dinsdag 29 januari 2013

Review of: David J.A. Clines, Job 21–37 (WBC 18A),Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006

David J.A. Clines, Job 2137 (WBC 18A),Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006

Review in: The Expository Times 2009 120: 410
Review door: John E. Hartley
Gevonden op: http://ext.sagepub.com/content/120/8/410.2.full.pdf+html

A New Portrait of Job
David J. A. Clines, Job 2137 (WBC 18A; Dallas, TX: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006. $39.99. pp. 559. ISBN 9780849902178).

Clines’ second volume on the Book of Job (Chaps 2137) is a treasury of linguistic, exegetical, form critical, and strophic analysis, leading into an incisive and perceptive exposition of the text. Clines redraws the portraits of Eliphaz and Job. Eliphaz is portrayed as the most encouraging of the interlocutors, even in his third speech. Job is depicted as an admirable character, especially in his unwavering determination to hold God accountable. Nevertheless, Job’s flaws are visible in the portrait, especially in his attitude toward his servants, the poor, outcasts, and the unrighteous. Throughout Clines engages the vast array of interpretations on Job in a concise manner, often stating how he finds a position adequate or wanting in a way that leads to a more nuanced understanding of a passage. In a few places, though, Clines lets a postmodern agenda surface in his comments. E.g. in Job’s avowal that he helped the poor (31:1923), Clines finds that Job failed to acknowledge his participation in the systemic order that confines people to poverty. Certainly Job did not recognize the social causes of poverty, but it is unlikely that the learning of his day had developed the conceptual tools for recognizing such causes.

Clines reorganizes the disturbed third cycle material in a new way: Job’s Eighth Speech (23:117; 24:117, 25), Bildad’s Third Speech (25:126:14); Job’s Ninth Speech (27:16, 1112), Zophar’s Third Speech (17:710, 1317; 24:1824; 27:1823), Elihu’s four speeches (32:137:24) + a conclusion (28:128). After the interlocutors ceased speaking, Elihu entered the fray. In Clines’ judgement his style is sufficiently similar to the other speakers that it is unnecessary to postulate another author for them. Clines assigns the Ode of Wisdom (28:128) to Elihu, viewing it as a proper conclusion that reinforces his teaching that God communicates with humans. In the oldest format of the book, then, Job’s final speech, in which he makes a formal complaint against Yahweh, followed the Elihu speeches and immediately preceded the Yahweh speeches.

John E. Hartley

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