God comforts Job

W Scott Taylor hosts this commentary on Job (written by T. C. Ham):

The character of God in the book of Job appears to defy coherent portrayal. Seemingly capricious, God puts Job through inconceivable pain and loss over a cosmic wager against the adversary. Remaining reticent throughout most of the book as Job and his friends carry on endlessly, God allows Job to suffer in the dark. When Job asks for an answer, he receives what appears to be an angry rebuke. The God of Job 38 seems boastful, callous, and sardonic.

Perhaps there is another way to understand the Yhwh speech functioning within the world of the book—a way that mitigates the intensity of God’s anger, correlates the humbling of Job (in the poetic sections) to God’s pride in the servant (in the prose framework), and allows not only for a pedagogical opportunity but for a moment of consolation. In the following analysis of the beginning words of Yhwh in Job 38, I propose that the tone of the Yhwh speeches is closer to one of genuine compassion and comfort, suggesting that there may be a coherent character portrayal of God in the book of Job after all. In speaking gently, God addresses Job’s condition of suffering, without satisfactorily dealing with his concern over his innocence.

For full pdf, click here.

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