Sunday, December 19, 2010

Job, Chapters 16 & 17: Just curse god already and be done with it!

Oh. My. God. This book is 42 chapters long, 2 interesting ones, then a slog through 40 pages of tedious 'debate.' I find myself wishing that Job would just curse god already and be done with it.

Chapter 16
Job calls his friends out on their crappiness, and asks why they're so long-winded and refuse to let him have the last word. Takes one to know one, there, pot. He says if their positions were reversed, he would comfort them, which I find is seldom actually true.

Then he starts pissing and moaning to god again about how shitty his life is now. Apparently he's lost a lot of weight, and I wonder if I can start a new diet craze? Cursed by god, I'd call it. Also, people are making fun of his appearance. Good to know we've advanced as a civilization. But he still prays! He asks for a mediator again.

Chapter 17

Job is close to death. Not for another 25 chapters at least, buddy. He asks god to mediate for him. Then he starts insulting his 'friends', challenging them to keep the argument going. See the previous chapter.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Job, Chapter 15: Who's that windbag?

Eliphaz calls Job a windbag. True, but who in this book isn't? Then he says he's impious and a liar. Then he says Job doesn't listen to god. Dude, no one can listen to god at this point because he isn't speaking. He asks who died and made Job so smart that he knows better than god, but also what makes him so angry. He points out that god has no faith in angels and that even heaven is impure, let alone man. Which puts me even more on the side of Christopher Hitchens.

Then he starts his received wisdom, which is that wicked people suffer and wander around in fear, cursing god. They are apparently also fat, which does not bode well for the US, and resort to squatting. He claims they lose their fortunes quickly and don't have kids.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Job, Chapters 12-14: Speaking truth to god

Chapter 12

Job starts up his rebuttal, reminding us that we like to laugh at others' misfortunes. True 'nuff that. He also points out that while he's being punished, criminals are going scot-free and your fate is up to god.

Chapter 13

Job starts asking for a hearing with god again. First he challenges his friends to take god's part, then points out no one can fool the big guy and decides he needs a face-to-face chat. He challenges anyone to prove his sin, on pain of death. He only asks god for two things: to heal him and stop being scary. Then he challenges god directly. No answer.

Chapter 14

Job reminds us of the temporality of human life and asks god to leave us alone for the duration, pointing out even plants regrow, but when we kick the can, that's it. He wishes god would forgive his sins and says he'll just sit there, scratching, until his time is up, then he'll be forgotten, as we all will. If our children triumph, we won't know it. What a downer!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Job, Chapter 11, Frenemies

Zophar challenges Job's claims of innocence. He wishes god would speak but as usual, god is silent on the matter, but Zophar insists that Job must have sinned and entreats him to stop and ask for forgiveness. He rather insensitively forgets that Job just lost his 10 children and tells him that he'll forget his problems and everything will come back better than ever.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Job, Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 9

Job starts lawyering all his friends' arguments, saying he can never prove himself against god's superior wit and wisdom. He points out that a pissed-off god has caused earthquakes, toppled mountains and turned the sun off. Then he points out all the miracles god has performed, including invisibility. Anyway, he can't argue with god, he can only plead for mercy. Well, it's something to do besides sit on a dung heap scratching yourself with broken pottery and arguing with your bitchy friends. He's also not sure god will even give him an appointment, and points out how badly he's been treated. Sounds like a bunch of whiny excuses to me. He complains again that he's innocent and hates his life and spits out that god destroys people's lives regardless. Then he really gets going, bitching about god sending plagues, then laughing at those who succumb, turning a blind eye when the wicked take over. He refuses to put on a happy smile because god will still think he's guilty and idly wishes for a mediator so he could stop living in fear. Strong words!

Chapter 10

Job is still complaining that god hasn't read the charges to him yet and starts addressing the deity directly, asking him why he gave him everything then took it away. He points out that if he sinned, god never punished him. It's pretty much the same as every other time he speaks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Job, Chapter 8

Now it's Bildad's turn to speak. He points out that god is always just and fair, so therefore Job's sons must have done something to warrant death. He thinks Job needs to pray and god will make him prosperous again. They point out that godless people die forgotten but god never forgets believers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Job, Chapters 6 & 7

Chapter 6

Job replies that his life more or less sucks, and that egg whites are tasteless. Really, he does, right there in verse 6. Basically, he wants god to kill him. His only comfort is that he hasn't cursed god. He points out that his friends aren't exactly being supportive here and he hasn't asked them for anything. He challenges them to show him where he sinned.

Chapter 7

Job continues that life is nasty, brutish and short, and that he hasn't been sleeping well, what with the scabs and worms. He thinks his death is near, so he gets to complain now. You and every other old person in the history of the world, Job. He bitches that when he sleeps, god sends nightmares. He asks god what his deal is with humans, with watching and testing us every second. He wants to be left along long enough to swallow his spit. Why does he need privacy for that? He challenges god to tell him what he did and how to seek forgiveness, then says again he's going to die soon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Job, Chapters 3-5

For the whole rest of the book of Job, picture the main character sitting on a dung heap, covered in itchy boils, scratching himself with a shard of pottery while he argues with his friends. In poetry, no less.

Chapter 3

So Job curses the day he was conceived and the day he was born, poetically, and asks why god didn't just kill him then.

Chapter 4

What is it they say about a good friend will kick you when you're down? Eliphaz points out that Job has never had it hard until now. He then reminds Job that bad things don't happen to good people and gives a confusing parable about a pride of lions. He then tells a story about night terrors and an angel that asked him if anyone can be more righteous than god, and is generally unhelpful.

Chapter 5

Eliphaz challenges Job to call on the angels for help and starts babbling about fools and how they quickly lose everything. He advises Job to talk to god, then spends the rest of the chapter listing all god's good deeds.

I did not know that the expression 'sparks fly upwards' was biblical.