Reaching the full meaning of God’s Words. Remarks on the composition and meaning of Job 40,6-24

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Abstract

This presentation focuses its attention on the composition of Job 40,6-24, which we consider as a sequence composed of two passages. The first passage (40:6-14) opens with a direct challenge to Job, questioning whether he has the power to govern the earth with an arm as glorious and mighty as God’s; while the second passage (40:15-24) introduces the figure of the Behemoth, whose description accentuates a suggestive difference that Job needs to consider. The first passage (40:9-14) clarifies that God’s justice embraces dimensions of universal power and control, which cannot be reduced to the simple administration of rigid laws of reward and retribution. It is this justice that calls Job to move from his personal situation and knowledge to another truth. In the second passage (40:15-24), the power by which God controls Behemoth, despite the monster’s amazing strength, entails God’s power also to control Job’s disruptive indignation and outbursts. He will control Job as he does Behemoth. Job must move from his knowledge and experience to a knowledge of God’s ways as Creator, who maintains his designs within a wisdom of perfect balance and freedom, inscrutable to human understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudi del quinto convegno RBS
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Studies on Biblical & Semitic Rhetoric
EditorsRoland Meynet, Jacek Oniszczuk
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Pages35-48
ISBN (Print)9789042934993
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameRhetorica Biblica et Semitica
PublisherPeeters Publishers
VolumeRBSem 11

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