Reading the Bible: day 15

Today we finish Job. It’s not an easy book, so it’s nice to have completed it. What is good though is that, having got it done so early in the reading plan, we can consider the issues it raises as we work our way through the rest of the Bible.

Job 40 – 42

Strange beasts

Chapter 40 concludes with the excerpt on the behemoth (from verse 15). The behemoth definitely sounds like an animal that could have existed. The description of the tail seems to rule out modern day behemoths like elephants and hippopotamuses. I’d be really tempted to support the YEC claim that this represents a dinosaur, but I just don’t think there’s enough information. I’m also concerned by chapter 41 and the leviathan.

The leviathan seems to fantastic to be real. Some people try to argue a swamp dwelling dinosaur, and sometimes T-Rex is proposed. The problem is the references made to fishing tools, and words like sea and deep in the NKJV seem to rule out a swamp dweller. Even if we had enough information to make claims about this creature, there seems to be plenty hyperbole. Some people have tried to defend the bits about fire breathing, but then ignore the bit about laughing. I’m afraid I just don’t think we have enough information about either of these strange beasts to speculate as to what they may have been.

God acknowledges Job

God never seems to overtly acknowledge Job, whom he was so proud of at the beginning. When He addresses Eliphaz, He points out that Job had spoken truthfully about Him. He also insists on them taking their sacrifices to Job to oversee the burnt offering.

In the patriarchal times, people built alters and made sacrifices to God, there wasn’t a centralised place for doing it as in later times, so their was no one performing the priestly duties. Once we’ve been through Exodus and Leviticus, we’ll see the importance of priestly duties, and how the priests needed to ritually cleanse themselves to stay pure.

Job is essentially given a priestly role here, and he isn’t asked to undergo any ritual cleansing, thus God does acknowledge his righteousness, although not in a simple and straightforward fashion.

What did they get right? And what didn’t they?

It’s tough to work out where Job’s friends actually went wrong, thus for doctrinal reasons we should look at where Job directly contradicted doctrinal assumptions, and look at the issues as we continue, and see if the rest of the Bible reveals the answers to these questions.

What are your thoughts?

If you wish to get involved in this reading plan from the start, then give the reading through the Bible page a look, it will be updated with relevant links and acts as an index to the program.

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2 thoughts on “Reading the Bible: day 15”

  1. In regards to the ritual cleansing, what do you think the whole book is about? Job is tried and tested in all his deeds, thoughts, and actions up to the breaking point and yet mostly remains faithful. God ackownledges this and then tests Jobs knowledge of God, of Gods plan, and of the Ordinances of Heaven before placing Job in His presence : “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.”, wiping Jobs tears away and blessing Job with double what Job previously had.

    1. I’m not convinced that Job is about ritual cleansing, by God’s reckoning at the beginning, Job wasn’t in need of a cleansing. We need to remember that this was an attempt to explain bad things happening to good people in light of an benevolent; omnipotent God. Unfortunately the theodicy seems to come down to, “you don’t know enough and I’m not about to explain it.”

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