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From Noah to Abraham.
193. Terah born.............................
222. Haran born.........................
292. Peleg dies, aged 239.............
370. Serug dies, aged 230.............
393. Terah dies, aged 205..............
........... Abraham, having been called to relinquish his country, 107
carries it into effect the same year..
Within the periods comprised in these chapters, we find the Eminent
men of the following names, of which some few details have come down to us, Antedilubut not sufficient to form a separate Biography. Enoch, son of
f vian and Cain, after whom his first city was called. LAMECH. JABAL, a tent- Ages. maker, who first practised husbandry on a large scale. JUBAL, inventor of musical instruments. TUBAL-CAIN, first artificer in brass and iron, whence probably VULCAN; dropping Tu, and substituting v for B; no unusual change. SETH, the first great link from Adam in the sacred genealogy. Ham, the father of Canaan. ASHUR, founder of Nineveh. MIZRAIM, the supposed founder of Egypt. EBER, whence some imagine the Hebrews derived their name. PELEG, so called, because in his days the earth was divided. TERAH, Abraham's father. CHEDOR-LAOMER, with his tributary and allied kings. MELCHISEDEC. ISHMAEL, who died aged 137, father of twelve princes. Esau, progenitor of the Edomites, ancestor of an illustrious train of Dukes and Kings; among the last of whom we find JOBAB, supposed by some to be JOB.
FLOURISHED ABOUT A.M. 2484, B.C. 1520.
in all the canons.
A.M. 2481. JOB, in Hebrew, 31x, or “ THE PERSECUTED,” is, in various B.c. 1520. respects, one of the most extraordinary books of the Bible; and
has, hence, more than any other, engaged the attention of the learned in all ages. The difficulty of assigning to this book an accurate date, has induced us to follow the stream of sacred history with regard to all the other portions of the canon thus far, without interfering with the interesting questions connected with the chronology of the book of Job. We are now approaching the latest date which has any respectable advocates; and upon our plan of recording every considerable opinion upon controverted questions in literature, we shall present a brief sketch of the various hypotheses of learned
men respecting this interesting poem. Book of Job Of the sacred character of the book of Job there never has been
any doubt, and hence, it stands, with universal consent, in the Jewish and Christian canons; and is equally appealed to by the eastern and western churches. Yet there are various circumstances that distinguish it from all the other books of holy writ. Its author is unknown, otherwise, at least, than by conjecture: in the midst of different narratives and poems, confined exclusively, with this exception, to Jewish customs and annals, it contains the history of foreigners, and, in the opinion of many critics, of pagans, widely differing in habits, in ritual, and in religious tenets: and it is written in a language equally distinct from the rest of the sacred
text, having, indeed, pure Hebrew for its basis, but with perpetual Its high tesselations of pure Arabic. Its style, arrangement, and general
composition, are of the highest pretensions, and stand altogether unrivalled; disclosing a poem with which antiquity has nothing to
compare, in copiousness, sublimity, magnificence, decoration, or Opinion of pathos. “ The whole book of Job,” says Mr. Pope, “ with regard Pope.
both to sublimity of thought and morality, exceeds beyond all comparison, the most noble parts of Homer.” The hero of the poem is incidentally alluded to on a few occasions by other writers, in
both the Old and New Testaments; but it has been made another Disputed point of controversy whether Job were a real or imaginary characchronology of the book. ter; and if the former, in what epoch he flourished; whether before
to the Greek and other
the exody, or migration, of the Israelites from Egypt, during the A.M. 2484. splendid reigns of David and Solomon, or subsequently to the Baby- B.C. 1520. lonian captivity ?
Of the reality of the personage of Job, no one can entertain a doubt who gives credit to the Prophecy of Ezekiel, the epistle of St. James, or the apocryphal book of Tobit; for in all these he is alluded to as a real character; and as such he has been contemplated immemorially in Arabia as well as in Palestine. The most ancient monument we have concerning the genealogy of Job, and which has been received and allowed by Aristeas, Philo, Polyhistor, and several of the early fathers of the church, is contained in a supplement to the canonical book, to be met with in the Greek, Supplement Arabic, and Vulgate versions, and is conjectured to have been copied from the old Syriac translation. It is hence, unquestionably, versions. of very high antiquity, and runs as follows: “ Job dwelt in the Ausitis, (land of Uz or Utz,) on the confines of Idumæa and Arabia. His name was at first Jobab. He married an Arabian woman, by whom he had a son called Ennon. He himself was the son of Zerah, of the posterity of Esau, and a native of Bozrah; so that he was the fifth from Abraham. He reigned in Edom, (Idumæa,) and the kings before and after him reigned in the following order: Balak, the son of Beor, in the city of Dinhabah, (often spelt Denaba ;) and next in succession Job, otherwise called Jobab. To Job succeeded Husham, prince of Teman. After him reigned Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated the Midianites in the field of Moab. The name of his city was Arith. The friends of Job, who came to visit him, were Eliphaz, of the line of Esau, and king of Teman; Bildad, king of the Shuhites; and Zophar, the king of the Naamathites."
If this genealogy, which has the sanction of both the Greek and Genealogy Latin fathers, be admitted, and the Job of the sublime poem which of Job bears his name, be, as above asserted, the same with the Jobab of the Books of Genesis and Chronicles, it will follow, as will be obvious from the annexed table, that he must have been contem. porary, or nearly contemporary, with Moses, each being but four generations removed from Isaac.
Jobab, or Job. It will likewise be plain, upon this view of the subject, that he reigned in the city of Denaba, or Dinhabah; for so the author of the first book of Chronicles expressly affirms. And it is an opinion General embraced by the majority of biblical writers, and especially by M. opinion of Huet, that Moses, whom we know to have resided for a period of
A.M. 2484. forty years with his father-in-law, Jethro, in the land of Midian, and B.C. 1520. consequently in a neighbouring region of Arabia, composed this
elevated narrative shortly after the death of Job, with whom it is
conceived that he was acquainted. Difficulties. There are, nevertheless, various difficulties that accompany both
these opinions. For, first, we are expressly told, in the opening of the book of Job, that the patriarch of this name resided in the land of Utz or Uz, which cannot easily be reconciled with his reigning in the city of Denaba ; since Eusebius and St. Jerom concur in placing this city in the land of Moab, between Areopolis and Heshbon, while they affirm that the Ausitis, or land of Uz, according to the popular tradition of the East, embraced the city of Astaroth Kernaim, on the farther side of the Jordan, upon the brook Jaabok, between Mahanaim and Edrai. Next, the Arabian writers, with one accord, trace the descent of Job from Ishmael, instead of from Esau, and make him the first of their three grand prophets; Jethro and Mahomet being the other two. This objection, however, may not be entitled to much attention. But it is more important to remark, thirdly, that the poem referred to closes with a passage which never could have been written by Moses, who lived but forty years in the land of Midian, and forty years more after his departure from it; for this passage informs us, that Job lived a hundred and forty years after his sufferings were completed, and that he saw his children's children to the fourth generation. And hence, it has been necessary for those who have contended that Moses was the writer of the narrative, to suppose, that the last three or four verses of the book are a supplement, added by some inspired, but later writer; in the same manner as Joshua, or some other person, must have added the account of the death and burial of Moses, at the end of his work, the Pentateuch.
This last supposition, however, has by no means proved satisfactory to many learned men; who, laying hold of the objection to which it relates, as well as of various others, have conceived the poem to have been written at a period subsequent to the facts narrated; by Elihu, who, though one of his associates, is represented as being far younger than the rest, or than Job himself; by Solomon, or by Ezra, during, or shortly after, the Babylonish captivity; while others have conceived the whole to be fabulous, and that there never was such a person as Job, or such a history as that on which the poem is founded. To all which opinions we shall find it neces
sary to advert presently. What is the But the most important question is, What is the object of the object of the book?
e poem? and how comes it that a work composed partly in a foreign
tongue, distinguished by an exotic theology, and wholly relating to a stranger, should be allowed an introduction into the Hebrew canon? And here it is chiefly that the critics and commentators upon the sacred writings have found themselves at a loss. The fo
lowing is the opinion of that excellent man and consummate scholar A.M. 2481. Dr. Lowth, and we give it as that which, till very lately, has been B.C. 1520. the common conjecture of men of learning upon the subject. “The Lowth's principal object,” says he, “held forth to our contemplation in this opini production, is the example of a good man, eminent for his piety, and of approved integrity, suddenly precipitated from the very summit of prosperity into the lowest depths of misery and ruin; who, having first been bereaved of his wealth, his possessions, and his children, is afterwards afflicted with the most excruciating anguish of a loathsome disease, which entirely covers his body. He sustains all, however, with the mildest submission, and the most complete resignation to the will of Providence. In all this,' says the historian, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.' And, after the second trial, .In all this did not Job sin with his lips.' The author of the history remarks upon this circumstance, a second time, in order to excite the observation of the reader, and to render him more attentive to what follows, which properly constitutes the true subject of the poem: namely, the conduct of Job with respect to his reverence for the Almighty, and the changes which accumulating misery might produce in his temper and behaviour. Accordingly, we find that another still more exquisite trial of his patience yet awaits him, and which, indeed, as the writer seems to intimate, he scarcely appears to have sustained with equal firmness, namely, the unjust suspicions, the bitter reproaches, and the violent altercations of his friends, who had visited him on the pretence of affording consolation. Here commences the plot or action of the poem; for when, after a long silence of all parties, the grief of Job breaks forth into passionate exclamations, and a vehement execration on the day of his birth, the minds of his friends are suddenly exasperated, their intentions are changed, and their consolation, if, indeed, they originally intended any, is converted into contumely and reproaches. The argument seems chiefly to relate to the piety and integrity of Job, and turns upon this point, whether he who, by the divine providence and visitation, is so severely punished and afflicted, ought to be accounted pious and innocent. The antagonists of Job in this dispute, observing him exposed to such severe visitations, conceiving that this affliction has not fallen upon him unmeritedly, accuse him of hypocrisy, and falsely ascribe to him the guilt of some atrocious but concealed offence. Job, on the contrary, conscious of no crime, and wounded by their unjust suspicions, defends his own innocence before God with rather more confidence and ardour than is commendable; and so strenuously contends for his own integrity, that he seems virtually to charge God himself with some degree of injustice. - “ On a due consideration of all these circumstances, the principal object of the poem seems to be this third and last trial of Job, froin the injustice and unkindness of his accusing friends. The conse