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thus it was with Homer among the Greeks, and Virgil among the Romans; thus also with Dante and the Niebelungen Lied: all these are productions which belong to the conclusion of a glorious period. According to this analogy it would have, à priori, more probability were we to fix the composition of the book of Job at the end of the glorious age of David and Solomon, i. e., about the last year of Solomon's reign, or in the time of Rehoboam, than in the beginning of the new era which commences with the writings of Joel in the reign of Joash. For at all events, Job must have been composed considerably earlier than the prophecies of Amos, inasmuch as he knew it and borrowed from it. If it is fully admitted (and according to what we have said there can hardly be a doubt on the matter) that Amos made use of the book of Job; then we can no longer have any hesitation in placing the composition of Job previous to the illiterate period which elapsed between Rehoboam and Joash. That such dark and empty periods can exist in the literature of a people, is seen in the age
which our own annals present as immediately succeeding the glorious reign of Charles the Great.
From this general conjecture we must now proceed to notice some more positive proofs. It has been long noticed and remarked that several of the Psalms treat upon subjects very nearly related to the book of Job. These are Psalm 6:38, 39; Psalm 12 : 13; Psalm 37:73; in which the very same struggle appears to exist in the heart of the Psalmist as that which we meet with, more fully explained, in the book of Job. But these Psalms which criticism, since the work of De Wette, has denied to David and his age, according to my deepest conviction belong to this very period, with the single exception, perhaps, of the 37th. My reasons for this opinion I have given fully elsewhere. Now if these thoughts, which might arise at any time (since the history of the world ever remains an enigma to men in the hour of trouble) developed themselves so strongly at the time of David and Solomon, is it to be wondered at, that just at the conclusion of this glorious age in the Israelitish history, after the lyric and gnomic poetry had reached their height, a composition should appear, which, in a dramatic-epic form, should combine together and place in the very boldest light, the opposite views which were then current respecting the mystery of the Divine government? The 39th Psalm (vide verse 14) is so nearly related to Job 9: 27, and 10: 20, both in the matter and the expression, that we can hardly avoid viewing them as being the productions of one and the same age, especially since, on the ground of their manifest originality, there is no room for supposing a mutual collusion. Is it not, then, we ask, highly credible that such “ fermenta cognitionis” as we see in the Psalms of David, would give occasion to some poet of the age to develope these thoughts taken from the instruc
tive and long-known history of Job still farther, and to disseminate that consolatory solution of the enigma, which refers the whole to the leadings of Divine Providence ?
Against the opinion that the above-mentioned Psalms are referable to the time of David, hardly any tenable objections can be brought, since the whole of the language and imagery agree with that period, and with the very history of David himself; and that a period of great poetical activity was well fitted to call forth a larger work, like that of the book of Job, cannot be denied. Should criticism, however, succeed in disproving that these Psalms belong to the time of David and Solomon upon strong and undeniable grounds, and thus pull down our evidence for the earlier authorship of the book of Job, there still remains another witness, namely, the great and manifold relationship which it shows with the book of Proverbs. And here I will not dwell upon its relationship with the first part of the Proverbs (chaps. 1: to 9 :), because this part may perhaps belong to a later period than that of Solomon, and originated, in all probability, from the diligent perusal of the more ancient portions. But the second part (chaps. 10: to 24 :) clearly contains proverbs of the time of Solomon; an opinion which no sound critic has ever disproved. This, therefore, being the case, the fact that the language of Job and that of the Proverbs point us to one common period of composition (a fact which is acknowledged even by our opponents), speaks entirely in favor of our present theory.
We shall now quote some examples in order to make the correctness of this view of the case the more evident. The expression non, which occurs in Job 2:3, 9; 27:5; 31: 6, is found in Proverbs only in chap. 11:3. Further ani, in the meaning to tarry, stands only in Proverbs 14: 18; further 7x3p, in the meaning of violence, is only found in Job 5:2, and Prov. 14: 10. non, meaning rage, passion, occurs Job 19: 29, 36: 18, and with the exception of Gen. 27:44, only in Proverbs 15:1, 18; 19: 19; 21 : 14 (27 : 4; 29 : 22); and consequently is entirely the usage of the Proverbs. On vps with 5 compare Job 10: 6, and Prov. 18:1. The expression puin, which we meet with in Job 5: 12; 6: 13; 11:6; 12: 16; 26:3; 30: 22, occurs in Prov. 18:1; 8:14; 3:21; 27: and later only in Isaiah 28: 29; Mic. 6: 9. In relation to the form of expression I will only point to Job 3: 25, compared with Proverbs 10: 24, and Job 4: 14, in comparison with 29 : 28. With reference to similarity of thought, compare Job 13:5, with Proverbs 17:28; Job 15: 16; 24:7, with Proverbs 26:6; Job 22:29, with Proverbs 16: 18; 18:12; 29: 23; Job 26: 6, with Proverbs 15:11; Job 28: 18, with Prov. 8: 11.
These examples, which could be easily multiplied, are sufficient to show that a close relationship exists between the Proverbs and the book of Job—a relationship which warrants the conclusion that these two productions belong to one and the same age. We can altogether dispense with the question when the book of Proverbs might have been brought into its present form; enough, that it is an incontestable fact that the second portion of thein is distinctly referable to the time of Solomon. If then so close a relationship can be established between the Proverbs and Job, both in reference to the thoughts and the expressions, and that too of such a character, that a more recent borrowing of the one author from the other cannot be at all admitted; if moreover, this similarity points to one particular era in which precisely these words, expressions, and thoughts were current, then but little can be wanting to prove that the book of Job must belong to the age of Solomon, or at least to a period within one generation from it.
For the reasons above adduced, which I trust have not been forced, but will be found really genuine, I consider myself justified in the opinion, that the composition of the book of Job is to be referred to the time of Solomon or Rehoboam,—more probably, indeed, to the latter, inasmuch as that age was so well adapted, in consequence of the misfortunes of the nation, to lead the mind of the poet to such reflections. Still the end of the age of Solomon was also in some measure adapted to produce the same effect.
The knowledge which is manifested in Job of Egyptian affairs and relations is by no means in contradiction with this opinion ; for at the time of Solomon, Egypt was just re-opened to the Israelites, and the frequent intercourse between the two people must have had a great charm simply on the score of novelty. The affairs of other nations, moreover, which are developed, and the arts and the sciences that are mentioned in the book of Job, are by no means inconsistent with this age; and I see, in fine, only two considerations which can be raised in good earnest against the opinion.
The one is the deep perception it evinces of the other world. Here we are met with a threefold doctrine :--the doctrine of Satan, the doctrine of the interceding angels, and the doctrine of immortality. With reference to the doctrine of Satan, as seen in the first and second chapters, this being is not yet clearly distinguished from the other angels, as he is in Zech. 3:1, 2; there is as yet no decided opposition established between the kingdom of the good and the bad angels. An exactly similar view is found in 1 Kings 22 : 19–22, perhaps about fifty years after Rehoboam, and I do not profess myself able to find any very essential difference between this representation and that in the book of Job ; only that the Spirit in the vision of the prophet Micaiah comes before us as though by chance, while in Job he appears rather to be the designed accuser. As, however, the ideas respecting Satan were very fluctuating during all this age, even up to the Babylonish captivity, the difference here visible is not to be much regarded. The expression Satan occurs first in Numbers 22 : 22, 32, and in this case, indeed, as a verb. There, the angel appears in order to withstand Balaam in the commission of an act disapproved of by God. But in 1 Kings 22 : 19–22, a Spirit comes forward in order to mislead Ahab into a resolution disapproved of by God; while the Satan in the book of Job exercises an influence simply upon the outward relations of the patriarch, not upon his mind and character. We see, then, that the representation in Job, in this respect at least, lies midway between the other two, and consequently indicates an earlier date than the representation in 1 Kings 22 : 19-22. But that the angels were considered in the time of David as partly protecting and partly deceiving spirits, appears evident from Psalm 91 : 11, 12, and Psalm 35: 5, 6, two psalms which have been attributed, without any evidence whatever, to a later period.
On the contrary, when we consider the angels as beings which intercede for the interests of men before God, we find this view first presented with clearness in Zech. 1:11, and 3:1; but as servants and instruments of God for the welfare of men, they are everywhere regarded, and consequently from this particular modification of their office, where the whole conception of them is so fluctuating, no safe conclusion can be arrived at with reference to the date of the book.
Far greater stress, however, has been laid upon the belief in immortality which Job so fervently manifests (ch. 19 : 25), inasmuch as it has been erroneously imagined, that this lofty idea of a future state had not grown up upon the soil of Judea, but had been borrowed from some other source. This is certainly incorrect. For the 16th and 17th Psalms, which were unquestionably composed by David, fully express this belief. And what, moreover, could the common expression “to be gathered to his fathers” signify, unless a dim idea of continued existence in the world of shadows were couched under it? Besides, can we suppose that heathen religions were more adapted to give birth to this belief than Judaism, which was without controversy distinguished far above them all in clearness and in light? The view, then, which is taken of the future world in the book of Job, as I regard it, is no satisfactory ground for showing our opinion respecting its date to be erroneous.
But, it is said, the language is by far the most weighty consideration which necessitates us to suppose a later date of composition. There are found it is urged) in the book of Job partly grammatical, partly verbal forms, which remind us forcibly of the Aramaic, words which have evidently been introduced at a late
period. I shall attempt, then, to collect all these together, so far at least as they have suggested themselves to me, or been quoted elsewhere.
There are found peculiarities of this kind :
1. Job 8:8, pien. For this, however, we find, Job 15: 7, pion. The same difference in orthography is found also in
. , ; , ; :, . 2. Job 6:27, y for the usual form yo; on which we may remark that in this passage many manuscripts leave out the yod.
3. Job 22:29, and 33: 17, ni contracted, instead of mind, which latter occurs, however, Job 41: 6. 4. Job 31:7, D182.
The usual form, however, occurs namely, din, Job 11: 15. 5. INJ, 30: 8, conjugated like the verbs in *%", as in dixyn, 2 Sam. 22: 12.
6. Job 39: 9, O'q. In the same manner we have it, Psalm 22: 22; in other places it is onn, Deut. 33: 17.
7. Job 41:4, in, for the usual form in. This word does not occur elsewhere in Job. In codex 168 of Kennicott the accustomed form is elsewhere used.
8. Job 22:2, , with by. On the contrary, in Job 35:3, it is used with 5, and sometimes without a preposition. The interchange of bx, with by, occurs also in Isaiah.
9. Job 24:9, , as also Isaiah 60:16, in the sense of breast. Elsewhere the usual meaning could perhaps be retained, as it is done in the Vulgate.
10. Job 19:29, v for x, which, however, in other places is contested by Ewald.
As partly grammatical and partly verbal peculiarities, the following are mentioned.
11. Job 2:10, 43P, which elsewhere occurs only once in Ezra, three times in Esther, and four times in Chronicles; yet, still it is found Prov. 19:20, in the same signification, to receive in return. Also the passage in Job is a poetical passage.
12. Job 5:2, and 21: 22,5 as a sign of the accusative case, as in Psalm 135:11, and Lam. 4: 5. The very same thing we find in 1 Sam. 22:7; 2 Sam. 3:30; Isaiah 11:9; and this is the less striking, as the object stands first.
13. 791, which also occurs elsewhere 2 Sam. 23:2; Psa. 19: 5; in the Davidic Psalms, and in Prov. 23:9. It can therefore