Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Job, Chapters 40-42: New Kids on the Block

Chapter 40

God turns from irritating 5 year old to hectoring school principle, demanding Job repeat his accusations to his face. Job, like a 14 year old who's all talk, is cowed and calls himself nothing (v. 4) and puts his hand over his mouth.

God keeps going with his bullying, asking if Job still thinks he's unjust and should be condemned. Then he asks if Job is as strong as him or has as thunderous a voice. If he does, he should dress and act like it. Acting like it means humiliating the proud and killing the wicked, btw.

Next, god starts bragging about all the weird animals he created, like the behemoth, which eats grass, has strong legs and abs, a thick tail and strong bones. God is its only predator. It lives in the mountains but sleeps under lotus fronds in the marshes. It likes to play in the Jordan River and isn't worried when it floods. It can't be tamed by humans. Creationists everywhere salivate at further evidence for human-dinosaur cohabitation. Personally, I'm thinking it's another scary bedtime story.

Chapter 41

Next on god's bragging list of weird and wonderful animals: Leviathan. Leviathan cannot be trapped on a hook or tied with rope. He won't humble himself to man or be domesticated. Traders won't sell him in their shops (I'm guessing crocodile handbags weren't in vogue yet). His hide is so tough, you can't pierce it with a harpoon and if you touch him, don't expect your hand back.

In an act of twisted logic worthy of Sarah Palin, god then informs us that since he created Leviathan, nobody can sue him. Also, everything under heaven is his.

Back to Leviathan: he has strong limbs but a graceful form and can't be skinned or saddled. He has terrible teeth and a scaly exterior. When he sneezes, light flashes, and his eyes are red. He breathes fire powerful enough to light coals. Everything is afraid of him and no weapons are effective against him. He can bite through iron or bronze. He churns water as he swims. It, not the lion, is the king of beasts.

Most reasonable Christians will explain that Leviathan is either a crocodile or a whale and the descriptions are exaggerated or metaphorical. Other, more susceptible Christians, will insist it's either a crocodile-dinosaur hybrid or an outright dinosaur.

Chapter 42

Job acknowledges god's greatness and admits he didn't know what he was talking about and repents.

God then turns his wrath on Eliphaz & co., accusing them of misrepresenting him and ordering them to sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams.

Then, despite his insistence that he has nothing to apologise for, god makes Job twice as rich as he was before. All his old friends come to his new house and empathise about his travails and give him gold and silver. His flocks are huge. Last of course, he has 10 new children. Oddly, the bible names his daughters but not his sons. Jemimah, Keziah and Keren-Happuch are hotties, so much so that their father breaks with tradition and gives them an inheritance. Job himself lives to be 140. Doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?

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