Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pummeled with Words

In "Bursting at the Seams: Phonetic Rhetoric in the Speeches of Elihu" published in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Matthew Lynch says that the "'damage' to Job only begins in chs. 1 and 2." The calamity continues in the form of the verbal onslaught of Job's three friends. Lynch points out that "from the beginning, Job is assailed by words, by the breathless reports of his three servants, the biting words of his wife, and by his three companions." In a footnote, Lynch points out the repetition in chapter 1 of the phrase "while he was still speaking, another came and said..." The trials of Job in some sense always come in the form of words. From the beginning Job is pummeled with words. And as Lynch rightly sees, this is central to Job's plea for a resolution in words: "Oh that someone would give me a hearing! See my signature. Let the Almighty answer me, and my accuser write an indictment" (31:35).

No comments: