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CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Art. I.--1. The Book of the Patriarch Job, translated from the
original Hebrew, as nearly as possible in the terms and style of the authorized English Version ; to which is prefixed an Introduction on the History, Times, Country, Friends, and Book of the Patriarch, &c. &c., and to which is appended a Commentary, critical and exegetical, containing Elucidations of many other Passages of Holy Writ. By SAMUEL LEE, D.D., Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge. Duncan.
1837. 2. Jobi Antiquissimi Carminis Hebraici Natura atque Virtutes ;
scripsit CAROLUS David Ilgen, AA. LL. M. Lipsiæ. Sumptibus Joh. Benj. Georg. Fleischeri. 1789.
PROFESSOR LEE has evidently bestowed great labour on his present translation ; but it is to be regretted that he has cramped it by an accommodation to the style of the Authorized Version. The book of Job contains difficulties which exceed those which occur in other parts of the Hebrew Bible ; it has been the subject of incessant disputes, and affords a more extensive scope to critical inquiries, than any other within the range of the sacred canon; therefore we think that Professor Lee has judiciously acted in making it the first of his contemplated series of translations.
His Introduction has somewhat disappointed us; not because it is wanting in valuable remarks and acute criticisms, but because it has not embodied the various treatises, which have before appeared on the separate divisions of its subject. In the first question, which treats of Job's real existence, an immense body of matter is unnoticed. For, whilst Maimonides, Le Clerc, Michaelis, Semler, and others of inferior celebrity, have impugned the notion of Job having been a real person, the converse has been as vigorously asserted by Leusden, Heidegger, Carpzov, Van Till, Spanheim, Schultens, "Ilgen, and many more, whose literary researches command respect. The former proceeded on mere
NO, IV,- VOL. II.
conjecture, but the latter claimed the authority of other parts of holy writ. With the last opinion the Professor coincides, and the reasons which he has given cannot easily be refuted. He argues, that the book of Job is not an allegory or a fictitious history, as some have surmised, but a detail of actual facts; for if we examine the parabolic and figurative style of the sacred page, it will present the most striking marks of difference to those which we observe in this production. Here mention is made of his genealogy and of the circumstances of his family; his children, friends, wealth, and age are particularly recited: the land of Uz is recorded as his residence, which perhaps implies his descent from a progenitor of that name; and where his friends are introduced, the tribes to which they belonged are recorded with the same scrupulous exactness; whereas in an allegory or parable these minutiæ would have greatly obscured the point intended, and in fact, as in the case of Lazarus and the rich man, never occur. To which be it added, that unless Job had been a real character, Ezekiel would not have joined him with Noah and Daniel, nor would St. James have cited him as an example worthy of imitation. The contrary hypothesis amounts to a charge against the prophet of having raised a fabulous personage to the rank of a well-known and historical character, and against the apostle of having proposed one, who never existed, for imitation.
Having traced Job's descent from the family of Uz, the Professor examines the parts in which the different branches were settled. Our translators were guilty of a considerable error in confounding the descendants of Sheba with the Sabæans, as Spanheim long ago remarked an error that has misled many in their inquiries into this book, inducing them to conclude, that the false worship, at which it occasionally glances, must have been Sabæism. But Sheba, the ancestor of the nomadic horde who murdered Job's servants, and carried away his oxen and asses, is cited in conjunction with Dedan in the genealogical table of Genesis; and in Gen. xxv. 3, is enumerated among the progeny of Abraham by Keturah. In the tenth chapter, however, he occurs among the line of Ham; consequently, as we cannot affirm these varying accounts to relate to two distinct persons of the name, since both equally enumerate Dedan, it will follow that Keturah herself must have been of the line of Ham; that one genealogy traces their descent to Shem through Abraham, 'but the other traces it to Ham through Keturah. As Abraham, however, sent his sons by Keturah eastward into the east country, we perceive how their habitations became established in the parts in which we find them. Thus, Sheba, Dedan, Tema, Buz, Shuah, Chesed, and Uz, were sufficiently near to each other either for friendly or hostile purposes : hence the robbery committed by the one portion, and the friendly
intercourse with Job maintained by the other, have every appearance of historical truths.
Shuah also, (from whom descended Bildad the Shuhiteprobably the Sovxoç mentioned by Strabo, who built a fortress in the midland of Arabia, -was another son of Abraham and Keturah; and he is recorded (Gen. x. 23) to have been a descendant of Shem, and (xxii. 2ì) to have been a son of Nahor by his wife Milcah, and the brother of Chesed, from whom the Chasdim, noticed in this book, proceeded: the descendants of Shem, of whom Uz has been shown to have been one, likewise resided “from Mesha, as thou goest to Sephar, a mount of the east,” which exactly corresponds to the topography which is presented to us. From profane historians it appears, that of these some were Troglodytæ, others Scenites.
The Professor infers that Job must have lived before the Exodus of the Israelites, because Eliphaz was a son of Esau and the progenitor of the Amalekites, who had at that period become a very powerful people. Now, as Esau's and Jacob's children must have been contemporaries, and as Job and Eliphaz were such, it is evident that Job must have lived in the
of the twelve patriarchs. Computing Job's age at the time of his death to have been 210 years, and the sojourning of the Israelites in Egypt, according to the usual chronology, to have been 215 years (for the 430 years mentioned in the Bible are here divided between the sojourning in Canaan and Egypt), and supposing Job to have been born about the time of Levi, the Professor thus calculates the period of his death. “ Jacob, it is thought, was 88 years old when Levi was born ; and he was 130 when he stood before Pharaoh, that is, in the year in which he came down to Egypt. Therefore 130—88=42 will give the age of Levi, when he came into Egypt; and if Job was born in the same year with Levi, he must have been 42 years of age when the Israelites entered Egypt. Now, supposing the Israelites to have resided in Egypt 215 years, and Job to have been 42 years old when they arrived there, and that he lived, in the whole, to the age of 210, then, 210-42=168 will be the sum of the years of Job's life, during the sojourning of the Israelites in Egypt.
But their sojourning was 215 years: therefore, 215— 168=47, the number of years during which Job had been dead, before the Israelites left Egypt."
It is clear that this reasoning must be correct, if Eliphaz the son of Esau be identical with Eliphaz the Temanite; but as the son of Esau was the father of Duke Teman, from whom the country took its name, and as he might have received the cognomen of Temanite, either from his residence in that territory, or from having been the progenitor of the Temanites, something more than probability arises in support of the idea. It is true, that we have innumerable fictitious genealogies of the patriarch