Job 42:5,6

Robert Vining rvining at log.on.ca
Fri Oct 27 11:07:42 EDT 2000


Question-What is the best textual evidence for the wording of Job
42:5,6?

"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye seeth
thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes".  KJV
                                              or
"Word of You had reached my ears, But now that my eyes have seen You,
I shudder with sorrow for mortal clay"

A case for  the latter being  the preferred rendering is made by Jack
Miles,  in "God: A Biography",  p. 325, 425-430.  How worthy is this
effort?

What a world of difference in the two versions. The crux of the Book!
After the two whirlwind theophanies did Job see the light, capitulate
and repent in dust and ashes?  Or, was it just the opposite, he remained

defiant, unrepentant, and if anything even more intransigent and
condemning.

It would be hard to overstate how blasphemous against God were the words

the author puts into the mouth of Job. All of them can be tolerated if
at the end, he takes them back, recants and repents. It would be
intolerable if at the end,  not only does he not recant  and repent, but

unburdens himself with his most scathing denunciation; based now on 1st
hand rather than 2ndhand knowledge of God.

In the frame-story epilogue, the author has God  saying 2x,  it is Job
who has spoken the truth about Me. Is this truth to be limited to
42:1-6, or does it include all of the poetic material?  And, what of the

wisdom about God and His dealings with mankind as set forth by the 3
"comforter", "friends". A lady in our Bible study class calls them,
"idiots".  It is these idiots  the author uses to set forth lots of good

traditional wisdom , which he then has God saying 2x,  they did not
speak the truth about Him.

Robert Vining, Owen Sound, Ontario     rvining at log.on.ca




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