From Job in Islam
Our original quest was to examine Scripture as Literature and after much silence on my part I elected to begin with Job chapter 19
Job: 19 – My Redeemer Lives Part of a dramatic Poem in 42 chapters
Job 19 : 25 – 27 American King James
25For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day on the earth:
26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
These words are surely familiar to us? They form the opening of Handel’s Messiah, they are read by the graveside at funerals, and are the source for some of the hymns we sing during our liturgies.
For instance this: –
Published on 12 Apr 2009
Tune: Truro Words: Samuel Medley
1 I know that my Redeemer lives! What joy this blest assurance gives! He lives, he lives, who once was dead; he lives, my ever-living Head!
2 He lives triumphant from the grave; he lives eternally to save; he lives exalted, throned above; he lives to rule his church in love.
3 He lives to bless me with his love; he lives to plead for me above; he lives my hungry soul to feed; he lives to help in time of need.
4 He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly friend; he lives and loves me to the end; he lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing; he lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King!
5 He lives, all glory to his name! He lives, my Saviour, still the same; what joy this blest assurance gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!
19:25 But as for me, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He will witness at the last upon the dust;
19:26 And when after my skin this is destroyed, then without my flesh shall I see God;
19:27 Whom I, even I, shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another’s. My reins are consumed within me.
2 For a bi language edition go to Hebrew and English – a living library of Jewish Texts Sepharia . org
The web named ( Early Jewish Writings) contains a wealth of information and commentaries of Job,they concentrate on literature, on the very words that thread themselves like holy beads upon that pile of Ash and tears.
The Parsing and phrasing of the sentences; all these add up to a magnificent and profound dialogue between the friends of Job, Job himself and God.
In addition to its poetic character it forms part of the Wisdom literature in the Jewish Bible.
“The prose account is written in an archaic style which bears all the marks of an ancient and popular folk tale.
That its hero is a virtuous Edomite is good evidence that it predates the Exile, when Jewish distrust of Edomites was most intense.
The poem, by contrast, reflects the influence of Jeremiah and the speculative mood of the Exilic or post-Exilic period.
If the poet influenced the thought and vocabulary of Deutero-Isaiah, as seems likely, his work could not be dated later than the middle of the sixth century B.C.
Notwithstanding the contrasts between the poem and its narrative setting—most especially the patience of the legendary hero as compared with the impatient subject of the poetry—the poem would be unintelligible apart from the story.
Having utilized the legend as the basis for his work, the poet himself, presumably, affixed it to the poem as prologue and epilogue.” (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 393 – I misplaced the webpage for this information)
Timing, no earlier than the 6th century BC, though gives no historical information with which to locate it. Rabbi Jack Abramowitz writes that Job is a very unusual Book, unique in many ways. Job many not have lived at all! The Talmud, in tractate Baba Basra (15a-b) relates a number of opinions.
- R. Yehoshua
- b. Levi says Job lived in Moses’ day;
- R. Yochanan and
- R. Eleazar say Job was one of the Babylonian exiles;
- R. Yehoshua b. Korcha says Job lived in the time of Esther; others say he lived at the time of Jacob. (There are still more views that I am not recounting here.) Introduction to Job