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character, may be inferred from the manner in which he is are noticed in Job i. 15. &c.; and others, with Nebuchadnez mentioned in the Scriptures. Thus, the prophet Ezekiel zar, because the Chaldæans are introduced in Job i. 17. speaks of him :- Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Lastly, some state him to have lived in the time of Jacob, Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their whose daughter Dinah they suppose him to have married? righteousness, saith the Lord God. (Ezek. xiv, 14.)! In this and this conjecture they ground upon the resemblance bepassage the prophet ranks Noah, Daniel, and Job, together, tween the expression in Job ii. 10. (thou speakeșt like a foolish as powerful 'intercessors with God; the first for his family; woman) and that in Gen. xxxiv. 7. (- -hath wrought folly the second for the wise men of Babylon; and the third for in [more correctly against) Israel.) . The puerility of these his friends : now, since Noah and Daniel were unquestionably conjectures sufficiently indicates their weakness; one thing, real characters, we must conclude the same of Job., Behold, however, is generally admitted with respect to the age of says the apostle James, we count them happy which endure : Job, viz. the remote antiquity of the period when he must ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of have lived. Even those who contend for the late production the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. of the book of Job, are compelled to acquiesce in this par(James v. 11.) It is scarcely to be believed that a divinely ticular. Grotius thinks the events of the history are such inspired apostle would refer to an imaginary character as an as cannot be placed later than the sojourning of the Israelexample of patience, or in proof of the mercy of God. But, ites in the Wilderness. Bishop Warburton, in like manner, besides the authority, of the inspired writers, we have the admits them to bear the marks of high antiquity; and strongest internal evidence, from the book itself
, that Job Michaelis confesses the manners to be perfectly Ábrahamic, was a real person: for it expressly specifies the names of that is, such as were common to all the seed of Abraham, persons, places, facts, and other circumstances usually related Israelites, Ishmaelites, and Idumæans.10 The following are in true histories. Thus we have the name, country, piety, the principal circumstances from which the age of Job may wealth, &c. of Job described (ch. i.); the names, number, be collected and ascertained:11— and acts of his children are mentioned ; the conduct of his 1. The Usserian, or Bible chronology, dates the trial of wife is recorded as a fact (ii.); his friends, their names, Job about the year 1520 before the Christian æra, twentycountries, and discourses with him in his afflictions, are mi- nine years before the departure of the Israelites from Egypt; nutely delineated. (ii. 11. &c.). And can we rationally and that the book was composed before that event, is evident imagine that these were not realities?
from its total silence respecting the miracles which accomFurther, no reasonable doubt can be entertained respecting panied the exode: such as the passage of the Red Sea, the the real existence of Job, when we consider that it is proved destruction of the Egyptians, the manna in the desert, &c.; by the concurrent testimony of all eastern tradition: he is all of which happened in the vicinity of Job's country, and mentioned by the author of the book of Tobit, who lived were so apposite in the debate concerning the ways of Produring the Assyrian captivity; he is also repeatedly men- vidence, that some notice could not but have been taken of tioned by Mohammed 4 as a real character. The whole of them, if they had been coëval with the poem of Job. his history, with many fabulous additions, was known among 2. That it was composed before Abraham's migration to the Syrians and Chaldæans; many of the noblest families Çanaan may also be inferred, from its silence respecting the among the Arabians are distinguished by his name, and destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah, and the other cities of boast of being descended from him. So late even as the end the plain, which were still nearer to Idumæa, where the of the fourth century, we are told, that there were many per- scene is laid. sons who went into Arabia to see Job's dunghill, which, in 3. The length of Job's life places him in the patriarchal the nature of things, could not have subsisted through sotimes. He survived his trial one hundred and forty years many ages; but the fact of superstitious persons making (xlii. 16.), and was probably not less than sixty or seventy pilgrimages to it sufficiently attests the reality of his exist- at that time: for we read that his seven sons were all grown ence, as also do the traditionary accounts concerning the up, and had been settled in their own houses for a considerplace of Job's abode.?
able time. (i. 4, 5.) He speaks of the “ sins of his youth" III. Since, then, the book of Job contains the history of a (xiii. 26.), and of the prosperity of “his youth ;" and yet real character, the next point to be considered is the age in Eliphaz addresses him as a novice :-“With us are both the which he lived,— question concerning which there is as very oged, much elder than thy father.” (xv. 10.) great a diversity of opinion, as upon any other subject con- 4. That he did not live at an earlier period may be collectnected with this venerable monument of sacred antiquity. ed from an incidental observation of Bildad, who refers Job Thus, some think that he lived in the days of Moses, from a to their forefathers for instruction in wisdom: supposed resemblance between the style of Moses and that
Inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, of Job; others in the time of the Judges, from an expression
And prepare thyself to the search of their fathers : in Job xxvii. 12., because at that time all was vanity, and every man did that which was good in his own eyes. Others, Assigning as a reason, the comparative shortness of life and again, refer him to the time of Ahasuerus or Artaxerxes consequent ignorance of the present generation : Longimanus, on account of the search then made for beauti
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing ful women, from whom the monarch might select a consort
Because our days upon earth are a shadow). (Esth. ii. 2. &c.), and because Job's daughters are mentioned But the “ fathers of the former age,” or grandfathers of the (Job xlii
. 15.) as being the fairest in the whole land. Some present, were the contemporaries of Peleg and Joktan, in the make him to have been contemporary with Solomon and the fifth generation after the deluge: and they might easily have queen of Sheba, if not Solomon himself,8 because the Sabeans learned wisdom from the fountain-head by conversing with
• To evade the strong proof afforded by Ezekiel's express recognition of Shem, or perhaps with Noah himself; whereas, in the seventh the reality of Job's person, Jahn remarks that fictitious personages may be generation, the standard of human life was reduced to about brought upon the stage along with real; as is evident from Luke xvi. 19-two hundred years, which was a shadow compared with 31.
, where Abraham is introduced with the fictitious characters Lazarus the longevity of Noah and his sons. and the rich man. But there is an evident difference between a parable
5. The general air of antiquity which pervades the manwhole nation. Besides, in Luke, the circumstances predicated of all the ners recorded in the poem, is a further evidence of its remote characters are fictitious; in Ezekiel they are unquestionably true with re: date. The manners and customs, indeed, critically correslation to Noah and Daniel, and might be reasonably expected to be so in the other instance associated with these two. (Prof. Turner's translation of Jahn, p. 467. note.)
venerable antiquity, he is led to suppose that it was composed by some 2 Elements of Christian Theology, vol. i. p. 94.
Hebrew author of a lower age, perhaps by Solomon himself
, out of certain 3 Tobit ii. 12. in the Vulgate version, which is supposed to have been exe: very ancient remains of poetry, history, and philosophy, to which that aucuted from a more extended history of Tobit than the original of the Greek thor added some things of his own, and had thrown the whole into its pre.
sent practical form and arrangement.--Staeudlin's Theol. Moralis Hebræo. • Sale's Koran, pp. 271. 375. 4to. edit. See also D'Herbelot's Bibliothèque rum ante Christum Hist. (Gotting. 1794,) cited in Dr. Smith's Scripture Orientale, voce Aiub, tom. I. p. 145. 4to edit.
Testimony of the Messiah, vol. i. p. 210. s As the father of the celebrated Sultan Saladin (Elmancin, Hist. Sara- .. Merceros, Præf. ad" Job. The Bishop of Killala (Dr. Stock), after cen. p. 3.); and also Saladin himself,
whose dynasty is known in the East Bishop Warburton, rofers the time of Job to that of Ezra, whom he supby the name of Aiubiah or Jobites. D'Herbelot, tom. i. pp. 146, 147. poses to be its author. (Preface to his translation of Job, pp. v. vi.) His 6 Chrysostom, ad pop. Antioch. JIom. 5. Op. tom. ii. p. 59. A.
arguments are very largely examined and refuted by Archbishop Magee, : Thevenot's Voyage, p. 447. La Roque, Voyages en Syrie, tom. I. p. 239. Discourses, vol. ii. pp. 87—154. See also British Critic, vol. xxix. 0. s. pp. 8. Staeudlin (a modern German critic, who plainly disbelieves any inspi- 369-372. ration of the Old Testament), takes a uniddle course. Conceiving that he 10 Grotius, Præf. ad Job. Warburton's Divine Legation, book vi. sect. 2. has discovered in the book of Job phrases, sentiments, and pictures of Michaelis, Notæ et Epimetra in Lowthii Prælectiones, p. 181. Magee, vol. inanners which belong to a later date, and that its composition is more ela- ii. p. 57. borate and exquisite than that of the generality of the other Hebrew books, 11 These observations are digested from the united remarks of Dr. Hales, he does not ascribe to it such a remote antiquity as many scholars of the in his Analysis
of Chronology, vol. ii
. book i. pp. 55–59. and of Archbishop present day suppose: but since it exhibits other indubitable marks of a I Magee, in his Discourses, vol. ii. pp. 58–63.
pond with that early period. Thus, Job speaks of the most “In A. D. 1808, Aldebaran was in 2 signs, 7 deg. east ancient kind of writing, by sculpture (xix. 24.): his riches longitude. But since the date of Job's trial, B. c. 2338, also are reckoned by his cattle. (xlii. 12.)' Further, Job added to 1800, makes 4138 years, the precession of the equiacted as high-priest in his family, according to the patriarchal noxes amounted to 1 sign 27 deg. 53 min. which, being subusage (Gen. viii. 20.): for the institution of an established tracted from the former quantity, left Aldebaran in only. priesthood does not appear to have taken place anywhere deg. 7 min. longitude, or distance from the vernal intersecuntil the time of Abraham. Melchizedec king of Salem was tion, which, falling within the constellation Taurus, consea priest of the primitive order (Gen. xiv. 18.): such also quently, rendered it the cardinal constellation of spring, as was Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, in the vicinity of Pisces is at present. Idumea. (Éxod. xviii. 12.) The first regular priesthood “In A. D. 1800, Antares was in 8 signs 6 deg. 58 min. east was probably instituted in Egypt, where Joseph was mar- longitude, or 2 signs 6 deg. 58 min. east of the autumnal ried to the daughter of the priest of On. (Gen. xli. 45.) intersection; from which subtracting, as before, the amount
6. The slavish homage of prostration to princes and great of the precession, Antares was left only 9 deg. 5 min. east. men, which prevailed in Egypt, Persia, and the East in Since, then, the autumnal equinox was found within Scorpio, general, and which still subsists there, was unknown in this was then the cardinal constellation of Autumn, as Virgo Årabia at that time. Though Job was one of the greatest is at present. men of all the East," we do not find any such adoration paid “Since, then, these calculations critically correspond with to him by his contemporaries, in the zenith of his prosperity, the positions of the equinoxes at the assumed date of Joh's among the marks of respect so minutely described in the trial, but disagree with the lower dates of the age of Moses, twenty-ninth chapter. "When the young men saw him, and still more of Ezra, furnishing different cardinal constelthey hid themselves (rather, shrunk back), through respect or lations, we may rest in the assumed date of the trial as corrustic bashfulness; the aged arose and stood up in his presence rect. . Such a combination and coincidence of various rays (more correctly, ranged themselves about him), the princes of evidence, derived from widely different sources, history, refrained from talking, and laid their hand upon their mouth; sacred and profane, chronology, and astronomy, and all conthe nobles held their peace, and were all attention while he verging to the same common focus, tend strongly to establish spoke.” All this was highly respectful indeed, but still it the time of Job's trial as rightly assigned in the year b. c. was manly, and showed no cringing or servile adulation. 2337 (2130 of the common computation), or 818 years after With this description correspond the manners and conduct the deluge; 184 years before the birth of Abraham; 474 of the genuine Arabs of the present day,—a majestic race, years before the settlement of Jacob's family in Egypt, and who were never conquered,' and who have retained their 689 years before their exode or departure from thence." The primitive customs, features, and character, with scarcely any preceding arguments receive additional weight, from a conalteration.2
sideration of the manner in which God has vouchsafed to 7. The allusion made by Job to that species of idolatry deal with mankind. In Gen. xi. we read that the erection alone, which by general consent is admitted to have been the of the tower of Babel for idolatrous purposes had occasioned most ancient, namely, Zabianism, or the worship of the sun the dispersion. Idolatry " was gradually encroaching still and moon, and also to the exertion of the judicial authority further on every family, which had not yet lost the knowagainst it (xxxi. 26–28.), is an additional and most com- ledge of the true God." Whoever has studied the conduct of plete proof of the high antiquity of the poem, as well as a Providence, will have observed, that God has never left himdecisive mark of the patriarchal age.3
self without witnesses in the world, to the truth of his 8. A further evidence of the remote antiquity of this book religion. To the old world, Noah was a preacher, and a is the language of Job and his friends; who, being all Idu- witness; to the latter times of patriarchism, Abraham and his mæans, or at least Arabians of the adjacent country, yet con- descendants; to the ages of the Levitical law, Mosės, David, versed in Hebrew. This carries us up to an age so early as and the Prophets: and to the first ages of Christianity, the that in which all the posterity of Abraham, Israelites, Ídu- apostles and the martyrs were severally witnesses of the mæans, and Arabians, yet continued to speak one common truth of God. But we have no account whatever, unless Job language, and had not branched into different dialects.4 be the man, that any faithful confessor of the one true God
$. Lastly, Dr. Hales has adduced a new and more particu- arose between the dispersion from Babel and the call of lar proof, drawn from astronomy, which fixes the time of the Abraham. If it be said, that the family of Shem was the patriarch's trial to 184 years before the birth of Abraham : visible church of that age; it will be answered, that it is for, by a retrograde calculation, the principal stars referred to doubtful whether even this family were not also idolaters: in Job, by the names of Chimah and Chesil
, or Taurus and for Joshua tells the Israelites (Josh. xxiv. 2.), that the anScorpio, are found to have been the cardinal constellations of cestors of Abraham were worshippers of images. spring and autumn in the time of Job, of which the chief "Job, therefore, in the age of error, may be considered as stars are Aldebaran, the bull's eye, and Antares, the scor- the faithful witness, in his day, to the hope of the Messiah: pion's heart. Knowing, therefore, the longitudes of these he professed the true religion, and his belief in the following stars at present, the interval of time from thence to the important truths: the creation of the world by cne Supreme assumed date of Job's trial will give the difference of their Being; the government of that world by the Providence of longitudes, and ascertain their positions then, with respect to God; the corruption of man
by nature; the necessity of sathe vernal and autumnal points of intersection of the equinoc-crifices, to propitiate the Deity; and the certainty of a future tial and ecliptic; which difference is one degree in 71 years, resurrection. These were the doctrines of the patriarchal according to the usual rate of the precession of the equinoxes.ó age, as well as of the Jewish and Christian covenants.
They are the fundamental truths of that one system of reli1 The word keschitah, which is translateal a piece of money (xlii. 11.), there is good reason to understand as signifying a lamb. See Archbishop gion, which is alone acceptable to God, by whatever name Magee's critical note, Discourses, vol. ii. pp. 59–61.
it may be distinguished in the several ages of the world." * They are thus described by Sir Williain Jones :-“Their eyes are full of vivacity; their speech voluble and articulate; their
deportment manly the book of Job, the reader will form his own conclusions.
On the evidence above offered respecting the antiquity of attentive ; with a spirit of independence 'appearing in the countenance of At this distance of time, it is, perhaps, difficult to determine the lowest among them. Men will always differ in their ideas of civiliza: its precise date; but topics like these are of comparatively tion, each measuring it by the habits and prejudices of their own country: little importance, and do not affect, in any degree, either the tice of exalted virtues, be a juster proof of civilized society, we have certain sentiments expressed, or the moral inculcated, in this part proof that the people of Arabia, both on plains and in cities, in republican of the inspired volume. conquest of Persia.” Asiatic Researches, vol. ii. p. 3. or Works, vol. iii. p. is stated (Job i. 1.) to be the land of Uz, which by some
IV. The country, in which the scene of this poem is laid, : Bishop Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. p: 355. note. Although Sir William geographers has been placed in Sandy, and by others in faith, yet, he remarks This at least is certain, that the people of Yemen Stony, Arabia. Bochart strenuously advocated the former (Arabia) very soon fell into the common but fatal error of adoring the sun opinion, in which he has been powerfully supported by and the firmament: for even the third in descent from Yoktan, who was Spanheim, Calmet, Carpzov, Heidegger, and some later consequently as old as Nahor, took the surname of Abdu-shams, or servant of the sun: and his family, we are assured, paid particular honour to that luminary. Other tribes worshipped the planets and fixed stars.” calculations given in the text, he makes acknowledgments to Dr. Brinkley Asiatic Researches, vol. ii. p. 8. or Sir William Jones's Works, vol. iii. Andrews, professor of astronomy in the university of Dublin (now Bishop writers; Michaelis, Ilgen, and Jahn, place the scene in the have occasionally infested the defenceless country of Idumæa, valley of Damascus; but Bishop Lowth and Archbishop and roved from the Euphrates even to Egypt.3 Magee, Dr. Hales, Dr. Good, and some later critics and To the preceding considerations we may add, that “the philologers, have shown that the scene is laid in Idumæa. contents of the book, and the customs which it introduces,
of Cloyne): subsequently to the making of this calculation, Dr. II. disco. • Bishop Lowth, lect. xxxii. vol. ii. pp. 350, 351.
vered that it had been anticipated and published at Paris by M. Ducousix. 9. xxxviii. 31, 32.
tant, in 1765. For an explanation of this astronomical phenomenon, and its applica- + Townsend's Old Testament arranged in Historical and Chronological tion to chronology, see Dr. Hales's Analysis, vol. i. pp. 185–187. For the Order, vol. I. p. 29. note.
50. 8vo. edit.
That the land of Uz, or Gnutz (Job i. 1.), is evidently agree with the opinion, that Idumea was the country of Job's Idumæa, appears from Lam. iv. 21. Uz was the grandson friends. Idumæa, in the earliest ages, was distinguished for of Seir the Horite. (Gen. xxxvi. 20, 21. 28.; 1 Chron. i: its wise men, and sentences of Arabian wisdom flow from the 38. 42.) Seir inhabited that mountainous tract which was mouths of Job and his friends. The Jordan is represented as called by his name antecedent to the time of Abraham, but, a principal stream, as it was to the Edomites; and chiefs, tiis posterity being expelled, it was occupied by the Idu- such as those of Edom, are frequently mentioned. The addimæans. (Deut. ii. 12.). Two other men are mentioned of tion, 4 which is found at the end of the Septuagint version, the name of Uz; one the grandson of Shem, the other the places Job's residence on the confines of Idumæa and Arabia.” son of Nachor, the brother of Abraham; but whether any V. The different parts of the book of Job are so closely district was called after their name is not clear. Idumea is connected together, that they cannot be detached from each a part of Arabia Petræa, situate on the southern extremity other. The exordium prepares the reader for what follows, of the tribe of Judah (Num. xxxiv. 3. Josh. xv. 1. 21.): supplies us with the necessary notices concerning Job and the land of Uz, therefore, appears to have been between his friends, unfolds the scope, and places the calamities full Egypt and Philistia (Jer. xxv. 20.), where the order of the in our view as an object of attention. The epilogue, or conplaces seems to have been accurately observed in reviewing clusion, again, has reference to the exordium, and relates the the different nations from Egypt to Babylon; and the same happy termination of Job's trials; the dialogues which inpeople seem again to be described in exactly the same situa- tervene flow in regular order. Now, if any one of these tions. (Jer. xlvi.—1.) Nor does the statement of the inspired parts were to be taken away, the poem would be extremely writer, that Job was the greatest of all the men of the East defective. Without the prologue the reader would be ut(Job i. 3.), militate against the situation of the land of Uz. terly ignorant who Job was, who were his friends, and the
The expressions, men of the East, children of the East, or cause of his being so grievously afflicted. Witheut the disEastern people, seems to have been the general appellation course of Elihu (xxxii.—xxxvii.), there would be a sudden for that mingled race of people (as they are called, Jer. xxv. and abrupt transition from the last words of Job, to the ad20.) who inhabited the country between Egypt and the dress of God, for which Elihu's discourse prepares the Euphrates, bordering upon Judæa from the south to the east; reader. And without the epilogue or conclusion, we should the Idumeans, the Amalekites, the Midianites, the Moabites, remain in ignorance of the subsequent condition of Job. the Ammonites (see Judg. vi. 3. and Isa. xi. 14.); of these Hence it is evident, that the poem is the composition of a the Idumæans and Amalekites certainly possessed the south- single AUTHOR, but who that was, is a question concerning ern parts. (See Num. xxxiv. 3. xiii. 29.; 1 Sam. xxvii. 8. which the learned are very much divided in their sentiments. 10.) This appears to be the true state of the case: the Elihu, Job, Moses, Solomon, Isaiah, an anonymous writer whole region between Egypt and the Euphrates was called in the reign of Manasseh, Ezekiel, and Ezra, have all been the East, at first in respect to Egypt (where the learned contended for. The arguments already adduced respecting Joseph Mede thinks the Israelites acquired this mode of the age of Job,6 prove that it could not be either of the latter speaking),' and afterwards absolutely and without any rela- persons. Dr. Lightfoot, from an erroneous version of xxxii. tion to situation or circumstances. Abraham is said to have 16, 17., has conjectured that it is the production of Elihu: sent the sons of his concubines, Hagar and Keturah, “eastbut the correct rendering of that passage refutes this notion. ward to the country which is commonly called the East" Ilgen ascribes it probably to a descendant of Elihu. Lu(Gen. xxv. 6.), where the name of the region seems to have ther, Grotius, and Doederlein, are disposed to regard it as been derived from the same situation. Solomon is reported the production of Solomon; Cellerier considers it as the pro" to have excelled in wisdom all the Eastern people, and all duction of an unknown author. Another and more generally Egypt”. (1 Kings iv. 30.): that is, all the neighbouring received opinion attributes this book to Moses: this conjecpeople in that quarter : for there were people beyond the ture is founded on some apparently striking coincidences of boundaries of Egypt, and bordering on the south of Judæa, sentiment, as well as from some marks of later date which who were famous for wisdom, namely, the Idumeans (see are supposed to be discoverable in it. But, independently of Jer. xlix. 7.; Obad. 8.), to whom we may well believe this the characters of antiquity already referred to, and which passage might have some relation. Thus Jehovah addresses place the book of Job very many centuries before the time the Babylonians : “ Arise, ascend unto Kedar, and lay waste of Moses, the total absence of every the slightest allusion to the children of the East" (Jer. xlix. 28.), notwithstanding the manners, customs, ceremonies, or history of the Israelthese were really situated to the west of Babylon. Although ites, is a direct evidence that the great legislator of the HeJob, therefore, be accounted one of the Orientals, it by no brews was not, and could not have been, the author. To means follows that his residence must be in Arabia Deserta. which may be added, that the style of Job (as Bishop Lowth
In effect, nothing is clearer than that the history of an in- has remarked) is materially different from the poetical style habitant of Idumea is the subject of the poem which bears of Moses; for it is much more compact, concise or condensed, the name of Job, and that all the persons introduced into it more accurate in the poetical conformation of the sentences : were Idumæans, dwelling in Idumæa, in other words, Edom- as may be observed also in the prophecies of Balaam the ite Arabs. These characters are, Job himself, of the land Mesopotamian, a foreigner, indeed, with respect to the of Uz; Eliphaz of Teman, a district of as much repute as Israelites, but not unacquainted either with their language or Uz, and which, it appears from the joint testimony of Jere- with the worship of the true God.
miah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Obadiah, formed a principal part Upon the whole, then, we have sufficient ground to con• of Idumæa; Bildad of Shuah, who is always mentioned in clude that this book was not the production of Moses, but of
conjunction with Sheba and Dedan, the first of whom was some earlier age. Bishop Lowth favours the opinion of probably named after one of the brothers of Joktan or Kahtan, Schultens, Peters, and others (which is also adopted by and the last two from two of his sons, all of them being uniformly placed in the vicinity of Idumæa (Gen. xxv. 2, 3.; 3 Bishop Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. pp. 347–351. Good's Introd. Diss. to Jer. xlix. 8.); Zophar of Naama, a city importing pleasant- Job, pp. ii.--xi. ness, which' is also stated by Joshua (xv. 21. 41.) to have
* See a translation of this addition in pp. 234, 235. note, infra.
5 Prof. Turner's translation of Jahn, p. 471. nole. been situate in Idumæa, and to have lain in a southern di
e See $ III. pp. 228--230. of this volume. rection towards its coast, on the shores of the Red Sea; and * See Good's translation of Job, in loc. pp. 380, 381. Bishop Lowth, taking Elihu of Buz, which, as the name of a place, occurs only the passage in question as it stands in our English Bibles, observes that once in sacred writ (Jer. xxv. 23.), but is there mentioned the exordium of the first speech of Elihu (xxxil, 15, 16.), in which he seems in conjunction with Teman and Dedan; and hence, neces- to assume the character of the author, by continuing the narrative in his sarily, like them, a border city upon Uz or Idumea. Allow- own person. But that passage which appears to interrupt the speech of ing this chorography to be correct (and such, upon a fair more than an apostrophe to Job, or possibly to himself: for it manifestly review of facts, we may conclude it to be), there is no diffi- consists of two distichs; while, on the contrary, it is well known that all the culty in conceiving that hordes of nomadic Chaldeans as narrative parts--all in which the author himself appears-are certainly well as Sabeans, -a people addicted to rapine, and roving 8 Introduction à la Lecture des Livres Saints (Ancien Testament), p. 499. about at immense distances for the sake of plunder,--should: Dr. Good, who adopts this hypothesis, has collected these seeming
coin: Bishop Tomline and Dr. Hales), who suppose Job himself, or canon of the Jewish Scriptures on any other supposition than some contemporary, to have been the author of this poem: that it was written by a Hebrew ; since the language is He and there seems to be no good reason for supposing that it brew, and it is written in the style of Hebrew poetry. “The was not written by Job himself
cidences, Introd. Diss. pp. lvi.--Ixii. Archbishop Magee has examined and · Mede's Works, p. 580.
refuted at considerable length the arguments of Huet, Dr. Kennicott, Heaih, Bishop Warburton, and others who have
advocated the same notion. * Jer. xlix. 7. 20.; Ezek. xxv. 13. ; Amos i. 11, 12.; Obad. 8, 9. Discourses on the Atonement, vol. ii. pp. 63-80.
. It appears, indeed, highly Hebrews were jealous of their religious prerogatives. Would probable that Job was the writer of his own story, of whose they have admitted into their sacred volume a poem written inspiration we have the clearest evidence in the forty-second by a foreigner? The supposition that the [original] author chapter of this book, in which he thus addresses the Al- travelled or resided a considerable time in Arabia will acmighty :-"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, count for the Arabian images and words contained in it.”3 but now mine eye seeth thee.” (xlií. 5.) It is plain that in The poem of Job being thus early introduced into the this passage some privilege is intended which he never had sacred volume, we have abundant evidence of its subsequent enjoyed before, and which he calls the sight of God. recognition as a canonical and inspired book, in the circum
He had heard of him by the "hearing of the ear,” or the stance of its being occasionally quoted or copied by almost tradition delivered down to him from his forefathers, but he every Hebrew writer who had an opportunity of referring to now had a clear and sensible perception of his being and di- it, from the age of Moses to that of Malachi; especially by vine perfections,—some light thrown in upon his mind which the Psalmist, by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel (not to mencarried its own evidence, and of which, perhaps, we can tion several of the apocryphal writers). The reality of Job's form no notion, because we have never felt it, but which to person, we have already remarked, was particularly recoghim had all the certainty and clearness even of sight itself— nised by the prophet Ezekiels (xiv. 14. 18. 20.), and, consesome manifestations of the Deity made to him in vision, quently, the reality and canonical authority of his book : a such as the prophets had, and from which they derived their similar admission of it was made by the apostle James (v. very name of seers. If we allow Job himself to have 11.); and it is expressly cited by St. Paul (compare 1 Cor. been the writer of the book, two important advantages will iii. 19. and Job v. 13.), who prefaces his quotation by the be evidently obtained :—First, all objections to historical words, “It is written,” agreeably to the common form of truth will vanish at once : no one could tell us his own story quoting from other parts of Scripture. All these testimonies, so well as Job, nor have we any reason to question its vera- direct and collateral, when taken together, afford such a body city. The dialogue, too, will then appear to have been the of convincing evidence as fully justifies the primitive fathers substance of a real conversation, for no dialogue was ever and early councils in their reception of it as an inspired book: more natural. If the story be told us in verse, or in the and,-independently of its completing the Jewish and Chrisprophetic style and language, as the first of these was a prac- tian canons of Scripture, by uniting as full an acconnt as is tice of the highest antiquity, the other adds the most sacred necessary of the patriarchal dispensation, with the two other and unquestionable authority to it: so that neither truth nor dispensations by which it was progressively succeeded, ornament is here wanting, any more than dignity of subject, the enrolment of the history of Job in the sacred volume may, to render this a book of inestimable value. The second ad- perhaps, have been designed as an intimation of the future vantage alluded to is this,—that if Job himself were the admission of the Gentiles into the church of Christ.? writer of the book, then every point of history and every Vl. All commentators and critics are unanimously agreed, doctrine of religion here treated of, which coincide with that the poem of Job is the most ancient book extant: but those delivered in the books of Moses, are an additional concerning its species and structure there is a considerable proof and confirmation of the latter, as being evidently de- diversity of opinion, some contending that it is an epic poem, rived from some other source, not borrowed from the Penta- while others maintain it to be a drama. teuch.1
M. Ilgen on the Continent, and Dr. Good in our own “ But whether we suppose Job the author of the book, or country, are the only two commentators that have come to not, its great antiquity, and even its priority to the age of the writer's knowledge, who advocate the hypothesis that Moses, seems to stand on strong grounds. And, upon the the book of Job is a regular epic. The former critic contends whole, perhaps we may not unreasonably conjecture the his- that it is a regular epic, the subject of which is tried and tory of the book to be this :—The poem, being originally victorious innocence; and that it possesses unity of action, written either by Job, or some contemporary of his, and ex- delineation of character, plot, and catastrophe,-not exactly, isting in the time of Moses, might fall into his hands, whilst indeed, in the Grecian, but in the Oriental style. Dr. Good residing in the land of Midian, or afterwards when in the observes, that, were it necessary to enter minutely into the neighbourhood of Idumæa; and might naturally be made use question, this poem might easily be proved to possess all the of by him, to represent to the Hebrews, either whilst re- more prominent features of an epic, as laid down by Arispining under their Egyptian bondage, or murmuring at their totle himself, such as unity, completion, and grandeur in its long wanderings in the wilderness, the great duty of submis- action; loftiness in its sentiments and language; multitude sion to the will of God. The encouragement which this book and variety in the passions which it developes. Even the holds out, that every good man suffering patiently will finally characters, though not numerous, are discriminated and well be rewarded, rendered it a work peculiarly calculated to supported; the milder and more modest temper of Eliphaz minister mingled comfort and rebuke to the distressed and compare Job iv. 2, 3. with xv. 3.) is well contrasted with discontented Israelites, and might, therefore, well have been the forward and unrestrained violence of Bildad; the terseemployed by Moses for this purpose. We may also sup- ness and brevity of Zophar with the pent-up and overflowing pose, that Moses, in transcribing, might have made some fulness of Elihu: whíle in Job himself we perceive a digsmall and unimportant alterations, which will sufficiently nity of mind that nothing can humiliate, a firmness that noaccount for occasional and partial resemblances of expression thing can subdue, still habitually disclosing themselves between it and the Pentateuch, if any such there be. amidst the tumult of hope, fear, rage, tenderness, triumph,
“ This hypothesis both furnishes a reasonable compromise and despair, with which he is alternately distracted. This between the opinions of the great critics, who are divided hint is offered by Dr. Good, not with a view of ascribing any upon the point of Moses being the author; and supplies an additional merit to the poem itself, but merely to observe, so answer to a question of no small difficulty, which hangs far as a single fact is possessed of authority, that mental upon almost every other solution ; namely, when, and where- taste, or the internal discernment of real beauty, is the same fore, a book treating manifestly of the concerns of a stranger, and in no way connected with their affairs, was received by 3 United
States' Review and Literary Gazette, vol. ji. p. 343. the Jews into their sacred canon? For Moses having thus to his version of Job, have pointed out nunerous instances of passages
* Huet, Demonstr, Evang. tom. I. pp. 324, 325., and Dr. Good, in the notes applied the book to their use, and sanctioned it by his au- thus directly copied or referred to. thority, it would naturally have been enrolled among their 5 See p. 228. supra, of this volume. sacred writings: and from the antiquity of that enrolment,
6 As Job lived so many ages before the time of the prophet Ezekiel, no record would consequently appear of its introduction." mere oral tradition of such a person could not have subsisted through so Indeed, it is difficult to account for its introduction into the There must, therefore, have been some history of Job in Ezekiel's time;
no other history but that which we now have, and which has always had a 1 Peters' Critical Dissertation on Job, p. 123. et seq.
place in the Hebrew code, was ever heard of or pretended. Therefore this - Magee's Discourses, vol. ii. p. 82. This notion, Archbishop Magee re must have been the history of Job in Ezekiel's time, and must have been marks, is not without support from many respectable authorities. The generally known and read as true and authentic, and, consequently, must ancient commentator on Job, under the title of Origen, has handed down a have been written near to (rather in] the age when the fact was transacted, piece of traditional history, which perfectly accords with it. See Patrick's and not in after-times, when its credibility
would have been greatly dimiPreface to Job. Many of the most respectable early writers seem to have nished. Dr. Taylor's Scheme of Scripture Divinity, ch. 22. in fine, (in Bishop adopted the same idea, as may be seen in Huet (Dem. Evang. p. 326.), and, Watson's Collection of Tracts, vol. 1. p. 93.) with some slight variation, it has been followed by that learned author: * Gregorii Præfat. in Jobum. Magee, vol. ii. p. 84. Good's Job, p. Ixiv. Patrick also and Peter speak of it as a reasonable hypothesis. (Crit
. Diss. 8 Ilgen, Jobi antiquissimi Carminis Hebraici Natura atque Virtutes, cap. Pref. pp. xxxiv. xxxv.) And certainly it possesses this decided advantage, 3. pp. 40-89. that it solves all the phenomena. Ibid. pp. 83, 84.
• Introd. Diss. to Job, section 2.
in all ages and nations, and that the rules of the Greek critics to the names and sentiments of so many learned men, posare deduced from a principle of universal impulse and ope- sesses at least one advantage; it furnishes a compromise ration.
between the opinions of the great critics who are divided in The dramatic form of this poem was strenuously, affirmed sentiment upon the class of poetry to which this book is to by Calmet, Carpzov, and some other continental critics, and be referred, and perhaps reconciles difficulties which could after them by Dr. Garnett, and Bishop Warburton; who, in not otherwise be solved respecting its real nature. support of this opinion, adduced the metrical form of its The reader will now determine for himself to which class style, excepting in the introduction and conclusion,-its sen- of poetry this divine book is to be referred. After all that timents, which are delivered, not only in verse, but in a kind has been said, it is, perhaps, of little consequence whether of poetry animated by all the sublimity and floridness of it be esteemed a didactic or an ethic, an epic or dramatic description (whence he concludes this book to be a work of poem; provided a distinct and conspicuous station be assignimagination),
and, in short, the whole form of its composi- ed to it in the highest rank of Hebrew poesy: for not only is tion. Bishop Lowth has appropriated two entire lectures the poetry of the book of Job equal to that of any other of to an examination of this question ; and after inquiring the Sacred Writings, but it is superior to them all, those of whether the poem is possessed of any of the properties of Isaiah alone excepted. As Isaiah, says Dr. Blair, is the the Greek drama, and considering a variety of circumstances most sublime, David the most pleasing and tender, so Job is which are here necessarily omitted, he affirms, without hesi- the most descriptive of all the inspired poets. A peculiar tation, that the poem of Job contains no plot or action what- glow of fancy and strength of description characterize this ever, not even of the most simple kind; that it uniformly author. No writer whatever abounds so much in metaphors. exhibits one constant chain of things, without the smallest He may be said not only to describe, but to render visible, change of feature from beginning to end; and that it exhibits whatever he treats of. Instances of this kind every where such a representation of manners, passions, and sentiments occur, but especially in the eighteenth and twentieth chapas might be naturally expected in such a situation. But ters, in which the condition of the wicked is delineated. though the book of Job is by no means to be considered as a VII. The subject of this book is the history of a real drama written with fictitious contrivance; or as resembling sufferer, the patriarch Job, who at the period in question was in its construction any of those much admired productions an emir, or Àrab prince of distinguished wealth, eminence, of the Grecian dramatic poets which it preceded by so many and authority, resident in the country of Uz or Idumæa. centuries,-yet, he concludes, it may still be represented as His three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, were also being so far dramatic, as the parties are introduced
speaking probably emirs of the cities or places whence they are dewith great fidelity of character; and as it deviates from strict nominated ; but of Elihu, the fourth interlocutor in the
poem, historical accuracy for the sake of effect. It is a complete we have no notice whatever. The principal object offered though peculiar work, and regular in its subject as well as to our contemplation in this production is the example of a in the distribution of its parts: the exordium and conclusion good man; eminent for his piety, and of approved integrity, are in prose, but all the intermediate dialogues are in metre. suddenly precipitated from the very summit of prosperity But, whatever rank may be assigned to Job in a comparison into the lowest depths of misery and ruin: who, having beeu with the poets of Greece, to whom we must at least allow first bereaved of his wealth, his possessions, and his children, the merit of art and method; among the Hebrews it must is afterwards afflicted with the most excruciating anguish of certainly be allowed, in this respect, to be unrivalled. Such a loathsome disease which entirely covers his body: (i. ii.) is a brief outline of Bishop Lowth's arguments and conclu- He sustains all with the mildest submission, and the most sions, which have been generally adopted.
complete resignation to the will of Providence: In all this, It only remains that we notice the opinion of Professor says the historian, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly Bauer,2 viz. that the book of Job approximates most nearly (i. 22.). And after the second trial, In all this did not Job sin to the Mekámat or moral discourses of the philosophical with his lips. (ii. 10.) The author of the history remarks Arabian poets. He has simply announced his hypothesis, upon this circumstance a second time, in order to excite the without offering any reasons in its support; but the following observation of the reader, and to render him more attentive considerations appear not unfavourable to the conjecture of to what follows, which properly constitutes the true subject Bauer. The Mekáma treats on every topic which presented of the poem; namely, the conduct of Job with respect to his itself to the mind of the poet, and though some parts are reverence for the Almighty, and the changes which accumuoccasionally found in prose, yet it is generally clothed in all lating misery might produce in his temper and behaviour. the charms of poetry which the vivid imagination of the Accordingly we find that another still more exquisite trial of author could possibly bestow upon it. The subjects thus his patience yet awaits him, and which, indeed, as the writer discussed, however, are principally ethical. The Arabs have seems to intimate, he scarcely appears to have sustained with several works of this description, which are of considerable equal firmness, namely, the unjust suspicions, the bitter antiquity; but the most celebrated is the collection of Meká- reproaches, and the violent altercations of his friends, who mats, composed by the illustrious poet Hariri, which are had visited him on the pretence of affording consolation. read and admired to this day. Now, it will be recollected, Here commences the plot or action of the poem: for when, that the scene of the book of Job is laid in the land of Uz or after a long silence of all parties, the grief of Job breaks Idumæa, in the Stony Arabia ; the interlocutors are Edomite forth into passionate exclamations and a vehement execration Arabs; the beginning and termination are evidently in prose, of the day of his birth (iii.); the minds of his friends are though the dialogue is metrical ; the language is pure He- suddenly exasperated, their intentions are changed, and their brew, which we know for a considerable time was the com-consolation, if indeed they originally intended any, is conmon dialect of the Israelites, Idumæans, and Arabs, who verted into contumely and reproaches. Eliphaz, the first of were all descended from Abraham; the manners, customs, these three singular comforters, reproves his impatience; and allusions, too, which, it is well known, have not varied calls in question his integrity, by indirectly insinuating that in any material degree, are supported by those of the modern God does not inflict such punishments upon the righteous; Arabs. Since, then, the book of Job is allowed on all sides and, finally, admonishes him that the chastisement of God to be a poem, single and unparalleled in the sacred volume, + Blair's Lectures, vol. iii. p. 188. may we not consider it as a prototype of the Mekáma of the s From the circumstance of Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad being termed Arabians ? This conjecture, which is offered with deference kings in the Septuagint version, some crities have supposed that they as
well as Job were monarchs : but this conjecture is destitute of support.
For, 1. Job is not represented as losing his kingdom, but his children, ser. 1 Lect. xxxiii. and xxxiv.
vants, and flocks; 2. He possessed no army or forces with which he could , Bauer, Hermeneutica Sacra, p. 386. The Arabic word Mekáma signi- pursue the predatory Sabæans and Chaldæans; 3. Though his friends acfies an assembly and conversation, or discourse (D'Herbelot, Bibliothèque cused him of various crimes, and among others of harshly treating his ser. Orientale, vol. li. p. 500.); the name is derived from the circumstance of vants, yet they nowhere charge him with tyranny towards his subjects, these compositions being read at the meetings or conversazioni of eminent 4. Job gives an account of his private life and conduct towards his domes. literary characters.
tics, but is totally silent as to his conduct towards his subjects; lastly, 3 He composed his Mekáma, or Mecámat, as D'Herbelot spells the word, when he does mention kings (iii. 14. xxix. 25.), he by no meanis places him. at the request of Abu Shirvan Khaled, vizir of the Seljuk Sultan Mahmoud self upon an equality with them. Hence we see the erroneousness of the It is esteemed a masterpiece of Arabian poesy and eloquence; and con- appendix to the Septuagint version of Job, of which some notice is taken sists of fifty discourses or declamatory conversations on various topics of in p. 234. infra, and which makes him to be the same as Jobab king of the morality, each of which derives its name from the place where it was re- Edomites. (Gen. xxxvi. 33.) It is equally clear that Job was not subject to cited. So highly were these productions of Hariri valued, that Zamakshari
, any sovereign, for neither he nor his friends make any mention of his allethe most learned of the Arabian grammarians, pronounced that they ought giance to any king; on the contrary, when he entered the gate of the city only to be written on silk. The Mekå mat of Hariri were published by where the magistrales sat in a judicial capacity, the first place was reserved Schultens, and six of his "Assemblies" were translated into English from to him, and his opinion was asked with the utmost deference. From all the Arabic, and published by Professor Chappelow, in 8vo. London, 1767. these circumstances, therefore, coupled with his extensive flocks and See an account and extract from this work in the Monthly Review, 0. S. ample possessions, we conclude with Herder, Jahn, and Dr. Good, that he Fol. xxxvii. pp. 22-28.
was emir, prince, or chief magistrate of the city of Uz.