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Book of Job

Book of Job

Book of Job Man's Status Before God Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter:Verse)

Quote #1

'he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?' (NRSV 9:18-19)

He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.
If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead? (KJV 9:18-19)

If God is ever-present, does Job even need to summon him? Shouldn't he just be there waiting? This kind of thinking makes our brains hurt, but that's the point; it's supposed to be confusing—for us and for Job. Many scholars think the ending doesn't pack enough philosophical punch to solve anyone's problems—least of all God's and Job's. What do you think?

Quote #2

'For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.' (NRSV 9:32)

For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. (KJV 9:32)

Humans have ways to solve their disputes—we call them trials, and so does Job. Do God and men have that same luxury? They don't have documented manuals for trial practice, that's for sure.

If you think back to the frame story, though, you'll remember that heaven seems to work kind of like the human world—you know, imperfectly. Once again, the poetic narrative clashes a bit with the prose frame. But it definitely gives us a lot to think about.

Quote #3

'Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth,
and broader than the sea. (NRSV11:7-9)

Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. (KJV11:7-9)

You tell him, Zophar.

Remember, most Israelites lived their lives in a very small area. They weren't hopping spaceships for vacation or driving cross-country just to break a record. Traveling wasn't exactly easy.

But you know what? The scale question still holds for us: how can one person know the boundaries of the earth as well as the one who supposedly created those boundaries? 

P.S. Check out Zophar's use of rhetorical questions. Job has no choice but to agree with him, right?

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