“I I should Die Before I Wake….” The Death of Children and the Story of Job

January 15, 2013

Leaven–a theological journal designed for ministers and “lay” leaders–is now available online. This is a significant resource. Various issues focus on biblical texts and theological topics. Every issue includes additional bibliographical and liturgical resources.  The most recent issue focuses on Romans 5-8. I encourage everyone to look into the various issues and use the search […]


The Epilogue: Job Rewarded? (Job 42:7-17)

October 15, 2011

Don’t you hate a happy ending? Many find the Epilogue too good to be true. At best, it has the ring of a fairy tale–it might even be pure silliness. It ends like a bad movie. At worst, it underscores the satan’s point–people serve God for profit. Job is rewarded; Job profits. Some dismiss it […]


Job 42:1-6 — Did Job “Repent”?

October 14, 2011

Something climatic happens in Job 42:1-6 when Job responds to Yahweh’s second speech. Some believe that Job is unmoved.  He has heard God and is not convinced. He maintains his defiant stance since God has not answered his questions. This is a rather recent critical position taken by several in the Academy (cf. Curtis, JBL […]


Job 40-41 — Yahweh’s Second Speech

October 12, 2011

Why a second speech? One might think that one speech from Yahweh would be enough. Perhaps it is a literary device.  The two speeches may reflect the two council scenes in the Prologue–a “prologue” (1:1-5) heads the two council scenes and an “epilogue” (42:7ff)  follows the two Yahweh speeches. That may be true, but it […]


Job 38-39 — The First Yahweh Speech

October 10, 2011

Job had no illusions that if God spoke that he somehow would be able to escape the misery of his present life. He expected death–he did not understand why God prolonged his suffering. But he wanted a word from God even if it was a word of condemnation. Job simply wants to know something even […]


Job 32-37 — Elihu Confronts Job

October 5, 2011

Elihu, whose name means “he is my God,” appears from nowhere. He is neither named among the friends who come to comfort Job in the Prologue nor nor among the friends in the Epilogue whom God rebukes. He only appears here in Job 32-37. This has generated considerable speculation. Some, perhaps the majority of contemporary […]


Job 29-31 — Job’s Monologue

October 4, 2011

Whatever the nature of the pause in Job 28, the narrator resumes Job’s voice in Job 29-31. This is Job’s final speech (“the words of Job are ended,” 31:40). It divides into three sections: (1) Job remembers the past (Job 29), (2) Job protests the present, and (3) Job swears out a writ (Job 31). […]


Job 28 — A Wisdom Poem

September 26, 2011

Job 28 appears at the end of the dramatic dialogue as the calm following the storm. It is a peaceful, reflective wisdom teaching on the search for wisdom. It sticks out like a sore thumb between the dialogue (3-27) and monologue (29:1-42:6) sections of Job. Or, is it a frustrated, anguished cry that wisdom is […]


Job 22-27 — Third Cycle of Speeches

September 23, 2011

It is not a complete cycle.  Eliphaz’s speech is shorter than his previous two (Job 22), Bildad’s speech is the shortest in the whole dialogue (Job 25), and Zophar does not even speak. The friends are clearly exasperated and Job, too, is done with them. One might say they are no longer “friends.” The Friends […]


Job 15-21 — The Second Cycle of Speeches

September 21, 2011

[Given time constraints in class--we will also cover Ecclesiastes this semester--the second (Job 15-21) and third speech (Job 22-27) cycles are only allotted one class period each.  Hopefully, at some point in the future, I will have opportunity to expand my posts on the these two cycles. But for now...this is what I have time […]