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only be alleged, that, in addition to the ordinary plural d'92, the Aramaic form pha occurs some twelve or thirteen times. But this plural is found in a yet older poem, viz., Judges 5:10; also in prose, 1 Kings 11:13therefore it is not to be wondered at that we find it in two other places in Job; viz., 24:22, and 31:10.
14. Job 21:28, 33 in a bad sense, meaning a tyrant. So, however, it occurs in Isa. 13:2. From this nothing can be concluded with reference to a later authorship.
15. Job 5:1, and 15: 15, o'pap in the sense of angels, a word which; among
the writings previous to the captivity, we only find employed in this sense in Zech. 14:5, but which proves nothing respecting the age of the book, because it does not occur in the later Hebrew. În Zechariah, however, the word appears clearly borrowed from Job.
16. Job 16:19, 1ny, which hardly ever occurs except in this place, and, as an Aramaic word, can warrant no conclusion, since it is a peculiarity of the poets to use uncommon words; and Job retains also the accustomed word wy, vide 10:17; 8:19. 17. Job 14:20, and 15: 24, 725.
This expression, it is true, only occurs elsewhere in Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Daniel ; but it is very questionable whether this proves anything more than the rare and poetical use of the word.
18. Job 21 : 2, and 22:3, pen, in the meaning of desire, then also care, business, as in Isa. 44 : 28, is a somewhat striking case. Still the usual meaning also occurs Job 31 : 16.
19. Job 7:3, 7p, to determine, occurs poetically in addition to the later writings in Deuteronomy and in the Psalms. We can only conclude that, in common with many other words, it acquired a more frequent use in later times.
20. Job 22 : 28, 1. In the meaning to decide or conclude. This use of the word occurs only in Daniel and in Chaldee, but it may have been used as a poetical rarity in the earlier language of Judea.
21. Job 26:9, inx, in the meaning to close. But Ewald shows the more proper meaning here to be, to draw together, as we find it in 1 Kings 6 : 10.
22. Job 32:6, Sni, in the meaning to fear, as also in the Syriac and Chaldee 5nn. But this meaning is not necessary ; and the Hebrew meaning, to creep away, fully satisfies the passage.
23. Job 15 : 17, nin. This occurs also poetically in the time of David, vide Psa. 19 : 3.
24. Job 36 : 22, gin. This Ewald understands in the Aramaic sense, lord ; but the Hebrew meaning, teacher, is perfectly satisfactory, and is still better adapted to the connection.
25. Job 6:2, we have no in the sense of to fall. But this is not Aramaic, it is only the verbal root from 717. This rare meaning is here simply used poetically.
26. Job 36 : 2, 7'yi, is used instead of the usual form, uyn. This reminds us, it is true, of the Aramaic; but still we find the same thing in Isa. 28: 10, 13, and also its derivative, win, in Isa. 10 : 25. From this, therefore, no safe conclusion can be drawn.
Out of all this number of cases, the first seven, and the eighteenth can alone be considered as striking. The whole of the other cases can be referred to poetical usage. When we meet often with several of such peculiarities in the little space of a single psalm, as, for example, in Psalm 68, in which alone we find no less than thirteen dag leyóueva, or peculiar forms, it cannot certainly be anything strange to meet with a still greater number of unusual forms and significations in so considerable a poem as that upon Job. With reference, however, to the eight cases above mentioned, the first four are by no means uniformly carried out in the book of Job; from which circumstance the suspicion arises, that some early copyist has allowed himself to follow this method of writing the words. The fifth and sixth cases have analogies in the earlier writings; the seventh occurs only once; and the eighteenth can be just as easily explained by supposing it a dialectic peculiarity as it can by referring it to a later date. That there was some variation of dialect in North Palestine from the language of Jerusalem, has been shown from the song of Deborah, from the Canticles, and from the prophecies of Hosea. In the same manner the dialect of the South might also have shown variations from the ordinary forms, as indeed the book of Amos proves. (See Amos 5:11, and 6 : 8.) If, therefore, we suppose that the sage who wrote the poem on Job lived somewhere in the south of Palestine, perhaps on the caravan route near the lower end of the Dead Sea (a supposition which is rendered probable by his reference to Egyptian affairs, his knowledge of the gold mines in Arabia and Idumæa, his exact description of the caravans which cross there, his graphic allusions to the Troglodytes and to the sudden invasions of the Beduins, his precise descriptions of the wilderness, and other things of a similar nature), then the peculiarities of language, which, in comparison with the extent of the poem, are by no means considerable, cannot hold good as secure witnesses of a later composition, but lead us rather to refer them
to a dialectical peculiarity. From the distance of the author's residence from Jerusalem, we may likewise account for the circumstance, that the book, which has come down to us with great purity, was for a long time unread, and was probably first introduced to notice by the prophet Amos, who at any rate was the first to make any use of it in his writings. We should not omit to mention, either, that the regions south of Palestine and bordering upon Egypt, were very celebrated for the sages who resided there (1 Kings 5: 10), and that even the Temanites in Idumæa were distinguished in this respect. (Jer. 49:7; Obad. 8.) The whole spirit of refinement, in fact, proceeded from the south. Accordingly, we see that Joab, when in the time of David he wanted a wise woman, went to the south, namely, to Tekoah (2 Sam. 14:2); and that the celebrated sages in the time of Solomon, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, were, according to 1 Chron. 2:6, all of the tribe of Judah, and consequently dwelt in the south of the Holy Land. Is it not, then, conceivable that one of these very men, or a pupil of them, may have written the book of Job? or does it lie without the bounds of probability that at that very period in which the productive spirit of the Israelites was in its highest bloom, a work should have been composed by one of these men, which, on account of the stormy times that followed, was at first little known, but which was drawn from obscurity by Amos, and by virtue of its high excellence was afterwards received into the canon of the sacred writings ? Moreover, however great a distinction might afterwards have been fixed between the sage on the one side, and the prophet and the priest on the other (vide Jer. 18 : 18; Ezek. 7:26), yet all the traces of this book indicate, that it was composed neither by a prophet nor a priest, but by a sage, such an one as we find in Solomon and his celebrated contemporaries.
Still although we might decide to fix the date of the book of Job in the time of Solomon or Rehoboam, yet we should feel inclined at first sight to exclude from this the speeches of Elihu, because we find in them a considerable difference, both with regard to the language and the style ; also the Aramaic is here introduced in far greater abundance. In this case, indeed, it is not to be denied, that the introductory speech (from Job 32 : 6, to Job 33 : 7) is characterized by a kind of circumstantial diffuseness, which is very striking in comparison with the concentration otherwise observable. Also it must be granted that in this part, namely, in the beginning of the dialogue, far more of the Aramaic forms occur. The first of these objections might be explained by the consideration, that the feeling of respect due from youth to age (as it was enjoined in the east; vide Lev. 19:32) gave occasion to the younger of these sages to render a full account of the reasons why he should venture to speak; especially as, in the dialogue itself, such a diffuseness no longer occurs. In reference to the second point, Ewald himself, the strongest opponent of the contemporaneousness of this portion, has remarked in his Commentary (p. 214) that the poet assigns to every speaker certain favorite words and phrases. Should it then be regarded as anything very remarkable, if the author-evidently a very expert and finished writer-makes Elihu use more of the Aramaic style in his speeches, a man whom he clearly introduces, if not precisely as an Aramæan, yet at any rate as a sage dwelling in the neighborhood of the Syrians, properly so called ? (Compare 117, Gen. 22: 21, and 07, 2 Chron. 22:5, with 2 Kings 8 : 28.) That the Syrians also were perfectly well known in the age of David and Solomon, and consequently their peculiarity of language understood, can be sufficiently explained from the frequent commotions of both people, and from the extension of the Israelitish frontier at this time. Moreover, the unquestionably genuine portions present two constructions (Job 22 : 28, and 27:8), which strongly remind us of the Aramaic; in comparison with which the above-mentioned cases are by no means very striking and peculiar. In addition to this, it has been shown by Stickel, in the 258th page of his work, that in many passages, the words, phrases, significations, and conjunctives, occurring in Elihu's speeches, show a close connection with those portions of the book of Job, in which the expressions are quite peculiar. The strongest proof, however, for the contemporaneousness of the whole composition lies in the complete agreement which the speeches of Elihu exhibit, in common with the professedly genuine portions of the book of Job, with the Proverbs of Solomon. I take the liberty of indicating here the most important coincidences which the speeches of Elihu present with the second or earlier portion of the Proverbs, in order that our readers may satisfy themselves of the correctness of our assertion. The peculiar use of in, there is (Job 37 : 10, and Prov. 13 : 10), is common to both.
The use of the word 97 in reference to the fall of the wicked, is found in both Job 34 : 25, and Prov. 12 : 17.
We have obazrin, Job 37 : 12, with the same meaning as in Prov. 11 : 14, &c. Again, compare suggens, Job 34 : 35, with Prov. 21 : 11; 0, duty, Job 33 : 23, with Prov. 14:2, nayp; Job 32 : 3, with Prov. 15:1; and 931, Job 33 : 7, with Prov. 16 : 26, &c.
Striking, however, as these coincidences are, yet they cannot be derived, in the case of either of the authors, from imitation ; we should much rather say, that the traces of a common age are here betrayed, under the influence of whose spirit both of these writings
were dictated. Since, then, the Proverbs, in their essential part (which is unquestionably contained in the second portion, namely, from chap. 10 to chap. 22: 16), must be referred, both in language and matter, to Solomon, and since there is absolutely no ground why we should depart from this unalterable tradition (1 Kings 5: 11, Prov. 10:1, Eccl. 12: 9), we are necessitated to assign the speeches of Elihu, as also the rest of the book of Job, to the same age; that is, to refer them to the
of Solomon himself, or to the age immediately succeeding him. With regard to the Aramaic forms, of which not a trace occurs in the prologue or the epilogue,—these we must attribute to the intention of the author, not to allow his characters entirely to belie their native place; just as also the poet himself, by peculiarities similar to those of Amos, shows his own native home to have been in the southern part of the country. For in like manner as Amos writes , Then, so also does the author of Job write poo, 34: 36, for poo, Isa. 2:6.
Thus, then, I trust that I have come in an unprejudiced manner to the result, that we must fix the composition of Job in the time before Jeremiah and Amos, and about the time of Solomon. For even should any one at length succeed in proving, upon unquestionable evidence, that the Proverbs were first collected together in the
age of Hezekiah, yet it would not be possible to deny their first authorship to Solomon; so that we should still be driven back again to the age of Solomon, as that to which the book of Job must be referred