In this volume, the dual background of Job, both in Oriental Wisdom and in biblical thought, is set forth. Questions concerning the authenticity and integrity of each section of Job the Prose Tale, the three Cycles of the Dialogue, the Elihu chapters, and "the Speeches of the Lord" are discussed in detail, with special reference to their content and their contribution to the meaning of the book as a whole. The great variety of views on these issues obtained from scholars, thinkers, and general readers is presented and analyzed. The study then turns to the place of Job in the history of biblical religion and traces its abiding contribution to religion on the basic question of evil in the world. Important elements in the style of Job, not previously recognized, provide valuable keys to the interpretation of the text and its structure. Such technical questions as the date of composition, the original language, and the canonicity of the book are then treated. The volume then offers a new and original translation of the book of Job into modern English.
Robert Gordis — Dr. Robert Gordis was Rapaport Professor of the Philosophies of Religion and Professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary and is the author of many widely acclaimed works.
Job is no easy book, and writing a commentary on it is no easy task. In general, the difficult and elusive enterprise of penetration into a culture and a world-view two or three millennia old, which is the basic task of biblical scholarship, is compounded in the case of the book of Job by many factors. Here the reader is confronted by a rich and often obscure vocabulary, a unique style, a complex structure, and profundity of thought, all of which make great demands, not only on the scholar's learning, but also on his insight.