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Literary Forms in the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes - Essay Example

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Literary Forms in the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes

The book of Job has numerous frames narrative that arises from the shifts in voice, perspective, language, and scene. The most outstanding of all is the frame narrator who tells the story of Job from the perspective of God’s eye. This is done through the prefacing of the book in Job 1:1 – 2:12, the introduction of most speeches in Job 3 – 42, and giving the conclusion in Job 42 from verse 7 to 17. The perspective of the omniscient narrator is written in prose form, and it stands together with a set of human speeches in Job chapter 3 to 42. It is also written in poetry, and it develops a sense of paradoxical juxtaposition between the human and divine views of Job’s sufferings. The differing sides of Job found on the two sections of the frame (reverent and silent) and the sporadic reaction in the poetic body emphasize the juxtaposition (Enns and Longman 242). The book of Job relies heavily on lament. This literary genre is expressed in the two plays of Job in chapter 3, 29, 30, and 31. It is important to note that lament is an important characteristic of the Joban arguments. The formal characteristics of lament normally comprise an invocation, questions of reproach, a condemnation of enemies, an affirmation of confidence, assertion of innocence, a vow, hymnist blessings, and praise, recognition of divine response, a petition for help and a description, or complaint of suffering. Lamentations made by Job resemble the accusatory laments made in chapter 10, 13, and 23 of the book of Job (Perdue 94). The lamentations are even more clamorous in criticizing God for the unjust maltreatment of an innocent and just person. In addition, from the lamentation made by Job, there are no prospects for future redemption but only the ultimate outcome of eternal death. The political role of lamentations in that period was to merge the nation as one people who relied on the divine salvation through the monarchy. Lamentations also created an outlet through which defeat and difficulties disappointments would be expressed. However, lamentations by Job are generally accusations against God’s justice and an attempt to bring down the conceptual model of the temple’s function in effecting divine redemption. With the denial of God’s justice, this priestly spirituality collapsed (Perdue 95). In the book of Job, dialogue is the most important literary form, and in this case, it is an argument resulting to a heated debate. Job’s passionate attack on his opponents entails ridicule and show of direct allegations of fear and foolish reliance on a disproven hermeneutic of vengeance. Job blames them of senselessly defending the justice of God who abuses the righteous and his creation. The opponents refuse to give in to Job’s accusations and argue that Job must have done something bad that resulted to his suffering. From their arguments, it is very clear that the victim (Job) deserves whatever suffering he is going through (Perdue 95). The book of Job expresses a bold stroke in attaining the support of a significant number of exiles, that is, the manner in which we would be ready for a new sociopolitical certainty to come into existence. The book was not just based on theological debate or a theoretical explanation of the issues of innocent ...Show more


The Literary Forms in the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes Literary Forms in the Book of Job The Book of Job is one of the books in the Old Testament and is the most celebrated biblical literature. The book is well written and investigates some of the weightiest questions asked by humans concerning their lives (Spark Notes Editors 1)…
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Literary Forms in the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes essay example
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