Untimely Birth

Paul uses an unusual phrase hosper ektroma “untimely birth” to describe his vision of Jesus and conversion to Christianity (1 Cor. 15:8). N.T. Wright points out that normally, ektroma refers to a miscarriage or abortion, and clearly Paul doesn’t mean the word in it’s normal, literal usage since the result of such a birth is death….

Fight for Your Right to Party: Job vs. Shane Claiborne

I wrote an article with Peter Leithart a few years back for Touchstone Magazine which you can find here, in which we argued that the book of Job provides a curriculum, a template of sorts for how God loves to grow His people up into maturity, particularly a maturity that is increasingly drawn into the…

Heptamerous Calamities?

Nahum Sarna suggests that there is a seven-step sequence in the calamities that befall Job: 1. Sabeans raid oxen and donkeys2. Sabeans kill the servants3. Fire of God consumes sheep4. Fire of God consumes servants5. Chaldeans raid camels6. Chaldeans kill the servants7. Wind strikes the house and kills children

Playing with Dragons like Dad

I’ve suggested elsewhere that part of Yahweh’s answer to Job regarding the Leviathan is an invitation to learn to play with Leviathan (Job 41:4). Yahweh plays with dragons, and growing up into the glory and wisdom of the sons of God means growing up to play with dragons: Like Father, like son. The first “wonder”…

Job for Worms and Music

Lawrence Besserman writes that one widespread practice in the middle ages was the veneration of Job as the patron saint of those who suffered from worms, various skin diseases, venereal disease, and melancholy. In fact, if one wanted, one might find a number of Latin and German charms against worms, in which Saint Job is…

Private Religion and Weak-Mindedness

“The modern habit of saying, ‘This is my opinion, but I may be wrong,’ is entirely irrational. If I say that it may be wrong, I say that it is not my opinion. The modern habit of saying, ‘Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me’ – the habit…

Job as Slave

Job longs for the grave in 3:19: “the small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master.” Yahweh has claimed Job as His “slave” twice in chapters 1 and 2, and now Job longs for death where that relationship can be severed. He longs for the place where a “slave”…

And Some Helped Their Wish Come True

Besserman writes: “For what Samuel Johnson said of readers of Paradise Lost — ‘none ever have wished it longer than it is’ — probably holds true for most readers of the Hebrew Book of Job. The Septuagint is only five-sixths the length of its exemplar, a disparity that was already noted by Origen in the…

William Blake’s Job

Davis points out that one of great insights of William Blake found in his famous Illustrations of the Book of Job is the resemblance between God and Job. Blake underlines this point in Illustration Number XVII pictured here. Above the picture runs the quotation from 1 Jn. 3:2: “We know that when He shall appear…

Extreme Obscurity

“Such a diversity of opinions has prevailed in the learned world concerning the nature and design of the Poem of Job, that the only point in which commentators seem to agree, is the extreme obscurity of the subject.” Bishop Lowth Cited in The Legend of Job in the Middle Ages by Lawrence Besserman