Thursday, June 9, 2016

Job 23 and Psalm 139

This is my second stretched out journey through Job in Hebrew. The first was done with commentaries in 2010 in a few months, the second began 15 months ago and I am in no hurry to finish.

Job is a respite. Can you believe that? It is a dialogue that will prevent all personal disasters if you read it in depth. I am using prevent in its archaic sense here, to go before. Job is not a moral tale as the comforters would have it be. Job is a relational tale and God in spite of the absence sensed in Job's speeches is manifestly present. People think of Psalm 139 in the positive sense, Job mimics the Psalms and this one in particular here. 32 of 100 words in the favorite section of Psalm 139 are mimicked.

Job's is a piety of strength that can stand the severity of all that happens to him. Job is exile in all of us, in each of us, in trouble. We need his confident determination.

So read Job. Mitchell's little book is good. Stephen Mitchell, The Book of Job, Harpur 1992, (only 125 pages) commended by Oliver Sacks and Northrope Frye. What better commendation could you want? (Or just read along with Bob. My translation will work when I finish it - my first cut is full of good intentions and bad decisions. - actually there are a few good ones too and I should pay more attention!)

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