Teodisee vraagstuk in Job as uitdaging aan die grense tussen samelewing (rein) en wildernis (onrein)

HG Pistorius, Dirk Human


The question regarding theodicy in Job as a challenge in
regard to the borders between society and wilderness

This article
focuses on the first divine speech in Job (38-39:33). In this regard the first divine speech
serves as polemics against the ruling Zeitgeist in post-exilic Israel. A message of hope, that
urges Israel to focus her attention on the one sovereign God sprouts forth from it, morphing the
first divine speech into a radical message of cultic and religious encouragement. The animals
listed in Job 38-39:33 show similarities when their habitat is taken into account. Habitat
outside of society and death as a conceptual location is linked to each other in various ways.
The article attempts to show that concepts such as being clean or unclean is created through
cultural processes of thought that links being clean with cosmic order and the presence of God.
Cultic cleanness is linked with ‘society’. The antitheses of ‘society’ is ‘wilderness’. In Job
38-41 God cares for animals that live in the ‘wilderness’. The negative associations that Israel
have towards ‘wilderness’ now stands in direct contrast towards God’s love and care.

In this regard Israel’s perception of true cleanness and uncleanness is placed in the spotlight.
Clean, unclean and right and wrong seems to be redefined and God claims authority over it all.
Suffering, deserved or not and our negative feelings towards suffering is redefined, seeing that
what we once thought was wrong and had negative feelings towards, just like uncleanness, now
seems to be a part of the one sovereign God.


Job 38 – 41; dispute in Job; theodicy in Job; clean; unclean

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5952/55-3-4-664


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ISSN 2226-2385 (online); ISSN 0028-2006 (print)

© 2014 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

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