Job 19:25

Robert Vining rvining at
Tue Aug 31 08:40:48 EDT 1999

Re: Job 19:25.   Such a beloved, enigmatic verse.   The inspiration for
Handel's Messiah, "I
know that my Redeemer liveth".  Beloved by some for whom God Himself is
the blessed Redeemer of His Chosen People-an idea found a number of
times in the Tanakh.. Precious to others as a glorious prophecy of their
Savior, Jesus.

Perhaps neither idea is what the ancient author had in mind.  His Job
wants his day in court, in God's court, where he can present his  case
before a God Who is acting like a soldier gone made with hate, 16:14.
Confident he will do well on that hearing day; not so patient Job is not
confident that he will be granted the deserved opportunity to have his
case heard in his lifetime. He does not want his death to let God off
the hook; that the matter be dropped, or, fall between the cracks.  So,
he will have the case permanently recorded, against that grand,
wished-for day when his  "go'el" , his  vindicator, avenger, revenger,
kinsman-redeemer  will step forward and his case will be heard, and he
finally will be vindicated.

"I want someone to plead with God for me",  he prays. 16:21     And

"There is someone in heaven to stand up for me, and take my side", 16:19

This "go'el" is not the God-Redeemer of His people, nor, the later
appearing prophesied Savior.  This "go'el" is that hoped-for someone who
at last will come to Job's defense when eventually God is no longer able
to avoid hearing Job's case in court.

"But I know there is someone in heaven who will come at  last to my
defense" 19:25 GNB

It is to the credit of Tanakh canonizers that they had the integrity and
courage to include writings expressing diverse and opposing views about
God and His ways with mankind.  Otherwise, if the need for a
normative-thinking  strait-jacket had prevailed,   Job, Ecclesiastes,
Esther, for example, might have been suppressed.  In an attempt to
recover the words of the authors, we are
left to struggle with  apparent, orthodox-serving  textual tampering
(not all appears accidental).

Robert Vining, Owen Sound, Ontario      rvining at

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