1. Place of the Book in the Canon.
  2. The Text.
    1. The Septuagint Text Shorter than the Hebrew (§ 1).
      Possible Explanations of Difference of Text (§ 2).
      Parallelism as an Aid to Text-Criticism (§ 3).
      Corruptions of Consonantal Text Explained (§ 4).
      Early Condition of the Text (§ 5).
  3. Plan, Contents and Purpose.
    1. The Elihu Section a Later Addition (§ 1).
      The Plan (§ 2).
      The Religion of Job and His Friends (§ 3).
      Genuineness of the Prologue (§ 4).
      Satan in the Prologue and in Other Scripture (§ 5).
      The Purpose (§ 6).
      Organic Interconnection of Dialogue and Narrative (§ 7).
      Result of the Divine Admonitions (§ 8).
      Job's Attempt to Comprehend His Misfortunes (§ 9).
      Job's Ultimate Position (§ 10).
  4. The Author and the Time of Composition.

I. Place of the Book in the Canon:

Among the Kethubhim, constituting the third division of the Hebrew canon (see CANON OF SCRIPTURE), three books stand together as a class marked by a system of accentuation different from that of the other books of Scripture. These are Psalms, Proverbs, and Job. The position of Job in the sources, however, varies greatly. The Talmud (Baba batra 14b) places it between Psalms and Proverbs; Jerome's Prologus galeatus puts it before Psalms; Origen seems to say (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., vi. 25) that while Psalms and the three Solomonic writings separate the historical and prophetical books, Job stood after the prophetical books and before Esther. Melito places Job after Psalms and the Solomonic books and before the prophetic writings. Indeed no uniformity appears and a very varying order of arrangement is attested; it is sufficient to say that the order in the English Bible--Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles--is attested by a large group of patristic writings. There is, on the other hand, a group of authorities which arrange the history of pious Job with those of other pious persons, Tobit, Judith, Esther, and Ezra, placing these among the historical books. A noteworthy position, due to the supposition that Job is a work of Moses, locates it with Joshua immediately following the Law. The idea underlying these various arrangements is either the poetic form, the relationship of contents, or the supposed authorship or the connection of its hero with early celebrities.

II. The Text:
1. The Septuagint Text Shorter than the Hebrew.

The best helps to the text are the direct translations, including that of the Targum (which often gives a double rendering), the Peshito, the translations of Jerome and the Greek of Origen. The Hebrew basis of these versions witnesses to the same recension of the Hebrew as underlies the Masoretic text. From this the Septuagint varies in an astonishing manner, not only in its additions (like that of the speech of Job's wife in chap. ii., explicable on psychological grounds) but in its omissions; and with the Septuagint goes the Old Latin derived from it. With this corresponds also the Old Latin which Jerome sought to supplement by his Latin translation of the Septuagint juxta Graecos and later by his editio juxta Hebraeos. Jerome testifies to the lacunas, amounting to seven or eight hundred verses, in the Old Latin and the Septuagint, which Origen had supplied from other versions in which the readings, according to Jerome, were often without sense. The number of omissions might be suspected as exaggerated in the foregoing statement were it not that, in the first place, Jerome indicates that the Old-Latin version is more defective and disfigured than the Greek basis, and, in the second place, the statement exceeds only a little the results from stichometric counts. Zahn gives the reckoning for the first form as varying between 1,800, 1,700, and 1,600 stichoi, the last testified by a number of manuscripts, for which the number of the corresponding improved text is 2,200. This last number as a round statement agrees closely with the count of a number of manuscripts and editions, and also with the Masoretic count of the verses of Job as 1,070, which gives 2,140 stichoi, allowing two stichoi to each verse. According to this testimony, the improved Greek was 500 or (according to Hesychius) 600 stichoi longer than the earlier Septuagint; but how this result was reached or upon what basis the statement was made is now unknown. It is further noticeable that the statement refers to a form of the Septuagint which differs from that of Origen. And the situation is further complicated by the fact that the Hexaplar notes transmitted can not be either fully or rightly understood. At any rate, it is possible to affirm that the Job of the old Septuagint was at least a fourth part shorter than the present Hebrew text. The traditional explanation was that a text corresponding to the present lay before the Greek translator, but that the rendering was shortened either by one of the ordinary mishaps attending copying and translation, or purposely because the contents were offensive to the translator, or because the words were not understood, or because the book seemed too long. If it is noted that in many cases corruption is inherent in the Greek text, individual cases are explained upon that ground. But when it is noted that the translator is dexterous in substituting phrases in telligible in Greek for obscure Hebrew phrases and in making the condensed Hebrew luminous by additions, it becomes more difficult to hold that the translator wilfully shortened the text or passed over passages because they were difficult.

2. Possible Explanations of Difference of Text.

On the other hand, it has often been the case that scholars, prejudiced in behalf of the Hebrew, have found in the other Greek versions and in the tradition reaching back to Jerome pure creation, even where the paraphrase is, like that of the Targum, suggested by the Hebrew. Such a passage is vi. 7, where, instead of orge, horme is to be read as the rendering of naphshi in the sense of intensity of hunger. The extension of this verse is not to be explained by the introduction of a gloss, but by the attempt in the paraphrase to express clearly the meaning of the original. A similar example is found in the passage iv. 12, where the free translation expresses well, though in expanded form, the original Hebrew, with slight changes in reading.


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testamenti, pp. 150-187, Innsbruck, 1882 (goes into metrody and strophical structure); G. Hoffmann, Kiel, 1891; C. Siegfried, in SBOT, 1893; G. Beer, 2 vols., Marburg, 1895-97 (critical and of great value); B. Duhm, Göttingen, 1897; Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, vols. vi.-vii. (critical unpointed text, with directions for reading in Latin); and in the new Biblia Hebraica of R. Kittel, Leipsic, 1905-06. The Sahidic version was edited by Ciasca in Sacrorum bibliorum fragmenta Copto-Sahidica, Rome, 1889 (has a rich introduction; cf. Amélineau in TSBA, ix. 2, 1893, 5 sqq.). A Greek edition is by P. de Lagarde in his Mittheilungen, ii. 189 sqq., Göttingen, 1887.

Earlier commentaries are by Brentius, Halle, 1546; Johannes de Spineda, Madrid, 1597; A. Schultens, Leyden, 1737; C. F. Houbigant, Notae criticae in universos veteris testamenti libros, Frankfort, 1777; T. J. Reiske, Leipsic, 1779; M. H. Stuhlmann, Hamburg, 1804; J. W. C. Umbreit, Heidelberg, 1824; E. B. Köster, Schleswig, 1831. More modern ones are by A. Ewald, Dichter des alten Bundes, vol. iii., Göttingen, 1836, Eng. transl., London, 1897; S. Lee. London, 1837; J. G. Stickel, Leipsic, 1842; K. Schlottmann, Berlin, 1851; L. Hirzel, ed. Olshausen, Leipsic, 1852; J. G. Vaihinger, Stuttgart, 1856; T. J. Conant, New York, 1857; E. Renan, Paris, 1859, Eng. transl., London, 1889; A. B. Davidson, vol. i., London, 1862 (never completed, philological, an excellent piece of work); idem, in Cambridge Bible 1884 (perhaps the best in English); Franz Delitzsch, Leipsic, 1876, Eng. transl. of 1st ed., Edinburgh, 1869 (the introduction is very valuable, gives a history of the exegesis of the book); F. C. Cook, in Bible Commentary, London, 1873: O. Zöckler, in Lange's Commentary, Eng. transl., New York, 1874; E. W. Hengstenberg, Leipsic, 1875; C. P. Robinson, London, 1876; D. Thomas, ib. 1879; S. Cox, ib. 1880; G. H. B. Wright, ib. 1883; G. G. Bradley, Lectures on the Book of Job, Oxford, 1887; W. Volek, Munich, 1889; A. Dillmann, Leipsic, 1891; R. A. Watson, in Expositor's Bible, London, 1892; K. Budde, Göttingen, 1896; B. Duhm, Freiburg, 1897; E. C. S. Gibson, London, 1889; Friedrich Delitzsch, Leipsic, 1902; M. Pritchard, London, 1903; D. Davies, vol, i., London, 1909.

On the metrics consult: J. H. A. Ebrard, Das Buch Hiob als poetisches Kunstwerk, Landau, 1858; . P. Vetter, Die Metrik des Buches Hiob, in Bardenhewer's Biblische Studien, ii. 4, Freiburg, 1897; J. Ley, Die metrische Beschaffenheit des Buches Hiob, in TSK, 1895, 1899; E. Kautzsch, Die Poesie und die poetischen Bücher des A. T., Tübingen, 1902.

On critical and other questions related to the book consult: G. Bickell, De indole ac ratione versionis Alexandrinae, Marburg, 1862; J A. Fronde, in Short Studies on Great Subjects, London 1867; W. H. Green, Argument of the Book of Job, New York, 1874; K. Budde, Beiträge zur Kritik des Buches Hiob, Bonn, 1876; F. Giesebrecht, Der Wendepunkt des Buches Hiob, Greifswald, 1879; T. K. Cheyne, Job and Solomon, London, 1887; E. Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, ib. 1889 (on the Septuagint); J. F. Genung, The Epic of the Inner Life, the Book of Job, Boston, 1891; W. T. Davison, in Wisdom Literature of the O. T., London, 1893 (a luminous treatment); L. Laue, Komposition des Buches Hiob, Halle, 1895; G. Beer, in ZATW, xvi (1896), 297 sqq., xvii (1897), 97 sqq., xviii (1898), 257 sqq. (deals with all the versions); J. Owen, Five Great Skeptical Dramas, New York, 1896; G. V. Garland, Problems of Job, London, 1898 R. G. Moulton, in Literary Study of the Bible, Boston, 1899; M. Jastrow, Babylonian Parallels to Job, in JBL, xxv. 2 (1906); DB, ii. 660-671; EB, ii. 2464-2491; JE, vii. 193-200.


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