whose authority is unquestioned. In 
their rendering these translators have endeavored, so 
far as possible, to preserve the wording of the Author- 
ized Version, but in many instances they have 
deviated where, as a result of more recent investiga- 
tions, a better interpretation of the text as it stands 



could be secured; but the translators have stopped 
short at this point. As they themselves are at pains 
to tell us, their aim has been to translate the received 
text as it stands; that is to say, in the form given to it 
by the Massoretes, as the Jewish scholars, who at- 
tached the vowels to the consonantal text are called.' 
Only in the very rarest instances have the translators 
ventured to deviate even by a hair's-breadth from the 
received text, though no doubt all of the learned 
translators would be willing to admit that the text is 
corrupt in a great many instances. As a translation 
of the received text, the one issued by the American 
Jewish Publication Society is, therefore, satisfactory; 
but it is also hopelessly defective, since it deliber- 
ately ignores the results of modem critical study. 

Confining ourselves to the Book of Job, it is no 
exaggeration to say that barring the two introductory 
chapters, which tell the story of Job in prose form, 
and the prose epilogue at the end of the book,* 
there are not ten consecutive verses in the Symposium 
between Job and his friends or in the speeches of 
Elihu or in the magnificent closing chapters placed as 
speeches in the mouth of Yahweh, the text of which 
can be regarded as correct. The text of a poetic 
composition is more liable to corruption than that of 
a prose narrative. In the case of the Book of Job we 
have as an additional factor favorable to corruption 
the manipulation to which the book was subjected, in 
the course of the long period elapsing between the 

' In Hebrew, a> in Arabic, SyrUc ind Phaenician. only the coHBonaDts are 
written in intcripliona or maouacripts. When vowels are added, they are in- 
dicated bjr diacritical marks placed above or below ihe c< 

»4J, ^I7. 


first draft and the final form, with a view of making 
the book more palatable to Jewish orthodoxy. In 
many instances the textual changes required in order 
to produce a satisfactory meaning are slight and 
as obvious as they are slight; but frequently a more 
radical process is required in order to restore the 
text to its correct form. Often we can only approxi- 
mate the correct form, but sufficiently so as to 
obtain at least a satisfactory view; and occasionally 
the critical student finds himself baffled and must con- 
tent himself either with a more or less plausible guess, 
or admit his inability to solve the puzzling problem as 
to the precise meaning and original form of a line, 
phrase or word, or an entire verse. The means at our 
disposal for correcting the text, and the method to be 
followed in doing so, are set forth in my study of the 
book and in the notes attached to the trans- 
lation. All instances of a deviation from the re- 
ceived text are noted; and while I have avoided tech- 
nical discussions, because both the study of the book 
and the translation are intended primarily for the 
general reader, I have given sufficient indications In 
the brief notes to enable scholars, who feel so inclined, 
to test the justification of the revision to which the 
text has been subjected. 

There is another sense in which the celebrity 
which the Book of Job acquired has proved to be a 
real obstacle to a proper understanding of it. A tra- 
dition gradually grew up around the book, as around 
most of the books of the Old Testament collection, 
resulting in a totally unhistorical view of its origin 
and purpose. The growth of this traditional view 




of Job was in part due to the general lack of a critical 
spirit in the approach towards Biblical productions 
until comparatively recent days, and in part to cir- 
cumstances of a more special character. With the 
slow evolution of the idea of individual authorship, 
which proceeded under the influence of the contact 
with Greek culture after the middle of the fourth cen- 
tury before this era, the tendency arose to regard the 
Biblical books as literary units, composed by some 
individual at some specific time. As a matter of fact, 
however, with the possible single exception of the 
Book of Esther, which is a propagandist romance that 
may not be earlier than loo b. c, there is not a book 
of the Old Testament that can be assigned to any 
individual author, as none represents in its present 
form a genuine literary unity. Literary unity is not 
to be found even in so late a book as that of Daniel, 
written circa i6o b. c, when individual authorship 
among the Hebrews had already come to the fore, 
for even in this book it is recognized by scholars that 
the last chapters are not by the same writer as the 
one to whom we owe the earlier ones. 

The composition of Job, dating in its earliest form 
from the period before the contact with Greek culture, 
was produced under the time-honored method, preva- 
lent throughout the ancient East, of anonymous and 
composite authorship. The book as we have it is a 
gradual growth, and in view of this, the traditional 
attitude towards the book, which regards it as a unit, 
effectively blocks the way to a genuine understanding 
and appreciation. On the assumption of literary 
Unity the book is full of most glaring contradictions, 


the most obvious of which is the irreconcilability 
the Job of the folktale — a model of piety and of silent 
resignation to the Divine will — with Job as he is pic- 
tured in the Symposium, voluble in his denunciation 
of the Divine injustice under which he languishes. 
Furthermore, the traditional view that grew up 
around the book and which assumed that all sections 
of it were written in the spirit of Jewish orthodoxy is 
responsible for the many misunderstandings still cur- 
rent about the Book of Job and which, as long as they 
persist, will render the reading of it in the ordinary 
translations a bewildering mental exercise to any- 
one who approaches it in the spirit in which we take 
up, let us say, a literary work of our own days. 
In the current translations we are baffled at every 
point. We have to ask ourselves certainly at every 
tenth verse, if notoftener, what does the writer mean? 
Wecome across fine and impressive passages, but if we 
are the least bit critical, we are also thwarted at fre- 
quent intervals by the hopeless endeavor to obtain an 
intelligible view of the sequence of the thought. It is 
only because we have been so frequently told that the 
Book of Job is a literary masterpiece that we can read 
passage after passage which upon analysis can be 
shown to give no sense. Tradition has a way of 
warping our critical instinct, and permits us to close 
our eyes to the inherent difficulties with which the 
book, on the assumption of its being a unit composition 
and that the text is correct, teems. 

In making the results of the modem study of the 
book, in which many scholars in many lands have 
participated, accessible to the general public, it is my 



main purpose to present Job, as I have tried to pre- 
sent "The Words of Koheleth" — "A Gentle Cynic," 
as I ventured to call the unknown writer who hid his 
personality behind a nom de plutm,' — as a human docu- 
ment. By illuminating the conditions under which 
the composite production gradually received its 
present form, itsliteraryexcellencewillbeall the more 
clearly revealed, as well as the reason for the profound 
influence that it has exerted in the domain of religious 

No modem translator that I know of makes the 
attempt to distinguish between the original portion of 
the book and the amplification to which Job, as every 
literary production in the ancient Orient, was subject. 
Without such distinction it is entirely hopeless to ob- 
tain a correct view of the great masterpiece — hopeless 
indeed to recognize it as a masterpiece. The starting 
f)oint, therefore, in my study of the origin, growth and 
interpretation of Job, is a recognition of the separa- 
tion of the story of Job from the poetical composition/ 
in which the two problems suggested by the story, the j^ 

reason for innocent suffering in the world and for the I* 
frequent escape of the wicked from merited punish- 
ment, are discussed. The story of Job is like the text 
of a sermon, or like a parable on which a preacher en- 
larges. The story Is the peg upon which is hung the / 
discussion of two vital problems from which we can- 
not escape, if we look at things in this world as they 
are. Equally fundamental is the recognition that the 
poetical composition consists of three distinct strata li*^' 
io which the two problems involved are viewed from 

•See J Gnlit Cynic, p. 6j-7I. 




totally different angles. The first stratum is the Sym- 
posium between Job and his three friends (chapters 3- 
27), and constitutes the original book. The trend of 
this stratum is distinctly skeptical. It emanated from a 
circle of bold and independent thinkers who questioned 
conventional beliefs. Because of this and because the 
Symposium ended in an unsatisfactory manner, 
orthodox circles among the Jews as vitally interested 
in the problems as unorthodox Jews, took up the book 
and proceeded to amplify it: As the result of an ex- 
tended process we have comments and reflections by 
pious commentators and other additions, as well as a 
rearrangement of some chapters, and above all, two 
additional strata represented by the speeches of Elihu 
(chapters 32-37) and the closing chapters of the book 
(chapters 38-41) which represent the endeavor of Jew- 
ish orthodoxy to counteract the influence of the ori- 
ginal book, and to furnish more satisfactory answers 
to the questions raised in the Symposium. 

It is to the elucidation of the various aspects of 
these three strata and their relationship to one another 
that the first part of this work is devoted; and I trust 
that after a consideration of what has been set forth, 
the reader will agree with me in the view that in the 
magnificent nature poems with which the book closes 
and which from the literary point of view are the fin- 
est in the composite production, there is suggested as 
a definite and final answer to the two main problems 
V of Job that simple faith in a mysterious power, whose 
manifestations are to be seen in the world of inanimate 
and animate nature, constitutes a resting point for 
man in the ceaseless search to which he is irresistibly led 



by his own nature to penetrate the mystery surround- 
ing his life. I am aware that to many, as I suggest at 
various points in my study, it will seem startling as 
well as painful, to be asked to lay aside views which 
have the force of time-honored tradition and to look 
atthe great masterpiece from a new and unaccustomed 
angle. But I am also in hopes that after carefully 
considering the justification brought forward for the 
interpretation and for the new translation, my readers 
will reach the conclusion that the new Job is a greater 
masterpiecethanthetraditional one, because relieved of 
contradictions and freed from inherent difficulties that 
persist under the traditional view of the book. Let me 
not be understood as setting up the extravagant claim 
of having solved all the difficulties in the book. That 
were presumptuous indeed. An author unless car- 
ried away by vanity is always his severest critic. I 
feel, however, that without exceeding the bounds of 
proper modesty I may lay claim to having advanced 
the interpretation of the book to which I have given 
years of patient study and to which I have become 
ever more closely attached as I have penetrated deeper 
into its spirit. That at all events is my hope which, 
I trust, will not turn out to be a delusion. 

In closing this foreword I wish to make special 
acknowledgment to a modem student of the Old 
Testament who in my judgment has been more suc- 
cessful than almost any other scholar of the present 
or past generation, in freeing the Old Testament of 
textual errors and in illuminating hundreds of passages 
in all of the books. Alas that the acknowledgment 
must take the form of a tribute to his memory. Arnold 


B. Ehrlich, whose name is little known beyond the 
saiall circle of special workers, passed away a few 
months ago after a lifetime devoted to research. He 
left behind him as his monument a comprehensive 
work in seven volumes which he modestly called 
"Marginal Notes (Randglossen) to the Hebrew Bible," 
in which as he passes from book to book he makes his 
comments and textual suggestions in brief but always 
striking form, with an unfailing instinct as the fruit of 
profound learning. Though he spent most of his life 
in New York, he wrote this comprehensive commen- 
tary in German, because it was only in Germany that 
he could find a publisher for a work of this character 
appealing naturally to a restricted circle. To all stu- 
dents of the Old Testament, however, these Marginal 
Notes are an indispensible handbook which every one 
engaged in the study must have constantly at his side. 
If 1 were to have made full acknowledgment to 
Ehrlich in the notes to my translation, his name 
would have appeared on every page. 

I also wish to make special acknowledgment to 
my colleague Professor Clarence G, Child, of the Eng- 
lish Department of the University of Pennsylvania, 
who was kind enough to go over my rendering very 
carefully and to make quite a number of valuable 
auggcstions, which I was glad to accept. For the very 
reason that my rendering deviates so widely from 
that of the classic Authorized Version, I was the more 
anxious to have the benefit of Professor Child's expert 
knowledge and excellent judgment. 

To Mr. E. S. Holloway, of the J. B. Lippincott 
Co., 1 am likewise indebted for various helpful sugges- 



tions, and more particularly for the very attractive 
cover design which is his work. As in the case of all 
my writings I am overwhelmed, on the completion of 
this particularly difficult task, with gratitude to my 
wife for her large share in bringing the work nearer to 
a high standard by her careful supervision and unerr- 
ing judgment, as well as by her ever sympathetic 
encouragement of my labors. 

Lastly, I regard it as a privilege to be permitted 
to dedicate the book to a distinguished scientist and 
administrator whose life, devoted to the highest ideals, 
furnishes a rare example of unselfishness and of un- 
tiring industry. 

University of Pennsylvania 
June, 1920 





cbaptek page 

Foreword 7 

I The Folktale of Job and the Book of Job 

I The Skeptical Spirit in the Original Boolt of 
Job 25 

II The Origin of the Literary S/mpOBium 30 

ni The Date of the Symposium 33 

IV The Two Jobs 39 

V The Friends in the Folktale and in the 

Symposium 41 

VI The Two Conceptions of God 43 

VII The Non-Hebraic Origin of the Story of Job. . 46 

VIII Oral TransmiBsion ^/rjttj Literary Production 49 
IX The Modifications in the Folktale. The Figure 

of Satan 52 

X "The Sons of God" 56 

XI The Four Epilogues to the Book of Job , 59 

II The Three Strata in the Book of Job 

I Collective and Anonymous Authorship 64 

II The Original Book of Job and the Supplements 

to it 67 

III The Third Series of Speeches of Job and His 
Friends 70 

iV ThcTwoAppendices totheOriginalBookof Job 74 

V The Composite Character of the Speeches of 
Elihu 77 



VI A Collection of Nature Poems aa the Third 

Stratum 82 

VII The Message of the Nature Poems 86 

III Changes and Additions Within the Original 

Book of Job 

I Jewish Orthodoxy ftrsus Skepticism 88 

II Varying Versions of the Hebrew Text 92 

III Additions to the Original Book of Job of a 

Purely Explanatory Character 97 

IV Superfluous Lines 103 

IV How A Skeptical Book was Transformed into a 

Bulwark of Orthodoxy 
I Changes in the Original Book of Job Made in 

the Interests of Jewish Orthodoxy 109 

II Additions by Pious Commentators 112 

III The Transformation of Crucial Passages 120 

rV Orthodox Sentiments Placed in the Mouth 

of Job 150 

V The "Search for Wisdom" 135 

VI The Virtues of Job 137 

VII The Two Appendices as the Coping to the 

Structure of Jewish Orthodoxy 140 

V The Book of Job as Philosophy and Literature 

I The Insoluble Problem I48 

II The Religious Strain in the Original Book of 

Job ■-.-.... IS3 

III Individualism in Religion 156 

IV The Defects in Job's Philosophy 159 

V The Attitude Towards the Problem of Evil in 

the Speeches of Elihu i6* 

VI The Solution of the Problem in the Nature 

Poems 167 

VII The New Doctrine of Retribution in a Future 

World 170 


VIII The Literary Form of Job. A Symposium not 

a Drama 174 

IX Zoroaatrianism and the Boole of Job 181 

X Job and Prometheus. 185 

XI The Message of Job to the Present Age 188 


I The Story of Job (Chapters 1 and 2) 197 

II The Syuposiuu Between Job and His Friends 

(Chapters 3 to 21) 206 

III A Third Series of Speeches (Chapters 22 to 

27) 275 


29 TO 31) 298 

V The Search for Wisdom (Chapter 28} 310 

VI First Appendix to Book of Job — The Four 
Speeches of Elihu with Three Inserted Poeus 

(Chapters 32 to 37) 314 

VII Second Appendix to the Book of Job — ^A Collec- 
tion of Eight Nature Poems {Chapters 

38 TO 41) 343 

VIII T^E Four Epilogues to the Book of Job 361 

(a) Chapter 40, 1-5 (Poetical Epilogue, added to 

the first Speech put in the Mouth of Yahweh) 

(4) Chapler40,6-i4with43, 1-6 (Poetical Epilogue, 

combined with an Introduction, and added 

to the Description of the Hippopotamus and 

the Crocodile, as the Second Speech put in 

the Mouth of Yahweh) 

(0 42, 7''-9 (The Prose Epilogue to the Symposium) 

(rf) 43, 10^17 (The Original Close of the Folktale) 





tCIje ?lSoofe of f 06 

\HE ambition of the student of 
Biblical Literature to try bis hand 
I at an interpretation of the Book 
I of Job' appears to be as irresistible 
asthelongingof every actor — even 
though he begins bis career with 
, low comedy — to end as Hamlet. 
' The difficulties with which the 
book bristles form its challenge, as the intensely hu-7 
man problem with which it deals explains the fas- 
cination which it has ever exercised on every one who 
can sympathize — and who can not ? — with the path- 
etic effort of the human soul to pierce the encompass- " 
ing darkness and mystery of human life. Carlyle 
calls it "A noble book; all men's book."* Itmakes,in 

'The lUt of interpretalors of Job extend) from Theodore of Mopsueatia 
who in the 6fth century of our era endeavored to tlmw that Job ii ■ tragedy 
»ttef the pattern of the Greek drama, to the year 1918 in which Dr. H. M. 
Kalleo made the lame futile attempt. The inteipreters include the greater 
lighu and tmaller iatellite« among Biblical schaUr! from the Jewish commen- 
ucort of the Middle Ages: Ibn Ezra, Kimchi and Raihi, to Ewald, Renan, 
Dillman Duhm, Buddc, Graetz, Chej-ne, Szold, Genun^, Delitiach. Siegfried, 
Pcakc, Coi, Barton, Strahan, Blake, Ehrlich, Driver, Gray and fiuUenwieser 
ia the oineiecntb and twentieth centuriei. 

■ llie Hero ai Prophet (Heroei and Hero Wonhippen, II). 


truth, a universal appeal, and this is the more remark- 
able because there is no other book in the BibUcal 
collection which is so puzzling the moment one en- 
deavors to penetrate beneath the surface, as there is 
none in regard to which so many misunderstandings 
are still current. It may be said without exaggeration 
that every thing about the book is puzzling. The 
language is difficult and in many cases almost hope- 
lessly obscure, the text has come down to us in a very 
corrupt form, in part due to the obscurity of the 
language, the arrangement is most compHcated, the 
setting is as strange as it is non- Jewish, and what adds 
to these difficulties, the entire book has been manipu- 
lated in the interest of conventional orthodoxy, so 
that its original import can only be discovered by a 
most exacting study. 
^ We must at the outset recognize that the Book of 

' Job in its original form was a skeptical composition — 
skeptical in the sense of putting a question mark after 
the fundamental axiom in the teachings of the Hebrew 
prophets of the ninth and succeeding centuries, that 
the government of the universe rests on justice. We 
will see that there is no single author in the modem 
sense to any part of the book. The group that pro- 
duced the original book, while not denying the exist- 
ence of a watchful Creator, is not satisfied with the 
mere repetition of a pious phrase, 

"God's in His heaven, 
All's right with the world! " 

They wish to test the phrase. Anatole France tells 
us in that charming narrative of his childhood — 


Le Petit Pierre — in which one suspects that he has used 
the Goethean device of combining " Wahrheit und 
Dichtung" — that he declined to follow his mother's 
suggestion to put an interrogation mark after the title 
of his earliest composition "What is God," because, 
as he insisted, he purposed to answer the question. 
Since then, he tells us, he has changed his mind and is 
inclined to put a question mark after everything that 
he writes, thinks or does. The unknown thinker to 
whom we owe the first draft of the Book of Job is one 
of the great questioners of antiquity, and those who 
followed in his wake in enlarging the book often add 
two interrogation marks to statements that were 
accepted as a matter of course by the age in which 
they lived. 

The personage of Job is merely an illustration of 
a man who endured in patience. The folktale is a peg 
on which to hang the discussion of the problem in- 
volved in Job's sufferings. This problem is resolved 
into the question — Why should the just man suffer? 
Job is *' Everyman, " and what happened to him rep- 
resents merely on a large scale what on a smaller one 
may be taken as typical of the common human ex- 
perience. For who has not at some time in his life 
suffered innocently and felt convinced of his martyr- 
dom? Even the most fortunate experience disappoint- 
ments which seem to involve injustice towards them. 
We are all at some time buffeted by the waves of for- 
tune, and when we look about us we behold on all sides 
the sea strewn with the wrecks of human careers, as a 
result of the merciless fury of the elements aroused to 
anger through no cause that can be reconciled with the 


conception of a moral and just Neptune. In the lar- 
ger field of human history — ^the fate of nations and 
countries — cunning, deceit, brute power, oppression 
of the masses seem to be the forces in control. 

"Right forever on the scaffold. 
Wrong forever oa the throne." 

A "gentle cynic" like Koheleth can deal lightly 
with a topsy-turvy world in which he sees "a right- 
eous man who perishes by his righteousness, and there 
a wicked man rounding out his life in his wickedness. "* 
The one who is willing to take things as they come can 
reach the conclusion that there is "nothing better for 
a man than to be happy and enjoy himself in his life. "* 
Not so the writers in the original Book of Job, who are 
neither gentle nor cynical. For them the fact that 
wickedness usurps the place of justice, and "where 
the righteous should have been, the wicked was "* con- 
stitutes the most serious problem of life, since it in- 
volves the possibility that at the head of the universe 
stands a blind and cruel fate in place of a loving 
Father of mankind. The questioner scans the heavens 
and finds the supposed throne of mercy without an 
occupant; and the discovery bears heavily on his dis- 
turbed soul. 

This, then, must constitute our point of departure 
in any endeavor to penetrate into the meaning of the 
philosophic poem in its earliest form, that its spirit 
is skeptical. The Book of Job arose out of a circle 
which was not content with the conventional answer 

* EcclcsiaBtes ]. II- 
' EleclwiMtes j, 16. 




to the question why the innocent suffer in this strange 
world. Hence the manifest sympathy of the writers 
to whom we owe the Symposium (chapters 3-27) with 
job. The three " friends " introduced as panicipants 
in the discourse are merely foils to press home the 
arguments of Job against the assumptions of the pre- 
vailing orthodoxy. Job is the Alpha and Omega in 
the situation, the climax and the anti-climax. 

But the objection may be interposed, why desig- 
nate Job as a book that questions the current view 
that suffering is for a good cause, when we have the 
speeches of the three companions who in answer to 
Job's complaints uphold the orthodox point of view ? 
Besides there are the discourses of Elihu (chapters 32- 
37) in defence of orthodoxy, and the magnificent series 
of poems (chapters 38-41), put into the mouth of God 
Himself. Is not the orthodox point of view trium- 
phant? Does not Job repent and only after his re- 
pentance is rewarded for his sufferings by having 
health, wealth and happiness restored to him? Why 
not judge the book from this angle ? Such indeed was 
the prevailing view taken of Job till the advent of 
modem Biblical criticism, and even among the critical 
students there are at present some — and in the former 
generation there were more — who look upon the Book 
of Job as written for the purpose of vindicating the 
story of Job, instead of questioning the basis on which 
that story rests. 

If we take the book as it stands in our ordinary 
Bible translations, there is no escape from the conclu- 
sion that Job is a powerful argument for the mainte- 
nance of Jewish orthodoxy of post-exilic days, but the 


?/ take ^H 

fatal objection to the conclusion is that we cannot 
the book as it stands. As we have it, the production 
is far removed from its original draft. It is not a unit 
composition, as little as is the Book of Kohelelh. 
It is composite not to the same degree as the Penta- 
teuch is a gradual growth, but of the same order. It 
consists of a trunk on which branches have been 
grafted. In the course of its growth from the first 
draft to its final form it covers a considerable period, 
just as the compilation of the five books into which the 
Psalms are divided stretches over several centuries. 
It received in the course of its growth large additions 
the purpose of which was to counteract the tendency 
of theoriginal draft, precisely as was the purpose of 
the additions to Koheleth.* 

Now in order to establish this, let us try to make 
clear to ourselves how a Symposium such as we have 
in Job' based on the story of Job may have arisen. We 
must take as our starting-point not an individual 
author— for there were no authors in any real sense 
of the word among the Hebrews till some time after 
the contact with Greek culture' — but rather a circle 
in which the problem suggested by the folktale would 
form the subject of discussion. Some thinker in such 
a circle, gifted with insight into human nature and an 

* See the ftuthor"! A GrtuU Cynu, p. 71, iiq. 

' Consisting at one time of chapter* 3-^1 oofy; then enlarged by a third 
teries of spcGchci, chiptera 11-17, with chapter! 29-31 to form a lupplement 
to the original book and chapter zS a> a separate inaertion. See further p. 67 jtq, 

' See A GmUt Cynit, p. 3 1 lej. 



observer of what was happening in the world around 
him, raised the question whether such a story as that 
of Job was a true one, that is, in the sense of represent- 
ing what would really happen if misfortune should 
overtake a thoroughly good and virtuous and God- 
fearing man. Would such a man act in the manner 
indicated in the folktale, like Job accept the evil in the 
same spirit as the good and bow his head in silent resig- 
nation? The third chapter in which Job begins by cur- 
sing the day on which he was bom, and ends by com- 
plaining that God will not grant release to those who 
long for death more than for hidden treasures, 

"Who rejoice at the thought of the mound," 

furnishes the answer. "There you have the real Job, '* 
exclaims the thinker. That is the way in which a man 
who feels keenly the injustice of being made a butt of 
misfortune would feei. To be deprived of family 
possessions and station and finally to be tortured with 
loathsome disease would change the pious and God- 
fearing man into a violent accuser of the Deity. 
Throughout the Symposium, Job is represented as 
protesting against his cruel and unjustifiable treat- 
ment. He wrings our soul with pity by his bitter out- 
cries. Those who write the speeches which they put 
into his mouth visualize for us the sufferings of Job 
be>X)nd human endurance. Ever and again he breaks 
out in his anguish and indulges in indictments against 
Divine injustice that know no bounds. 

A second question put by our thinker, who ana- 
lyzes the story that was repeated from generation to 
generation, was even more pertinent. What about 


J God? What an awful Deity to permit a man "perfect 
and removed from evil" (i, 2) to be thus wracked on 
1^ the wheel! The introduction of the scene between 
Yahweh and Satan only enhances the callousness of 
the former in heaping misfortunes on an innocent 
head, just for the satisfaction of winning a wager. 
What a shocking and immoral story, we can fancy the 
thinker saying, to tell children and to impress upon 
their elders. Even if Job had acted as he is represented 
in the folktale, what is there to be said in justification 
of God? The good "Sunday School" story is thus 
transformed under the searching test of those who 
approach it from a more critical angle, into a most 
objectionable tale. Its supposed lesson to suffer with- 
out murmuring is punctured by the two questions thus 
raised in regard to it, the one of a psychological nature, 
the other of a theological order. How can one reconcile 
the conduct of Yahweh in the story with the concep- 
tion of God taught by the Hebrew prophets of the 
century and a half preceding the downfall of Jeru- 
salem (586 B. C-), as a Being ruling the world and the 
destinies of mankind by laws of justice, tinctured with 
mercy? That is the problem as it appeared to the 
circle within which at some time a thinker arose, who 
put his two questions and who stimulated his fellow 
thinkers to discuss the theme involved in what on the 
surface appeared to be an altogether proper and 
impressive folktale. 

The Symposium in which arguments and counter 

arguments are exchanged by Job and his friends is the 

outcome of these discussions. The purpose of the 

^ Symposium is not to elaborate the story, but to iUumi- 





nate the religious problem which may, in other words, 
be briefly defined as the search for the reason of suffer- 
ingand evil in a world created by a supposedly merciful, 
just and loving Creator. One must enlarge the pro- 1 
blem to one of suffering and evil, for the one implies ' 
the other. The counterpart to Job, the innocent suf- 
ferer,is the wicked man who escapes punishment. Our 
thinker is unsparing in his search, for no less typical 
than Job's case of what is happening daily is the con- 
current instance of the wrongdoer who eludes the fate 
that is his due. The one who heaps up ill-gotten 
gain enjoys his wealth without even a twinge of con- 
science at forcing others to tread the mill, so that he 
may acquire substance. The tyrant on the throne, the 
thief who robs his fellow, the murderer who mounts 
over the prostrate body of his victim, the dishonest 
dealer who defrauds his customers by false scales, the 
brutal employer who grinds the faces of the poor — are 
they not all around us, happy and prosperous while 
the weak and defenseless perish ? Such is the terrible 
indictment that we encounter in the utterances put 
into the mouth of Job. Here is a problem indeed, 
well worthy of discussion. Where is God while in-, 
nocent suffering and terrible injustice is going on invi 
His world ? Is a solution possible ? 


The circle in which the problem thus extended 
into a general discussion of the reason for suffering 
and evil in the world was tossed to and fro must have 



consisted of bold thinkers who had freed themselves 
from the shackles of traditional views to plunge fear- 
lessly into the maelstrom of doubt and rationalism. 
They knew of the counter arguments that would be 
brought forward in orthodox circles against the posi- 
tion taken by Job. In order to illuminate the prob- 
lem from all sides, the three friends of the folktale 
are introduced as the representatives of the prevailing 
orthodoxy, but it is evident throughout the Sympo- 
sium that although the speeches put into the mouth 
of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are from the literary 
pwint of view fully as impressive as those of Job, the 
sympathy of the writers is on the side of Job. It is 
only when we come to the four speeches of a fifth per- 
sonage — Elihu — that we obtain compositions in which 
the attempt is made to divert our sympathy, but 
Elihu takes no part in the Symposium proper. 

We are led to a post-exilic date for the existence 
of such a circle of free thinkers, sufficiently bold and 
advanced to tackle the most perplexing problem that 
arises when religion passes from the earlier stages in 
which the chief attribute of the gods is strength, 
arbitrarily exercised, to the highest level in which 
ethical motives enter into the conception of the 
Divine government of the universe. With the appear- 
ance of the great series of prophets, about the middle 
of the ninth century, b. c. the Hebrews definitely ad- 
vance to this level, for the burden of the teachings of 
Amos, Hosea, Micah and Isaiah is that Yahweh, the 
national deity of the Hebrews, is a Power '* making for 
righteousness." He does not act arbitrarily, but re- 
wards or punishes according to the good or bad deeds 


of his people. The obedience that He exacts is to 
dictates of justice. He knows no favorites and cannot 
be bribed by sacrifices or homage to divert just pun- 
ishmentfrom wrongdoers. The pre-exilic prophets do 
not stress the universal sway of Yahweh. For them 
Yahweh is still, or at least primarily, the God of the 
Hebrews. In this sense the Hebrews are His chosen 
people, but the corollary that a God of justice and 
righteousness must be a unifying force, in control of 
the universe and exercising His sway over all nature 
and all mankind, was in due time drawn, though it is 
not until the exilic period that a genuine ethical mono- 
theism was preached by the successors of the earlier 
prophets, by Ezekiel, by the anonymous prophets 
whose utterances are embodied in the second part of 
Isaiah,* by Zephaniah and Zechariah. 

We must descend well into the fifth century be- 
fore Judaism, as we know it, became part and parcel 
of the life of the people. In the Symposium God is 
viewed as a power of universal scope. There is no 
longer any trace of theformernationalistic limitations; 
and it is just because the doctrine of the prophets in- 
volved the rule by this universal Power of the des- 
tinies of mankind by self-imposed laws of righteous- 
ness and justice, that the problem as to the cause of 
innocent suffering and unchecked evil in the world 
becomes real and intense. For religions of the older 
type, the difficulty did not exist. The gods were ar- 
bitrary. They could not be held to account. It was 
man's sole endeavor to keep them in good humor and 

with (ome scattered uneraoces aUo ia the fint 


favorably disposed by doing what would please them. 
If despite gifts and homage, the gods were disposed to 
manifest their anger by sending disease, by catastro- 
phes and miseries of all kinds, there was nothing to be 
done but to wait until their displeasure had passed 
away. The circle from which the Book of Job eman- 
ated could therefore not have arisen in Palestine, where 
the book originated, before the fifth century, b. c. 
and scholars are generally agreed to proceed far into 
this century for the first draft of our book. Tlie dis- 
cussions on the vital problem may have gone on orally 
for some time before the thought rose of giving a 
written form to them, and we are probably safe in 
fixing upon 400 b. c. as the approximate date for 
the Symposium. 

The problem of the Book of Job is thus one which 
directly arises out of the basic doctrine of post-exilic 
Judaism; and it was inevitable that the question 
would some time be raised, whether what the prophets 
taught of the nature of God which the people ac- 
cepted as guidance in their lives was compatible with 
the facts of experience. Is there a just and loving Pro- 
vidence at the helm of the universe ? If so, why does 
man live in a vale of sorrow? As the Psalmist asks: 

"Why standest Thou afar off, O Yahweh, 
Why hidcst Thou Thyself in times of trouble?" (Ps. 10, i). 

The questioning spirit arises in the circles of the 
orthodox and pious quite as much as among those 
who boldly challenge conventional views, but the sig- 
nificance of the Symposium consists in the thorough 
manner in which for the first time the problem is 




discussed in the light of a particularly significant ex- 
ample of a contrast between what ought to be in a 
world that is supposed to be ruled by justice, and what 
is. Occasionally in other literatures of the ancient 
East, the problem is touched upon. So, for example, in 
a remarkable Babylonian poem of a king of Nippur'", 
who despite his piety is smitten with disease. Tabi- 
utul-Enlil, as the king is called, is represented as 
indulging in reflections on the prevalence of suffering 
in the world. 

" I had reached and passed the allotted time of life. 
Whithersoever I turned — evil upon evil; 
Misery had increased, justice had disappeared." 

But under the limitation of the Babylonian conception 
of the gods, who although not insensible to justice, yet 
exercise their power according to their pleasure and in 
arbitrary fashion, the poem goes no farther than to 
suggest that the ways of the gods are unfathomable, 
and that without apparent cause man's fate is subject 
to constant change. 

"What, however, seems good to oneself, to a god is displeasing, 
What is spurned by oneself finds favor with a god; 
Who is there that can grasp the will of the gods in heaven? 
The plan of a god full of power (f) — who can understand it.* 
How can mortals learn the way of a god? 
He who was alive yesterday is dead to-day. 
Id an instant he is cast into grief, 
Of a sudden he is crushed. 
For a moment he sings in joy; 
In a twinkling he wails like a mourner. 

Like opening and closing, their (i. e. mankind's) spirit changes; 
if they are hungry, they are like corpses; 

"Scebelon, p. 48. 


Have they had enough, they consider themselves equal to 

their god. 
If things go well, they prate of mounting to heaven; 
If they are in distress, they speak of descending into Irkalla." 

In the Upanishads of ancient India, from about 
the seventh and following centuries," the tragedy of 
Hfe 13 the constant theme, and the spirit in which Hfe 
is viewed is preenainently philosophical, but we have 
sporadic reflections rather than a genuine attempt to 
get at the core of the problem. In this respect the 
Symposium of Job is unique. Its philosophy is not 
academic but intensely human. It brings the prob- 
lem home to us in a way that betrays its origin in 
a circle which responded sympathetically to the 
hard experiences of life from which few escape, a 
circle that was alive to the consciousness of frequent 
failure, despite all endeavors to follow the dictates of 
an ethical code of life and that grasped the bitterness 
of seeing wrong triumphant while virtue is trampled 
under foot. The Symposium is all the more remark- 
able because despite its rebellious tone, its boldness 
is kept within the limits of an honest search for truth, 
undertaken in a profoundly serious frame of mind. Its 
pessimism is free from any tinge of cynicism or friv- 
olity ; its skepticism is never oifensive, because it keeps 
close to intense sympathy for suffering mankind as 
typified by Job. The Symposium, quite apart from 
its literary qualities, stands out for these reasons in the 
world's literature as one of the boldest attempts to 
attack a problem which to-day, after two thousand 
years and more, still baffles religious minds. 

*' One of the aamei of the lower world, wherein the dead are huddled. 
"See Maoloniicll Sanilcril Lileralure, page Ii6. 




A further condition for a proper understanding of 
the book that follows from what has just been set 
forth, is the separation of the story of Job from the 
philosophical discussion occasioned by the story; and 
here we touch upon the most significant of misunder- 
standings in regard to our book which is still widely 
prevalent. To the average person who has been ac- 
customed to think of the Book of Job as a unit conw 
jjosition, written by one person as a book generally is 
in our days, there is only one Job, In reality there 
are two, the Job of the story and the Job in the 
discussions with his three companions. The only 
connection between the two Jobs is the similarity 
in the name. 

An uncritical tradition is responsible for the con- 
fusion, for the compilers of the book in its original W 
form did all that lay in their power to distinguish be- 
tween the two. Even externally the Job of the story 
is separated from the Job in the discussions. The story 
of the pious, patient, taciturn Job is told in prose," 
whereas the other Job who is impatient, and re- 
bellious, voluble in the denunciation of the cruel fate 
meted out to him, and blasphemous in his charges of 
injustice against the Creator of the universe in con- 
trol of the destinies of mankiiuLisjnade to spealft4n - 
poetry, as are his friends. | Apart from this, the Job%> ^ 

" Chapten i ind i and the conduiton oE the itory (though modified 
from ttj original form) chapter 41, 7-17. The distinction ii made evident in ibe 
Reviled VenioD, »» in other modem translations. 


"perish the day on which I wa 
Aod the night when a male u 


who when misfortunes follow upon disasters in close 
succession exclaims — 

"Yahweh has given, and Yahweh has taken. 
Blessed be the name of Yahweh." (a)iw). /VZi 

cannot possibly be the same as the one who at the out- 
set of the Symposium between him and his companions 
gives vent to his embittered soul in the most vehe- 
ment terms: 

.bom, y.i^ 

■aa conceived." (3, 3.) 
Can there be a more striking contrast than between 
the Job in the story who, when called upon by his 
unsympathetic wife to do away with himself and thus 
put an end to his sufferings, asks: 

"Should we indeed receive the good from God, but the 
evil we should not receive"? (2, 10.) 

and the Job in the discussion, whose piercing cry of 
despair resounds through the ages : 

"Why did I not die at the womb. 
Come forth from the lap and perish? 
Why did knees receive me? 
And why were there breasts to give mc suck?" (3, iitlCft) 

One must admire the persistency of the uncritical 
tradition which thus succeeded in confusing the two 
Jobs, in the face of the contradiction between the one 
as not "sinning with his lips, "(2, 10) despite all that 
he had to endure, and the unbridled blasphemy of 
the other Job who exclaims to God, 

"I will not restrain my mouth; 
I will give voice to my despair. 


md 15-16.) 
Nor does the Job of the dis&nssion stop short of 
accusing God of deliberate injustice. He goes so far 
as to suggest that it is God's nature to be cruel, to take 
pleasure in seeing the innocent suffer: 
"If I were in the right, my mouth " would condemn me; 
If I were entirely right, He would twist the verdict. 

The guiltless and the wicked He destroys. 

If a scourge should suddenly strike one dead, 

He would laugh at the death of the innocent." (9, 20-23.) 

Can a denial of a merciful Providence go further ? The 
Job of the story has sublime faith in God's justice, 
despite all appearances to the contrary. The Job of 
the discussions conceives of God as strong and power- 
ful, but as arbitrary and without a sense of justice. 
Such are the two Jobs, the one as far removed from 
the other as heaven is from earth — 

"Look here, upon this picture, and on this." 


The contrast between the story and the setting 
in the discussion extends to the portrayal of the 
three friends and to the conception of God. In the /, 
story, as told in the opening two chapters, the friends 
are intensely sympathetic. They are shocked at the 

^i.1., my coroplainu against fate. 



appearance of Job; they are so deeply moved by the 
misfortunes that have overwhelmed him and by the 
sufferings that he endures as to be incapable of speech. 
Their sympathy is expressed by their silence. But 
note the contrast when we come to the Symposium. 
Their sympathy changes to harshness in a steadily 
ascending scale. EHphaz, the first to speak, begins, to 
be sure, in an apologetic strain, excusing himself as it 
were for venturing to offer a suggestion to Job as to 
the cause of his suffering, but only to advance to a 
rebuke that is none the less stinging for being put in 
the form of a question : 

"Can man be more righteous than God? 
Can a man be purer than his Maker?" (4, 17.) 

The implication is clear, and with subtle skill Eliphaz 
advances to a more direct charge that Job must have 
committed some great wrong which brought on his 
hard fate. 

"I have seen the foolish take root; -S - ^y^'f 

But his habitation of a sudden is swept away. 
His sons far from salvation, 
.^ni crushed, with none to save [them]." (5, 3-4.) 

C^iphaz liaeo the milder lei m '^feoH5h;^ut he means 
"-wii^feii" 'snd- he wishes to leave no doubt in Job's 
mind that his only hope is to confess his guilt and to 
throw himself on the mercy of God. 

If Eliphaz in his first speech is somewhat re- 
Btrained, not so Bildad and Zophar, who introduce 
their arguments with sharp invectives, and whose ex- 
ample is followed by Eliphaz in his subsequent 
speeches. There is no trace of friendly sympathy in 
Bildad's greeting : 

"How long wilt thou babble thus? 
Thy words are a mighty wind." (8, i.Y-3 

and there is downright hostility in Zophar's opening 

"Should one full of words remain unanswered? 
Should a babbler be acquitted?" (ii, i-'^^ 

The friends in the story of Job become the ac- 
cusers in the discussion. One after the other declares 
that Job — in flagrant contradiction to the assumption 
throughout the story — is a wicked sinner whose pun- 
ishment is merited because of his unrepentant nature, 
which manifests itself in the charges of injustice that 
he hurls against the Almighty as the cause of his ills 
and woes. We almost lose sight of the main discus- 
sion in the great variety of the taunts, rebukes and 
charges brought by the three companions against Job. 

There are also two conceptions of God. The 
Yahweh of the story is a different being from the 
Elohim '* in the discussions. Yahweh is proud of SJ 
Job's piety and has supreme confidence that His ' 
"servant Job" will endure the test to which he is put 

" Elohim, varying with El, is ■ generic deaignatioo like our "God" or 
"Deity," in concrast lo Yahweh, the name of the old national deity of the 
Hebrews. So pcnonal waa the name Yahweh that it became customary to 
avoid the pronuncialion and toiubstitute for it "Adonai" meaning "Maiter," 
"Lord." The subititute was not due to the holincsa of the name Yahweh, at 
the Uler tradition asiumed, but on the contrary ta ita distaatefut association 
with a deity limited in scope to one people and restricted in jurisdiction to the 
territory controlled by that people. The later documents in the Pencateuchal 
compilation use "Elohim." i.e.. Deity, which Is impersonal, just as we might 
to^Jay prefer "Almighty" to the term "God," because of the strong implication 
of personality in the current use of God. Sec further the note to the traiulauoD 
ol chapter ii, 9. 

o^atan. See 


at the instigation of Satan. Yahweh boasts of Job as 
one might take pride in a fine achievement. 

"Hast ihou observed my servant Job? There is none like 
him in the earth— pious and upright." 

"There's a fine fellow," Yahweh says to^atan. 
what a splendid creature I have made of him ! One is 
tempted to say that the dialogue between Yahweh 
and Satan has a touch of bonhomie in it that is in re- 
freshing contrast to the severe and forbidding pic- 
ture we receive of the Deity in the philosophical 
poem. Goethe in the prologue to Faust, based on the 
two introductory chapters of Job, has caught this 
spirit in the scene between the Almighty and Mephis- 
topheles, though he has also intensified it by a 
thorough modernization of the scene itself. " 

The use of a genericdesignation of the Deity like 
Elohim to avoid the personal quality involved in the 
more specific name Yahweh — is intentional; and 
similarly, EI, Eloah and Shaddai are employed as 
synonyms of Elohim, because they conjure up the 
picture of a Being of universal scope and power 
whom one approaches in awe, and whose decision 
once made is unchangeable. The God portrayed by 
the friends is stem and unbending, while for Job He 
becomes a cold tyrant, indifferent to appeals for 
mercy even when they come from those whose lips 
are clean and whose hearts are pure. 

How, then, are we to account for the two Jobs, 
the two varying portrayals of the three companions 
and the two conceptions of God ? It is only necessary 

•' Etkermann"i Conttrsatxiini soith Gotthe under dale of January, iSzj. 


to put the question in order to show the obviousness 
of the answer that the story of Job is independent of 
the philosophical poem; and if independent also older. 
Three passages in Ezekiel •' come to our aid in estab- 
lishing the existence in early days of a current tradi- 
tion about a man of great piety whose name was Job. 
The prophet, in order to drive home his doctrine that, 
on the one hand, God does not punish His people 
without cause, and that, on the other, punishment 
for wrongs and crimes cannot be averted by the ex- 
istence of some righteous members of the community 
— ^as in the case of Abraham's plea to save Sodom and 
Gomorrah for the sake of the few righteous in the 
multitude of sinners, — declares that even if such men 
as Noah, Daniel and Job were living in the midst of 
the sinful nation, their virtues would only secure 
their own deliverance from the four scourges — the 
sword, famine, evil beasts and pestilence — decreed 
for Jerusalem. The juxtaposition with Noah and 
Daniel shows that Job, like these two men, had come 
to be regarded as a model and type of piety and human 
eicellence. Ezekiel, is anterior to the Book of Job, 
as he is by four centuries earlier than the Book of 
Daniel, in which the traditional Daniel is utilized as a 
medium for encouraging pious Jews, suffering under 
the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 b. c), 
to remain steadfast in their faith. " The tradition 
about Job survives, however, the composition of the 
book which is called by his name, for in the Epistle of 


James (5, 11), Job is incidentally referred to as an ex- 
ample of piety and patience. As late as the days of 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, (died c. 428 A. D.) whom we 
have already had occasion to mention," the story of 
the patient Job who becomes in the popular concep- 
tion a holy prophet was still current in a form which 
suggests to Theodore that the author of the Book of 
Job had taken some undue liberties with the original 
tale. The Arabs have preserved traditions about Job," 
which point to the growth of the popular tale even after 
it had been given a literary form among the Hebrews. 
We are, therefore, justified in concluding that 
from an early age. Job had become a popular figure 
among the Hebrews. In accordance with the ten- 
dency of folktales the story received additions from 
time to time, and it also shared the fate of popular 
tales in being carried from one people to another. 

It does not follow that the tale of the pious man 
who became the prototype for the virtuous man not to 
be moved from his position by any misfortunes that 
might sweep over him originated among the He- 
brews. Indeed, the name Job — for which there is no 
satisfactory Hebrew etymology and which we do not 
encounter elsewhere in the Old Testament — points 
to a foreign origin ; and if, as we may properly assume, 
the statement in the prologue to the Book of Job that 

"Above, p. 15. 

"Inthe Siorieiof theProph«i"byThila'jbi (d. iQiiK^.). A trani- 
lation by Prof. D. B. Macdonald will be found in the Amerioui Joamal of 
Semitic Languagca, Vol. 14, pp. 145-161. 



' he lived in the land of Uz, which lies to the east of 
Palestine, was part of the popular tale as it circulated 
among the Hebrews, it becomes even more definite 
that Job was not a Hebrew, as little as the three com- 
panions were Hebrews." The entire setting of the 
story is in fact non-Hebraic. Job is described as 
"greater than any of the sonsof the East, " (i, 3) in a 
manner to suggest that he belongs to that vague re- 
gion known as " East, " but without any suggestion of 
a connection with the "sons of Israel"; and it is 
rather surprising that in the adaptation of the tale to 
the purposes of the discussion, which we must per- 
force assume, a more Hebraic atmosphere should not 
have been given to it. In the dialogue between God 
and Satan, the specific Hebraic name Yahweh is in- 
troduced, but Job himself is represented as using the 
general name Elohim, (i, 5 and 2, 10) as is also his 
wife (2, 9.) It is only in his pious submission to the 
Divine will, that the name Yahweh is introduced in 
what is probably a quotation from a "Yahweh" 
prayer. That such a touch as Job himself bringing 
sacrifices without the mediation of a priest, as de- 
manded by the Pentateucha! codes, should have been 
retained in the adaptation may be taken as a further 
proof of the unconscious influence exerted by the non- 
Hebraic origin of the tale — an influence strong enough 
to have kept out of it any reference to specific He- 
braic rites or customs." 

" Shown by the name* and hy the lUtement o( ihclr homes in pirts 
of Arabia. See the note to the tranilation af l, 11. 

■The terin uied for lacrificea is the most general th»t could have been 
•elected. The annual feitival that brings Job's family together (l, 4-;) is limi- 
Urly of « mo)i general charactei — nithout any warrant in any of the Pent«- 
Kuchal codes. 



We are thus led to the conclusion that the story 
of Job was a tale that became current in ancient 
Palestine and wandered, as tales do from place to 
place, subject to niodification as it passed down the 
ages, altered to some extent in its adaptation to dif- 
ferent localities, but retaining enough traces of its 
origin to preserve its distinctive character as a gen- 
eral illustration of the spirit in which misfortunes and 
sufferings should be received and endured. The story 
of a pious man who maintains his firm faith and his 
simple piety under most distressing circumstances, 
who bore all trials in patience was what we would 
nowadays call a good "Sunday School" tale — one 
that might be told with profit to encourage the young 
and to edify their elders. Tales of this character are 
common enough in antiquity. The "good man" is a 
type in folktales as common as is his counterpart — 
the "bad man." It is not surprising, therefore, to 
encounter "Jobs" elsewhere, as, for example, in 
India where we have the tale of an "upright king" 
who loses his possessions and sells his boy, his wife 
and finally himself in order to carry on his works of 
charity, and to whom all is restored in the end because 
he had endured the burdens of misfortunes in pa- 
tience and without complaint." 

Similarly, in the story of the pious king of Nippur 
above referred to," who, like Job, is smitten with 
sore disease and is finally restored to health through 
the intervention of the gods, there are analogies with 

■• M'ive Stokes, Indian Fairy Taiti, CilcutU, 1879, pp. 6S-71. 

" Page 37- See an Brticlc bj- the writer, "A Babylonian Job," in the 
Joumil ai Biblical Literature, Vol. ij, pp. 125-191 and BartoD, Jnk^ogy 
0} iKe BibU, pp. 192-97. 



the philosophical discussions in Job that are most 
suggestive, but even such Hterary analogies furnish 
no warrant for assuming a direct influence from the 
outside on our Biblical book. The problem suggested 
by the sufferings of Job is a perfectly natural one, 
so that if we find it discussed elsewhere it would 
merely point to a stage of intellectual development 
in which people — or at least the choice spirits — ^were 
no longer entirely satisfied with the conventional 
view that sufferings are due to sin. 


It is not necessary to assume that a definite 
literary form was given to the tale among the He- 
brews before it was incorporated into the Book of Job, 
though, on the other hand, one cannot dogmatically 
assert that this could not have been the case. Stories 
in the ancient East, as to a large extent still in the 
East of today, are recited, not read. Our specifically 
Western attitude towards mental productivity can 
hardly conceive of literature except as embodied in a 
definite written form, whereas until the East came 
under the influence of the West through contact with 
Greek civilization in the second half of the fourth 
century b. c, the oral transmission without a definite 
literary form was the regular mould of literature to 
which the written form, if it existed at all, was en- 
tirely secondary and incidental — memoranda to serve 
as a prop in the further oral transmission. Under such 


conditions a story or even a book might have existed 
for ages before it received what we would call a book 
form. One of the chief reasons why the modem 
critical study of the Bible aroused such hostility when 
its results began to be disseminated among the lay 
public and why it is still eyed with suspicion in many 
circles, is because we thoughtlessly — almost un- 
consciously — apply our modem and Western con- 
ceptions of literary composition to an age to which 
they do not apply. As I have pointed out elsewhere," 
we can hardly conceive of a book without a title and 
an author, whereas these two features are precisely 
the ones which are lacking in ancient compositions 
until we reach the age of Greek literature, which may 
be said to have invented the author. 

The written form, when it arose in the ancient 
Orient, was not due to the promptings of the literary 
instinct, or to an ambition on the part of certain 
individuals to be known as authors, but purely as a 
preservative method to prevent tales and traditions 
that no longer enjoyed a full spontaneous existence 
among the people from perishing or from being dis- 
/torted. '' Writing begins when genuine production 
/ comes to an end.'' As long as a tale retained its full 
popularity, as long as a tradition formed, as it were, 
part and parcel of the life of the people there was no 
urgent necessity to give the tale or tradition a written 
form. It lived in the minds and the hearts of the 
people. And so with the exhortations of a prophet, 
with the decisions of a lawgiver, or even with the 


» J CfitU Cynu, pp. i\- 


prayers of a Psalmist, giving expression to emotions 
shared by the entire group. There was no occasion for 
the definite written form until with the advent of a 
new age with new interests and new problems, the 
tale no longer made its appeal, the tradition was no 
longer living, the exhortation was in danger of be- 
coming a memory, the law needed reinforcement, and 
the prayer through the development of the cult was 
embodied into a fixed ritual. 

It is also immaterial whether such a man as Job 
ever existed, just as it is of no consequence whether 
there was such a man as Noah or Daniel. A rabbi of 
the Talmudic age, " betraying a critical spirit which 
is quite exceptional, declares in one place that Job is a 
product of popular fancy; and it is at all events clear 
that he as welt as Noah and Daniel, as likewise Abra- 
ham, became a mere type of steadfast piety, just as to 
a later age David and Solomon, despite the historical 
character of much — ^though far from everything — 
that is told of them become types, David of the pious 
king to whom an unhistorical tradition subsequently 
ascribed the Psalms, and Solomon of the wise king to 
whom Biblical productions embodying the wisdom 
of the age were assigned.*^ This tendency to trans- 
form traditional or historical personages into types 
is a by-product of the spirit peculiar to the ancient 
East, which only gradually reaches the point where 
the individual stands out in sharp outline from 
his surroundings. 

mUe Cynle" 



Wearenowpreparedto face the question, whether 
we have the story of Job entirely in its original form 
in the prologue, or whether there are some features 
which are due to its adaptation to the purpose of a 
philosophical discussion! The story being of non- 
Jewish origin, as has been made probable, the intro- 
duction of the name Yahweh in the prologue is 
obviously a natural consequence of its adoption by the 
Hebrews. The scene in heaven in which likewise the 
name of Yahweh is used with, however, the attend- 
ants or ministers of Yahweh spoken of as the beri? 
Elohim *'Sons of God," does not strike one as a pop- 
ular feature. Particularly through the introduction 
of the figure of Satan does the scene receive a theo- 
logical admixture that reflects a more sophisticated 
age than the one in which the story arose. One can 
in fact cut out the scene in heaven without detri- 
ment to the essence of the story, and some scholars 
see in the scene an interpolation subsequent to the 
completion of the book. This, however, is most un- 
likely. For not only is the dramatic effect of the tale 
heightened by the test to which Job is put by the 
agreement between God and Satan, but the intent to 
show that Job is really innocent and is condemned to 
suffering by a deliberate and quite arbitrary decision 
of Yahweh is in accord with the main theme of the 
Symposium that sufferings in this world are not 
always due to just causes, that the Divine power 
which controls the destinies of nature and of mankind 



does not work under the inflexible law of ethical 

We conclude, then, that the dialogues in heaven 
between Yahweh and Satan represent modifications 
of the folktale that may represent the contribution of 
those to whom we owe the thought of making the 
story the vehicle of a discussion of human suffering. 
There is a certain callousness in the readiness with 
which Yahweh is willing to accede to the suggestion 
of Satan to put Job to the test, that betokens the 
questioning spirit. The popular tale everywhere is 
marked by naivete; it is free from self-consciousness, 
and above all it is without a skeptical taint. Even a q. 
touch of skepticism would vitiate the flavorof thetale. j 
It would discountenance its single import, to show how 
a pious and good man would act under the blows of 
misfortune. The folktale of Job starts from the 
common experience of changeable fate in the fortunes 
of men. Its lesson is that man must endure patiently 
and in resignation, and must not be swerved from the 
line of righteous conduct by life's hard experiences. 
The naivete of both the tale and its lesson disappears 
the moment we are told that the sufferings of Job are 
due to a wager. The mystery of suffering which is its 
chief claim to popular attention is dissolved. 

The figure of Satan, as he appears in the prologue, 
arrests our attention. The term connotes an "ad- 
versary, " and it is not infrequently used in the Old 
Testament for a human "opponent" " as the abstract 
term derived from it, siinak, means "hostility."" 

'«.(.< s Dumber of timu lo designate adversariea of SoIomoD, I Kings, 
II. u. ai-aj. 

'K Ute term occurring in the memoirs of Ezra <4, 6). 


The Satan in the story of Job is an evil spirit, but 
of a different character from the demons and jinns, 
the mischievous sprites of popular belief, to which 
the Hebrews in common with all people of anti- 
quity — and for that matter of modem times — clung, 
whose presence in the human body manifested itself 
as disease, and to whom also the minor ills and 
the many accidents of life were ascribed. Such 
demons were supposed to act at the behest of the 
gods, or they were under the control of human sor- 
cerers and witches. Satan in the prologue to Job is 
a semi-divine being, placed on a par with the "Sons 
of God," though occupying an independent position. 
He has not yet advanced to the position of the "ac- 
cuser" as which he appears in Zechariah, {3, 1-2) but 
he is on the road to assuming the general role of an 
enemy of man — the one who tempts man towards evil. 
The development of the conception stops short in the 
Old Testament as the one to whom evil thoughts are 
ascribed in an age which found it distasteful to as- 
sociate such a rule with God himself. The comparison 
of H Sam. 24, I with the parallel passage I Chron. 21, 
I is instructive in this respect. In the earlier compila- 
tion it is God's anger enkindled against Israel that is 
set down as inducing David to sin by planning a 
census of the people, whereas by the time that Chron- 
icles came to be compiled — in the third century b. c. 
—such an explanation was regarded as not in accord 
with the conception of a spiritual Power at the head 
of the universe. God is replaced by Satan, acting 
apparently independently. It is not, however, till 
New Testament times that Satan becomes the full- 


fledged tempter, assuming the guise of a serpent in 
the famous third chapter of Genesis, which becomes 
the basis of St. Paul's Christology. 

In the scene of the heavenly court, as depicted in 
the Book of Job, there is not as yet any inherent 
opposition between God as the source of good, and 
Satan as the cause of evil, such as we encounter in \ 
Zoroastrianism where the control of the destinies of \ 
the universe is divided between Ahuramazda, the \ 
good power, and Ahriman, the evil one. '" In the \ 
passage quoted from the prophet Zechariah and which \ 

belongs to the Persian period of Hebrew history, i. e., \ 

after the sixth century, scholars are inclined to re- 1 

cognize the influence of Persian dualism, but hardly / 

in the person of Satan as depicted in the prologue to / 

Job, unless it be the personification of the figure as a / fD ' 
semi-independent being. For, be it noted, Satan can- / 
not afflict Job without the express permission of Yah- 
weh, and he must Jteep the affliction heaped upon Job 
within the bounds assigned by Yahweh (i, 12; 2, 6). 
He is, as the name Satan indicates, still essentially an 
"adversary," He is a cynic who belittles the char- 
acter of man, and his cynical attitude towards human 
virtues is admirably and adroitly displayed in the two 
opening chapters. Instead of sharing the universal 
admiration for Job, he suggests that Job is worldly- 
wise in being a model of goodness and piety. It pays 
him to be virtuous. We can picture him asking with 
a shrug of the shoulder : 

"Is Job God-fearing for nought?" (i, 9.) 



Why should he not be good, since God is so i 
him? When Job endures the first test of losing his 
wealth, his family and his household, Satan still 
questions the sincerity of Job, and with aggravated 
cynicism suggests that the pious man is so wrapt up in 
selfishness that he will endure every loss as long as it 
does not touch his own life. "There ia a skin beneath 
the skin*' — (2, 4). Only theouter epidermis has been 
touched by the misfortunes that have come to Job. 
Prick the inner skin — ^tbe man himself — and see what 
happens? "All that a man has will he give for his 
life." The subtlety of Satan, as here portrayed, is 
sufficient to show that the scene is not part of a 
genuine folktale, but the product of a more advanced 
age, intent upon giving the story a special turn. 


But, it may be objected, do not the "Sons of 
God," occurring in the scene that describes the Divine 
court, grouped around God, point to a primitive con- 
ception ? Assuredly, for the phrase must be brought 
into connection with the strange semi-mythological 
tale in the sixth chapter of Genesis, where as part of 
the general conception of the universe the "Sons of 
God "are portrayed as attracted by the beauty of the 
ducinga brood of giants. The story was originally told 
to explain the tradition, socommon among peoples of 
antiquity, of a once mightier race that disappeared. 
Its original purpose was not derogatory either to raan- 


' kind or to the Divine beings who thus helped to pro- 
duce the giants of old. To the stern moralistjhowever, 
who puts his own interpretation on the popular tra- 
dition of a destructive deluge — originally a nature 
myth to symbolize the annual change from the dry to 
the wet season — the giants become a band of wicked 
tyrants whose superhuman strength is traced to an 
unnatural and therefore immoral union between 
gods and men. To him the union with the "Sons of 
God," is rape committed on the daughters of men. 
The writer in Genesis uses the primitive conception 
of "Sons of God" to point the moral of the taie, 
and similarly, the one to whom we owe the pro- 
logue in Job inserts in the scene the old conception 
of "Sons of God," — which must have been parti- 
cularly distasteful to the strict monotheist — be- 
cause it added picturesqueness and heightened the 
dramatic effect of the dialogue between God and 
Satan, taking place in an assemblage of all the semi- 
divine beings gathered Hke courtiers around the 
Divine throne. 

It is, of course, possible that in some version of 
the popular tale of Job, the praises of Job's piety were 
celebrated by a chorus of minor gods or semi-divine 
beings in illustration of the exceptional position which 
he had acquired through his blameless and happy 
life. The popular fancy would naturally ascribe Job's 
good fortune to the favor of the Deity as a reward for 
his piety. It is, therefore, conceivable that some 
popular "reciter" — ^as in the modem Arabic world we 
still encounter such story-tellers, adding new touches 
to the adventures of the popular hero Antar, or to some 


scene from the Thousand and One Nights *' — should 
have introduced an incident which the writer of the 
prologue further embellished with traits that are dis- 
tinctly not of popular origin. It is foolish to be dog- 
matic on such suppositions which in the nature of 
things can neither be established nor disproved, 
though we may go so far as to place the probability on 
the side of the hypothesis that the tale was popularly 
expanded to include a scene in which the "Sons of 
God" joined Yahweh in singing the praises of Job. 
The point is of comparatively little importance as 
against the main conclusion that in its present form 
the scene between God and Satan serves a purpose 
foreign to the entire spirit of the original tale. That 
story, however much it may have been embellished 
by touches to heighten the effect, must have retained 
its simplicity by laying the sole stress on the char- 
acter of Job as supremely good, on the rewards 
granted to him because of his piety, and on the va- 
riety and severity of his subsequent sufferings which 
he bore in model patience. Details in the description 
of Job's goodness as exemplified in his life and of the 
variety of his possessions may have been added end- 
lessly, but all such variations and embellishments 
would keep to the main purpose and trend of the folk- 
tale. The wager between God and Satan robs the 
story of its flavor, by affording an explanation of Job's 
sufferings, whereas the feature of the story which gives 
it its charm is that Job suffers without any apparent 
cause. He seeks for no explanation of his sufferings. 




He takes evil as he receives good, because of his su- 
preme faith and because of the firmness of his char- 
acter that remains unaffected by the changing winds 
of fortune. He is like a mighty oak that gratefully 
raises its head to receive the sunshine and that bends 
to the storm without being moved from its place. The 
folk spirit would have instinctively rejected the sug- 
gestion that Job's fate was merely prompted by a 
cynical suspicion that Job's goodness was calculated 
selfishness, and that Yahweh in order to prove that He 
was right and Satan wrong was willing to impose 
cruel sufferings on an innocent man. Cut out the 
dialogue and substitute for it, if you will, a scene in 
heaven with the Sons of God joining Yahweh in prais- 
ing Job, somewhat like the fancy embodied in one of 
the Rabbinical legends " in which the good Angels 
sing the praises of creation and urge God to create 
man despite the failings that he will show, whereas 
others less kindly disposed urge that he be not created, 
and you have a much finer story from the folktale 
point of view as well as a truer one. For the purpose, 
however, of the philosophical discussion, the dialogue 
between Yahweh and Satan is not without signifi- 
cance, for it anticipates as has been suggested one of 
the main thoughts of the Symposium that the Divine 
will does not always act from deep set motives of right 
and justice. 

But, how stands the case with the three friends 
who come to comfort Job and end by rebuking him? 

" See Ginzburg, Legends of ikt Jevi I, pp. 53-54. 




The names of the three and the districts from which 
they come vouch for their forming part of the original 
tale. They hear of his sad fate and hasten to his side 
to help him bear his heavy burden, but when they see 
him writhing in pain, words fail them. 

"Then they sat down with him on the ground seven days 
and seven nights, without speaking a word to him, because they 

saw how very great was his pain." (2, 13.) 

There you have the folktale in its genuine form — 
charming in its simplicity and impressive by its naivete. 
It is inconceivable that such sympathizers, feeling 
Job's grief as though it were their own, could under j( 
any provocation become "sorry comforters" {i6,Q^\^ 
as Job in the course of the discussion calls themj-Just o(ft\ 
as the high intellectual plane of the philosophical dis- 
cussions is entirely beyond the reach of the simple- 
minded friends portrayed in the prologue. If in the 
folktale any discussions were introduced after the 
seven days of silence — and this was possibly the case 
in one of the versions that floated about — we may feel 
quite certain that, true to their original role, t^t^VKroe 
i^ft^m- endeavored to encourage Job to retain his 
patience in the assurance that God will listen to his 
entreaties and have pity on his sad condition. The 
atmosphere of simple, child-like faith and of calm 
sweetness must have been retained in the folktale 
and, therefore, we may assert with considerable 
confidence that the epilogue of the story (42, 7-17), 
as told (in prose like the prologue) at the close of the 
philosophical book, has been modified to make it 
accord with the purpose of the discussion super- 
imposed on the story itself. - 



- la i t c pr ee cnt forn ^tne epilogue makes Yahweh 
manifest his displeasure with the three friends, for 
they did not speak "What was proper as my servant 
Job did. " (42, 7.) They are directed to bring burnt 
offerings as an atonement and Job is to intercede in 
their behalf so as to prevent their just punishment 
from being meted out to them. Such a conclusion 
presupposes the discussions between Job and his com- 
panions, and moreover points to the triumph of Job 
and to the discomfiture of the three participants in the 
Symposium. It reflects the point of view of those who 
entirely sympathized with the situation unfolded in 
the course of the Symposium by the speeches of Job; 
it is, therefore, in direct contradiction to the words — 
in poetic form — put into the mouth of Job (42, 6), 
just before the prose conclusion : 

"Therefore, I recall and repent, 
In utter worth! es s ne s s. " " 

Similarly, the other draft of Job's final words (40, 4-5), 
likewise poetical in form: 

"I am entirely unworthy to answer Thee; 
My hand I lay upon my mouth. 
Once I have spoken, but never again; 
Twice, but now no more," 

is entirely out of keeping with what must have been 
the original close of the story, which we clearly have 
in 42, 10-17, beginning 

"And Yahweh turned the fortune of Job, and Yahweh 
restored everything to Job in double amount." 


" See (or thit craoslation oF the phrase "dust and ashes "the ni 


Such further details as the rejoicing of the entire fam- 
ily of the patient sufferer at the happy ending, the 
congratulatory gifts " and the praise of the beauty 
of Job's daughters show that in these verses we are 
again dealing with the naive folktale. In the prose 
conclusion we must, therefore, separate 42, 7-9, which 
belongs to the Symposium from 42, 10-17, which is the 
original conclusion to the folktale, describing how all 
ended happily because the pious man endured in faith 
and in silent resignation to the Divine will. We thus 
have no less than four conclusions to the book, two In 
prose (l) 42, 10-17, (2) 42, 7-9 and two in poetic form 
(3) 40, 1-14" and (4)42, 1-6. 

But the further contradiction involved between 
the prose conclusion (42, 7-9) added by those who re- 
garded Job as justified in his argument against his 
friends, and the two poetical epilogues in which Job is 
clearly portrayed as in the wrong and, therefore, 
repenting in deep humility and in consciousness of 
his guilt, needs to be explained. 

The attempts of commentators to reconcile these 
opposite points of view involve them in subtleties that 
borderon sophistry. Surely, the humbled and repent- 
ant Job cannot be also described as the one who spoke 
what was "proper." (42, 7) Nor can the compan- 
ions who rebuke Job for his charges of injustice pre- 
ferred against God be held up as "having kindled 
Yahweh's anger," since their rebukes are reinforced 

"Namely, the piece of money end the golden ring {41, 11). reflecting 
tome ancient cuitom of beitowing congratulatory gifci upon recovery Irom 

" See the notei 10 the translation which will iho» that *n " Introduction" 
hai been combined with thia epilogue. 



\ by God himself when He is introduced in the closing 

"Who is this that darkens counsel. 
By words without knowledge?" (38, 2.) 

not to speak of the interposed speeches of Elihu 
(chapters 32-37), which are likewise intended to dis- 
prove Job's contentions and to hold him up to scorn 
for his audacity. 

There is only one way out of the difficulty, to 
wit, to regard the varying conclusions of the story as 
independent of one another. The one in which Job is 
represented as being justified while his friends are re- 
buked was added to the Symposium in its origiiuU 
form, the two in which Job confesses that he was 
wrong belong to the Book of Job in a form amplified 
to controvert the aim of the older book. This process 
of amplification, involving many hands and extending 
over a considerable period, found its crowning point 
in the addition of the two poetical prologues to the 
two prose ones. 

This leads us directly to the composite character 
of the present Book of Job. 




What has been said in regard tx) the gradual man- 
ner in which the folktale of Job took on a literary 
form and was transformed in this process to adapt 
itself as a prologue to the discussion of the philosophi- 
cal problem applies to the Symposium (chapters 3-27) 
with its supplements (chapters 28 to 31), as to the two 
appendices (a), the speeches of EUhu (chapters 32-37), 
and (b) the speeches placed in the mouth of Yahweh 
(chapter 38-41). These natural divisions into which 
the Bock of Job falls represent the three main strata 
of the literary masterpiece. The evidence :s over- 
whelming that these three divisions are not the pro- 
duction of one mind or of one time; and to those who 
followed what was set forth in detail in a previous 
publication '• as to the profound difference between 
literary composition in ancient times and in our days, 
it will no longer come as a surprise to be told that 
books produced in the ancient Orient do not come 
downtous intheiroriginal form, but enlarged, modified 
and not infrequently distorted through additions and 
changes of all kinds — actual supplements, comments, 

» Sec the author's 
•eclions ii essentia! to 
of the Book of Job. 



answers to views set forth and even intentional changes 
to controvert unconventional or otherwise objec- 
tionable views. The spoken word in the ancient 
Orient enjoyed greater authority than the written one. 
What a man said was apt to be orally transmitted 
with considerable care, but when something was 
written down it became, as it were, public property 
and could be augmented and modified ad libitum, 
without any realization that such a process trespassed 
upon, the prerogatives of the one who gave to a liter- 
ary production its first draft. Instead of individual 
authorship we have composite and anonymous pro- 
duction. The difference between ancient Oriental 
and modem Western literary composition may be 
summed up in the statement that with us the fin- 
ished book begins its life, whereas in the ancient 
Orient the final form of a composition represents a 
dead book — one that had ceased to arouse sufficient 
interest to warrant further additions being made to it. 
It is significant as illustrating the persistence 
of the Oriental conception of Hterary composition 
that despite the late date, c. 90 a. d., when the 
canon of the Old Testament was definitely fixed, 
the Book of Job as well as Lamentations and 
Ruth and even still later productions like Daniel 
(c. 165 B. c.) and Esther — perhaps as late as 
100 B. c. — have come down to us without any 
author's name attached. When we find authors 
named as in the headings to Ecclesiastes, Song of 
Songs and to most of the Psalms — though by no means 
to all " — it is due to very late editorship, at a time 

"See further oa thii "A Gendf Cynic" p. 57, note 21. 
S 6s 


when anonymous and collective authorship had yielded 
under the influence of the Greek conception of indi- 
vidual authorship to the disposition to seek for an 
author to compositions that had after a longer or 
shorter literary process received their definite and 
final form. ** The Tahnud, in a passage " embodying 
a Hst of "traditional" authors for Biblical books, 
names Moses as the author of Job. It is led to do so 
apparently because Job is described as a patriarch, 
and therefore belonging to the patriarchal period 
portrayed in the Book of Genesis. Since Genesis 
as part of the Pentateuch was of Mosaic origin, ac- 
cording to the Rabbinical tradition, the Book of Job 
was likewise assigned to Moses. The fanciful 
character of the assumption appears to have been 
recognized even by those who put it forward, for 
it did not acquire sufficient force to lead to the 
name of Moses being attached as a heading to the 
book, which plunges at once in medias res by the 

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job," 

The anonymity of the book thus preserved Hghtensthe 
task of the investigator in his endeavor to distinguish 
the three strata to be discerned in the gradual growth 
of the book. 

* See A GntlU CynU, pp. ;i jtq., for the dctiils of thia "tradidoDil 
authorahip" which Mcribed the Pentateuch to Mo»e», the Booki of Jothu« and 
Samuel to the individuxli whoie names they bore, the Booki of Kinga and 
Ijmeatatioai to Jeremiah, the prophetical books to thoie whose utterances 
the/ contained, deapicc the fact that the pre-exilic prophets did not write but 
Caere ly tpokc. 

"Talmud Babli, Baba B.thra ijr 




The final editors of the Book of Job have curiously 
enough preserved the proof that the book at one time 
terminated with the thirty-first chapter, where we 
actually read: 

"The words of Job are ended." 

Now, to be sure, exegetes bent upon maintaining 
the assumption of unity in the composition of the book, 
explain these words as referring to the close of the 
speeches of Job, but apart from the fact that there 
would be no special reason for mentioning this, Job is 
actually introduced again as speaking in 40, 3-4 and a 
second time in 42, 1-6.'" Taking the words as they 
stand, they are clearly as definite as our " finis, " which 
we place at the end of a composition. The "Words 
of Job" would constitute an appropriate title for the 
book, corresponding to the heading " The Words of 
Koheleth " as the title of Ecclesiastes. Moreover, the 
editorial comment at the beginning of chapter 32, 
"And these three men ceased answering Job" 

bears out the obvious interpretation that the book 
closed at one time with Job's insistence (31, 35-37) 
upon the justice of his case against God." 

*• On [h<*e two epilogues, lee ibove. p. 6l itq. 

" Forming originally the cloic of Job ■ aniwcr to Bildad's third speech. 
See the note to chapter 2C, i. Ver»e» 38-40 of chapter Ji are miiplaced; they 
'ang after Jl, \t. See further in ibe tranilatioa of lhi« 3i>t chapter. 





"O that there were some one to hear mc ! 
Here is my brief — let Shaddat refute mr. 
Aye, I will lift it on my shoulder; 
I will wear it as my crown. 

With steady gait, I will confront him; 
[And] as a prince approach Him." 

Could there be a more effective close than this defiant 
speech, throwing down the challenge to God as Job's 
final answer to the arguments of his companions and to 
their endeavor to force him to confess wrongs that he 
did not commit? What more was there to be said? 
No wonder that an editor added that the three friends 
had no answer to make, and we may go a step further 
and suggest that in place of the statement that the 
three friends had nothing more to say, 

"because he was justified in his eyes" 

the text originally read "in their eyes."" This 
would accord with the entire tenor of the discussions, 
for they reveal throughout — barring additions made 
in the interests of orthodojy — the sympathy of the 
editor with Job. 

But even in this older book we can distinguish 
traces of a gradual growth. Look at chapters 29-31, 
put as speeches into the mouth of Job, and, apart from 
their inordinate length, they will be seen to be of a 
totally different character from any of the preceding 
eight speeches, for in all of these Job, after answering 
the rebukes of his friends, complains of his sufferings 
and brings forward the injustice and cruelty of the 
fate meted out to him. In all he protests his innocence 



and hurls charges at God in bold defiance, or in reply 
to the false pictures drawn by his friends of the pun- 
ishment of the wicked, he argues that in this world the 
wicked are generally happy, while it is the innocent 
and virtuous who suffer. In these three chapters, 
however, Job does not argue at all. He does not re- 
fer to his friends nor to their contentions or rebukes, 
and he merely refers to his present condition " by way 
of contrast to his former state. In all of the previous 
speeches the position of Job before misfortunes over- H^ 
whelmed him is assumed on the basis of the folktale. 
Not only his happiness but his superior wealth and 
rank "greater than any of the sons of the East" (i, 
3) is part and parcel of the story. What need, there- 
fore, for Job to dwell as he does in those chapters 
upon the distinction that he once enjoyed, how all 
honored and stood in awe of him, how when he spoke 
the nobles remained silent, how the poor, the orphan 
and the widow blessed himf 

The three chapters are entirely out of harmony 
with the other speeches, and to clinch the argument 
that they are supplemental to the book in its older 
form, we have an entirely different kind of heading: 

"And Job again took up his speech" " 
instead of the conventional; 

"And Job in answer said" 
which marks the speeches from chapters 3 to 26. 
Chapters 29-31 represent, as a matter of fact two sup- 

• 30. 16-31. The other aei 
bii suffennga, is in the style of the 
below in the notes to the reirrinf 

** J9, 1. Repeated from het 
d tued for "speech" the note t 

,OD (}□, 16-04) '" which he gives voic< 
irlier tpeeches and belongs after 17, 6. 
mcnt of chapters 25-31. 
at 27, I where it is not in place. See on 
the passage Jo die tranilacion. 


plemental speeches of Job, added by someone or by 
various writers, who wished to try their hand in put- 
ting speeches of a different character into the mouth 
of Job. 

A further proof that chapters 29-31 are supple- 
mentary is to be found in the circumstance that they 
follow upon chapter 28, which is clearly an addition 
to the original book, since its contents have no connect- 
tion whatsoever with the theme of the Symposium. 
The chapter is indeed one of the most impressive bits 
of literature in the entire Old Testament collection, 
but it is an entirely independent composition setting 
forth man's vain search for wisdom. Some editor came 
across it and fortunately preserved it for us by at- 
taching it to the original Book of Job. Its purpose 
is to show that wisdom is with God and not accessible 
to man. 


We thus have four chapters which are supple- 
mental to the original book, but even with these 
lopped off we have not reached the original core. 
Chapters 3 to 21 contain two series of speeches (a) 
chapters 3-14 and (b) chapters 15-21. In each series 
we have the three friends replying to Job, who in turn 
replies to each of his friends; and since Job inaugurates 
the Symposium, we have seven speeches by the great 
sufferer and two each by the three friends — thirteen 
in all. The third series begins with chapter 22. Ac- 
cording to the present arrangement, there is a speech 


of Eliphaz chapter 22, an answer by Job chapters 
23-24, a short speech by Blldad chapter 25, and a sup- 
posed reply by Job extending over two chapters 26-27. 
Zophar's third speech and Job's reply are missing. 
Apparently, then, the third series is incomplete. But 
a closer examination " reveals that we actually have 
a portion of Bildad's third speech (namely, 26, 5-14) 
and Zophar's third speech (27, 7-23 and 30, 2-8) pvi 
into the mouth of Job. This rearrangement was made 
by later editors with the intention of assigning to Job 
orthodox sentiments such as would naturally emanate 
from Bildad and Zophar. 

It was hoped that in this way the unfavorable im- 
pression made by Job's earlier speeches, so objection- 
able from the orthodox point of view, might be re- 
moved. Accepting the proper arrangement of chap- 
ters 25-27, the third series becomes almost complete, 
for all that is now lacking is Job's reply to Zophar. 
Perhaps there was no reply, or it was suppressed and 
its place taken by the supplementary chapters 29-31, 
added by those who were bent on having Job bring his 
discourses to a conclusion by a more conciliatory tone 
than could have been the case in his reply to Zophar. 

The book in its older form thus consists of the 
prologue and the two series of speeches to which sub- 
sequently was added (l) a third series of speeches — 
these 27 chapters forming the original Book of Job 
{2) an entirely independent chapter on the search for 
wisdom (chapter 28) and (3) the supplemental 
speeches of Job (chapters 29-31) which would complete 

"See further below a 

I the ootea to the tnittUtioD of chipten 


the third series, though in a spirit entirely out of keep- 
ing with chapters 3-27. 

The question will naturally be raised whether we 
should not go further and reduce the first draft of the 
Book of Job to the prologue and to a single series of 
speeches of which the second series would be an 
imitation and amplification produced at a subsequent 
date. The question is not irrelevant, for in fact all 
the arguments of the friends and the counter argu- 
ments of Job are presented in the first series comprising 
chapters 3-14. Contrary to the still current \'iew 
there is no progressive development of the theme of the 
SyTnposium;therearemerely variations on a few melo- 
dies. The literary superiority of the book lies, next to 
its superb style and its splendid poetry, precisely in 
the skillful manner in which these variations are 
handled. The arguments are in reality few in number. 
They may be reduced to four on the part of the 
three friends, 

(l) That God is just, (2) that Job must have 
committed some wrong, (3) that when suffering comes, 
one must throw one's self upon the mercy of God, (4) 
that the wicked may flourish for a while, but always 
in the end meet their doom. Job has only four counter 
arguments to bring forward: (i) that, as the popular 
story shows, he was not wicked but on the contrary 
supremely virtuous and pious, (2) that God is arbi- 
trary, (3) that one cannot bring one's case before 
God without thereby already impugning Divine 
justice, (4) that the wicked are not punished, 
^^..^--^hese few arguments are all introduced in the 
^j first series, and the one or the other of them is elabo- 


rated in the six speeches of the second series. So, 
for example, EHphaz in his second speech (15, 7-16) 
enlarges upon the impossibility of penetrating to the 
essence of things, which Bildad (11, 7-9) had already- 
emphasized. The=aee ond s peech of -Eltp haz ev en 
coataina a quotation from the- ■first.*' Bildad in his 
second speech (chapter 18) sets forth at length the pun- 
ishment in store for the wicked which was already sug- 
gested more briefly in his first speech (chapter 8, 11- 
20), as well as by Zophar (11, 20). Job brings for- 
ward his strongest argument that one cannot carry 
one's case before God In the speech replying to Bildad 
(chapters 9-10), and he repeats it In the speeches of 
the second series (e. g., 16, 20-21 and 19,6-11). In his 
reply to Bildad (9, 20-24) he suggests that God is 
callous to merit, that the innocent and wicked are 
treated alike, aye, that 

"The earth is given inlo the hand of the wicked." 
It is, therefore, merely an elaboration of the thought, 
when in a speech in the second series (chapter 21) he 
launches Into a most detailed picture of this topsy- 
turvy world in which the wicked grow fat, are not 
troubled with remorse and escape even when a general 
calamity ensues. 

For all that, we have no decisive data to warrant us 
in saying that a Book of Job once existed with only one 
series of speeches. A group of writers might easily be 
led to indulge in variations upon a single theme; and 
the circumstance that the second series is entirely in 
the style of the first is another reason for assuming that 

"Cf. IS, 14-is with 4, 17-18. 



the elaboration and even the repetition of the argu- 
ments and counter arguments were part of the Book of 
Job in its earliest form. There is just enough inde- 
pendence in the manner of treating the theme and of 
presenting the arguments to warrant us in asserting 
that, despite the general similarity of the speeches to 
one another, the second series forms an integral part 
of the oldest written draft so far as we can trace 
it; far more so than is the case in the third series of 
speeches which betrays in various ways its supple- 
mental character, though not to the extent of modi- 
fying the thesis that chapters 3-27 form a harmonious 
whole and represent the original Symposium in its 
completed form. 



Now, how can we be so certain that the first 
twenty-seven chapters of the book with the 
prose epilogue 42, 7-9 form an original Book 
of Job? Look at the second division of the 
^^^book in its present form, which consists of chap- 
ters 32-37, containing the speeches of Elihu. 
We are transported at once to an entirely different 
scene, with a different environment and a different 
atmosphere. The Symposium Is at an end, as the in- 
troduction to the speeches of Elihu specifically tells 
us. The three friends had nothing more to say. A 
newcharacterappearson the scene who, in contrast to 
Job and his three friends, bears a Hebrew name. His 
father's name Barachel is also Hebraic, and he is rep- 



reaented as a descendant of one of the Hebrew clans.*^ 
The four separate discourses into which the six 
chapters may be divided are of an entirely different 
character from the speeches in the Symposium. Elihu 
approaches the problem from a different angle, thougb- 
one-can^Us&see 8ome borrowings from the Symposium 
proper,_*ldiie perhaps to later editors who wished to 
connect these chapters with the original book. The 
two arguments urged by Elihu are (a) that God warns 
man of his fate by dreams and visions and also by 
chastisement and that (b) whether one is wicked or 
righteous, one neither takes anything from God nor 
gives anything to him. Clearly, the purpose of these 
six chapters is to complement the Symposium, by 
suggesting other points of view from which the 
problem might be attacked. 

The language also in these supplementary chap- 
ters is different, though this point must not be stressed, 
because there was a conscious imitation on the part of 
later ampli6ers of the book of the style adopted in the 
earlier sections. Here again the absence of dis- 
tinctly individual authorship favors the rise of a large 
number of amplifiers of a book, interested in the prob- 
lem and expressing schools of thought rather than 
individual points of view, men who by deliberate 
imitation could write much in the same style as their 
Such a collection as the Psalms, the 

*'H« is called "the Buzite oF the family of Ram." The prophet Ezektel'i 
[*ther bean the name of Buzi (Ez. I, 3), and Rim i> the name of a Judein ctan 
(Ruth 4, ig). 

**/.{,, 34, 3 ]■ taken from tl, tl; JJ, 5 from 11, \i and hark* back alio 
to 7, JO, Besidei, in 33, g-10; 34, 5-6 and 35, j-j be quoto utterances of Job 
ia tbe origiiul book. 



work of many hands and yet in which so many 
Psalms bear a close resemblance to one another, 
furnishes an illustration of how much great literature 
can be steadily produced by this process of imitation 
on the part of those who belong to the same school 
of religious thought, and who live in the same con- 
genial atmosphere. The same applies to the Prov- 
erbs, showing an a/i^a«nf unity through the influence 
of the factor of collective and imitative author- 
ship. The restraint upon imitation in our days of 
literary production, marked by the intense desire to 
express one's own personality, acts as a deterrent in 
producing literature of a certain even grade. 

The speeches of Elihu are followed by a second 
appendix, consisting of chapters 38 to 41 and pur- 
porting to be speeches addressed by Yahweh to Job. In 
reality these four chapters constitute a series of nature 
poems intended to illustrate the manifestations of the 
Divine will in the creation of the world, in the move- 
ments in the heavens, and in the phenomena of the 
rain and snow. From such subjects the little anthol- 
ogy passes on to a description of animal life, il- 
lustrative again of God's forethought in providing for 
his creation, while the powerful beasts introduced in 
the poems, such as the hippopotamus and the croco- 
dile, suggest by contrast man's insignificant stature 
and his physical weakness. The problem that forms 
the central theme in the original Book of Job is not 
touched upon; and if it were not for the attachment 
of this magnificent series of poems to the Book of Job, 
no reader would for a moment have associated the 
poems with the theme suggested by Job's experience. 


Moreover, in the case of these four chapters the cri- 
terion of language can be used with even greater 
assurance than in the case of the speeches of Elihu to 
reinforce the view of the independent origin of this 
collection of nature poems. The style deviates en- 
tirely from that of the Symposium, Chapters 38 to 
41, therefore, constitute the third stratum of the 
book. The present Book of Job is therefore not only 
a composite production but one of gradual growth; 
and this gradual growth is to be further discerned 
within each division. We have seen that the original 
Book of Job is not of one piece, and we must now 
test the thesis for the discourses of Elihu and for the 
anthology of nature poems. 


TTie four speeches of EHhu represent the en- 
deavors of orthodox circles to find a satisfactory solu- 
tion for the problem which in the Symposium the 
friends gave up as hopeless, with a confession that 
"Job was justified in their eyes. " *" A glance at their 
arrangement (chapters 32-37) shows their composite 
character. Chapter 32 is taken up entirely with a 
series of introductions, and it is not until chapter 33 
that we reach the first speech. We first have five edi- 
torial introductory notes (32, 1-5) then another 
introduaion with a separate heading (32, 6-10), 
followed by a second introduction (32, 11-17) which 

" See above, p. 6S. 


repeats the substance of the preceding one, after which 
a third introduction — in an ironical vein (32, 18-22) — 
is added which brings us to the close of the chapter. 
Evidently some one has put together a series of drafts 
of introductions which he came across, and true to the 
Oriental mode of literary composition, attached them 
as the preliminary material to the speeches themselves. 
Now the existence of a series of drafts of intro- 
ductions"* of itself points to various independent 
speeches, just as the presence of four epilogues to the 
bookfumishes testimony to the composite character of 
the book to which they are attached. This supposition 
is confirmed when we come to the speeches them- 
selves. We note in the first place that the first and 
third speeches (chapters 33 and 35) are addressed to 
Job, whereas the second speech (chapter 34) is ad- 
dressed to "wise men" in general with Job referred 
to in the third person (34, 5,7; 35, 36), and the fourth 
speech is clearly supplemental, for as indicated by the 
introduction (36, 2) it is not addressed to any one in 
particular. It is the work of some one who felt, as he 
said, that "there were still things lobe said for God" 
and proceeds to set forth his defense of the orthodox 
doctrine as to the cause and meaning of human suffer- 
ing. The writer of this speech is not as original in his 
thought as he perhaps fancied, for he takes up the 
argument of the first speech which emphasizes suf- 
fering as a warning to man against slipping into a wrong 
path, but gives the thought a new turn by laying the 

"We have itill another draft of an intiDductioa (33, 31-33) which an 
editor miened at the end of the first ipeech, or which he intended ai an alternate 

introduction to the second speech. 



stress on suffering as a discipline (36, 10) as well as a 
warning. In this chapter, moreover, we have as a 
further proof of both its supplemental and composite 
character, the insertion of a separate and most im- 
pressive little poem, descriptive of God's majesty as 
seen in a storm. " One must read this splendid 
description in full and separate it from its present 
environment to appreciate its beauty. The purpose 
of this poem, which takes us still further away from 
the theme of the book, is to pave the way for the 
second large appendi'x — the nature and animal poems 
forming the third stratum of the book. The inser- 
tion thus appears to have been made by some one who 
already had this second appendix (chapters 38-41) be- 
fore him and who, finding the poem, dovetailed it into 
a supplemental speech, put into the mouth of Elihu. 
We have a similar case of the dovetailing of an 
independent composition into a speech of Elihu in the 
34th chapter— forming the second speech of Elihu. 
fiiis speech, as already suggested, steps entirely out 
of the frame of the others by being addressed to "wise 
men" and not to Job, who is spoken of in the third 
person. Surely if all four speeches were written by 
one and the same individual, there would be no reason 
for such a strange and unnecessary deviation. In the 
middle of the 34th chapter (v. 16) we suddenly en- 
counter a new heading and strangely enough with an 
abrupt change from an address in the plural to one in 
the singular, 

" If there be understanding, hear this." 

■j6, ^^ to 37. Xi anil venet *l-l: 
tniulatioi) of ihe poem after chipter }d. 

B the clou of the poem. See tbe 


to this ^M 


An entirely new subject is introduced. Up to this 
point the writer is concerned with repeating the ar- 
gument, so familiar to us from the Symposium, that 
God is not wicked,-that it is "far from Shaddai to 
commit iniquity" (v. lo), that He requites man ac- 
cording to his deeds, with the supplementary thought 
tliat man is dependent upon tlie favor of God, as the 
whole earth is in His sole charge. Without any pre- 
monition, a totally different theme is now taken up — 
the punishment of unworthy rulers. This poem, which 
is clearly again an independent composition, is inserted 
into the chapter " because some editor thought it 
appropriate to the general theme. As a matter of 
fact its departure from the central theme is so complete 
as to be a disturbing factor, though we should be 
grateful to the one who thought of preserving the little 
poem, which is also valuable as an illustration of how 
far those were willing to go who placed the attribute 
of absolute and impartial justice as the primary 
quality of Divine government. God is no respecter 
of persons. 

"He says to a King, 'Thou worthless one,' 

'Thou wicked one' to nobles. 

He pays no regard to princei, 

And favors not rich against poor. 

For all in a moment die; 

In the middle of the night are shaken off," 

(34, 18-20.) 

But all this has no bearing on the central theme, 
except as a further rebuke to Job who questions the 
justice of God. This method of dovetailing two com- 





positions into one another seems strange and irrele- 
vant, but one must bear in mind tliat it is the com- 
mon procedure in Biblical books. It is the regular 
method followed by the compilers of the Pentateuch, 
who when they find two versions of a story— as of the 
Deluge and of many incidents in the lives of the pa- 
triarchs — combine them, even at the risk of thus put- 
ting contradictory details together. Similarly in the 
historical books proper — ^Joshua, Judges, Samuel and 
Kings — various originally independent compositions 
are dovetailed into one another. The editor or com- 
piler who inserted the two poems in chapters 34 and 
36, therefore, follows the traditional method to fit in 
the independent compositions as best he could by 
distributing the single verses in sections through the 
chapter, so as to give at least a semblance of unity to 
each of the speeches. 

Again, chapter 35 consisting of only sixteen 
verses, is clearly a draft of some speech which attempts 
to answer the assertions of Job in 9, 2 r and 7, 20. The 
former passage is quoted almost verbatim in 35, 2; 
the latter in 35, 3. The writer taking up Job's com- ' 
plaint that even if he had sinned, he has not injured 

"What have I done to Thee, guardian of man? 

Why hast Thou made me a mark?" (7, 20.) 

argues that in truth when men do wrong, they do not 
injure God, as little as when they are virtuous they 
benefit God. 

The conclusion that our writer draws is that 
since righteousness or wrongdoing affects only mortals, 
God should not be held responsible for sufferings 


which are due to the actions of man. The point 
urged in the third speech evades the problem 
by relieving God of responsibility for wickedness 
in His world. The one who wrote the first speech 
could never have thought of introducing an argument 
so little in keeping with his entire attitude towards 
the problem. We see, therefore, that the four speeches 
are separate compositions, each representing an en- 
deavor to find a solution that might save the day 
for orthodoxy. 



Is it possible to establish for chapters 38-41 — 
the speeches put into the mouth of Yahweh — the the- 
sis which we have seen to apply to the four speeches 
of Elihu, to wit, that they consist of a series 
of independent compositions, representing various 
attempts to describe the manifestation of the Divine 
in the universe, which is the theme throughout ? To 
this question an affirmative answer can be given with 
an assurance derived from the repetitions to be 
found within these chapters and from the abrupt 
transitions from one theme to the other. We have 
in the first place two large divisions, (i) chapters 38 
and 39 with its separate conclusion, 40, 1-5 and (2) 
chapter 40, 6 to the end of chapter 41 with its con- 
clusion 42, 1-6. That the second division is supple- 
mentary to the first and presumably by a different 
author follows from the repetition of the challenge 
to Job : 




"Gird up thy loins like a warrior, 
That I may- ask thee to tell me." (38, 3.) 

which is found again with a slightly different wording 
at the beginning of the second speech 40, 7. The sepa- 
rate editorial headings (38, i and 40, 6) to each of 
the two divisions, 

"Then Yahweh answered Job as follows" 

with the words "out o< the storm" added because of 
the description of the storm in chapters?*' are, there- 
fore, justified. Within the first division we have (l) 
The Paean of Creation (38, 4-18), (2) The Phenomena 
of the Heavens (38, 19-38), after which there is an ab- 
rupt transition to a different theme — the manifesta- 
tion of Divine power in the animal world, which is 
viewed from two angles, (a) the strength shown by 
certain animals which makes them superior to any 
attempt on the part of man to tame them and (b) the 
provision made for animals by God, and which like- 
wise lies beyond human comprehension. 

Now it would, of course, be carrying the analysis 
too far to divide up the two broad divisions into whfch 
the four chapters fall into as many subdivisions as the 
subjects of the poems. While it may well be that the 
animal poems, treating eleven different animals (38, 
39 — 39i 30), are not by one writer, yet they are all of the 
same general character with the single exception of the 
poem on the ostrich and stork (39, 13-18) which is not 
in question form as are the others, and in other respects 
deviates from the style of the other animal poems. 
This little section does not emphasize God's provi- 

■ See above, p, 79, 



dence as do the poems on the lion, raven, mountain 
goat, wild ox and horse, but on the contrary stresses 
the cruel and senseless habits of the ostrich and stork 
in deserting her young, because "God has deprived her 
of wisdom. " On the other hand, the description of 
the hippopotamus (40, 15-24) is clearly of a totally 
different character than the other animal poems, and 
so is likewise the very detailed description of the 
crocodile (40, 25-41, 26). " Both poems are to be re- 
garded as further endeavors on the part of writers to 
illustrate the general theme of God's power as seen in 
the animal world. In these poems on the hippopota- 
mus and the crocodile it is the huge size and strength 
that is emphasized. The circumstance that the 
description of these two largest and most powerful of 
all huge beasts are put forward as a second speech in 
the mouth of Yahweh is a further proof of their supple- 
mentary character. A compiler in the ancient Oriental 
manner would have no hesitation in thus putting 
together a series of poems, each of independent origin, 
though all presumably emanating from some common 
circle of writers who strove to emulate one another in 
describing the glories and marvels of inanimate nature 
and of the animal world. The description of the 
hippopotamus, consisting of ten verses, is a single 
composition, but the much longer poem on the 
crocodile consisting of 34 verses is just as clearly a 
combination of three separate compositions.** Of 

"Or according to the enutner»ti< 
eiample of the Greek tcit which bcgini 
crocodile) 4". "-J4- 

"The fint attending from 40, 1; 
eaumeralioo in the AV and RV). the sec 
the third from 41, 14-26 (or 41, 23-34). 


these three poems, the second is shaqjly separated 
from the first by the reflection (41, 1-4 or 41, 9-12) 
added as a summary to the description of the over- 
whelming strength of the crocodile, while we are 
justified in making a second break at 41, 13, (or 41, 
2i)because in what follows we have in part a repeti- 
tion of what has already been said in the two pre- 
ceding poems." 

What we have, therefore, in this second appendix 
is an anthology of nature and animal poems, which 
may well represent a selection from an extensive lit- 
erature of this character that was produced in Pal- 
estine during the three or four centuries before this 
era. I say a selection, for there is no reason to sup- 
pose that our editor, who attached chapters 38 to 41 to 
the Book of Job exhausted the material of this char- 
acter at his disposal. There are sections within many 
of the Psalms that impress one as extracts from just 
such poems of which we have specimens in our third 
stratum. Some of these nature poems embodied in 
the Psalms, like 18, 8-16; 29, 3-9; 77, 17-20 are mar- 
vellous descriptions of storms or of violent upheavals, 
based on the earlier conception of Yahweh as a storm- 
god, and are probably older than any of the nature 
poems in Job as well as cruder in their symbolism. 
Others like Psalms 19, 2-7 and 93, 3-4, attached to a 
glorification of the law, breathe the same spirit as the 
chapters in Job. In some, like 8, 4-9; 65, 10-14 ^nd 
97, 2-6 there is the same delicate association of na- 
ture's way with God's forethought as in our little 

••41, 15-16 eipress the >ame thought as 41, 7-9;4l, iS-lI *ugge«t 40, 
)■: tod 4r, 11-1} recall 41, lo-ii. 


anthology, while such a Psalm as the 104th, em- 
bracing the various aspects of creation and of God's 
witnesses to the Divine in phenomena on earth and in 
the heavens, and in the waters, might just as well have 
been attached to the Book of Job as to have been 
placed among the Psalms. Conversely, except for the 
fact that they are put into the mouth of Yahweh by 
editors who in this way connected them with the 
Book of Job, we might just as well call these four 
chapters Psalms. 


These additional four chapters are even more ex- 
traneous to the theme of the original Book of Job 
than are the discourses of Elihu. To the obvious 
question, what have these magnificent poems to do 
with Job's complaints and his arguments to show that 
there is injustice and innocent suffering in the world, 
the only reasonable answer is — nothing at all. 
Couched in question form, they ask whether man can 
perform the marvels of Nature which bear the stamp 
of Divine power? It is only in the editorial intro- 
duction (38, 1-3 which is repeated 40, 6-7) " and in 
the two epilogues that Job is introduced. There is no 
reference to him or to his sufferings or to his argu- 
ments in any of these poems. The questions are just 
as effective if we assume them to have been addressed 
to man in gene ral. 

*• The second verse of chipier 58: 

"Who is he thst darkens coudmI 

By word* without knowledge" 

bu xcddcaull)' been inaerted as a tcSeclion in the wrong place, f 1, 3a. It 

■bould have been placed after 40, 6. See note 65 in the traniUtioa oF the 

««coDd epUogue. 


The purpose in adding this precious anthology to 
tlie Symposium was clearly to direct the attention of 
the reader to the majesty and power of the universal 
Creator, so as further to counteract the baneful im- 
plications of the Symposium itself. The nature poems 
were intended to preach the lesson of a becoming 
humility in the face of the overpowering achievements 
of the Almighty, but it is inconceivable that the same 
group of writers who, sympathizing with Job, declare 
that in his vehement denunciations of the cruelty of 
his fate and in his serious indictments against the 
arbitrariness of the Divine will. Job spoke what was 
"proper" (42, 7), could also represent Job as con- 
fessing his audacity in uttering that which he did not 
"understand" (42, 3''). To accuse a writer of thus 
blowing hot and cold at the same time is to deprive 
him of all claim to serious consideration. One need 
only state the proposition thus baldly to clinch the 
conclusion that the nature poems represent a later 
amplification of the book conceived in a totally dif- 
ferent spirit from that which pervades the Symposium. 

Job had repeatedly complained that he was un- 
able to appeal directly to God, that the mere thought 
of bringing his case before God would be regarded as 
involving an impious charge against God. Very 
well, say those who collected these nature poems, 
we will show you what God would say to you. 
He would silence you by the demonstration of His 
boundless power in contrast to your insignificance; 
He would crush your haughty spirit and compel 
you to bow humbly to His superior, aye, to His 
infinite majesty. 





The Book of Job thus enlarged by the four 
speeches of EHhu and the poems placed in the mouth 
of the Deity Himself would naturally serve to counter- 
balance the skeptical trend of the original book. By 
their very length these two appendices would pro- 
foundly impress the reader, in an uncritical age, 
which would fail to separate the earlier from the later 
strata. The confession of Job at the conclusion of 
each of the two speeches of Yahweh of his unworthi- 
ncss, " setting forth his repentance for his audacious 
utterances in the original portion of the book would 
suffice to remove the impression made by these 
utterances and quiet the soul of the pious simple- 
minded reader. For the irreconcilable contrast be- 
tween the patient and submissive Job of the story and 
the impatient and rebellious Job of the Symposium, 
such a reader would find the explanation ready at 
hand, that under trying circumstances even such a 
model of piety as Job might forget himself and be 
prompted to sin by complaining of his bitter fate. He 
could by way of confirmation point to such Psalms 

■• 40. 3-5 >Dd It the doK of the 

•• At the doBC <A the fint 1 

poemi on the hippopotamui and crocodile 41, 3. 5-6. 


as the 22nd, beginning with a cry of anguish from a 
distressed soul, 
"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me, 
And art far from my help at the words of my cryf " 

or to the 88th, wholly taken up with complaint, not 
unlike the manner of Job, 
"Thou hast laid me in the nethermost pit; 

In the darkest place in the deep. 

Thy wrath presses hard upon me. 

And all thy waves afflict me. 

Thou hast removed my acquaintances from me, 

And hast made me an abomination unto them. 

I am shut in, I cannot come forth." 

And since in the Psalms such outbursts are followed 
or counterbalanced by expressions of faith abiding in 
the midst of despair : 

"In Thee did our Fathers trust; 

They trusted and Thou didst deliver them. 

Unto Thee they cried and were set free; 

In Thee did they trust, and were not put to shame." (22, 5-6-) 

the analogy with the Book of Job would be complete. 
For all that some doubts must have remained in 
the minds of more inquiring readers, whether the 
spirit of the Symposium, clearly revealing the author's 
sympathy witli Job's outbursts as well as with his 
arguments, could be reconciled with the tone of the 
speeches of Elihu and with the implications of the im- 
pressive nature poems. Job's charges against God in 
permitting the innocent to suffer in this world would 
remain in all their force. They were too serious to be 
dismissed by a mere glorification of the marvels of 
Nature, The picture drawTi by Job of the happiness 
and security of the wicked (chapters 21 and 24) was 


too severe an indictment to be set aside by an irrele- 
vant emphasis on the doctrine of punishment as a 
test of one's faith and as a warning to return to God. 
How could Job's despair at being unable vofind God 
despite his earnest search (9, ii, and 23, 8-9) be 
reconciled with teachings that emphasized that "God 
is near to all who call upon Him" (Psalm I45, 18), 
Supplements and appendices alone could not save the 
book from being regarded as an essentially unsatis- 
factory work. To make the task of converting an 
unorthodox production into a bulwark of faith, it was 
necessary to attack the original book as well. By 
additions here and there, by pious comments inserted 
at appropriate places, by enlarging upon the counter 
arguments presented by the three friends of Job, by 
giving a turn to some of Job's utterances different 
from the one that he had in mind, and also by the 
more radical procedure of putting utterances into 
Job's mouth which would have a meaning only if 
spoken by one of the friends, since they directly con- 
tradict the fundamental position assumed by Job — 
such means had to be employed in order to give a 
flavor of orthodoxy also to the original book. This 
flavor, while strong enough to satisfy an age not ac- 
customed to too critical a scrutiny and which still 
lacked a complete sense of personal authorship in a com- 
position, was however not strong enough to endure the 
test of the critical method in the study of the Old Tes- 
tament that set in at the close of the eighteenth 
century and that reached its climax in our own days. 
Before passing on to some illustrations of the 
additions and insertions in the original book and of 


other attempts to modify its tone and character, a 
word of warning is in place, lest we misconceive the 
spirit in which this deliberate endeavor to save the 
reader from the skepticism of the book was under- 
taken. There was on the part of pious commentators 
no intention to deceive. Nothing was farther from the 
minds of those who felt free to give any turn that they 
pleased to a Hterary production that was regarded as 
common property. In the ancient Orient plagiarism 
belongs to the virtues, and the quotation mark had 
not yet been discovered. The modifications that a 
book underwent were an indication of the interest it 
had aroused. Moreover, the character of the revi- 
sion to which a literary production in the ancient 
Orient was subject would vary according to the point 
of view of the individual or the circle that would be 
attracted to the task. A book like the original Job 
would have its sympathizers and its opponents; and 
we can trace in the insertions and in the additions the 
work of both classes of commentators or amplifiers as 
they might be called, while at times one may recog- 
nize the purely literary desire to try one's hand at 
improving a speech of Job's or of one of his friends. 
Again, in many cases the desire to make an utterance 
clearer leads to the addition of an explanatory gloss 
or phrase. There were no footnotes in ancient codices, 
and where the margin was used for variants, com- 
ments, explanations and additions, the next copyist 
who came along might embody all these modifications 
in the text, leaving it to the reader, if he felt so in- 
clined, to differentiate between the original and the 
supplementary matter. The study of an andent 


literary production thus assumes a very complicated 
aspect, and it has been one of the chief tasks of mod- 
em Bible study to develop a critical method for dis- 
tinguishing the various strata in the case of a Biblical 
book, to trace the dovetailing of originally indepen- 
dent documents in the compilation of traditions and 
historical narratives, to show in the case of the 
Pentateuchal Codes and of the historical books their 
gradual expansion, to separate original material from 
later supplements in the collections of the utterances 
of the prophets, and to follow the growth of more 
purely literary productions like Proverbs, Psalms, 
Ecclesiastes and Job, in all their ramifications. For 
the Book of Ecclesiastes I have shown '* how by ad- 
ditions through pious commentators, anxious to fur- 
nish the antidote to Koheleth's cynicism, and by the 
insertions of ethical maxims and popular sayings as a 
further means of weakening the effect of unorthodox 
teachings, a different turn was given to the original 
book. In the case of the much larger Book of Job the 
process of growth and modifications is far more intri- 
cate, and it will not be possible, without exhausting 
the patience of the general reader to do more than 
offer a number of illustrations of the manner in which 
the original Book of Job was modified throughout. 



A comparison of the Hebrew text with the vari- 
ous Greek translations made of it is more than suffi- 

*• -* Gtnllt Cynic, p. ig. 


cient to show that there was no fixed original as late 
as the second century b. c. when the oldest of these 
translations, commonly known as the Septuagint, 
appears to have been made. According to the Church 
Father Origen (185-254 a. d.) who compiled a. com- 
parative table of the variations in no less than six 
versions, *" the Septuagint recension was about one- 
sixth shorter than our present Hebrew text, which 
means that instead of 1070 verses or about 2200 lines, 
it contained only about 890 verses or about 1830 lines. 
The missing portions were supplied chiefly from a 
version made by Theodotion towards the end of the 
second centur>' a. d. Origen distinguished these 
additions by an asterisk and there are some codi- 
ces in which these asterisks still appear, though in 
most codices of the Greek translation the additions 
have been incorporated into the text without any 
distinguishing mark." 

As a further witness to the existence of a trans- 
lation of Job differing considerably from the Hebrew 
text, we have a version made during the second cen- 
tury A. D. from Greek into the Sahidic dialect " and 
which was found in the Library of the Museum Borg- 
hianum in Rome in 1883 and published in iSSg.** 
This version actually contains about 400 lines less 
than the full text. It confirms, therefore, the exis- 

"TTie tcandard cdilion of what ia preserved of Qrigen's comprcheniive 
work it by Frederick Field, Orignis Htxaplonm qaa nipernini (a vols,, Oxibrd, 

" S« for details Budde's introduction to his commentary on Job, 2nd 
cdicioo, p. Mi se^. 

•" Sahidic IS a dialect of Coptic, which was spoken in Upper Egypt. 

• By A Ciaaca, Sactorvm Sitliorvm Fragminia Caplo-SakidUa Muiei 



tence at one time of a much shorter Book of Job than 
our present one. To be sure, there are many scholars 
who are inclined to explain the omissions in the 
original Greek translation on the assumption that the 
translator in many cases intentionally abbreviated 
the Hebrew original, and in others omitted lines 
which he did not understand. The former supposi- 
tion is most unlikely in view of the sacred character of 
the books of the Old Testament, which would deter a 
translator from taking such liberties with the model 
before him. He might, if not in sympathy with the 
original purport of the book, be tempted to add to it 
but not to curtail it. Furthermore, it is noticeable 
that the omissions in the Sahidic version become 
more numerous as we proceed from the first series 
to the second and third series of speeches. In 
chapters 3 to 6 (Job's first speech, the answer of 
Eliphaz and part of Job's reply) there are no omis- 
sions; in chapters 7 to 1 1 (conclusion of Job's reply, 
the first speech of Bildad, Job's reply and Zophar's 
first speech) only eleven lines are omitted, whereas 
in Job's reply (chapters 12 to 14), we find as many 
as 17 lines left out. The obvious conclusion is not 
that the translator grew tired of his task and pro- 
ceeded to curtail, but that only a portion of the 
Symposium had as yet reached its final stage, that 
additions continued to be made even to the first 
series of speeches, and that still greater liberties con- 
tinued to be taken with the later series and with the 
supplements and appendices to the book. 

Nor is it at all plausible, as some scholars assume, 
that omissions in the original Greek translation were 



! due to the difficulties of the original text which the 
translator evaded by the simple method of leaving 
them untranslated. That was not the disposition of 
ancient translators, who would be disposed to make a 
guess at a translation rather than to omit anything of 
what was before them. Throughout the Old Testa- 
ment the Greek version varies considerably from the 
Hebrew original ; in some of the books more, in some 
Jess. These variations in thousands of instances rest 
upon a different text which can frequently be recon- 
structed. The difference of one letter or at times a 
different vocalization of the consonantal framework 
of the Hebrew original often accounts for the varying 
translation, though in a larger number of cases a more 
radical variation in the text must be assumed, while 
in many hundreds of instances the Greek translation 
represents a guess in order to get some meaning out of 
a difficult or a corrupt text. It does not, of course, 
follow that the reading upon which the Greek version 
rests is more acceptable than the Hebrew text, though 
this is very often the case, but the variant reading is 
under all circumstances an important witness to the 
absence of a standardized text of the Old Testament as 
late as the second century b. c. It is a sufficient answer 
to the assumption that omissions in the original Greek 
translation are due to evasions of difficulties to point 
out that the omissions occur as frequently— if not 
more so — in passages in which the Hebrew text is 
perfectly clear as in such cases where difficulties 
exist. Furthermore, in the older Greek versions 
as in that of Theodotion, there are not only omis- 
sions but also numerous additions not found in the 


Hebrew Text, which confirm the position here takea" 
of the incompleteness of the book until close to 
the threshold of our era and perhaps indeed beyond 
this limit. 

It is interesting as well as significant to note in 
this connection that even after a standard Hebrew 
text of the Old Testament had been established, at 
the end of the first century a. d., the Jewish Church 
did not object to its expansion on the part of those 
who made a rendering of the collection into the cur- 
rent Aramaic speech •* so that the uneducated classes 
might also share in the benefits of the sacred col- 
lection. The Aramaic rendering, known as the Tar- 
gum,'* is a combination of a translation with ampli- 
fying comments not distinguished from the text. 
Often the amplification is limited to a few words, but 
very frequently it is extended to a little homily on the 
text. It was customary for the expounder first to 
read a verse in Hebrew and then to give an Aramaic 
rendering which might be literal, but which would also 
furnish him with the occasion to expand it at will. 
The point to be bom in mind is that in this expansion 
no separation was made between text and comment. 
The expansion of the text led in the course of time to 
the elaboration of Biblical traditions and narratives 
which developed into an extensive Midrashic litera- 
ture embodying further legends entwined around the 
patriarchs and around such types as Moses, Aaron, 

"Hebrew ceaaetJ to be tbe current ipcecb in Paleatine after the uitb 
century b.c. and was gradually replaced by Aramaic wbich had Ipread abo 
through Mesopotamia and Syria. 

** Meaning "translation" or perhaps n 
The underlying item ii the lamc hi in dragomi 


Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, David and Solomon. " 
Biblical books thus became the starting-point of a 
literature that is the outcome of a process of con- 
tinuous expansion of an original text by comments, 
variants, additions, illustrations and the like. 


Perhaps we can best approach our task of show- 
ing the method followed in making the original Book 
of Job more palatable to orthodox tastes by some il- 
lustrations of additions made with an explanatory 
purpose, or which represent variant readings em- 
bodied into the original text instead of being relegated 
to footnotes as we would do in the case of a modem 
text. From these we can then pass on to additions 
and modifications introduced with the specific purf)ose 
of toning down some particularly objectionable utter- 
ance or of giving a different turn to Job's thought. 

Even in the prose prologue we find evidence of the 
hand of commentators engaged in making additions 
to the text. In chapter 2, i the phrase *'to gather 
around Yahweh'* appears twice. The repetition is 
unnecessary and is not found in the original Greek 
version or in some of the later ones. The addition was 
made by some commentator who wished to emphasize 

n Sodety (Uiendi of the Jias, 4 volumes, Philadelpbii, 1909-13). 


that Satan came with the "Sons of God," and not ! 
alone, that he was at God's service and not an inde- 
pendent being. Again towards the close of the chap- 
ter, the words "toward heaven" are added to the 
statement that the three friends as a sign of grief at 
Job's distress "tore their upper garments and sprin- 
kled dust over their heads." This was done in order to 
explain that the dust after being placed on the head 
was thrown into the air, though it is doubtful whether 
this explanation is correct. The words are again 
missing in the Greek version. 

Of a different character but pointing to an in- 
tentional change in the text is the substitution of 
"bless" for "curse" in no less than four places in the 
prologue (l , 5 and 1 1 ; 2, 5 and 9) in order to avoid a 
word of ill omen, as in English "darned" came into 
use in place of "damned." To a sensitive age it 
seemed objectionable to find Job saying in a sacred 
book that his sons may have "cursed" God (i, 5) or 
Satan intimating that Job might "curse God" (1, 11 
and 2, 5) or even that Job's unsympathetic wife 
should call upon her husband to " curse God and die. " 
In all these cases the word "bless" was substituted 
with intent. *^ In the prose epilogue (42, 7-17) there 
are likewise late additions, partly to add picturesque 
touches and in part with a more serious intent. So 
e. g. is the closing statement (42, 17) . 

"So Job died, old and full of days" i 

which is missing in the original Greek version. In re- 




turn, the Greek version of Theodotion has a long sup- 
plementary notice ** about Job and his friends which 
is not in the Hebrew text. 

When we come to the Symposium, we have a valu- 
able index for detecting comments and variants in 
tlie practically uniform character of the stanza of four 
lines " and a further index in the length of each line 
— with three beats in each line — for while to be 
sure there is no absolute uniformity, yet when we 
find an inordinately long line, we may properly sus- 
pect some addition as a comment or gloss.'" Let 
us lake up these two points. Without entering 
mto details of Hebrew poetry which would carry 
us too far, " there is general agreement among 
scholars that the two striking features of this poetry 
are the parellelismus membrorum, i. e.^ an agreement 
in thought with some progression in the thought, 
dividing a stanza into two halves and within each 
stanza an agreement in regard to the number of beats 
in corresponding lines. There is no rhyme in Hebrew 
poetry but there is rhythm which rests upon an equal 
number of beats, irrespective of the number of syl- 
lables beyond certain limits, which would obviously 
interfere with the regularity "of the beats. When, 
therefore, we find a disproportion between two lines 
that form the first or second half of a stanza, we are 

" See belot* it the cloae of the tranalation (or this BUpplementary itate- 
nKDt which is very eliboralc and clearly based an a Hebrew or Aramiic origiiuiL 

** See Duhm'a diacuaiion, Hiab, p. 17. 

"Occaiionally we find ihorler lines with two beats and frequent ly long 
line* with four beats, but in all such caiea the variation raises a suspicion 
whether the line in question is not defective, or whether the superflucius word or 
words belong 10 the original text. 

" See for a. geQeral survey, G. B. Gray, Fotvu oj Hibrrto Pottry (Loodon, 



justified in suspecting some addition. So, *:. g., in 7, 9 
which reads 

"The cloud dissolves and is gone: 
So the one who goes down 10 Sheol does not come up." 

The second line in the original Hebrew is halting be- 
cause of its length. If we remove the word "Sheol," 
this difficulty" disappears and the poetic quality is im- 
proved. Some commentator added "Sheol" to indi- 
cate what was meant. In 10, 12 the word "life" does 
not accord with the verb used which :s literally 
"made." The combination Jsun-Hebraic. TheUneis 
improved in its proportions by making it read ; 

"GraceThou didst grant me" 
and by regarding "life" as a comment or gloss. Not 
infrequently the excess word or phrase in a line has 
been inserted as a comment or gloss into the wrong 
place, which suggests that it may originally have been 
placed on the margin of a scroll, and then misplaced 
by a copyist who wished to embody the comment in 
the text. An example of such a misplaced gloss is to 
be found in 5, 4 where the words "in the gate" (in 
Hebrew one word) are clearly out of place. The two 
lines should read : 

"His sons far from salvation, 
And crushed, with none to save them." 

Transpose the phrase "in the gate" to the first line of 
the preceding distich, 

"I have seen the foolish take root in the gate" 
and you get a comment that is reasonable, the phrase 
"in the gate" being idiomatically used for the place 
where people gather. A still clearer case of an entire 


line forming a variant and inserted at- Jtifl- wrong 
place is to be found 15, 30, 

"He shall not escape from the darkness." -''.•'". 

A glance shows that it does not fit in with the contact, , 
neither with what precedes nor with what follows. 
If, however, one transfers it to v. 22, the first half 
of which reads: 

"He has no hope to escape from darkness," 
we have an intelligible variant, which some commen- 
tator presumably placed on the margin of his copy 
and which a copyist inserted at the wrong place. 
Again 17, 12 is a distich that interrupts the context. 
It is omitted in the original Greek version, and can 
best be explained as consisting of two glosses, 

(a) "Night they change to day" 

(i) "Light is preferable to darkness" 

added by way of comment to 18, 5-6, beginning: 

"Surely, the light of the wicked is put out" 
The first gloss is intended to suggest that the wicked 
ply their trade at night, and the second is to furnish 
the reason for the emphasis on light, spark and lamp 
in 18, 5-6. Such comments need not necessarily re- 
veal the true explanation ; and in this case the com- 
mentator mistakes the force of the metaphors, by tak- 
ing them too literally. In the same way 22, 8 which 
properly translated reads: 

"The man of might — to him is the earth; 

And the exalted dwells therein," 

interrupts EHphaz's accusations against Job that he 
refused charity to the poor (v. 7) and neglected widows 


and ori^h'^s (v. 9). The distich clearly belongs to 
Joiy^ imlictment of injustice in the world with which 
.<ha[^r 21 is taken up. It would be appropriate 
"after 21, 31. The two lines impress one as a popular 
* saying which some reader added on the margin of 
his copy, and which thence crept into another copy 
prepared by some scribe. 

We have quite a number of such maxims intro- 
duced into Job, just as many were interspersed 
throughout Ecclesiastes by later manipulators of the 
text. At times they are appropriate, but often they 
interrupt the context in a somewhat unfortunate 

So in Eliphaz's first speech (chapter 4) we have a 
popular maxim introduced in v. 10: 

"The lion may roar and the fierce one howl, 
But the teeth of the young lions are broken," 

with the following verse added by way of amplification: 

"The old lion perishes for lack of prey, 
And the whelps of the lioness are scattered." 

The two verse8 do not stand in close relation to what 
precedes, and appear to have been inserted by some 
commentator as an illustration of one's reaping what 
one sows (v. S*"). Chapter 17, 5 which should be 
translated as follows: 

"Among friends one divides one's fortune, 
While one's own sons languish" 

is evidently a popular saying to illustrate a foolish 
kind of generosity, which, to be sure, is not particu- 
larly appropriate at its present place. The first half 
is missing in the original Greek version, which in- 



creases the suspicion of its being a later insertion — 
perhaps again at an entirely wrong place. 
A clear case of a popular saying is 20, 16: 

"He who sucks the poison of asps, 
The tongue of the viper shall kill him," 

It was suggested by the reference to "gall of asps" in 
V. 14, though the maxim has no bearing on the argu- 
ment that ill-gotten gain will not endure. Again, it is 
to be noted that in the original Greek version only 
a part of the verse is found. 

Referring the reader to the translation for fur- 
ther examples of such introduced sayings as well as 
little comments and glosses — of which there are sev- 
eral hundred scattered throughout the original book 
and the supplements — let us take up a few examples 
of superfluous lines added to the conventional stanza 
of four lines, and which will be found to be either an 
amplification of the text or must be regarded as a 
variant line, either orally transmitted or taken over 
from some codex. 


In Eliphaz's first speech, we encounter a super- 
fluous line, 4, 19 where 

"Whose foundation it in the duat" 
is evidently a comment to "clay houses" in the line 

"How much more in those who live in clay houses." 

In the same speech the fifth verse of chapter 5 
has occasioned endless difficulties to modern exegetes. 


If we remove the superfluous line (s, 5'') we obtain a 

"What they gather, the hungry eat; 
And the thirsty (?) drain their Bubstance," 

while the additional line by a textual change gives us 

"Gathering it into granaries" 
as a comment to the verse. 

In Job's reply to Eliphaz we ftnd in 6, 4 a super- 
fluous line, 

"Whose poison drains my spirit," 
which is an explanation to 

"The arrows of Shaddat are within me." 
An instance of a superfluous line suggested by a par- 
allel passage occurs 13, 27 where 

"Thou keepest guard over all my v/ays" 
is taken over from 33, 11, just as in 7, 11 

"I will speak ia the anguish of my spirit" 
occurs again 10, i " and is evidently there taken over 
from our passage. 

In chapter 24, we have a superfluous Hne in each 
of four successive verses (12-15). The close of v. 12 
which should be rendered 

"But God docs not hear (their) prayer" 
is a gloss on the part of a reader or commentator who 
sympathized with Job's argument. Atthecndofv. 13 
the line 

"They do not know its ways" 

" Except that 1 synonym "wul" i> used for ipirit. 



is a cxunment (reminding one of Ps. z, 2) or a variant 
line to the second half: 

"They sit not in its paths. 
In V. 14 

"He kiUfl the poor and the needy" 
is a comment to the first half of the distich, and again 
in V. 15, the superfluous line 

"Saying, no eye sees me." 
is an e^cplanatory comment to 

"The eye of the adulterer waits for the daylight?" 
These examples justify us in removing the large 
number of superfluous lines, scattered throughout the 
original Book of Job, as well as through the supple- 
ment and appendices and to regard them as comments 
or variants. By thus restoring the four line stanza, " 
we obtain a uniform poetic form, with a resuhant 
greater force in many cases where the superfluous 
line makes the style turgid. 

As a final proof of the liberties taken with the 
text in expanding it by comments, variants and glosses, 
we may instance the many cases in which an entire 
verse or several verses appear to be later insertions, 
with a view of clarifying the thought or for other 
reasons amplifying it. A few illustrations will suf- 
fice. The fourth verse of chapter 8, reading 

"If thy children had sinned against Him, He would give 
them up because of their transgression" 

" Fint coini«tently carried out by Bickell, Das Buck Hiob (Wenna 189+), 
thouD:!i on the bai'ii 0/ a metric tbeocy which does not commend itself. Duhm 
{Hid, p. 17) likcwiie iBtumei a four-tine atanza throughout and Beer (Trxl 
ill Buekis Bieh, p. viii) inclines toward* this view, as doei Gray (Amer- 
ican Journal of Semitic Languagea, vol. 36, p. 95), though the latter auume* 
■ome cxceptioni. 


is an interruption of the context, and moreover 
prosaic in form. Verse 3 reading: 
"Does God pervert judgment? 
Does Shaddai pervert right?" 

joins directly to v. 5, promising God's grace if only 
Job would seek out God and provided he were really 
pure and upright. The inserted verse Is the reflection 
of some reader who thought to answer the question 
asked in v. 3, by suggesting that since Job would ex- 
pect his children to be punished in case they had 
sinned — why should that not be the explanation in 
his case? 

Similarly, in chapter 13, verse 10 reading: 

"He would surely rebuke you, if you secretly showed favor" 
is an inserted answer in prose form to the question 
asked in v. g and which is continued in v. 11, 
Again in chapter 14, verse 1 1, reading: 
"Waters drain the sea, 
And the stream dries up" 

interrupts the context and may be regarded as a re- 
flection inserted by some reader or commentator, on 
the inevitableness of death as set forth in verses 10 
and 1 2. It appears to be a quotation from Isaiah 19, 5. 
In chapter 22, verse 24 is missing in the original 
Greek version which confirms the suspicion that 
"Gold ore will be regarded as dust, 
And Ophir " gold as the rock of the valleys." 

is a later insertion which interprets the metaphor in 
V. 25 literally: 

"Shaddai will be thy gold mine. 
And silver in superabundance to ihec." 

"Name of the region whence specially fine gold was pnxured. 


The aggregate of these additions is considerable. 
By removing superfluous lines, briefer comments and 
glosses, the text is reduced by several hundred verses, 
so that we can now understand how a version of the 
Hebrew text should have existed in the second century 
B. c. so much shorter than our present one and from 
which the first Greek translation was made. How 
foolish in view of this to make a fetish of the author- 
ized Hebrew text as finally fixed by the Jewish church, 
and to regard it as an infringement on the sanctity 
of Biblical books to apply the canons of textual 
criticism to Job or to any other book of the sacred 

As a matter of fact, quite apart from the evidence 
brought forward to prove the liberties taken both 
with the original book and with the supplements and 
appendices by readers or commentators, the Hebrew 
text of Job teems with all kinds of errors due to care- 
less or ignorant copyists. In many cases the correct 
text can be restored, often through the substitution of 
a single letter for a wrong one. At times the Greek 
version helps us to detect the errors of Hebrew copy- 
ists, just as in return the Hebrew text occasionally 
permits us to recognize an error made by a Greek 
copyist. Often — very often indeed — a more radical 
procedure is necessary to enable us to restore the text 
at least approximately to what it must have been, and 
sometimes we must confess ourselves baffled by a 
hopeless corruption — hopeless beyond recovery except 
through the employment of an arbitrary method 
which the best Biblical scholarship has never counte- 
nanced. It is impossible to penetrate the meaning of 


hundreds upon hundreds of passages in the Book 
Job without resorting to a critical method in the 
study of the text. Our English versions which aim to 
translate the book as it stands are the proof for this 
assertion. Excluding the prologue and epilogue, it is 
rare to find ten consecutive verses which can be re- 
garded as correct renderings, and not infrequently 
more than half of the verses in a chapter in the 
ordinary translation stand in need of greater or 
smaller revision in order to reproduce what once stood 
in the original. The need, therefore, of an entirely 
revised translation, based upon a critical study with a 
utilization of the results reached by other scholars who 
have toiled over the Book of Job, is too obvious to 
require further justification. This need becomes 
even more obvious when we turn to additions made 
to the original book in the interest of Jewish ortho- 
doxy, in the hope of converting a skeptical work 
into a support for conventional views against which 
the writers of Job in its original form entered 
a protest. 


look of ^^1 




We have already had occasion to point out how 
the word "bless" was substituted for "curse" in 
four places in the prologue, because to the final editors 
it seemed objectionable even to suggest that any one 
should "curse" God. The same spirit prompted 
piouscommentators to change the third person "He" 
when it referred to God to " I," in order to tone down 
a too audacious challenge on the part of Job. So at 
I the close of chapter 9, the ordinary translation: 

" For I am not so with myself" 

is meaningless and stands in no connection with the 
preceding Hne in which Job says that if God would 
only remove His rod and not startle him by terror — 
meaning his sufferings — 

"I would declare without fear of Him" 

Now if in the following line we change the "I" to 
"He" and take the word translated "so" in the sense 
of "fair" or "just" which is obviously meant here,'* 


we obtain at once a proper parallel and a logical 
continuation of the thought: 
"That He is not fair to me." 

In the same chapter, the bold challenge of Job 
in the 19th verse was toned down by changing "Him" 
to "me" and by a different vocalization of the final 
root, so as to make the line read : 

"And if of juBtice, who wili appoint me a limcf " 
The line as it stands is meaningless. Job in his bitter 
revolt against his fate says that he is willing to admit 
God's superior strength, but what he asks is justice. 
The distich should read: 

"If it is a test of strength — He Is surely auperior, 
But if it is [a question of] justice — who can arraign Hiraf " 

The two lines emphasize the dilemma which is the 
theme of chapter 9 that no one can bring a suit 
against God, because God is the judge before whom 
the suit would have to be brought. 

Similarly, as already pointed out, the reading at 
the beginning of chapter 32 that Job regarded him- 
self as justified in "his own eyes" is an intentional 
change, so as to avoid the implication that Job had 
completely triumphed by answering his friends. The 
Greek version shows that the original reading 
was that 

"Job was justified in tHeir eyes." 
Such an assertion which would put an end to all 


" The Greek and Syriac 

IS pretetvc the original reading "Him." 


further discussion could not be tolerated, and so by 
a slight change the final verdict in favor of Job was 
changed into a rebuke for his conceit, none the less 
severe for being put in an indirect manner. It is 
with the same intent of increasing the severity of 
Zophar's rebuke to Job because he regards himself 
as innocent that prompted a pious commentator to 
, change what Zophar said to Job; 

"Thou art pure in thine eyes." (ll, 4.) 

into a direct assertion on the part of Job: 
"I am pure in His eyes " " 

implying that God knew that Job was innocent but 
was wilfully cruel toward him. 

By way of contrast to a change made with such 
intent, we have instances of others that might be char- 
acterized as introduced ad majorem. gloriam Dei. So, 
for example, in the description of the strength of the 
crocodile, a pious reader thought that it would heigh- 
ten the effect to change the obviously correct reading: 

"Who could stand up against him? 
Who could attack him and come out whole?" (41, 2.) " 

into a reference to God's superior power by reading 
in both lines "me" for "him." A glance at the con- 
text suffices to show that the change entirely spoils 
the climax to the stirring and impressive description 
of the huge beast against whom no one can stand up. 

" ij., in God'i eyes. So the Greet version. We might also reuin 
"TTliot eyes" (with a capital T) and refer il to God. So the translation of the 
American Jewish Publication Society. 



The Greek version, as usual in the case of such inten- 
tional changes, preserves the correct reading." 


As long as Job confined himself to complaints, as 
he does in his first two speeches, pious commentators 
allowed them to pass, bitter though those complaints 
were. Nor did they feel prompted to intervene 
when Job, enlarging upon his theme, generahzes on 
the hard fate of man which he pathetically describes 
as service Uke that of a hireling thirsting for the even- 
ing shade {7, 1-2) when he will be released from his 
task, but when in his third speech, (chapters 9-10) 
he reaches his main argument that one who feels 
himself to be suffering without just cause cannot 
bring his case before God for investigation without 
by so doing offending the Deity by the implied sus- 
picion of injustice, the pious commentators felt that 
it was time to step in. Job, in reply to the insistence 
of Eliphaz on God's power, admits this and proceeds 
to give illustrations of the destructive and terrifying 
manifestation of Divine power — how God overturns 
mountains in His wrath and shakes the earth, hides 
the sun and seals up the stars (9, 2-7). In this same 
strain he continues, 

"He goes by me without my seeing Him; 
He passes on without my knowing." (9, 11-) 
but just before this, two verses are inserted to give a 
different turn to Job's thought by emphasizing, as 

"Not infrequently, however, one of the later Greek vcrsiona itself triet 
to tone down the unorthodox uttermcei of Job by giving ihem a different ti 
Example will be found ia the notes tat), 21 and 11, 3- 


Eliphaz does, the marvels of God that are majestic 
toithout being destructive or terrifying. Clearly 
verses 8-10 of this ninth chapter reading: 

"Who by Himself stretches out the heavens, 
And treads their heights, 
Who makes the Aldebaran, and Orion, 
The Pleiades and the constellations of the South. 
Who does great things past finding out, 
And wonders without number," 

are a later insertion, introduced with intent to make 
Job speak as Eliphaz has done. If any further proof 
were needed, it would be found in the last distich 
which is a quotation from Eliphaz's speech (5, 9). 

In this fourth speech (chapters 12-14), the extra- 
ordinary length of which raises the suspicion that it 
has been amplified. Job begins by bringing forth his 
charge that the wicked prosper while the innocent 
are laughed to scorn. Such is also the burden of his 
four following speeches by the side of the ever- 
recurring complaint of his sad plight. This affords 
the pious commentators the desired opportunity to 
intersperse their orthodox reflections, so as to take 
off as it were the sharp edge of the severe indictment 
of Divine justice. So in 12, 6 after Job has declared 

"The tentB of the robbers prosper. 
And there is security for those who provoke God " 

Our pious commentator adds: 

"Whom God holds In His power." 
Job continues and says that the beasts, the birds of 
heaven and what crawls on the earth and the fish 


of the sea know that all nature is a struggle in which 
one fails to see justice at work, 

"Who docs not know all these things?" 
Knows what? To the assurance: 

"That the hand of Yahweh has done this, 
Our pious commentator adds; 

"In whose hand is the soul of every living being and the 
breath of aH mankind." (i2, lo.) 

The prose form reveals the insertion, the evident 
intent of which is to give Job's thought a different 
direction from the one towards which it was moving. 
The introduction of the name Yahweh, which is not 
used in the poetic discussions, is a further proof that 
some other hand than that of the original compiler 
has been at work. The following verse (12, 11): 
"Cannot the ear test words 
And the palate taste for itself?" 

is a quotation from Elihu's second speech (34, 3), 
merely changed into a question fonn, while v. 12 

("Not) with grey beards is wisdom. 
Nor understanding with the aged." 

was suggested by another utterance of Elihu (32, 9). 
Furthermore, verse 13 

"With Him i; 
With Him i 

i adorn and might; 
lunsel and intelligence." 

is a reflection that clearly betrays the same pious 
commentator who added verse 10. Omitting these 
verses, we find v. 14 forming the continuation to 
the question : 

"Who does not know all these things?" 


Job recurs (w. 14-25) to his admission that God is 
powerful, but powerful in destroying and terrifying. 

We may likewise suspect the hand of the ortho- 
dox amplifier in the last verse (v. 25) of the chapter: 

"So thai they grope in the darkness without light, 
And He makes them stagger like a drunken man." 

Our pious commentator is thinking of the overthrow 
of worthless guides of the people, and therefore 
pictures them like the wicked stumbling in the dark- 
ness that surrounds them. Job, however, has in 
mind merely the terrifying manifestation of God's 
power in setting aside earthly rulers, no matter how 
high their station. Nobles, princes, judges, priests — - 
are all swept away whenever God chooses to do so. He 
is supreme — that isjob's thought. But is His superior- 
ity exercised with justice ? That Is the question which 
torments the writers in the original Book of Job. 

Removing these numerous additions the length 
of the chapter is reduced by almost one-half. The 
process of amplification is continued in the following 
two chapters (13-14.) Job, reflecting on the brevity 
of life and its fullness of care, says: 

"Man is born of woman, 
Few of days and full of trouble, 
He comes forth like a flower and withers; 
Fleeing as a disappearing shadow." (14, 1-2.) 

He then asks: 

"Hast Thou, indeed, considered this, 
In bringing him to judgment.'" 

The pious commentator (verse 4), conscious of man*8 
sinful nature, answers by the reflection, 

" Can one bring clean out of unclean ? Not one" 


i.e., the unrepentant sinner who is none other than 
Job himself ever remains unclean and cannot expect 
to be pardoned for his misdoings. 

Consistent with what we have seen to be the 
practice of the pious commentators, Job is permitted 
in his fifth speech (chapters 16-17) to rebuke his 
friends, to recall his sufferings and to pass on to a 
description of the hostile forces arrayed against him — 
all without interruption. Only when towards the 
close of chapter 16, he reaches a climax of bitterness 
in appealing to the earth not to allow his blood to be 
shed in vain, 

" Earth, do not cover up my blood,*' 
That there be no occasion for my outcry." 

3 pious commentator intervenes to give the assurance; 

"Even now my witness is in heaven.*' (i5, 19.) 
How could Job in one and the same breath complain 
of Divine injustice, and then declare his faith in a 
heavenly witness. So far from God vouching for 
him, Job implies in the verses immediately following 
that his appeals are not heard: 

"On high my thoughts are my intercessors; 
To God my eye makes the appeal; 
That mortal may secure justice from God, 
As between a man and his fellow." (16, 20-21.) 

— but all to no avail. God is callous to the cry of 
anguish. It is precisely in order to counterbalance 
the extreme bitterness of such outbursts that a pious 
reflection about the "witness in heaven" is inserted. 

"The covering up ot the blood n 

] concealing the < 

o the translation of i6, 19-10. 


In chapter 17, our pious cominentator has 
another opportunity of adding a reflection (v. 9) : 
"The righteous cHnga to his way," 
And ihc clean of hand increases m strength." 

to counterbalance Job's ironical exclamation that the 
"upright must rejoice" at his having become a by- 
word of the people and that "the innocent will be 
aroused against the impious" — meaning himself. 
What bitter irony! Job speaks of himself as "im- 
pious," knowing that this is what those who do not 
understand him think. His awful fate will cause 
rejoicing among the godly, because he is looked upon 
as a sinner. Could rebellion against the Divine order 
of things go further? No wonder that the pious 
commentator felt called upon to step in. 

In Job's seventh speech (chapter 21) he replies 
to the second series of speeches of the three friends 
who have tried to outdo one another in ptortraying 
the fate that overtakes the wicked. The burden of 
these speeches is that though the evildoers may seem 
to flourish for a while, inevitable punishment through 
God's wrath overtakes them. Says Eliphaz (15, 20) : 

"All his days the wicked is in terror. 
And the number of his years arc limited." 

SaysBildad (18, 17-18): 

"His remembrance shall perish from the earth; 
And nowhere will there be a memorial of him. 
They shall drive him from light into darkness; 
And out of the earth they shall chase him." 

I Says Zophar (20, 27): 

"The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, 
And the earth shall rise up against htm." 


Job's patience — or rather what is left of it- 
exhausted by this three-fold repetition of an utterly 
false account of what really happens in this world. 
With a violence surpassing all previous utterances 
Job proceeds to paint a true picture of the world in 
which we live. 

"When I think of it, I am dismayed, 
And horror takes hold of me. 
Why do the wicked flourish, 
Grow old and even wax mightyf" (21, 6-7.) 
That is the keynote to the chapter, which rings the 
changes on the theme that happiness and success 
crown the activities of those who ride roughshod 
over all ethical restraints in seeking their goal. 

The indictment becomes terrible as Job describes 
the merriment that abounds in the homes of the 
wicked, how everything goes well, how all ventures 
succeed, how they pass their lives without any 
thought of God, how they are spared when calamity 
overtakes others, and how, when satiated with happi- 
ness, they sink quietly into the grave, the bier is 
followed by a large concourse of mourners. 

"The clods of the valley seem sweet to him. 
As the whole population draws after him. 
How then can you comfort me with vanity. 
Since your arguments are a tissue of falsehood? "(21, 33-) 
What can the pious commentator do in the face of 
such an indictment? He tones down the bitterness 
of the chapter by two pious reflections. When Job 
portrays the indifference of the wicked to the com- 
mands of God, 

"To God they say, 'Away from us; 
We desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.'" (21, 14.) 


our commentator, wishing' us to conclude that Job 
speaks thus (v. l6), adds: 

"Ah, there is no happiness In their hand; 
The counsel of the wicked be far fro 

The reflection would be in place if one of the friends 
had made it, and we actually find the second line 
inserted in a speech of Eliphaz (22, 18''), but Job 
whose whole point is that the wicked are happy could 
not so flagrantly contradict himself. Again, when 
Job rises to the height of bitterness in answering the 
contention of his friends that even if the wicked is 
not punished in his Hfetime, his sons are made to 
suff'er. What does he care, asks Job, what happens 
to others as long as he escapes. 

"Let Him (1.^., God) requite him that he may know it. 

What is his concern in his house ajur him. 

When the number of his months is completed?" (21, 19-21.) 

This audacity was too much for our pious commen- 
tator who therefore adds : 

"Shall one presume to teach God, 
Him who judges on highi"' (21, 22.} 

These examples will suffice to show how through- 
out the original book the attempt was made to weaken 
the skeptical trend by insertions and reflections that 
in an uncritical age would not fail to make their 
appeal. The insertions would counterbalance the 
genuine passages in which Job passed beyond all 
bounds in the vehemence of his charges against God 
and in the denunciation of the cruel fate that so 
often overtakes those who have led virtuous and 
pious lives. One could point to these pious exclama- 


tions, thus liberally interspersed throughout the 
speeches of Job, in reply to those who might have 
been troubled by the large number of sentiments 
expressed by Job that were anything but pious. The 
rebellious and impatient Job, according to this ex- 
planation, represents a passing mood; the true Job 
is revealed in the pious utterances; and so the 
contradictions between evident insertions and the 
genuine passages were allowed to stand until the 
advent of modem criticism. 

A traditional interpretation of the original Book 
of Job thus arose that made it consistent with the 
genuine Jewish orthodoxy as taught in the speeches 
of Elihu and in the collection of nature poems; and 
tradition as it grows apace is apt to warp the criti- 
cal instinct to such an extent that after the lapse 
of time even manifest contradictions fail to arrest 
one's attention. 


Comments and variants and changes tending to 
tone down objectionable utterances did not exhaust 
the resources of those who were bent on showing 
that the Job of the Symposium was as patient and 
as God-fearing as the Job of the popular tale. Pious 
commentators, in addition to adding their reflections 
which came to be looked upon as integral parts of 
Job's speeches, did not hesitate to go a step further 
and by apparently innocent changes in the text 
itself before it became rigidly fixed, succeeded in 
giving to crucial passages an entirely different mean- 


ing from the one originally intended. Let us take 
up as illustrations the two most famous passages in 
the Book of Job, still popularly regarded as proving 
the staunch piety of the central figure in the Sym- 
posium. The first of these occurs in the thirteenth 
chapter and is familiar to everyone in the traditional 
rendering : 

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." (13, 15.) 

Modern scholarship has shown that the verse must 
be translated: 

"Aye, though He slay me, I tremble not,"*" 
as the following line, furnishing the parallel required 
by poetry, conclusively proves ; 

"For all that, I will maintain His *" course to His face." 
The correct translation is adopted by the Revised 
Version and by all modern translators with a single 
exception." Now how did the erroneous translation 
arise? Simply by a marginal reading "Him" in the 
Hebrew text in place of "not," *^ and by taking the 
word "tremble" (or possibly "hope") through a 
different vocalization to mean "trust." There can 
be no doubt that the marginal reading "Him" is an 
intentional change made by some commentator after 
the text had been fixed. Convinced that the Book 

"Or poaiibly, "I have no hope." TTie translation of the American 
Baptist Publication Society renders: "Behold, he will slay me. I may not 
bope." See the note lo the passage in the translation. 

"Text ha* "ray" — likewise an intentional change, to diminish the auda. 
dty of the challenge. 

"The transUlion issued by (he American Jewish Publication Society 
reesiiu the traditional, but entirely untenable rendering. 

*> lovoMng a very slight change, both words having the same lound in 
Heb:cw. See the note to ihc passage. 


of Job as it stood was a unit and determined to make 
it a defense of orthodox Judaism, he could not recon- 
cile himself to the thought that Job could give utter- 
ance to such a defiant challenge, as 

"Though He slay me, I tremble not." 

That was going too far. The pious, patient, model 
Job could not have said that, and so He was made to 
say the very contrary that he would retain his faith 
in God, even though God should decide to put him 
to death — innocently. This intentional but unwar- 
ranted change is an interesting illustration of the 
difficulties felt by the later Jewish theologians in 
giving to Job an orthodox character, even after 
pious commentators and the amplifiers of the book 
had done their work. They therefore continued the 
process of changing the spirit of Job's speeches as 
best they could. After the text had been fixed by 
the Jewish rabbis of the first century A.D., no 
further additions were permitted, but codices still 
differed somewhat in their readings, and therefore 
the rabbis felt free to introduce marginal readings 
of their own, when they felt that in doing so they 
could obtain a reading more satisfactory to them. 
When marginal readings failed, a twist could be 
given by a subtle exegesis to passages in which the 
text was corrupt — perhaps, indeed, in some cases 
intentionally corrupted, so as to obscure the objec- 
tionable original. 

A single passage, thus given an entirely different 
interpretation from the one intended by the author, 
would not fail of effect; and, particularly a verse that 





could by its striking admission of profound faith 
serve to counterbalance many other utterances cal- 
culated to arouse suspicion of Job's faith. What 
could be stronger than the assertion 

"Though He slay mc, yet will I trust in Him?" 
A Job who could say that in the midst of his sufferings 
was, forsooth, the model of piety, as he is pictured in 
the prapular tale. Accordingly, up to our own days 
this famous passage occurs to the average Bible 
reader as characteristic of Job. The beauty and 
simplicity of the verse has stuck in the popular mind; 
and even the critic must feel a pang of regret at 
being forced to point out its incorrectness. Job 
ougkt to have said it, but unfortunately he said just 
the contrary, that though God crushes his life, yet 
he will maintain his innocence without fear — "I 
trust in Him" was a sentiment appropriate to the 
meek Job of the folktale, but not to the rebellious 
character in the Symposium. 

If we assume that the verse in its original form 
was regarded as a bold challenge, we can understand 
why a pious commentator felt it necessary to insert, 
as a further means of removing the unfavorable 
impression, the following verse, revealed as an inser- 
tion by its prose form: 

"Aye, this will be my salvatioa that the impious will not 
come before Him." (13, i6,) 

That is precisely what Job in his defiant mood could 
not and would not say. 

Our second illustration of an intentional distor- 
tion of a crucial passage is the utterance of Job which 


has become the most famous of all in the entire book 
(19, 25-27). According to the view still current, the 
sufferer voices his firm faith: 

"I know ihat my Redeemer liveth" 

and goes on to express his belief that he will yet be 
justified — according to the older traditional inter- 
pretation — "in the flesh" in a future world when he 
will see God for himself, or according to a later though 
also orthodox view "out of the flesh." 

The entire passage has occasioned endless diffi- 
culties to exegetes, particularly v. 26, which, as it 
stands, is syntactically almost impossible.*' The 
ordinary translation: 

"And when after my skin this is destroyed. 
Then without my flesh shall I sec God " ^ 

cannot be correct, for the thought of a meeting with 
God after this earthly life is over is entirely contrary 
to the belief of Job as set forth in his speeches. In 
his very first speech (chapter 3), in which he expresses 
the wish that he had never been bom, he speaks of 
Sheol as the general gathering place where all dis- 
tinctions of rank disappear and where inactivity 
reigns. There is not the slightest suggestion of any 
thought of retribution or justification. When in 
subsequent speeches Job longs for death, it is as a 
release from his sufferings. He sighs for the "place 
of no return" (7, 8), where he will be safely hidden — 

•* Sec the commentariet of Budde, Duhm and Barton for detaib which 
are too technical to be introduced at this point. 

" So the rendering ia the trtnilalion of the Aroericau Jewiah PublicatiaQ 
Society, following the A v. 




even from God. Throughout the speeches ** Job's 
point of view, as is also that of Koheleth writing 
about two centuries later, is the older general Semitic 
conception of continuing consciousness after death, 
but minus all activity and without any punishment 
for wrongs done in this world or compensation for 
endured sufferings. If, therefore, such a doctrine is 
put forth in the 26th verse of chapter 19, it is only 
because the text has been manipulated in such a 
way by pious commentators as to permit of such 
an interpretation under the sway of an ungrammati- 
cal exegesis. The comparison of the Hebrew text 
with the Greek version of this verse bears out this 
contention.*' The Hebrew of v. 26 begins with "after 
my skin" (or "under my skin," which is preferable), 
but the Greek version omits "after." To maintain 
that this phrase means "after death" either within 
one's skin or out of one's skin is quite impossible. 
Nor can the following words be rendered "this is 
destroyed," for the sufficient reason that in the 
Hebrew text subject (sing.) and verb (plural) do not 
agree. We must take the context as our point of 
departure for a correct interpretation. Job has asked 
his tormentors: 

"Why do you pursue me like a stag " *" 
since he is so worn with disease that his flesh would 
not suffice for a meal. Realizing that his friends are 
utterly lacking in sympathy, he exclaims that if 

"Ste rapeciallj' the pasMge 14, 7-11. 

" See the full discuiaion of the pdnt in Beer, Ttxi dts Bueher Hiob, pp. 

"For this reading instead o{ "God," 

« the note to the p 


only his words were hewn into the rock, like an in- 
scription that would remain for all times, he would 
be certain that a defender would arise some day. 
It is in this sense that he uses the old Semitic term 
go'H as the one on whom the obligation rests to seek 
redress for a wrong done to a kinsman,*' The goet 
is the avenger, the justifier the vindicator — the 
redeemer, if you choose, but in the literal sense as 
the one who redeems a wrong committed. A human 
"redeemer" is meant," one who will act as a justifier 
or better still as a "defender," which would be the 
modem term corresponding closest to the ancient 
one. What Job therefore says is : 

"Oh that my words could be inscribeci," 
Graven for all times in the rock!** 
Then I would know that my defender will arise. 
Even though he should rise up In the distant future." 

This being the thought demanded by the context, 
what follows must be in accord with this hope. 

We owe to Ehrlich '* the suggestion that v. 26 
embodies the lament that unfortunately Job alone 
knows of his sufferings. They are inscribed merely 
on his person, 

"Under my skin this (i.^., the record o( his sufferings) is 

" See further the note on the word, in the Iraiulation of the chipter. 
•• Credit should be given to ■ Jewiih commeniator SaadU, living in the 
ith century a.d., who recognized thai redeemer could not refer to God. but 
is a single voice. 

" A commentator paraphrascj this by adding "Oh th»t one might inKribe 
book, " to pdnt out that recording on a toft material like papyrut ot *kin 
. i . —III,.., . __,.■ 

had taken the place of the 

**A glossator adds prouically "and with an iron 
further for the justification of my translation, the note* 
•* Randgloinn, 6, p. 157. 

hard substance like stone, meul 


He alone sees the evidence of his tortures which are 
hidden from others. He will be forgotten and his 
sufferings with him. Therefore, he adds : 

"And within my flesh do I ace these [words] *" 

The following verse (v. 27) appears to be an amplifi- 
cation, added by some commentator who felt the 
obscurity of the passage; 

"I alone can sec it (i.e., the record of tortures) for myself; 

Mine eyes sec it, but not another's." 

In justification of this interpretation, that Job is 

here referring to his sufferings and not to any sight 

of God after death, we have another comment added; 

"My reins arc consumed within me"*' 
which is merely another way of saying that he alone 
is conscious of all that he is forced to endure. His 
friends are estranged from him. They are blind to 
his condition. They have no understanding for his 
state of mind. He alone sees the record of his endur- 
ance, written clearly on his own person — in the 
emaciated form and in the features distorted with pain . 
The loneliness in his grief adds to the poignancy 
of his martyrdom. That is the thought which the 
author wishes to bring out in a passage that has been 
completely distorted by a deliberate endeavor to 
twist its meaning, both before the text became fixed 
and even after this period. The passage in the inter- 
pretation given to it by a false exegesis has become 
crucial for the traditional interpretation of the Book 

** Which he would like to hare inicribed on i rock so ihit o/f may tee 
the record for oJ^ dmei. 

** If we follow the traditional tnniUtion, thii lioe remaina sutpended 
. ia the «ir. 


of Job. The utterance in the mouth of Job "I know^ 
that my Redeemer hveth" outweighs the impression 
made by his bitter complaints. By the side of the 
equally erroneous rendering "Though He slay me, 
yet "will I trust in Him" and the assertion "Even 
now my witness is in heaven," Job's faith in his 
justification in a future life — for that also was read 
into this passage — appeared to be established beyond 
all question. However utterances that seemed to 
contradict these assurances of a pious and trusting 
soul were to be explained, here were three utterances 
whose testimony seemed to be unimpeachable. In 
this way the Job of the Symposium was brought into 
accord with the Job of the folktale. Both Jobs 
endured the test. Both remained pious and God- 
fearing under the severest trials ever imposed upon 
man. The cause of Jewish orthodoxy was saved. 
For an uncritical age the three passages sufficed to 
win the day for the doctrine of Divine government 
as taught by the prophets, and which became the 
corner stone of post-exilic Judaism. 

It is not a pleasant task for the critic thus to 
hold up as erroneous passages in the original book 
which have not only made their way into the Church 
and Synagogue service, but which by their beauty 
and impressiveness have been a source of consolation 
to countless myriads these two miUeniums, sustaining 
them in sorrow and helping them to bear the ills and 
burdens of life. The critic must forego popularity. 
He lays himself open to the suspicion of being wilfully 
destructive of hallowed traditions and of long-exist- 
ing conventions. If he is serious minded — and the 



critic is not genuine unless he feels the responsibility 
of his taslc — he may himself share the regret of thus 
being forced to abandon an interpretation of the 
Book of Job to which in common with his non-critical 
fellows he had clung. He must console himself by 
the deeper penetration that he gains into the spirit 
of Biblical literature and the clearer view of the evolu- 
tion of religious thought and practice among the 
Hebrews from lowly beginnings to an advanced stage 
— a stage higher than that reached by any other 
people of antiquity and which culminated in a tem- 
porary climax in the commingling of Hebrew and 
Greek spiri4:uality in early Christianity. 

Applying this to the original Book of Job, is 
there not a decided compensation for the abandon- 
ment of the traditional view of significant passages 
that have always been associated with the popular 
conception of the book, in the recognition that the 
main aim of the writers of the remarkable Symposium 
was precisely to depict this struggle involved in the 
attempt to penetrate the mystery by which we are 
surrounded — ^the mystery of all mysteries, life itself 
with its burdens and sorrows that seem to be the 
heritage of mankind? The writers shrink from the 
task of solving the mystery, which they frankly 
regard to be beyond human reach, but they wish to 
arouse our sympathy for the distressed soul, for the 
sufferer who typifies for them man universal, wring- 
ing his hands in anguish and crying — why and how 
long? Why — this burden of sorrow too heavy to be 
bom? How long this torture, imposed for no good 
apparent reason ? Job's case is of general application, 


just because it is an extreme instance. Tlie problem 
of human suffering is intensified by the example of a 
really pious and God-fearing man doomed to pain and 
misery. The original Book of Job as a consistent 
expression of the questioning spirit is a greater mas- 
terpiece than Job as an awkward combination of 
contradictory points of view, brought about through 
the conscious endeavor to change the original drift 
of the book. 

We now approach the boldest stroke on the part 
of those who aimed to convert the original Book of 
Job into a support for the orthodox point of view. 
TTie confusion existing in the third series of speeches 
(chapters 25 to 31) to which attention has been 
called " has long been recognized by scholars. Vari- 
ous explanations have from time to time been brought 
forward to account for the brief speech of Bildad 
(chapter 25) consisting of only six verses, and the long 
utterances of Job, covering the remaining six chapters. 
The absence of any third speech of Zophar had also 
been noticed, but only a few even of modem scholars'* 
have recognized the need of a radical method in 

** Above, p. 7 1 . Seethe deUils in the nocei lo the traDsUtion of Chap- 
len as-ji. 

** Barton it among tho«« wha have realized the need of a ladtcal rear- 
rangement of the chapter! in question. (Jcnintai of Biblical Liutattite, vol. 30, 
pp. 66-77) though I differ from his restoration io «ome important poiau. Sieg. 

fned in hii critical ten of the Book of Job - . ■ 

correct reconitruetion of chapteri iS-16 but faili to reconiti 

and introducra rather arbitrary transposition of verges 

inatead of recogntung that 19. 21-15 iaan independent fragment which has been 

inaerted into Job's fint lupplemenurY speech. He alio faili to rccogniM that 

JO. 16-14 i« part of Job'i reply to Bildad and that jt, 3;-.)7niuit repreaeaiihc 

doic of uut reply, or possibly the dose of Job'* miuing reply to Zophar. 




getting order out of a seemingly hopeless chaos. 
Referring the reader to the translation for the re- 
arrangement of these chapters, it is sufficient for 
our purpxases here to recall once more that the six 
chapters (22 to 27), represent further discussions 
of the problem that emanate from the same circle 
which produced the first two series of speeches. 

Chapters 22 to 24, containing a speech of Eliphaz 
and Job's reply, add nothing to the arguments already 
presented by both sides, except the direct charge of 
lack of charity and mercy levelled at Job and for 
which his sufferings, it is claimed, are a just retri- 
bution. The absurdity of EUphaz saying to Job: 

"Surely, thy wickedness must be great. 
And there can be no end to thy iniquities." (22, j.) 

is so patent that one can only explain the introduction 
as deliberate, in order to put a weapon into the hands 
of Job which he wields with force in his reply. Eliphaz 
then once more unrolls the false picture of the punish- 
ment of the wicked (verses 15-20) and, again as in 
previous speeches, calls upon Job to return to God 
and all will be well. Job in reply (chapter 23) once 
more brings forth his plea that he cannot bring his 
case before God, adding with special emphasis that 
he cannot find God, no matter how intensely he 
searches for Him. In chapter 24, he sets forth in 
detail all the crimes committed by the wicked. In 
powerful language, he describes the oppression and 
misery of the poor, forced to go about naked, drenched 
by the rain and clinging to rocks for shelter, as the 
result of the ruthlessness against which they are 


powerless. All this is clearly an amplification of what 
Job has already dwelt upon in chapter 21. There 
is no reply in these two chapters to Eliphaz and it is, 
therefore, evident that the speech of Eliphaz is, as 
already suggested, another draft of the argument of 
this speaker put forth in previous speeches, while 
Job's speech is similarly an imitation and amplifica- 
tion of former utterances — likewise an independent 
draft by some hand which tried to set forth what Job 
might have said. 

Suddenly, however, we find Job speaking as the 
friends do. Instead of picturing the success of the 
wiles of the wicked as he did in chapter 21, we find 
him foretelling their doom. Beginning with v. 18 
of chapter 24 in which a pious commentator inserts 
the reflection: 

"Their portion is cursed in the earth." 
we find Job telling us of the wicked (v. 20) : 
"The womb forgets him; 

Worms feed (?) on him. 

He is no longer remembered; 

Iniquity is crushed like a tree," 

and again v. 24: 

"They are exalted for a while and brought low; 
And as the tips of the grain they wither." 

Such reflections, entirely contradicting what Job 
had previously said, are interspersed in this supple- 
mentary speech with the deliberate intent of taking 
off the edge of the skepticism and cynicism in Job's 
utterances. The closing verse of the chapter: 
"If it is not 90, who will prove me to be a liar, 
And nullify my speech?" 




would only be in place if Job were denouncing the 
success of the wicked. This verse clinches the argu- 
ment in favor of v. 18", 20 and 24 as insertions by a 
pious commentator. 

But those interested in toning down the skepti- 
cal implications in Job's speeches did not stop short 
here in their endeavor to change the original character 
of the book. In chapter 27, some one was bold 
enough to place a more detailed description (27, 7-23) 
of the awful doom in store for the evildoer into the 
mouth of Job. It is manifestly inconceivable that 
the Job who speaks so bitterly in chapter 22 of the 
way in which evildoers escape the consequences of 
their deeds should now say of the wicked: 

' "Though he heap up silver as dust, 
And provide garments as clay; 
He may provide, but the righteous will put on, 
And the innocent shall divide the silver. 
• ••••* 

He lies down rich, but it will not endure; 

He opens his eyes, and it is gone. 

Terrors overtaice him by day; 

The tempest removes him by night." (27, 16-20.) 

Job is actually represented as quoting from a 
speech of Zophar (20, 29): 

"Such is the portion of the wicked from God, 
And the heritage of the oppressors from Shaddai." (27, 13.) 

What has happened? Clearly, a portion of a third 
speech of Zophar — in imitation of his second one — 
has been deliberately added to 27, 1-6 which is a 
genuine utterance of Job, protesting his innocence 
and which is entirely out of keeping with 27, 7-23. 
Not content with this, some other commentator, 


intent upon representing Job as God-fearing and 
acknowledging the merciful providence of God, took 
a piece of Bildad's third speech 26, 5-14, detached 
it from its connection (25, 1-6) and tacked it on to 
the introduction of Job's answer to Bildad (26, 1-4.)"' 
There is no connection whatsoever between Job's 
rebuke of his friends (26, 1-4) and the sudden transi- 
tion to the power and providence of God (26, 5-14) 

"The shades below are in terror; 
The waters and their inhabitants" 

and ending with: 

"These are but the outskirts of his ways. 
And a mere whisper that penetrates to us." 

It is claimed by some scholars that this confusion 
between Job's utterances and those of his friends is 
accidental, due to a confusion of separate leaves of a 
codex. This can hardly be, for it is difficult to see 
how it could happen accidentally that by such con- 
fusion only orthodox sentiments should have been 
put into the mouth of Job. At all events, exegetes 
permitted the confusion to remain to the threshold 
of modem Biblical study, and even at the present 
time there are defenders of the present arrangement 
who point to it in their desperate effort to prove that 
the original Book of Job ended in an orthodox strain. 
Our modem translators of the Bible have done 
nothing to enlighten the lay reader as to the real 
situation. Translations of the Book of Job continue 

I, followed by vj, i-* and 30, 



to be printed in strict obedience to the Indications 
of the Hebrew text, and the reader is left to solve the 
enigma as best he can, how Job can say one thing in 
one place and directly contradict himself in another. 
Surely, respect for the Bible is not increased by thus 
hiding the truth. 

The natural upshot, however, of the manifest 
confusion was to strengthen the case for Job's ortho- 
doxy. The pious commentators and editors secured 
the triumph for which they yearned, but at the ex- 
pense of eschewing criticism and of producing a work 
full of contradictions. The same spirit of saving 
the book for orthodoxy which prompted the in- 
sertion of pious reflections to counterbalance Job 's 
audacious charges and indictments, which led to 
the distortion of passages from theiir original mean- 
ing and which prompted later editors deliberately 
to remove sections from speeches of one of the 
friends and give them to Job, also superinduced the 
insertion of chapter 28 — the "Search for Wisdom" 
which is without any connection whatsoever with the 
Symposium, and without any bearings on the argu- 
ments of the friends of Job, Superb in its diction and 
of the highest order of literary excellence, this descrip- 
tion of the search for wisdom which is hidden from 
man betrays the same point of view as that found in 
the first nine chapters of Proverbs, constituting the 
first main division of this book."' It reflects a highly 

. See Toy, Crilicai and Exigttuai Coin- 


intellectual age in which knowledge was exalted above 
all other possessions, but an age which had already 
begun to experience the disappointment due to the 
impossibility of solving through knowledge the mys- 
tery by which man is surrounded. 

The writer of this chapter (or possibly some 
later amplifier) '"* agrees with Proverbs in placing 
wisdom above all treasures, but he is an agnostic 
when it comes to securing wisdom, 

"Wisdom whence cometh she?" 
rings as a refrain through the chapter. The answer to 
the question is impressive but discouraging. 
"God knows the way to her; 
And He knows her place." (28, 23.) 

God — but not man. And then in a passage of unsur- 
passed eloquence, which likewise finds a parallel in 
Proverbs 8, 22-30, the writer exclaims that when God 
created the world; 

"When He gave a weight (or the wind. 
And measured out the waters; 
When He assigned a law for the rain. 
And a path for the thunderbolt; 
He saw her and proclaimed her; 
Established her, aye, singled her out," (28, 25-27,) 

Our author furnishes, as it were, a commentary 
to the original Book of Job by suggesting the reason 
for the unsatisfactory conclusion which the author 
of Job reaches. Wisdom is with God — not with 
man! How, then, can man hope to understand the 
ways of God? Orthodox circles, ignoring the agnostic 



implications of the chapter, would welcome this pro- 
duction as a strong support for their cause. They 
would be only too eager to have Job confess that man 
cannot by human wisdom penetrate the secrets of 
God's universe, created by Him through His wisdom 
which God alone can "proclaim and single out." It 
was, therefore, an editor acting in the interest of 
orthodoxy who attached this splendid bit of litera- 
ture at the close of the supplemental third series of 
speeches to form an appropriate finale to the Sym- 
posium, before another supplement, consisting of the 
two speeches of Job in chapters 29-31, was added. 
By the addition of the little word "for" at the begin- 
ning of chapter 28, the production was made to 
appear to be a continuation of the orthodox senti- 
ments concerning the punishment of the wicked, 
deliberately put into the mouth of Job (27, 7-23), 
though, as we have seen, they originally formed part 
of Zophar's third speech. 

The further supplement to the original book, 
embodied in chapters 29 to 31 is from the literary 
point of view most impressive, even though the 
chapters strike a note entirely inconsistent with Job 
as presented in the three series of speeches. In these 
series, Job complains of his condition but never 
boasts of his virtues. Not so chapters 29-31 covering 
two independent speeches "*' plus a supplement to 


the first,'" one detailing in a direct manner his 
virtuous conduct and the esteem in which as a con- 
sequence he was held, the other setting forth in equal 
detail what he avoided doing. One would prefer to 
have had others say of Job that he delivered the pKXjr 
and rejoiced the heart of the widow, that he clothed 
hiniself in righteousness and put on justice as a 
diadem (29, 12-14). The impression one receives 
of Job in the Symposium is spoiled by having him 
sing his own praises : 
"Eyes was I to the blind; 

And feet to the lame. 

A father I to the needy; 

And I searched out the cause of the unknown." (29, 15-16.) 

It is in equally poor taste to find him in the 
second speech commending himself in somewhat 
unctuous fashion for keeping himself free from viola- 
tion of a virgin and from adultery. As he proceeds 
with the long catalogue of vices and wrongs which 
he avoided, the tone becomes more and more patron- 
izing, at times offensively so. The self-praise reaches 
its climax of self-satisfaction in a little section (31, 
5-8) which may be an independent fragment that 
has slipped in at an inappropriate place. 
" If I had ever followed falseness, 

And my foot had hastened to deceit; 

If my step had turned out of the right path. 

And my mind had followed after my eyes; 

Let me sow and another eat. 

And let my produce be rooted out." 

The two speeches were, no doubt, added to 
heighten our sympathy with Job, but it is difficult 




to suppose that the writers of the original Book of 
Job should have allowed their hero thus to lay him- 
self open to the charge of pharisaical self-esteem and 
smug self-glorification. This picture of the self- 
satisfied boastful Job is due to others who did not 
in their imagination pass through Job's experiences. 
Those who wrote those speeches approach the sub- 
ject from the outside. Tliey give us a Anew of Job 
as he must have appeared to others, though the 
picture is spoiled by having Job draw it himself. 
The writers in the Symposium proper approach the 
subject from the inside. They feel for Job so intensely 
that they identify themselves with their subject. 
They make Job speak as we feel that the real and 
human Job must have spoken. Not so with the supple- 
mentary speeches which are in the natureof literary ex- 
ercises, superb and admirable as such, but lacking the 
fervor and strength of the preceding eight speeches. 
For those, however, who were intent upon mak- 
ing the Book of Job appear to be a support for ortho- 
doxy these added chapters accomplished the object 
which they had in view. If the book was to make its 
appeal as a production in accord with the prevailing 
orthodoxy, it was necessary to leave no question in the 
minds of any that Job not only was supremely virtu- 
ous and pious as in the folktale, but remained so 
even after his discussion with his friends. How could 
this better be done than by attaching to the Sympo- 
sium such a detailed picture of all the generous deeds 
of the hero, and then supplement this by an equally 
detailed picture of all the temptations that he re- 
sisted? Here was testimony out of Job's own mouth, 


which none could gainsay; and in order to heighten 
the impression of the genuineness of these speeches 
a compiler inserted a section (30, 16-24) which is 
precisely in the style of the Job of the Symposium 
proper, and as a matter of fact has been removed 
from its correct place (after 27, 2-6),'" for the very 
purpose of creating the impression that these three 
chapters in their entirety belong to the Symposium. 




To complete the task of converting an originally 
skeptical book into a bulwark of orthodoxy, the two 
appendices were added to the enlarged Book of Job, 
the one embodying the four speeches put into the 
mouth of a fifth personage who represents himself as 
a defender of the faith of better calibre than the three 
friends, the other in the form of two speeches assigned 
to God himself. The two features that stand out 
preeminently in these appendices, which, it is plaus- 
ible to assume, were added at about 300 b.c, are in 
the first place, the need that was felt by the circles 
of staunch believers to make a further defense of the 
orthodox position, and secondly, the scale on which 
this defense was carried out. 

The Symposium must have fallen like a bomb- 
shell into the orthodox camp, the effect of which was 
all the greater because the book was not the product 
of a single mind as a book is in our days, but repre- 
sents the combined effort of a circle that, even 

" See further ihc n 

3 the translation of chipten 15-31. 



though it may not have been excessively large, was 
powerful because it contained those who were deter- 
mined to think for themselves and who were unwilling 
to accept ready-made opinions without questioning 
their basis. "He thinks too much," says Ctcsar,"" 
voicing his suspicion of Cassius. "Such men are 
dangerous." It is not necessary to go so far as to 
assume that the circle which produced the Book of 
Job was regarded as dangerous to the prevailing 
faith, but the Symposium must at all events have 
created a feeling of discomfort among those who in 
their honest zeal for the cause of orthodoxy felt that 
the movement in the direction of free thought must 
be checked by a reinforcement of the orthodox point 
of view. The Symposium was a symptom of the 
intellectual unrest which at the close of the third 
century found a further and still more objectionable 
expression in the cynicism of the writer who hid his 
personality beneath the now. de plume of Koheleth."*' 
It is quite possible that other books of the same cali- 
bre as Job and Koheleth were produced that have 
not come down to us, because they failed to be re- 
ceived into the sacred canon. However this may be, 
these two productions suffice as evidence of a reac- 
tion that set in towards the close of the fifth century 
against the fundamental assumptions that had grown 
up around the teachings of the pre-exiUc and post- 
exilic prophets. The upholders of orthodoxy were 
challenged to prove their position, and we may see 
in the speeches of Elihu and in those placed in the 
mouth of God the answer to this challenge. 

'"Act 1, I. 115. '"Sec A Genllr Cynic, page 61 stj. 


The circumstance that four separate speeches of 
Elihu were embodied, each, as we have seen, of inde- 
pendent origin, may be taken as a further indication 
of the seriousness with which the situation was viewed. 
Their accumulative weight, it was hoped, would 
effectually silence all doubters in a just and merciful 
Providence. The editorial introductions to the 
speeches of Elihu '" are of special interest in this 
connection, because of the admission involved that 
the arguments of the three friends as representative of 
Jewish orthodoxy were not regarded as convincing. 
Had it been possible to ignore the original book, we 
may feel quite sure that this would have been done, 
just as the original words of Koheleth would have 
been passed over in silence had they not made too 
profound an impression to admit of such a procedure. 

A still bolder stroke was represented by the intro- 
duction of God himself to pronounce, through a series 
of magnificent poems, the final verdict on the discus- 
sion. We have seen that these poems are in reality 
productions of poets stirred by the love of nature and 
inspired by the contemplation of marvels in animal 
life. The editorial work of those who utilized them 
for the reinforcement of orthodoxy was limited to the 
collection of the poems, to the two poetic epilogues 
attached and to the introductory sentences repre- 
senting the poems as two speeches addressed by God 
to Job, though we have seen that there is nothing 
in the poems themselves to suggest such an address. 
Here again the circumstance that it was thought 

'■ S« »bove, p»ge 77 jiq. 


necessary thus to introduce Yahweh in order to 
reduce Job to humble silence and to bring him to a 
proper state of repentance for his audacious utter- 
ances in the Symposium is the significant feature. 
A further decisive blow had to be struck at the grow- 
ing menace of independent thought away from con- 
ventional Hnes; and since Ellhu begins his fourth 
speech by the assertion that there are "still things 
to be said for God," it was a natural device to supple- 
ment the discourses of Elihu by summoning, as it 
were, God himself to take part in the discussion. 

This assumes that the nature poems were 
attached to the Book of Job after the speeches of 
Elihu. Strangely enough most scholars, while recog- 
nizing the independent character of the Elihu chap- 
ters, are yet disposed to regard chapters 38-41 as an 
integral part of the book, which would reverse the 
position here taken and make the inserted speeches 
of Elihu a later production than the closing four 
chapters. The weakness of this view lies in its failure 
to assign a good reason for introducing six chapters 
within what would be the body of the book, the ortho- 
doxy of which, moreover, would have been sufficiently 
assured by the introduction of Yahweh himself as a 
participant in the Symposium. After Yahweh has 
spoken, Elihu is an entirely superfluous personage. 
Moreover, the view fails to take into account the 
sharp demarcation between the trend of the Sym- 
posium and that of chapters 38-41. The reader who 
has followed my exposition will be able to see for 
himself how inconceivable it is that one writer or one 
group of writers belonging to the same circle should 


have produced the Symposium, and then also thought ' 
of assigning to God the nature poems in defense of 
Jewish orthodoxy. We fail to understand the book 
unless we recognize the three different strata of which 
it is formed; and the most natural sequence for these 
strata is to assume that the present arrangement 
follows the order of growth of the original draft of the 
book to its present complete form."" 

Now the two appendices constitute more than 
one-third of the entire book. An addition on so large 
a scale, while not unusual in the case of literary pro- 
ductions of the ancient Orient subject to steady 
growth, is yet significant in this instance because the 
branches grafted on are so completely at variance 
with the character of the original trunk. The speeches 
of Elihu, though bringing forth new arguments in 
reply to Job's disturbing contentions, could not have 
been regarded as completely satisfactory. The prob- 
lem continued to occupy the minds of believers and 
doubters alike, and we must look upon the device of 
placing the collection of nature poems in the mouth 
of Yahweh and of adding them as a last word on the 
vital subject as further evidence of the need for a 
defense of the orthodox position. J 

The supplements to the Symposium and the twoJ 
appendices saved the original production from being ' 
lost, for the Symposium by itself would never have 
been included in the sacred canon, as little as the 
original "Wor ds of Koheleth" would have secured 

'"•One might also urge that the insertion of the wo rdi "outotlhe (tonn" 
in the heading to chapter 38 which is (repeated in 40, 6), clearly suggested by 
the storm poem inserted in chapters 36-37 (see above, p. 79), aisMmii the 
ciistencc of the E^ihu speeches at (he time when the nature pocmi were added ] 
«s the third itratum. 



admittance. The new Job led to the preservation of 
the old Job, as a modified Koheleth, obscuring its 
irreverent cynicism, rescued the genuine Koheleth 
from probable oblivion.*'" We must, therefore, feel 
grateful to those who thu3 labored to change the 
original trend of the book, even though they also 
hoped that the apparent unity given to the elaborate 
compilation might remain unquestioned for all times. 
Nor should we after completing our task of undoing 
the work of zealots, exchange our gratitude for con- 
demnation of the uncritical spirit betrayed by those 
who thus tried to cover the naked skepticism of the 
original book with an orthodox garb. An age that 
has not developed the full sense of individual author- 
ship necessarily lacks the critical attitude towards 
a literary production. fVe can see the intent in the 
manipulations to which the text was subjected, but 
those who were engaged in the endeavor saw only a 
perfectly obvious method of furnishing their super- 
imposed interpretation of a problem that was left in 
an unsatisfactory state by predecessors who had 
tried their hand at solving it; and they no doubt 
sincerely believed that they were improving the 
original production. What we would differentiate 
as text and commentary, as argument and answer, 
as original draft and later amplification, are, in an 
ancient composition, produced at a time when a 
literary product was regarded as common property 
to be modified and enlarged at will, thrown together. 
When in the course of such literary process contra- 
dictions result that are too glaring to be overlooked, 

^"^fitAGenUeCynic.p. 119. 


the difficulties are overcome in a naive but sincere 
spirit by balancing an objectionable utterance with 
a pious reflection deliberately introduced. 

The naivete which marks what we of a modem 
day would regard as unwarranted interference with 
a literary work is further illustrated by the additions 
through later editors and amplifiers even in these two 
appendices. In chapters 32-42 we likewise encounter 
superfluous lines, pointing to variants, comments or 
deliberate additions. There are reflections by pious 
commentators, desirous of enforcing the orthodox 
teachings of Elihu, and likewise numerous passages 
the text of which needs to be corrected in order to 
yield an intelligible sense and sequence."' Without 
bewildering the reader with more examples, suffice 
it to say that the endeavor was consistently made 
throughout the entire book to create the impression 
that despite the many audacious sentiments of Job 
remaining in the original portion, the trend of the 
book was towards orthodoxy, that the skepticism 
was on the surface, whereas its deeper aim was to 
furnish a support for the conventional and generally 
accepted beliefs of the day. 

It may well seem startling to the ordinary reader, 
accustomed to look upxin the Book of Job as a unity, 
an authentic composition of one writer, which is sup- 
posed to have come down to us in the form given to 
it by this writer, to be asked to cast all preconceived 
views aside and to regard the book from an entirely 
different angle, as a gradual growth with an original 

n the QotM «tucbed ti 



trunk to which branches were added from time to 
tim^; and in addition to this to cut out hundreds of 
comments, variants and glosses and superfluous lines. 
It is not surprising to find such a demand, when first 
made, arousing a feeling akin to resentment. The 
alternative, however, would be to accept the book as 
a tissue of contradictions, full of abrupt transitions, 
lacking an orderly arrangement of themes, to an 
extent that would reflect most seriously on the men- 
tality of those who could produce such a confusing 
work. In short, we have the choice on the one hand 
between clinging to the traditional view of the book 
which has been shown to be untenable, which is 
contrary to the literary method of antiquity, which 
rests on a corrupt text and leads to translations of 
crucial passages and many hundreds of other passages 
that cannot endure the test of criticism, and on the 
other hand in being willing to revise our attitude 
towards the book on the basis of a corrected and 
rearranged text, freed from all subsequent additions, 
in the hope of thus obtaining a clear in place of a 
hopelessly confused view of one of the world's master- 
pieces of literature. The realization of this hope 
must be the final test for the justification of the appli- 
cation of the critical method to the study of the 
Book of Job. 

In assuming that the book as we have it has 
passed through many hands, each one of which left 
its trace upon it, we recognize that the book itself 
had an eventful history before it received its final 
form. The critical method asserts that we cannot 
understand the book without following its history. 




If, as I have tried to show elsewhere,"' we must 
picture the author of the original "Words of Kohe- 
leth" as an old man who has advanced to old age 
gracefully, for whom the storms of life are over and 
who has become mellow by his varied experiences, 
disposed to take things as they are in this world not 
too seriously, we must imagine the group who first 
conceived of the idea to give a written form to the 
oral discussions on the problem of human suffering 
as they took place in the circle to which they belonged, 
as intensely serious, rather inclined to austerity, and 
of a rebellious disposition as they contemplated the 
hardships frequently endured by those who lead pure 
and decent lives, as against the better fortune of 
those who were callous to ethical standards. The 
group would correspond to a circle of independent 
thinkers at the present time, fearless and independent 
but whose spirit while rebellious would not necessarily 
be destructive. If they oppose conventional beliefs 
it is because they are earnestly seeking for a firm 
foundation for their faith in a guiding Providence 

" A GenXle Cynic, p. 19i. 



which they have not abandoned. They are seekers 
after truth and as such we must picture them — strug- 
gling souls groping for the light. 

Only men in the vigor of life, still engaged in the 
struggle from which few escape, could express them- 
selves so forcibly, so pathetically, aye, so violently 
as in the speeches put by them in the mouth of Job. 
Old men do not talk that way. The writer of the 
original draft of Job and his successors hold the 
mirror up to nature and paint the reflection in bold 
colors. They have the courage to look at things as 
they are. At the same time, while their outlook on 
life is anything but cheerful, it would hardly be fair 
to call them pessimists. That overworked term is 
not quite appropriate, for the pessimist suggests a 
sullen and bitterly resigned thinker, whose personal 
disappointments make him incUne towards cynicism. 
There is scarcely a trace of cynicism in the original 
Book of Job, which in this respect presents such a 
contrast to Koheleth, albeit that the cynicism of the 
latter is gentle and free from the sting which fre- 
quently accompanies the cynical attitude. Koheleth, 
the old man, smiles as he thinks of this topsy-turvy 
world. The writers in Job, young and impatient, 
frown; and the frown grows deeper as they proceed 
in their ungrateful task of showing the untenability 
of the current views regarding the rule in this world 
of a merciful and just Providence. "Why worry?" 
asks Koheleth. Take things as they are. You can- 
not improve them. Try to get as much joy out of 
life as you can and in order not to grow weary of 
mere enjoyment, work so that joy may be your recrea- 


tion from your toil. Don't imagine that everything 
is going to perdition, for things are not worse than 
they were; they were always bad. Such is not the 
mood of the writers in Job. They are terribly in 
earnest, but always out of intense sympathy with 
the sad lot of mankind in being condemned to suffer 
without cause. If at times one of the group seems to 
clinch his fist in bitter revolt against things as they 
are, it is a bitterness bom of a profound realization 
of the tragedy of life. Nor are the writers unbelievers. 
Doubt as to the existence of God never enters their 
minds, but they boldly ask whether the prophets 
were right in picturing the Deity as merciful and just? 
Fof/them the two horns of the dilemma are that 
either God is indifferent to human suffering in which 
case He would not be merciful, or as the source of 
good and evil He doles out both without judging the 
acta of man, in which case He would not be just. 
Neither cold rationalism nor apathetic stoicism could 
satisfy a group of writers whose religious fervor shows 
itself in such a passage, descriptive of God's tender 
care for mankind as the following: 

"Thy hands moulded and fashioned me. 

Didst Thou not pour me out as milk, 

A^id like cheese didst curdle me? "* 

Qothed me with skin and flesh 

And knitted me together with bones and sinews.' 

Grace Thou didst grant me; 

And Thy providence watched c 


•»• Referring to the growth of the ftetus from tlie lenien. 



Only one of strong religious bent could write 
such a passage; and we must perforce assume that 
the impressive description of God's marvels in nature 
which occur in the speeches of the friends "* found a 
response in the hearts of those who, nevertheless, 
ranged themselves on the side of Job. If the writers 
in Job could have reconciled themselves to the 
hypothesis of God's callousness to man, the dilemma 
would not have seemed so terrible that a watchful 
Providence should also be cruel enough to lay in 
store tortures for His creatures. 

"And yet such things didst Thou hide in Thy mind. 
I know that this is Thy way." (to, 13.) 

With this problem the writers in Job strive long 
and earnestly, and in a deeply religious spirit, only 
to reach the negative conclusion that one cannot 
argue with God, because one cannot bring one's case 
before Him. To think of doing so already involves 
the questioning of Divine justice. Job's plight being 
regarded as typical, the problem of human suflFering 
thus remains suspended in the air. The give and 
take in the debate between Job and his friends leads 
by sheer necessity to no issue. The Symposium 
becomes merely a play of tossing the conundrum like 
a ball forwards and backwards. There is no further 
progress in the discussion after Job has once gone so 
far as to declare, 

"How can a man win a suit against God?" (9, i.) 
The arguments of the friends are weak and futile 
against this obstacle to further discussion. They are 

"**.(., EliphaK (j, 9-10) Zophar (il, 7-9). 


like waves dashing themselves against a breakwater 
that hurls them back with sttU greater force. Of 
what use is it for Eliphaz to argue (4, 7-8) that no 
innocent ever perished and that those who sow 
iniquity perish by the breath of God, when the 
assumption in Job's case is that he is innocent? Of 
what avail is it for Bildad to assure Job that those 
who forget the paths of God are doomed to destruc- 
tion, and that if Job will only turn to God all will be 
well (8, 22). when the point is that God is deaf or 
indifferent to Job's cries of anguish. How bootless 
for Zophar to ring the changes on the threadbare 
argument that if Job will confess his guilt his suffer- 
ings will come to an end (11, 11-15), in the face of 
the undeniable fact that the innocent do suffer and 
that the wicked are not punished in this world. 
Indeed the rebellious spirit goes so far as to suggest 
in the chapter which marks one of the chmaxes in 
the Symposium (chapter 21) that the friends of Job 
know that the picture of the doom of the wicked as 
drawn by them is false,'" and that in this topsy- 
turvy world fates are meted out without reference 
to merit or demerit. 

Throughout the Symposium, therefore, there is 
a consistent rebellious spirit. The aim of the original 
Book of Job is not to deny Providence, but to enter a 
protest against the Prophets* assurance of the govern- 
ment of the universe by a Power acting according to 
the dictation of justice and mercy. That is the gist 
of the philosophy in Job — a protest. 

"* Eliphaz (chapter 15, 17-35). Bildad (chapter iB), Zopbar (chap- 



And yet we miss the real meaning of the book if 
we conceive of this protest as irreligious. It is the 
protest of profoundly religious spirits who seek to 
unravel the mysteries of life and decline to content 
themselves with the repetition of meaningless phrases, 
or to be lulled to rest by a false view of actual condi- 
tions. Job's philosophy harks back in a measure to" 
the earlier conception of Yahweh as a nature Power, 
exerting its force irrespective of ethical motives, 
Just here is the crux of the attitude towards life 
assumed by the writers in the Symposium. The 
position reached by independent inquiry is super- 
latively painful, because the choice lies between an 
ethical view of Divine rule and a non-ethical Power, 
representing a force of nature to whom no appeal 
for either justice or mercy is possible. The gods of 
the older period could at least be bribed and flattered 
by sacrifices and homage. The God of Job is a 
blind force. 

"The guiltless and the wicked He destroys. 
II a ecourge should suddenly strike one, 
He would merely laugh at the death of the innocent." 
(9, 22-23.) 

We must not, to be sure, stress the implication 
of cruelty involved in this outburst too hard. Job's 
concern is with the absence of evidence for a just rule 
interfering in the affairs of man. Even if a pious 
man by virtue of his strong faith endures the test of 


innocent suffering, the conception underlying this 
faith cannot endure the test of the plain fact that in 
this world the wicked frequently escape the merited 
punishment for their deeds. The value of the Book 
of Job in its original form lies precisely in this sharp 
^.^rmulation of the situation — either a God who is 
^ — eoiel, or a blind force. The prophets of the pre-exiHc 
period could develop and press their ethical theory of 
Divine government, because the e\'idence was over- 
whelming that the people had sinned by falling away 
from the old national protector Yahweh, through the 
adoption of rites that were foreign to Him. Political 
corruption and social injustice reinforced the position 
of the religious leaders, who could thus maintain the 
doctrine of just retribution as the main attribute of 
Yahweh. But the very acceptance of the doctrine 
by the Jews of the post-eiilic period who regulated 
their lives and their worship according to the teach- 
ings of the prophets created the problem with which 
Job is pictured as wrestling. The Israel of the pre- 
exiHc period had sinned and had suffered punishment. 
The chastened Israel of the post-exilic period was 
justified in looking forward to Divine favor and grace, 
but things went on just the same. Suffering was not 
diminished, wrong continued to be triumphant, and 
the hoped for independence was not realized, despite 
the growing piety of the people. The fate of Job 
thus became in a special sense typical of the disap- 
pointment encountered by the people as a whole. 
The post-exilic prophets reflect this disappointment, 
and there is a close affiliation between the figure of the 
suffering servant of Yahweh in the post-exilic sections 



of the Book of Isaiah '" and the figure of Job, just 
as we have echoes in Psalms dating from about the 
same period as the Book of Job, of the pathetic com- 
plaint at God's apparent indifference to undeserved 
distress and misfortune."' 

The problem of human suffering was thus 
directly suggested by the political and social condi- 
tions prevailing in the fifth century b.c. The writers 
in Job lived in a questioning age, and the spirit 
affected both those who maintained a strong faith 
in the "Guardian of Israel," of whom it was felt that 
despite appearances to the contrary He "neither 
slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm I2i, 3), and those whose 
questioning went beyond prescribed limits. A strug- 
gle between accepted beliefs and their apparent 
incompatibility to explain the facts — the fate of the 
people and the fate of individuals — was inevitable. 
It is from this point of view that we must judge the 
attitude towards life reflected in the original Book of 
Job. The skepticism of the writers is revealed not 
merely in raising the problem of human suffering; 
but even more in the abandonment of the problem 
at the close of the Symposium as an apparently hope- 
less conundrum. The individual aspect of the prob^ 
lem was inseparable from the larger national point 
of view and is to be regarded as an outcome of the 
general feeling of depression that set in in the post- 
exilic period and became accentuated with each 
-succeeding century. 



While Israel, the suffering servant of Yahweh, 
and Job the suifering individual are merely two 
aspects of one and the same problem, the significant 
/'feature of the philosophy in the Book of Job lies, 
however, in the application of the problem to the 
individual. The Book of Job thus transports us to 
an age in which religion was no longer exclusively an 
affair of the group, as is the case everywhere in early 
stages of culture and which survives as the under- 
lying theory of the cult even in advanced civiliza- 
tions of antiquity. As long as Yahweh was merely 
the national protector of the Hebrews, the individual's 
share in religion was as a member of the group. With 
the enlarged conception of Yahweh as an ethical force 
in the regulation of the life of the group, the sense 
of individual responsibility begins to assert itself. 

We observe this new relationship of the indi- 
vidual to Yahweh for the first time in the days of 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel; that is, at the time of the ex- 
tinction of the political independence of the ancient 
Hebrews. When the final catastrophe came, in 586 
B.C., the people, drawing the lesson from the teachings 
of the earlier prophets, concluded that the punish- 
ment sent upon them was because of the sins of their 
forefathers which the prophets for a century and a 
half had denounced. Yahweh was primarily the god 
of the people as a narional unit. The merits of indi- 
viduals counted for little as against the disloyalty to 




the national protector. But the sins of the past were 
now atoned for by the national misfortune that had 
overtaken the Hebrews, and hence Jeremiah announces 
the institution of a new covenant between Yahweh 
and the "House of Israel" which was to be marked 
by individual responsibility. 
"In those days they shall no more say: 

The fathers have eaten sour grapes 
And the children's teeth are set on edge, 
but everyone shall die for his own iniquity ; every man that 
cats sour grapes kis teeth shall be set on edge." {31, 29-30.) 

Ezekiel, writing during the exilic period, is even 
more explicit and takes the proverbial saying quoted 
by Jeremiah, as the text for a sermon (chapter 18) 
on this new doctrine of the individual relationship to 
Yahweh. No longer will the people be able to lay 
the flattering unction to their souls, should misfor- 
tunes again come, that they are making atonement 
for the wrongs committed by a former generation. 
Not only will each generation be punished or 
rewarded according to its record, but each indi- 
vidual will be judged on his own merits. Correspond- 
ingly, the merits of the fathers will not benefit 
the children. "The soul that sins, it shall die," "* 
irrespective of whether the father is righteous or 
wicked; nor will the righteous son of a wicked 
father suffer for the transgressions of his parent. 
This doctrine, passes far beyond the pre-exilic teach- 
ing of a "jealous" Yahweh who " visits the iniquity 
of the fathers upon the children of the third and fourth 


generation," '" as it also discards the correlative of a 
Yahweh showing mercy to those who are faithful 
even to the thousandth generation. To emphasize 
the new doctrine Ezekiel introduces Noah, Daniel 
and Job as models of piety,'^" and declares that the 
merits of these men will deliver only their own souls. 
The new doctrine not only found room for the 
inclusion of individual requests to be brought before 
Yahweh, but placed these requests on the same plane 
as appeals on behalf of the group. The witness of 
Yahweh 's providence was no longer confined to suc- 
cess in arms or to the blessings of the field which 
affected the whole people, but in His response to the 
needs of individuals. Correspondingly, Divine anger 
directed its blows at the guilty alone, but the new 
relationship thus evolved, which became the very 
foundation stone of post-exilic Judaism, led to the 
problem which is the central theme in the Book of 
Job. If what the prophets taught was correct then 
indeed the question became pressing — why should the 
innocent man suffer? The new doctrine grew in 
strength as the national Yahweh shades over into 
the universal Jehovah, who guides the destinies of 
individuals as well as nations. The thought of mak- 
ing the experiences of a single man the acid test for 
the prevailing theory on which religion rested is, 
therefore, to be taken as indicative of an age in which 
the realization of religion as not only the affair of the 
group but the concern of the individual as well is 
almost complete — almost, for it required the final 



extinction of Israel's hopes as a political unit, which 
did not take place until the days of Roman control 
over Palestine, to bring about the final separation 
from the older view of religion interpreted in the 
terms of group solidarity. 

In further illustration of the stress on individual- 
ism in the religious attitude as unfolded in the original 
Book of Job, it should be pointed out that for the 
author of the Book of Job, God is shorn of all nation- 
alistic limitations. He does not write as a nationalistic 
Jew, as little as does Koheleth. There is nothing 
indeed throughout the Symposium to suggest a 
Jewish atmosphere, except the fact that the writers 
are protesting against the current conception, pecu- 
liar to Judaism. They avoid, as we have seen, the 
specific Hebraic name Yahweh for the Deity and 
prefer general designations like Elohim or Ei. The 
Book of Job is thus from its conception, as Carlyle 
called it, an "all man's book" — and not a specifically 
Jewish one. The writers were probably not particu- 
larly interested in Judaism, just as Koheleth is indif- 
ferent to the religion of his forefathers. They are 
absorbed by the problem with which they deal- 
independent thinkers, approaching their theories 
from an intellectually and broadly humanitarian 
point of view. 


But the original Book of Job in thus demon- 
strating the difficulties involved in explaining things 
as they are in this world on the basis of conventional 


beliefs also reveals the weakness of the book, for Job 
protests without furnishing a substitute for the faith 
which he declares that he is unable to accept as his 
own. He who questions should feel the obligation 
to answer the question that he raises; and if he stops 
short at merely showing the insufficiency of the 
current answers to the question — what to do with 
one's Hfe — he must be prepared to find others taking 
up the task at the point where he left it. Only occa- 
/Sionally — notably at the close of the nineteenth 
;^ chapter — is the faint hope held out that there is a 
\ way out of the darkness, but this goes no further 
than to suggest that in the distant future some one 
will arise who will do justice to the innocent sufferer. 
But how? Merely by showing that Job was right in 
his protestation of his innocence, and that the friends 
were wrong in trying to force the confession from his 
lips that he had sinned and invited his punishment. 
This hope does not suiBce to dispel the darkness in 
which man is condemned to pass through life, unable 
to discover the guidance of a just and merciful 

While in thus interpreting the philosophy of Job, 
it is no part of our task to refute it, yet it is not diffi- 
cult to discover the weakness of Job's position. In 
the first place, the writers do not give the friends 
jVho are supposed to represent the orthodox conten- 
/^tion the opportunity to enlarge upon the factor of 
( -faith — strong faith in the justice and mercy of God 
^^ -despite appearances to the contrary. That faith 
constitutes the support of the psalmist, when tempted 
to yield to despair. It gives the psalmist the courage 


to make his appeal even with the enemies encompass- 
ing him with no apparent chance of escape: 

"Keep me as the apple of the eye; 
Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings." (17, 8.) 

There is Httle of this in the speeches of the 
friends — an occasional allusion here and there. 
Eliphaz in his first speech touches upon the theme, 
but only superficially: 

s He will deliver thee; 
inth will not permit evil to harm thee." (5, 19.) 

Bildad urges the appeal to God, because 

"Forsooth, God will not reject the upright; 
Nor does He strengthen the hand of evildoers." (8, 20,) 

And Zophar echoes this assurance (11, 13-18}, though 
always coupled with the assumption that Job is 
guilty and needs Divine forgiveness. The argument 
that faith enables one to endure in patience is illus- 
trated in the folktale of Job> but it is not pressed 
home in the speeches of the friends. The reason is 
obvious. Consciously — or possibly unconsciously — 
the writers in Job lay the sole emphasis on the incom- 
patibility of the position assumed by the friends with . 
the facts of experience. They wish to prove by the \ .'IB 
example of Job that there is evil in a world supposed, --^w**^ 
to be created by a Power of Good. The whole book 
is directed towards this aim. It is difficult for those 
thus bent on pressing a single point of view to see 
the other side as strongly and as clearly as they do 
their own. In other words, the Symposium reveals 
throughout a Tendenz, to use the expressive German 
term. It begins with a theory and ends with a quod 


erat demonstrandum. Secondly, this sameone-sidedness 
prevents the writers from bringing forward in the argu- 
ments of the friends the theory of punishment as a test. 
Again, we note that while the folktale hinges around 
this point of view which is a strong weapon that can 
be wielded with effect in supporting the contention 
that God is just, even though there be innocent suffer- 
ing, in the Symposium there is only one clear reference 
to such a theory, when Eliphaz is made to exclaim: 
"Happy the man whom God reproves; 
The chastisement of Shaddai one must not reject." (5, 17.) 

Neither Bildad nor Zophar bring it forward. 
Furthermore, the central theme is not dealt with 
exhaustively in the Symposium, but solely with the 
ipbject of showing the insufficiency of the conven- 
tional view of the relationship of God to man. There 
is, therefore, a genuine justification for the two 
appendices that were added to the book, even though 
this was done in the interest of orthodoxy, which to 
be sure Hkewise started with a theory. The argument 
was defective, and it was natural in an age which 
did not have the sense of unit composition in literary 
work, that others should arise to try their hand at 
finding a solution for the problem that the Sympo- 
sium had left in so unsatisfactory a condition. 



If we have satisfactorily shown that by the 

application of the critical method we can penetrate 

into the philosophy of the original book as it grew 



under the hands of writers who all emanated from the 
circle of independent inquiry among the Jews of 
post-exilic days, and can determine its relationship to-> 
the social and political conditions prevailing in Pal- 
estine during the close of the fifth century and in the 
fourth century b. c. when it took shape, we shou." " 
now be able to put the method to a further test by 
finding in the two large appendices to the book, namely, 
the four speeches of Elihu and the collection of eight 
nature poems, the corrective proposed for the un- 
orthodox teachings of the original book. 

That is indeed the case, and since we have al- 
ready had occasion to touch on the contrast between 
the original book and the two appendices, we can 
content ourselves with a brief summary of the manner 
in which the attempt is made to reach a definite 
solution of the problem which continued to arouse 
the interest of both orthodox and unorthodox circles. 
A main contribution is made in the first speech of 
Elihu {chapter 33) in which the new thought is put 
forward that trials and sufferings are warnings sent to 
man, of the same order as revelations in night visions. 
Man, even though not conscious of wrongdoing, is in 
danger of yielding to a sense of self-satisfaction. The 
virtuous man may develop a pride that is itself sinful. 
He may not actually have entered upon the path of 
wrongdoing, but he is always in danger of swerving 
from the right road, perhaps by an overweening 
sense of his moral strength; and so sickness and 
other sorrows are sent to him to recall him to himself 
before it is too late. Such a man, if he recognizes 
the warning, will pass safely through tribulations 

-•-//'— r 


and come out stronger in spirit than before. He will, 
when properly chastened by suffering, make his 
appeal and his confession, and again be found worthy 
of God's grace; 

"Behold all this God does, ' 

Twice and thrice with a man; 
To keep his soul from the pit, 
To enjoy light in the land of the living." (33, 29-30,) 

Thus the new thought is summed up, perhaps by 
a later commentator,'" and to which there is no further 
contribution in the second speech (chapter 34). In- 
deed, this second discourse is in reality a relapse into 
the method followed by the friends in the Symposium. 
It is on a decidedly lower plane than the first. 

In the third speech we are introduced to a new 
^;thought. Since man's deeds — good or bad — affect 
him alone, and God is neither benefited by the virtues 
of the good, nor inj ured by the sins of the wicked, man 
and not God should be held responsible for the ills 
that befall one. It is proper to appeal to God for help, 
but not with the thought that the misfortune has come 
from God. God's deeds are to be seen in the marvels 
of nature and in his fundamental care for the beasts of 
the earth and the birds of heaven. Such manifesta- 
tions should give us the assurance that when sufferings 
come for which we cannot assign a cause, Jt is for some 
good reason if God does not hearken to one's cry for 
help. A strange thought — that God is not concerned 
with the transgressions of men and that misfortunes 
are not to be attributed to Him but due to human 
actions, either our own or those of others. The retort 

•" See the note to the passage. 


is obvious, why does God permit men to inflict i 
juries and tortures on those who have done no wrong? 
Why does He not interfere to prevent innocent suf-/' 
fering? What satisfaction is there to be told that the 
blame for human sufferings is not to be ascribed to 
God, because sufi^erings come through the deeds of 
man? For all that, the thought is interesting, both 
because of its novelty and its subtlety. It anticipates 
in a way the solution suggested by the nature poems 
that we must direct our gaze to the large and com- 
prehensive manifestations of Divine government 
rather than concentrate on man's needs and longings. 
We must look at the world through the large end of 
the glass, not through the small one. Man is only a 
part of the great universe, and an Infinitesimal part 
at that. Why should man suppose that his happiness 
is the controlling motive in the Divine scheme ? 

"Shall for thy sake the earth be forsaken, 
And [its] Guardian be removed from His p 


asks Bildad in the same spirit which prompts Elihu 
to emphasize that one must refrain from asking 
"Where is God" (35, lo) when men conmiit deeds 
that bring suffering and misery to their fellows. Elihu 
recognizes that much of the suffering to which men 
are subject is due to human wickedness and tyranny. 
It should not be so, but one must seek the true cause, 
and not attribute it to God's will or His direct inter- 
ference in the course of events. The argument is a 
protest against a too literal interpretation of the 
prophet's view of God as a Power making for right- 
eousness, and which involves us in the dilemma out 


of which Job cannot extricate himself. The argument 
of Elihu would fit in better with religions of the older 
type in which the gods are represented as concerned 
with the group, whereas post-exilic Judaism clearly 
stresses the relation of the individual to the Deity by 
the side of His concern for the national weal. It 13 in- 
teresting, however, to see this thought brought forward 
by the defenders of orthodoxy; and from various 
points of view its force is apparent. To be sure, the 
argument loses sight of the fact that Job's case is a 
particularly flagrant one because he is portrayed in the 
folktale as quite the exceptional man. Elihu, how- 
ever, who is concerned with the general problem can 
afford to ignore exceptional circumstances. He is bent 
upon showing that God who is supremely just cannot 
be the author of wrong and injustice. In order to 
press this truth home, he calls upon believers to con- 
centrate on the general course of events in this world 
which reveal a guiding hand. 

The fourth speech (chapter 36) again follows 
along the lines of the first and is in fact almost a 
replica of it, beginning by the repeated assurance that 

"God docs not permit the wicked to flourish, 
And He judges the cause of the afflicted." (36, 6.) 

and that if sorrows and sufferings come apparently 
unmerited, it is in order to warn men against haughti- 
ness and to keep them from evil ways : 
"He opens their ear to discipline. 
And tells [theml to return from iniquity." (36, 10.) 

The only additional thought in the chapter, fol- 
lowing as a corollary from the general position taken 
in regard to suffering viewed as a warning and dis- 



cipline, is that those who do not note the warning 
assume that God is arbitrary and hostile to man, as 
Job does in the Symposium. They are the impious 
ones, but even when such men are afflicted it is done 
in the hope that their ears will be opened and that they 
will recognize the iniquity of their charges against God. 
The speeches of Elihu thus constitute a series of 
further answers to the problem with which Job 
wrestles and which the original book leaves in sus- 
pense. While from the literary point of view this 
appendix is inferior to the Symposium, the introduc- 
tions being prolix and the language far less poetical, 
though fine passages are interspersed here and there, 
the speeches serve the purpose for which they were 
added, to present the case for the current beliefs in a 
stronger light. With no Job to answer Elihu, the 
very repetition of the main argument that suffering 
and sorrows are God's method of disciplining man to 
virtue and of warning him against dangers to his 
better nature could not fail to make a deep impres- 
sion — certainly an impression strong enough to weaken 
that left by the Symposium. 



We have seen that in one of the speeches of Elihu 
there is an anticipation of the main argument ad- 
vanced through the nature poems which form the 
second appendix, that we are to seek God in nature 
rather than in the changing fortunes of men. It is 


this thought that leads to the insertion of a poem, ^^ 
descriptive of God's majesty as seen in a storm. For 
beauty and force the poem has few equals in the 
world's literature. The poet pictures the impression 
made upon him by the downpourof rain, by the roll of 
the thunder and the flashes of lightning. 
"At this my heart indeed trembles. 
And is moved out of iw place." (37, i ,) 

The animals seeking refuge and men ceasing their 
activities during the storm and cold blasts from the 
North are pictured in most eloquent language, and 
equally beautiful is the passing of the storm and the 
return of the sunshine as the clouds recede. 

The poem forms the transition to a fragment on 
the wonders of creation (37, 14-20) and to the collec- 
tion of nature poems in which a magnificent panorama 
of God's creation of the world, of His regulation of the 
movements in the heavens and the variety and char- 
acter of animal life is unrolled before us. The little 
anthology teaches its own lesson— that in the face of 
these witnesses to God's power and forethought, man 
is forced to silent adoration. With this evidence be- 
fore us of a great Force present in nature, how can 
there be any further doubts of a directing helm also in 
the lives of men? And if this assurance is not suffi- 
cient, what hope is there that the tiny human in- 
tellect can by mere discussion penetrate into a mind of 
such infinite magnitude ? 

The four chapters containing the nature poems 
furnish the final answer of orthodox circles to Job's 
questionings, Man should desist from the effort of 

"16,14-37, U. S« above p. 79, and the t (a nsUtion, placed after Chapter j6. 




trying to understand God's mysterious ways. Job's /^ 
confession in the second epilogue: 

"Whai I did not understand, I uttered; 
Things far beyond me of which I had no knowledge." (42, 3 1.) 

is put forward as the appropriate attitude in the con- 
templation of God in nature. What can man know of 
God? He can merely seethe workings of the Infinite 
and must rest content with a faith aroused in him by 
such witnesses. The confession forms the corollary to 
the ecstasy of the psalmist when he asks: 

"When I behold Thy heaven, the work of Thy fingers, 
The moon and the stars which Thou hast established; 
What is man that Thou art mindful of him 
And the son of man that Thou thinkest of him?" (Ps. 8. 4-5.) 

What arrogance, then, for puny man to measure 
his intellect with the Infinite mind ? 

It is not too much to say that the nature poems 
rise superior by the nobility of their diction and by 
the force of the descriptions even to the Symposium 
itself. They are a tribute to the grasp which the 
conception of God, as developed under the ethical 
teachings of the prophets, had obtained on the re- 
ligious minds of posc-exiiic days. A religious fervor 
that could produce a group of poets capable of such 
flights as we encounter in the closing chapters of the 
book bears eloquent testimony to the complete suc- 
cess of the movement inaugurated by Amos, Hosea, 
Micah and Isaiah in the eight century, which led to 
such a striking advance in religious thought. These 
chapters, besides their value in furnishing the only 
satisfactory answer to Job's problem that can give 
some comfort to souls troubled because they feel so 


keenly the tragedy of human suffering, also furnish 
the explanation for the persistence of the religious 
faith of which they are an exponent. They account 
for the further products of that faith in giving rise to 
other great religious systems — Christianity and Islam 
ba^ed on the same spiritualized conception of Divine 
government of the universe. The cridcal method thus 
leads us to an estimate of the Book of Job which, while 
it discards the traditional interpretation in frankly 
recognizing the original book as a skeptical production, 
yet in another sense reinforces tradiuon by showing 
that through the second and the third strata the book 
was actually changed into as strong a bulwark of 
religious faith as was possible in an age which had not 
yet evolved the doctrine of retribution in a future 
world as a comjiensation for the sufferings in this one. 
That doctrine when it arose was destined to strengthen 
man's faith in what cannot be solved by the processes 
of reasoning and in which faith man, driven by the 
questioning spirit into an unceasing search, must 
ultimately rest content. 


One wonders if the original Book of Job had been 
written several centuries later, say about lOO b. c, 
what the attitude of the circle of free inquiry would 
have been towards the new doctrine of hfe after death 
which by that time had taken a firm hold on pious 
minds, particularly in Pharisaic circles, and according 





to which there was a distinction between the ultimate 
fate of the virtuous and the wicked. A blessed here- 
after was in store for the righteous who had followed in 
the path mapped out by post-exilic Judaism, which 
had developed a high system of ethics for guidance by 
the side of an ever-increasing regard for ceremonial 
niceties in the ritual and in private devotions. In- 
stead of a common gathering place for the dead in 
which all without distinction were huddled together, 
conscious but doomed to perpetual inactivity in the 
cheerless Sheol where one could not even praise Yah- 
weh, a distinction was made between the abode of the 
righteous and of those who had led wicked lives. "* 
As a corollary, the belief in a resurrection of the dead 
had also begun to take definite shape. It is foresha- 
dowed in the last chapter of the Book of Daniel which 
dates from the middle of the second century b. c. and 
in which the awakening of the dead from their sleep 
"some to everlasting life and some to shame and ever- 
lasting abhorrence" (l2, 3) is predicted, though the 
passage may be a somewhat later interpolation. Closely 
entwined with this new hope held out for the piousmem- 
bersof the community was the dream of a resurrection 
for Israel, the nation, in a blessed future when the 
Messianic kingdom would be established. The pic- 
ture of a heavenly Jerusalem by the side of the earthly 
one as the center of this kingdom leads to the further 
step of an eternal abode of the righteous in a heavenly 
Paradise, while Sheol becomes the "Valley of Abomi- 

■" See the elaborate dexriptioQ in the Kxalled Ethiopia Book of Enoch 
I dating From about 170 b.c. of wbich Charin, £^r^a'o/o^; Hebrtto Jtwuk and 
I Chrittian (London, 1899); pp. 184 tt seq. giro a sytiopiU. 


nation " — the Gehenna '" — as a place of punishment 
for the wicked. 

It is significant that even in the two appendices 
attached to the Book of Job there is not the slightest 
suggestion of a solution of the problem of evil and in- 
nocent suffering by holding up a future world of bliss 
and perfection as a compensation for the sufferings 
and injustices prevailing in this one. The new doc- 
trine, replacing the older view common to all Semites 
of one general gathering place, was slow in making its 
way. There are hints of a more cheerful and more spir- 
itualistic outlook on death in some late Psalms,"* but 
even a pious writer of the first quarter of the second 
century b. c, Jesus Ben Sira, still clings to the older 
view. This is shown by the numerous references to 
death in his collection of sayings, all marked by the 
absence of any thought of retribution beyond the 
grave. "• Sheol is for him still the general gathering 
place where there is no "Thanksgiving," where the 
dead are plunged in an eternal sleep, and deprived of 
all delights. 

The rise of a higher conception of life after death, 
while following as a logical corollary from the teach- 
ings of the post-eiilic Hebrew prophets, since a 
Power of universal scope, enthroned in justice, could 
not be supposed to limit His rule to the living, may 
also be viewed as resulting from the triumph of the 

■"Originally Gi Rinnom "Villey of Hinnom" ouuide of JeniMlenii 
asKxdalcd in Hebmr tradilioa) wiih objecuonable nligioui riui. 

'"Pialnn 49, l*-is; 71, »4- See the (ull discmsion of the subject by 
Gieyne, Origin and ReUtiouJ ConUnI of the PsalUr, pp. jSl-^oo, who i* ioclioea 
10 ilresj the iailueiicc ol Zoroaitrismim in bnngiog about the appearance of 
the new doctrine. 

■"See, t.g., Ecclcsiaitkui 14, 16; 17, 8; ai, 11. 


skeptical trend in the original Book of Job. Post- 
exilic Judaism, confronted with the disappointment of 
national hopes and facing the evidence of innocent 
suffering and prevalent evil in this world, was 
forced to confess that the circle from which the 
original Book of Job emanated was justified in its 
position that the problem was incapable of a satis- 
factory solution by processes of reasoning. Job was 
indeed "justified," as was said at the dose of the 
Symposium (32, i). The faith preached by the 
nature poems needed a more convincing witness than 
the majesty of nature and the evidence of extraor- 
dinary strength in the animal world. A compensa- 
tion in a future of perfect bliss and justice to comfort 
one for the sufferings and injustice in this one offered 
a much stronger support for faith than the mere con- 
templation of God's power in nature. The power of 
God and even His foresight did not suffice to streng- 
then one's faith. Mercy, justice and love were 
required; and these were furnished by the new doc- 
trine of a retribution in a future world that would be 
free from the imperfections of the present one. Hence 
the attempt of the pious commentators, acting under 
the influence of the new doctrine, to change a crucial 
passage like Job 19, 25-27 '"■ into conformity with the 
assurance of a blissful reward of the virtuous and 
iimocent for hardships endured in this life, and of 
eternal punishment of the wicked who had escaped it 
while alive. By applying the goH as the " vindicator" 
to God himself, and by giving a different turn to 
certain phrases, though at the expense of grammatical 

•"Above, p. 124 leq. 


consistency, Job was made to anticipate by several 
centuries the belief in a future retribution to which 
he would be a witness '* in his own flesh. " 
"I know that my Redeemer liveth" 

became the motto of the philosophical poem in its 
traditional interpretation, and in the face of the many 
contradictory utterances put into the mouth of Job 
by the members of the circle of free inquiry that pro- 
duced the original book. 

While one may question whether the successors of 
thisdrclein the first century B.C. would have accepted 
the new doctrine(astheSadducees refused to accept it), 
it must be admitted that the philosophy of the Book of 
Job would have been considerably strengthened by 
either its acceptance or by its rejection on good 
grounds. It is perhaps the most serious weakness of 
the skeptical trend of the original Book of Job that it 
thus fails — because produced at too early a date — ^to 
take into account a solution which when it did arise 
was strong enough to overcome doubt among Jews, 
Christians and Mohammedans alike. The doctrine of 
future retribution was further developed until it 
became as integral a part of these religious systems as 
the belief in a spiritual Power of universal rule. 


With the Book of Job thus consisting of three 
distinct strata, each representing a composite growth, 
the unity given to the book by the final group of editors 


is purely on the surface. These editors welded the 
three strata together and embodied the hundreds of 
conunents, glosses, additional lines, popular maxims, 
and reflections of pious commentators into the text 
as though forming genuine ingredients; but even by- 
accepting the many intentional changes to tone down 
the sharpness of Job's utterances and the confusing 
arrangement of speeches in order to put orthodox 
sentiments into the mouth of Job, no genuine unity 
could be obtained. There is no inherent unity in the 
completed Book of Job if we accept the results of a 
critical analysis, any more than there is such a unity 
in the Pentateuch, composed of several documents 
enclosed in a framework of laws of gradual growth 
with all kinds of comments, additions and illustra- 
tive instances. 

The question, therefore, that is often raised 
whether Job is a drama is almost irrelevant, since a 
drama implies an inherent unity in its composition. 
The situation in the folktale of Job is, to be sure, 
dramatic, but the same applies to the romantic story 
of Joseph in Genesis and to many Incidents in the 
historical books of the Bible, as e. g., Saul's visit to 
the Witch of Endor, to David's encounters with Saul 
or Nathan's appearance before Solomon. The story 
of Ruth is dramatic as is the tale of Esther, but 
neither is for that reason a drama; they belong in the 
category of the romantic novel written as political 
and religious propaganda, not unlike the modem novel 
"with a purpose." The story of Job has dramatic 
possibilities, as have dozens of tales woven into 
• Biblical narratives. Job can be made into a drama 


but the circumstance that the story, as we have seen, 
is to be separated from the original Symposium, and 
this again from the two appendices precludes the pos- 
sibility of interpreting even the apparent unity given 
to the book in its final form as a dramatic composition. 
The drama is foreign to the ancient Hebrew spirit. 
Nor is it encountered in the old civilizations of the 
East. The drama is tlie outcome of individual 
authorship, whereas, as we have seen, the methods of 
literary composition in the ancient Orient tend to 
place the author in the background. Where we find 
the drama in the Orient as among the Hindus, it is 
late and may be due to outside influences. '** At all ■ 
events, it is not accidental that the Greeks among J 
whom we first encounter individual authorship are also ■ 
the ones who gave to the world the drama in the real 
sense of the term, as a distinct subdivision of literature. 
The unity of the Book of Job even in its final 
form does not go further than the attempt to connect 
the three strata by editorial headings attached to the 
chapters, and by occasional editorial comments and 
by additions to gloss over discrepancies in the various 
n /Strata of which the book consists. The main concern 

^ y ol the final editors, indeed their only concern, was to 
\ present the book as a support for the current ortho- 
\doxy. The thought of regarding the completed book 
as a progressive and systematically constructed 
dramatic composition could not have entered the 

"• Some Indologiits lite Weber and Windiich were inclined to iBcribe 
ihe Sanskrit drami. which doo not make it> ippe^rince till the firtt ccntuir 
of our era. to contact with the Greeks, but thit view hai now been abandoaed. 
Sec Macdoonell, Saiukta Literamrt, p. 416. 


mind of the final editors, for the sufficient reason that 
as Orientals they were under the sway of the oriental 
method of composition as a gradual growth. If we 
wish to specify the literary character of the book 
more precisely than by designating it as a composite 
philosophical poem, we may call it a composite 
Symposium, but never a drama. 

Ail efforts to present the Book of Job as a drama 
rest on the assumption now shown to be erroneous that 
the book is a literary unit. This applies to the two 
recent attempts by Prof. R. G. Moulton '*» and by Dr. 
H. M. Kallen, "" as it does to all earlier ones. Prof. 
Moulton does not go so far as to divide the book into 
acts and scenes as did Theodor Beza as far back as 
1587, but he does assume dramatis personae and in- 
troduces "asides" and other stage directions in his 
division of the book into fifty continuous sections in- 
stead of into chapters. Now all this is as foreign to 
the whole character of the book as possible. Quite 
apart from the total lack of evidence that the Jews of 
post-exilic days, even after they had come under 
Greek influence, ever developed the drama as a species 
of literary composition, we fail to penetrate into the 
spirit of Job by regarding It as a composition, logi- 
cally and progressively unfolding a theme as is de- 
manded by the canons of dramatic comprosition. 
The point is that the Book of Job consists of a founda- 
tion on which a number of independent super-struc- 
tures have been erected. There is no logical develop- 
ment of a theme, but merely a series of discussions of 


one and the same theme from various angles. All 
attempts, therefore, to distinguish in the book a pro- 
gressiveseriesof solutionsforthe mystery of suffering, '" 
corresponding in a measure to the successive acts of 
a drama, are doomed to failure. Even in the original 
Book of Job there is no such progressive evolution to 
be noted as a dramatic composition assumes. The 
speeches are not in the nature of logical replies, an- 
swering point for point and opposing argument by 
counter argument. There are only four distinct points 
brought forward by the three friends '" and these are 
emphasized by all, irrespective of Job's replies. Nor 
is there any progress in the setting forth of the problem 
as we proceed from one series of speeches to the next. 
In fact, it would be nearer to the truth to call one 
series of speeches an imitation of the other, the three 
series representing so many endeavors to present the 
same thoughts and the same arguments in different 
fashion. This applies also to the ten speeches of Job. 
In all of them he complains of his sufferings, in all he 
protests his innocence and in all he hurls back the re- 
bukes which the three friends introduce in their 
speeches with counter accusations of lack of sympathy 
and with ironical or bitter retorts. Job in his replies 
does not specifically take into account what Eliphaz, 
Bildad or Zophar has said. One could take any of his 
speeches and transfer it to another place in the Sym- 
posium without affecting the argument. Similarly, the 
reply to Eliphaz 's first speech would fit in just as well 

" Prof. Moulton ii 
brought forw»rd. 

•■ .\bove p, Ji- 

:s five lolutioDi lucceuively 


as a reply tx> a speech of Bildad or Zophar; and so 
with the other replies. 

In view of all this, it is needless to enlarge upon 
Dr. Kallen's theory that the Book of Job as we have 
it, is actually based on the model of a Greek tragedy, 
and that the thought of writing a Jewish drama was 
suggested to a Jewish writer by having witnessed a 
production of a play of Euripides in some Greek city. 
Prof. Moulton does not go quite so far and contents 
himself with describing Job as "Wisdom Literature 
Dramatized," whereas Dr. Kallen regards the book as 
it stands written as a drama, not only with acts and 
scenes of action — although there is no action in any 
proper sense— but with a chorus and semi-chorus and 
a Deus ex mackina introduced towards the close, just 
as in a drama of Euripides. But in order to get a 
"drama" out of Job, Kallen takes portions of speeches 
of Job and arbitrarily assigns them to a purely hypo- 
thetical chorus and semi-chorus. Yahweh speaking out 
of the whirlwind corresponds, according to Dr. Kallen, 
lo the appearance of the Deity in a Greek play '" to 
pronounce a final verdict or to unravel the prob- 
lem of the play. All this is ingenious but entirely 
beside the mark. The theory misconceives the entire 
spirit of the book both in its original and in its enlarged 
form. Job as a drama is devoid of meaning. Job as a "^ 
series of discussions of a vital religious problem grad?/ 

"■ In order to c«rry out hia theory. Dr. FUllea ii obliged to offer a traot. 
Utioo for a verb in the epilogue 41, 6 for which there li no warrant; and other 
tibertiei are taken by Dr. Kallen in a teconstruction which is not baied on a 
crilicat atudy of the text. Dr. Kallen Jollows the conventional Authoriwd 
Ver»lon without apparently realizing that hundredt of passagei are now diffei^ 
eolly rendered by modem icholarc on the baiia of critical reaearchct. 




ually taking shape under many hands with the 
problem viewed from various angles — unorthodox 
and orthodox — is full of significance. Such a compos- 
ite production is precisely what we should expect to 
find issuing out of the intellectual and religious at- 
mosphere prevailing in Palestine from the close of the 
fifth century b. c. and continuing to the threshold 
of the Christian era. 

If there is any influence of Greek literary models 
to be sought in Job it lies in the Greek Symposium as a 
medium for the discussion of philosophic theories — 
always involving religious beliefs — which becomes 
through Plato such a characteristic division of Greek 
literature. But even this hypothesis is entirely un- 
necessary, since we can account for the book without 
it. At the same time, if we could bring down the date 
of the original Book of Job to as late a period as the 
close of the fourth century b. c. when Greek influence 
even of a literary character could be assumed to 
have penetrated into Palestine, there would be noth- 
ing inherently improbable in the conjecture that the 
Symposium in Job was suggested by the Greek dia- 
logue. '** We have seen, however, that we need not go 
further down than the end of the fifth century to 
account for the rise of an independent group of think- 
ers among the Jews, free enough from conventional 
views to seek an answer for the mystery of innocent 
suffering in a world created by a Power conceived of 
as just and merciful. 


"* It ihould be remembeird, however, that we have the dialogue in 
ancient Babylonian Literature. See a ipedmen in a German translation by 
Ebbeling (.MiueUvngin Der Dnilsch Oritntttitlhekafi, No, 58, pp. 55-38.) 


If we could discover traces of Greek philosophical 
thought and speculation in any part of Job, one could 
more readily admit Greek influence, but though some 
scholars incline to see in the skeptical trend of the 
original book the reaction of the freedom of the Greek 
mind in boldly investigating in a rationalistic spirit 
the phenomena of nature and of human experiences, it 
must be confessed that the evidence is not satisfactory. 
It is certainly not decisive, just as the endeavor to see 
in the philosophy of Koheleth the influence of the 
Stoic attitude or of Epicurean thought is futile. '" 
Perhaps in a very general way one may conjecture 
that a wave of rationalism spread over the ancient 
Orient in the fifth and succeeding centuries which 
would account for the rise of such a remarkable re- 
ligious system as Zoroast nanism. "' Intellectual 
currents having their rise in Greece may possibly have 
flowed eastwards even before the Greek armies of 
Alexander brought about a free interchange between 
Orient and Occident that was destined to be fraught 
with such significant results. In this way we may help 
to account for the strength which free thought, un- 
trammelled by piety or tradition, must have acquired 
in Palestine before circles could have arisen bold 
enough to challenge generally accepted beliefs. 


The mention of the new religious system which 
arose in Persia in the sixth century and became the 

"•See J Gmlii Cynit. p. 147 itf. 

■**0r more conectly Zarathuahtrianiim. lince ihe founder'! name is 
Zanlhashtra, of which Zoroaiter U a corrupt form. 


official religion during the reign of Darius I {522-486 
B. c.) suggests a brief inquiry as to the possible influ- 
ence of the main doctrine of Zoroastrianism, resting 
on a dualistic division of government of the universe 
on the attitude towards evil in the original Book of Job. 
The suggestion has frequently been made ^" that the 
figure of Satan in the prologue has some affinities with 
Ahriman of Zoroastrianism who is held responsible for 
the existence of evil in this world created by Ahura- 
mazda, a beneficent Power, possessed of all attributes 
except that of omnipotence, which is Hmited by his 
lack of control over Ahriman, the independent power 
of evil. Ahuramazda is all-good, all-wise, all-just and 
all-mercifuI, but he is engaged in a constant struggle 
with Ahriman, and not till he overcomes the evil 
power, which will be after the lapse of aeons, will 
Ahuramazda also become the all-powerful. 

It is indeed conceivable that this interesting and 
suggestive doctrine which thus proposed to solve the 
problem of how evil came into the world should have 
been a contributing factor in bringing the central 
theme in the Book of Job to the front. The Jews came 
into close contact with Zoroastrianism during the Per- 
sian control of the East which stretched from the 
Euphrates to the Nile ; and it is widely held by scholars 
that the emphasis in one of the orations included in 
the miscellaneous collection grouped under the name 
of Isaiah and dating from various periods between 720 

"' See Suve, £in/Iii// ii^j Parsimiui auf dai Juimthum (Haarlem, 1898); 
■[■o Cheync Origm and R^Hgioui ConienU of th^ Pjolur. (London, iBgi). pp. 
394-^09 for other flipecH of (he influence of Zoroastriinijm on laier JcwUh 
doemnw, at found in certain Psalms and in other late Biblical writings. See 
alio, above p. ;;. 



B.C. to circa 300 B.C., on Yahweh as the "creator 
of light and darkness" (Isaiah 45, 7) reflects the 
position of the strict monotheist against any 
division in the Divine control of the universe. 
Ahuramazda is the god of light in the Persian system, 
and Ahriman is the power of darkness. The contrast 
between Judaism and Zoroastrianism was thus forced 
upon the attention of the Jews in the fifth and succeed- 
ing centuries. The dualism of Zoroastrianism must 
be looked upon as the Persian attempt to find a way 
out of a dilemma which necessarily arises when ethical 
traits become the significant attributes of a Power of 
universal scope, just as the doctrine of the "suffering 
servant," explaining that injustice must be endured 
by Israel as a vicarious punishment for the sins of the 
nations, represents a Jewish solution. This point of 
view, though not as yet brought forward in the Book 
of Job, leads in its further unfolding to the Pauline 
doctrine of salvation for the individual— and even- 
tually for the entire world — through the acceptance of 
Christ, the only and beloved Son of God, whose death 
on the cross was a vicarious sacrifice to redeem the 
world from sin, inherited from the first parents of the 
human race. 

Beyond, however, the assumption that the spread 
of Zoroastrianism helped to focus the dilemma, and 
led to the further development of Satan from a semi- 
independent being in the Book of Job and in the 
prophecies of Zechariah into a wilful opponent of God 
as he appears in the full-fledged doctrine of an inde- 
pendent tempter, and as the cause of bringing sin into 
the world, we are hardly justified in going. It was 



natural and, as we have seen, inevitable that the prob- 
lem discussed in the Book of Job with such freedom 
from traditional and pietistic restraint should arise 
amonj? the Jews; and it is significant that this prob- 
lem of evil is one which is fundamental to all the 
great religious systems of the ancient world. We en- 
counter it in as fully intensified a form in the distant 
East, where it leads to Buddhism which rests on the 
assumption that the source of all evil is the desire of 
life and that, therefore, the only hope of overcoming 
sorrow, suffering and wickedness is to free oneself from 
this desire. Nirvana involving, with the complete sup- 
pression of all desires, the extinction of consciousness 
is the logical outcome of the view taken of the cause of 
evil in Buddhism, as the doctrine of retribution in 
another world for the evils and sufferings of this one 
represents a logical expression of a faith which looks 
upon life as a bounty and a gift of Divine grace. 
' For the circle from which emanated the original 

Book of Job, the problem was, however, insoluble, 
since it could neither ascribe the existence of suiTering 
and evil to any other Power except Yahweh, nor bring 
itself to the point of regarding life itself as an evil. 
Those in misery and despair should be released. (3,20.) 
Job longs for death merely because he suffers, but 
nowhere does he express the Aiew that life itself is an 
evil. *" The original book begins and ends with the 
question "Why." Its philosophy stops short with a 
cry of despair, 

"Why do the wicked flourish? 

Grow old and even wax mighty?" (21, 7.) 





The spirit of the discussions in Job is genuinely 
Hebraic. To account for its philosophy we need not 
go outside of Palestine. The attitude of the circle 
whose views and outlook on life are reflected in the 
original book is an outgrowth of religious conditions 
peculiar to Palestine in the post-exilic period. Even 
the skepticism is distinctively Jewish, as can best be 
seen by a comparison that naturally suggests itself 
between Job and the Prometheus Bound of Aeschy- 
lus. "■ Prometheus like Job is a great questioner. 
He betrays the same rebellious spirit as Job, but the 
Greek dramatist approaches the subject in an entirely 
different manner. Prometheus defies the gods. 
Greek rationalism led to the view that the gods are 
hostile to human progress, because of the fear that 
intellectual advance may lead man to become inde- 
pendent of the gods. Knowledge gives man the 
strength to break the shackles with which man by th^ 
overpowering forces of nature is bound. Both Job and 
Prometheus typify the suffering to which human flesh 
is heir, but according to the Greek view suffering is 
due to man's defiance of the gods. The conception 
of the gods is still that of early antiquity that they 
represent strong but arbitrary forces. Such forces 
demand not only blind obedience from man, but that 
he should willingly submit to their tyrannous con- 

.1( Bible), 1 


■ The comparison has often been instituted, e.g., by Addis, Job (T< 

See alsofor a Ur^ef 

Greal Sktptieal Dramaj of History (London, l 

he theme, On-en, Tht 



trol. Prometheus is the benefactor of man, but he is 
also a rebel toward the gods. He leads man on the 
road to progress, but this leadership involves an ap- 
position to the gods. Fire, the symbol of progress, is 
stolen by him from heaven and against the will of 
the gods. Hence the tortures that follow which 
typify the martyrdom of man in his struggle to rise 
above nature. 

There is a trace of this spirit among the Hebrews 
in the third chapter of Genesis (v. 22) where God is 
portrayed as begrudging man the knowledge of good 
and evil and expressing a fear that man may discover 
the tree of life and become immortal, like God Him- 
self. The strange phrase, 

"Behold man is become as one of us." (Genesis 3, 32.) 

suggests a fear of advancing man qn the part of the 
Deity, which is not unlike the jealous mood ascribed in 
the philosophy of Aeschylus to the gods who wish to 
keep man under their control. There is nothing of 
this spirit, however, in Job. The conflict is here be- 
tween the conventional conception of a just and merci- 
ful Providence and the sad reality of innocent suf- 
fering and of all manner of injustice in this world. 
The setting of the problem is peculiarly Hebraic in 
Job, as it is characteristically Greek in the drama of 
Aeschylus. The skepticism in Job presupposes the 
development of the god idea along ethical lines. It 
arises from the struggle of a religious soul to reconcile 
his faith with the facts of experience. The writers 
in Job while rebellious in spirit never pass beyond the 
limits of faith. They merely protest that the prob- 



lem with which Job wrestles cannot be solved by the 
coaventionai arguments that suffering comes as the 
result of wrongdoing and that those who merit pun- 
ishment receive it. The last word of the popular 
religion of the Greeks is that the gods are strong. 
Their will prevails. Man must submit. Hence the 
inevitable conflict between religion and philosophy 
in Greece, which leads eventually to the overthrow of 
the Greek religion. The god idea of the Hebrews tri- 
umphs, despite the mental conflict and ang:uish to 
which it gives rise. Faith in a just Deity overcomes 
philosophic doubt, not indeed by finding a solution 
for the mysteries of human experience, but by a con- 
fession that man is not strong enough to penetrate the 
ways of gods. 

This answer, to be sure, is not given by Job. It 
is suggested in the speech of the friends, by Eliphaz 
when he asks: 

"Hast thou overheard the secret of God? 
And hast thou monopolized wisdom?" (15, 8.) 

It is hinted at by Bildad when he points out: 
"For we have no knowledge of yesterday. 
Since our days are a shadow upon earth." (8, 9.) 

It is more directly put forward by Zophar: 

"Canst thou penetrate to the essence of God? 
Attain the bounds of Shaddai?" (11, 7.) 

but the full force of the argument is brought to bear 
upon the problem by the nature poems, added for the 
express purpose of showing that in the presence of the 
evidence of God's supreme Power in nature and in the 
animal world, so far beyond comprehension and too 
mysterious to be fathomed by men, an attitude of 


humiliation is becoming; and this consciousness of 
man's puniness will lead him to take to faith as his 
last refuge. 

This solution, in full accord with the orthodoxy 
defended in the two appendices, stamps the Book of 
Job in its final form as distinctively Hebraic, even 
more so than the book was in its earlier stage. 


It is not surprising, that by the verdict of poets, 
thinkers and critics of all lands and of every age, the 
Book of Job has been accorded a place quite by it- 
self. Though misunderstood and subject to mis- 
interpretation by the traditional view that grew up 
around the book, its impressiveness is independent of 
the view that we take of its origin and growth. Even 
without penetrating to its deeper meaning, the mere 
beauty of its diction throughout all three strata and 
the dignity of its stanzas, whether correctly grasped 
or distorted by an erroneous exegesis, suffice to make 
a universal appeal. Job belongs to those choice pro- 
ductions — few in number — that take their place out- 
side of the environment in which they arise and be- 
come the possession of humanity at large. Like the 
dramas of Euripides and Aeschylus and the poems of 
Horace, the immortal productions of Dante and 
Milton, like Shakespeare's Hamlet and Goethe's 
Faust, the Book of Job belongs to all the ages. 

As one of the earliest of attempts to deal with the 
most perplexing of religious problems, it has exer- 


dsed a profound influence on the literature of West- 
em nations. '" One can trace that influence in all 
the great poems and dramas of the Western world 
that deal with the tragedy of human suffering and of 
human wrongs, whether we turn to Dante's Divina 
Commedia or to Milton's Paradise Lost and Regained, 
to Shakespeare's Hamlet or to Goethe's Faust. The 
philosophy of Job has colored the thought of the 
greatest thinkers from Spinoza and the English Deists 
down to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Optimists and 
pessimists alike have made their appeal to Job and 
have found in the book a confirmation of their views or 
a support for their outlook on life. Above all it has 
been a source of consolation to troubled souls, bowed 
down by grief and sorrow, though — one must sadly 

confess — the solace has generally been based oi 
cases wilfully distorted by an uncritical tradition. I ' 

passages that have been misunderstood and in some 

Can it still render that service when read and inter- 
preted in the light of modern criudsm, or must we 
limit ourselves to an appreciation of Job as a lit- 
erary masterpiece ? 

The answer depends upon the mood in which we 
approach it. If we are willing to regard the Symjjo- 
siura as a portrayal of an inner struggle which att" ~? 
must face who experience grief and disappointment, \ / 
we can, while recognizing that the original book offers 
no solution for the problem which forms the central 
theme, derive a strengthening of our faith in the ul- 

"*See, /.(.I the many indicaciona of this influence in Enelish writers 
fiom LangUnd and Chaucer to Browning and Longfellow given by W. E. Addti 
'n hit edilion of Job in the TrmpU Biblt, pp. i4]-isi. 


^yr ■ timate triumph of right and justice from the evidence 
/ furnished in the nature poems that there is design in 
^ / this world, even though man cannot fathom the rays- 
'X^^ tery of his own life — which involves suffering without 
\^parent justification, as well as guilt which goes un- 
punished. We may accept the implication of the 
original book that the problem is insoluble, and yet 
conquerourskepticismbya realization that human life 
is no more mysterious than the mystery in the regular 
order of the phenomena of the heavens. The writers 
of the nature poems have an inkling of the struggle 
for existence which is a part of the natural law. They 
suggest that, since the struggle leads to the preserva- 
/tion of life and to the development of strength, our 
■ gaze should be directed towards the outcome of the 

\ struggle as a proof of higher design, rather than on the 
struggle itself. 

The late Prof. Genung many years ago called the 
Book of Job "An Epic of the Inner Life."'" If we 
make allowance for his futile attempt to find a pro- 
gressive treatment of the central theme in Job in 
dramatic form, due to his still being under the sway of 
the supposed literary unity of the composition, the 
designation may be accepted as a particularly happy 

/one. The sympathetic portrayal of the inner struggle 
of a troubled soul makes its appeal as strongly today 
as it did when it received its definite shape over 2,000 
years ago. That is the human side of the book. In 
1 the same way, the overcomingof this struggle by a sui^ 

"■The title of hii IraiuUtioa of Job, published in 1S91. to whicb he 
prelixei an introductory esiay of great charm and of aympachecic insight into 
the spirit of the Book of Job, even though much in the book ii now aattqnaMd 
■nd bis geaeril conception of Job ia unieaable. 






preme effort of faith to rise superior to it through the 
concentration of our thought on the larger manifesta- 
tions of mysterious forces at work in the universe can 
still find a response even in our days, dominated by a 
scientific spirit which seeks for law in nature and in 
the life of man, rather than for the expression of a 
Divine will. That is the spiritual side of the book, I 
which comes to remind us that the discovery of law 
does not solve the mystery involved in the existence 
of the law. 

The Symposium, with its abandonment of the 
problem as one incapable of solution through the pro- 
cesses of reasoning, and the nature poems with their 
insistence upon humble faith in a Divine will (of which ~~^ ^', 
nature furnishes the evidence) as the only solution of " ' ( 
the problem — both have their message for us of the 
present day. The arguments of the three friends, as 
the two new thoughts contributed by Elihu, have -,^ 
merely a transitory value. They are attempts to" \jir*-^ , 
solve the problem which have no more force than the 
many other endeavors that have since been made in 
philosophical systems and in theological discussions, 
to pierce a mystery that is genuinely beyond human 
comprehension, but which, despite his failures, man 
is impelled by a hidden spring in his nature to persist 
in attacking. 

Ruskin '" with remarkable insight recognized 
that the principal lesson to be taught by the Book of 
Job is "the holy and humbling influence of natural 
sdence on the human heart." He clearly had in 

•■ In hi. Sio^i of FfnUt. Chapter II, J ji. 


mind the great nature poems at the close of the book 
when he gave this striking verdict. 

If a great scientist of our time — the late DuBois- 
Reymond — could utter as the final word of a life 
devoted to the quest of truth, "Ignoramus, Ignora- 
bimus," "* what is that except expressing in different 
language the final word in the immortal Book of Job 
/ that faith in the presence of unfathomable mystery 
is the only secure foundation on which we can build 
our lives? 

Such faith rises superior to argument and specu- 
lation, because it realizes that the highest truth 
accessible to man is never a solid that can be grasped, 
but an atmosphere to be breathed. 



Explanatory Note : — In order to avoid the cumber- 
some use of more than two figures in the consecutive 
enumeration of the notes to the translation, it has seemed 
preferable to group them in separate series, each series 
running from i to 99. 

In referring to the notes it will, therefore, be neces- 
sary to indicate the page with the number of the note. 

Verses that represent later amplifications of the text 
are placed in brackets; and such verses or lines or parts 
of lines that are clearly interpolated, interrupting the 
context, or that represent variants or comments to the 
text are given in connection with the notes. In some 
cases where there is a doubt as to the exact character 
of the addition to the text, preference has been given 
to placing the- addition withm the text, but enclosed 
in brackets. 

All words or parts of lines, to be recognized as "super- 
fluous" by the principles laid down in the study of the 
book (chapters III and IV) are likewise relegated to 
the notes. 

To faciUtate comparison with the original text and 
with other translations of the Book of Job, every fifth 
verse is noted on the margin; and in case of the omission 
of an entire verse or verses, the number of the verse pre- 
ceding and that following the omission is likewise noted 
on the margin. 

Words added in the translation and that are not in 
the original are placed in brackets. All deviations from 
the original in the revised text on which my translation 
is based are indicated in the notes. 

The abbreviation AV means the authorized (or King 
James) version of the Bible (161 1); RV is the revised 
version of 1885. Special attention is called to the diverg- 
ence in the enumeration of the verses in Chapters 40 and 
41 in the AV and RV, (as well as in other English transla- 
tions dependent upon these) from the enumeration in the 
Hebrew text. The first poem on the crocodile is in the 
Hebrew Text 40, 25-41, 4, whereas in the AV and RV the 
enumeration is 41, 1-12; m the second poem 41, 5—13 of 
the Hebrew Text=4i, 13-21 of AV and RV; and in the 
third poem 41, 14*26=41, 22-34 of AV and RV. 

/ "^ 


(Chapters i 

There was a man in the land of Uz ' whose name i- 
was Job; and that man was pious and upright,'God- 
fearing and removed from evil;* and seven sons and 
three daughters were bom unto him. His possessions 
were seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels, 
and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she- 
asses and a very great household;* so that the man 
was greater than any of the sons of the East.* 


' There can be no doubt that the author places the home 
of Job in northern Arabia, however we are to explain the name 
Uz, From the three occurrences of the name in genealogical 
lists Gen. lo, 23 (P. document); 22, 21 (J. document) 36, 28 
(P. document) as well as from Lamentations 4, 21 where "dweller 
of the land of Uz " appears in parallelism to " daughter of Edom," 
we may further specify that Uz is a district or section of Edom. 

'Literally "perfect and straight," but the "perfection" 
intended, as the following synonymous expressions show, had 
reference to Job's piety and the upright life that he had led. 

•"God-fearing," used of'Abraham (Gen. 22, 12 J. Docu- 
ment) and frequently in Psalms and Proverbs. "Removed from 
evil" is found in Proverbs 14, 16. 

*More literally "retinue," occurring also Gen. 26, 14, 
hardly "work animals" as Ehrlich, Randglossen tut Hebr'aischen 
Bibel 6 p, 180, proposes. 

*"Sons of the East" here used as a general designation 
of those dwelling to the East of Palestine proper. "Greater" 
(or greatest) means the wealthiest and, therefore, the most 
renowned and influential. 



And His sons were in the habit of arranginij i 
feast, each one upon his day; * and they would invite 
t]ieir three sisters to eat and drink with them.^ And 
sthe feast days would make their round, and Job 
would direct all of them * to bring burnt offerings at 
sunrise' according to their number, for Job was wont to 
say, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed'" 
God in their mind." " Thus Job acted at all times. 

Now it fell on a certain day, when the Sons of 
God " came to gather around Yahweh,'* that Satan " 

•Text has a superfluous "in the house," a gloss to indi- 
cate that the feast look place in the house of each one of the 
aons in turn during an annual holyday week. 

* But not at the same table with them. Men and women 
did not sit together in the ancient Orient. 

' Theordinary translation "sanctify" misses the point. The 
verb implies giving directions to prepare tor the holy sacrifice. 

'Literally "he arose eariy in the morning and offered 
burntHafferings" — a trace of the custom of greeting the rising 
8un by ceremonial observances. 

'"Text here as well as 2, j and 9 "bless, "euphemistically sub- 
stituted for "curse" by some pious editor. The Greek translation 
rctainBtheoriginalreading,thoughcuriously enough elsewhere, as 
for example, I Kings 21, 10, it is the Greek translation which 
euphemistically substitutes "bless" for the Hebrew "curse." 

"Literally "in their heart," but here, as throughout the 
pld Testament, the "heart" is the seat of the intellect. To 
illustrate the extreme to which Job's piety went, he is repre- 
sented as cleansing his sons from possible sins through the 
sacrificial rites, for fear that they may have had sinful thoughts^ 
while celebrating the festival week. 

" The "Sons of God," as its occurrence Gen, 6, 2 shows, is 
an expression introduced to veil an early polytheistic conception 
of Divine government. The "Sons of God" are originally the 
gods who control the universe, and who with the rise of mono 
theism became inferior divine beings, acting as messengers and 
courtiers who stand around the throne, ready to do the bidding of 
their Divine Master. They shade over into the angels (angelos = 

r came with them, and Y ahweh said to Satan : 
"Whence comest thou?" Ajid Satan answered 
Yahweh : " From roaming over the earth in all direc- 
tions." " And Yahweh said to Satan: "Hast thou 
observed my servant Job, that there is none like 
him in the earth, a pious and upright man, God- 

messengtr) of Jewish and Christian theology. See further 
above, p. $6 seq. 

"This specific name — originally the national deity of the 
Hebrews — as against general designations for Deity, El, Eloah, 
Elohim and also Shaddai which are used in the Symposium and 
in the speeches of Elihu, occurs in the dialogue between God 
and Satan in the Prologue (chapters i and 2), and in Job's pious 
utterance (i, 21)- This appears to be a quotation, perhaps 
inserted at a later date, since 2, 10 Job uses Elohim, as does also 
Job's wife (2, 9), Elohim is thus used 1 1 times in the Prologue. 
In the dialogue with Satan, however, the specific name appears 
to be intentionally introduced to correspond to the specification 
of ihe tempter by a personal name. For the same reason 
Yahweh is introduced in the editorial headings and links of 
chaps. 38-41, and in the prose epilogues 42, 7-17 to emphasize 
the personal phase of the conception of Divine intervention, 
through speech and action. The single occurrence of Yahweh 
in the philosophical poem proper (12, 9) is either a slip, or lo be 
accounted for because the line in question is a later gloss. See 
the note to the passage. On the use of El, Eloah, Elohim and 
Shaddai, see the note to 5, 17. (p. 215) 

" Literally "adversary" and used in historical books {e.g., 
I Samuel 29, 4; II Samuel 19, 23; I Kings 5, 18; 11, 14), to desig- 
nate an ordinary human adversary. It is not till we reach late 
post-exilic days that Satan becomes the designation of a semt- 
divine being— an "angel" or "messenger" whose special func^ 
tion it is to act as an accuser and a tempter. So in Zachariah, 
chap. 3, 1 seq. and I Chronicles 21, i where Satan as the tempter 
replaces Yahweh himself in the earlier parallel, II Samuel 24, I. 
See further on the figure of Satan, above, p. 52 leq. 

'* Satan, while in the service of Yahweh, is free to go where 
he pleases; he is not on the same plane as the other messengers 
I of gods, though he appears with them. 


fearing and removed from evil?" And Satan an- 
swered Yahweh; "Is Job God-fearing for nought? 

10 Hast Thou not protected him and his house and all 
that he has? His handiwork Thou hast blessed, and 
his possessions have increased in the land. But now 
put forth Thy hand and strike all that he has [and see] 
whether he will not forthwith " curse Thee." And 
Yahweh said to Satan: "Behold, all that he has is in 
thy hands — only against himself do not put forth thy 
hand." And Satan left the presence of Yahweh, 

Now it fell on a certain day, when the sons [of 
Job] " and his daughters were eating and drinking 
inthehouseof their eldest brother,'* that a messenger 
came to Job and said: "While the oxen were plough- 
ing, and the she-asses grazing at their side, Sabeans '• 

IS made a raid and took them away. They slew the 
servants," and I barely escaped to tell thee." WTiile 
this one was still speaking, another came and said: 
"Lightning" fell from heaven, and burned the flock 
and consumed the servants and I alone escaped to 
tell thee." While this one was still speaking, another 
came and said: "Chaldaeans " in three divisions " 


"Literally, "to ihvface" which, however, has the force 
of " at once, forthwith." Text again "bless." See above, note lo. 

" So read, following the Greek text. 

"The first day, therefore, of the festival week. 

'•Here used In the general sense of marauders. 

"•Literally "young men" which the Greek text interprets 
as "shepherds," though the term includes also other servants, 

"Literally, "fire of God," 

" Likewise intended here as a general term for plunderers. 

" The division into three appears to have been the common 
method of attack. So, e.g.. Judges 7, 16 (Gideon); Judges 9, 
43 (Abimelech); I Samuel 11, 11 (Saul), 



made a raid upon the camels, took them and slew 
the servants and I barely escaped to tell thee." While 
this one was still speaking, another came and said: 
"Thy sons and daughters were eating and drink- 
ing in the house of their eldest brother, when a 
great storm came from the wilderness and struck 
the four comers of the house, so that it fell on the 
servants who were killed, and I barely escaped to 
tell thee." " 

" One is iDclined to Buspect that in an older form of the 
story, this was the single misfortune brought about by Satan to 
test Job's piety, fiincev. i8 clearly harks back to v. 13. It would 
be natural for the story as it passed from mouth to mouth to 
become overweighted with further incidents and details. The 
single misfortune of the destruction of the house In which Job's 
children were feasting would be a sufficient calamity to bring 
Job to the extreme of grief. While the dramatic effect is height- 
ened by having one piece of bad news follow on the heels of 
another, there is an inherent weakness in the situation in having 
the "servants" slain four times. It looks as though the four 
calamities were variants, combined in consequence of the nat- 
ural tendency of stories to grow by accretions, and for the pur- 
pose of heightening the impression of Job's patience. If this 
view be correct, verses 18-19, joining on to v. 13, would origin- 
ally have read as follows: "And a messenger came to Job and 
said 'Thy sons and daughters were eating and drinking in the 
house of their eldest brother, when a great storm came from the 
wilderness, struck the four corners of the house which fell so 
that they {i.f., the sons and daughters) were killed.'" A trace 
of this original reading appears in the Greek text which reads 
"And the house fell." The words "on the servants" are clearly 
out of place— introduced merely by way of analogy, after the 
four incidents, originally variants of one another, had been com- 
bined. Notcfurther that of the four incidents the first and third 
are occasioned through human agencies; the second and fourth 
through divine intervention. This division likewise points to 
two scries of variant traditions that were combined in the 
final form. 


10 Then Job arose and tore his upper garment," 
and cut off his hair " and prostrated himself,"' saying: 
"Naked came I forth from my mother's womb, 
And naked shall I return thither." 
Yahweh has given, and Yahweh has taken; 
Blessed be the name of Yahweh." " 
For all this. Job did not sin and uttered no re- 
proach *" against God. 
• ' Now it fell on a certain day when again the Sons 

of God came to gather around Yahweh, that Satan 
also came with them.*' And Yahweh said to Satan; 
"Whence comest thou?" and Satan answered Yah- 
weh; "From roaming over the earth in all directions"; 
and Yahweh said to Satan: "Hast thou observed 

" The tearing oflf of the upper garment, i.e., stripping one- 
self to the waist is still a mourning custom among the Jews 
of Persia. 

" Another ancient mourning custom, consisting originally 
of tearing out of the hair, as depicted on Egyptian monuments. 
In Babylonian literature we also come across descriptions of 
violent grief, manifested by rending of one's garments, and 
tearing one's flesh. 

" An attitude of prayer, 

" "Thither," a veiled expression for Sheol or the nether 

** The stanza of four lines is poetic in form — a snatch of a 
lamentation hymn or of a prayer. The first two lines appear 
to be quoted in Ecclesiastes s, 14- 

•"The word rendered "reproach" occurs only here and 
Jer. 23, 13, for in Job 24, 12 a different vocalization, giving us 
the word for "prayer," is required by the context. See the 
note to the passage. Thcmcaningof the word must be gathered 
from the context and from the synonymous expression at the 
close of 2, 10. 

*' The text adds tautological I y "to gather around Yahweh," 
which is omitted in the original Greek version. 


my servant Job, that there is none like him in the 
earth, a pious and upright man, God-fearing and 
removed from evil, and stiil steadfast in his piety, 
although thou didst challenge me to destroy him 
without cause?" And Satan said to Yahweh: 
"There is a skin beneath the skin; *' and a man will 
give all that he has for his life. But now put forth s 
Thy hand and strike his own bone and his flesh [and 
see] whether he will not forthwith curse " Thee," 
And Yahweh said to Satan: "Behold, he is in thy 

\ hand; only spare his life." " 

And Satan left the presence of Yahweh, and 
smote Job with malignant boils from the sole of his 
feet to his crown. And he took a potsherd to scrape 
himself, and, as he sat among the ashes,'* his wife 

I said to him: "Art thou still steadfast in thy piety? 

I Curse God and die." " And he said to her: "Thouio 
speakest as one of the worthless women. Should we 
indeed receive the good from God, but the evil we 

" i.e., only the surface has been scratched. Scratch deeper 
and you will see what Job will do. So far Job himself has not 
been afflicted. 

"Teit again euphemistically "curse thee," as above 1, II. 

"Strike him with sickness, but do not kill him — a some- 
what superfluous restriction, for the test would naturally have 
come to an end with Job's death. 

"»'.?., outside of the city, as the Greek text adds. Job is 
treated as the "leper" in Leviticus 14, 2 who dwells "outside 
of the camp." Ash heaps, used as dumps, are still to be seea 
in the outskirts of Palestinian villages. 

" Commit suicide! Text again has euphemistically "bless." 
The blasphemer is stricken with death. In the Greek text Job's 
wife indulges in a long speech, which is an interesting illustration 
1_ of the tendency to amplify a popular tale. 


should not receive?" For all this, Job did not sin 
with his Hps.*' 

Now three of Job's friends heard of all the evil 
that had come upon him; and they came, each from 
his home, Eliphaz, the Temanite,'* and Bildad, the 
Shuhite, and Zophar, the Naamathite; ** and they 
made an appointment together to come to sympa- 
thize with him and to comfort him. And when they 
saw him at some distance, they did not recognize 
him. And they wept aloud and tore their upper 
garments *" and sprinkled dust over their heads." 

" 1./., he never even uttered a complaint. Cf. Psalms, 39, 
I where "sinning with the tongue" is similarly used, 

•*EIiphaz is mentioned, Genesis 36, 4 and 10 as the first- 
born of Edom (or Esau). Tema is in northern Arabia and may 
have been reckoned as part of Edom. 

•"The home of Bildad and of Zophar must also be sought 
in the region of northern Arabia. Gen. 36, II and I Chronicles 
I, j6,Teman, Omar and Zepho are registered assonsof EHphaz; 
and since the Greek text has in the former passage Zophar 
instead of Zepho, it is tempting to correct the Hebrew text of 
Job (2,11) accordingly. An interchange between rand the final 
wata of Zepho would be quite simple, being merely the difference 
of a small stroke. The Greek text speaks of the three friends 
as "kings" — an interesting additional touch of the legendary 
tale, and showing again the variations that the story received 
in the course of its wanderings. 

*" As above i, 20 a sign of mourning. The friends show 
their grief by mourning over Job as though he were already 
dead, just as in the Babylonian poem (see above p. 37), the 
suffering king says of himself that his family had already la- 
mented over him as over one who was dead. (Jastrow in Journal 
of Biblical Literature, Vol. 25, p. 173.) 

*'Text adds "towards heaven" — omitted in the Greek 
teit, and evidently a gloss to indicate that the dust was thrown 


Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven 
days and seven nights,*^ without speaking a word to 
him, for they saw how very great was [his] pain. 

upwards over the head. The old custom no longer understood 
by the glossator, was to take the dust from the grave and as a 
«ign of grief to rub it over the head and the face (Jastrow, 
Earth, Dust aitd Ashes, in the Journal of the American Oriental 
Society, Wo\. 20, pp. 150-173). Acts 22, 23 is reminiscent of 
our passage. 

*'The conventional period of deepest mourning {Cf. Gen. 
50, 10; I Samuel 3 1, 13), still observed by Orthodox Jews during 
which time the mourners sit on the ground. The period is 
popularly known as "Shivah" which means "seven." Sitting 
in sileaceon the ground instead of on divans is a sign of mourning. 
I Cf. Lameautions z, 10. 


(Chapters 3-21) 

After this Job opened his mouth and curse 

his fate:" 
Perish the day on which I was bom, 
And the night when a male was conceived! ** 
May God not seek it out on high," 
That Hght may not shine upon it. 
Darkness and deep shadows claim it ; 

** Literally, "his day," which docs not necessarily mean the 
day of his birth. The chapter has an additional introductory 
clause, (not found in the older Greek versions), "And Job began 
to speak," or more literally, "in answer spoke," evidently not 
in place here and inserted to bring about an analogy with the 
conventional opening of the chapters (4, i;6, i; 8, 1:9, i; etc., 
etc.). A striking parallel to chap, 3, i-i 2 is found in Jeremiah 
zo, 14-18 — a section evidently not in place there and which 
reads like a bit of the Book of Job that has, through some 
curious chance of circumstance, wandered from its context. 

**Thc line is too long by one beat. The word "it was 
said" appears to be an explanatory comment, and is omitted 
in one of the Greek versions. 

"The line is again too long. It is clear that "God" has 
been added to explain "on high." Moreover, since the general 
construction of the poem consists of stanzas of four lines, (see 
above p. 105), we are justified in removing redundant 
hemistichs as glosses or variants. So, the beginning of v. 4, 
"That day be darkness" is a comment to "night," to indicate 
that a dark night is meant. 



And denseness cover it! " 

Among the days of the year be it not reckoned; * 

Nor enter into the number of the months. 

May tliat night be barren ; *^ 

No song penetrate it. 

May those that rouse up the sea *'' ban it, 

Those who are ready to stir up the dragon.'^'' 

May its twilight stars remain dark; " 

May it not see the eyelids of dawn; " 



*'The two words at the close of the verse explained by a 

floBs as "clouds rest upon it," are to be combined into one 
amririm in the sense of "denseness." 

" The beginning of this verse, "That night — may density 
(flpkil) take hold of it" is a comment to the first hemistich of 
V. 7 or perhaps to v. 5. In King John III, i, 12-20 we have a 
conscious imitation of our passage in Job. See Furness, Vario- 
rum Edition of King John, p. 180, note 16. 

"The word "behold" at the beginning of the verse is to 
be omitted. The term translated 'barren" {galmud) is a rare 
word, which the Greek teit renders "sorrowful." If the gloss 
referred to in the preceding note is a comment to this hemistich, 
the mcaningof ga/mttiiis tobe taken as "gloom." 

"An obscure stanza. Insteadof" cursors of the day," I read 
with Gunkel {Sckopfung vnd Chaos, p. 95) followed by Ehrlich 
{RandgloJSfn 6, p. 190} by a slight correction, "cursers of the 
sea," the reference being to diviners who invoke the spirits of 
the deep. 

"Text "Leviathan" — the term for dragon as the personi- 
fication of the deep, so frequently referred to in the Old Testa- 
ment, e.g., Isaiah 27, i ; Psalma 74, 14; 104, 26, etc. See Jastrow, 
Hebrew and Babylonian Traditions, pp. 107-115. 

"t. if,, may the faint stars announcing the approach of 
morning remain faint. A gloss adds "hoping for tight which 
comes not." 

"The "eyelids of dawn" suggests the Greek personifica- 
tion of Dawn as a lovely maiden whose eyelids are lightbeams 
that stream from the opening clouds. See Strahan, Job, p. 53. 


10 Because it *• closed not the doors of my [mother'sl 

And hid trouble from my eyes. 
ii-»6 Why did I not die at the womb, 

/<^*2! Come forth from the lap and perish? 

Why did knees receive me? ** 

And why were there breasu to give me suck? 

For now I would quietly be in repose; 

There would be sleep and rest for me; 

With the kings and counsellors of the earth, 

Who build themselves mausoleums; '* 
IS Or with the merchant princes,*' 

Who fill their houses with silver; 

Or like a buried foetus/* I would never have been; 

Like babes that have never seen the light. 

There where the toilers cease from care; 

And the workers are at rest.** 

"i.e., that night in which I was born. Ehrlich {Rand- 
glojien 6, 190,) by a slight textual change reads: 

"For ob tbac he hid doted ray mother's lap. 
And had hidden trouble from my eye*.'* 
"Literally, "belly." 

"Referring to the custom of the father legitimizing his 
new-born child by receiving it on hia knees. 

"A sarcastic reference to the vanity of kings in building 
huge mausoleums — literally "deserted places" — for themselves 
at the Egyptian Pharaohs who spent years in building the 
pyramids that were to receive their bodies. To refer the term 
to the rebuilding of cities, as a favorite ambition of kings, seems 
somewhat far-fetched. 

" Literally "princes of gold" meaning the nabobs. 
" More literally "hidden untimely birth." 
" I confess to a feeling of pain in proposing a change fof 
the famous and impressive rendering; 

"There, the wicked ceaie from troubling; 
And there the wcaty are at real." 


Where the imprisoned are gathered in quiet; 

Not hearing the voice of the overseer, 

Where small and great are [gathered]; 

And the servant is free from his master. 

Why should light be given to the unhappy, 

And hfe to those in despair? 

[To the man whose way is hidden [from God], 

Whom God has hedged about? *"] 

Who long for death, which cometh not; 

Who dig for it more than for treasure; 

Who rejoice at the [thought of the] mound," 

Are jubilant upon finding the grave? 

For as my food, are my sighs; "• 

My groans are poured out like water." 

but neither " wicked " and " weary " on the one hand nor " troub- 
ling" and "at rest" on the other form either a contrast or a 
Earallclism; and one of the two is demanded by the canons of 
[ebrew poetry. The Hebrew phrase usually rendered "ex- 
hausted of strength "'or "weary "can only mean "overpowered," 
i.e., the submerged masses or the workers, forced to servitude 
by those of superior power. Instead of "wicked," we must 
read by a slight change a term which refers to the proletariat 
toilers. It is not they who cause "trouble," but who must 
endure it. In Sheol, however, they are free from all worry. 

•"This is verse 23 in the text, but appears to be misplaced. 
It may have been added on the margin of a manuscript, and then 
inserted at a wrong place by a later copyist. 

" Instead of ^i7, read by a slight change gal, the funeral 
mound, marked by a stone. 

'* The word "comes" which makes the line too long is an 
explanatory addition. It is omitted in two codices. 

*" Compare the refrain in Babylonian lamentation hymns: 

"Instead of food, I eat bitter tears; 
Instead ot wine, I drink water* of misery." 

(Jastrow, Riliiion oj Babylonia aid .iuyria, p. 111.) 



For the terror I dreaded has overwhelmed me; 
What I feared has come to me, 
I have no peace and no quiet, 
No rest, since trouble has come. 

Then Eliphaz in answer said: 

May one venture a word with thee, •* 

And yet how can one restrain speech? ** 

In truth, thou hast supported *" many. 

Strengthened weak hands. 

Thy words have sustained the tottering, 

Lending support to feeble knees. 

** An explanatory comment adds "wilt thou be annoyed?" 
The addition gives the line four beats, instead of three, 

" Eliphaz, who introduces his first discourse with an apol- 
ogy for hurting Job's feelings, reminds him that offering advice 
while useful is not always agreeable to the one to whom it is 
offered. Job himself, he adds, has indulged in this practice; 
and to smooth matters over, Eliphaz emphasizes how valuable 
Job has been to the weak and the faltering by his wise counsel. 
He ought to be willing to take some of the medicine that he 
has so frequently poured down the throats of others. There is 
a human touch in Eliphaz's suggestion that Job relied upon his 
piety as a guarantee against misfortune; and now that it has 
come to him, he does not relish the possibility of his being 
reproved and lectured to, as he was in the habit of doing toothers. 
Eliphaz feels, or pretends to feel, the call to tell Job the truth 
and so rather cleverly, if somewhat unctuously, claims that one 
can not restrain one's words when one hears such blasphemous 
complaints as Job has just uttered. Even at the risk of hurting 
Job, Eliphaz mutt speak out; and he begins by bluntly and Uct- 
lessly suggesting that since no innocent person has ever been 
punished, Job must be an awful sinner. 

" So read by a slight change {supported by the Greek 
and Aramaic versions) instead of rebuked," or "in- 
atructed." Verses 3-+, are quoted in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews 12, 12. 


But now it comes to thee; " s 

It touches thee and thou art aghast. 

Was not thy fear [of God] thy hope, 

And thy pious ways thy trust? 

Recall now, an innocent who has perished? " 

And where are the upright who have been cut off? 

As I have seen, those who have ploughed iniquity 

And sowed trouble, have reaped it *» 

Through God's wrath ™ they have perished, 9 

And have been consumed through His anger." 

Now, a word came stealthily to me. 
And my ear heard a whisper; " 


Man ca\ 

When deep sleep falls on men; 
Terror and trembling came over me. 
And fear shook my bones. 

" The same commentator as ia verae 2, adds: "thou an 


" The line has a superfluous particle that makes it too long. 
" Eliphaz may be quoting the saying Prov. 22, 8, 
" Literally, "through the breath of God." 
"At this point some later editor or pious commentator 
has inserted {v. lo-ii) some popular saws in the style of the 
Proverbs, in illustration of the conventional view that guilt is pun- 
ished and that vice versa there is no punishment without guilt: 
"The lioD may roar and the fierce one howl. 
But the tMtb of the young liona arc brakea. 
The old lioa perishes for lack of prey, 
And the whelpi oi the lionesi are icattered." 

™The word used skeme! occurs only here and Job 26, 14, 
and is equivalent to our "inkling." There is an overhanging 
"of it" at the end of the line, which needs to be removed to 
reduce the line to three beats. 


A breath passed before 1117 face, 

That made the hair of my & 

A form that I knew not stood there,^ 

And I heard a Bmall vovx: 

**Can man be more righteous than God? 

Can a man be purer than his Maker?" ** 
Since He does not put trust in His senrants. 
And finds error in His messengers; 
Ifow much more in those who live in day faoases," 
Crushed Hke the empty nest." 
Shattered from morning till evening; 
Perishing without help." 

** j^., made me ihiver. 

'• "An image waf before my eyes" i& added as an explana- 
tory gjou. 

"Eliphaz is placed in the rather ridiculous position of 
■uftKesung that what he is about to say is a di^'ine istaitioi). 
Hence the writer makes Eljphaz use the phraseology of a theo- 
phany (l) " night visions " as in the case of the Elohist document 
of the Pentateuch, e.g.. Gen. 15, 12 seq (Abraham); j8, II ie<j. 
(Jacob), etc. The analogy is further carried out by the use of 
the term "deep sleep" as Gen. 15, 12 "deep sleep fell on Abra- 
ham;" (2) a spirit passing before one's face as happened to 
Moiei (Exodus 34, 6); (3) 'the still small voice" as in the case 
of the revelation to Elijah (I Kings, 19, 12). After this elaborate 
introduction, comes the message which is quite banal — to wit, 
that man is not perfect. 

"Comment "whose foundation is in the dust," i.e., clay 
houses without solid foundation that may be blown away by a 
gust of wind. The"clayhou3es"do not refer to human bodies, 
but arc to be taken literally as mud huts — the primitive dwell- 
ings of men, to illustrate the transitory character of human 

" So Ehrlich's explanation {Randglouen 6, p. 194) which 
I accept. 

'■Gloss, "forever," which needs to be removed to reduce 
the line to three beats. 


When their tent-cord is plucked up," 
They die through lack of foresight.*" 

Call now [to judgment] whether any one wills." 

respond to thee? " 
Which of the divine beings ** wilt thou accuse ? 
Fretting kills the foolish, 1-7 

And envy brings about the death of the silly one." Ij'^^* 
I have seen the foolish take root," aicktdt 

But his habitation of a sudden is swept away; ''^ ""■ 
His sons far from salvation, 
And crushed,*' with none to save [them]. 
What they gather, the hungry eat; *' S 


"The metaphor is changed to thai of a tent which (alls 
topieces when the tent pin is pulled out. The body is compared 
to a tent, of which the soul or vital essence is the pin. 

•"Literally: "without wisdom." 

"The "call" and "response" represent legal phraseology, 
which is used by Job throughout chapter 9, and frequently in 
later speeches, 

"Literally: "the holy ones" used here, as also 15, 15 
(in a speech of the same Eliphaz), for a lower order of divine 
beings, the ministers or angels of God. Eliphaz asks Job what 
he is going to do about it, seeing that he cannot claim to be 
free from sin. To whom can he appeal? Some scholars, as for 
example, Siegfried, regard this first verse as a later interpolation, 
but there seems to be no necessity for this. 

" Eliphaz is quoting a popular saying, Cf. Prov. 19, 3. 

" Or possibly " uprooted " by a different vocalization. The 
Bne has a superfluous "I" at the beginning. 

*'' Some such meaning is demanded by the context and is 
favored by the Greek text. 

"Text adds "in the gate" — a misplaced gloss, belonging 
to the preceding stanza after the words " take root." 

"So the Greek translation. The text adds as a gloss 
"gathering it into the granaries." I follow Ehrlich's reading and 
interpretation of the somewhat obscure, because corrupt, text. 


And the thirsty (?) drain their substance.** 
However, I *• would seek out God,*' 
And unto God commit my cause; 
Who does great things beyond searching, 
And marvels without number; 
Who gives rain upon the earth. 
And sends water over the highways.*' 
Raises the lowly on high. 
And by salvation exalts those bent down. 
Who frustrates the devices of the crafty. 
That their hands fail of success." 
Who overpowers the crafty in their deceit, 
So that the plan of the wily is defeated. 
By day they grope in darkness, 
And as though it were night they stumble at 
high noon. 

" Verses 6-7 are again proverbial saying, added by some 
pioui commeotator but which interrupt the sequence: 

"Yet iniquity comei not from the duit; 
Nor doe* trouble ipnng out of the ground; 
But man produces trouble. 
At ipBrkt Ry upwirdi." 

The last line is obscure. Taking the text as it stands, the 
thought seems to be that man ig the source of his trouble, by 
the same law which makes the sparks fly upwards. 

" i.e., in thy place. The line has a superfluous "I," which 
makes it too long. 

'"Job's only course is to appeal to God's mercy, but he 
must not accuse God of injustice. 

" Cf. Jeremiah 10, 13. In each line there is a superfluous 
"the face, which is omitted in the Greek version. 

"* Literally: "insight " but in the sense of failure throu^ 
the lack of "insight." ' 


He saves [the poor (?)] " from their mouth," '; 

And the needy from their strong hand. 

So that hope springs up for the poor, 

As iniquity closes her mouth.'* 

Happy " the man whom God reproves. 

The chastisement of Shaddai " one must not 

For He strikes, and [also] binds up; 
His hands wound but [also] heal. 
Out of six dangers he will deliver thee; 
And at the seventh will not permit evil to harm 


" A word needs to be supplied. The parallelism suggnts 
oni "poor," Budde {Hiob, p. 24) proposes "orphan." 

** A comment or variant: 'from the aword." 

'* 1. e., when the tricksters and crooks are crushed into 

"The text has a superfluous word "behold" (not in the 
Greek version), which needs to be removed, to reduce the line 
to three beats. Cf. Prov. 3, 11. 

*' Occurring 24 times in the Symposium and Supplements, 
6 times in the speeches of Elihu and once in the poetical epilogue, 
by the side of El 35 times in the Symposium, 19 times in the 
speeches of Elihu and 3 times in the poetical epilogue; Eloah 
34 times in the Symposium, 5 times in the speeches of EHhu 
and twice in the poetical epilogue, and Elohim 3 times in the 
Symposium and twice in the speeches of Elihu and once in the 
nature poems — all generic dcsi^ation for God. Shaddai con- 
veying the idea of "strength" is rendered "Almighty" in the 
English versions, but as a specific name, older than Yahweh 
(Exodus 6, 2), it is preferable to retain the Hebrew form. See 
above, p. 199, note 13. 

*» A saying in the style of the Proverbs (cf. Prov. 3, 11) — 
perhaps a quotation from a collection. A further extension of 
the thought leads to the view set forth in the famous passage 
in the Epistles to the Hebrews, 12, 5-1 1, 

* Another saying in the style of Proverbs (cf. Prov. 6, 16). 


« In want He will redeem thee from death; 

And in war from the power of the sword. 

Against the leaping flame ' thou shalt be secure; 

And thou shalt not be afraid of misfortune.' 
M At misfortune and famine thou wilt laugh; 

And not be afraid of the beasts of the earth.* 
** And thou shalt know thy tent to be safe; 

Thou shalt muster thy estate and nothing shall 
be missing.* 
»6 Thou shalt come to the grave in fullness. 

Like a shock of corn in its season. 

Behold, this we have ascertained; ' 

We have heard it "—and do thou bear it in mind! 

hb wli^ ^^ J*^^ ^" answer said : 

Afj his If my trouble could only be weighed, 
tompiamt. With my calamity together in scales,^ 

' Tcit "tongue" for "tongue of fire." So Ebrlich. 
'The text haa an addition "when it comes" — clearly an 
explanatory comment. 

»The following verse, the first half of which {v. 23) is 
omitted in the Greek version, strikes one as an addition — taken 
perhaps from some collection of sayings, and suggested by the 
reference to the "beasts of the earth;" 

"For with the itones of the field ii thy pact; 
And the beisti of the field tumiih security for thee," 

* Somewhat like Proverbs 3, 9-10 — plenty as the reward 
of piety. Verse 25 appears to be a later addition — perhaps 
quoted from some collection: 

*A glossator adds: "So it is," which makes the line 
too long- 

• So the Greek translation. 

' A superfluous word "laid" makes the line too long. It 
is clearly an amplifying gloss. 


It would indeed be heavier than the sand; ' 

—Therefore, my flow of words. 

The arrows of Shaddai are within me,' 

The terrors of God are arrayed against me. 

Does the wild ass bray over grass? '° 

Does the ox low over his fodder? 

Can what is tasteless be eaten without salt? 

Or is there any taste in halamuth-juice? " 

My soul refuses to touch [them]; 

They are the spoilers of my food. 

Oh that my request were granted, 

That God would accede to my wish! " 

That it might please God to crush me; 

To let loose His hand, and cut me off! 


* Similarly, in this line "of the seas" after "sand" is a 
comment, which needs to be removed to reduce the line to 
three beats. 

*A commentator adds a superfluous line (in prose form): 
"Whose poison drains my spirit," 

'" He brays when he is hungry or in distress— i'.^., for some 
good cause. 

" Halamuth has been commonly rendered "white of egg" 
because of the Talmudic term halman which has this meaning, 
but it is more likely the name of a plant, the equivalent of the 
Syriac Halmctha-Anchusa {Alkanna tinctoria) the name given 
to a genus of boraginaceous herbs, the roots of which are used 
medicinally. The reference is to a juice which is not fit to eat, 
and that cannot serve as food. There are certain things, says 
Job, which cannot be endured. One does not want to cat some- 
thing that has no taste. Such things spoil one's pleasure; they 
deprive one of joy in life. The comparison does not appeal to 
our modern point of view, but the implication is clear that life 
has become unendurable for Job, and that he has good reason 
for his disgust with existence. 

" So by a slight change in the text. 


Then there would still be a comfort to me; 
And I would exult despite relentless pain." 
What endurance have I [left] to sustain hope? 
And what goal have I that I should drag on my 

Have I the strength of stones? 
Is my flesh of brass ? 
tj-30 Behold," there is no help in me; 
Fiithiisx And salvation " is denied to me. 
fri^. From his friends the one in despair deserves 

Even though he forsakes the fear of Shaddai. 
ij My brethren have proved false like a brook," 
Like overflowing river beds, 
Running black by reason of the ice, 
Mixed (?) with the snow; 
But which when the heat comes are dry; " 

" A pious commentator, in order to give a more reverent 
tone to the cry of anguish, adds a superfluous line: "that I had 
not denied the words of the Holy One." Job is hardly in a 
mood for such a thought. Moreover, the line is in prose form. 

"There is a limit even to Job's strength, and moreover 
why should he continue to suEFcr, seeing that the only end to 
his sufferings must be death. 

'* So by a slight change. 

'* So read by a slight change, supported by the Greek 
version. The Hebrew text has "insight' which is not a good 
parallel to "help," 

" The metaphor, found also in Jer. 15, 18, is suggested by 
the many little nver beds in Palestine, known as toadis, which 
during the rainy season are filled with the water coming from 
the hills and often indeed become rushing torrents, but which 
when the summer sun comes are entirely dry. 

" i.e., the water in the nver bed evaporates and the brooks 


Through the heat disappear from their place. 

Their courses are changed; " 

They rise as vapor and are lost. 

The caravans of Tema depended upon [them];" 

The companies of Sheba hoped for [them]. 

They are confused because of [their] -' trust; so 

They come to the spot, and are put to shame. 

So you have now become to me; ^^ 

You look at the terror,^' and are shocked. 

Did I ask you to give me? 

And through your strength to intercede for me?" 

To deliver me from the hand of the adversary? '* 

Or to ransom me from the hand of oppressors? 

Teach me,*' and I will keep silent; 

Make clear to me wherein I have erred. 

Why do you deny the force of proper words ? *^ i% 

What does your rebuke prove? 

Do you consider your mere assertions a proof, 

" So by a necessary emendation of the text. 

* i.e., upon these river beds where they hoped to find 
water, but are doomed to disappointment. Tema lay in north- 
ern Arabia; Sheba {i.e., Sabaea) in South Arabia. 

" A word must be added to get three beats to this line. 

" The friends of Job are compared to river beds which 
are empty when one has most need of them. Read "to me," 
as the Greek and Syriac versions, instead of "for him." 

*" Meaning himself and his terrible condition. 

" Not only do Job's friends desert him in his trouble, but 
their advice and reproaches are gratuitous, since Job never 
asked any help from them. 


"' Show me my wrong, instead of reproaching me. 

" So by a slight change of the text. The "proper words" 
are Job's complaints and charges. 


And the utterances of the one in despair mere 

wind ? ** 
Then would you cast (lota) *• for the orphan, 
And bargain away your friend. 
Be pleased to turn to me; " 
And I will not disappoint you *' 
Listen again, let there be no incrimination; 
Listen again to my justification! 
[And see] whether there is any injustice in my 

Or whether my palate is insensible to perversity? 

Is not man's (life) on earth a service ? *- 
Thtm'sf^ And are not his days like those of a hireling? 
of bit and Like [those of] a servant longing for the shadow 
»"r,'/^,ti;: lofevenlngl? 

As a hireling lookmg for his wages? " 

•* Job's friends are inconsistent. They consider iheir 
empty words lo be a real argument, whereas they pay no atten- 
tion to Job's profession of his innocence, regarding such utter- 
ances as the mere babble of a man tn despair. 

"The word "lot" needs to be added to get three beats 
for this line. Cf. I Sam. 14, 42. 

*" Job by a sudden turn implores his friends to reconsider 
his case, and see whether he is not justified in his claim that 
he has been unjustly punished. He feels assured that if he has 
really done wrong, he would be capable of recognizing it, 

" Literally "lie to your face" in the sense, however, of 
justifying the consideration that Job asks of his friends. 

*' Life is a constant toil imposed upwn man by a hard task- 
maetcr. Siegfried, Book of Job, p. 4, takes this entire sectjon, 
7, l-io, as an independent parallel composition to the preceding 
chapter, but there seems to be no warrant for such a view. 

" One is reminded of the stanza in Cymbcline — 

(IV. J, 337-338.) 


So I have been allotted " months of misery, 

And wearisome nights have been appointed to me . 

When I lie down, when shall I arise? " 

And I am worn out [and] restless till evening.'* 

My body is clothed with decay;'^ s 

My skin breaks and suppurates. *^ 

My days [fly] swifter than a weaver's shuttle, 

And pass away without hope. 

Oh, remember that when my breath of life [is 

My eyes will never see happiness again. 
[The eye of the one who looks for me shall not 

find me 
Thy eyes may be upon me, but I shall not be 

The cloud dissolves and is gone, 
So the one who goes down *° does not come up. 
He shall return no more to his house, "= 

** Note the bitterness of Job's complaint that m this world 
of service, his share is to spend his days and nights in suffering. 
The word "to me" in the text after the rest makes the line too 
long; it is an amplifying gloss, superinduced by the same word 
at the close of the following line. 

"i.^., how long till morning comes? Cf. Deut. 28,67. A 
glossator adds " I say," which makes the line loo long. 

*'This line has a superfluous "when the night is sfWnt," 
which gives the line five beats instead of three. 

" A glossator adds "earth clods," to explain that the 
"decay" refers to the crusts of the sores with which Job's body 
is covered, and which he likens to clumps of mud. 

"So the explanation of the line by Ibn Ezra and other 
Jewish eiegetes. 

** Verse 8 is not found in the original Greek text and im- 
presses one as a later addition, amplifying the thought in verge 7. 

*' Gloss " to Sheol," the gathering place of the dead. 


And his place shall know him no more. 
"-»' Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth; 

kisfau I will give voice to my despair." 
n^J^s ^^ ■'■ ^ ^^* °^ ^ sea-monster, 
atGod. That thou settest a watch over me?" 

When I think that my bed will comfort me, 

That my couch shall ease my plaint. 

Thou scarest me with dreams, 

And startlest me with visions. 
15 So that I prefer ** strangling of my soul, 

Death, rather than my pains." 

I refuse to live any longer; ** 

Cease,** for my days are vanity. 

What is man, that Thou shouldst rear him,*' 

And put Thy mind upon him. 

Seek him out every mominer, 

Try him every moment? 

How long before Thou wilt look away from me. 

" A variant adds " I wiU speak in the anguish of my spirit" 
and which is missing in the original Greek version, Cf. lO, I. 

*'The reference is to the ancient myth, representing Yah- 
weh as overcoming and chaining the unruly monsters of the 
deep, which symbolized the primjEval chaos that existed before 
the creation of the world. See Jastrow, Hebrew and Babylonian 
TraditioTU, p. 108. 

** So read by changing a single letter. 

" By a slight change of the text one obtains the more 
satisfactory "my pains" in place of "my bones." 

** Literally "forever," but in the sense of living on. 

"The text has a superfluous "from me," which makes the 
line too long. 

" An embittered turn given to the famous phrase. Psalms 
8, s- "What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" which 
the writer has in mind. 


To let me alone till I swallow my spittle? ** 

What have I done to Thee, Guardian of man ? " ji 

Why hast Thou made me a mark? *" 

And why dost Thou not pardon my transgression 

And forgive my iniquity? 

For then I could lie down in the dust; *' 

Thou wouldst seek me, but I would not be there. 

And Bildad, the Shuhite, in answer said: 
How long wilt thou babble thus ? 
Thy words are a mighty wind." 
Does God pervert judgment? 
Does Shaddai pervert right?** 
If thou wouldst seek out God 

lugh to swallow the spittle 

"i.^., grant a respite I 
P'Vbich is choking Job. 

*In bitter irony Job calls God a"Guardian" who watches 
n closely. The words " I have sinned " make the line too long 
and appear to be an amplification by some pious commentator 
to tone down the bitterness by having Job at least confess that 
he has sinned. The alternative would be to regard the three 
words "Guardian of man" as added. 

"The text adds "for thee," followed by an amplifying 
doBB "so that I have become a burden to Thee." Read "for 
Thee" (so the Greek text) instead of "for myself." Both Ibn 
Ezra and Rashi (following the Jewish tradition) recognize that 
the sense here requires "for Thee." The change was intention- 
ally made after the gloas had crept into the text in order to 
L ioften the bitter Uunt. The glossator interpreted "mark" in 
1-the sense of "burden." 

■ " i.e., death as a release would be a sign of God's grace. 

' The utterance harks back to 6, 8-10. 

" 1.^., "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 
"A commentator has added, v, 4 (m prose form). "If 
ihy children had sinned against Him, He would give them up 
iuse of their transgression." 

And implore Shaddai ; " 

|He would bear witness for thee,'* 

And would in equity restore thy position." 

Thy former state would appear small, 

And thy later one be very great.)*' 

For inquire of the former generation, 

And turn to what the fathers have searched 

For we have no knowledge of yesterday, 
Since our days are a shadow upon earth. 
Surely they will teach thee and tell thee 
And reveal the thoughts in their mind: ''* 
Does papyrus '" grow without marsh? 
Does Nile reed " flourish without water? 
While still in its blossom, before it is ripe, 
It would wither quicker than grass. 

** Verses 6-7 which are only partially reproduced in the 
Greek text may represent a later addition. Various expressions 
betray a later period than the body of the text. In any case (6*) 
"Provided thou wcrt pure and upright" is an amplifying com- 
ment, added by some pious glossator. See below note 70. 

** So by a slight change in the text, 

" I follow Ehrlich's restoration of the text. 

" In comparison to thy future greatness as a regard 
obtaining the foi^iveness of God, thy former condition, proi 
perous as it was, would appear insignificant. See note 
verses 21-22. 

** i.e., the wisdom of the ancients, 

"The following two lines (verstf ii) embody some saying 
to illustrate that without a proper foundation things will not 
prosper in this world, 

"Passages like Exodus 2, 3 and Isaiah 18, 2, furnishing 
an Egyptian environment and in which the same word is used 
as in our passage, show that the papyrus etalk is meant. 

•■ The Egyptian word for Nile reed is here used by the 




Such is the end *' of all that forget God. 

The hope of the impious will perish; 

Whose confidence is a gossamer thread, 

And whose trust a spider's web. 

[He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not 

He shall take hold of it, but it shall not endure.]** 
Green in spite of the sun, 
Its shoot spreads over its roof.** 
About a stone heap its roots are entwined; 
It clutches rocky soil.'* 
If one plucks it from its place 
|That place] will deny it "I never saw thee." *^ 
Behold, such is the joy •* of its course. 
And out of the dust something else will sprout. 
Forsooth, God will not reject the upright; •• 
Nor does He strengthen the hand of evildoers. 

•* So to be read, as in the Greek text, by a slight change 
in the text. 

"So read hy a slight change of the text. The meaning 
is that bis substance will [yerish, and that the structure which 
he rears will fall to pieces. 

•* Verse IS appears to be another proverbial sapng, intro- 
duced here as appropriate. 

•* i.e., the roof of the house. The picture is that of a shoot 
of some kind that grows upon roofs, but which has no roots 
in deep soil. Such a shoot never ripens; it remains green, 1! 

'•The author introduces another illustration of a shoot 
coming up out of a rocky soil which, like the one that grows on 
a roof, will not last. 

"The shoot makes no lasting impress. It disappears and 
even the place in which it temporarily thrived knows nothing 
of it. So the wicked perish without a trace. 

"Sarcastically used. The Greek text reads: "This is 
i the end of the godless." 

**The same word as the one used (i, i) to describe Job. 

Tke <im 

of the 

Ininf a suit 

mifllty but 


|Thy mind will yet be filled with laughter. 

And thy life with joy. 

Thy haters shall be clothed with shame; 

And the tent of the wicked shall be no more.] '■' 

Then Job in answer said: 

I know full well that this is so; 

But how can a man win a suit ^' against Godf 

If one should undertake to summon " Him, 

There is not a chance in a thousand that He 

would respond." 
Wise and strong as one may be, 
Who could venture against Him and come out 

whole? '* 
Who removes mountains and they know it not, 
When in His anger "* He overturns them. 
Who shakes the earth out of her place, 
That her foundations quake. ^' 

'" These last two verses {2 1 and 22) appear to be misplaced. 
They fit in after verse 5. They have been put here so as to 
make Bildaci's speech end with a consolation, instead of with a 
denunciation. If verses 6 and 7 are later additions as has, above 
note 54, been suggested, then these misplaced verses 21-22 may- 
represent the original reading after verse 5. 

"The term used— literally "to be right" — is a legal one 
to indicate the one who is justified by the outcome of a suit. 

"Again a legal term to designate the summoning of the 
opponent to appear in Court. 

"The point that Job makes is that since his complaint 
is against God, there is no use in pressing il, since God is not 
an adversary with whom one can be brought face to face to 
thresh the matter out. 

"The translation "prosper" (AV and RV) misses the 
point completely. 

" Geological upheavals pictured as signs of God's terrible 


Who commands the sun not to shine," 7 

And seals up the stars. ^* 

He goes hy me, without my seeing Him; n 

He passes on, without my knowing. q^ 

If he passes by,'* who can hinder Him? eaihiuanj 

[And] can say unto Hira — What doest Thou? ^^jujtanj 
God woul d not withdraw His anger, unjusidiki. 

" Earthquakes, 
" Eclipses. 

"The invisibility of the planets at stated periods, likewise 
regarded as symptoms of Divine displeasure and giving rise 
among ancient nations to mythical tales of the capture and 
imprisonment of the sun, moon or planets as the case may be. 
Verses 8 to 10 giving an entirely different turn to Job's thought, 
as though he were merely intent upon describing the oiarveU 
(see p. 214) of nature as Eliphazdoes {5,9-10) are to be regarded 
as additions to the text by a pious commentator. The loth 
verse (again quoted 36, 6), is directly taken over from the 
speech oiEHphaz (5, 9), and thus is revealed as a later insertion. 
Job's contention (verses S~7) is that it is of no use to argue 
with a Being whose wrath is shown by violent interruptions of 
the course of nature, whose powerful will is merely the expres- 
sion of His morose disposition, who does what He pleases. 
Verses 8-10, on the other hand, carry us into an entirely different 
area of thought. They describe God's supreme control and 
guidance of nature. 

8. "Who, by Himself, strctchea out the heavem. 

And treads the[r heights. 
(so read instead of "heights of sea.") 

9. Who matei ihe Aldcbarsn [and] Orion; 
The Pleiades and the conateilationi of the South. 

(Verse 9, which does not read very smoothly, may be an 
amplification of v. 8 in prose form.) 

10. Who doc9 gnat things past finding out. 
And wonders without number." 

" So by a slight change in the text. 

"* You cannot get at God. No one can see Him, no one 
can follow God's course. He cannot be controlled; he cannot 
be questioned. 


llioagfa the oompanioiu of Rahab stoop." 

Ibw then could I answer Him, 

Cbooac ray words with Him? ** 

Even if I were in the ligfat, I coald not plead, ■ 

[And] make my appeal to my judge.** 

[if I were to summon, and He were to respood 

to roe, 
I could not be certain that He would give ear 

to mej" 
He who crushes" me for a trifle,'* 
And increases my wounds without cause; 
Does not permit me to take breath. 
But satiates me with bitterness." 

•"The tert has a superfiuous "under tim." The aUutioo 
ii (as in 7. 12) to the myth of Yahweh's cxinflict with monsters, 
■jrmbotizing the primxval chaos and who are subdued by Yah- 
weh. Rahabisoncofthenamesof the monstcrwho as the leader 
of to army proceeds to fight with Yahwch, but is forced to 
yield. See above the notes to 3, 8 and 7, 12. Yahweh in his 
wrath crushes the monsters who appeal in vain to His mercy. 
What then can man expect of such a Being? 

■Tlie picture of the lawsuit is continued. "Answering" 
refen to the plea before a court. So also the Greek text takes it. 

"Literally "answer," but again in the legal sense of plead- 
ing ones case. 

** Again the dilemma, arising out of the circutnsUace that 
die accusation is against the judge. 

•• Even if God were to accept the summons to the suit, 
it would be of little use, since one could not be sure that He 
would pay heed to one's presentation of one's case. This i6th 
verse may be a later amplification of the thought implied in the 
preceding verse, 

••Same verb as in Genesis 3, 15, "crush under foot." 

•'Literally, "for a hair" — following Ehrlich's reading. 

"In the sense of "woe." The same phrase is found Lam. 
3, IS, just as Lam. 3, 14 suggests Job 30, i and 9. H there is 

If it is a test of strength, He is surely superior! 

But if it is a [question) of justice, who can ar- 
raign Him?"' 

If I were in the right, His mouth would condemn ** 

If I were entirely right,*' He would twist the 

I am guiltless — '* I care not;" 

[Aye]" I loathe my life! 

any question of dependency involved, the chapter in Lamenta- 
tions presupposes the Book of Job. 

"Read "Him" instead of "me" and see for such inten- 
tional changes above p. 109 seg. and below note tog, 35. Note 
again the use of legal terms "justice" (or "judgment") and 
"arraign," Job becomes increasingly bold and refuses to mince 
matters. He admits that tf the contest is one of strength, he 
has been worsted by God, but if it is a question to be judged 
on its merits by a court, who can bring a charge against God, 
though God knows, as is admitted in the popular tale, that 
Job is "pious" and "upright" (i, i and 8 and 2, 3)? 

•"By asserting his innocence Job would merely bring 
about his conviction. The original reading was clearly "His 
mouth, " but this was regarded by the editor as loo objectionable, 
since the sense would be that God by His decision deliberately 
condemns innocence. He, therefore, changed it to "my." 

•■ The same word ((am) used of Job in I, I and 8 and 2, 3. 

"The "patient" job is here revealed as throwing down 
the challenge to God, though he knows that he may be instantly 
killed for such blasphemous conduct. The Greek version tries 
to tone down the blasphemous implication by a deliberate 
change of text. Instead of "I am guiltless" etc., it renders: 
"If I were guilty, I would know nothing except that my life 
would be taken." 

"Literally: "I know not my soul" in the sense of "I set 
my life as nought." 

•* Some such word must be added to complete the line to 
three beats — perhaps amnam "indeed," which occurs frequently 
"q Job. 


all one — ^therefore I say: 

' of the 

The guiltless and the wicked He destroys. 

If a scourge should suddenly strike one, 

He would [merely] laugh at the death * 


The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;** 
The faces of her judges are covered." 
[If it is not so, how is it ?]•* 

Now my days pass swifter than a runner;*' 
[And] they flee without seeing joy.' 
They flit past as the reed boats;' 

" So read by a slight change. 

'* A veiled allusion that C5od himself is wicked. 

*' i.e., the judges arc blind. There is no justice in a world, 
created by a supposedly just God. 

" The line, as it stands, has no parallel to go with it. Either 
a line has dropped out, or the question is introduced by some 
commentator, sympathizing with Job, and who intended to 
quote 24, 25 in full. The transUtion^"How is it.'" is preferable 
to "Who is it?" The poem here reaches its climax in showing 
that a man innocently punished as Job was would be driven to 
despair and to blasphemies. He would boldly declare that there 
can be no justice in a world in which such things are permitted. 
The alternative, which is here broached, is that blind cruel fate 
rules the world, which assertion would cut at the root of the 
prophet's conception of Yahweh as the just and merciful Ruler 
and thus remove the very basis on which post-exilic Judaism rests. 

"RJote again the psychological finesse of a return to the 
plaint of the sufferer, as a reaction'from the mental strain which 
has led Job to utter charges against God. Verses 25-26 are 
■imilar to 7, 6 seq. 

' Literally "Seeing good" in the sense of enjoyment for 
which Ecclesiastes uses the less classical construction to "look 
upon good." See Jastrow, A Gentle Cynic, p. 205, note 18. 

* i.e., the rafts that sweep down the stream. 


As an eagle swooping on the prey. 

If I say "I will forget my troublcj 

Change my expression and be of good cheer, " 

I shudder at all my pains; *f 

I know that Thou wilt not release me.* 

If I were to wash myself white as snow,* j< 

And to cleanse my hands with lye. 

Thou wouldst nevertheless sink me into the 

And my clothes would abhor me.* 
For He is not a man as I am, that I could answer 

Come, let us go to court together. 
There is no arbiter* betwixt us, 
To lay his hands on both of us. 

'Again a legal term to indicate a verdict of not guilty. 
Verse 29 reading: 

"I am judged guilty, wby then ihla vain eSortf " 
is a. comment to 28**, revealed as such by its prasaic form. 

* So read by a slight change. 

'The text has "into the pit," one of the names of the 
nether world, but the reading of the Greek version "into the 
mire" fits the context better, 

* By a slight change we can obtain this reading in Hebrew. 
With his naked body sunk in the mud, Job could say that his 
soiled clothes would abhor the thought of their being placed 
on him. 

'Again, in the legal sense of answering a summons. See 
in this connection an interesting study on "The Summons" 
by Prof. D. W, Amram in the University of Pennsylvania Law 
Review for November, 1919. 

'Literally, "the one who reproves," i.e., the umpire who 
Stands between the contending parties and reproves the one 
who is in the wrong. 




If he would only remove His* rod from me, 
And Dot let His terror startle me. 
Then I would declare without fear of Him," 
That He is not fair to me." 

I am weary of my life; 

I will give free course to my complaint." 

I will say unto God: Thou canst not declare me 

Let me know what Thy charge is against me." 
Is it pleasing to Thee to distort [justice]," 
To despise the work of Thy hands?" 
[Hast Thou eyes of flesh, 
Or seest Thou with man's eyes? 
t Are Thy days as the days of man? 
Thy years as the years of mortal? 
That Thou probest my transgression; 
And searchest my sin? 

*i.e., God's rod, for which the parallel passage (13, ai) 
uicB "hand." 

'"Job dares not speak while God's rod is over him and he 
is startled by the fear of God, 

" So Ehrlich's happy and ingenious interpretation of the 
closing phrase which has puzzled all commentators. In the 
text "I" is used for "Him" as elsewhere in Job to remove a 
reference to God that seemed particularly distasteful to pious 

"An extra line suggested by the variant to 7, It reads: 
"I will (peak ia the binemtM of toy bouL" 

'* Note again the legal terms in continuation of the picture 
of a lawsuit. 

'• So Ehrlich's reading by a transposition of two letters. 

'* A superfluous Hne, 

"Thou doil ihine upon the counsel of the wicked" 
is an amplifying gloss to explain the first part of the verse. 


Since Thou knowest that I am not to be saved,'* 
That there is no escape from Thy hands.]'' 
Thy hands [first] moulded and fashioned me, s-i? 
And then Thou decidest '* to altogether destroy ^^jjij'jv 
me. ^'^^ '^ 

Remember that like clay Thou didst mould me, 
And unto dust wilt bring me again." 
Didst Thou not pour me out as milk, lo 

And like cheese didst curdle me;'" 
Clothed me with skin and flesh, 
And knitted me together with bones and sinews? 
Grace*' Thou didst grant me; 

'* So by a slight change in the text, which as it stands, 
" I ihall not be condemaed ," 
says just the contrary of what Job has in mind. 

"Verses ^-7 interrupt the context, though they are in 
line with Job's indictment of God aa betraying a cruelty which 
one might expect of a vicious and malicious human persecutor, 
bent upon searching for a guilt which does not exist. The 
verses may represent the amplification of the indictment by 
someone who wished to further emphasize the callousness of 
God to innocent suffering, 

"I follow the reading of the Greek text — "then" (or, 
"afterwards") instead of "together." The Hebrew text has a 
superfluous "on all sides" — an erroneous comment to the read- 
ing "together." Job here (verses 8-15) brings a new charge — 
and one of a still bolder character, 

'*The reference is to the creation of man in the Yahwist 
narrative (Genesis 2, 7) out of the dust of the ground as a 
potter moulds his clay, but only to be returned to the dust 
(Genesis 3, 19), The Book of Job thus assumes the existence 
of the Genesis tale in its present form. 

"The whitish color of the lemen is compared to milk and 

"A glossator added "life," which was erroneously em- 
bodied into the text. It makes the line too long by one beat. 


And Thy providence watched over my spirit? 
And yet such things ** Thou didst hide in Thy 

I know that this is Thy way; 
P^hat] if I sinned even while Thou kept watch 

over me, 
Thou wouldst not acquit me of my iniquity." 
If I am guilty — woe is me; 
But [even] if I were guiltless, I could not lift my 

Wilt Thou '* hunt me down as a Hon, 
And thus unceasingly manifest Thy superiority? 
Constantly renewingThy attack upon me. 
With ever-increasing anger towards me?*' 
Why didst Thou bring me forth from the womb? 

*• i.e., misery and suffering during life which not only come 
from God, but which God intended should come. 

** Job argues that if there is such a thing as Divine provi- 
dence watching over men, then since sin comes despite this 
care, God should consistently not hold man to account. 

•* Again a return to the thought, that even if one were 
innocent it would make no difference, since one bowed down 
with shame and misery cannot raise his head as the virtuous 
and innocent man has a right to do (ii, 15;22, 26). A glossator 
added as a superfluous line, "filled with disgrace and satiated 
with misery and trouble," By a slight change in this gloss one 
obtains "satiated" instead of "look upon ' which gives no 
sense; and the strange word at the beginning of the following 
verse is a corruption for the term for "trouble" iyagSn), So 
Ehrlich, {Randglossen, 6 p. 222) whom I follow. 

** In bitter irony Job asks whether in this way by hunting 
a helpless innocent man like a lion God'$ marvelous power is 
to be displayed? 

" A gloss to the first half of the verse adds: "with changes 
of warfare towards me." 


Why did I [not]" expire, and no eye would have 

seen me? 
As though I had never been, would I now be; 
Carried directly from the womb to the grave.** 
Are not the days of my life ^' few ? ^ 

Cease " and grant me some cheer. 
Before I go, without return, to the land of 

The land of dense gloom, and without change.*^ 
Thereupon Zophar, the Naamathite, in answer n 

Should one full of words remain unanswered? 
Should a babbler be acquitted? 
Thy foolish talk may silence dullards, 
Prattling as though there were none to refute thee. ^i),^/,o, 
Now thou sayest "my argument" is clear;" moi. 

"Add "not," foliowing the Greek text. 

"Harking back to 3, 11-13. Verses 18-22 represent an- 
other independent attempt to express the Bame thought, which 
dominates chapter 3. 

"So according to the Greek text, which gives us a more 
complete line than the Hebrew text, 

" A variant or comment adds: " Let (me) alone." 

" More literally: "without any order," i'.^., without an/ 
fixed succession of light after darkness. The nether world 
whither the dead go is perpetually dark. 

There are two glosses to this verse — a gloss and a supergloss 

(a) "it llghu up like dense darluieu" (fipklC) 

to explain the force of the first part of the verse, which con- 
tains an obscure word {iphatha). 

(b) "!ikc i>fhil" = ialmaweik ("dense gloom"), 
explaining the strange word opkel in the gloss by a more fami- 
liar one, which is erroneously inserted also at the end of v. 21. 

"This seems to be the force of the term usually rendered 

And thou art pure in thme eyes." 
But oh if God might speak, 
And open His lips against thee. 
He would reveal to thee what is hidden;** 
And thatGod holds thee to account." 
Canst thou penetrate to the essence of God?'* 
Attain the bounds of Shaddai? 
[Look at] the high heavens — what canst thou do? 
Of that which is deeper than Sheol — what canst 
thou know?" 
' For He knows false men, 

"Read "thou art" instead of "I am." The change was 
probably intentionally made. The Greek text to further tone 
down Job's audacity renders "do not say: I am blameless 
before Him." 

**i.^., "wisdom" as a commentator adds to suggest that 
Divine wisdom is something different from human insight. 
Another commentator adds "for there are two sides to insight," 
i.e., an outward or superficial side accessible to man, and an 
inner and hidden one, known to God alone. 

**Teit adds by way of explanation: "of thy initjuity." 
I follow Ehrlich's emendation and interpretation of this diffi- 
cult line. 

"More literally: "source." The word occurs again 38, l6. 

"An amplifier adds, v. 9; 

"Longer dim the canh it iti meaaure (i.e., of Sheol) 
Broader than ihe tea" 

Another commentator harking back to Job's complaint (9, 
II-12) that DO one can follow God's course and no one can 
re8trainHim,givesapiou3 turn to the thought of Job by placing 
in Zophar's mouth (v. 10): 

"If He teizei and imprison! or calls 10 the iribuiul, 

"Imprison" refers to punishment through disease; "calling 
to the tribunal" may mean gathering to the dead — and to 



' And sees iniquity which they do not discern.** 
But a brainless man will get understanding, 
[Only] when a wild ass is born as a man.** 

, If thou wouldst set thy mind aright," 
And stretch out thy hand towards Him, — 
Removing thy guilt far from thee, 
And not permitting wrong to dwell with thee, 
Then thou couldst lift up thy face;" 
And stand firmly rooted, without fear. 
Then thou wouldst forget trouble; 

{ Recall it merely as days " gone by. 
Deep darkness" would become as morning; 
And denseness " brighter than high noon,** 
And thou wouldst be secure for there would be 

flu appeal 

" God knows how corrupt mortals are, and that many 
tins are committed which are never recognized as such, except 
by God. 

" A bitter taunt to suggest that Job is hopelessly stupid 
in not recognizing how useless it is to pretend to any real knowl- 
edge, which is reserved for God. Zophar may be quoting a 
popular saying. 

"Like Psalm 51, 12, "a clean mind." 

"The text has a superfluous word "without .blemish," 
which is probably a corruption (by a slight change) for "on 
high" — a comment to "lift up." 

"So read by a slightchange instead of "waters." Trouble 
would be merely a faint memory, 

** So by a slight change of the text, suggested by Ehrlich. 

*• Meaning " sorrow " that would no longer weigh one down. 

** In contrast to Sheol (10, 22) where there is perpetual 
darkness without hope of any light. I follow the Greek text 
in changing the order of the lines, so as to place "morning" 
before "high noon." 

*• Followed by a variant line: 

Job a 


aid a titU. 

Thou wouldst lie down, with none to make i 

Many will seek thy favor, 
While the eyes of the wicked grow dim. 
Their refuge shall fail them, 
And their hope become a disappointment.*^ 
Then Job in answer said: 
No doubt but you are the people, 
And with you wisdom will die." 
But I have a mind as well as you;" 
And who does not know [all] these things?'* 
A laughing-stock to his neighbor has he become,*" 
Who calls upon God to answer him;" 
s A worthless torch to those free from care (?); 
A target for their blows." 

*' Cf. 31, 39, where a similar phrase occurs. Some codices 
of the Greek translation, as for example, the Alexandrinus, 
add the words "for with Him is wisdom and power." The 
addition must have been in the Hebrew tcit on which the Alex- 
andrine codex is baaed, and furnishes an illustration and proof 
of the amplification to which the Book of Job must have been 
■ubject before the present text was finally evolved. The addi- 
tion, however, is clearly out of place. It belongs perhaps earlier 
in the chapter, and becomes intelligible as a pious comment 
(taken over from 12, 13) to verse 5 or 6. 

•* Uttered in bitter sarcasm. 

"A comment or variant, missing in the Greek version, 
adds: "I am not inferior to you," taken over from 13 : 2. 

"i.f., your obvious platitudes. 

*■ So read, as the Greek text does, instead of the first person. 

*• Cf. Jer. 20, 7, A sympathetic glossator adds: " a laugh- 
ing stock— the perfect righteous man." Cf. Gen. 6, i, where 
Noah is thus described. See also Ps. 15, 2. 

"The entire gth verse, which has occasioned much diffi- 
culty to commentators, is almost hopelessly corrupt — especially 

While the tents of the robbers prosper, 
And there is security for those who provoke 

But ask now of the beasts;** 
And the bird of heaven to tell thee; 
What crawls" on the earth to teach thee; 
And the fish of the sea to tell thee. 
[Who does not know all these things 
That the hand of Yahweh does this?]" 
Cannot the ear test words, 
And the palate taste for itself?** 

God buUdi 
up but a! JO 

the Eecond half. I follow Ehrlich's restoration as the moet 
probableBolution, though not altogether satisfactory. The first 
half contains a superfluous word "the one of ease," which is a 
comment to the strange and perhaps corrupt word that precedes. 

** A pious annolator adds "whom God holds in His power." 

"A comment, which makes the line too long, adds: "to 
teach thee," 

" So read by a slight change of the tert, suggested many 
years ago by Hilzig (HJoh, p. 91). The line is missing in the 
original Greek version. 

"A pious commentator adds (verse 10) in prose form, 
though in elevated diction: 

"In whose hand 11 the loul of every living being and the breath of all mankind." 
The insertion is inartistic, because It interrupts the sequence 
of the thought. Moreover, it is banal to dwell upon what is 
obvious, particularly when in verses 13 seq. the argument of 
Zophar that God's will and power are ahke supreme, is summar- 
ized in an impressive and poetic manner. The introduction of 
the name Yahweh in 9*, not used by the author of the philosoph- 
ical poem (except in 28, 28 — an added chapter which has no 
connection with the Book of Job), suggests that the 9th verse 
may likewise be a later addition. It is missing in the earlier 
Greek versions. 

**!.?., everybody can find this out for himself. It is as 
simple as hearing and tasting. The verse is a popular saying 
which is quoted again 34, 3. It is missing in some Hebrew codices. 



If He tears down, it is not rebuilt; 

If He shuts a man in, he is not released.*' 

If He withholds the waters, they remain in their 

If He sends them out, they engulf the earth. 
With Him is strength and insight; 
Under Him is the error and its cause.*' 
He takes away speech from the trustworthy," 

Verses 12-13 are maxims added by some commentator ia 
view of V. 16. 

"[Not] with greybeardi it wiidom, 
Nor undvntuQding with the aged. 
With Him ii wiidoro and might; 
With Him is couniel lad intelligeacc" 

The addition of "not" seems to be required by the context aod 
is favored by the parallel 32, 9. 

*• The Targum refers this line to the grave. 

"So read instead of "dry up," as a belter parallel to 

■ Literally "what causes error." A fine though bold 
thought that the sinner acW under God's control, that there 
can be no sin, therefore, unless God wills it. 

•*i.^,, deprives them of their reason. The "trustworthy 
onc8"aretheelders, whose wisdom is their distinguishing mark. 
Verses 17-19 represent expansions of the thought expressed in 
verses 20-21. These additions, while furnishing further illus- 
trations of how God lowers those who once occupied high posi- 
tions, also are intended to give a different turn to Job's thought. 
Sec the following note: 

is an amplification of verse 20, with 19 as a variant: 
"He atrip* priests of authority. 
And overUirowi thoM who were [regsrded u] pennuMm." 
" Counsel lers " and the "permanent ones" are taken as syno- 
nyms of the "trustworthy"; "priests" and "judges," as the 
equivalents to "elders." Verse 18 is the expansion of v. 21. 


And deprives elders of understanding. 

He pours contempt upon the nobles, *' 

And loosens the belt of the rulers." 

He takes away the reason of the chiefs,** ^ 

And leads them astray into a trackless chaos/' 

"Nobles and rulers arc synonymouB. "Loosening the 
belt" is the metaphor for loss of authority. The amplifier 
introduces as an expansion of this thought v. i8.: 

"He looacni the girdle \i.t., their strength or authorityl of kingi" 
and then by way of contrast, adds: 

"And binds their loins with i (common) girdle" 

i.f., reduces their rank to that of the ordinary man. The line 
is missing in all the earlier Greek versions, as also v. 21'. Note, 
however, that the main thought of verses 20, 21 and 24 \i to 
show how God lowers thoseof high estate Ithe "trustworthy," 
"elders," "nobles," "rulers" and "chiefs") and not how the 
lowly are raised to high positions, which has no bearing on the 
argument. For this reason, v. 23, which emphasizes the vicissi- 
tudes in the fortunes of peoples from high to low and oice versa 
is likewise to be regarded as an insertion, apart from the fact 
that in passing from the fate of individuals controlled by God 
to peoples, a further nuance is introduced which is foreign to the 
main argument. The 23rd verse reads: 
"He exalu nations, and destroys them' 
He spreads peoples, and overthrows tliem." 

Also V. 22: 

it evidently a saying introduced here by some amplifier, but 
entirely out of the context. 

•*The line has a superfluous word "people," which makes 
It too long. 

•'The line together with 2 1' is found again Psalms 107, 40. 
A pious amplifier adds (v. 25) by way of comment: 
"So that they grope in darkness without light. 
And He makes them stagger like a drunken man." 
16 241 

All this my eye has seen;** 
My ear has heard and understood. 
As much as you know, I know; 
I am not inferior to you. 
But I wish to address myself to Shaddai;'^ 
My desire is to argue with God. 
You are merely plasterers of lies;" 
Quacks *• all of you. 
If you would only hold your peace, 
It would be wisdom on your part. " 
Listen now to my argument, " 
[And hearken to my pleading! 
Will you undertake to defend God by a false- 

" While this entire section 12, 7-25 is thus shown to con- 
tain many insertions and amplifications, there is 
follow Siegfried, who takes the whole section as a later interpo- 
lation in the interest of orthodoxy. If one reads the section in 
the correct spirit, it will be found that Job is merel)' anxious to 
show that he knows that changes in fortunes arc due to God, 
The later additions, however, are due to orthodox amplifiers of 
the original book. See above to 12, 3. 

•'Job returns to his point that he has a charge to bring 
Kgainst God. He does not deny that all that happens is due to 
God and that He brings about the fall of those of high estate. 
The point is that God does this without giving those who are 
to be severely dealt with a chance to plead their cause, God 
acts wilfully and not like a fair Judge who decides after hearing 
testimony. Throughout this chapter as in chapter 10, legal 
terminology is freely introduced. 

" You coat your utterances with lies. 

"Literally: "worthless healers." TTiere is a superfiuous 
"But" or "However" at the beginning of this line, repeated 
by error from the preceeding verse. 

"Cf. Proverbs 17, 28. 

" So the Greek text. 


To make a deceitful plea for Him?" 

[Do you propose to show favor to Him," 

Or to plead on behalf of God?'* ] 

Would it be well if He should examine youf 

Or do you think to deceive Him as one deceives 

a man?" 
Does His majesty not terrify you, 
And fear of Him not overwhelm you ? 
Your sayings " are without point;" 
Your arguments are mere clay." 
Hold your peace " that I may speak, 
Whatever may come to me.*" 
I will bite*' my flesh with my teeth, 

Job dffies 


"Job charges his friends with pleading God's case by 
forging lies and by utterances which they know to be deceitful, 

" i.e., to twist facts so as to show God to be in the right. 

'* i.e., to plead His cause, as though God needed you to 
act as His defendants? The verse contains only two beata 
in each line. It may be a later insertion by someone who tried 
his hand at expressing the same thought as in v. 7. 

'* Verse 10, in prose form, appears to be an explanatory 
addition to v, 7. It reads: "He would surely rebuke you, if 
you secretly showed favor." 

" Literally, "reminders." 

" Literally, "ash proverbs," i.e., without vitality. 

" I follow Ehriich's happy interpretation of this line. 
Literally "your hints are clay lumps" in the sense of worthless 
arguments, as easily crushed as bits of clay. 

"Hebrew text has "before me" which is superfluous and 
is not found in the Greek version. 

^ Literally, "what upon what" in the sense of "whatsoever." 

*' So read by a slight change in the text. To bite one's 
bwn flesh is a picturesque metaphor to indicate that one will 
take the responsibility for Injury on oneself. The word "where- 
fore" at the beginning of this verse in the ordinary English 
translations is part of the idiomatic phrase at the dose of the 
preceding verse. See the preceding note. 



And put my life in my hand. 

Aye, though He slay me, I tremble not;" 

For all that, I will maintain His" course to His 

Listen, therefore, to my speech, 

That I may declare it to your ears ! 
! Behold, I have prepared my case," 
^ I know that I am innocent. 

Who is there that can contend with me," 

"The traditional translation "though he slay mc, yet will 
I trust in Him," has long been abandoned by modern scholars. 
Even the RV admits as a marginal reading, "I have no hope," 
The translation of the American Jewish Publication Society is 
alone in retaining the traditional rendering, which is just the 
contrary of what Job in his anguish declares. This traditional 
rendering rests upon an intentional change on the part of the 
Jewish theologians — the Massoretes — of the word "not" to "in 
him." In Hebrew the two words sound alike. The text has 
correctly "not" while the marginal reading proposes "to him." 
The verb following is to be read ahU, "I tremble," as Ehrlich 
has recognized. The Massoretes inverted two letters to get a 
different meaning. See above p. 121 seq. 

"Read "Hia course" instead of "my course" by a slight 
change. This change was likewise made with intent to tone 
down the blasphemous audacity of Job in throwing down the 
challenge to God. 

■* i.e., I will continue to charge God with injustice towards 
mc. The phraseology is legal. The conciliatory glossator to 
take off the sharp edge of Job's severe indictment of God adds 
in prose form (v. i6): 

"Aye, tfa'u will be my ulvatian, tbit the impiou* will not come b^re IBm.** 

That is precisely what Job in his present mood did not and could 
not say. 

" Again legal phraseology. Cf. 23, 4. 

■* i.e., answer me in court. 


That I should now hold my peace and die?" 

Only two things do not ^* unto me, » 

Then I will not hide myself from Thee.** 

Only remove Thy hand *" from me; 

And let Thy terror not startle me. 
"Then call [to judgment], and I will answer the 

l_ Or let me speak " and Thou answer me. 

How many are my iniquities and sins? yj»? 

Let me know my transgression and sin! cru*l» 

Why dost Thou hide Thy face from me, ■''*■ 

And regardest me as Thy enemy? 

Harassing a driven leaf, as 

And pursuing dry stubble. 

For Thou inscribest against me past deeds," 

And chargest me with the iniquities of my 

Thou puttest my feet in stocks,** 

Which press against my ankles;*' 

"The line is missing in the earlier Greek version. 

"The Greek tejt omits "not," which does not, however, 
affect the meaning of the verse. 

" i.e., not be afraid of God, as Job confesses he is, because 
of God's terrible and unjustifiable anger. The line is missing 
in the original Greek version. 

** Literally: "palm" in the sense of control or grasp. 
C(, above 9, 34, 

" To defend myself. Note again the legal phraseology. 

** i.e., bring the charge against God. 

** So Ehrlich's interpretation. 

** A superfluous line reading: 

"And Thou kcepeit guird over all my ways" 

iBcrted from 33, 11. 
*'The joints or ankles — not the soles — are meant. 

So that I " am like a decaying substance, 

Like a moth-eaten garment. 

Man is bom of woman, 

Few of days and full of trouble. 

He comes forth like a flower and withers; 

Fleeing as a disappearing shadow. 

Hast Thou indeed considered this, " 

In bringing him'* to judgment?** 

Since his days are determined. 

And his months numbered with Thee,' 

Look away from him and desist. 

Until he accomplishes his day * as a hireling. 

For there is hope for a tree if cut down,* 

That its tendril will not cease. 

Though its root wax old in the earth. 

And its stock die in the ground; 

"So read instead of "he." Here the translation of the 
American Jewish Publication Society makes the change, but 
without indicating that it is deviating from the Massoretic text, 
the inviolability of which it usually maintains with the rigidity 
of a dogma. The same metaphor is found Is. 50, 9, though in 
a different connection. 

*'This is the force of the phrase "hast Thou opened Thy 
cyc8 in regard to this?" 

** So read as in the Greek and Syriac versions, instead of 

•"Text has an additional "with Thee" which makes the 
line too long. A pious glossator adds verse 4: "Can one bring 
clean out of unclean? Not one." i.e., every man is by nature 
unclean, — full of sin. Similarly, Psalm 14, 3''. 

'An explanatory gloss, forming a superfluous line, adds, 
"Thou hast appointed his limit, which is not to be passed." 

*!>., satisfies the master by completing the day's work. 

*A gloBB adds "that it will sprout again," which makes 
the line too long by one beat. 



TTirough the scent of water * it will bud, 
And put forth boughs like a shoot. 
But man dies and passes away; ic 

He expires, and how is it with him?' 
Man when he Hes down will not rise;' u 

Till the heavens be no more, they shall not 
L_ awake. ^ 
Oh that Thou wouldst hide me in Sheol, 
Conceal me till Thy anger is past! * 
[Appoint a time for me and [then] remember me, 
If [forsooth] a man who dies can revive.]' 

*Not the "odor of water" for, as Ehrlich prop>erly says, 
water ordinarily has no odor. 

*Not "where is he" which is banal. Verse ii reading: 
"Wateradraia theses, 
And the atresm dries up." 

interrupts the context, and is an inserted quotation from 
Isaiah 19, 5. 

' The tree is revived though the proximity of water, but 
man cannot be resuscitated though all the water in the world 
be poured over him. 

'A commentator adds a superfluous line: 

"They aball not be roused out of their tiecp" 
The words are missing in the original Greek version and in 
Jerome's translation. 

* Job longs for death, but with a human touch only as a 
temporary state. 

'To take this line, as is usually done, as though Job were 
asking a question, would be in place if the question were asked 
by some commentator, but this presupposes that Job voices 
his belief in a revival of the dead. That surely cannot be the 
case in view of what he has just said {verses 10-12). We have 
therefore the alternative of regarding the line, 

"Appoint a time for me »nd remember me" 
(a) as a variant or eiplanation to v. 13'' and then take 14" as 


All the days of my service'" would I wait, 

Until my charged estate should come. 

Thou wouldst call, and I would answer Thee; 

Eager for Thy act of grace." 

In that case Thou wouldst guide " my steps, 

And not keep track of my sin.'* 

My transgression would be sealed in a bag, 

And thou wouldst cover '* up my iniquity. 

But instead," — [as] the faUing mountain crum- 

And the rock is torn from its place; 

And water wears the stones; 

And the shower washes away the soil;'* 

TTiou art wroth with him, and he passes 

an interpolated question, or (b) if 13* and 14* are to form a 
hemistich, then we must take the words as indicated in the traofr- 
lation — expressing the doubt as to the reaHzation of the wish 

" i.^., whatever period Thou wouldst assign to me as my 
term in Shcol. 

" Literally; "The work of Thy hands," but in the sense 
of what "Thou wouldst do to me," mz., restore me to life after 
divine anger is past. 

"Literally: "count" as a loving father follows the first 
efforts of the child at walking. The common translation of 
V. 16 is entirely astray. 

'* As God is doing now. Sec above 13, 27* (gloss). 

"Literally, "plaster." 

" Job realizes that there is no hope of man coming back 
to life again after death has come. 

"A commentator adds a superfluous line, "So thou 
destroyest man's hope." The verse is missing in the older 
Greek versions and in Jerome's translation. 

"Teit adds "forever," which is in place, but makes the 
line too, long. 


In anger," Thou dismissest him. 

His sons may come to honor, but he does not 

know it; 
They may be brought low, but he does not per- 
ceive it- 
Only his own flesh pains him, 
And he grieves for himself alone '• 

Then Eliphaz the Temanite in answer said: '^' ' 

Should a wise man answer wind,** 
And fill his belly with east wind? 

Reasoning without purpose, £/'p*ai 

And with words that are of no avail? uuiuM 

Just as little canst thou argue away fear of God," i^,'j«,-^ and 
And diminish respect before God. kUvaunuii 

When thy iniquity instructs thy mouth," s 

And thou choosest the manner of sophists," 
Thy mouth convicts thee — not He;=* 

"Literally: "changing his countenance," for which we 
have a parallel phrase in Assyrian, used in the sense of "being 
distressed or angry" like "fallen countenance" {Genesis 4,, 5). 
Since the phrase refers to God, we should perhaps read "chang- 
ing Thy countenance." 

'* In Shcol man is only conscious of his own hopeless state. 

"Text adds "knowledge" before "wind," i.e., knowledge 
that is mere wind, without substance. This is clearly a comment 
and makes the line too long. Cf. 8, i and 16, 3. 

" i'.^., to answer thee is as futile as thy attempt to diminish 
reverence by thy blasphemous charges against God. 

" i.f., when thy wickedness puts thy words into thy mouth. 

"Literally: "the tongue of the crafty," i.e., word twisters. 

"Text "I," an intentional change to avoid an objec- 
tionable reference to God, as above, 9, 10 and 13, 15 and 


Thy lips testify against thee.»» 

Wast thou bora at the beginning?*' 

Brought forth before the hills? 

Hast thou overheard the secret of God? 

And hast thou monopolized wisdom? 

What dost thou know that we do not know? 

And what understanding hast thou which is not 

with us? 
[Elder and greybeard are among us — 
More than old enough to be thy father*^] 
Are consolations *■ too small for thee, 
And the word that deals gently with thee? 
What has taken hold of thy mind ? 
And why are thy eyes haughty?*' ' 

[And] thou desirest to give thy spirit back to 


" Again legal phraseology. 

"An allusion to Proverbs 8, 22 where wisdom says, 
"The Lord made me as the beginning of His way." Eliphaz 
asks Job whether he regards himself as older and, therefore, 
superior to wisdom.' The sarcastic insertion 38, 21 harks back 
to our verse, 

"Not to be taken literally, as though Job's father were 
still alive. Eliphaz is here quoting a popular saying, as Elihu 
docs, 32, 9, or somebody has inserted the maiim at this point 
as appropriate. The verse is missing in the older Greek versions 
and in Jerome's translation, 

'*Such as the three friends have offered. A commentator 
adds "God" after consolations, which misses the point and 
makes the line too long by one beat. The Greek versions oniit 
the word. 

"* So the Greek text, as in Proverbs 30, 13. 

*").<■., that thou wishest to die. So Ehrlich's happy inter- 
pretation with a reference, perhaps to the addition to Eccleai- 
astes 12, 7. 



And givest utterance to [foolish] talk?" 

What is man that he should think himself pure? 
1 And the one bom of woman that he should be 

Even his holy ones " he does not trust — 's 

And the heavens are not pure in his sight;" 

How much less one that is of low estate and im- 

Man who drinks iniquity like water?" 

Listen to what I will tell thee; '^"35. 

And what I have seen I will declare unto jait of tkt 
the^- '"^*'^- 

What wise men have told, 

And what their fathers have not concealed from 

[To whom the land belonged 

With no stranger in their midst]." 

All his days the wicked is in terror, « 

" EHphaz knows that Job docs not mean what he says 
when he longs for death. That is idle chatter. 

**i.^., his angels or ministers. Cf. 4, 18, which is here 

**The Aleiandrine Codex of the Greek version has an 
additional phrase; "and the stars are not pure." 

**i.f., commits sin, as readily as one drinks water. A 
(imilar phrase, perhaps quoted from our passage, occurs 34, 7 
in a speech of Elihu, who applies it to Job. 

"So by a slight change, supported by the Greek text. 

"An obscure verse — usually explained as a reference to 
the great age of the traditional wisdom which EHphaz ia reveal- 
ing, going back to the days when the population was not yet 
mixed through the advent of strangers. The verse may reprc- 
8cnl a later addition. It Is only partially preserved in the orig- 
inal Greek version. The word "alone" Iq the first half is clearly 



And the number of piis] years are limited.'^ 

A sound of terror is in his ears; 

Even when secure, he [imagines] a destroyer to be 

coming against him." 
He has no hope to escape from darkness; 
[Believes himself] destined for the sword." 
Distress and anguish startle him, 
Overpower him as fated ( ?) for destruction ** ( ?) 
■Because he stretched out his hand against God, 
And showed himself insolent against Shaddai; 
[Who rushes upon him as against a foe;" 

Shatters (?) his shield." 

Though he has covered his face with his fatness, 
And added to the fat on his loins;] 
He will inhabit ruined cities, 

"The text adds; "for the oppressor," which makes ihe 
Jinc too long. 

**The wiclced is haunted by fear, even when he U per- 
fectly safe. 

•* i.e., to be murdered. Verse 23 consists of a series of 
glosses, erroneously united together (a) " he wanders about for 
bread" — a gloss to 24* (b) "where is it" — perhaps a supergloss, 
(c) he knows that it is ready at hand " — a gloss to "destined for 
the sword," (d) "day of darkness," either an explanation of 
"darkness" (v. 22) or a variant. 

"The line is obscure, because of the corruptness of the text. 
The word "king," for which the Greek version has "general" 
is clearly a gloss — perhaps at a wrong place. The last word, 
usually rendered "battle" is entirely obscure. The general 
sense is all that one can gather. 

*^So the reading proposed by Ehrlich instead of "neck" 
which gives no sense. 

"Text again corrupt. The context demands a reference 
to God's shattering the shield of the wicked. Verses 26-27 *re 
missing in the older Greek versions. 


Houses that are deserted of man.** 

His riches" and substance shall not endure, 

And his possession (?)" shall not cling (?) to the 

The hot flame shall dry up his branch, y 

And his fruit *' shall pass away.*' 
Before its time his palm branch " shall wither;" 3= 
And his leafage shall not remain green. 
He shall shake ofi" as a vine his unripe grape; 
And he shall cast off as an olive tree his blossom. 
For the company of the impious shall be desolate, 
And fire shall consume the tents of bribery. 
Conceiving mischief and iniquity,'" JS 

Their belly will bring forth deception." 
Then Job in answer said : i( 

I have heard many such things; 

''A glossator adds "destined for mound heaps," as the 
explanation to the first half of the verse. 

*'More literally: "He shall not remain rich." 

"The Hebrew teit is corrupt, but the parallelism suggests 
a synonym for substance. Verse 30" "He shall not escape from 
the darkness" is a misplaced gloss to v. 22*. 

** So by a slight change in the text, favored by the Greek 

*' Verse 3 1 (in prose form) : 

"Let him not trust in deceptive vanity, for it will be vanity," 
represents a pious reflection by some commentator. 

•So by a different vocalization of the word wrongly 
attached to the preceding verse. 

* So by a textual change. 

**The same phrase Is. 59 : ^. The line appears to have 
four beats, instead of the usual three. Perhaps breeding" is 
to be omitted. 

" i.e.y though the evil doers plan mischief — the result will 
" e disappointment to them. They will be cheated of their aim. 

utspatf teuk- 

Sorry comforters " that you are. 

Is there any end to windy words?" 

Or what do you suffer " when answering? 

I also could speak like you, 

If you were in my stead. 

I could overwhelm you** with words, 

And shake my head at you. 

But I would strengthen you by my speech; 

And the sympathy of my lips" would give ease.*' 

Though now tf I do speak, my pain is not 

And if I forbear, what do I gain by it?" 

For Thou *• hast worsted me; 

Thou hast confused all my arguments. 

[Thou has shrivelled me up to become a wit- 

And my leanness rises up against me."] 

**The comfort that Job's friends offer is to prove ia long 
and tedious discourses that he must be an awful sinner. What 
purpose does that serve.' says Job. 

" i.e., one could go on forever tallung nonsensicatly. 

** It is easy enough to speak when one is not in pain. 

"A verbal form is used, indicative of stringing words 
together in a somewhat contemptuous sense. 

** Literally, "movementof my lips," 

" i.f., in your place, I would speak words that would pve 
comfort and that would case the pain of a suffering fellow-man. 

•* Speaking or keeping silent — it Is all the same. 

**So read instead of "now," and change the verb to the 
second person. 

""This eighth verse is not found in the original Greek 
version and may well be a later insertion. The sense seems to 
be that Job's body, emaciated through disease, is a witness to 
God's anger at him, though for no justifiable cause- 

*'A commentator by way of explanation adds "answers 
against him." 


' has shown his contempt " and humiliated 

He has gnashed his teeth upon me.]" 

They gape upon me with their mouth;'* " 

Tbey smite my cheeks scornfully. "' 

God delivers me unto the evildoers; 

Into the hands of the wicked He casts me. 

I was at ease and He crushed me; 

He seized hold of my neck and dashed me to 

He set me up as His target,'^ 
With many "^ encompassing me; 
He split my reins mercilessly, 
And poured out my gall '* upon the ground. 

^ i.e., my human adversary. 

"Literally: "He has turned up his nose." So Ehrlich's 

"A glossator adds as a variant, "My adversary fixes his 
eyes upon me." Because of the change from the singular (v. g) 
to the plural (v. lo) one of the two verses may be a later inser- 
tion. By omitting verse 9 as a later addition, we avoid the 
strange transitions from the address to God (v. 7) to a human 
adversary (v. 9) and then {v, 10) again to enemies in general. 

•* Cf. Psalm 22, 14, from which our line may be a quota- 
tion. The original Greek version omits the entire verse, and 
all the Greek versions omit the first half, 

"Gloss, "Altogether they combine against me" — to sug- 
|[est that each of his opponents helps the other in further humil- 
iating and persecuting him remorselessly — one by turning up 
his nose, another by showing his teeth, a third by gaping at 
faim and a fourth smiting him. 

" Cf. Lam. 3, 12-13. 

" So read, following Ehrlich and others. 

"The "gall" stands for the "liver" which, with the 
"reins," is synonymous with the seat of life. 


Breach upon breach " He opened against me; 
Running against me like a giant." 
'^ A sackcloth I have sewed on my skin," 

And I have rolled my strength " in the dust. 
My face bums with weeping. 
And deep darkness is on my eyelids.'* 
Although there is no violence in my hands,*' 
And my prayer is pure. 
,8_J, O Earth, do not cover up my blood," 

Fnn fppral That there be no occasion for my outcry! 

On high" my thoughts " are my intercessors; 

To God my eye makes the appeal; 

That mortal may secure justice from God, 

/or jiticr. 

"The tcit has a superfluous "face" before the second ] 

" Literally: "Mighty man." 

"A fine metaphor to suggest that Job is a perpetual | 
mourner; his mourning garb is sewed to his body, so that it 
never comes off. 

"Literally: "horn," used to describe one's beauty and I 

" His eyes are so filled with tears that he cannot see. 

^'Cf. Isaiah S3, 9- 

"The covering up of the blood means that the wrong 
done is concealed. The uncovered blood cries for vengeance, 
as in the famous passage. Genesis 4, 10. A pious commentator, 
intent upon giving an orthodox turn to Job's despair, seized 
upon this opportunity to give expression to his own faith in 
God, which is in direct contradiction to the whole tenor of Job's 
bitter complaint (v, 19), "Even now my witness is in heaven" 
to which we have a more usual word for "witness" as a variant 
or comment. The last word of this verse "on high" belongs 
to the following stanza. See above, p. 1 16. 

"To be taken over from the close of the inserted verse. 

" So correctly on the basis of Psalm 139, 17, the translatioa 
of the Jewish Publication Society. 


As between" a man and his fellow.'" 
For a few years will pass. 
And I shall go the way of no return,*' 
My spirit is broken within me; *• 
The grave is ready ( ?) *• for me. 
Surely, mockers ( ?) are with me; 
And I must endure their provocation.** 
Be Thou my pledge which is already with Thee ! *"■ '^'*' 
Who else can be surety for me ? 
Since Thou hast closed their mind against + 

I" So by a slight change. 
•* The line is missing in the earlier Greek versions; and the 
entire stanza in the original Greek version. 

*• i.e., there is no hope of securing justice during life. One I 
must not read into this verse any thought of retribution after \ 
death, of which there is no trace either in the original or in the 
amplified Book of Job. ' 

" So read by a slight change. 

" Some such meaning for the strange verb used is de- 
manded by the context. The text has the plural "graves" 
which in poetical usage has the force of the "deep grave," as in 
Ps. 137, I, "rivers "stands for "great river," i.e., the Euphrates. 

"The line is missing in the Greek version. 

"Job appeals to God to be his pledge — since God has 
already taken all that he has from him. 

**Vcrse 5 seems to be a popular saying: 

"Among friends 01 
While one's own 

and either out of place, or introduced here by some pedantically 
inclined commentator to explain by a popular saying the thought 
of v. 4, which (as well as 5') is missing in the original Greek 
version. If God were to favor the friends of Job at the cost of 
condemning the innocent sufferer, it would be like dividing one's 
property among one's neighbors, and leaving one's childrea 
unprovided for. 

"7 iS7 


abandonrd by 
Cod and man 


Thou canst not let them be victorious. *' 
^ He has made me a by-word of the people; 

An abhorrence ** have I become for children.'* 
My eye is dimmed through vexation, 
And my form reduced to a shadow. 
8 The upright must rejoice •" at this, 

And the innocent be aroused against the im- 
"* But now all of you " come back;" 

And I shall not find a wise man among you. 
11-16 ^y dd^ys have passed [forever (?) ] " 

r** rraor ai The plans of my mind are broken," 

*'So by a different vocalization of the text. The verse 
is missing in the earlier Greek versions. 

■*Topheth — the place in the valley of Hinnom where 
children were offered to Moloch. See Hastings, Dictionary of 
the Bible, B.v. Topheth is, therefore, a synonym for "horror" 
or "abhorrence." , 

* So read by a slight change of the text. 

•* So read by the insertion of a letter. For the same com- 
bination of the two verbs, "rejoice," and "aroused," see Job 
31, 29. Job is speaking in bitter irony. 

•' Meaning himself. A pious commentator oSended at 

this bitter exclamation and wishing to tone down the irony, 

adds (v. 9): J 

"Tlie righteoua clings to hU way, fl 

And the clean of hand increiie* in itrengtb," — I 

perhaps a proverbial saying. \ 

** So read by the insertion of a letter. 

"The repetition of rhe invitation 6, 29, but in a spirit of 
increased bitterness. The test has a superfluous "come now," 
which makes the line too long. 

" Some word like " forever" is to be expected here to make 
up the three beats. Its place is taken by the comment "my 
thoughts," for which see the following note. 

"A commentator in order to explain the unusual word 
(perhaps corrupt) adds "My thoughts," Verse iz, which is | 

If I could make ^' Sheol my house; 
In the darkness spread my couch; 
Could call the pit, "My father," " 
And the worm, "My mother and sister.* 
Where, indeed, is my hope? 
And who can track out my longing ?"* 
Will they ** go down to Sheol with me?* 
Shall we lie down ^ in the dust together? 

Then Bildad in answer said: 
How long will you indulge in pricks?' 
Be sensible and tlien we will speak. 
Why should we be counted as beasts, 
Be looked upon [as cattle]* in thy eyes?* 

iki WitM. 


missing in the original Greek version, interrupts the context 
and can best be explained as a combination of tw3 glosses to 
l8, 6. See below note 8. 

'•So by a slight change in the text — demanded by the 

"The text has a superfluous "thou," which makes the 
line too long. 

"The repetition of "My hope" in the Hebrew text is prob- 
ably an error. The parallelism demands a word like "longing," 

**i.e., "my hope and my longing, will they be entombed 
with mef" 

' So the Greek text. 

' So the sense of the Greek text. Siegfried is again too 
radical, and quite unnecessarily so, in regarding the six dosing 
verses of the chapter (11-16) as interpolations. A correct 
piinciple, wrongfully applied, is equivalent to a wrong principle. 

* Acommentator adds: "as words," i.e., as arguments. 

•The parallelism, as well as the completion of the line to 
three beats, demands the addition of this word. 

* So according to the Greek text. At the beginning of v. 4 
there is an obscure apostrophe to Job "0 raging and violent 
one," which is either to be regarded as misplaced or we must 
assume that a line has dropped out. 


Shall for thy sake the earth be forsaken? 

And [its] Guardian* be removed from His place? 
I Surely, the hght of the wicked is put out;' 

And the spark of his fire shall not shine. 

Light becomes darkness in his tent, 

And his lamp is put out for him.* 

His once mighty steps shall be straitened; 

His own counsel shall bring about his fall. 

Headlong • he is cast into a net; 

And he walks upon a trap. 

[A gin shall catch his heel, 

And a snare (?) hold him fast. 
* A noose for him is hid in the ground, 

And a trap for him on the highway.]'" 

Terrors startle him on all sides. 

And clog his steps." 

' Literally, "rock," but here used as elsewhere in the Old 
Testament as a'designation of God. 

' Quoted from Prov. 24, 20? 

*To this verse, 17, I2 appears to be a gloss as above 

(•) "Night they change to day" 
to indicate that the wicked also ply their trade at night. To 
this interpretation some one who erroneously took the two words 
6r hoihrkh together as "light of darkness" apparently objected 
and added by way of esplanatlon 6f ("light") is preferable to 
hojhekk ("darkness"). The comment was suggested by a cer- 
tain ambiguity in the use of the Hebrew word 6r (as well as the 
Aramaic form uryd) for both "light" and "darkness," for which 
see Jastrow Talmudic Dictionary sub 6t. 

'Literally, "by his feel," 

'"Verses ^10 are missing in the earlier Greek versions; 
they are probably later amplifications of v. 8. 

"This is the sense of a phrase that appears to be an idio- 
matic ezprc»ioa, the exact construction of which escapes ui. 



His oifspring shall endure hunger, '■ 

And calamity is in store for his mate." 

Deadly disease" shall consume his limbs;'* *'■ 

His hope •' shall be plucked out of his tent. '* 

Terror " shall dwell in his tent;" •! 

And brimstone be scattered on his habitation," 

Below its roots shall dry up; 

And above its branch shall wither. 

His remembrance shall perish from the earth; 

And nowhere will there be a memorial of him. 

They shall drive him from light into darkness; 

And out of the earth they shall chase him. 

Without son or grandson among his people, 

And without any survivor in his place of sojourn. 

Those fro m the West shall stand aghast," « 

" Literally, hia "rib," i.e., his wife in view of Genesis 1, 21, 
where the wife of the first man is formed of his rib. So the intet^ 
pretalion in the Targum to Job, embodying no doubt a tradi- 
tional explanation. 

"Literally, "first-bom of death" — a picturesque phrase 
for a fatal disease, perhaps of a specific character. The Greek 
text has simply "death," 

"The phrase "consuming his limbs" (so read) is repeated 
and explained as "his skin." At the close of v. 14 there is aa 
obscure gloss, usually rendered "and thou bringest him to the 
King." The word "terrors" that follows is to be taken to the 
following verse. 

'* Meaning his children, as the hope of the future. He and 
his children will perish. 

"This word to be taken over from the preceding verse as 
the (ubject of "dwell." 

'^ A comment adds, "that is not his," to further emphasize 
the punishment, but which makes the line too long. 

"A picture of desolation with an allusion to the fate of 
Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19, 24). 

'*Tbere is an unintelligible gloss "at his day" at the begin- 
ning of this verse — cither a misplaced comment, or s textual 



And fright shall seize hold of those from the 

Such indeed is the fate " of the wicked; 
Such the destiny " of him that knows not God. 
Then Job in answer said: 
How long will you vex my soul, 
And attempt to crush me with words ? 
Ten " times have you tried to refute me; 
And you are not ashamed to return to the 

Is it indeed true that I have erred, 
And that my error remains with me f* 
Or have you indeed prevailed over me. 
And have proved my downfall " to me? 
Know that it is God who has overthrown me, 
And His net has caught me. 
If I cry "violence," I am not answered;*^ 
I cry for help, but there is no justice. 

error for "on his right" as a comment to "those from ihe 
West" or "those from behind." The West is that which is 
behind; the East, what is in front. 

'"So Dillman's explanation in his commentary on Job. 

" Literally "dwellings," but here used, as Ehrlich has 
pointed out, to dcsi^atc the fate that overwhelms the dwellings, 

^Literally "place," meaning again the fate in store for 
the place in which the wicked dwell. 

"Ten is used as a large round number, by the side of 
seven — in earlier times. 

** So Ehrlich's interpretation by a different vocalization 
of the verb. 

" i.e., am I Still steeped in error and sin by my declining 
to admit my guilt? 

** Literally "my disgrace." 

" Ci. Jer. 20 : 8 — God docs not answer my charge, though 
I am treated with violence. 



He has fenced up my way against passing;** 

He has set darkness on my paths. 

My glory, He has stripped off me, 

And has taken the crown from my head. 

He has shattered me so that I am undone; "=* 

And He has plucked up my hope like a tree. 

He has kindled His wrath against me, 

And has accounted me among His adversaries. 

His troops ** come in a body towards me, n-^ 

And block the way against me.'" fri/ndsc 

He has removed my brothers from me, *'"■ 

And my acquaintances have become estranged 

from me. 
My relatives and intimates have fallen away, 
[And] the inmates of my house have forgotten 

My maids count me for a stranger; '! 

I have become an alien in their eyes. 
I call to my servant, but he does not answer; 
Though with my mouth I implore him. 
My wife stands in horror of me, 
And I have become loathsome to my off- 
Urchins " show their contempt for me; 

" Lara. 3, 7-9 is cloaely parallel to Job 19, 7-8. 

" Meaning the false friends. 

" A commentator adds by way of explanation of the some- 
what obscure phrase, "they encamp around my tcni." 

" Literally, "the sons of my womb" for "the sons of the 
womb of my wife." Note the gradual rise to the climax In 
verses 12-17 C^) brothers and acquaintances, i.e., his friends; 
(b) relatives and the inmates of his house, i.e., those who live 
with him; (c) maids and servants; (d) wife and children. 

" i.e., ragamuffins. 



When I appear they speak against me. 
Those closest to me abhor me. 
And those whom I loved have turned against 
«> My bone cleaves to my flesh ** 

And I am left with the skin of my teeth." 
»'-»9 Pity me, pity me, O " my friends; 

app/a!/" For the hand of God has touched me. 
'^'^^tun ^^y do you pursue me like a stag," 

by God. Since you cannot be satiated with my flesh ? " 
:?• Oh that my words could be inscribed,** 
m"" Graven for all times in the rock. 

" A general summary. 

•*A gloss adds "to my tlcin." The same phrase occurs. 
Psalm 102, 6. 

"A picturesque phrase to indicate that only his gums 

"The text has an overhanging "you," which makes the 
line too long. 

" So read by a slight change of the text, 

" 1 am so emaciated that 1 would not furnish a satisfac- 
tory meal. 

"The line has a superfluous "somewhere," Two glosses 
have also been inserted: 

(i) "Oh that they might be inicribed m i book" to ij' and 

(b) "With an iron iiylua and lead" (mitiing in the original GrecL ver- 

Thc second gloss is proper, but not the first, for Job is not thiak- 
ingof a writing on papyrus or skin which is perishable; he wants 
his complaints of his sufferings and his charges against God to 
be hewn permanently into an imperishable substance, following 
the example of Assyrian and Persian rulers, so that in distant 
days some one will read them and rise up as his defender. The 
first gloss has been added with intent in order to give a different 
turn to Job's thought. 



Then I would know that my defender*" will arise," 
Even though he arise in the distant future." 
Only under my skin is this indited," 
And within my flesh do I see these ** [words]. 

"Or "vindicator." The Hebrew term goel means origin- 
ally the nearest of kin who, according to ancient Semitic custom, 
wascalled upon to avenge a wrongdonc to his kinsman. Here 
the term is used in the general sense of "defender," which it 
naturally acquired. It cannot possibly refer to God, as the 
Jewish translator of the O.T. into Arabic, Saadia, recognized 
as far back as the ninth century of our era. The RV properly 
adds in a marginal note that the sense is "vindicator" and not 
"redeemer" in the religious sense. For all that, the new trans- 
lation of the Jewish Publication Society retains " Redeemer" with 
a capital tetter. Sec furtheron the famous verse above, p. 1 1+ leq. 

*' Literally, "is alive," but clearly in the sense that he will 
be alive in the future. 

"Literally, "as the last," to indicate the remote future. 
Job's point is that if his complaints and charges could only be 
given a permanent form, he would feel confident that some day 
ne will be justified by a defender who will "live," i.e., be born 
at some lime, though perhaps not till the very remote future. 

"The record of his case instead of being hewn into the 
rock is only written in his own person. There can be little 
doubt that this verse has been interfered with by pious exegetes 
who tried to twist it into a suggestion of a future life, of which, 
however. Job is not thinking. The passage has been intention- 
ally distorted in the interest of Jewish orthodoxy. 

** Read by a slight change "these" instead of "God." By 
"these" Job means the record which he would like to see hewn 
into the rock- He complains that instead, he alone sees the 
record written in his person and in his flesh. Verse 27 is an 
cipUnatory amplification to v. 26, 

" I xlone can t«e it for myielfj 
Mine eyw lee it, buc noi inother'i." 

At the end of v. 27 is a gloss, "My reins are consumed within 
mc" added as an explanation to v. 26*', before the verse was 
manipulated by pious commentators. 




Tremble before the sword!" 

Then Zophar, the Naamathite, in answer said: 

Because of this ♦^ my thoughts urge me on; 

Because of the agitation within me, 

That I must listen to rebuke in return for my 

And to idle words ** in answer to my logic.*" 
Surely thou knowest this of old; 
That since man was placed upon earth, 

"Harking back to v. 22. A gloss, "the root of the thing 
is found in mc" (not found in the original Greek text) is an 
attempted explanation by some commentator to 26* *' under my 
skin is this indited," likewise before the verse was intentionally 

*• The balance of this verse (29) is unintelligible. The last 
words can be translated, "That ye may know that there is a 
judge," which I am inclined to take ss an explanatory gloss 
to 2S', "i know that my defender lives" (i>., "will arise"), 
based on the traditional explanation that the goel is God who 
will arise as "judge." The remaining words "for wrath arc 
the iniquities of the sword "give no sense whatsoever. The 
word "bringcth" in AV and RV is not in the text, which the 
translators of the Jewish Publication Society /at/ to indicate. 
It may be that the phrase "iniquities of the sword" constitutes 
an explanation of "sword" and that the words "for wrath" 
or "because of wrath" are an independent gloss to the verb 
"tremble," but this is a pure guess. It is better to confess the 
hopelessness of making anything out of these words, beyond the 
conjecture that as glosses tbey do not belong to the original text. 

*' i.e., because of the sentiments expressed by Job at the 
close of the previous chapter. 

** So the sense required by the parallelism and which can 
be obtained by a textual change in the second word of the verse. 

"Literally, "wind" (as 15, 2) or as we would say, collo- 
quially "gas." 

•"More literally, "my intelligence." 


The joy of the wicked is short; s 

And the joy of the impious for a moment. 
Though his ambition mount up to heaven, 
And his head reach unto the cloud. 
By the measure of his greatness *' he shall 

perish forever; 
Those who saw him will say "Where is he?" 
Like a dream, he shall fly away, and none shall 

find him; 
Chased away as a vision of the night. 
[The eye which saw him shall see him no more; 
His place " shall no longer behold him]." 
His sons must recompense " the poor; " 

And his own hands must hand over his ofFspring." 
[His bones may be full of marrow, 
But with him they " shall He down in the dust. 
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth. 
Retaining it under his tongue;'^ 
Sparing, and unwilling to let it go, " 

" So Ehrlich by a slight change of the text, instead of an 
absurd reading "like his dung." 

" i.e., hia city, or the place where he dwells. 

••This 9th verse, reminiscent of 7, 8-10, is omitted by the 
Greek text. It may be a later amplification. 

**More literally: "placate." The verb used occurs in 
Leviticus 26, 34, in the sense of satisfying or requiting the poor 
who have been robbed by the wicked, but to whom, by way of 
compensation, the children of the wicked are handed over as 

*' So the sense of this word as in Job 18, 12. See above p. 
, 261. 

" i.e., his bones. 

" Like a tidbit. 

"The text appears to 
(makes the line too long. 

L superfluous word, which 

And keeping it within his mouth;]" 

His food *" shall be turned in his bowels, 

[As) gall of asps within him. 

The wealth that he has swallowed he must vomit; 

Out of his belly God shall drive it." 

He shall not enjoy the flow '* of his streams; 

The brooks of honey and cream. 

The gain that he cannot swallow, he must restore, 

His profit as the sand," — he shall not enjoy. 

Because he has torn down the huts •• of the poor, 

He shall not rebuild the house that he has robbed . 

Because he knew no ease within him. 

And in his avarice suffered naught to escape; 

Therefore he shall not enjoy his wealth.** 

*• Venei 1 1-13 arc missing in ihc original Grecit text and 
are not required for the context. They may well be subsequcat 

*" i.e., his substance as the result of his designs. 

" Verse 16, which appears to be a popular saying, is added 
because of the reference to "gall of asps" in v. 14: 

The first part of the verse is missing in the original Greek verse. 

" Cf. the meaning of the parallel stem in Assyrian palagu 
"spread, flow," etc., from which fo/gii "canal" is derived. 

••So read with Ehrlich, by a slight change in the text. 

*• So the interpretation of Ehrlich (Randglossen 6, p. 262), 
who takes the third word of the verse as a substantive. 

"At the beginning of v. 21 there is comment reading 
"There was no survivor to his greed." The original Greek text 
lacks 30* and 2t* and reads therefore: 



In his overflowing abundance, he shall be in. 

He shall cast upon him His fierce wrath/' 

And shall cause His terror ■* to rain upon him. 

He shall be transfixed " by an iron weapon; 

A brazen bow shall pierce him. 

One unsheaths [the sword,] and it comes out of '^ 
his back,'" 

And the glittering point passes out of his gall. 

Every concealed terror " is laid up for his pro- 
tected ones; 

It shall go ill with the survivors in his tent. 

The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, »r 

And the earth shall rise up against him," 



**A superfluous line forming a comment reads: 
kind of misery shall come upon him. " 

"The words at the beginning of this 23d verse "to be for 
filling his belly" are another gloss, as is shown by their omission 
ID the original Greek text; they arc added to explain 22', the 
second word of which is a rare and difficult term for 

**So by a slight change in the tert, to secure a meaning 
demanded by the parallelism. 

•• The verb is to be vocalized as passive and to be explained 
according to Ehrlich, Randglossen 6, p. 263. 

'" So the Greek text. The sword is unsheathed to be driven 
through him. 

"Literally, "darkness," explained by a gloss (placed at 
the close of the preceding verse), "terror upon him," A second 
lerted in v, 26, reads: 
"A Grc not blown [by man] shall conaume him," 
Srhich is clearly a gloss to v. 27' to explain rather pedantically 
the phrase "The heavens will reveal his iniquity." The first 
part of V, 26 ia missing in the original Greek version. 

" Verse 28, which weakens the forcible climax of the pre- 
jccding verse must again be looked upon as a comment. 

fitlurt of 
IB tki Kitkei. 


Such is the portion of the wicked man from God; 

And the disposition of his heritage "* from God. 

Thereupon Job in answer said : 

Listen now to my speech; 

And may it afford you satisfaction.'* 

Suffer me to speak ; 

And after that you may mock.'* 

Should I allow my complaint to cease?" 

And why should I not be impatient? 

Mark me and be dumbfounded; 

And lay [your] hand upon [your] mouth." 

When I think of it, I am dismayed, 

And horror takes hold of me.™ 

Why do the wicked flourish, 

Grow old and even wax mighty ? 

Their seed is secure before them;'* 

Their offspring is in their presence. 

Their homes are safe from terror; 

"The produce of hii 
. . . , on the c 

The text as it stands cannot be correct, corrupted probably by 
later editors who no longer understood that the verse was a 

"This the meaning of the word, as in Arabic. 

'* Ironically meant in the sense of, " I hope that you wiH^' 
derive comfort from what I shall have to say." 

'* Read the plural. 

'* So read by a change in the text, instead of the meaning 
less "for man." 

" Keep silent — you will have no answer to make. 

"Literally; "my flesh." 

" i.e-t their children flourish — a reply to I S. 34 (EHphaz), 
i8, 19 (Bildad) and 20, 10 (Zophar). The text has a auperfluous 
"with them," not found in the ori^nat Greek text and which 
makes the line too long. 



The scourge of God is not upon them. 
His bull genders without fail;" 
His cow calves and does not miscarry. 
They bring forth their little ones like a flock, 
And their children skip about.*' 
They dance to the timbrel and zither, 
And make merry to the sound of the pipe. 
) They round out their days in happiness, 
! And peacefully"^ sink down into Sheol." 
To God they say, "Away from us; 
We desire not the knowledge of Thy ways."" 
["What is Shaddai that we should serve Him? 
And what profit, that we should secure His in- 
tercession?"] " 
How often is the lamp of the wicked put out,*' 

"The seed enters the cow, 

" Like lambkins. 

" This is the sense demanded by the context. The reading 
of the text, "in a moment," appears to be an intentional change 
to suggest sudden death as a punishment. Job, however, is 
arguing just the other way. 

"The common belief was that if one goes down to the 
nether world in a happy frame of mind, one will continue in 
that frame. Therefore, Jacob (Gen, 37 : 35) laments that he is 
going to Sheol in sorrow, which implies that he will be unhappy 
in the nether world. 

"The thought is taken up again by Eliphaz, 22, 17. 

" This verse is not in the earlier Greek versions and may be 
a variant toy. 14 or an amplifying comment. Some pious reader, 
shocked at Job's bitter irony, adds (v, 16): 
"Ah, there is no happiness in their hand; 
The coune of ihe wicked be far from me." 

The second line is also inserted in a speech of Eliphaz (22, 18*). 
"Answer to Bildad (18, 5), "The light of the wicked is 
, put out." 


Does calamity come upon them?*^ 

That they become as stubble before the wind, 

And as chaff scattered by the storm?** 

His punishment is stored up for his sons** — 

Let Him requite him that he may know it.*' 

Let his eyes see his destruction; 

Let him drink of the wrath of Shaddai. 

For what is his concern " in his house after 

^When the number of his months is completed?"* 
('This one dies in his full strength; 
Wholly at ease and in peace.** 
His legs (?)» full of fat, 

"A com men tit tor adds: i.e., "Does He apportion suffer- 
ings in His angerf" 

"Cf.Ps. 1,4- 

"A commentator adds "God" (omitted in the Greek tcxi) 
as subject to "store up," but which makes the line too long. 

**Job says: if you argue that God reserves punishment 
and will visit il, according to the orthodox belief, on a wicked 
man's sons what justice is there in this? The one who does 
wrong should be punished, so that he may become conscious of 
Ws guilt and directly suffer for it. 

•'A totally wrong impression is conveyed by the transU- 
tion "pleasure" in the AV and RV. 

"lY., after he dies. 

" A pious reader or commentator, again shocked at Job's 
audacity in setting forth what God ought to do, adds the reflec- 
tion (v, li) 

"Shall one preiumc to teach God, 
Hiro who judgei on high?" 

"The verse is missing in the original Greek version. 

** So the rendering in the Greek Icjt, The word in the 
Hebrew text, designating some part of the body, occurs only 
in this passage. The exact meaning, therefore, is doubtful, but 
it is surely not "pails" as the ordinary translations have it. 



And the marrow of his bones moistened. 
And that one dies in despair, as 

Without having tasted happiness. 
They lie dovm alike •* in the dust, 
LAnd the worm covers them. 
Ah, I know your thoughts, i?,"^* . , . 

All 1 ■ ■ B. Tktaiei/J 

And the arguments that you twist agamst me.*^ iupartd 

When ye say "Where is the house of the noble?"{™"^'*[^"^ 

And where the habitation *' of the wicked?"*' toihimd. 

Ask those who note the course of events,* 

And you will admit with them:^ 

That up to [his] fatal day,* the wicked is spared;* i° 

To the day that he is carried to the grave.* 

And whoever tells such a one 'his way? 

And who repays him for what he has done ? 

"The fate of all, the wicked and the good, the happy and 
the miserable, is the same. It is the Bentiment which runs 
throughout the Book of Kohclcth, Sec Jastrow, A Gentle Cynic, 
page izgseg. 

"The following verse indicates what the argument is. 

"A gloss adds "tent" as the explanation of the plural 
"habitations." The original Greek version omits no less than 
six verses (28-33), *■'■) the balance of the chapter except the 
last verse (34). 

•• The friends argue as follows: Note the difference between 
the fate of the good and the bad. The good man's house sur- 
vives, while that of the wicked perishes. Job vehemently denies 
this, and declares that the facts belie the assumptioa that there 
ia a reward for virtuous deeds. 

• So Ehrlich's happy interpretation {Randglossen 6, p. 269) 
of the phrase, "those who pass by the way." 

'Literally, "Their tokens ye will not fail to recognize." 
' i.e., to his last hour. 

* So by a slight change of the text. 
'So by a slight change, 
' f.e., to the wicked man. 
>8 373 


When he is carried to the grave, 

And rests tranquilly ^ on his bier? 

The clods of the valley* seem sweet to him, 

As the whole population draws after him.* 

How then can you comfort me with vanity. 

Since your arguments are a tissue of falsehood ?*• 

^ So by a slight change required by the context. 

* t.^., the earth that is heaped over his coffin. 

* He has a big funeral with the whole town following in 
procession behind the coffin. A glossator adds, ''And before 
him without number/' t.^., a large concourse also precedes 
the coffin. 

^^This the general force of the obscure, because apparently 
idiomatic, phrase with which the chapter closes. 


(Chapters 22-27) 

The Third Speech of Eliphaz and Job's Rei 

Thereupon, Eliphaz in answer said : 

Does a man help God, )l^inn,^ 

When he helps (people] out of consideration?'^ iikidbmutst 

Is it any advantage to Shaddai, tf thou art^^'^^j,,^ 

Has He any profit if thou perfectest thy ways ? 
Does He punish thee because of thy reverence,'* 
When He brings thee to judgment ? 
Surely thy wickedness must be great, 5 

And there can be no end to thy iniquities. 
For thou must have taken pledges of thy brother 

And stripped the garments of the naked.'* 
[Or] thou didst not give water to the weary, 7 

And didst withhold bread from the hungry." 

Surely God does not punish thee 
but because of the reverse. 

thus forced to go naked. This 

'^ So Ehrlich' 

'* Ironically 

because thou fearest Hi 

"* i.e., of the poor who 
reference is to the law in the Code of the Covenant, Exodus 22, 
25-26 and in the Deuteronomic Code 24, 12-13. 

I '* Verse 8 interrupts the context and is besides obscure. 
"The man of might— to him is the earth, 
And the eialted dwells therein." 
The verse is clearly out of place. It has drifted away from Job's 


[Or] thou dost send widows away empty. 
And thy arm '* didst crush the orphans. 
Therefore, snares are round about thee. 
And sudden terror startles thee." 

Since God is on high " 

And thou seest " how high the stars are. 

Thou sayest: "What does God know?'* 

Can He judge behind the dark cloud? 

Since the clouds are a covering to Him, so that He 

cannot see. 
And the heavenly sphere is revolving. *' *• 
Wilt thou continue in the path of old. 
Which the wicked have trodden? 
[Who were snatched away before their time; 
Whose foundation was poured out as a stream?]** 

speech in chapter 3i where it properly beloags. It impresses 
one as 2 popular saying, perhaps added as a gloss to 3t, 31 by 
some commentator. 

'*So read instead of "arms." 

'•Verse 11 consists of two glosses (a) "Or [because of] 
darkness thou canst not see" — a variant reading or explanatioa 
10 V. loV (b) "A mass (?) of waters covers thee," a variant or 
etplanatioQ to v. 10*. 

'^Tcit adds "heaven," which makes the line too long. 

"So read by a slight change and omit the word "head" 
before "stars" which gives no sense. 

^ i.e., of what is occurring on earth. Verses 13-16 are 
missing in the original Greek version. 

" t.f., constantly moving. So Ehrlich's explanation which 
1 adopt, though with some hesitation. 

*• This i6th verse is among those missing in the original 
Greek version. It strikes one as a later amplification. At this 
point there is a strange confusion in the text. Verses 17-18 arc 
dearly snatches of a paraphrase or repetition of Job's utterances 
in It, 14-15 "'hich perhaps were placed on the margin by a com- 
mentator as variants, and then slipped Into Eliphaz's speech 



[The righteous shall see and rejoice, 

And the innocent shall laugh them to scom: 

"Surely their substance is cut off 

And fire has consumed their wealth."]" 

Endeavor to make thy peace with Him;" 

And thereby " happiness shall come to thee.'' 

Receive instruction ^* from His mouth; 

And lay up His words in thy mind. 

If thou wilt humbly return to Shaddai, 

Job ihoulJ 

through an error. We must separate the verses into three 
sections as fallows: 

a paraphrase or variant to 21, 14 (read "to us," as the Greek 
version, instead of "to them") 

(b) "And He fills their hoittei with happineai," 

perhaps a variant to 21, i6* added by some one, who felt that 
. the text as it stands could not be an utterance of Job's 
f (c) "the couDiel of the wiclced be far from me" 

is repeated from 21, 16''. 

** Verse 20 must be taken to represent the exclamation of 
the righteous innocent over the discomfiture of the wicked, but 
I cannot help feeling that these two verses (19-20) which strike 
one as particularly commonplace and superfluous — besides post- 
poning the climax which begins in v, 21, — are likewise later 
additions. The 20th verse is missing in the original Greek text. 
The speech in any case is much stronger without i6-20, since 
verse 21 joins on directly to v. 15. 

"This is the meaning of a line that is difficult, because of 
the evident corruption of the text. 

'* So read instead of "by them." 

" So read by a slight change of the text. 

" It is interesting to find the term Torak — later the tech- 
nical term for the Pentateuchal Codes — used here in the general 
I sense of "instruction," 


[And] remove unrighteousness from thy tents;" 

Xhen Shaddai will be thy goldmine. 

And silver in superabundance to thee. 

Then shalt thou have delight in Shaddai" 

And shall Hft up thy hands to God.'* 

Thou wilt entreat Him, and He will hearken to 

And thou wilt be able to perform thy vows." 
Thou wilt decree a thing, and it shall be estab- 
And light shall shine upon thy ways. 
[For] the humble He will save," 
And the innocent ** one He will deliver." 

" Verse 24 — omitted m the original Greek version — i> an 
attempt to interpret the metaphor in v. 35 and, ai generally 
happens, when a metaphor Is taken literati}', the effect is spoiled. 

"Gold ore will b« regarded » dull {i.r., it will be to ibundint), 
And Ophir gold (i,r., the pumt gold) ■■ the rock of Uie valleyi." 

(Read "as" instead of "in.") 

"The verb suggests "playing" or sporting with God, God 
will treat you like a spoiled child, and do anything that thou 
askest of Him. So Ehrlich'a interpretation. 

" So read by a slight change in the text, and which, in 
view of the following verse, gives a better sense than "raise 
thy face." 

"i. e., carry out all thy desires. 

" At the beginning of v. 29 there is an addition which seemi 
to be a gloss to the sentiment that "God will save the humble." 
Some commentator added : " If He (i.^., God) lowers one, thou 
sbouldst say "he was haughty," The original Greek version 
omits verses 29 and 30 altogether, 

•"Readby a slight change "innocent man," instead of "the 
not innocent," which is clearly out of place, 

" Again a gloss is added, forming v, 30* in the received 
text. "He shall save because of the puriiyof thy hands," 
which is clearly intended to be an explanation of 30*. By remov- 



* my complaint; 

Then Job in answer said: 

Even now," I would restrain * 

Suppress *' my sighs. 

If I only knew where to find Him, 

And to come to His seat ! 

I would place [my] case before Him, 

And fill my mouth with arguments. 

I would know the words of His answer to me, 

And grasp what He would say unto me. 

Were He to contend with me in the greatness of 

His power, 
He indeed would not prevail against me.'^ 
It would be an upright ^ one who would reason 

with Him; 
And I would be delivered forever from my 


ing these two glosses (29* and 30'') we can combine verses 29 
and 30 into one stanza, and avoid the awkward double change 
from the third to the second person, apart from other ambigui- 
ties that result from the endeavor to translate the two verses as 
they stand. The thought that the humble and innocent will be 
saved through Job's virtues is entirely foreign to the argument 
and outside of the horizon of Eliphaz, as he is depicted in the 

"Literally, "to-day" and used in contrast to the double 
"then" in verses 25-26 of Eliphaz's speech. 

" So read with Ehrlich and as demanded by the contest. 

"This the sense of the phrase "pressing the hand" upon 
one's sighs. 

" Referring to a fonner utterance (9, 19) in which Job 
admitted that if it is a question of strength he is worsted. He 
now declares that if he could bring his case before God, even the 
superior power of the Deity would not prevent his winning out. 

"Referring to himself (1, l). God would be forced to 
recognize Job's innocence. 

*• Meaning his friends who act as his judges and condemn 


But, now, I go fonvard, and He is not there; 

And backward but I cannot perceive Him: 

[Bending to the left, I cannot take hold [of Him] ; 

Turning to the right, I cannot see [Him].*" 

He knows what my way has been;*' 

Were He to test me, I would come out as gold.*^ 

My foot has held to His steps; 

His way I have kept without swerving. 

From the command of His lips I have never 

In my bosom " I treasured the words of His 

But He decides," and who can restrain Him? 
What He desires, even that He does." 
Therefore, I am in terror before Him; 
[When] I consider, I am afraid of Him. 
For God has crushed my spirit, 
And Shaddai has terrorized me. 

htm. Read the plural instead of the singular. All this hope, 
however, is in vain because one cannot find God — a bold 
utterance, indeed! 

** Verses 8-9 are an elaboration of the thought expressed 
in 9, 1 1. The 9th verse is omitted in the original Greek version 
and may be a later amplification. 

"God purposely hides himself from Job, for He Icnows 
that justice is on Job's side. 

"Cf. I Peter 1,7. 

"So the Greek text. 

•* So by a slight change of the text. 

** Verse 14, which is missing in the Greek versions appears 
to consist of two glosses (a) "for He determines my bound" 
(i.r., my fate) — a gloss to is* and (b) "There are many such 
things (?) with Him" — perhaps a comment by some sympa- 
thizer with Job, to indicate that many more illustrations of 
GulTerings arbitrarily imposed upon man might be adduced. 

So that I cannot escape {?), because of the dark- 
And I am enveloped in thick gloom. 

Why are times hidden by " Shaddai, *4. i 

So that [even] those who know Him can not see ^^ 

His days?" 
[The wicked]" remove landmarks; 

of ikt innotrnl 
and defincC' 
kandi aj tiu 
taken literally in the sense of "from." mikUsi and 
■ ned much difficulty. The thought "''*"'■ 
tionally veiled, 



** Or perhaps t 

"This verse h: 
to be expressed appears to have been 
because of its eitremc audacity; and it may be also that thi 
text has been further interfered with in order to tone down its 
real import that/a/f is blind, that the future is so hidden, that 
none of God's creatures, not even the most pious and the most 
learned, can follow the reason for things. It is the same thought 
that Koheleth expresses when he says (8, 17) 

"I realized thit no one can penetrate to the core of what happeni in 
e«rth, that man cannot undentand what happen* under the sun, despite all 
efforti to»eebaaolulion . . . andcvenif a wiie man thinks thai he knowi 
— yet he cannot find out. Man docs not Itnow. (Jastrow, A GenlU Cynic, p. 119) 

With a view of reducing the boldness of the thought, "not" 
has been inserted. The Greek text preserves the original read- 
ing without "not," If we insert the "not" as the Massoretic 
text does, the two lines would read 

Why are times not hidden by Shaddai, 

So that Hii fdlowcn might not ice Hit days? 

i.e., it would be better if we did not know what the coming days 
have in store for us. This appeared to be the more orthodox 
thought and was, therefore, put in the mouth of Job, 

"The line is too short by one beat. A word has dropped 
out and sincethcsubject of the verbis in any case "the wicked" 
It will not seem too bold to supply this word. The violent 
oppressors commit crimes without being punished. Note that 
in this impressive description of the wrongs perpetrated in the 
world, there is a transition from the deeds of the oppressors 
(v. 2-4) to the sufferings of the oppressed (v, 5-8) and back 
again to the oppressors (v. 9), then once more to the oppressed 
victims (v. 10-12), and back to the oppressors (v. 13-17). 
Cf. Deut. 19, 14. 



They steal flocks, and pasture them. 

* They drive away the ass of orphans; 
They take the widow's ox for a pledge. 

9 [They pluck the orphan from the breast; 
And pledge the infant ** of the poor.]*" 

4 They turn the needy out of the way; 

The poor of the earth hide themselves together. 

s As wild asses in the wilderness they must go forth, 

To seek food as their task." 
In a field that is not theirs " they harvest; 
And are forced to gamer the vineyard of the 

wicked one. 
They spend the night without clothing;" 
And without a covering in the cold. I 

They are wet with the mountain torrents, 
Without a shelter, they cling to the rock. 

«> They '* go about naked without a garment, 

" So read by a slight change in the vocalization of the word 
preceding "poor." 

•"This gth verse is misplaced; it evidently belongs here 
«fler the third verse. The alternative would be to regard it as a 
later addition inserted at the wrong place. 

" A commentator adds, by way of comment to this 5th 
verse: "The desert must provide the food for their children." 
The needy driven from the towns seek sustenance for themselves 
and for their children in the wilderness, like wild asses seeking 
for prey, 

** So read according to the Greek text. The description 
in this verse is of the victims of the rich despoilers, who must 
garner the fruits in a field which the wicked has stolen, and 
must work in vineyards that have been seized through violence. 
An impressive and pathetic picture of the enslavement of the 
masses through the greed and violence of the possessing classes. 

"They have been robbed even of their garments. A gloss 
»ddsthesuperfluou9"naked"suggestedby V. 10. Cf. above 22,6. 

**The orphans and the c^^^ld^cn of the poor. 


And themselves hungry must carry the sheaves." 

They are forced to press the oil between '•" 

They tread the winepresses, and thirst.*' 

The weaklings'* groan, 

And the souls of the wounded cry for help." 

They are of those who rebel against light;"* 

They sit not in its paths." 

The murderer rises at the break of light;** 

And at night he is as a thief. 

The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight," 

And puts a covering on his face." 


"Garnering for the rich owners of the field, while they, 
the poor, receive nothing. 

"An obscure word follows. The ordinary transUtion 
"between their rows" gives no sense. Various conjectures 
have been prop>oaed, but none of them is entirely satisfactory. 

"They are not permitted even to drink the grape juice 
that they press out. 

"So Ehrlich's ingenious interpretation of the phrase 
which occurs, Deuteronomy 2, 34, to describe those not fit for 
military service and who therefore remain behind with the 
women and children. 

" A glossator adds, "But God does not hear the prayer." 
Thelast word of that gloss is to be vocalized tefillak "prayer." 
The ordinary translations of this line furnish a good illustration 
of the absurdities to which onetsledby the endeavor to translate 
an erroneous vocalization. The translation of the American 
Baptist Publication Society adopts the correct reading. 

"A splendid line to describe criminals who shun the sun- 
light in order to carry out their deeds under the cover of darkness. 

"• A variant or comment adds: "They do not know its 
ways," i.e., of the light. 

** i.e., at dawn before the city is astir. A comment or 
variant reads: "He kills the poor and needy." 

"Again a comment or variant: "Saying, no eye sees me." 
The original Greek version omits from verse 15-18. 

•* Hardly a mask, but a cloth of some kind so as to conceal 
his face — a "veil" as Renan (J oh p. 104) very happily suggests. 

They break into houses in the darkness; 
They hide themselves by day." 
For daybreak" is to them Jas] daric night;" 
When it is recognized, [as] the terrors of dark night. 
He moves swiftly upon the face of the waters;** 
He turns aside into the way of the vineyards," 
In cold " as in heat they steal " 

**Rod the plural in the first line. A comment reads: 
"They know not the light." 

" i'.^., they are afraid of the day, and fear it as one docs 
the terrors of the night. The line contains a superfluous "alto- 
gether" — a variant to "to them." 

" Literally, "deep darkness," which is frequeotly used to 
express terror aroused by dense gloom. 

"He takes the refuge on the water when day comes or 
he hides in the vineyards. At this point and to the end of the 
chapter, some pious reader or commentator, shocked at Job's 
audacity in thus describing the various classes of offenders who 
ply their trade without any interference on the part of a Deity, 
indifferent to the crimes that are daily committed, inserts pious 
reflections to counteract Job's extreme cynicism. So at this 
point, there is an addition, " their portion is cursed in the earth." 

• So the Greek version which omits "not" and "way." 

'• So read by a slight change of the text, 

" The rest of the verse is entirely unintelligible. Verse 20 
distinctly reflects the point of view of the pious commentator 
who, in opposition to Job, emphasizes the doom in store for 
the persistent and cruel offender 

"The womb (argeu him; 
Worm* feed ( ?) on bim 
He is no longer remembered; 
Iwquily ii cniihcd like i inc." 

The language besides is confused, and the beats in the line 
uneven. The third line may, in fact, be a prose explanation of 
the first one. Various emendations have been suggested for 
'"womb" and for the verb in the second line, but they are all 


He lies with the barren who cannot bear;" 

And gives no aid to the widow. 

He entices the strong ones by his power; 

He rises up, and none is sure of life. 

He assures one of safety on which they rely " 

While His eye is on their ways.'* 

If it is not so, who will prove me to be a har. 

And nulHfy my speech? 

The Reconstructed Third Speech of Bildad" 

Then Bildad in answer said: 
Does He rule by terror,^' 

IC, 1-6 and 
16, S-I4 
sexual indulgences of an immoral'^"' 

majtsty ami 


"A veiled illusion 

™ This appears to be the meaning of this difRcult line. The 
villain lures his victims under pretense of protecting them, 

" i.e., on his victims whom he trickily draws into his net- 
Verse 24 is again an addition on the part of a pious commenta- 
tor, who furnishes the antidote to Job's poisonous suggestion 
in regard to the immunity from ultimate punishment of the 
shrewd and unscrupulous in whose presence no one is safe. 

"The/ are exalted for a while and brought low (gloaa or variant "are 


n they wither, (with a 

" For the sake of convenience I summarize the rearrange- 
ment of chapters 25-31,35 set forth above pp. 67-74 and 1 30-140: 

(1) Bildad's third speech, chapter 25, 1-6 and 26, 5-14, 
with reminiscences of former utterances in the older draft of 
the book, as for example, 4, 17-19 (Eliphaz)= 25, 4-6. 

(z) Job's answer to Bildad's third speech, 26, 1-4; 27, 2-6 
and 30, 16-24, concluding with 31, 35~37i but which may origin- 
ally have been the close of the missing reply to Zophar's speech 
in the third series. This would give us twenty-two verses, or a 
little less than the average length of a complete chapter. 


He who maintains peace on high? 
Is there any limit to His armies ? 

(3) Zophar's third speech 31,2-4; 27, 7-23, with 30, 2-8, as 
«n independent fragment, the whole being in line with Zophar's 
arraignment in chapter 20 of the fate of the evildoers, and of 
the punishment that will be meted out to them. The beginaing 
of the speech is represented by the section 31, 1-4, which was 
intentionally torn from its original position. Job's reply is 
lacking. It is replaced by the two supplementary speeches 
(chapters 29-31). 

{4) A supplementary speech of Job, devoted to setting 
forth the proper life that he led, and the esteem in which he was 
held, contrasted with the contempt now heaped upon him 
because of his sad condition. This speech, which clearly betrays 
marks of steady amplification as well as of an intentional 
rearrangement of the sections, is to be subdivided as follows: 

(a) 29, 1-20. 

{b) 29, 21-15 ^^ ^^ independent elaboration. 

(r) 30, I and 9-15 and 30, 26-31, forming the close of this 
supplementary speech. 

(s) A second supplementary speech, consisting of 31, I 
and 5-34 (with 30, 25 to be inserted after 31, 15) and 31, 38-40. 
In this speech Job indulges in elaborate descriptions of all the 
fine and virtuous things which he did and how he avoided sin 
and all temptation — descriptions that are none the less fatuous, 
because they are put in an implied manner. The speech falls 
into seven sections which need to be arranged in a different 
order to form a proper sequence. See below p. 304. 

These two supplementary speeches have been combined 
into one under a single heading (29, l): and in the course of 
the further editing process, the sections above noted were also 
inserted into the two speeches, which in turn led to a further 
rearrangement. The very length of the two speeches (96 verses) 
precludes the possibility of their being a single composition. 
Moreover, each speech furnishes internal evidence of being a 
gradual growth, with a number of independent elaborations. 
That these supplementary speeches are by different writers 
from those to whom we owe the speeches of Job in the original 
book has been made evident in the above discussion pp. 137 seq. 

(6) Chapter 28, an inserted and entirely independent 


And over whom does His authority not extend F™ 

How can man win a suit against God?^' 

And how can woman-born be pure? 

Since even the moon is not worthy,"" s 

And stars are not pure in His eyes. 

How much less a man — ^a mere worm; 

And a maggot of a human being! 

[26, 1-4 forming part of Job's speech in reply to 
Bildad, below, p. 289] 

The shades below are in terror;*' a6,s 

The waters and their inhabitants. 

Sheol is naked *' before Him, 

And there is no covering to Abaddon.*' 

Over empty space He stretches the North; 
chapter on the "Search for Wisdom," originally placed at the 
close of the third series of speeches. 

(7) Thccolophon 31, 4.0°: "The words of Job are ended" 
represents the close of the original Book of Job and was trans- 
ferred from its original position at the close of Job's speech in 
the third scries in reply to Zophar to the end of the second supple- 
mentary speech. 

"Consisting of 25, i-6 and 26, 5-14. See the discussion 
above p. lyciseq. 

" So by a, very slight change in the text. 

"So read with Ehrlich by a slight change in the text, 

"i.^., expect to be acquitted of all guilt. Bildad quotes 
Job's utterance (9, j), but gives it a different turn. Verses 4-6 
are dearly reminiscent of 4, 17-19 (Eiiphaz) and thus betray 
their dependence upon the speech put into the mouth of Eiiphaz. 

*" Literally: "bright," but in the acnseof altogether worthy 
The reference is perhaps to an eclipse of the moon, regarded by 
the ancients as a punishment of the moon for some offense. 

" Verses 5-1 1 &nd most of v. 14 are omitted in the original 
Greek version. 

**t.^., revealed. Nothing is hidden from God. Cf. Prov. 
IS, II. 

" i.e., "Destruction " one of the names of the nether world. 


He hangs the earth over nothing. 

In Hi« thick clouds He binds up the water; 

And the cloud is not rent under their weight. 

He coven the face of the moon;** 

And spreads His cloud upon it. 

He fixes a boundary to the face of the. waters; 

To the confluence •* of light with dai^ess. 

The pillars of heaven *' tremble. 

And at His wrath are aghast. 

With His power He stirred up the sea, 

And by His strategy shattered Rahab." 

By His breath He subdued (?) the waters^ 

Hia hand pierced the fleeing serpent." 

These are but the outskirts of His ways, 

And a mere whisper that penetrates to us.** 

**So read — as suggested by Ibn Ezra back in the lath 
Century — by a. different vocalization of the word tranilated 

** Literally, the "eitrcnie limit" where light and darkness 

"The span of the heavens was popularly supposed to rest 
OD two pillars, one at each end of the vault. 

*' The sea monster, as the personification of the prioueval 
chaos. See above the note to 9, 13. 

"The reading "waters" instead of "heavens" (through 
the omission of one letter in the Hebrew word) is demanded by 
the context. The reference is, as in 9, 13, to the myth of crea- 
tion which, common to Babylonians and Hebrews, represented 
primaival chaos as a group of monsters that had to be subdued 
Dcfore order could be established. Daiches' explanation of 
verses IJ-13 in thcZcitschrift fur Assyriologic XXV, 1-8 misses 
the point that all four lines refer to the sea. 

■i.e., one of the primeval monsters, like Rahab and 
Leviathan. See the comment to Chap. 40, 25. 

" The closing phrase, "The thunder of His might who can 
grasp," is clearly a misplaced gloss to v. 11 — an exclamation 

■The Reconstructed Speech of Job in Reply to Bildad" 

Then Job in answer said: *^' ' 

How thou hast helped the one without power, » 
Aided the one without strength!" 16. r-4«iid 

Through whom have [these] words been told thee ? jo)> main- < 
And whose spirit speaks through thee?" dJi^'ofku 

[26, 5-14-part of Bildad's third speech — above,' 

p. 287.1 

r of some pious reader. The original Greek version omits verses 
5-1 1, of Bildad's speech and all of v. 14, except the closing 
phrase. Verses 7-13 are again reminiscent of 9, S""'3i there 
put into the mouth of Job in protest against the ciercise of 
God's power, the existence and unlimited force of which he 
admits, but here brought forward with the evident intention 
of proving how presumptuous it is of man to question God's 
ways. The spirit in which this description of God's supreme 
control of the universe is to be taken is indicated by the gloss 
at the end of v. 14, "The thunder of his might, who can grasp.'" 

" This speech, consists of 26, 1-4; 27, 2-6; 30, 16-24, ^nd 
31, 35-37- The editorial heading is missing in Jerome's version. 
See the discussion above p. 134. 

•'The "one without power" and the "one without 
strength " are not intended to describe Job but God, though, of 
course, in a sarcastic spirit. In a bitteriy ironical tone. Job 
taunts his opponents with having furnished arguments to defend 
God, as though lie were without power and strength. Verse 3 
is clearly an endeavor to interpret verse 1, but on the part of a 
commentator, who wishes to give a less objectionable turn to 
Job's taunt by applying the terms "without power" and "with- 
out strength" to Job, 

"How hast thou counselled tbc one without wisdom, 
And hast imparted imtruction ia abuadance!" 

"A continuation of the sharp sarcasm, to suggest that 
what Bildad has brought forward is commonplace and trite. 
. For the phrase used, see I Kgs. 22, 24, 
19 289 




By God who has taken my right; 

And by Shaddai who has vexed my soul ; 

As long as there is breath within me, 

And the spirit of God in my nostrils;*' 

Far be it from me to justify you; 

Till I die I will not relinquish my innocence.** 

Ihold fast tomyjustificadon without letting it go;" 

My mind will never yield its innocence." 

[Verses 7-23, part of third speech of Zophar- 

below p. 294.] 
My soul is poured out within me;" 
Days of afHiction have seized me. 
By night my bones are wrenched from me,' 
And my worn-out frame ' does not permit sleep. 
With great force it clutches at my garment.* 

"A later editor has inserted the heading, "And Job again 
took up his speech as follows," which he found at the beginning 
of Chap. 29 and repeated here. 

" A quotation from Genesis 2, 7, which is thus assumed in 
its present form. A pious commentator in order to give a differ- 
ent turn to Job's bold insistence upon this innocence, inserts (v. 4) 
— perhaps based on Psalm 34, 14, 

"My lips Bhall not speak unrightcouaoe*). 
Nor my tongue utter deceit. 

•* t.^., the claim of my innocence. 

" So read, following Ehrlich. 

"Again, the claim of my innocence. 

"The line is missing in the original Greek version. 

' i.e. the pain is so excruciating at night that it seems to 
him as though his bones were being wrenched out of their sockets, 
'So Ehrlich's interpretation, by a comparison with the 
Arabic equivalent which designates bone from which the flesh 
has been removed. Job says that he is a mere skeleton without 
flesh, so that his bones ache when he lies on them, 

* Verse 18 describes by way of contrast, his sufferings by 
day when he is clothed, and the pain seizes him now at the 



And grasps rae at the hem of • my undergarment. 

Into the mire He has cast me, 

So that I am utterly undone.* 

I cry unto Thee, but Thou dost not answer; « 

I stop, and Thou starest at me.^ 

Thou art turned cruel to me; 

By the force of Thy hand Thou torturest ^ me. 

Thou Uftest me up with the wind,* 

And the storm ' tosses me about. 

I know that Thou wilt deliver me to death, 

To the gathering place '" of all the living. 

But it " is not forthcoming " upon request;" a^ 


upper garment, now at the lower garment. The dress consists 
of a lower garment, hanging from the loins, and an upper gar- 
ment, covering the upper part of his body. He has pains every- 
where throughout his body. 

* So read by a slight change in the text. 

* Literally: "Dust and ashes," an idiomatic expression to 
convey the idea of being completely undone. It occurs again 
42, 6, probably quoted from our passage. 

• Without, however, helping me. It is all the same whether 
I cry or whether I suffer in silence. 

' So the Greek text. 

' An explanatory gloss is added, "Thou causcst me to ride," 
i.^,, on the wind. Both the line and the gloss are missing in the 
original Greek version. 

• So read by a slight change in the text. The metaphor 
in this verse is that of a ship at the mercy of the wind, tossed 
about in an angry sea. 

'"Literally: "gathering house." 

" {.e., death. 

" Literally: "it docs not stretch forth the hand." 

''So to be rendered, instead of the meaningless "ruinous 
heap," retained in the translation of the American Jewish 
Publication Society. 

Nor does release '* come in one's distress." 
[Verse 25, belonging to Job's second supplemen- 
tary speech is to be placed after 31, 15, below, , 
p. 306. 
Verses 26-31 — theconclusionof Job's first supple- 
mentary speech — below, p. 303.I 
[O that there were some one to hear me!'* 
Here is my brief"* — let Shaddai refute me." 
Aye, I will lift it on my shoulder; 

'* So read by a slight change in the text. Job complaios 
that although he knows that God will not grant him a release 
from his pains and that death is jn store for him, yet death does 
not come though one longs for it. A pathetic outcry of one who 
feels himself doomed, and who yet is not permitted to die. 

'*Thc following verse (v. 25) belongs to Job's second 
supplementary speech. It may have been added on the margin 
of a codex and inserted by a later copyist into a wrong place. 
I place it after the section 31, 15. Below p. 306. 

•* Conclusion either of Job's speech in reply to Bildad, or 
of the missing speech of Job in reply to Zophar. See above, p. 
f/f seq., and the summary, p. 285. I 

"The line is omitted in the original Greek, I 

"Literally, "my cross," the word used being Tav, the 
name of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, corresponding 
to our T and having originally the form of a cross. The cross 
is the mark or signature attached to a document, and is here 
used for the document itself, authenticated by the signature. 

" Literally: "answer me," but in the legal sense of present- 
ing a counter argument. What follows (in prose form) "and 
the indictment (literally: "book") which my adversary has 
written," is an amplifying comment to "Here is my brief," to 
suggest Job's anxiety to refute any charges that might be 
brought against him. The adversary is, of course, God, The 
line is superfluous and interrupts the context. As a comment, 
however, added by way of explanation to "my brief" it is 
intelligible. The famous quotation "Oh that mine adversary 
had written a book" (so the Authorized Version) thus turns out 
to be both a mistranslation and misconception of our passage. 

I will wear it as my crown. 

With steady gait I will confront him; 

[And] as a prince approach him.]" 

The Reconstructed Third Speech of Zophar" 
What ** is the portion of God above, 
And the heritage of Shaddai on high? 
Is it not calamity for the evildoer, 
And disaster to those who do wrong? 
Does not He see my ways, 

Again ikc 
doom of lltr 

p piemen tary 

"Verses 38-40" form part of Job's second s 
■peecb, below p. 305. 

" See the discussion above p. 133. The speech, consisting of 
31, a-4;27, 7-23 and 30,2-8, forms a parallel to Zophar's second 
speech (Chapter 20), further elaborating the description of the 
punishment in store for the wicked, even though for a time he 
flourishes. The fragment appears to be an attempt on the part 
of a writer to try his hand at a refutation of Job's charge that 
the wicked flourish in this world quite as frequently as they are 
punished, if not more so; it has been assigned to Job by an ortho- 
dox commentator with deliberate intent, so as to convey the 
impression of Job's conversion to the conventional point of view. 

The three verses {31, 2-4), inserted into the second supple- 
mentary speech of Job (see above p. 286), arc dearly out of place 
where they stand and interrupt the context. The thought is 
entirely along the lines of 27, 7-23 and 30, 2-8 and forms an 
appropriate beginning to a speech, setting forth again in variant 
form, the awful fate in store for the wicked. 1 have, therefore, 
no hesitation in placing the verses here, where they form a 
proper link with the section 27, 7-23, which begins rather ab- 
ruptly. They were torn from their place with deliberate intent, 
in order to represent Job as giving expression to the orthodox 
view regarding the justice of God in dealing out punishmeat to 
the wicked in this world. 

"The conjunction "And" was added by the editor, who 
transferred the verses to Chap, 31. 


And count all my steps ?^ 

[27, 2-6 part of Job's speech in reply to Bildad*s 
third speech, above p. 290.) 

May [the fate of] my enemy be as that of the 

And my adversary [have the fate] of the evil- 

For what is the hope of the impious,'* 

When God threatens(?)*» his Hfe? 

Will God hear his cry, 

When trouble comes upon him? 

Can he count upon '' Shaddai? 

Approach " God at all times? 

(I will teach you concerning God's power, 

And not conceal what Shaddai brings about. 

Behold all of you have seen it; 

Why then this foolishness that you display?]" 

This is the portion of the wicked from God, 

And the heritage of the oppressors from Shaddai. 

"Giving a different turn to Job's complaint, 13, 27. 

** A general curse, levelled by Zophar at Job, who is the 
wicked and the evildoer, 

" A gloss adds, "that there should be any profit." 

" So demanded by the context. 

" The verb indicates a cordial relation to God, as that of a 
favorite child to his father. 

■■ So read by a slight change in the text. 

**Verses ii— 12, it will be observed, represent an address 
in the plural, whereas one expects the singular on the supposition 
that Zophar is speaking to Job. Either the change was intention- 
ally made after the fragment had been inserted into a supposed 
speech of Job's, or the verses represent a later addition to adapt 
the speech to Job, as though he were addressing the three friends, 

*" Parallel to 20, 29 (Zophar) and no doubt taken over from 
the former speech. 



If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword; 

And his offspring shall not have bread enough." 

Those that remain "^ shall be buried by pestilence; ij 

And there shall be no widows to mourn." 

Though he heap up silver as dust, 

And provide garments as clay; 

He may provide, but the righteous will put on, 

And the innocent shall divide the silver. 

He builds his house as a spider's web," 

As a [vineyard] booth for the keeper.'* 

He lies down rich, but it '* will not continue; 

He opens his eyes, and it is gone. 

Terrors overtake him by day;" ** 

The tempest removes him by night. 

The east wind carries him off and away; 

And sweeps him out of his place. 

Its arrows shoot without sparing;** 

"A direct answer to Job's assertion 21, 7-11, showing 
clearly that 27, 13-23 cannot be placed in the mouth of Job. 

** i.e.y those that are left over from the sword and famine. 

" i.e., the remaining sons and their wives will also die of 
the plague. 

" So the Greek text. What the wicked builds will be as 
fragile as a spider's web; their riches will not be permanent. 
This is directly contrary to Job's assertion (21, 13 seq.), but in 
accord with what Bildad (,3, 13-15) says. 

" So the Greek and the Syriac versions. The reference is 
to the booth or hut erected temporarily in the vineyards during 
the vintage season to house the one who guards the vineyard 
against theft. 

"i>., his wealth. 

" So read by a slight change in the text, instead of " waters." 

"i.^., the arrows of misfortune are not spared in bunting 
him down. Cf. Jer. 50, 14. 



And he is pierced '• by its force.*" 

One shall clap one's hands over him,*' 

And in his own place *' one shall hiss at him. 

[For chapter 28, an independent composition on 
the "Search for Wisdom" see below p. 3 10; for chapter 
29-30,1 part of Job's first supplementary speech, below 
p. 298.] 

[30, 2-8 an independent fragment, containing 
and elaborating the same description of the awful fate 
in store for the wicked.]** 
t Of what profit is the strength of their hands to 

When old age lays its hold upon them? 

Gaunt with want and famine. 

They take to the desert for refuge.** 

Plucking the salt-root with wormwood, 
5 And with the roots of the broom as their food. 

Driven forth from the community,*' 

•• So Ehrlich's readiog. 

♦•Literallj': "hand," but desi^ating the force of the evi! 
fortune Df punishment. 

" In joy at his discomfiture, Cf. 30, 8. 

" Better than "out of his place." 

** Barton, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 30, p. 74, 
proposes to take verses2-8 of Chap. 30 as part of Bildad's speech, 
beginning with Chap, 2 J, but Barton's whole theory of the recon- 
struction of this speech involves too many transpositions without 
sufficient motive. Besides, it is Zophar (Chap. 20) and not 
Bildad who dwells so emphatically upon the fate of the wicked. 

**So read instead of "to me." Verses J-j and 4* are 
missing in the original Greek version. 

"There is an obscure word in 3', but the general sense ts 
clear. Agloss,dc8criptiveof thedescrt (?) as theplaceof "storm 
and the hurricane" is added. 

*• So by a slight change of the text. 


One shouts after them as after a thief.*' 

Forced to dwell in the clefts of the valleys,- 

In caves and in rocks. 

Among the thorny growths they groan; 

Huddled together under nettles. 

Worthless and nameless, 

They are scourged out of the land.** 

The words of Job are ended." 

*' i.e., they arc driven off with derisive shouts, as a thief 
is hounded out of the settlement. 

• Clearly a parallel to 27, 23 and betraying the independent 
character of thia fragment. 

"The colophon to the original Book of Job sec above p.67. 
Job's reply to Zophar's third speech is lacking. Itwaspei^ 
haps suppressed because too objectionable from the ortho- 
dox point of view; and at all events replaced by the two 
supplementary speeches of Job, embodied in chapters 29- 
31, in which, however, later editors in their rearrangement 
inserted portions of Zophar's third speech (30, 2-8 and 31, 2-4) 
and of Job's speech in reply to Bildad's third speech (30, 16-24) 
and the conclusion (3 1, 35-37}. 


(Chapters 29-31) 

The First Supplementary Speech of Job *" — 

And Job again took up his speech " as follows: 

Oh that I were as in the months of old, 

As in the days when God watched o'er me;" 

When His lamp hung " over my head; 

When by His light I could venture into darkness." 

"Consisting of 29, 1-20 with 21-25 ^^ *" independent 
elaboration of the same thought as in 7-1 1; 30, i and 9-15, and 
26-3 1 as the close. In my translation I divide the speech into 
three sections as follows: 

(a) 29, 1-20, (b) 29, 21-25, "IS an independent supplement, 
followed by (c) 30, 1 and 9-15, and 30, 26-31 as the conclusion. 

"The unusual heading in place of the conventional "in 
juiswer said" betrays the independence of this speech from the 
body of the book. The terra miuhal here used is a very general 
one for "discourse" or speech; but which in time acquired the 
sense of a speech with some didactic purpose. Hence it becomes 
the designation for the "Book of Mashals," i.e.. Proverbs; it 
is also used as parable, which is essentially an utterance of « 
didactic character. The same heading was appended by some 
editor to 27, i. See above, p. 290, note 94. 

''See the parallels in Dante and Chaucer, quoted by 
Strahan, Joh, p. 242. 

" So by a slight change of the text. 

^This is the meaning of the Hebrew phrase, as Ehrlich 
Randglojsen, 6, p. 293, points out. 


As I was in the days of my bloom, 

When God was close'* to my tent. 

[When Shaddai was with me s 

And my children about me.)*^ 

When my guests ^' washed in cream, 

And a messenger to me" poured streams of oil,*' 

When I went forth to the gate, ^^ 

And took my seat in the broad place;" 

Youths saw me and withdrew,*' 

And the aged remained standing." 

Princes refrained from speaking," 

And laid their hand on their mouth." 

The voice of the nobles was hushed, 

And their tongue cleaved to their palate.'* 

" More literally; "in dose converse." 

" Verse 5 — somewhat banal and prosaic — is probably a 
later insertion to explain the force of the preceding one. Ehr- 
lich's explanation is farfetched, besides involving an unnecessary 
correction in the first part of the verse. 

*' Not " my steps " but " those who come or wander to mc," 
i.e., the wayfarers who sought Job's hospitality, as Ehrlich has 
most happily suggested. 

** So by a slight change of the text, instead of the meaning- 
less "rock." 

" Meaning that streams of oil were poured out for him. 
Cream instead of water to wash one's feet, and oil in abundance 
are symbols of the overflowing plenty which prevailed in Job's 
household. Verse 6 is missing in the Syriac version. 

"A gloss adds "unto the city." The gate is the place 
[ where the tribunal, composed of the leading citizens, sat. 

•• i.^., the plaza at the gate of an Oriental town. 

"Out of respect. 

" A gloss adds "rose," to the verb "stood." 

** Out of respect for Job. 

"The sign of silence. 

" i.e., they kept back anything that they had to say. 


The ear that heard envied me,'^ 
And the eye that saw emulated me. 
For I delivered the poor that cried out, 
And the orphan and the one without help. 
The blessing of the forsaken was poured on me; 
And I cheered the mind of the widow. 
Righteousness I put on and it clothed me; 
And my judgment** was [my] mantle and diadem.** 
'5 Eyes was I to the blind. 
And feet to the lame. 
A father, I to the needy; 
And I searched out the cause of the unknown. 
And I broke the jaws of the wicked, 
And plucked the prey from his teeth. 
And I thought to die in my nest. 
To lengthen my days as the phoenix." 
My r oot exposed to water, 

" Literally, "looked upon me as fortunate." 

•*i.f., the just decisions rendered by him. 

* Symbols of royalty. 

'"An interesting metaphor to express two hopes — a long 
life, always regarded as a sign of Divine favor, and to die peace- 
fully in one's home. The phoenix, according to the widespread 
b«Iief in antiquity, was supposed to live for 500 years and when 
his time was come, he consumed himself by setting fire I0 hia 
nest. The correct translation "Phcenii" instead of "sand" is 
found in the translation of the American Jewish Publication 
Society as also on the margin of the RV. It probably underlies 
the Greek translation (though misunderstood by later redactors) 
and has ancient Rabbinical authority (see Marcus Jastrow, 
Talmudu Dictionary \, p. 4^2 sub^oO. One cannot help wonder- 
ing whether if "phoenix" had been suggested by some modern 
commentator, it would have been adopted by translators who 
retain untenable translations, (merely because they arc tradi- 
tional) in hundreds of passages that are far more unreasonable 
than "sand" instead of "phoenix." 


And dew failing all night on my branch. 

My glory freshened," * 

And the bow in my hand renewed." 

Unto me men listened and waited," 

And kept silent for my counsel. 

After I had spoken, they spake not again; 

And my speech dropped upon them. 

They waited for me as for rain; 

And they opened their mouth as for latter rain.'* 

When I smiled upon them, they gained con- 

And at sight of me could hardly contain them- 
selves.'* J. 

[ choose their way " as chief; 

And I sat as a king with [his] troops." 

" i.e., with ever renewed strength, 

"There is a strange mixture of metaphors in these two 
I verses (19 and 20) to express practically the same idea as in 
V, 18 — that Job hoped to end his days as he had lived, with his 
vigor unimpaired like a tree whose roots are constantly fed by 
water and which does not dry up, and like one whose strength is 
maintained by constantly being supplied with fresh weapons. 

" 29, 21-25, '^ ^'^ independent fragment, expressing 
the same lament over the contrast between then and noto as 
29, i-ii. I place it here, so as to make it evident that 
it is merely another attempt to describe what is already set 
forth fully in 29, 7-11. 
"Cf. Prov. 16, 15. 
'* So by a slight change of the text, 

" Such the meaning of the line, demanded by the context. 
"i>., guided them. The line has a superfluous word 
I added by way of comment. 

I " i.e., he was looked up to as the army looks to the king, 

[ who is also the general. A comment. "As one who comforts 

1. 9-); aDo 


Thi unhappy 

But now those younger than I mock; 

Whom I would have disdained to set with my I 

[30, 2-8 — part of the reconstructed third speeck J 

of Zophar see above, p. 296] 
Their song '" have I become, 
And a by-word amongthem. 
They abhor me [and] stand aloof; 
And refrain not from spitting in my face. 
For they have severed " my cords and afflicted ] 

And cast off the bridle before me. 
The rabble rises up at my right;** 
They have cast up against me their " 

moumcrs," is added, to Guggest a different interpretation fof 
"sitting as chief," as though referringto his sitting among those 
who looked to him not only for guidance, but also for comfort. 
The entire verse is lacking In the original Greek version. 

" i.e., as shepherds of the flock. The line has been ampli- 
fied to read "Whose fathers I would have refused to set with the 
dogs of my flock." In its present form, the line has five beats — 
clearly much too long. 

" i.^., their jest. Because of the manifest incongruity of 
verses 2-8 with v. i, the editor, who felt the lack of sequence, 
repeated at the beginning of ^e gth verse, the word "now" 
with which chapter 30 begins. 

" Read as plural. 

" So read by a slight change. 

•* So read by a slight change of the text. 

**The text as it stands "the ways of their destruction" 
gives no satisfactory sense, I suspect "ways" to be a gloss to 
"my path" in v. 13; and the remaining word to designate 
"sicgeworks" or the like. A commentator added by way of 

"Headlong they send me" — more literally, "they upset 
my feet." 



They block (?) my path, 

They scale *' my bulwark (?).*■ 

As through a wide breach they come; 

As a storm they roll themselves upon me.^' 

My honor is chased as the wind, ij 

And my welfare passes away as a cloud. 

[30, 16-24 — P^rt of Job's speech in reply to Bil- 
dad's third speech, above p. 290. For verse 25, to be 
transferred to Job's second supplementary speech, 
see belowp.306.] 

For I hoped for good, but evil has come, jo. 16 " 

I waited for light, but darkness set in. 

My bowels are stirred, without rest; 

Days of affliction have overtaken me. 

In mourning I go about without sunshine;" 

I have joined the assembly of those crying for 

An associate to jackals have I become; 
[And] a companion to ostriches.*^ 

"So read with Ehrlich. 

"The text reads "my being" or "my calamity," but the 
context demands a suitable parallelism to "path." I therefore 
suggest a term like "bulwark." The last phrase, "with none 
restraining them," (so to be read following Ehrlich, instead of 
" no helper to them "which is nonsensical), is an explanatory gloss. 

" A commentator adds "terror is turned upon mc." The 
line is missing in one of the older Greek versions. 

** 30, 26-3 1 close of the reconstructed supplementary 
speech of Job. 

*• i.e., I move about in darkness — solitary. 

"I'.f., I have joined, as it were, the guild of the helpless. 
So Ehrlich' s explanation. 

•'Jackals and ostriches are frequently used in Biblical 
poetry as symbols of desolation and mourning. 

My skin has become black upon me, 
And my bones are bumed with heat." 
My harp is turned to mourning, 
And my pipe become a lament.** 

A Second Supplementary Speech of Job*' — 
A covenant I made with my eyes; 
Never to have a thought ** of a virgin. 
[Verses 2-4 forming the beginning of Zophar's 
34:31.5-8 third speech above, p. 293; Verses 5-8 below, p. tog.l 

Jah ltd forth —I- > f VJ' J > f j v i 

ku nrturs *i He is consumed by fever, so that his skin is parched, and 

^*"*''thc marrow of his bones dried out. 
dtt 'inanj ** Harp and pipe are usuaUy instnimenU of joy. 

tmpuiion. ••Consisting of 31, I and 9-34; 38-40, together with 30, 

25 which has slipped into a wrong place (see below, p. 306}. 
TTie speech consists of seven sections that have been pieced 
together. They all deal with the same thought — Job's virtuous 
life. The speech betrays its composite character by its abrupt 
transitioD from virtues of private life to those bearing on public 
duties, and back again to the former. We obtain a more orderly 
sequence by a rearrangement as follows: 31, i; 9-12; 38-40; 
13-15:30, 35; 3 1, 16-34 and lastly 31, 5-8 which forms a forcible 
climax. I adopt this rearrangement with all the less hesitation 
because 1 am convinced that chapter 3 1 is not of one piece or by 
a single author; and if this be admitted, a rearrangement of the 
seven sections into which the speech falls secures a logical 
instead of a confusing sequence. In the case of a composite 
production a confusion of sections could easily take place 
through the editor, who pieced chapters 25 to 3 1 together in 
the interest of Jewish orthodoiy, as above p. 13058^. set forth. 
Verses35-37ofthischapter must be detached from their present 
position; they form the close of the ori^nal Book of Job in its 
enlarged form. See above at the conclusion of the reconstructed 
specchof Jobinrepty toBildad's third speech, 

" So by a slight change of the text. See Matthew 5, 28. 
Verses 1-4 are missing in the original Greek version. 


If my mind*' should ever be enticed unto a wo-? 

Or I should lie in wait at my neighbor's door;*" 
Might my wife grind for another, "^ lo 

And others bend over her. 

For that •" were incest and a grievous offense;' 
Aye, a fire consuming unto Abaddon.^ 
If my land had cried out against me, 38-40 

And its furrows wept together; 
If I had sapped its strength without paying for it, 
And caused the tillers thereof to be disappointed ;* 
Let thistles grow instead of wheat. 
And cockle instead of barley. 
If I had ever rejected * my servant's claim, 13 

Or that of my maid in their suit against me, 
What could I do, if God sought revenge?' 

" i.e., I vowed that if my mind, etc. 
•' i.e., with a view of visiting his neighbor's wife, 
•• An allusion to sexual intercourse, as the parallelism shows. 
This line is missing in one of the older Greek versions. 
■• i.e., the mere thought of seducing a woman. 
' Read as in v. 28 of this chapter. The text has a super- 
fluous "it." 
1 ' One of the names of the nether world as 26, 6, An utterly 

I destructive fire is meant. A commentator adds a superfluous line : 
I "Rooting out all my produce," 

which is clearly a misplaced comment to v. 8'', See also below, 
p. 309. 

* By not giving them their full pay. So Ehrlich's inter- 
pretation, which is also that adopted by the translators of the 
American Jewish Publication Society, 

' i.e., by his superior station had secured a rejection of a 
just claim on the part of those dependent upon him — an easy 
matter at all times. 

* So the reading according to the Greek text. 
10 30; 


What could I answer, if He held me to account/ 
[Has He not formed him in the womb as He made 

And did He not fashion her in the same womb?]* 
[If I had not wept for the unfortunate, 
And if my soul had not grieved for the needy;] 
If I had ever refused the request of the ixx>r. 
And turned away from the longing* of the widow; 
And had eaten my morsel alone. 
And the orphan had not shared it with me;' 
If I had ever seen a homeless '" without a garment. 
And the poor without a covering; 
If his loins " had not blessed me. 
And he had not warmed himself with the fleece 

of my sheep; 
If I had ever lifted my hand against an orphan, 

'The banal and pietistic reflection U almost offensive. 
One 8usf>ect9 thai the verse may be a later insertion. 

' Here I would place 30, 25. See above, p. 303. 

'Literally; "eyes," In the sense o( what one longingly 
looks at and hopes to obtain. 

• Verse 18, which is missing in the original Greek version 
appears to be an insertion on the part of an excessively pietistic 
commentator, who thought it necessary to assign as a reason for 
Job's kindness to orphans that God had been AiV guardian. 

The two lines do not refer as is assumed in the ordinary transla- 
tions to the orphan but to Job. The subject of the two verbs 
is God, and the reading of the second verb ("guide") must be 
slightly changed so as to embody the suffix of the first person. 

"'lY., a tramp. 

"Namely, the loins of the poor, in gratitude for having 
been covered by the benevolent Job. 


Because I saw my support in the gate;" 
Let my shoulder fall from its socket, aa 

And my arm be broken at the elbow." 
If I had made gold my hope," *+ 

And to pure gold said, "My trust"; 
If I had rejoiced at the abundance of my wealth, s; 
And that my hand had gotten much; 
If I had looked for the appearance of the new 

" The gate is the place of the tribunal. The thought is the 
same as above, 13-14, against taking advantage of one's influ- 
ence before the tribunal, 

" Verse 23 — only partially preserved in the Greek version — 
is clearly a prose addition in the style of the excessively pietistic 

"For a terror to me ia the hand of God, which I could not endure." 
Read by a slight change "hand," instead of "calamity." 

" The line is missing in the original Greek version. 

"This is without much question the meaning of the line. 
The usual translation which takes the word "light ' {i.^., 6r) to 
refer to the sun is erroneous, since the verb which follows and 
which refers to the rejoicing at the appearance of the new moon, 
dearly shows that in both lines the moon is meant. As a sur- 
vival of primitive moon-worship Arabs continue to this day to 
greet the new moon with salutes and shouts of rejoicing. (Sec 
Doughty, Arabia Deserta I, p. 166 and 319). Similarly, Ortho- 
dox Jews still have special prayers at the time of new moon. 
Job is here represented as saying that he was careful not to 
yield to the temptation to pay obeisance to the moon, instead 
of confining his worship to the Supreme Author of the Universe. 
One cannot help suspecting that verses 26-28 may be due to a 
later commentator, who as an extremist in maintaining Judaism 
pure from heathenish associations, regarded the custom of 
saluting the new moon and of ceremonies at the time of the 
full moon as a species of idolatry, and who tried his hand at 
enlarging on this long recital of all the sins and wrongs from 
which Job kept himself free. 

And for the coming of the bright moon;" 

And had secretly been enticed,'^ 

To kiss my hand to it; 

This also might have been a grievous offense; 

For I should thereby have denied God on high. 

If I had rejoiced at the destruction of my hater. 

Or exulted when evil befell him,^* 

If any of my household '" could ever say," 

That any of them " did not have enough." 

No stranger ever lodged outside; 

My doors were e'er open to the traveller, 

If silently ** I had covered my transgressions, 

Hiding my iniquity In my bosom; 

" Meaning the full moon. 

" This line is missing in the original Greek version. 

"Verse 30 reading (in prose form): 

"I did not permit my moudi {Hlenlly: "piUu") to ita by iildng bx 

is again to be taken as an insertion by the same commentator 
who finds it necessary to emphasize the description of all that 
Job did not do, and to comment upon it in more or less banal 
fashion. Instead of "by a curse ' read with Ehrlich, by a 
different vocalization, "from God." This simple and happy 
emendation which at once makes the point dear is a good illus- 
tration of Ehrlich's skill in restoring a corrupt and obscure 
passage, by virtue of his keen jjcnetration into the genius of the 
Hebrew lan^age, and his complete grasp of the vocabulary and 
of grammatical niceties, 

■* Literally, the "men of my tent," meaning, however, as 
the word used for "men" indicates, the menials. 

*" Omit "not," as the Greek version does. 

*' Literally, "his flesh." 

*• i.e., every one got more than enough. 

•* So read with Ehrlich, by a slight change of the text, 
instead of the meaningless "like a man." 



Because I greatly feared the multitude," 
And the contempt of the folk *' affrighted me; *' 
[Verses 35-37 at the closeof Job's speech in reply 
to Bildad's third speech. See above p. 292.] 

If I had ever followed falseness, s 

And my foot had hastened to deceit ;*^ 

If my step had turned out of the [right] path, 

And my mind had followed after my eyes;** 

Let me sow and another eat; 

And let my produce be rooted out.** 

^ i.e., for fear of public opinion. 

"Literally, "families" — hereusedasasynonymforpopulace, 

"The last part of this verse "So that I kept quiet and 

did not go out of doors" is a gloss — and a rather superfluous 

one — to amplify the fear of facing those who might suspect him 

of wrongdoing. 

"Verse 6 reading: 

"Let Him weigh me in « juit balance, 
That God miy know ray integrity ." 

is again an inserted exciamation of the pietistic commentator, 
who, not content with the patronizing tone throughout the 
chapter, saw fit to increase it still further by insertions that 
overstep all reasonable bounds of self-appreciation. 

•* 1'./., followed after lust, with an allusion to Numbers 15, 
39. "Follow not after your minds and eyes." A superfluous 
line follows: 

"It any blcmiah clung to my palms" 

which is cither a comment t 
the other half is lost. 

" To this the superfluous line ii 
"rooting out all my produce" 
is a misplaced comment. 

s half of a distich of which 
t (above) 

Man's tiarch 
/or frtcioiu 


(Chapter 28) 

There " is a mine for silver, 

And a place for gold to be refined. 

Iron is taken out of the dust. 

And copper molten out of the rock." 

Man sets a bound to darkness," 

Penetrating " to thick gloom and dense shadows. 

He breaks a shaft through a strange people;** 

Forgotten of men they grope about;" 

'" Chap. 28 is an entirely independent production, with 
striking analogies to the glorification of wisdom in Proverbs, 
Chap. 8-g. It was inserted into the Book of Job by some later 
editor as appropriatcthough having no connection with the prob- 
lem with which the book deals. See further above, p. 135 seq. 

"■ In order to connect the chapter with what precedes, an 
editor has added the particle "for." 

** Literally, "stone," here used generically for any bard 
substance — mineral or otherwise. 

•* To explain this somewhat obscure phrase a commentator 
has added "To the uttermost bound he searches." This is 
omitted in the original Greek version. 

•* So read with Ehrlich, by a slight change of the text 
instead of "stone." 

"So read by a different vocalization of the consonantal 
text. The mining operation which the author has in mind and 
with which he is to familiar refers either to the Sinaitic Peninsula 
or — and more probably — to the Lebanon region. In either case, 
the miners could be spoken of as a foreign people. The line is 
missing in the original Greek version. 

*' The verb describes those who grope their way in dark- 
ness or totter like a drunkard . A commentator, however, refers 



[In a land from which produce " grows, 

But which underneath" is stirred up by fire;* 

A place whose stones are sapphire, 

And where dust is gold.] 

A path unknown to the bird of prey, 

And which the eye of the falcon has not seen;* 

Which proud beasts have not trodden, 

Beyond which the lion has not passed. 

He attacks** a flinty rock; 

He overturns mountains by the roots.*' 

He breaks light shafts ** in the rocks; 

And his eyes see precious things. 

He explores *' the sources*" of the streams; 

the verb to miners and adds, by way of explanation, "hanging 
of foot," as though let down by a rope into the shaft. 

" Literally, "bread" in the general sense of food. 

I 5-9* are missing in the original Greek version. 
Verses 5-6 clearly interrupt the conteii. The many verses 
in this chapter that are missing in the original Greek version 
(4*; S~9'; I4~'9i 21''; 22*; 27) confirm the view here taken of the 
growth of the chapter by subsequent insertions, which may 
represent snatches of other poems in celebration of wisdom. 

•• i.e., still deeper down. 

*" Referring to the hard interior with its misshapen masses 
of rocks, suggesting a tremendous upheaval as by the eruption 
of a volcano, in contrast to the softness and smoothness of the 
cultivated soil on the surface. 

*'The miners pass into regions inaccessible even to strong 
birds, accustomed to penetrate into the clefts of rocks that 
cannot be scaled by man. 

" Literally: "puts forth his hand." 

" i.e., blasting, whi 
Pliny, Hist. Nat. XXXIII, 21. 

♦*So read, following Ehrlich. 

" So the Greek text. 

*' So the Greek text. 


And what was hidden is brought to light. 
"-" But Wisdom *' where is she to be found ? 
hMrnfnm And where is the place of understanding? 
•""■ Man knows not the way to her;** 

Nor is she to be found in the land of the Hving. 

The Deep *' says; *'she is not in me"; 

And the sea says, "not with me." ** 

[She cannot be gotten for gold, " 

Nor can her purchase price be weighed out in 

She cannot be valued with gold of Ophir, " 
Nor with the precious onyx and sapphire. 
Gold and glass cannot equal her; 
Nor are vessels of gold an exchange for her. 
Corals and crystals are naught beside her;** 
For the value of wisdom is above pearls. 
The Topaz of Cush" is not equal to her; 
She cannot be valued with purest fine gold.] 

" Here personified, as in Proverbs Chap. 8, 

"So the Greek text, instead o{ "price." By a change in 
a singlclctterof the Hebrew tert, we obtain the correct reading, 

"Tchdm — the personification of the deep as in Genesis i, 2. 

*" i.e., neither the deep nor the sea possess Wisdom. The 
verse is missing in the original Greek version. 

*■ Verses 15-19 are missing in the original Greek version, 
and represent a later insertion based on Prov, 3, 14-15 and 8, 

" A strange word stands in the Hebrew teit — perhaps the 
name of a special kind of gold. Siegfried refers to 1 Kgs. 6, 20, 
where the term is used in connection with gold. 

"Ophir (in southern Arabia?) was famous as the source 
of the finest gold. See above 22, 24 and I Kings, g, 28. 

" Literally: "not worth mentioning." 

" i.e., Ethiopia, 


Wisdom, — whence cometh she.^ 

And where is the place of understanding? 

She is hid from the eyes of the living, 

And concealed from the bird of heaven/' 

Abaddon" and death say: 

"Our ears have heard of her."" 

God knows the way to her; 

And He knows her place. 

For He encompasses the ends of the world ; 

He sees all under heaven. 

When He gave a weight '•^ for the wind, 

And measured out the waters; 

When He assigned a law for the rain. 

And a path for the thunderbolt;'" 

Then He saw her and proclaimed her, 

Established her, aye singled her out;" 

[And said in regard to man : 

"Behold, the fear of Yahweh " is wisdom; 

And departing from evil is understanding."]" 

"The line is missing in the original Greek version, 

"Literally: "Destruction" here as 26, 6, and 31, 12, a 
tame for the nether world. The line is missing in the original 
; Greek version which combines verse 21* and 22*' into one distich- 

** But we have never seen her. 

"i.f,, force and power. 

"Verses 25-26 are based on Prov. 8, 22-31. 

" Verse 27 is missing in the original Greek version. 

**So the original reading as in Prov, i, 7, changed subse- 
quently to Adonai "Lord," though many mss. retain Yahweh. 

"As shown by the introductory line, verse 28 is an addition 
by some pious commentator, who quotes Prov. i, 7 (a saying 
similar to 9, lo), as an appropriate close to the chapter. 




The Fouk Speeches of Elihu With Three Inserted Poems 
(Chapters 32-37) 

Introductions to the First Speech 
(a) And these three men "ceased answering Job J 


•*Thc first five verse* { in prose) consist of a scries of five 
etfitorial comments, each of independent origin and rather awk- 
wardly combined, resulting in redundancy and in some confu- 
sion that is still further aggravated by later glosses. The first 
comment was added originally to tlie close of the book which 
terminated — as above, p. 71 set forth — in its first draft with 
chapter 21 or in the enlarged one with 31, 3S-37, as the close of 1 
Job's reply to Bildad or possibly to the last reply to Zophar. 

'*The phrase "these three men" — instead of "three- 
friends" (2, 11) shows that the editorial comment is by a different | 
hand than the one to whom we owe the prose introduction to 
the original book. The reading of the Greek teit "his three ■ 
friends ceased" is dearly a later correction to conform to the 
usage in z, 1 1, 

•• The reading of the Greek text and the Syriac version and 
also of some Hebrew manuscripts "in their eyes," instead of 
"in his eyes," (as the received text has it), represents the ori- 
ginal wording, which in this form would constitute an intelligible 
comment on the part of a reader or commentator who sym- 
pathized with the point of view set forth by the compiler of the 
speeches of Job and of the three friends in their earliest form. 
The comment thus incidentally furnishes a proof that the origi- 
nal purpose of the Book of Job was to show the untenability of 


(b) And the anger of Elihu, the son of Barachel, 
the Buzite •' of the family of Ram"* was kindled,** 
because he {i.e,. Job) regarded himself justified as 
against God.'" 

(c) And against his three friends '' was his anger 
kindled, because they could not find an answer." 

the conventional view that only the wicked suffer in this world, 
and that the good enjoy the blessings of God as long as they live. 
The second comment (v, 2) protesting against the assumption 
that Job was justified, betrays on theotherhand the spirit of the 
orthodox opponents to the original book, and emanates, there- 
fore, from an editor who regarded Eiihu as the triumphant 
champion of the rule of Divine justice in this world. Another 
editor found it necessary to state (v. 3) that Elihu was also 
angry at the three friends because they found no answer. The 
fourth comment (v. 4) is the remark of a pedantic commentator 
who, regarding the book in its final form as a unit, naively as- 
sumes that Elihu was present during the Symposium between 
Job and his friends, and thinks it necessary to explain why 
Eiihu hitherto had not been introduced to the reader. Finally 
the fifth comment (v. 5) may represent the original introduc- 
tion, added with a view of connecting the appendii with the origi- 
nal book. 

" Buz is mentioned in Jer. 25, 23 with Dedan and Tema in 
I northern Arabia. The Prophet Ezekiel (1,3) waslikewisea Buzite. 
" Occuring Gen. 2221. The Greek text adds " of the land 
} of Uz." 

"A pedantic glossator adds: "against Job his anger was 
■ kindled." 

"Thcword "as against God" (or "rather than God") may 
I be a gloss subsequently added. 

"The phrase "his three friends" as against "these three 
n" in v. 1, shows that the comment in v, 3 is from a different 
I •ourcc. 

"A glossator has added "so that they might show Job to 
[ be in the wrong," which translation is preferable to the one 
[ found in the AV and its successors: "and yet had con- 
I demned Job," 


(d) But Elihu held back " while they were speak- 
ing," because they were older than he. 
s (e) And Elihu saw that there was no answer in 
the mouth of these three men.^* 

Tbe FiKST Speech of Elihu 
ji. 6 [Then Elihu, the son of Barachel, the Buzite, in 
.*B^*r answer said:'*] 
iifiti ef (a) Young am I, in years, 
And you are aged;" 
Therefore I held back and feared, 

" Or " waited. " The text has aa insertion "Job " after the 
verb, probably a gloss to "himself" in v. 2, and which has crept 
in at a wrong place. 

"So read by a different vocalization of the consonantal text. 

'* A glossator in order to connect this independent (and 
probably original) Introduction to the speeches of Elihu with the 
previous comments added: "And his anger was kindled" the 
superfluity of which is self-evident. The verse is missing in the 
original Greek version. 

"Verse 6* is an editorial addition to make the introduc- 
tory phrase correspond to the conventional one used in the case 
of the speeches of Job and his three friends. Chapter 32, 6-22, 
it entirely taken up with the preliminaries to Elihu's Bf)eech. 
It consists of (i) the editorial connecting link (v. 6*}, (2) two 
independent introductions running parallel to one another 
(a) 6^-10= (b) 11-17, likewise with explanatory comments, 
and (c) an ironical addition (18-22), made by a commentator 
who did not think much of Elihu's argument and sought to 
make him appear ridiculous by representing him as bursting 
with an irresistible desire to relieve his mind, and as determined 
to express his views at all hazards. A fourth introduction in 
imitation of the third js found 33, 2-7 and a fifth one has slipped 
in at the close of chapter 33, 31-33. See below p. 323. 

"The line lacks a word to make up three beats. Perhaps 
"very" has dropped out. 



To declare my opinion to you. 
I thought, let the aged '* speak. 
And those of many years teach wisdom. 
However, it is the spirit in man. 
And the breath of Shaddai that gives under- 
Grey beards are not [always] wise; 
Nor do the old [always] have discernment." 
Therefore, I say; "listen to me; ■ 

Let me also declare my opinion. " 
(b) [I waited, "^ forsooth, for your words; ' 

'* Literally, "days," meaning those of many days. 

" Cf. the note to 12, 12. 

"■To this word "I waited" there is added a comment (v. 16) 
"I waited," i.e., "because they did not speak, for they stood 
there without answering further." According to this commenta- 
tor, the words "I waited" mean that Elihu waited for the three 
men to answer. The verse is missing in the original Greek version. 

" Verses 11-17 represent another and entirely independent 
draft of an introduction to Elihu's speech, and form a parallel 
to verses 6-10. 

We have a similar combination of several drafts in the ora- 
tions of Ezekie). In chapter i, verses 15-21 form a variant 
description of the prophet's vision verses I-I4, while in 
chapter 8 we have a tnird description and in chapter 10 a 
fourth, the latter running closely parallel to i, 15-21. Again 
in the message revealed to Ezekiel in the vision, we can detect 
several drafts that have been combined. Thus in chapter 2, 
verses 6-7 are clearly parallel to 3-5, just as 8-10 are paralleled by 
3, 1-3. There are thus four independent introductions to which 
we may add two more (a) 3, 4-9 and (b) 3, lo-ii. It is only by 
thus assuming a series of independent drafts, combined by a 
conscientious editor who wished to preserve all the material that 
had come down to him, that we can get order out of the frightful 
confusion in the present combination of this material in the Book 
of Ezekiel. Such imperfect methods of editing are natural at a 

To your arguments I listened. 

While you carefully selected wonis," 

I reflected about you. 

And ** there was none that convinced Job; 

None that could answer his points." 

Beware lest you say, "we have wisdom;*' 

Let God refute him — not man." 

Since words he has not measured with me," 

I shall not answer like your speeches." 

Let me now present my argument;" 

Let me declare my opinion. '•) 

time when literary composition in the proper sense was re^rded 
as secondary as against the zeal of editors to preserve all re- 
cords — however fragmentary or imperfect — that lay before them. 

"The line, as well as the whole of verse 12, is missing in 
the original Greek version. 

**A glossator adds "behold." 

•* Literally, " his words. " To this we agaia have a comment 
Id v, 15 (missing in the original Greek version). 

It find my annrer, 

** Elihu warns the friends against seeking to excuse their 
failure by putting the task of answering on God, saying "Let God 

doit. We 



'* Or, by following in part the Greek version and changing 
the person of the verb, we may obtain " I will not set forth such 
words as these." So Gray in the American Journal of Semitic 
Languages, Vol. 36, p. 102. 

^ So by a slight change. Verses 15-16, (missing in the origi- 
nal Greek version) are glosses to v. 12 and 10 v. 1 1, respectively, 
as indicated above notes So and 84. 

" More literally " doctrine. " So read instead of "ray por- 
tion," by a trans position of the consonants of the word in the 
text, as suggested by Ehrlich. 

" Verse 17 is clearly a parallel to v. 10, to mark the close 
of the first introductory draft. 



(c) [For I am full of words;'" 
The spirit within me constrains me. 
Indeed, my inside is as wine without outlet, 
That even in new wine-skins is ready to burst,"' 
Let me speak that I may find relief; 
Let me open my lips to give answer. 
Without regard to any man's feelings, 
Without evasion, because of any one; 
For I know not how to evade, 
E'en though my Maker might forgive me."] 
Now listen, Job to my speech," 
loked I 

»• Verses 18-22 must be looked upon as an ironical ampli- 
fication of the introduction to Elihu's speech, added by some one 
who sympathized with the spirit of the original Book of Job that 
ended in a non Sfquitur, and who aimed to hold up Elihu to ridi- 
cule, as one who talks merely to relieve his mind. What he says 
would, according to this commentator, be mere escaping gas, 
"words full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 

•' Matthew 9, 17. 
. " This is clearly the sense of the concluding line, not that 

r God would "soon take me away," as usually rendered. 
' •* Verses 2—7 represent a second insertion on the part of the 

ironicalcoramentatorwhoadded,32, 18-22, with a view of further 
emphasizing the empty boasts of Elihu and his "big" talk which 
issues in banalities. 

[Behold, I open my mouth; 

My tongue ulten what it m my boiora. 

My worda IreBect] the fraaknesa of my mindi 

And what my lipa apeak ia lincerlty iuelf. 

The apirit of God has made me. 

And the bnrath of Shaddal has given me life, 

If thou canst, then refute me. 

Array yourself and stand before me. 

1 am like you in relation to God; 

Out of clay, I too, have been formed. 

Let terror of me not atartle ihee; 

And my authority (?) not weigh upon th«,] 

I The irony is delicious, especially when one considers that in the 
I two introductions in chapter 32, Elihu is represented as young 

And hearken to all my words,** 

For thou hast said in my hearing;" 

And I heard the sound of the words : 

"I am pure, without transgression, 

Guiltless (?), without iniquity in me;** 

But He devises occasions " against me, 

As His enemy He counts me. 

He puts my feet in the stocks; 

He keeps watch over all my steps. "** 

Now to this I answer, thou art not right; 

[In supposing] God too severe towards man. 

Why dost thou contend '* against Him, 

Because He answers not all thy • words? 

For God does answer* once, 

And even twice without one's regarding it;* 

and modest. At the end of v. 2 we must read by a slight change 
"in my bosom" (so Ehrlich) instead of "in my palate." In v* 3 
the word "knowledge" is a gloss to "my words, " In v. 5 the last 
word "stand forth' is a variant or comment to "array thyself 
before me." In v, 6, instead of "as thy mouth," we must read 
by a slight change of the text " like thee. " Verse 4 harks back to 
32, 8. See above, p. 316, note 76, 

**The Greek text omits the word "all," found in the He- 
brew, while in the original Greek version the entire line is missing. 

•* The line is omitted in the original Greek version. 

"Alluding to Job's utterances as f.g., 9, 31; 10, 7; 16, 
23, 10-12. The Hebrew text has a superfluous "I" and a o 
rupted synonym to "pure," which must have emphasized Job's j 

" I. e. He frames up charges against me. 

" As one closely watches a prisoner, — a direct quotation 1 
from 13, 27. 

"Note again the legal phraseology as in Job's speeches. 1 

' So read by a slight change. 

' i.e., responds to the summons. 

' The line is missing in the Greek version. 


In a dream (and) in a night vision;* 

In slumbering upon one's couch, 

He opens the ears of men, 

And startles them with sufferings.* 

To lead man away from his deeds," 

And to remove ^ pride from man.* 

He is chastened by pain on his couch, 

And by the enduring torture of his bones;' 

So that his life has distaste for food, 

And his soul, for the daintiest bit."* 

His flesh is consumed beyond recognition;' 

And his bones corroded " to unsightliness. 

And his soul is brought near to the pit, 

And his life to the slain.'' 

Yet, if there be an intercessor,'* 



* A gtoss (omitted in the original Greek version, as also 
t6*) , with an allusion to Gen. 2, 21 adds "when deep sleep falls 
on man." God speaks to man in this way without his know- 
ing it. 

'j.f., nightmares. 

' So by a slight change in the text, supported by the Greek 

*Soby a slight change in one letter of the text. 

* Verse 18 is a misplaced comment to v. 28. See below. 

* So by a slight change in tho text. The tine is missing in 
the original Greek version. 

" This line is likewise omitted in the original Greek version. 

"More literally, "from being seen." 

'* More literally, " scraped bare. " 1 follow the rendering of 
the American Jewish Publication Society. 

'• So read by a different vocalization of the consonants. 

'* A commentator adds "angel" to suggest the kind of in- 
tercessor meant. The Targum renders by the Greek paraklitos 
"comforter," used in the theological sense of "Holy Spirit." 
Then follows a comment "one in a thousand" (like 9, 13), which 

11 3ii 


To testify to a man's righteousness; 
Then He graciously says: "release him,-^ 
For I have found a ransom " [for his soul."] 
His body " becomes softer than a child's; 
He returns to the days of his youth. 
He prays unto God, who is gracious to him;" 
And who restores to a man his right.'" 
He"* steps before men and says : 

ma ' — 

Rtdrmpnan. jj either out of place, or is added to suggest that intercession 
rarely takes place. If this be correct, the addition must have 
been made by a skeptical reader. 

'* A commentator adds: "from going down into the pit" 
(suggested by v, 38') which, however, makes the line too loag. 
One of the Greek versions has a further addition. 

" Namely the good deeds formerly done by the sinner, in 
accordance with the testimony borne by the intercessor. The 
point of view is pithily eiprcsscd in the masim, "Righteousness 
saves from death " (Prov, lo, 2 and 1 1, 4). The line is too short 
by one beat. Perhaps a word like the one suggested in the trans- 
lation has dropped out. The Greek version shows that something 
has happened to the text at this point. See Beer, Text des Buckts 
Hiob, p. Z12. 

" Literally: "his flesh." Similarly in the Babylonian talc 
of the suffering king (above, p. 37) we read in the description of 
his restoration to health 

"He restored my fonn to complete ■trength" 
(Ja.strow,Journalof Biblical LiUTature,Vol.2$,p. 179.) All the 
ravages of disease and suffering had disappeared. 

"A superfluous line reading: 

"And looki with joy upon him," 
is to be regarded as a comment or variant to "who is gracious to 

" i.e., the place due to the righteous man, 

*" i.e., the man restored to his position through Divine grace. 


" I ainned and perverted the right," 

But He redeemed me from passing to the pit,** 

And my life to enjoy the light." 

[Behold all this God does, 

Twice and thrice with a man ;** 

To keep his soul from the pit, 

To enjoy light in the land of the living.]" 

" A pedantic commentator adds, "but He did not do the 
same to me," i.e., God did not punish me as I deserved. The 
ordinaTy transIatioQ of this addition: "And it profited me not" 
is entirely astray. 

"To this 28th verse, a commentator to make still clearer 
what was meant, added v. 18, (which got into the text at the 
wrong place) 

"He kept his soul from the pit 
And hii life from passing into oblivion (f)." 

The last word of the couplet Is obscure (see 36, 12}, but the 
context demands a parallel term to the nether world. 

** i.e., God gives man two and even three chances to pro- 
^ long his days by a return to a virtuous life, 

»* I follow Ehrlich's emendation of the text. The two 
verses (29-30) are omitted in the original Greek version; they 
hark back to v. 14, and probably represent a later addition. The 
closing three verses of the chapter (31-33) are clearly again a 
variant form of the introduction, chapter 33, 2-7. They evi- 
dently belong at the beginning and not at the end of a discourse. 
The editor who came across them may have put them on the 
margin, whence they were inserted by a copyist as a supplement. 
The three verses (with the exception of the first line) are missing 
in the original Greek version — a further indication of their Su[h 
plementary character. They read as follows: 

"Give heed, Job, hearken to mc; 
Keep silent, while I spesk. 
If tnou hast anything to say, answer me; 
Speak, for I desire thy justification 
It not, hearken thou to me. 
And be silent, while I teach thee wiGdom." 


Second Speech of Elihu" 

' fThen Elihu in answer said:]*' 

* Hear my words, you wise men. 

Lislen to me, you that have knowledge.*^ 

[For the ear is there to test words, 

As the palate to taste food.]** I 

(Let us choose the right for ourselves ; ' 

Let us ascertain among us what is good.]" 

5 Now Job says; "I am innocent, 

^'Chapter 34. Into this speech an entirely independent 
fragment, beginning with a special introduction (v. l5), has been 
dovetailed with the result of creating a painful confusion in the 
sequence of the thought. This fragment, consisting of verses 16- 
20; 23-27 and 30, deals with a therae entirely foreign to Elihu's 
second speech. Elihu makes the point that Job places himself on 
a plane with the wicked in accusing God of iniusdce. Instead, 
Job ought to humbly submit and throw himself on the mercy of 
God. The inserted fragment, on the other hand, treats of God's 
indifference to the rank of sinners and illustrates this thought by 
detailing how He deals with kings and nobles who have abused 
their position. The manner of dovetailing is quite in keeping 
with the method of composition which we find in the Pentateuchal 
Codes and in the Historical Books of the Old Testament, See 
A Gentle Cynic, p. ity) seq. 

" Clearly an editorial addition, (like 32, 6*) since Job does 
not answer Elihu, and the second speech is not even addressed 
to Job. It is anindependentcompositionby someone who tried 
his hand at the conundrum propounded by Job. A later editor 
put the speech into the mouth of Elihu. 

"The form of address, "Hear" "Listen" is clearly 

based upon the usage of the prophets, for example, Isaiah i, 1, 
just as the late poem inserted at the dose of Deuteronomy 
(chapter 32) follows this usage. 

'*Quoted from 12, 11, and missing In the original Greek 

" This fourth verse is missing in the original Greek v 


But God has taken away my right.'" 

Despite my being right, I suffer;" 

Without transgression, my wound'* is mortal. 

Was there ever a man like Job, 

Drinking in scorn Hke water?*" 

He has joined the company of evildoers, 

To walk with the wicked.^* 

Far be it from God to be wicked; 

From Shaddai to [commit] iniquity." 

For the work of man He requites; 

According to a man's way, it happens to him. 

[Surely, God does not act wickedly. 

And Shaddai does not pervert judgment.]" 




'' Literally, "judgment," 
quoted from 27,2. 

" So read by a slight change of the text. 

*■ Literally, "My arrow," i.e., the arrow within me. Cf. 
Job6,4 where Job speaksof the arrows of God that are in him. 
The line is missing in the origiaal Greek version. 

"Taken from 15, 16 (Eliphaz), The verse is mlaeing in the 
original Greek version. 

"Literally, "men of wickedness." The following verse 
(v. 9) is superfluous and shows by the lack of the parallelism to 
be a prose comment on the part of some one who thought it nec- 
essary to repeat the substance of verses 5-6. The verse reads: 
When he laya that man profits naught by seeldng favor with God." 

[■The word translated "profit" is indicative of later usage. 

Atthebeginningof the tenth verse there is an insertion, 
'Therefore, hearlien unto me, you men of understanding," 
which is probably a misplaced comment, or a variant to v. z*. 

" The line is too short. A verb as suggested in the trans- 
lation needs to be inserted. 

"Practicallyarepetitionof V. toand perhapsa variantverse. 

Ij-15- 31 fd 
GcJ'/ m/m- 


To whom has He given charge o'er the earth ? 
And to whom has He assigned any partof the! 

Should He resolve to withdraw His spirit. 
And to take back His breath;** 
All flesh would forthwith perish, 
And man would again become dust.** 
[16-20 — the inserted poem on "The Punishment 1 

of Unworthy Rulers" below, p-335-1 
For His eyes arc upon the ways of man, 
And He sees all his steps.*" 
[23-27> part of the inserted poem,beIow, p. 335.] 
He brings *' before Him the cry of the humble, 
And He hears the cry of the afflicted. 
But if He is silent, who can condemn [Him]? 
If He hides His face, who can challenge Him?" 

*' God rules the world by Himself and m His own way. 

"i.^./'the breath of life" which God breathed into man, 
according to Genesis 2, 7. 

*• An allusion to Genesis 3, 19. At this point the fragment 
(16-20; 23-27; 30 see above, p.8o), dealing with God's indiffer- 
ence to the high rank of rulers and how He overthrows them 
when they merit it, is introduced. For the translation, sec below 

*" Verse 22, prosaic in form, adds by way of comment, 
'There is no darkness nor dense shadow in which the evildoers 
(same expression as in v. 8) can hide themselves. " Verses 23-27 
form part of the insertion. 

*• The form of the verb has been changed by the editor who 
dovetailed the two compositions into one another. 

"The original Greek version omits verses 28-33. A 
glossator, realizing the confusing transition in the second part of 
the chapter from people in general to the individual and back 
again to the group adds, "for a people and for an individual 
alike," to indicate the two-fold application of the utterances. 


To God one should say: "I bear it," 

I will not [again] be an offense [to Thee]." 

Since I cannot see, O teach me; 

If I have done wrong, let me not do it again.* 

For Thou choosest — not I; 

And what Thou knowest, speak."*' 

Men of understanding will agree with me,*^ 

And every wise man who hears me; 

That Job speaks without knowledge, 

And that his words are devoid of wisdom. 

Job should be tried continuously,*' 


not Dejiattce 
is dimaitded 

Hon of Job. 

The gloss may have originally been intended more specifically 
for V. 21* "For His eyes arc on the ways of man." Verse 30 
closes the inserted poem. 

** Or perhaps the verb is to be taken in the sense of, " I have 
been overbearing." 

" The line is too short by two beats. Some such words as 
suggested in the translation need to be supplied. 

**At the beginning of v. 33 are two glosses (a) "Shall one 
requite one according to thy idea" — apparently a rhetorical ex- 
clamation on the part of some pious commentator, who took V. 
31 in the sense of a defiance of God, translating as the Jewish 
tradition would have it, "I have borne it, though I offend not." 

(b) " For Thou hast rejected " — a comment to " ForThou 
choosest" — 'to explain that God's choice i.f., His "decision" has 
bcpn the rejection of Job's claim. 

*' i.e., instruct me out of the abundance of Thy knowledge. 

"Literally: "say unto me." 

** This the sense demanded by the context. The first word 
of the verse is a corruption of the name Job and belongs after 
"answers" in the gloss that follows upon this line. 

A glossator adds "because of the answers (of Job] after the 
manner of iniquitous men." The Greek version tries to soften 
the severe condemnation of Job by rendering "Be admoaished, 


Becaaae to hti n he adds Uasfifaai^.*" 

Among OS he dapa, (hit pdiBs] ;** 

And be mukipBw bis mcdi against God. 

PkACKCVT Oft DftATT Of A Thiu> Spccch OF Euvtj*' 
H,i (And EHhu in answer said:]" 

>-»< Dost thou think this to be just, " 
tS'Smsfm That thou sayest, "My case** against God'sf 
Arguing:" "What is it to Thee? 
What profit hast Thou" fnam my sin?***' 

*Thu the force of the word (literally) " tramgreutOQ " ia 
I fail conoection. 

** i.e., ihow* hii conlempi for ui. The line is too short by 
one beat. The Addition "hi>pilms"Gike27,23) is suggested by 
Budde, Hiob, p. ass. 

*' The fragment consiiu of sixteen verses only; and of these 
four entire verses (8-9; I5-16) and parti of three others (y**, lo', 
13*.) are milting io the original Greek version, leaving only aioe 
and a half — clearly a mere draft of some speech. It deals with 

iob'i BSiertion of his innocence and attempts to find an answer 
y suBftesttng that God should not be held to be responsible for 
iuflenng that comes through the deeds of men, — a strange 
argument indeed, that entirely begs the question. 

" Again an editorial link, like 32, 6 and at the beginning of 
chapter 34. 

"Literally, "judgment." 

** I.iterallv, "my right" in the sense of claim or case. Job 
tayi: "I'll alalce my case against anything that God may bring 
forward in answer." Cf. 9, Ji. 

" Literally: "When thou sayest," i.e., in further argument. 

"Text says, "have I" but this is clearly an error, or an 
Intentional change to avoid a too drastic charge against God. 

" The reference is to 7, 10 where Job exclaims, "Have I 
•innetl, what have I done to theef" The Greek version omits 
the verse. 



I will answer thee, 

And thy friends with thee:^* 

Look unto the heavens and see; 

And behold the high skies above thee!'* 

If thou hast sinned, what dost thou to Him? 

And be thy transgressions ever so many, 

what is it to Him? 
If thou be righteous, what givest thou to Him? 
Or what does He receive from thee?*' 
Thy wickedness affects a man like thee;" 
Thy righteousness, a son of man. 
By reason of great oppression they " cry out; 
They appeal against the arm of the mighty." 

•* Who could noi find a Batisfactory answer. 

" Clearly based on ii, 8 (Zophar) and 22, 12 (Eliphaz). 

•"The righteousness of man is of no benefit to God, any 
more than the wickedness of man is of harm to Him, The 
original Greek version omits 7"* as well as S-io*. Cf. 22, 2 

" Men suffer through their wickedness and benefit through 
their virtues — an interesting thought that one's conduct affects 
one's fellows but not God. 

"I'.f., people in general. 

•* i.i., when things get too bad through the oppression of 
the wicked, people rebel and seek help against the oppressors, 
but they ought not regard God as the cause of their misfortune, 
which is due to men. The abrupt transition in v. 9 suggests the 
possibility of some omission. Duhm (Job, p. 169) places v. 16 at 
this point, which would make the subject in v. 10 Job, i.e., " But 
Job does not say where is God," etc. The objection to the in- 
troduction of v. 16 after v. 9 is that it spoils the point of the ar- 
gument, to wit, that God is not to be held responsible for evils 
which come through man. To be sure, it may be that v. 9 was 
added so aa to lead to this argument, in which case verses lO-l I 
lid mean that people ought to appeal to God ; but this assump- 
1 is somewhat arbitrary. 



But one does not say " WTiere is God, my maker:' 

Who assigns lights** for the night, 

WTio leaches us through beasts of the earth. 

And through the birds of heaven gives wisdom." ' 

Surely, it is idle [to say] that God does not hear, 

And that Shaddai pays no regard." 

[That His anger punishes for nothing, 

Andthat He takesnotstrictnoteof transgression." 

But Job opens his mouth with vanity; 

He muItipHes words without knowledge.]** 

•* So Ehrlich proposes to read by a change in the text in- 
stead of "songs," which gives no sense in this connection. The ■ 
point which EHhu makes is that when people suffer through the 
/ violent deeds of men, they should not blame God, who has noth- 
/ ing to do with the matter. God's deeds are to be seen in nature 
'y and in His care of the beasts and the birds. If God pays no at- 

\ tention to appeals, it is not because He does not hear them, but 

\ for some good reason, and, correspondingly, when He punishes it 
\ ii not without cause, nor because He is not concerned with the 
\ transgressions of man. The argument smacks of sophistry, but 
is interesting just because of its subtlety. i 

**Cf. 12, 7. A pious reader adds the reflection: (v. 12) I 
" If they seek for help and there is no answer, it is because of the 
haughtinesss of the evildoers." The first half of the verse is 
not found in the original Greek version. Read "if" at the be- 
ginning of the verse, by a slight change, instead of "these. " 

" Verse 14 (in prose form) appears to be again the addition 
of a pious commentator to suggest that one must under all 
circumstances maintain one's trust in God. " Even though thou 
■houtdst sav that thou canst not perceive Him, the case is before 
Him, and tnou shouldst wait for Him, " i.e., for God's decision. 
" So read by the addition of a letter, i.e., one must not 
talk as Job does and say that God docs not concern himself 
with the transgressions of men. He does, although He is not to 
be blamed if men commit violence and bring sufferings on others. 
•* Based on 34, 37''. The two verses 15-16 are missing in 
the original Greek version and impress one as a later ampli- 
fication of V. 13. 



A Fourth Speech of Elihu** 
[And Elihu continued as follows:]'" 
Suifer me a little, and I will tell thee;" 
For there are things still to be said for God. 
I must prolong my discourse, 
Though I will justify my doing so." 
For, assuredly," my words are not false; 

■ [Ai 

H Sui 

^^f " 36, 1-23. 36 and 37, 23-24 

I " Again the usual editorial link. The address in this chap- 

ter is directed to Job. This speech — the fourth if we count the 
fragment or draft, chapter 35 — furnishes no new argument but 
attempts again to drive home the truth that God is just, has no 
need to recall any decision and that when afiiiction comes, it is in 
order to recall men to Divine obedience. Those who profit by the 
lesson will live; those who do not will perish. This is set forth 
verses 1-23 with v. 26 as perhaps a later insertion and 37, 23-24, 
as the forcible close of the speech. Into this speech a nature 
poem, 36, 24-37, 13 {except v. 26 of Chap. 36) with 37, 21-22 
forming the close, has been inserted, descriptive of God's maj- 
esty in a storm. It is a beautiful composition for the preserva- 
tion of which we should be grateful, but we must also recognize 
that the poem is an independent production and stands in no 
connection with the Book of Job, as little as docs chapter 28 or 
the poem on the punishment of unworthy rulers, dovetailed 
into chapter 3+. It has affinities with the group of nature poems 
which we havcinchapters38 1041. See below, p. 337. Chapter 
37, 14-20 is again an independent fragment, forming another 
transition to the nature poems. 

" i.e., on God's behalf in answer to Job's charge against 
Divine justice. This introduction clearly betrays the supple- 
mentary character of the speech and that it is by another author. 

"The common translation of both tines of this verse is 
wide of the mark. 

"This is the force here of the particle generally rendered 


It is undefiled truth'* [that comes] to thee. 

Surely, God is firm and does not recall;'' 

He is firm, and strong of mind. 

He permits not the wicked to flourish;^' 

And He judges the cause of the afflicted. 

He withdraws not His eyes" from the righteous; 

But seats them on a throne to be exalted." 

And if He binds them '• in fetters, 

[And] they are en compassed with cords of affliction; 

It is to recall to them their deeds. 

And their transgressions, when they become 

Then He opens their ear to diclphne, 
And tells [them] to return from iniquity. 
If they hearken and obey, 
They will round out their days in joy."' 
But if they hearken not, they pass to oblivion," 
And die without knowledge. 

" More literally: "someoneof perfect knowledge" 
ing himEclf. 

'* God is not obliged to recall any decision once made. 

"The line is too short by one beat. Some word like "in 
joy" or perhaps "forever" has dropped out. The original Greek 
version omits verses 6-9, as well as II-13, 16, 20, 25', 16 and 

"The Greek text says "His judgment." 

"There are two glosses to this verse: (a) "with kings" 
and (b) "forever." 

" So by a slight change of the text. 

'"This is the kernel of the fourth speech that sufferings • 
are sent to those who err as a warning to return to a virtuous life. 
It is the same thought as in the first speech (33, l(>seq.). 

" A gloss or a variant adds "and their years in pleasures." 

" The same word as is used 33, 18 to express "the nctbcT 
world. " ' 


But the impious assume [Divine] anger;" 

[And] cry not for help when He binds them. 

Their soul perishes in youth, 

And their life in the age of vigor.** 

[Though] He oppresses*' the afflicted with is 

Yet He opens their ear through tribulation." 
He even leads thee from the mouth of distress,*^ '(• 
And covers thy table with fat. ■?-?' 

■' GoiTi pati 

****** in Usiing 

. lest it entice thee by . 


" An interesting thought that those who are utterly de- 
praved assume, as Job does in chapter 2r, that God is an arbi- 
trary Being, morose and hostile by nature. 

"The word used as a parallelism to "youth" is a curious 
one, kedeikim or "Hierophants" — the designation of the male 
devotees in the Canaanitic cult, who were evidently chosen when 
they were young, as were their female counter- parts, the kede- 
jAotA or "sacred prostitutes." 

"So by an inversion of two letters instead of "delivers," 
which is clearly out of place here. 

"Again the same thought that God sends affliction 
those capable of repentance, as a means of revealing to th< 
their guilt. 

"A gloss adds "{into a) broad expanse where there is no 
narrowness." Verse 17 and the first part of v. 18 are unintelli- 
gible. The Greek version reads as v. 17, 

"He does not withhold judgment from (he righteous" 
which is only half of the distich to be expected and appears to be 
a substitute for the unintelligible verse m the original which is 
ordinarily rendered: 

"Thou art full of the judi^raent of tlie wicked; 
Judgment and juBCice take hold on theni." 
It is better to confess ignorance than to leave such translations 
Stand. The two lines are not in accord, and besides are totally 


And let not a great ransom mislead thee.* 

I Beware of turning to iniquity, 

'; That thou choosest this in preference to affliction." 

i> Behold God is exalted in His strength; 

'■ Who is a teacher like Him? 

J Who dares to call Him to account? 

And who can say,"Thou hast done wrong?" 
& [Behold God is old beyond knowledge; 

The number of His years is beyond reckoning.]"* 
[Verses 24-25 and 27 to Chap. 37, 13 and 37, 21-22, 
an inserted poem on "God's Majesty in the storm," 
for which see below, p. 337, while 37, 14-20 is an inde- 
pendent fragment on " The Wonders of Creation, " 
likewise dovetailed into this fourth speech of Elihu. 
See below, p. 341.] 

out of connection with what precedes and what followa. Simi- 
larly 18', "For, lest wrath lead thee away," bears no relation 
to iS*" and appears to be a variant reading to 16' with the word 
<j/ taken erroneously as "wrath." Something has happened to 
the text at this point, and it is a ho5>eless endeavor to try to 
straighten itout. 

"j'.f., do not try to escape Divine wrath by offering a bribe. 
Verses 19 and 20 are again utterly obscure. They, as well as 17 
and i8", have proven to be the despair of commentators and it is 
not possible to make even a reasonable guess at their mcaaiag. 
In the original Greek version v, ic^ and 20 are missing. 

** 1. f., it is better to suffer and thus be warned of perhaps 
some unintentional misstep, than to deliberately plunge into 
wrong in the hope of escaping punishment. 

"The verse is missing in the original Greek version, and 



He is exalted in power and justice; 37, 13-14" 

The one abounding in righteousness does not 

Therefore, men fear Him; 
Albeit the wise cannot fathom it." 

The Punishment of Unworthy Rulers" 
(Inserted Poem) 

If there be understanding, hear this ;" 3^ 

Give ear to my words. 

Is it conceivable that He who governs is a hater 
of justice?'* 

may well be a later insertion (reminiscent in part of 5, 9) that 
has gotten into the midst of the "storm" poem, instead of being 
placed directly after v. 23. 

*' These two verses of chapter 3 7 form the appropriate close 
of the fourth and last speech of Elihu, 

Atthe beginning of V. 23 "Shaddai — we cannot find Him," 

I is an explanatory comment either to 19" or to 34°, which has 

crept into the text at a wron^ place. See below, p. 342, note 39. 

**Literally; "See," 1.^,, as we say "see through it." 
Even the wisest cannot understand the hidden ways of God — a 
thought similar to the one uttered by Kohelcth as his final word 
(Eccl. 8, 17). 
"Even though a wiic mao thinki that he luiow« — yet he cannot find out." 

•• An inserted poem — chapter 34, 16-20; 24-27; 30. See 
above, p. J26, As a further proof for the independent char- 
acter of this little section, one may instance that some of the 
Greek versions have a separate heading before v. 16, "Elihu in 
answer said." 

** The address in this introduction is in the singular, where- 
as Elihu's speech proper is directed to the wise man in general 

"Literally: "judgment." 



Wilt thou condemn One who is supremely just."*! 

Who says to a king, "Thou worthJess one"; 

"Thou wicked one" to nobles?*' 

Who pays no regard to princes, 

And favors not rich against poor?** 

For all in a moment die, 

In the middle of the night are shaken off." 

The mighty He shakes indiscriminately,' 

•* i.e., God— the subject also of the verbs in the following J 

" This line is missing in the original Greek version. 

" A pious commentator adds the banal remark, "the work 
of His hands." 

^i.f., deposed. Two glosses are added (a) "They pass 
away " as the explanation of the second verb, which is somewhat 
obscure, (i)"the mighty ones(read the plural!) are taken away 
without a Ivifiible] hand" — a further explanation of what is 
meant by v. 20. Aa a variant to the "mighty ones" by which 
rulers and princes are meant, some commentator has suggested 
that the verse refers to the "people"; and this word for"p)eople" 
haacreptintothe text at a wrong place. Verses 21-22 belong to 
the main speech, while v. 23 (in prose) is a comment to v, 20 
about the suddenness ol the change in the fortunes of rulers. 

" For He docj not fii a time (or g«ng to God for judgment" 
God calls rulers away without notice. Instead of "again," read 
by a slight change the word for "time" — adopted also by the 
translators of the Amer, Jewish Publ. Society. The original 
Greek version omits 23'. 

> More literally: "without search"but here, clearly, in the 
sense of "indiscriminately." The Greek version because of the 
word "without search" adds, from 5, 9, 

"He does gre»t thiogt beyond ■earching," 
just as we have seen this same sentiment added at 9, 10, and for 
a third time 37, 5. Suchaquotationdeliberatelyintroduced — 
for the Greek translator must have found it in the test before 
him — shows the liberties taken with the text by editors, who felt 
free to add anything which seemed appropriate. 



And sets others in their stead.* 

In this way He takes note of their works; *! 

He overturns [them] at night, and they are 

Because from Him they turned away, a; 

And paid no regard to His ways.* 

God's Majesty in the Storm* 
(A Second Inserted Poem) 

Remember to glorify His work, 

Whereof men have sung; 

Which all can see;* 

Which man has looked on since distant days.' 

How He draws up the drops of water, 

Which are distilled as rain through His vapor; 

Which the clouds pour down/ 

And drop upon the multitude. 

*TQthi3Utlcrcondemnation,verBe26(in prose) is added by 
way of comment. It consists of two parts (a) "in piace of the 
wicked," to ejplain "in their stead," (b) "He eiults over them 
(same verb as in 34, 37. See above, p. 318) in open sight," i-e., 
he humiliates the unworthy rulers in the si^ht of all. 

* Verse 30 which is missing in the onginal Greek version 
(as also 28, 29 and 3 1-33) is again a comment (in poetic form) to 
the deposition of rulers as expressed in verses 24-25, 

I "Ag»inst the rule of an impiouj mm. 

L Againit the ensnareri of the people." 

B 'The inserted poem in Elihu's fourth speech (see above, p. 

r 331), consisting of 36, 24-25 and 2^ to 37, 13; and 37, 21-22. 

*The line is missing in the original Greek version. 

' Literally: "from afar," meaning, however, from far off 
days. For verse 26, see above, p. 334, 

' The line is missing in the original Greek version. 


Who' can grasp the spreading of clouds, 
Aye, the thunderings of His pavillion?" 
Behold, He spreads His light'" over it," 
Until it covers the tops of the mountains ( ?) ." 
He covers with light" 

' The particle at the beginning of this line should be tran»- j 
posed to the following one. The entire verse is missing in the ] 
original Greek version as are also verses 30-33. 

' Literally, "His tent" — meaning the heavens. 

'"i.^., the lightning. Duhm and others read by a slight 
change "cloud," but this is unnecessary. 

" i.e., over the cloud. The reference is to the lightning 
flashing across the cloud. 

'* The text reads " roots of the sea, " but this gives no sense. 
The emendation suggested by Duhm is radical and somewhat 
arbitrary, but it is the best that has been offered for what is clears 
ly a currupt text. Verse 31 is a reBeciion added by a later editor, 

"Forthrouch them He judgeipeoplei; | 

He givei food m ibuadance. 

to suggest that the clouds and the rain with the accompanying 
lightning are both destructive and beneficial forces. 

"The balance of this line is unintelligible, as is also v. 31 
which appears to consist of a series of glosses (perhaps to 37, 7-8) 
that have been combined into an absolutely untranslatable line- 
It is preferable to confess beingbaffled (as Siegfried, Ehrlicb and 
others do), rather than to attempt a translation which is either 
nonsensical or fanciful. In reading the current translations of 
this verse, it is difficult to decide in which of the two categories 
they belong, ss** consists of four words (a) "cattle (b) even (c) 
over (d) that which comes up" — a perfectly hopeless jumble. 
The RV in its despair adds the word "storm," after "over," 
which the translators of the Jewish Publication Society adopt, but 
without indicating that it is not in the Hebrew text. As (or 33' 
why mislead the public to suppose that the Hebrew words are 
to be rendered as "The noise thereof telleth concerning it"? 
What possible sense is there in such a line or in the following o 
rendered : 

"He catUe alia coocecaing the itorm that comcih up?" 


And commands it where it should strike.'* 

At this my heart indeed trembles, s; 

And is moved out of its place. 

Hark in trembling to His voice, 

And to the sound that issues from His mouth. 

Across the heavens He sends it, 

And His light " unto the ends of the earth. 

He thunders with His voice majestic, 

And nothing restrains them'* when His voice 

is heard." 
[Marvellous things [God]'* does, s' 

Great deeds beyond knowledge,]" 
For to the snow He says, " Fall to earth *' ; *■ 

And the rain is the outpouring of His strength." » 
He seals up the activity of mankind,*^ 
That every one may know His work. 
The beasts go into coverts, 
And remain in their dens. 

" i.e., the lightning. 

"i.^., again the lightning. A gloss (4') adds "Behind it 
{i.e., behind the lightning), a voice roars. " 

'• i.^,, thunder and lightning. Verae 5* "God thunders 
with His voice " is a comment or variant to 4*. 

"Cf. Psalm 29, 3-9 for a similar description of God's 
voice — the thunder. 

" Perhaps to be supplied. The line lacks one beat. 

" A quotation — slightly altered — from Eltphaz's speech, 5, 9, 
who also specifies the downpour of rain as one of the manifesta- 
tions of God's greatness. 

*" A gloss explains geskem ("rain") as equivalent to mitir 

" A man is forced to atop work and to seek refuge during 
the rain storm. The line is missing in the original Greek v 


From the South " comes the storm, 
And the cold from the North. =* 
For by the breath of God ice is formed,** 
And the expanse of water congealed. 
Even as the sunshine drives away the cloud," 
And its light scatters the mass of clouds. 
He causes it ** to move about in its circuit;*' 
By His direction over the face of the uni- 

" Literally, "chamber "for" chambers o{ the South" (Job 9, 
9), i.e., the constellations of the South, and used poetically for 
the South. 

" A poetic term for the North is used in the text, the spe- 
cific meaning of which escapes us. It may refer to the Polar 

" An impressive picture of a gifted poet, who pictures the 
ice as formed by God's cold breath upon the waters, just as His 
warm breath gives life. Cf38,29-30. The original Greek version 
omits the line. 

** So read the line by a change in the first word — following 
Ehrlich. The verse is missing in the original Greek version at 
are also verses 12-13. 

** i.e., the light — meaning the sun. 

" A gloss V. 12'' (in prose form) adds " for all ihetr work a 
He commands them," 1.^., clouds and sun play their part in ' 
natureaccording to God's orders to them. 

"A gloss adds "towards the earth" in explanation of the 
phrase "over the face of the universe." Verse 13 (in prose 
form) is the reflection of a pious commentator and should be 
translated as follows: 

"Whether ai 1 icourge for the earth or for grace, He leu it {ia., the tun) , 
run iu courM," ij., for better or wone. ' 

Hollow Ehrlich in making two slight changes in the text, 
called for in order to yield an intelligible meaning. The 
original Greek version omits verses II-13. Verses 14-20 form 
the third inserted poem. See below, p. 341. 




And now *' there Is brightness in the skies; 
A wind blows and it brightens up. 
From the North a golden " splendor comes; 
To God, the awe-inspiring, be the glory! 

The Wonders of Creation" 
(A Third Inserted Poem) 

Give heed to this, O Job; j, 

Stand still and consider God's wonders! 

Dost thou know how God brings these things v 

about ?" 
How light breaks through His clouds? 
Dost thou know of the spreading of clouds ?" 
The marvels of the Perfect in knowledge? 
That thy clothes become warm, 
When the earth is hushed in the south wind?" 

"There is a meaningless gloss, "They sec not the light," 
which is evidently misplaced. Itmay belong to 37, 11, "its 
light scatters the mass of the clouds," to suggest that the light 
comes mysteriously. 

'" Forming the close of the poem and describing the passing 
of the storm. 

*' Or "brilliant." 

"The little section 37, 14-10 inserted into the fourth 
speech of Elihu,is clearly supplemental as shown by the separate 
heading. It draws the lesson from the "storm" poem, and forms 
the transition to the magnificent series of nature poems, embodied 
in chapters 38-4!; and may well have been suggested by these 
poems with which It has the question form in common. 

«So read instead of "on them." 

" By a change in a single letter, we obtain the same phrase 
as36. 29 in the "storm" poem, to which it harks back. 

** i.e., lies breathless in the hot south wind. Verse 18 takes 
Up a new thought which would be in better place after 3 8, 3, but 


[Canst thou spread out with Him the expanse," 

Firm as a molten mirror?) 

Teach us " what to think of it ;" 

Because of the darkness, we find not our way.** 

since this necessitates the change from "with Him" to "like 
me " for which there is no warrant in any of the versions, it seems 
preferable to let the verse stand where it has been placed, and 
regard it as a later addition by some one who wished still further 
to emphasize the marvels of creation before which men should 
be speechless. 

"The "expanse "(Genesis, 1,6} or firmament was pictured 
by the ancients as a solid polished substance; hence the metaphor 
sparing it to a molten mirror. The verse is missing in the 
original Greek version and is clearly out of the context. 

"Some Hebrew manuscripts read "me," 

"Literally "to say" — not, however, "to Him" as is usually 
rendered but "concerning it," The reference is not to God, but 
to the marvellous phenomena which renders one speechless. 

**The verb used conveys the idea of arranging one's words 
or thoughts in a pnjpcr manner. The gloss in v.2j,"i.^., Shaddai 
— we cannot find Him." may have been intended to eiptainour 
passage, or possibly 24''. (See p. 335, note 91}. At all events, 
the thought is that man must content himself in the presence of 
the marvels of creation to worship in silence. To further 
emphasize that silence alone is becoming to man. some pious 
reader added v, 20, which, however, strikes one as an anti-climax 


Literally: "that he be swallowed up." The commentator has in 
mind Job's audacity in declaring that he will insist upon speak- 
ing to God {e.g., 7, ti; 10, I; 13, 3, etc), and insinuates that such 
speech is equivalent to ordering one's destruction. 


A Collection of Eight Nature Poems" 
(Chapters 38-41) 

The Fmah of Creation" 
(Then Yahweh answered Job:]" 
[Who is this that darkens counsel, 
By words without knowledge? 
Gird up thy loins Hke a warrior;" 
That I mav ask thee to tell me;]** 

"See above pp. 82-86. 

" Consisting of 38, I-18. 

"The usual editorial link. One of the Greek versions adds 
"After Eiihu had ceased speaking," to connect thechapterstill 
closer with what precedes. A gloss to the line adds "from (or 
out of) the storm," inserted by a commentator who, regarding 
the Book of Job in its present form as a literary unit and as an 
actual narrative, took the poetical references in the dosing verses 
of the inserted poem on the majesty of the storm and the 
miracle of the clearing sky after the storm (37, 21-22) literally. 
Thereupon, in order to connect the appearance of Yahweh with 
what preceded, he added the words "out of the storm" (not 
"whirlwind" as usually rendered). Theyareclearlyoutof place. 
The repetition of theeditorialiinkat40, 6 is taken from our text, 

** i.e., get ready for a contest. For work or battle, the lower 
garment is tucked up around the loins so as not to interfere with 
the freedom of movement. 

** Verses 2-3 represent the introduction added by the 
editor who collected the nature poems and connected them with 

Where wast thou when 1 

Declare, if thou hast the knowledge! 
Who determined its measures, that thou shouldst 

Or who stretched the measuring Hne o'er it? 
Whereupon are its sockets fastened? 
Or the comer-stone thereof who laid it?" 
When the morning stars sang together," 
And all the Sons of God shouted for joy?" 
When I made the cloud its garment,*' 
And thick darkness its swaddling band.'" 

the Book of Job as speeches in the mouth of God. According to 
Ehriich and others, verse 37, 18 should be inserted here so as to 
begin thedescriptionofGod'sworkof creation with the heavens. 
But sec note 35, above, page 34I. 

"i.r.,WhohaBcvermeasurcd the earth and told thee? See 
verse 18. 

** i.e.fdost thou knowanything about it? Wert thou present? 

" i.e., dost thou know anything of the time when the morn- 
ing stars, etc. 

*• See the note to i , 6 and the references to this famous verse 
in Shakespeare, Milton and Tennyson, given by Strahan, Job, 
p.3>7. . 

" i.f., again where wast thou when, etc. 

** i.e., of the earth. In view of this application of the line 
to the earth rather than to the sea, to describe the enveloping of 
the earth through clouds and darkness, verse 9 is to be placed 
before v. 8. Note that in some of the p>oems, God is introduced 
as speaking {e.g. 38, 9-10; 39, 6), whereas in others, (e-g., 38, 41 ; 
J9, 17) God is spoken of in the third person. Such a variation of 
Itself points to the independent origin ol the separate poems into 
which chapters 38-41 may be divided. For most of them we 
need not even assume that they represent an address by God to 
man, but merely have the question form because of its stronger 
rhetorical force. 



Who *' barred the sea with doors, 8 

When from the depth " it broke forth ? 

And I estabHshed" for it my decree, le 

And to the doors set a bolt?" 

And said: Thus far come, but no further. 

And here shall thy proud waves break?** 

Hast thou ever commanded the morning, " 

And assigned to the daybreak its place? ^a 

To lake hold of the ends of the earth, '*' 

And to shake the wicked out of it ?*• 

So that it is reversed as a clay seal,*^ m 

And is dyed " as a garment.*' 

Hast thou come to the springs of the sea? i* 

And walked in the recesses of the deep? L? 

Have the gates of death been opened to thee ? 

" So read by a slight change of the test. 

** Literally "womb." An explanatory gloss adds: "came 

" So read by a slight change in the teit, supported by the 
Greek version. 

**So by a slight change. 

" So the Greek text. 

"The wicked arc dispersed with the morning dawn. Simi- 
larly, in Babylonian hymns to the sun-god we read that Sha- 
mash drives away crime and reveals guilt (Jastrow, Aspects of 
Rfligioui Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria, p. 1 1 1 
and ReligionBabyloniens und Assyriens,l.,p. ^32 etseq.) 

" I follow Ehrlich's interpretation, (improving upon a sug- 
gestion made by Ewald, Book of Job p. 301 note) that the refer- 
ence ia to the inscription on a clay seal which is written backward 
and on being impressed on a softobject is reversed and comes out 
in perfect form. So the sun changes the chaos of night into order. 

•• So by a slight change in the text. 

*• Verse 1 5 is a reflection, added by a pious commentator. 
"Their light i« withheld from the wicked; 
And the haughty arm is broiten." 



And hast thou seen the gates of dense darkness ?•• I 
Hast thou surveyed the earth in its breadth ? 
Declare, if thou knowest its measure." 

The Phenomena or the Heavems" 
[Which is the way to the dwelling of light. 
And darkness — ^where is its place? 
That thou mayest track it to its bounds. 
And discern the paths to its house.]** 
Hast thou come to the storehouses of snow. 
And seen the chambers ** of the hail? 
Which I have reserved against time of trouble. 
Against the day of battle and war? 
By what way passes the wind ?" 

*" A synonym here for the realm of the dead, situated ii 
deep or \a the hollow of the earth. 

" So by a slight change of the text. 

"Consisting of 38, 19-38. 

"VerBes 19-20 probably represent the beginning of the I 
second poem, though it is also possible that they arc an insertion, 
suggested by V. 24. At all events their estreme beauty justifies ' 
their inclusion in the text, despite a certain doubt of their 
genuineness. Verse 21, to be taken ironically, reads: 
"TTiou knowcsi. tit thou w«tt born at the time. 
And the Dumber of th}' dijn ii great." 

This is clearly an insertion that reveals the rather bad taste of I 
some Kealous and pious commentator, who is more concerned in 
pedantic fashion with rebuking Job, than Impressed with the 
beauty and majesty of this paean, 

•"The Hebrew text repeals "storehouses" though one 
would expect a synonym. 

"Read "wind" for "light" in the text — a suggestion 
originally made by Ewald, and adopted by many commentator, 
including Ehrlich 


F A 


Slom and 

Or is the east wind scattered o'er the earth? 

Who has cleft a channel for the waterflood. 

And a way for the thunderbolt?^" 

[To cause it to rain'^ on a land uninhabited; 

On the wilderness where are no men. 

To saturate what is waste and desolate, 

And to cause verdure to spring forth.]'" 

[Has the rain a father? 

Or who has begotten the dew-drops ? 

From whose womb comes the ice, »9-3o 

And who has engendered the hoarfrost of heaven ? " '^' 

So that water is congealed as a crystal, jo 

And the face of the deep is frozen.]" 

Canst thou bind the chains of the Pleiades, 31-33 

Or loosen the bands of Orion?'" ,uu^^. 

Canst thou lead out the Dippers at their season, " 


'* A reminiscence or an actual quotation from 28, 26' in the 
inierted "Search for Wisdom." 

"The miracle of rain that fertilizes even the stoniest soil 
waa particularly impressive to the ancients and is, therefore, 
dwelt upon so frequently in the Book of Job. 

•* Verses 26 and 27 are omitted in the original Greek ver- 
sion, and may well be later insertions. 

"Thcsethree beautiful verses (28-30) appear again to be 
an insertion — perhaps taken from thesamepoemof which we en- 
countered another fragment above verses 19-20. It would be 
quite in keeping with the ancient Oriental mode of composition 
to thus dovetail two poems into each other that have an affilia- 
tion. Compare the description of the source of cold and ice in 
the "storm "poem 37, 9-10, above, p. 340. 

"An impressive metaphor to describe the combination of 
stars into a constellation, as though they were bound by invis- 
ible chains and bands. 

" Probably the greater and the lesser Bear, though 
Schiaparelli, Anronomy in the Old TestamftU, p. S2. HTguea for 


Or guide the Lion and his young?" 
Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens ?" 
Or on earth canst trace its constellations?" 
CiotJ^B^ Canst thou lift thy voice to the clouds, 
jiern. To answct thee,'* with abundance of water? 
)S Canst thou send flashes of lightning, to go 
And to say to thee, "Lo we are here?"^' 
J' Who can empty^' the clouds [on high?]" 
Or can pour out the water-skins of heaven, 
When the ground runs thick into mire, 
And the clods cleave fast together? 

an identification with Ludfer and Heapenis, which a most 
unlikely. The verse is missing in the original Greek version. 

"According to Schiaparelli I. e., p. 57 Aldebaran and 
Hyades, The verse is omitted in the origina) Greek version. 

"Of. jer.31, 35-36-. . 

" i.e., from thy pwsition on earth canst thou make a map 
covering the entire starry heaven? The word translated con- 
stellation is, Hterally, "its writing," which is also used in 
Babylonian ("writing of heaven") for the mapping out of the 
starry firmament. 

" So read by a slight change of the text. 

" Verse 36 which contains two obscure words: 

nihc . . . 
o the m!od (f) 

appears again to be the reflection of some pious commentator, 
with a view of giving expression to his amazement at the Divine 
power manifested in the universe. 

" So the meaning of the verb, as in Arabic. 

"Text has "by wisdom," whichspoils the beauty of the 

line, and may have been separated by accident from v. 36. 

Some word, however, is needed to complete the three beats of 

the line. The parallelism suggests "on high." 




AmuAL Life" 
Dost thou hunt the prey for the Hon, 
To still the hunger of young lions? 
As they crouch in their dens, 
And lie in wait in the covert? 
Who provides his food for the raven,'" 
When his young ones cry unto God?" 

Dost know when rock goats bring forth ?"* 

Or dost mark when hinds are in travail?*' 

When they throw off** their young, 

And separate themselves from their burdens? 

Their young grow up '* in the open, 

Go forth and return not again. 

"The third of the nature poems (38,39-39, 30) consists of 
the description of the ways of the animal world in further illus- 
tration of the wonders of God. Ten animals or eleven if we 
count both ostrich and stork (13-18) are singled out. The poem 
is again a composite production, as is shown by the lack of any 
arrangement or sequence in the animals enumerated — wild 
animals and birds being promiscuously combined. 

*' Instead of "raven" some commentators read by a change 
in vocalization "at evening" and thus eliminate the raven al- 
together, because hardly in place between the lion and other 
wild animals. 

" A commentator adds "roaming about without food." 

"The entire line, which has a superfluous word "time" 
(making the line too long) is missing in the original Greek version. 

" Verse 2 appears to be a variant or a comment to verse I. 
It reads: 

••A commentator adds "crouching" to explain the rare 
verb used. The word makes the line too long. 
•* Comment, "wai strong." 


UTio sends the wild ass to roam free? 

Or has loosened the bonds of the unbridled? 

For whom I have made the wilderness his house. 

And the desert " his dwelling place. 

He scorns the tumult of the city; 

Nor hears the shoutings of the driver.*' 

He roams the mountains for pasture, 

And seeks out whatever is green." 

Will the wild ox *• be content to serve thee? 

Or will he abide by thy crib?*° 

Canst thou with a cord bind him," 

To harrow thy furrows " after thee? 

Canst trust him, •' because of his strength ? 

And leave thy labor to him? 

Wilt thou to him confide thy seed?" 

" Literally " salt" land — as a picture of desolation. 

" Those who have travelled in the East and have heard the 
constant shoutsof the drivers to their horses will appreciate this 

*• The 8th verse is omitted in the original Greek version. 

"The re'em now definitely identified through the frequent 
references to the rimu in Cuneiform Inscriptions and through 
illustrations of this animal on Assyrian monuments. 

•° There is a gap in the original Greek version from 39, 9 to 
40, 8", so that we cannot be certain how much of the description 
of the horse (19-25) has been amplified or whether the single 
verse (v. 26) devoted to the hawk may not be a later insertion. 

"So read, instead of repeating "wild ox," which the 
Greek version properly omits. 

" So the Greek version, instead of the Hebrew "valleyB," 
though in the preceding line we have "furrow" which repieseats 
the variant and better reading. 

"The line as it stands is too long. By omitting the super- 


And to heap up thy threshing flcxir?'* 
(Verses 13-18 below, p. 352-] 

Dost thou give strength to the horse? 
Dost thou clothe his neck with a mane?'* 
Dost thou bring smoke from his nostrils," 
With the loud blast of his snorting? 
He paws in the valley with joy; 
He goes out in might to the encounter. 
He laughs at fear without tremor; 
And turns not back from the sword,'* 
The quiver rattles against him, 
The glittering spear and the javelin. 
He stamps the ground with storm and rage, 
And cannot be held back at the trumpet's 


fluouB "to bring in" before "ihy seed " {i.e., thy produce) — it is 
reduced to three beats. 

•* The wild ox, if let loose in the fields will uproot and des- 
troy the crops. Verses 13-18 arc clearly an independent frag- 
ment, taken from some proem that like ours was devoted to a 
description of the ways and habits of animals, but as a direct na< 
turepoem, not in the form of a question to suggest man's inabil- 
ity to control the wild brood of creation. The translation, will 
befoundbelow (p. 352), as asupplementtoourcomposition. The 
insertion appears to have been suggested by verses 26-30 — the 
description of the hawk and vulture, which would lead to 
inserting the description of the ways of the ostrich, 

'* The mane as the symbol of strength. 

_ " So read with Ehrlich, by a slight change of the leit. The 
traditional translation of this line, describing the horse as "leap- 
ing like a locust" is unpoetical as well as absurd, 

"Thclincismissingin the Greek versions. 

••Verse 25' — superfluous line — is an explanatory com- 
ment: "When the trumpet sounds, he says 'Aha!' "to emphasize 
that the approaching battle acts as a spur. 


He smells the battle from afar, 

The captain's thunder and the roar.' 

Does the hawk migrate^ through thy wisdom,* 

Spreading his wings to the South? 

Does the vulture mount at thy order, 

To make his nest on high ? 

He settles on rock and abides there. 

Upon the crag of the rock as a stronghold.' 

Whence he spies out the prey; 

His eyes seeing it from afar. 

With his young ' he sucks up' the blood ;^ 

And where the carcasses are, he is to be found. 

Independent Fragment* on the Ostrich 
The wing of the ostrich • fails;'" 
A cruel " mother is the stork." 

' Strahan, Job, p. 329, appropriately quotes Layard's fine 
description of the horse of the Arab {Diicoveriei in the Ruini of 
Nineveh and Billon, pp. 326-331). The horse in the ancient East 
t> used in battle or for hunting, never as a beast of burden for 
which the ass is employed. Poetic descriptions of the horse are a 
standing feature in the poetry of ancient Arabia. Indeed, the 
lection in Job is quite in the style of Arabic poetry. 

* So by a sHght change of the text, furnishing a reading 
that replaces the guess "soar" for a stem not otherwise found 
in Hebrew. 

* 1.^., dost thou tell the hawk when to migrate on the ap- 
proach of winter? 

' Quoted from Jeremiah, 49, 16. 

* So by a slight change. 

' Read the singular, since the vulture must be the subject 
in both parts of the verse. 

' Quoted as a proverbial saying Matthew 24, 28 and Luke 





For she leaves her eggs in the ground. 
To hatch in the dust; 

Forgetting that foot may crush them, i; 

And that the beast of the field may trample them. 
She hardens her young to do without her; 
To no purpose her labor [and without proiit (?)!■'* 
For God has deprived her of wisdom, 17 

And not given her a share in understanding.'* 
[40, 1-14, forming the first epilogue, and a part 
of the second, see below, p. 361 seq.\ 

'39, 13-18 omitted in all the older Greek versions. See 
Beer, Tuxtdei Buchirs Hiob, p. 2i^. 

•TheTargum renders as wi!d cock." "Peacock" in the 
older English versions is a pure guess. 

"* So read, following Hoffman, whose emendation of the 
meaoingless word in the test is accepted by Budde, Ehrlich and 
others. The ostrich fails to protect her brood. 

1' So read instead of meaninglesfi "pinions" by a change of 
the text, demanded by the context. 

" A misplaced gloss or a comment by one who did not under- 
stand the obscure because corrupt verse, adds "and feathers." 
To the writer of this fragment, the ostrich and stork are closely 
related birds — at least sufficiently bo as to warrant the poetical 
license in using the one for the other. What the fragment saya 
applies, however, only to the ostrich. 

" i.e., she has no joy of motherhood in return for her effort 
in laying her eggs. The close of the line reads "without fear," 
but this gives no sense. The word is a gloss that has slipped into 
a wrong place and entailed the dropping out of the correct read- 
ing which must be supplied from the context. Some word is 
needed to make up the three beats. 

" Verse 18, as it stands, gives no sense that could conceiv- 
ably fit into the context. What possible connection is there even 
between the two parts of the verse, which are usually rendered: 
"When the time comes she raise* her wingi on high, 
And the laughs at the horse and hja rider." 

Nor have the various attempts at emendation of the text been 


Four Poems Descriptive of the Extraordinary Strength ^^H 

AND Hugeness of Aniuals that Cannot be Taued ^^H 

BY Man ^^I 


The Hippopotauus ^ ^^H 

Behold, the great beast '■ as compared to thee; ^^| 

Eating grass as an ox. ^^| 

See his strength in his loins, ^^| 

And his force in the muscles of his body. ^^| 

His tail "is stiff like a cedar; ^^| 

Closely knit are the sinews of his thighs. ^^| 

His bones pipes of brass; ^^| 

ressful. I venture to sec in the final words "scorning the ^^^ 

successful. I venture to sec in the final words "scorning 
horse and hia rider" a gloss or comment to v. ig"", while the 
baUnceof the verseappearsto have been intended as a comment 
either to v. 26 (hawk) or to v. 14, to further indicate the indif- 
ference of the stork to her brood, by describing how at the time 
when they need her, she leaves them. In the endeavor to connect 
the two glosses, the text has, however, been corrupted beyond 
the point of certain restoration. 

'*40, 15-24. An independent poem to which 40, 6-7, 
with 42, 3* and 4, originallyservcd as an introduction (see below 
note 65), but in the course of the editorial process, the intro- 
duction was combined with the epilogue to the scries of four 
poems on the huge beasts, 

"Teit uses the plural ^^AtfWffrt "beasts" as frequently in 
poetic Hebrew for "great beast." Similarly in Psalms 137, 1, 
"rivers "for "great river." i.^.,the Euphrates. There is added 
a gloss, "which I have made" (missing in the Greek version). 
It represents a later insertion to bring the independent fragment 
into connection with the theme of God's power in creating 
such animals. 

" The "tail" may be euphemistic for the sexual member, 
to which the "thighs" in the parallel line point. 



His gristles like bars of iron." 

The mountains " bring him food; 

And he scorns tlie beasts of the field.*" 

Under lotus he lies; 

In the covert of reed and fen. 

[Lotus trees form his shade; 

And willows of the brook encompass him.]" 

Though the river " overflows he trembles not; 

Confident as when Jordan oversteps its bank. 

WTio can overcome him with hts eyes?" 

Pierce his nose with hooks ?" 

iRhtieii) of God's 

"V. 19 reading; 


A creature of gigantic build," 

is an addition on the part of some commentator. The text of the 
second line is corrupt. I follow Ehrlich's suggestions for two 
textual changes in order to get a satisfactory parallel. 

^*0r "rivers" which reading one can obtain by a 
slight change. 

*" The text has a superfluous word at the close of v. 20, 

*^ Perhaps a variant verse. 

■* i.e., the Nile as the river far excellence, in contrast to the 
petty Jordan. The vast overflow of the great Nile is as insig- 
nificant to him as the small Jordan overstepping its banks. 

** So the text, which Ehrlich explains as a reference to ah 
attempt to hypnotize the hippxipotamus by one's stare, which is 
possible in the case of lions and tigers, though — one feels inclined 
to add — a rather riskv procedure. 

**The abrupt ending suggests that something has been 
omitted at this point. Duhm, (Hiob, p. 197) is of the opinion 
that 41, 1-4 represent the conclusion of the description of the 
hippopotamus and that, since these verses apply also to the 
crocodile, they have been transferred to the poem on the 
crocodile 40, 25-31 {=41, 1-8). Such a supposition is, how- 
■, unnecessary. The original Greek version omits verse 24 as 

well a 



The Crocod:-e» 

Canst thou draw the crocodile '• with 

And with a cord prees down his tongue? 
Canst thou put a ring '^ through his nose? 
And with a hook pierce his jaw? 
Will he indulge in supplications to thee, 
Or softly speak unto thee? 
Will he cut a covenant with thee, 
To take him as a servant forever? 
Wilt make a toy of him as a bird, 
And bind him for thy maidens? 
Will the guilds barter for him? 
Divide him among the merchants?" 
Canst fill his skin with barbed irons, 


-12). Note that the AV and RV 
in beginning the 41st chapter at 
this point. There are no less than three poems on the crocodile 
that have been put together, (a) 40, 25-41, 4 (or 41, 1-12) (b) 
41,5-13, (or4l, 13-21), (c) 41, 14-26 (or 41, 23-34). 

""Leviathan" — the name of thia mythical monEtcr of 
primitive myth is here used as in Psalms 104, 26, for any great 
beast of the waters — figuratively, therefore, for the crocodile 
though not limited to this monster. The same beast is referred 
to by Ezekiel 2g, 3 under the title of the "great dragon" and 
there used as a metaphor for Egypt. It is interesting to note 
that Herodotus (I I §70) states that the crocodile ir caught by a 
hook. The passage in Ezekiel (29, 4) liicewise assumes this 
method of capturing him. 

" So the Greek teit. 

"Teit "Canaanites" — used as a general term for merchants, 
as also Prov. 31, 24; Is 23, 8, etc., because of the fame acquired 
by Canaanites as the merchants par excellence. 


And his head with fishhooks ? 

Try to lay hand upon him; 

Think of the battle — thou'It not do it again. 

One's hope would forsooth be dispelled; 

At mere sight of him, one would be cast down. 

Inconceivable " that any should stir him; 

For who could stand up against him?*° 

Who could attack him " and come out whole? 

There is none such " under heaven. 

[None can deny " his structure; 

His strength without comparison]." 

•• By a transposition of two letters of the text we obtain 
the reading "I do not recall," ).*., I cannot conceive, — here used 
as the strongest kind of a statement, viz., it is inconceivable. 
Similarly in v. 4. 

'* So the Greek text and several Hebrew manuscripts in- 
stead of "before me" — a reading which represents an intentional 
change ad tnagnam glortam dei to give to verses 2-4 an entirely 
different interpretation from the one intended by the author 
of the description of the crocodile, which is continued in 
these verses. 

•' So instead of "me" the Greek text which is undoubtedly 
correct. The change to "me" is again intentional. (See 
above p. 1 11). 

"Read/^ A(! "there is none" instead of /M(J "to me there 
is" which is a further change to make the phrase read: 

"To me ii everything under heaven" 

but which is clearly out of place at this point. For the phrase 
"there is not" as in our passage, cf. Jer. 5, 12. 

** Literally, "Icannot pass overin silence," i.^.,one cannot 
ignore. The entire fourth verse is missing in the original Greek 
version, and may well be a later addition. 

•*So by a change of the text, demanded by the context. 
The common translation of this verse is wide of the mark. 


A Further Descriptiok of tb« Crocodiie" 

Who can do justice *■ to his covering?*' 

His double armor " who can describe?'* 

Who can open the doors of his mouth ?*" 

About his teeth lies terror; 

His back *' is a cluster of shields; 

A mass that is closel/ sealed. 

Touching one the other; 

That no air can come between them, 

[Joined one to another; 

So close as not to be sundered]." 

His sneezings flash light; 

His eyes are like eyelids of morning. 

** An independent composition comprising 41, 5-13 or 41, 
13-3 1 , according to the enumeration in the AV and RV. 

"Literally: "reveal," not. however, as usually taken in 
the sense of "uncover," but as ' setting forth." 

"Literally: "garment." 

" So read by a transposition of the letters of the text and 
the insertion of yoii, giving us^'O'^'*^, "his armor, "which forms 
the proper parallelism to "garment," i.e., the skin of the cro- 
codiles. " Double bridle" in our English translations is meaning- 
less; nor is "doublejaws" much of an improvement. 

*'Text "enter," but the context demands a verb hke 

•"So read — following the Syriac version — instead of "his 
face" by the omission of the second letter of the word in the text. 
The "doors of thcmoulh" (cf. Micha?, 5 and Psalm 141, 3) are, 
of course, the jaws. Ehrlich, who accepts this reading proposed 
by Budde, takes the phrase, somewhat figuratively to mean to 
get an insight into the nature of the beast. 

"The Greek text has "breasts." 

"This verse as well as 8' is omitted in the original Greek 
version. It impresses one as a variant to the preceding verse. 


^^^^^ rHE BOOK OF JOB 

^H Out of his mouth go torches ; 
^^H Sparks of fire leap forth. 
^H Out of his nostrils goes smoke," 
^^H As a seething and boiHng ** pot. 
^H His breath kindles coals; 
^^1 And flames go forth from his mouth. 


^^V A Third Description of the Crocodile" 

^^M Strength abides in his neck;*" 

14 ^^1 

^^1 Closely knit are the flakes of his flesh, 
^^1 Firm and [also] immovable.*^ 
^^M At his hindparts the waves are in terror;*" 
^^m The billows of the sea *' retreat.*" 
^H Sword does not avail against him. 


^H ** As in the description of the horse above 39, ao. ^^^^^^B 
^H ** So by a slight change in the text instead of " rushes," ^^H 
^H which gives no ^^H 
^^1 " Likewise an independent composition, 41, 14-26 (or 41, ^^H 
^^H 32-34) ^^^ duplicating in part the two other pocnus. ^^^| 
^H *' The second half of this verse is hopelessly corrupt. The ^^H 
^^1 ordinary translation ^^H 
^^1 "dUmjir (or 'terror') dincci before him" ^^| 

^H iadevoid of meaning and forms no parallelism. ^^H 
^^r " A repetition, therefore, of verses 7-9 in the second poem ^^^H 
1 The line is omitted in the original Greek version. Verse 16 rep- ^^H 
1 resents a double comment (a)^' His heart, {i.e., here 'his body'), ^^H 
1 is firm as a stone." (b) "firm as the nether millstone." ^^H 
^^m "So Ehrlich's reading and interpretation. ^^H 
^^b "So by an emendation of the word translated "terror" ^^^| 
^^B or "despair." The phrase occurs in Psalm 93, 4. ^^^H 

^^H^ *o So by a change in one letter of the word. ^^^^| 

^^H I'll ^^^^^H 


And the spear " 

Iron he esteems as straw; 

Copper as rotten wood. 

The arrow pierces him not;** 

The stones of the sling become stubble." 

A club is counted as stubble;" 

He laughs at the rattling of javelin. 

His underparts are sharp potsherds, 

Tracing a threshing sledge" upon the mire. 

He makes the deep boil as a pot; 

He stirs up the sea like a salve pot.** 

Behind him a shining path, 

Making. the deep appear hoary. 

Upon earth there is not his like; 

A creature made without fear. 

Powerful, whatever is mighty fears him;*^ 

The king over all the proud beasts. 

" The balance of this second part of the verse — omitted In 
the original Greek version — is unintelligible, because of the hope- 
lessly corrupt text. 

*'The same verb in the same sense as 20, 24. 

'*The line is omitted in the original Greek version. 

" The line is missing in the original Greek version, 

"The threshing sledges in the Orient arc still made, as in 
antiquity, of wood smooth on one side, but provided with sharp- 
pointed nails on the other, that leave their deep traces in the 
ground. To these nits, the poet compares the impress of the 
stiff prickly hide of the crocodile as it lies in the mire. 

** i.e., the medicine pestle in which steamtDg mixtures are 
prepared. Cf. 41, 12. 

" So by slight changes in the text. 


An Epilogue Added to the First Speech of Yahweh 
(4°. '-S) 
[Then Yahweh answered Job as follows:]*' 
Is the contest with Shaddai to continue?" 
Then let the accuser " of God give answer. 
And Job in answer to Yahweh said: 
" I am entirely unworthy to answer Thee;*' 

"The first two epilogues in poetic form (a) 40, 1-5 and (b) 
40, 6-14 with 43, 1-6, emanate from orthodox circles that found 
it necessary to represent Job as repenting of his audacity. They 
are in directcontradiction to the original close of the Symposium 
{42, 7''-9) which represents even God as approving of Job. 
See further above, p. 61. 

•■Again an editorial link in conventional form; and entirely 
meaningless here, since Job has not been speaking. It is quite 
certain that verses 1-2 were not in the original Greek version. 
See Beer, Teit des Buchcs Hiob, p. 246, 

"The verb in the text is entirely unintelligible. What 
possible meaning can there be in the customary translation of 
this line: 

"Shall he thit reproveth contend with the Atmightj-f " 

Some such verb as is suggested in my tentative translation is 
demanded by the context. The two lines (of which the first is 
lacking in the later Greek versions) probably represent an 
editorial addition to lead up to Job's confession of his inability 
to reply to God — all in the interest of the conventional orthodoxy. 

"Literally, "the one who argues" in the legal sense of 
presenting the charge. 

"The Greek version varies considerably, 

My hand I lay upon my mouth. 

Once I have spoken, but never again;" 

Twice, but now no more."** 

An Epilogue Added to the Second Speech of Yahweh 
(40,6-14 WITH 42, 1-6.)" 

* [Then Yahweh answered Job:]*' 

* Wilt thou disavow my decision?" 

" So read instead of "I will not answer," which is dearly 
an error, and not in the Greek version. 

**One is reminded of Hamlet's last words; "The rest 
is silence." 

"The second epilogue — likewise in poetic form — was origi- 
nally attached to the poems on the hippopotamus and the croco- 
dile. Itspropcrplaceis, therefore, at the beginning of chapter 42 
but it has been combined with a part of the original introduc- 
tion to the four poems, namely 40, 6-7- These two verses must 
be taken in connection with 42, 3 * and 4. This reconstructed 
introduction, clearly based on 38, 1-3, therefore, reads as foUowi: 
Then y»hweh aniwcrcd Job: 

Gird up ihy loin* like > warrior, 
That I ma)' ilk thee to tell me. 
Who ii ihia that darkeni couniel, 

iBy wordi) without knowledge? 
Hear now and I will ipeik; 
will Ilk thee to tell me.) 
To remove the confusion we must, therefore, detach from the 
epilogue 40, 6-7. 

In the epilogue proper (40, 8-14) verses 9-I0 appear to be due 
to later expansion, and verse 12 is a paraphrase of verse 13, Verse 
14 impresses one as a later addition, so that the epilogue in an 
earlier form consisted of three verses only, 8, II, 13 in which 
God calls upon Job to humble himself. These four verses would 
then correspond to 40, 2 of the first epilogue. 

'•Copied from 38, i, including the words "out of the 
storm," though these arc omitted in at least some Hebrew 
manuscripts. See note 42 above, p 343. The editorial link is 
entirely omitted in the Sinattic codex of the Greek version. 

"Literally; "judgment" in the sense of judicial decision. 


Condemn me so as to justify thyself? 

[Hast thou an arm like God ? 

Canst thunder with a voice like Him ? 

Deck thyself with majesty and excellency? 

Clothe thyself with glory and beauty?]" 

Repress the fury of thy wrath; 

And lower every kind of haughtiness." 

Hide them ""^ in the dust together; 

Bind their faces in a hidden spot. 

[Then, indeed, I will praise thee," 

For thy right hand will bring thy salvation.] 

Then Job answered Yahweh :'° 

I know " that Thou canst do everything; 

And nothing " is too difficult for Thee." 

*• To be taken as a continuation of the query. 

* Verse 12 (briefer in the Greek text) is a paraphrase of 
the preceding verse by a commentator who, however, takes 
"haughty " for the "wicked," whereas Job's haughtiness is meant : 

»'.*., crush the wicked completely. 

The first of these two lines is lacking in the Syriac version. 

"Thy wrath and thy haughtiness. 

"So to be rendered, "not confess unto thee." This verse 
of the epilogue is under suspicion of being a later addition. 

"One important Greek codes omits the line. See Beer, 
Ttxt del Buckes Htoh, p. 255. Job's confession clearly forms 
part of the second epilogue, to correspond to the confession 
(40, 3-5), in the first epilogue. Verses 42, l, 2, 3', 5-6, consti- 
tuting this confession, therefore, belong immediately after 40. 14. 

"There appears to have been a variant reading "Thou 
knowesi" — meaning God — but the versions favor "I know," 

'* So the Greek teit. 

"The first part of verse 3. 

"Who is thia that darkens counid without koowle<Ige" 

(not found in the Codex Sinaiticus of the Greek version) is taken 



What I did not understand, I uttered; 
Things far beyond me of which I had no 

From hearsay I had heard of Thee; 
But now my eye has seen Thee. 
Therefore, I recall and repent, 
(In utter worthlessness.]" 

The Pkosb Epilogue to the Stiiposiuk" 

And Yahweh said unto Eliphaz the Temanii 
"My wrath is kindled against thee," and against thy 

knowl- ^^H 
rianite: ^^^ 

over from 38, 2 except that "by words" has been omitted, 
though probably by accident. It is clearly out of place and 
belong, as indicated, to the introduction which in the editing 
process was combined with the epilogue. See above, note 65, 
" Verse 4, 

"HeiT now ind I will ipeilc. 

issimilarly a variantto38, 3 and 40, 7' and taken over from there. 
The verse is entirely out of place and meaningless where it 
stands. It belongs like +z, 3* to the introduction to the four 
poems on the huge beasts. That verses 3* and 4 should thus 
have been actually inserted into the teit and made part of a 
speech of Job shows the lack of any critical spirit on the part of 
those to whom we owe the present text of Job. And yet until 
modem criticism set in. such insertions were accepted as part 
of a sacred book, which by such editorial methods becomes a 
hopelessly confused one. 

"Literally: "in dust and ashes," but which as Ehrlich 
has shown is an idiomatic expression for "utter worthlessness." 
The same phrase occurs 30, 19 and since the line is too short a> it 
stands, it may be that Uie phrase represents an addttioa taken 
over from 30, 19. Sec above p. 291. 



two friends; for you have not spoken what is ^roperi.°— 
as my servant Job has. Therefore, take now seven 
bullocks and seven rams, and go*' and offer them up 
as a burnt offering '' on your behalf; and my servant 
Job shall intercede for you*' that I do not do some- 
thing abominable'^to you. And EliphaztheTemanite 
and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite 
went and did as Yahweh had spoken to them. And 
Yahweh accepted Job. 

" In prose like the prologue (chapters l-z). For the original 
place of this epilogue see above, p. 6oseq. The additional words 

"And it w» after Yabweh had spoken these words unto Job" 
represent the editorial link to connect the original close 
of the book with the two "orthodox" epilogues. But these 
two epilogues form such a contrast to the original close, that even 
the editorial link cannot bring about a smooth transition. For 
surely, God cannot approve of Job and be angry at his friends, 
fl/wr Job has confessed his guilt, and which confession obviously 
acquits his friends. 

" An imitation of 32, 3-4. 

"Or "right." The word in the text points to a complete 
approval of what Job said. Only one who had the boldness of the 
writer of the original Book of Job, ending with Job's complete 
vindication, could venture to go so far as to suggest that God 
himself recognized the justice of Job's reproaches against the 
cruelty and injustice of Divine government. The unorthodox 
writer could, of course — if he were so inclined — take refuge behind 
the plea that the misfortunes of Job were merely a test, though 
he would involve himself in tht contradiction that according to 
the philosophical poem Job did not endure the test since he de- 
fied God. Such logical subtleties, however, would not disturb an 
ancient writer. 

" An unnecessary comment adds, "to my servant Job." 

" According to the Priestly Code (Lev. 4, 28), it would have 
been a she-goat aa a "sin offering." 

"Text adds (taken over from v. 9} "for him 1 accept" — 
literally, "lift up his countenance," t.f., in the sense of favoring 


The Original Close of the Folktale" 

(42, 10-17) 

10 And Yahweh turned the fortune of Job,'* [and Yaii- 

weh restored everything to Job in double amount.]" 

And ali his relations ** and his former acquaintances 

[heard all the things that befell him, and]" came to 

one or acting out of regard for one, and which is dearly added bo 
as to connect the original close of the folktale with the epilogue 
to the Symposium. 

** The word used comes close to the term in the Priestly 
Code to describe an "abomination,"likcacarcass that must not 
be eaten. It is here used in a more general sense to denote an 
awful punishment. "Unseemly" as found in the translation of 
the American Jewish Publication Society is too mild, though an 
improvement on "folly" as the AV renders. The text again 
adds tautologically: 

"For you h»vc not ipolien wbat i> right to me (or "of iiie") u mj 
»erv»nl Job h» " — reputed from v. 7. 

"42, 10-17 (in prose) now attached to the special epUogae 
to the Symposium. The abrupt beginning points to an omission 
of some details that either were not in keeping with the epilogue 
attached to the Symposium or that were regarded as superfluous. 
The folktale must have had further links connecting chapters i 
and 2, with the happy ending, as a reward for Job's piety and 
silent endurance. Sec above, p. 61 seq. 

" Literally : " restored the captivity (like Ps. 14, 7) in the 
■enseof removing one's distress and trouble. A glossator adds, 
"because of his interceding for his friend " — which is as common- 
place as it is unnecessary. The Hebrew text has " his friend " in 
accord with v. 7 in which Eliphaz alone is addressed. The ver- 
■ions, however, have the plural, which is accepted in our English 
translations, though withou t any mention of the original reading. 

" Probably a later amplifying addition in view of the state- 
ment in v. 12. 

** Literally, "Ail his brothers and all his sistera" — an ei- 
pression to indicate all his relations. 

■So the Greek version. 




feast with him in his house, [to sympathize with him; 
and to comfort him for all the evil which Yahweh had 
brought upon him.)"* And each one gave him a kesita 
and each a golden ring." 

And Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more 
than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand 
sheep and six thousand camels and a thousand yoke 
of cattle and a thousand she-asses. And he had double ij 
the number of seven sons " and three daughters." 

" Added by the one who atuchcd the epilogue to the Sym- 
posium and who aimed to weld the two epilogues into a consistent 
whole. An orthodox writer would not have used phrases 
which might reveal the original character of the book as 
justifying Job. 

"This is a genuine follttale touch. The kesUa is a coin 
(Gen. 33, 19, Jos, 24, 32) and it, as well as the golden ring, prob- 
ably represents a congratulatory gift thai 

to bestow on some one who had recovered from an illness or 
who had escaped some danger. The word for ring /leum (Gen. 
34, 22) is a ring placed by women on the nose to hold up the veil, 
but perhaps it is here used in a more general sense. In no case is 
Ji ring placed through the nose meant. That custom is not 
found among the Semites. The Greek version renders kesita 
which it no longer understood as "lamb." These gifts have, of 
course, no significance in the form of the story adapted to 
the Symposium. 

** A strange form to express "double seven " is used and as 
Ehrlich points out with intent to avoid a confusion with the ex- 
pression "sevenfold." The Targum confirms the interpretation 
by using the common term fourteen. It will be observed that 
only the number of the sons are doubled, but not that of the 
daughters. Sons from the Oriental point of view are an asset; 
daughters a liability. 

" As an amplification of the folktale of Job, the names of 
the three daughters of Job arc added (v. 14): 

_ "And the name of the one wis Jemima and ihe name of the (ctond 
the name of the third Kcreo-happuch." 

e names appear to be plant names and of foreign origin, 


's And there were no women in all the land so fair 

as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them 
an inheritance with their brothers." And Job lived 
after this a hundred and forty years ** [and saw his 
children and his grandchildren, — four generations. 
And Job died, old and full of days.]" 

sn fair ^^^ 

perhaps transliterations from the Arabic. Kezia is the plant 
Cassia while Keren-happuch, literally "hom of eye paint," might 
designate the "Stibium box," used by women. In Arabic 
Jemima is the "dove." but it is more likely that it here desig- 
nates some plant. It is Hkely that in some version of the folk- 
tale the names of the sons were also mentioned, as well as the 
name of Job's wife. 

"Again a bit of follc-lore, that is, however, devoid of ai^ 
nificance in the present form of the Story. The post-czilic PricH- 
ly Code (Num. 27, i-ii) permits such an inhcriunce only in 
case there are no sons. 

*'The Greek version has 170. 

" Verse 16' and the whole of verse 17 are omitted in the 
original Greek version. They arc clearly later additions — sug- 
gested by Gen. 35, 29 — just as the names of the three daughters 
are fanciful amplifications of the folktale. Such additions are 
common at the end of ancient books. The Greek version of 
Theodotion has four additional notes or statements pointing 
to the continued expansion of the folktale, in the style of the 
Jewish "Midrash." They are: 

{>) "Ii ii writtcQ ihil Jab will agib rHk with ihcwe wham the Lord 
will retiirrect." 

(b) "According lo the 'Syriic' book (1./., probably an Aramaic vertion) 
he (1./., Job) dwell in the Und af Ux on ihe borden of Idumxa aad Arabia 
■nd his name was formerly Jobab (c(. Gen. }6, 3;), He took lo wife an Arabic 
woman and had a ion whose name wai Ennon. He hiciucif was the son of Zare 
{U Zettit. Gen. ]6, 3}), one of the lani af Emu and Boztah (a misreading 
of Gen. 36, 13, which «ay> 'from Bozrah' in connection with Zerah), to that 
he was the fifth from Abram." 

(c) A third addition. Riving the li>t of the Edamite kiD{;s □□ tlw basis 
of Gen. 36, 3 1 -39, though only loaf ate mentioned here,it igainit eight in GcDetii: 

"And these are the kings who ruled in Edom, over which he hiaurif 



Fuit, Bela the aon of Beor, whose city was Dinhabah (cf. Gen. 36, 31). 

After Eel», Jobab, who wai called Job (c(. Geo, 36, 33). 

After thii one, Hushim of ihc land of the Temanitea (Gen. 36, 34). 

After ihia one, Hadad, iod of Barad (Bcdad. Gen. 36, 35), who slew 
Midiao ia the field of Moab and the name of hiscity wasGctbaira" ( — Awithor 
Gawith, cf. Gen. 36, 3s). 

(d) "TTie friendi who came to him were: 

Eliphaz of the loni of Eiau (cf. Gen. 36, 10), Icing of the TemiDllei, 

Bildad the tyrant of the Shuhilei. 

Zophar, the king of the Mioeana." 

The "Syriac book" mentioned as the source of the second 
statement appears to have been an Aramaic version with Mid- 
rashic additions. The same statement is found in the work of a 
certain Aristeas on "The Jews," which shows us that the source 
in question must have been in existence in the second century a, 
D, during which Aristeaa lived. We cannot be sure that the 
additions in the Greek version are earlier than the translation 
made by Theodotion, whose date is somewhere toward the end 
of the second century a. d. Both Arisieas and Theodotion 
may, therefore, have used the same source, orTheodotion may be 
dependent upon Aristeas. At all events since the source is dis- 
tinctively Jewish, we have in these additions to the Greek ver- 
sion the proof that the story of Job, as well as the book, was sub- 
ject to constant elaboration for at least two centuries after the 
completion of the original Book of Job. See further on the addi- 
tions to the Greek version Dillman, Hiob, (4th edition) pp. 360- 
361, and Cheyne, Job and Solomon, p. q6 note I, and for a dif- 
ferent view, the article on "Aristeas" in the Jewish Encyclopsedia. 


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