Page images

Dathe and the modern German critics give it their support. In fact, the position of the land of Uz, which on the one hand is declared by the author of the book of Job to have been the residence of his hero', and which on the other hand is said by Jeremiah to have coincided with the territories of Edom', is alone sufficient to demonstrate, that the country of Job must have been Idumèa 3.

2. If then Job were a native and inhabitant of the land of Edom, it seems most natural to conclude, that he was a descendant of the patriarch Esau. In the abstract indeed it is possible, that he might have dwelt in that country before it was occupied by the Edomites; in which case, agreeably to the supposition of Eusebius and many Hebrew writers, he must have flourished previous to the birth of Esau's children, who were the patriarchal ancestors of the Idumèans: but, while this is possible in the abstract, such an opinion is confuted by the internal evidence which the book itself affords.

One of Job's friends is said to have been Eliphaz the Temanite, But, in the scriptural genealogy of Edom, we find Eliphaz mentioned as the son of Esau and as the father of Teman". Now the circumstance of the Edomite Eliphaz

2 Lament. iv. 21.


1 Job i. 1.


Magee's Disc. on the Aton. vol. ii.


✦ Job ii. 11.

5 Gen. xxxvi. 10, 11.

being described as the father of Teman, and the circumstance of Eliphaz the friend of Job being styled the Temanite, jointly identify Eliphaz the friend of Job and Eliphaz the son of Esau: for Eliphaz the friend of Job is styled the Temanite, plainly in consequence of his inhabiting a district in the land of Edom on which he had bestowed the name of his eldest son'. Job therefore must have been contemporary with Eliphaz the son of Esau; and, as such, he must have flourished subsequent to the occupation of Idumea by the children of that patriarch. Flourishing then in the land of Edom subsequent to its occupation by the children of Esau, and being the intimate friend of Eliphaz the son of Esau, it is only reasonable to conclude, that he was himself likewise one of Esau's descendants.

3. The next point to be considered is, how Job was a contemporary of Eliphaz? That is to say, whether he or Eliphaz was the older man?

This point is one of prime importance: for, if Job were the older of the two, he could not have been an Edomite by descent, though he was dwelling in the land of Edom. The reason is

1 Such a practice was not without precedent among the ancestors of Eliphaz: Terah had already given the name of his son Haran to the region of Mesopotamia, whither he migrated from Ur of the Chaldèans. Gen. xi. 28, 31. xii. 4, 5. Hence, Terah, from the country, might be styled a Haranite, just as Eliphaz is called a Temanite.

obvious. Job is not mentioned among the sons of Esau consequently, if he were a descendant of that patriarch, he must have been removed some generations further from the parent stock than Eliphaz, and must therefore have been a younger man. Hence it is plainly necessary to the supposition of Job's being an Edomite by descent, that he should be younger than Eliphaz the son of Esau.

The point before us is very satisfactorily determined by the book of Job itself. Eliphaz the Temanite, speaking both in his own behalf and in behalf of Job's other two friends Bildad and Zophar, represents himself and them as very aged men, much older than even Job's father': and Elihu, in a similar manner, describes all the three as being very old; modestly using, in reference to his own juniority, the oriental apoph

1 Job xv. 9, 10. From this circumstance of high priority of age I conclude, that Bildad and Zophar could not have been of Esau's stock, but that they were two aboriginal princes of the country. They are described, as being coëtaneous with Eliphaz. But with him they could not have been coëtaneous, and yet Edomites; unless they had been, either his brothers, or his nephews through a brother much older than himself. Their names however do not occur at all in the genealogy of Esau. Hence I conclude, that they were not Edomites, but aboriginals. The epilogue to the Greek translation by the Seventy seems to confirm this opinion: for, while it speaks of Eliphaz as being one of the sons of Esau, it simply mentions Bildad and Zophar as the two reguli of the Sauchèans and the Minèans without giving the least hint of their descent from that patriarch.


thegm, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom'. If then Eliphaz, the son of Esau, were much older than even Job's father; Job himself, at the commencement of his trials, must have been a comparatively young man: and, if descended from Esau, he must have been full two generations lower in the pedigree than Eliphaz. That is to say, if Eliphaz, the son of Esau, were much older than Job's father; Job's father would be coëtaneous with about the son of Eliphaz, and Job himself would be coëtaneous with about the grandson of Eliphaz or the great-grandson of Esau.

Thus it appears, that there is nothing in the age of Job, which prevents him from being an Edomite by descent: the high local probability therefore of his belonging to the stock of Esau remains in full force.

4. Having now ascertained the comparative ages of Job and Eliphaz, and having found that Job must have stood in the same generation with the great-grandsons of Esau, we may naturally expect to find a man of his eminence duly mentioned among the great-grandsons of that patriarch, if indeed he were one of his descendants: and here accordingly we shall not, I apprehend, be disappointed.

By his wife Bashemath, the daughter of Ishmael, Esau became the father of Reuel: the

1 Job xxxii. 4-7.

son of Reuel was Zerah: and the son of Zerah was Jobab. This Jobab, the great-grandson of Esau and therefore the strict contemporary of Job, is described, as being like that personage a man of high rank, and as reigning in a district of Edom subsequent to Bela an aboriginal prince of the house of Seir the Horite'. In every particular, therefore, Jobab corresponds with Job: and, as, in addition to circumstantial evidence, the name Jobab is evidently the name Job, written, by the reduplication of a letter, somewhat more fully; we have very little reason to doubt, that Jobab and Job are one and the same person.

Such, accordingly, is the determination of the intelligent writer of the Greek epilogue, suffixed to the translation of the book of Job by the Seventy. He states, that Job dwelt in the land of Ausitis or Uz, on the confines of Idumèa and Arabia: that his original name was Jobab: that he was the son of Zerah, the grandson of Esau: and, consequently, that he was the fifth in descent from Abraham. To these particulars he adds, what I have already observed, that Eliphaz was one of the sons of Esau.

II. This arrangement of the age and family and country of Job will be found to make the whole narrative perfectly harmonious and consistent.

1 Gen. xxxvi. 3, 4, 10, 13, 32, 33.

« PreviousContinue »