Theological Emphasis in Wisdom Literature-JOB


I. Introduction

II. History of Wisdom Literature-Job

III. Theological emphasis in wisdom literature -Job

IV. Conclusion




I. Introduction

I research this subject to know the wisdom movement in Israel. It is important and distinctive emphases. How are the differing 'theologies' in Israel's wisdom literature and how they interrelate? The fundamental message of Job, and how they relate to personal life, theology, and ministry.

1. word meaning What is the meaning of the word "wisdom."

Wisdom__________the Hebrew stem "hkm," of which the verb form occurs 26 times, the adjectival noun from 135 times, and the noun from 147 times, mostly in the Wisdom books, but fairly often in the historical books too, where technical skill or knowledge is usually at issue.

The translation "wise" or "Wisdom" is inexact; it catches neither the range nor the precise meaning of the originals, which suggest experienced and competent mastery of life and its various problems. The most common parallels have to do with perception, understanding, or skill, although parallels with uprightness and honesty are also common. The parallels show that action rather than thought is the point.

2. Israel usage

a. Since at all cultural stages an attempt is made to order and control life, popular proverbs soon develop which embody and transmit experience (cf. 1 Sam. 24:14; Prov. 11:2, 16:18).Often a second line is added to such proverbs to bring out their practical application (cf. Prov. 25:23; 26:20)

b. In Solomon's reign a school of wisdom develops under the king's leadership (1 Kgs. 4:32-33). This embraces both the biological knowledge and practical wisdom covering moral and religious conduct. Riddles and fables find a place, too. The prophets are critical of this school, which seem to play an important role in the day of Hezekiah (Prov. 25:1). Thus far wisdom has been mostly a preserve of the establishment, but its base broadens in the time of Jeremiah (cf. 50:35) as wisdom teacher transmits it. The underlying ideal is that of the culture of the whole person who can not merely handle the world but who achieves self-mastery.

c. After exile the concept is worked out more theologically. Wisdom is a divine principle that issues a summons to the race. Hence all theology is in a sense wisdom thinking.

d. Wisdom is not nationalized and integrated into the people's life. It covers the general human situation and transcends social frontiers. Yet in subordination to Israel's faith it acquires a stronger ethical emphasis and presupposes faith. In keeling with the meaning of the stem, however, it still has a broad practical range.

3. Bible verse --Job :

4:21, 5:13; 6:13, 9:4; 11:6; 11:8; 12:2; 12:12; 12:13; 13:15; 15:8; 26:3; 28:12; 28:13; 28:18; 28:20; 28:23; 28:27; 28:28; 32:7; 32:9; 32:13; 33:33; 37:24; 38:36; 38:37; 38:39; 39:17;

II. History of Wisdom Literature-Job

1. History of Wisdom Literature

a. In the Ancient Near East

Ancient Israelites often borrowed form of wisdom non-Israelite sources, through oral and literary interactions with Edom, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and other nations. At present, the only extensive extra biblical example of wisdom literature are texts from Egypt and Mesopotamia.

b. Egyptian Wisdom

Egyptian literature has provided the most striking parallels to OT wisdom literature, particularly in the "Sebayit" or instruction, and in the onomatica, or name list. There are several Egyptian works that have been compared to Job and Qoheleth. The comparison is less in the area of genre, however, that in common preoccupation about the central problems of life.

c. Mesopotamian Wisdom

Sumerian wisdom, which has come to be translated and understand only in recent times, contains far more genres than those found in Israel. Prof. E. Gorden has listed several such genres ("A New Look at the Wisdom of Sumer and Akkad," BO 17 [1960] 122-52): proverbs, fables and parable, folktale, miniature "essays," riddles, tensions (wisdom disputation), satirical dialogues, precepts, etc. Obviously this list is more inclusive than the collection preserved for us in the Bible. A view of the Sumerian proverbs' literature can obtain from Gordon's "Sumerian" Proverb and from Lambert. The Babylonian similarities to Job and Qohelet are to be found in theme rather than in genre (Lambert, 21-89; ANET, 596-604).

d. Canaanite-Phoenician Wisdom

Besides is the evident contribution of the major neighbors to the cultural milieu of Israelite wisdom. We would expect similar exchanges among the nations with Syria-Palestine. We have limited extant resources for observing this phenomenon . Despite the large number of texts from UGARIT (14th-13th C.), a city located beside the coast of Syria on the Mediterranean Sea, no specifically didactic literature has been found. Nevertheless, a significant number of distinctive words, pairs of words, and formulaic language in Proverbs can be found in the Ugaritic mythological and legendary materials. In the cuneiform AMARNA TABLETS, exchanged in the same period between Egypt and cities in Syria-Palestine, proverbs occur occasionally. Furthermore, scholars have repeatedly pointed to the similarities of ideas and repeatedly pointed to the similarities of ideas and expressions between biblical wisdom and these extant materials. Thus W. F. Albright asserted, "Proverb teems with isolated Canaanitism" (p.9); and H.L. Ginsburg argued that the term "hokmat," for personified Wisdom in Prov. 8, is Phoenician , analogous to the title for a deity, "millot" (instead of *milkat),

"Queen." It is likely that much of wisdom was orally borrowed or shared among nations, and that the bulk of the sayings in Proverbs could go back to a time before Solomon. Some of their original aesthetic features and semantic import may well have been forgotten over time, only to be revised or "upgraded" later in association with Solomon and his successors.

e. In the intertestamental period

During the intertestamental period it seems that the concept of "the Word of God" because the subject of speculation. In the Wisdom of Solomon 18:15-16 and 9:1-2. The Word is made synonymous with wisdom. In Ecclesiastics [Sirach] and in the "Pirke Aboth," the law and wisdom are identified.


2. History of Job

The date or the history of Job is difficult to establish. The prose portions reflect the epic style of the patriarchal period. Conversely, the style of poetry has many characteristics of late Hebrew that lead many to date the work in the postexilic period.

The final form of the book was certainly reached by the 3rd. cent. B.C.,., for it was known to Ben Sira and fragments of a manuscript from Qumran are written in Paslo-Hebrew script, suggesting further evidence that the work was viewed as coming from the patriarchal period.

Although a seventh-century date should not be too readily dismissed, the major of critical scholar date the work to the 4th., cent. B.C.,. A definitive position, however, is not possible, and thus the question of date should not be a divisive issue.

By A.B. Davidson "The Book of Job" and Guilaume "Studies in the book of Job," they though that the date of Job is in exile period. Robert Gordis agreed the Job in Post-exilic early time. He thought that Job is belonging to "Golden time of Biblical Wisdom"

In conclusion, I agreed Gordis view.

III. Theological emphasis in wisdom literature

1. Satan

When we study the Bible carefully, we will know that the presupposition is unacceptable. Keil opposes this theory, because Jesus and his disciples take their works as against the Satan. If this Satan is just a replica of the Persian Ahriman; then it is unsuitable for them to strive to destroy Satan's kingdom. If so, they are just fighting with something doceo reality.

According to above argument that Satan has access to the presence of Yahweh, yet is governed by His sovereignty. Testing from Satan represents conflict and evil will. His purpose is contrary to Good's will and hostile to Job's warfare.

The thrust of the Satan strategy was not to true Job into acts of sin--immorality, dishonesty, violence. Satan tempts Job to the sin--disloyalty to God. Loyalty, trust, and allegiances are the essence of biblical piety and the roots from which all fruit of righteousness stem. The Satan, as is ever his pattern, sought the root of the matter : Job's relationship to God. Job passed this test of loyalty and earned full marks, despite his protests, doubts, and challenges along the way.

2. God's will

The cause of Job, who suffered. He did not sin or choosing sin, and asked for God given him suffering. As with the whole of scripture, Job's author picture God as neither loaned by human agendas nor beholden to human concepts of him Job 1;10. When the author thing. The book introduce a God who is free to work his surprises. He corrects human distortions and He was free to enter into the Satan's test and tell none of the participants about it.

3. Strength for suffering

The book of Job does this by preparing the reader to accept God's freedom and theodicy. The view of the free God opens people to my stereo's purpose, to relate God Himself and His sovereignty.

In the end of the book of Job, God will good through suffering, even though one right way hates every it of the pain.

4. The attitude toward suffering

A final lesson about dealing with suffering comes from Job's sense of loyalty to God. In a human being is the attitude of suffering that be grumble, fear or avoidance and reliance on God. This is true in Job who was suffering can draw he closed to God. In the same way, Job created a more great faith in his heard and mind. An insight that is already found in the older wisdom, "the fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life" (Job 14:26; cf. 15:16 et. Al.) Leads beyond it, and become the whole books:--(Job 28:28)

IV. Conclusion

1. How to treat the problem of suffering correctly:

How Job (Job 1:20-22) acceptation and explains the problem of suffering as like Israel in Post-Exilic time who suffering in Ptolemies and in Seleucids. Job did not silent in suffer, but argued with his friends and complained to God. In the end, God overrode those complaints, but God did not judge Job for them. It is like then Israel in the Maccabees.

2. Trust that God still Love Job--Israel

By the author of Job, He gave a word for Israel; Not Job first love the Lord, but God love Job, giving a lesson to Job--Israel.

3. Through prayer with God and find His Will

As Job as Israel prayed and communicating with God, seeking His will and comfort by waiting heart. They should accept the truth and change the suffering to power and merit. In a sense, the greatest tragedy of the book is that of failed friendship, made worse by sensible theology bad applied (Job 4:7-10)

4. The ethic and theology in Job

The ethic and theology in Job are under the law, emphasize on behaviour (Job 1:8,2:3).




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