Within the many books of the Bible there is a specific book that brings controversy to many literary analysts and general readers alike. This book is the book of Job. It involves a man bib) who is devoted entirely to serving god and in turn one day everything is taken from him without a specific reason. Upon analyzing the text one can conclude several things about how Just God was in reference to the society of the time of this story and what kind of problem this Justice could cause when this story was being read at that time.
The book of Job begins with a fairly detailed analysis of Job’s possessions. Directly from today’s English version of the Good News Bible, second edition, “There was a man named Job, living in the land of Quiz, who worshiped God and was faithful to him. He was a good man, careful not to do anything evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, one thousand head of cattle, and five hundred donkeys. He also had a large number of servants and was the riches man in the east” bib 1:1-3). So we learn from this passage that
Job had everything he could possibly want, many sons, a few daughters, and plenty of other earthly riches. Spiritually Job was also what one would call a very rich man. Again from the Good News Bible, “The morning after each feast, Job would get up early and offer sacrifices for each of his children in order to purify them. He always did this because he thought that one of them might have sinned by insulting God unintentionally’ bib 1:5). We now realize that Job is attempting to right the wrongs of his children so that his whole family looks good in the eyes of the Lord.
One day up in the heavens God and Satan have a discussion, God says, “Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil. ” bib 1:8). Even the Lord up above believes that Job is the best man on the earth with regards to spiritual obedience and lack of sin. Over the next chapters of the book Satan basically tells the Lord that if he took away his wealth and family that Job would curse the Lord. The key part of this is that God lets Satan kill of his family and wealth and leaves Job with nothing.
After this occurs Job still does not curse God’s name. Satan then goes to the Lord and tells him that if he causes pain to Job that he will curse God’s name. So God does not stop there and say that’s enough, he lets Satan cause physical torment to Job, the man who is supposed to be the most pure on the earth. Job is then afflicted with sores and basically becomes a leper with an eating disorder as food becomes distasteful to him. Between chapters four and thirty-eight, Job’s three friends come and attempt to comfort him. They are thoroughly convinced that Job had sinned and that was why he Lord was punishing him.
Now Job on the other hand knew he had not sinned and through out this whole period in the book he is complaining to as why he is being treated like this and cursing the day he was born. An example of this is found in chapter thirty verses 21-24, where Job states, “l call to you, O God, but you never answer; and when I pray, you pay no attention. You are treating me cruelly; you in a raging storm. I know you are taking me off to my death, to the fate in store for everyone. Why do you attack a ruined man, one who can nothing but beg for pity?
This shows the intensity of which Job is basically begging for God to let Off little with the punishment, and even through all this time he has still remained faithful to the Lord. In chapter 38 God finally answers Job and over the next three chapters God explains to Job that he can do whatever he wants, not in such a literal sense though. God basically says he can do this and that but yet he still gives Job no answer to as why he punished him for doing no wrong. In the end though Job repents, “So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes. This ends the story of Job.
There is one more chapter added to the book that Professor Bollocks and Professor Rosa have said to have been added 150 years later than its compilation and I believe it not important to include the details about that chapter as it is inconclusive evidence in relation to when the story was being told. The argument at hand is whether or not this is the kind of Justice that should be presented in the Bible, which is supposed to teach a follower of the religion to be a moral, righteous, Just, etc. Class of human being. The presented facts are as follows: Job was as righteous as they come, and even the Lord God above said so also.
Job was the richest man in the east but even still Job continued to do whatever he could to not offend God, even if it meant sacrifices to make up for his children’s sins. One day God and Satan talk, they have almost what could be considered a bet. Satan punishes Job and then soon after disappears and we don’t see or hear him throughout the rest of the story. After Satan disappears Job is still being punished and God does not come to him until after Job’s three friends have spoken and Job himself has implanted enough to the point where it possibly insulted God.
God comes and then explains that he is still all-powerful and then leaves with Job kneeling at his feet. This does not present Justice in any way, shape, or form. In fact it presents a sort of injustice and that is the problem. Job who is a perfect example of human kind in God’s eye is punished for no reason at all. All of the time spent praying and sacrificing did Job no good. He was still punished and had everything taken away from him. From the text, “Why does God let evil people live, let them grow old and prosper? They have children and grandchildren, and live to watch them all grow up.
God does not bring disaster on their homes; they never have to live in terror. Yes, all their cattle breed and give birth without trouble. Their children run and play like lambs and dance to the music of harps and flutes. They live out their lives in peace and quietly die without suffering. ” There must be a very important and hidden message within the text for I find no Justification for the torments presented upon Job when more terrible and evil things are being done in the world. This is what presents such a problem on the people of the time who read such a story and come to conclusions that are not positive towards the religion.
At this time if a person were to read this they would find fear in being alive in at all. If a man such as Job can be so good and yet do so wrong in the eyes of God then what does that prove to the common human being reading this story? The implications of this would first cause dissent among the person reading this and it would make them question whether or not they should even bother with being a Jesus and without the promise of an after life than the complications and problems involved would be tremendous.
This would not encourage people to behave well and be moral, in fact it would do the opposite, it would cause them to lead a life full of violence and sin, thinking that there were greater rewards in evil then that of good. This is a contradiction to the other teachings of the bible where as good is rewarded and the innocent are kept alive. If we compare the story of Job to the stories of Stood and Sonogram one might be able to see the contradiction even more so. Stood and Sonogram were terribly evil cities that God was going to destroy until Abraham resented an argument to him.
In Genesis 18:32, “Abraham said, “Please don’t be angry, Lord, and I will speak only once more. What if only ten are found? He said, ‘I will not destroy it if there are ten. ” The “ten” is in reference to the number of innocent people in Stood and Sonogram and that the Lord would not destroy the city if at least ten people were found innocent in the cities. Here God is so generous to the innocent, saving them from burning sulfur raining from the skies (Genesis 19:24). When it comes to Job being completely innocent God humbles him with his rower after Job complains to the Lord that he is innocent.
This contradiction cannot be explained, it is either in error due to translation or there is a hidden mystery to God’s power that we cannot explain and understood by common mortal men. Simply put, God’s power is almighty and it simply cannot be explained. He continued to put Job through suffer maybe to make him more meek about his pride in his own righteousness. There is Just too much to speculate in such a short essay, but the matter of fact is that Job suffered without cause under the hand of a God that may or ay not be as righteous as he appears.
The consequences of such a complex story can be devastating to a religious text based upon good decisions, moral, and sin-free life. If in one book of the bible all of that can be contradicted than there may have been an error in translation or our understanding. Why it remains a part of the bible could remain a mystery forever. What we do know is that an innocent Job was put through undeserved suffering and left that way. The implications upon the people of the time are negative. The problem with the story is that it does not present a Just God in any way.
When taken for face value it could even lead people astray from their religion thinking a life of sin presents more reward than one of devotion. The people of the time may have found strength in corruption with a story like this instead of choosing to be a moral person. This book of the bible presents problems with the people of the time by leading them astray from the true path represented by the Bible, and in a way these problems cannot be corrected because a person may think that no matter how good they are the Lord will always punish them.