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The Book Of Job (1985): A Commentary (The Old Testament Library)

In this volume, Norman Habel takes on the humbling task of writing a commentary on such a classic work as the book of Job--a text that is complex and unclear at many points.The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.

File Size: 3269 KB

Print Length: 582 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0664218318

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (May 1, 1985)

Publication Date: May 1, 1985

Sold by:  Digital Services LLC

Language: English


Text-to-Speech: Enabled

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Word Wise: Enabled

Lending: Not Enabled

Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled

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I'm taking a class in Job currently, and so far (I've read up to ch 32) this commentary has been the most insightful. I've compared it a little with Balentine's and Hartley's. I haven't read other commentaries, but this has been one of the most insightful commentary that I've read on any biblical book. His primary strength is in appreciation of Job as a fine work of literature. Not that this negates the view of Job as the word of God. Rather, it enhances one's appreciation for Job as Scripture. It is only that he focuses on the literary features such as irony, sarcasm, parallelism, inclusio, use of key terms, etc. He brings the text alive through his constant reference to other parts in Job. He also creatively weaves in allusions to other parts of the OT as well as ANE myth and other literature. As an example of his writing and interpretation, here is what he has to say on a beloved verse (19:25):"The go'el `rises' to testify on Job's behalf just as the Satan rose to challenge Job's integrity. Thus, Job's go'el is a `defender' or defense attorney who is the counterpart of the Satan, whose name is a technical title for his role as the `accuser' or prosecuting attorney. This figure need not be a personal deity like those of Sumerian theology (Pope), nor need the figure be identified any more precisely than is the `Satan.' The go'el is an appropriate sympathetic member of the heavenly council, an angel figure who assumes the role of the defender of Job's innocence, the arbiter of Job's trial (cf. Zech 3:1-5; Gen 48:16), and the vindicator of Job's integrity."Very conservative readers may not appreciate this commentary (Habel was part of Seminex in the 1970s), but they can still appreciate the fact that Habel is very concerned about the literary unity of the text.

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