'Now my eyes have seen you." (Job 42:5)
Few biblical texts are more daunting, and yet more fascinating, than the book of Job—and few have been the subject of such diverse interpretation.
For Robert Fyall, the mystery of God's ways and the appalling evil and suffering in the world are at the heart of Job's significant contribution to the canon of Scripture. This New Studies in Biblical Theology volume offers a holistic reading of Job, with particular reference to its depiction of creation and evil, and finds significant clues to its meaning in the striking imagery it uses.
Fyall takes seriously the literary and artistic integrity of the book of Job, as well as its theological profundity. He concludes that it is not so much about suffering per se as about creation, providence and knowing God, and how—n the crucible of suffering—these are to be understood. He encourages us to listen to this remarkable literature, to be moved by it, and to see its progress from shrieking protest to repentence and vision.
Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.
"We do not begin to gain a real grasp of the message of the book of Job, and of its contribution to the canon, apart from a more detailed grasp of its imagery and drama. Here Dr. Fyall is a sure-footed guide: not only does he lecture in Old Testament, but he preaches regularly in a church that draws several hundred university students--something that does not usually happen unless the preacher has something to say from the Bible, and says it well. In this book many more can listen with pleasure and profit."
This book dascinated me. Fyall's study uncovers references to Canaanite mythology that have long been hidden in favour of more naturalistic interpretations of the text. The discussions are quite technical, but the subject matter is well worth the effort. I'll never read the book of Job the same way again.
1. Speaking What is Right
The scope of this study
The approach taken
Is it a unitary work?
Varied readings of Job
The literary genre of Job
The poet's use of imagery
Myth and theology
The shape of this study
2. An Advocate in Heaven ?
The prose tale
The third speech-cycle (chs. 22-31)
The Elihu speeches (chs. 32-37)
God and Job (38:1- 42:6)
The epilogue (42:7-16)
3. The Tragic Creator
'He also made the stars'
The tree of life
'Where can wisdom be found?'
'The world is charged with the granduer of God' (chs. 38-39)
4. The Raging Sea
The sea stories in the gospels
5. The Shadowlands
The significance of Job 3
The womb of the earth
The vast reaches of the underworld
The powers of darkness
6. Yahweh, Mot and Behemoth
God as tormentor
How the images relate to each other
The figure of Behemoth
7. The Ancient Prince of Hell
The scope of the study
A note on the prose tale
The significance of chapter 3
The significance of the rest of the poetic dialogue
The Elihu speech
8. Drawing Out Leviathan
The challenge (40:25-32; Eng. 41:1-8)
Overwhelming fear (41:1-4; Eng 41:9-12)
Description of the monster (41:5-21; Eng 41:13-29)
His habitat (41:22-26;Eng 41:31-34)
The other Leviathan passages
9. The Vision Glorious
Job and biblical theology
Appendix: Job and Cannanite Myth
The significance of Ugarit for Old Testament studies
The relevance of the Baal sagas
Index of modern authors
Index of scriptural references
Index of ancient sources