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1. According to the excellent postdiluvian chronology of the Samaritan Pentateuch, Jacob and Esau were born in the year 1102 after the deluge; and, according to the system of Archbishop Usher, in the year 1836 before the Chris
But Esau espoused Bashemath, the mother of his son Reuel, when he was about forty years of age': and, nearly at the same time, he likewise espoused Judith or Adah, the mother of his son Eliphaz. Hence we may conclude, that Reuel and Eliphaz were each born A. P. D. 1143 or A. A. c. 1795. If we next suppose, that Zerah was born to Reuel at the probable age of about thirty nine years, the date of Zerah's nativity will be A. P. D. 1182 or A. A. c. 1756 : and, if again we suppose, that Job or Jobab was born to Zerah at the probable age of about thirty eight years, the date of Job's nativity will be A. P. D. 1220 or A. A.C. 1718. According however to the Greek translators, Job was seventy years old when his trials commencedo; an age, which fully approves itself to be accurate, though it occurs not in the present Hebrew text, by the circumstance of Job's having ten adult children at that time“. Such being the case, the trials of Job must have commenced about A.P.D. 1290 or A.A.C. 1648. But
Gen. xxvi. 34. xxxvi. 4. Compare xxviii. 9. ? Gen. xxvi. 34. xxxvi. 2, 4.
3 Job xlii. 16. • See Job i, 2, 4, 5, 18, 19.
he lived after his trials, which seem to have begun and ended within the space of a few weeks, according to the Hebrew, one hundred and forty years, or, according to the Greek, one hundred and seventy years'. He must therefore have died, according to the former computation, about Ą. P.D. 1430 and A.A.C. 1508; or, according to the latter computation, about A. P. D. 1460 and A. A. c. 1478. But, if Job's trials commenced A. A.C. 1648, and if his great-uncle Eliphaz was born to Esau A. A. C. 1795; then Eliphaz must at that period have been one hundred and forty seven years old, while Job himself was seventy years of age and his father Zerah (supposing him to have been then alive) one hundred and eight years. This, accordingly, agrees very minutely with what Eliphaz says to Job, respecting himself and his two coëtaneous associates Bildad and Zophar. What knowest thou, that we know not? What understandest thou, which is not in us? With us are both the grey-headed and very aged men, MUCH ELDER THAN THY FATHER'.
We have now obtained a satisfactory chronological arrangement both of Job's ancestors and of the events of his own life : it will be useful next to check it with the chronology of the parallel Abrahamic branch of Jacob.
Job, we have seen, was the great-grandson of Esau : and Amram, the father of Moses,
Job xlii. 16.
2 Job xv. 9, 10.
was the great-grandson of Jacob. Amram therefore and Job stand on the same genealogical step, while Moses stands a step lower than each of them. In a similar manner, Kohath occupies the same step with Zerah; and Levi again, the same step with Reuel and Eliphaz'. Now Levi was born A.P.D. 1182 or A. A.c. 1756: his brother Joseph was born A. P. D. 1194 or A. A. c. 1744: and his great-grandson Moses was born A. P. D. 1367 or A. A.C. 1571. Hence, by dividing on the average of three generations the period which occurs between the births of Levi and his great-grandson Moses, we may conclude, that Kohath was born about A.P.D. 1247 or A. A. c. 1691, and that Amram was born about A.P.D. 1307 or A.A.C. 1631'. In A.P. D. 1304 or A.A.C. 1634, died the patriarch Joseph:
· The following table will exhibit the genealogy of the two lines at a single point of view.
1. Jacob. 2. Reuel and Eliphaz.
2. Levi. 3. Zerah.
3. Kohath. 1
1 4. Job or Jobab.
4. Amram. 1 5. The sons of Job.
5. Moses. * This arrangement will make Amram die three years before his son Moses demanded from Pharaoh the liberation of Israel: for Amram died at the age of one hundred and thirty seven years (Exod. vi, 20.), and Moses first accosted Pharaoh A, A. C. 1491.
in A.P. D. 1329 or A. A.c. 1619, died his brother Levi : about A. P.D. 1380 or A. A. c. 1558, died Kohath, at the age of one hundred and thirty three years ': about A.P.D. 1444 or A. A.c. 1494, died his son Amram at the age of one hundred and thirty seven years': in A.P.D. 1407 or A.A.C. 1531, Moses fled into Midian: and lastly, in A. P. D. 1447 or A. A. c. 1491, Moses stood before Pharaoh to demand the liberation of Israel.
Now, by comparing together these two chronological statements, it will appear, that Moses fled into Midian twenty three years before the death of Job according to the reading of the Hebrew, or fifty three years before his death, according to the reading of the Greek : that the trials of Job took place fourteen years before the death of Joseph, and one hundred and seventeen years before the flight of Moses into Midian : and, consequently, that they occurred, while the Israelites were living in peace and prosperity under the protection of a native Mizraimic Pharaoh, and before the new king or dynasty arose up over Egypt which knew not Joseph'.
2. Having arrived at this last point, we shall be able to account for a very remarkable occurrence, which is detailed in the historical part of the book of Job, and which has hitherto occasioned no small degree of perplexity.
While Job was vet a prosperous man, the Chusdim or Chaldeans, we are told, made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and carried them away, slaying the servants with the edge of the sword'. Now, as the Chaldeans occupied the city and territory of Babylon, and as the land of Uz was a district of Idumea full five hundred miles from Babylon across the desert even as the bird flies; the question is, how the Arab prince can have been liable to this attack from such very distant marauders.
Ibid. vi, 20.
1 Exod. vi. 18. 3 Ibid. i. 8.
To solve the difficulty, some have assigned to Job a residence in Arabia Deserta, not far from the Euphrates, that so he may come in contact with the Chaldèans. But this cannot be tolerated even for a single moment : because the evidence, that the land of Uz was a district of Idumea, is so strong as to amount nearly to absolute demonstration. Lowth therefore and Shuckford take a different method. Rightly contending that Job was an inhabitant of Idumèa, they think it nevertheless very easy to conceive, that the Chaldeans, being accustomed to rove at immense distances for the sake of plunder, might make excursions through the desert from the banks of the Euphrates even to the borders of Egypt. This solution the excellent Archbishop Magee thinks fully satisfactory?: and I will not deny, that such an occurrence is possible, though I greatly doubt whether
1 Job. i. 17.
Disc, on the Aton, vol. ii. p. 101, 102.