[ocr errors]

represented as having obtained his Deliverance (as the two others had
done, one from the Flood, the other from the Den of Lions) by his
Righteousness. This suited the Prophet's Argument; and the Instance
would equally serve his Purpose, whether the Character were real or
fictitious. The same holds likewise in regard to St. James ; who,
wanting to recommend Patience by an Example, would naturally refer
his Countrymen to this Book. But had there ever been such a Perfon
as Job, it has been shewn in the last Note that he must have been in
all Probability a contemporary with Abraham ; and as he is said to
have been an Idumean, (or an Inhabitant of Arabia deserta, which
bordered upon Canaan,) it might be expected that there would have
been some Intercourse between these great and good Men; that Abra-
ham in his Journeys to Egypt would have taken an Opportunity of
doing him Honour, as he did to Melchisedec, or that Job would
gladly have embraced any Opportunity of making himself known to
the Father of the Faithful. The same may be said in regard to the
succeeding Patriarchs, if he be supposed to have lived later. But if we
bring him down to the Time of Moses, (which is the latest Period
that can be assigned) it will appear still more extraordinary, that he,
who lived in Sight of Mount Sinai, should have continued to walk
still by the Light of Nature only, when he must have had sensible
Demonstration of God's Revelation of his Will, and might have put
himself under the more immediate Direction of Jehovah. Besides,
what would make Job's Character still more extraordinary is, that he
should always have retained his Integrity amidst the Contagion of bad
Example ; for the Wild Arabs, from the Days of Ishmael to these
Days, have uniformly been Rovers and Freebooters, as was predicted
of them. Gen. XVI. 12.

WHEREAS if we suppose this poem to be merely of the Dramatic
Kind, (the essential Requisites of which it has) it would answer the
Author's Purpose best to create a Subject, that Historic Truth might
not embarrass him in any Circumstance conducing to the End he

Now if we suppose the Author to have been a Jew, and that he wrote his Book with a Design of comforting his captive Brethren, the Book will be found perfectly consistent with this Hypothesis ; which is to Thew, that temporal Evils are not always intended by Providence as Punishments for past Crimes, but also for Trials of Virtue, and for the Benefit of instructive Example to others; and that Patience and Submission to the Will of Heaven is both the indispensable Duty of


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Persons under Affliction, and the most probable Means of procuring them Deliverance and Restoration. This exactly quadrates with the Case of the Jews. They were carried to Babylon, not merely for the punishment of their Idolatries and Wickedness; but also that they might be tried in the Furnace of Affli&tion, which thoroughly purified them from idolatrous Practices at least; and with this farther View likewise, that the most conspicuous Part of the then known World might be more acquainted with their History and their sacred Books, which contained both the past Dispensations of God's particular Providence, and his future Designs with respect to Mankind. They were also taught by their Prophets to look for a Restoration after a stated Period, and exhorted to wait patiently and quietly till the Change should come.

It is surprizing that the Name of the Author of so excellent a Composition should always have been concealed from the World. What his Motives for such Concealment were, and who he was, it would be loft Time to inquire, as it is now perhaps impollible to discover. That he wrote about the Time of the Captivity appears to me clearly from the many Chaldee Words, and Chaldee Termination of Hebrew Words, throughout the Book: but a still more forcible Argument is the frequent indirect Allusion to the Pentateuch and other Books of the Jewish Canon ; whereby the Author inadvertently betrays himself; of which see the following List.




5. Have curfed God in their Hearts. i Kings XXI. 10. “ Thou didst blaspheme God and the King." V.6. The Sons of God came to present themselves. Here the Angels are called Sons of God. The Expression is particular : but we find it used in Daniel, Ch. III. v. 25. viz. “ the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.What Daniel meant by that Expression appears from V. 28. “Blessed “ be God who hath sent his Angel.So that Angel and Son of God here signify the same Thing. V. 21. Naked came I out of my Mother's Womb &c. This answers to Eccles. V. 15. “ As he came forth of his “Mother's Womb, naked shall he return to go as he came.”

The Land of Uz is mentioned Lam. IV.21. “O Daughter of Edom, that “ dwellest in the Land of Uz.The Edomites settled in Arabia ; and Uz, as it appears from this Paffage, was a Part of that Country: thus the Place was called at the Time of the Captivity.

Ch. III. 3.

Ch. III. 3. Let the Day perish, wherein I was born. Jer. XX. 14. « Cursed be the Day, wherein I was born." V.


- the Shadow of Death. The same Expression, Pl. XXIII. 4. V. 16. As an hidden untimely Birth, I had not been; as Infants which never saw the Light. This seems to be an Improvement upon Pf. LVIII. 8. “ As the untimely “ Fruit of a Woman, let them not see the Sun.” 500, untimely Fruit, is the Word in both Places. V.23. Whom God hath hedged in. So Lam. III. 7. “He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out.”

Ch. IV.4. Thou haft strengthened the feeble Knees. So Isa. XXXV.3. Strengthen the weak Hands, and confirm the feeble Knees.”. V.8. They that plow Iniquity, and low Wickedness, reap the same. Hof.X.13. “Ye have plowed Wickedness, ye have reaped Iniquity.”. V. 9. By the Blast of God they perish, and by the Breath of bis Nostrils are they consumed. This seems to be borrowed from Exod. XV.8. “ With the “Blast of thy Nostrils the Waters were gathered together." V.19. Which are crushed before the Moth. This Image is frequently used in Scripture. Pl. XXXIX. 11. “ As the Moth, thou makest his Beauty to consume “ away.” Hof. V. 12. “ I will be to Ephraim as a Moth.” Ila. L. 9. • The Moth shall eat them up."

Ch. V. 4. They are crushed in the Gate. So Prov. XXII. 22. “Neither oppress the afflicted in the Gate.” Gate is used in both Places to signify a Court of Justice. V. 14. And grope in the NoonDay as in the Night. So Deut. XXVIII. 29.

" And thou shalt grope " at Noon-Day, as the blind gropeth in Darkness.” V. 18. He maketh fore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and bis Hands make whole. Hof.

“ He hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” And Deut. XXXII. 39. “I wound, and I heal.” V. 23. The Beasts of the Field Mall be at Peace with thee. So Hof. II. 18. “ I will make a Covenant for “ them with the Beasts of the Field.”

Ch. VI. 3. Heavier than the Sand of the Sea. Perhaps this may be taken from Prov. XXVII. 3. “ The Sand is weighty.” 'V.4. The Arrows of the Almighty are within me. Pl. XXXVIII. 2. “ Thine Arrows « stick fast in me.' V. 20. Job speaking of the Caravans, which come to the Springs in Arabia, and find no Water, says, They were confoun, ded, because they had hoped: they came thither, and were ashamed. Jer. XIV. 3. says upon the same Occasion, They returned with their “ Vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered as their Heads. The Thought is the same : but in Job the Manner of expressing it is more poetical.



Ch.VII.2. As the HIRELING EXPECTETH HIS WAGES. The Law of Moses says, “the Wages of the Hireling, (750 Syd, the Words “ are the same,) shall not abide with thee.” V. 10. Neither shall bis Place know him any more. PL. CIII. 16. has exactly the same Words, viz. 1272 71 137:33 857. V. 20. Why baft thou set me as a Mark again thee. So Lam. III. 12. “ He hath set me as a Mark for the Arrow.

Ch. X. 4. Seest thou as Man feeth. So i Sam. XVI. 7. 6. The Lord “ seeth not as Man seeth.” V.9. Thou hast made me as the Clay, and wilt thou bring me into the Dust again ? which seems to be an Allufion to these Words, “ Dust thou art, and to Dust shalt thou return. " V. 20, 21. Let me alone, that I may take Comfort a little, before I go whence I fall not return. So Pl. XXXIX. 13. “Spare me, that I

may recover Strength, before I go hence, and be no more.”

Ch. XI. 19. Thou shalt lie down, and none fall make thee afraid. This seems to be taken from Lev. XXVI. 6. “ Ye shall lie down, and * none shall make


afraid." Ch. XII. 14. He shutteth up a Man, and there can be no opening : taken probably from Isai. XXII. 22. “He shall Thut, and none shall “open.” V. 16. The deceived and deceiver are his — probably alludes to the History of the Fall. V. 22. He discovereth deep Things out of Darkness. So Dan. II. 22. “He revealeth the deep and secret Things; “ he knoweth what is in the Darkness.” V.24. He taketh away the Heart of the chief of the People of the Earth, and causeth them to wander in the Wilderness, where there is no Way. So PC.CVII.40. “And causeth them “ to wander in the Wilderness, where there is no way." The Words of the Pfalm are allowed to refer to the wandering of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. Ch. XIII. 5. O that you would altogether hold your Peace, and it

your Wisdom : alluding perhaps to Prov. XVII. 28. « Even a Fool, when he holdeth his Peace, is counted wise.” V. 14. And put my Life in my Hand. The Expression is remarkable, and seems to be taken from í Sam. XXVIII. 21.“ I have put my Life in my Hand;". j.e. I have exposed myself to the utmost Danger. We have it too, Pr. CXIX.109. “ My Soul is alway in my Hand.” V.24. Wherefore hidest tbou thy Face ? So Pl. XIII. 1, “How long wilt thou hide thy Face « from me."

Ch. XV. 14. What is Man that he should be clean? So Prov.XX.9. “ Who can say I have made my Heart clean ?" V. 16. Drinketh Ini

should be

quity like Water. So Prov. XIX. 28. “ The Mouth of the wicked de

voureth Iniquity.” V. 23. He wandreth abroad for Bread, saying, where is it? So Pr.LIX. 15. “Let them wander up and down for “ Meat.” V.27. He covereth his Face with his Fatness. Pl. XVII. 10. They cover themselves with their Fatness”

Ch. XVI. 10. They have fmitten me upon the Cheek reproachfully. So Lam. III.

30. “ He giveth his Cheek to him that smiteth him : he is “ filled full with Reproach.” V. 18. O Earth, cover not thou my Blood, and let my Cry have no Place ; which seems to allude to Gen. IV. 10. “The Voice of thy Brother's Blood crieth out to me " from the Ground.”

.לא נין לו ולא נכד ,them

Ch. XVII. 7. Mine Eye also is dim by reason of Sorrow. So Pt. VI. 7. Mine Eye is consumed because of Grief.”

Ch. XVIII. 19. He mall neither bave Son nor Nephew. This appears clearly to be taken from Isaiah XIV. 22. “I will cut off from Babylon, “ faith God, both the Son and the Nephew," 7937 193%. The Author of the Book of Job uses the same Words, describing the Judgments of God in the Punishment of a wicked Man, and makes a Sentence of

, Ch. XIX. 7, 8. Bebold, I cry out of Wrong, but I am not heard; I cry aloud, but there is no Judgment. He bath fenced up my Way, that I cannot pass, and be hath set Darkness in my Paths. Here is a very near Resemblance to Lam. III. 8, 9. “ When I cry and shout, he “ Thutteth out my Prayer : he hath inclosed my Ways with hewn “ Stone ; he hath made my Paths crooked.” V. 13. He hath put my Brethren far from me, and mine Acquaintance are verily estranged from me. So Pf. LXXXVIII. 8. “Thou hast put away mine Acquaintance « far from me."

Ch. XX. 6. Though his Excellency mount up to the Heavens, and bis Head reach unto the Clouds. Thus Isa. XIII. 14. “I will ascend into “ Heaven : I will ascend above the Heights of the Clouds ; I will be “ like the most High ;" where the Prophet speaks of Lucifer.

V. 16. He shall suck the Poison of Afps. So Deut. XXXII. 33. “ Their Wine “is the Venom of Alps.”

Ch. XXI. 5. Be astonished, and lay your Hand upon your Mouth. So Judg. XVIII. 19. “Hold thy Peace, lay thy Hand upon thy Mouth.” 19. God layeth up his Iniquity for his Children. This seems to



« 前へ次へ »