[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Tony Costa tmcos at rogers.com
Fri Jun 11 13:15:25 EDT 2004

> This has somewhat puzzled me.  Why would one wish to place the
> composition of Job at such an early date (assuming for the moment the
> reality of the Exodus)?  Even such conservatives as Keil & Delitzsch
> thought the work was a product of the exilic period as a M$L LY&R)L.  Is
> this simply a general resistance which is to be met with in all cases?
> No JEDP but Moses.  No Maccabean apoclalyptist but Daniel.  No wisdom
> writer of Job during the Exile but Moses?  What is the basis for wanting
> to retroject this back to the time of the origins of Israel?  Surely it
> reflects a patriarchal scene, but this does not necessitate that it be
> composed early.
> gfsomsel

George, I believe what probably led the rabbis to maintain that Moses
authored the book of Job was perhaps the content of the book.  Job was a
Gentile from the land of "Uz", the book doesn't have any particular Jewish
elements, it had sacrifices, but these sacrifices in Job are offered up with
no Temple which was forbidden to do if the Temple was already standing in
Jerusalem. Sacrifices are not necessarily Jewish, since they were offered up
to God by Abel and Noah before Abraham. The frequent reference to God as
"Shaddai" is reminiscient of the usage of this same title in relation to the
patriarchs (eg.Gen.17:1; Exod.6:3) The book of Job never mentions notable
Jewish figures such as Moses, or even the patriarchs themselves or even
Israel. It comes across as the story of a faithful Gentile who feared God.
In Ezek.14:14 (NRSV), "even if Noah, Daniel,  and Job, these three, were in
it, they would save only their own lives by their righteousness, says the
Lord God." Job appears here as a model of a righteous man before God.
It was perhaps due to these reasons that the rabbis viewed Job as coming
from the patriarchal period.

Tony Costa

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