Archive | November 2014

Book of Job an Organic Structure in all the Old Testament

A reader has commented as follows on the article of the previous post

Job and his sons in Josiah’s kingdom

Dear Damien

I have enjoyed your paper. So, the most important Book in Holy Bible is The Book of Job for me, I have read it since I was 7 years old; probably now I am starting to understand its sacral essention. Therefore your great philological study has localised this Book in biblical context.

The Book of Job has been for me a parable, but if you have right, it would be an organic structure in all Old Testament. In this case I say: that is extraordinary.

I am not an expert, it is only my opinion, but if your thesis stands, the Bible studies will be more and more completed. Please be sure to keep me informed about the important steps of this paper’s scientific way, I am very curious. And I will surf in your page, I am grateful for this experience. Keep the connection ….

Kind regards ….

Damien Mackey replies:

You must have been something of a child prodigy to have been reading the Book of Job as early as 7 years of age. Congratulations!

My first encounter with the book would be more like 45 years of age.

I read it through and shortly afterwards read the Book of Tobit which my Bible contains. I believe that this combination was providential, because my realisation that Job and Tobias (son of Tobit) had “seven sons” led to further comparisons (possessions; ethical maxims; geography) that I believe enabled me to anchor Job biblically (your “localizated this Book in biblical context”), and historically (to Tobit’s C8th BC neo-Assyrian era, and down to the time of the “Chaldeans”: Job 1:17 – given Job’s very long life). See my:

Job’s Life and Times

You will actually find very few instances of “seven sons” in the Bible. Jeremiah 15:9: “She who bore seven sons pines away …”, may actually be a reference to Job’s tragic wife.

In the article that you have read I further identify the now aged Job (= Tobias), and his offspring, as king Josiah’s high official Shaphan, and his important family (when Assyria was fading and the Chaldeans were becoming prominent). And I fully agree with you that, to identify Job, “would be an organic structure in all Old Testament”. It would provide a solid foundation for the Book of Job, for, as you also say, “if your thesis stand, the Bible studies will be more and more completed”.