The Book Of Job.—Who Wrote It? -- By: Gerry W. Hazelton

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 071:284 (Oct 1914)
Article: The Book Of Job.—Who Wrote It?
Author: Gerry W. Hazelton


The Book Of Job.—Who Wrote It?

Gerry W. Hazelton

The authorship of the Book of Job is one of the things which never can be absolutely settled, one of the things upon which modern discoveries and inventions shed no light; and yet no one can read it, much less study it, without wishing the author were known. Unfortunately it presents a question which literary critics have not been able to solve; and yet their views upon the subject are entertaining, even though they fail to solve the problem, or to agree among themselves.

The writer, without presuming to influence the judgment of others, is thoroughly persuaded that the only basis upon which the question can be intelligently considered and reasonable probability of the fact established, is by a citation of well-known facts rather than by critical speculation, and therefore ventures to call the views hereinafter expressed a lawyer’s argument.

1. The assumption that no one knew the writer of the book, and that no satisfactory evidence can be adduced to solve the mystery, I regard as entirely unwarranted. The person capable of such a wonderful achievement could not be unknown. It is hardly less than, a moral impossibility. His scholarship, his intellectual endowments, must have rendered him distinguished. They are what always have and always must insure eminence. This is the teaching of universal experience.

To meet this objection Froude suggests that the author of the book may have led the life of an exile; but if a Hebrew exile had written it, that fact alone would have identified his name with his work. But, aside from this, no such work could have been conceived or accomplished by a hermit. It is instinct with human sympathy; its hero has distinguished himself by his conspicuous discharge of all his duties and obligations to society; he has remembered the poor; he has made the widow’s heart sing for joy; he has administered judgment in righteousness, and in every particular has performed his duties to the community in which he lived. It is utterly unthinkable that a hermit, or one who had exiled himself from society, should have chosen such a theme for the exploitation of his powers. The achievement of such a a masterly production compels the conviction that the writer must have been dealing with a theme which appealed to him, and challenged all his energies of heart and mind. To suppose a recluse writing the Book of Job, is like supposing the author of “Home, Sweet Home,” exploiting the value of celibacy.

The author of this book was a person of education, of wide observation, familiar with social and economic affairs and civic conditions. He understood the functions of courts and judges and their relations ...

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