Monday, December 6, 2010

Job 13-18

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Job 13 - No mention of any women.

14:1-2 - "A mortal born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last."

15:14 - "What are mortals, that they can be clean? Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?"

Job 16 - No mention of any women.

17:13-15 - "If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness, if I say to the Pit, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother,' or 'My sister,' where then is my hope? Who will see my hope?"

Job 18 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

I know many religious people wonder how an atheist can like without believing in a god.

But my question is, if your actions and belief and worship are no guarantee that your God will do anything for you in your darkest times why believe at all? How does that belief get you through the day or benefit you in the slightest? Why does such a God deserve your worship and loyalty?

I would rather believe there is no God than that there is a God that would torment his most loyal subject and do nothing to ease his suffering. What kind of God is that to believe in?

I am still uncertain as to why Job still seems to love God when God is clearly refusing to do anything to help him. Even still Job cries out to know what his sins were that brought this upon him. Job does not realize that he has really done no wrong, and God is only ruining his life for a bet. I wonder if this is ever revealed to Job in the end or if he will forever think that he did something against God to bring this upon him.

Wednesday: More Job


  1. Am I being deliberately oversensitive when I read "What are mortals, that they can be clean? Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?" and parse it to read that being born of woman prevents righteousness? That the modifier "of woman" is used to intensify the lowliness of one's birth? Maybe. But remember that the church in Rome realized this very thing and felt it necessary to purify Mary by declaring even the act of sex that conceived her to be pure so that Jesus would suffer less the taint of being born of woman.

    I have no shame for being born of my mother.

  2. Gonna be honest, I was going to say something along those lines at first. But the passages in Job are a bit harder to analyze since they are more poetry than anything else (I imagine Psalms is going to be just as challenging, can't say I'm excited). When I read it the first time I had that reaction. "What?! You mean just because you came out of a woman you are inherently tainted?!" But if you look at it as poetry it's a little more vague. "Those born of woman" is meant to parallel with "mortals" so I think those born of woman is just a fancy way of saying "people" (ie. men). So I don't think in this case it's necessarily that the women make people unrighteous but man's inherently flawed nature that does. Of course you could go on to say that man is only inherently flawed because of original sin which was the fault of a woman and therefore it is in essence always the fault of women that men are so broken. But it's kind of a winding road to get there. So I don't find that sentence in and of itself offensive, but it doesn't help the Bible's overall tone of women suck and are the reason everything else sucks. Nor does it help when people decide to quote mine the Bible to find phrases that give them permission to think women are ordained by God as less than.

    And have I mentioned how much I hate poetry yet? I was always the worst and interpreting poetry in my English classes. Plus translating poetry is full of WAY more problems then translating prose, so I can only imagine that the original intent of many of these passages was completely lost somewhere along the way. There is no telling if the original intent was to parallel "mortals" with "those born of women" or whether the original phrasing actually does place blame on women for man's faults.

    And I am unfamiliar with Rome's story of Mary's birth. I never realized this was even an issue? Do you have any citations for that, I'd love to read up on it. :)

  3. Thank you for taking the poetry hit as well. I like the occasional poem, but I prefer prose if it's going over a page.

    I know, dad does whatever he does for nine months while mom gets big and then gives birth, all things going well, so the expression "of woman born" acknowledges this. However, we know from Leviticus that both menstruation and birth are unclean and require purification rites. I suppose I'd feel better about the mention here if it weren't degraded elsewhere in the same work.

    Here's the Wikipedia link to the Immaculate Conception. Basically, the idea is that Mary was conceived without the taint of original sin so that she would be sufficiently pure to be Christ's mom. Granted that, though, why couldn't God just take the taint off of everybody? I was raised Catholic-light (Episcopalian) rather than Catholic and so am not really up on this.

  4. I also would feel better about the mention as well if this wasn't the case. Like I said, I'm fairly certain the mention here is strictly for poetic purposes, but within the entire context of the Bible so far it is definitely not helping its case. It is completely understandable if someone were to take that verse and conclude that it was just another indication that women are unclean rather than taking it as poetic flare.

    I was raised Methodist so I really don't know much about the Catholic faith. Only knowledge I have of it is the crap the pope spews out now a days and whatever I happen to learn from the Monty Python guys. :P


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