Wisdom of Job
The book of Job is one of the greatest depictions of the concept of theodicy in the Holy Scripture. Job is seen to undergo large-scale suffering in the hands of Satan before God finally restores him to his original state of wealth and glory. This text analyses among other things, how the book of Job qualifies as speculative wisdom literature, its major themes, and the specific features it uses to present these themes.
Analysis of the Book of Job
In this context, the term 'wisdom literature' encompasses the various books in the Bible that contemplate the complex situations of human life and give instructions for successful Christian living. They can be categorized into two -- Proverbial wisdom literature, and speculative wisdom literature. The book of Proverbs is a perfect example of the former, whereas Job and Ecclesiastes lend themselves more to the latter. This text dwells specifically on the book of Job, analyzing among other things, how it qualifies as speculative wisdom literature, its major themes, and the specific features it uses to present these themes.
Job as Speculative Wisdom Literature
Proverbial wisdom literature comprises of short, pithy maxims that provide the basic rules for personal welfare and happiness, without much explanation (Roxberg...
Speculative wisdom literature, on the other hand, dwells on the complex issues facing humanity. These are characterized by dialogues and monologues as people try to comprehend complex issues such as the meaning of life, as well as humanity's relationship with God, and with each other (Roxberg et al., 2011). Owing to the complexity of the issues raised in these writings, answers are not as clear as they are in the proverbial wisdom literature, and humans, therefore, are left to speculate on what exactly a certain situation, statement or incident means.
The main theme in the book of Job, for instance, is why the innocent suffer if there indeed is a God. In chapters 3-31, we see three of Job's friends speculate about what exactly could have led Job to experience such suffering if he indeed was a faithful servant. The three give different views as to why exactly God would have chosen to punish Job; however, at the end of it all, there is no clear answer to the same. Eliphaz, for instance, speculates that God does not punish the innocent, and that hence, Job is being punished because he is wicked (Burnight, 2014). Another advisor, Elihu, suggests in chapter 37:14 that God may in fact be punishing Job to strengthen his faith. These differing views portray the complexity of the issues brought out in the book, particularly in regard to the character of God, and how He relates with humanity. At the end of it, the issues raised remain subjects of speculation as no clear answer to the same is given.
The Use of Dialogue: the author incorporates lengthy dialogues between Job and his friends in chapters 3 to 31. Each friend gives a speech, and then Job responds to the same. Generally, these dialogues are focused on convincing Job that God does not pervert justice -- His merciful character would not allow the innocent to suffer, and hence, Job was being punished because he was sinful and…
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