The Vision in Job 4 and Its Role in the Book 978-3-16-153533-8 - Mohr Siebeck

Ken Brown

The Vision in Job 4 and Its Role in the Book

Reframing the Development of the Joban Dialogues. Studies of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Research Group on Early Jewish Monotheism. Vol. IV

[Die Vision in Hiob 4 und ihre Rolle im Buch. Eine Neuausrichtung der Entwicklung der Hiobdialoge.]

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Published in English.
In this study Ken Brown focuses on the subversive vision in Job 4 and its role in the development of the book. Against the recent trend in English-language scholarship to dismiss the text's redaction history in favor of its »final form« and reception history, he argues that Job's redaction and reception are intrinsically linked.
Near the beginning of the Joban Dialogues, Job's friend Eliphaz is attributed a remarkably subversive vision (Job 4:12–21). Laced with images of divine judgment and deception, this vision undermines the very foundation of the friends' theology, and closely conforms to Job's. In particular, the vision's distinctive corporeal imagery and its conclusion that anyone can suddenly perish reflect Job's characteristic style, and form the basis for his accusations of divine injustice. In this study, Ken Brown argues that the tensions between the vision's present attribution to Eliphaz and its role in the dialogue run much deeper than is generally perceived, and can only be resolved through a reassessment of the book's development, both synchronic and diachronic. Brown suggests that the present order of Job 3–4 and 25–27 is neither original nor accidental, but reflects an intentional reframing of the dialogue, and anticipates similar moves across the earliest reception of the book.
This work was awarded the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise 2016.

Ken Brown Born 1982; 2010 MA in Biblical Studies; 2014 Dr. theol. at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen; currently teaching at Whitworth University (Spokane, WA, USA).


The following reviews are known:

In: Zeitschr. f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft — 128 (2016), S. 328 (Rebekka Luther)
In: Biblische Notizen — 173 (2017), S. 149–150 (Markus Witte)
In: Old Testament Abstracts — 39 (2016), S. 488 (W.J.U.)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (9/2018) (Tobias Häner)
In: AJS Review — 42 (2018), S. 197–200 (Edward L. Greenstein)