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this debate. When the book is read in full detail we are tempted to discriminate the separate personalities of the three Friends, but so far as their position in the discussion is concerned they are a unit. Without swerving for a moment they insist upon their thesis that all suffering without exception is judgment upon sin; Job must be a sinner, simply because God's providence has sent suffering upon him. They exhibit the usual persistency of men defending a traditional view: they pour out profusely facts of life illustrating their contention; they ignore altogether the equally profuse instances in which their view is contradicted; and they more than hint that any variation from their view must be due to moral obliquity. The case of the Friends is at last brought to a climax in a much quoted passage, which here follows. Read by itself it is a beautiful poem, picturing how there are mines out of which men dig gold and silver, but out of no mine has man ever dug wisdom. It makes a peroration to the case of the Friends, because it brings out how their priniciple of the invariable connection of suffering with sin is not advanced because it meets the facts of life, but because such a view is 'wisdom'—is part of the fundamental structure of the universe.

Sonnet (of the Friends) on Wisdom
Surely there is a mine for silver,
And a place for gold which they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
And brass is molten out of the stone.
Man setteth an end to darkness,
And searcheth out to the furthest bound

The stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of death.
He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn;
They are forgotten of the foot that passeth by;

They hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, out of it cometh bread;
And underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.
The stones thereof are the place of sapphires,
And it hath dust of gold.
That path no bird of prey knoweth,
Neither hath the falcon's eye seen it:

The proud beasts have not trodden it,
Nor hath the fierce lion passed thereby.
He putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock;
He overturneth the mountains by the roots.
He cutteth out passages among the rocks;
And his eye seeth every precious thing.
He bindeth the streams that they trickle not;
And the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man knoweth not the price thereof;
Neither is it found in the land of the living.
The deep saith, It is not in me:
And the sea saith, It is not with me.
It cannot be gotten for gold,
Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it,
Neither shall the exchange thereof be jewels of fine gold;

No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal:
Yea, the price of wisdom is above rubies;
The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,

Neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
Whence then cometh wisdom?
And where is the place of understanding?
Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living,
And kept close from the fowls of the air.
Destruction and Death say,
We have heard a rumour thereof with our ears.
God understandeth the way thereof,
And he knoweth the place thereof.

For he looketh to the ends of the earth,
And seeth under the whole heaven;
To make a weight for the wind;
Yea, he meteth out the waters by measure.

When he made a decree for the rain,
And a way for the lightning of the thunder:
Then did he see it and declare it;
He established it, yea, and searched it out.

And unto man he said,
BEHOLD, THE FEAR OF THE LORD, THAT IS WISDOM:
AND TO DEPART FROM EVIL IS UNDERSTANDING.

The second party to the debate is Job. Job represents no theory of life. Very probably he may in the past have acquiesced in the current view of suffering. But Job has the open mind, which can give up the most cherished tradition when it no longer fits the facts. This openmindedness of Job, in conflict with the stern immobility of the Friends, drives him to and fro in varied currents of thought. The most important of his trains of thinking may be here summed up. (1) The traditional ‘patience of Job' is undisturbed by the most cruel accumulation of suffering; but patience changes to wild impatience at the false interpretation which is put upon his suffering. (2) Job, of course, never claims to be sinless. His point is that he knows himself innocent of such sin as would be commensurate with the visitation of judgment upon him. (3) He never loses faith in God's ultimate vindication of this innocence. Job's trouble is that, as an old man, he may never live to see this vindication. Thus his thoughts are raised to what may be beyond

the grave.

Oh that my words were now written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
That with an iron pen and lead
They were graven in the rock for ever!

For I know that MY VINDICATOR LIVETH,
And that He shall stand up at the last upon the earth;
And after my skin hath been thus destroyed,
Yet without my flesh shall I see God!

Whom I shall see on my side,
And mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

(4) Job never wavers in his loyalty to God, though he addresses to God words of passionate remonstrance—such remonstrance as friend might make to friend. He longs to come into the presence of God, and to make his appeal face to face. (5) Finally, as the Friends had made insinuations of positive sins on Job's part, he follows the oriental custom of purging himself of such accusations by a ceremonial Oath of Clearing.

With this Oath of Clearing “the words of Job are ended.” Discussion as between Job and the Three Friends is closed. But we enter upon another phase of the poem when, from the silent chorus of spectators around the ash mound, one of their number ascends the mound and reinstates the debate. This is Elihu, a young man of the noble family of Ram. From the general structure of the Book of Job we must receive what Elihu speaks as one of its offered solutions for the problem of human suffering. But we find it difficult to see how Elihu's view is distinct, except for a shade of difference, from the view of the three Friends. These had insisted that suffering was judgment upon past sin; Elihu prefers to put it as warning against future sin. The real interest in this section of the poem is the contrast between youth and age. Elihu opens with the nervousness proper (in primitive society) to a youth intervening in a discussion of his elders. He had said that days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom; but he has understanding as well as the aged men before him; yea, his spirit feels as wine which hath no vent, like new bottles ready to burst. He has overcome youthful diffidence only through youth's confidence that the slight modification of the traditional wisdom which has commended itself to his generation is all that is wanted to convince Job. The contrast is kept up. When Elihu has advanced his theory, he pauses for Job to reply. But Job deigns no answer, receiving the young man's new light in silence. Then Elihu turns to the three Friends, and hopes to carry them and men of mature understanding in his protest against Job. But the three aged Friends make no sign; they receive their youthful champion with chilling silence. Slighted on both sides, Elihu is driven to appeal to heaven. But at this point a new turn is given to the dramatic movement. Apparently, what Elihu sets out to say in his appeal to heaven

is that the God of the mighty heaven over his head is not a God to be benefited by Job's righteousness, or injured by Job's iniquity, not a God to be turned from general principles of providence by the special case of Job. But the moment he lifts his eyes to the sky, this sky is seen undergoing signs of change. The landscape which constitutes the scene of our drama is passing into a landscape of wild storm. Elihu's speech brings out for us the changing heavens, as his words picture, successively, the spreading of the clouds, the little drops of water, faint sound of distant thunder; then the thundering with the voice of excellency, the lightning that lightens to the end of the world, the beasts hurrying to their dens, the thick cloud descending upon the speakers until “we cannot order our speech by reason of the darkness.” The storm has become a whirlwind, with overpowering brightness and unendurable roar. At last the whirlwind becomes articulate as the Voice of God.

The Divine Intervention is the climax of the poem: like thunderclaps come the sharp interrogatories out of the darkness. But care is needed to see what is the exact significance of this Divine Intervention. We might have expected that when Omniscience deigns to mingle in human debate the point at issue would be settled once for all. But this is not what we find in this case. At the end of the poem human suffering remains a mystery; but the speech out of the whirlwind has lifted the discussion to a higher plane. Some have misinterpreted this Divine Intervention by fastening upon certain expressions in the speech of God which imply the impossibility for man to fathom the ways of providence. Such expressions there are; but these cannot constitute the significance of the Divine Intervention, for the idea of providence as inscrutable is common to all the speakers in this poem. Moreover, the Friends had rebuked Job for questioning the ways of God, and Job had insisted on this questioning; yet in the epilogue God takes sides with Job. We can interpret the Divine Intervention only by studying as a whole the speech out of the whirlwind; and when we do so we have a surprise. The speech takes us away from the immediate problem, and plunges us into a picture of external nature, a picture reminding us of the treatment of the external world in the Wisdom hymns. The essential parts of the speech are here given; but it may be well to sum up beforehand the unexpected thought. The God thus

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