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The Mythology Behind The Book Of Job

1084 words - 4 pages

Myths have always played a part in society. They not only entertain the reader, but the mythological story also plays a major role in corroborative cultural beliefs. David Bidney writes “The function of a myth is thus held to be one of validating or justifying cultural beliefs and practices.” The mythical tale reiterates the moral practices and beliefs that a culture needs to succeed. A myth is a story, which can by written or spoken, that has four purposes for being told: it expresses humanity's fear of nature, it helps to explain the creation of the universe, it gives the reader moral guidelines that should be followed, and finally, it instructs the reader on how to cope with challenges that might arise during the day. Because the Old Testament offers stories that expresses explanations for mankind on dealing with crises, humanity's fear of nature, and moral guidance, they clearly fall into the category of a myth or mythological story.

Being morally committed to God, accepting his will, and abiding by his judgment was, essentially, the cultural belief of the Old Testament text. It was, and in many cultures still is the belief, that the God of the Bible, was omnipotent and omniscient. It can be assumed that Job was fearful and submissive to God's will, and that he was a very devout man of faith. The reader is aware of this from the first verse in The Book of Job.”There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright.” (Job 1:1). He was blameless and without sin, devoted all of his time to God, and did what was right in the Lord's eyes. Unlike those around him, Job was very submissive and fearful to God. His actions, thoughts, and words all amplified his submission to Yahweh. The Book of Job gives the readers a guideline on the right way to cope with difficult situations. Even though Job had lost his children, home, livestock, and suffered a horrid disease, he refused to follow the advice of his wife and friends. Job, because of his total submission to God, refused to curse the one who made him. Instead of cursing the one who made him and his soul, Job became depressed, and cursed the day he was born. The Book of Job, in part, is a cunning mythological story that instructs the reader on how one must cope with a crisis or crises. Job refused to curse God, and instead of losing faith in the Lord, he put all of his strength and might into worshiping and blessing God's name.

Another element of the mythological tale that is quite prominent in The Book of Job is the fear and wonder of nature. Throughout the story of Job, the main character often makes references to things and events that would normally occur in the natural world. Eliphaz, a friend of Job, visits one day and seeks to convince Job to curse God by saying “those who plough inequity, and sow trouble—they reap it.” (Job 4.8) He continues to support his argument by using the example of a lion without prey. Norman Habel comments that “the...

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