I’m a little late to finishing up Job, but it’s been a big month of crazy. I look forward to settling down and getting back to something resembling normal. Last time we left Job’s story, his friends had spent chapters trying to talk their way through the situation with him and make it out to be anyone’s fault. All the while, Job has stood firm in that he didn’t do anything to deserve this and that somehow it’s just in God’s plan and is somehow neither good nor bad.
Elihu (one of the friends who hadn’t spoken before) just goes on a massive rant about how Job’s friends are terrible at figuring out what he could have done wrong, Job is terrible for blaming his problems on God, and then about how great God is. He also goes on a bit in the beginning about how it’s not age that makes one wise because he’s younger than the rest.
Finally, God Himself gets into the mix. To me, He sounds a little mad at Job after all. God begins by asking where he was when God was creating everything? Interestingly, birthing and wombs are mentioned a lot in this part of it. As a father figure, wouldn’t God not be attributed as having a womb? There’s no reference to who’s womb it is if it isn’t God’s.
Eventually, after plenty of examples of how God does so much more than mettle in the lives of men and is responsible for so much more, he asks Job in the second verse of chapter 40,
Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.
It seems to me that God is getting a little irritated with all of them, what with questioning his intentions and all. But Job basically declines to answer, knowing that there is no real answer to give.
God proceeds, souding like He will grant Job the trial he asked for but not making it sound like he has much to stand on, as Job had previously suspected. God doesn’t answer to us, we answer to him sort of thing. He goes on to explain it that everything belongs to Him already and since people can’t even subdue the biggest of God’s creations, what makes Job think he can stand before God?
It’s not a perfect interpretation, but I get lost in the poetry and can’t quite make much sense of it, to be honest.
Job immediately agrees with God on all points and apologizes.
Then God turns to his friends, mad at them that they spoke ill of him, I think. When He names them, He leaves out Elihu. Then He includes that He will still grant them mercy because Job prayed for it and then blesses Job with even more than he had before.
I get that part of the point here is that God can give and take as much as He wants, but coming from someone who has lost a child, the next one isn’t some replacement and you don’t forget about the loss just because you have one now. That’s the part of the story that’s always irritated me most. I get that it’s meant to signify that he had great success later and was so blessed and prosperous, but that just irritates me.
I did find it interesting that there was quite a bit about the daughters in the final paragraph:
And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance a among their brothers.
Apparently some men still chose to treat their children equally. I also get that including their beauty was a way of including their worth and there are many campaigns these days to separate a woman’s worth from her beauty, but these were not modern times and the fact that it’s still a thing makes it that much less a thing that I can fault them for. Its also interesting that the daughters were all named but not the sons in this book.