Job and the chaos monsters

Those who’ve known me long would know that I have spent a lot of time reading the book of Job, part of the Hebrew Scripture or Old Testament. I’ve found it has helped me to deal with my experience of depression and, more recently, arthritis. At the moment I am in a class where we have been looking at how we teach the Hebrew Scripture, and as part of it I have been reading Ellen Davis’ Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament. In her treatment of the book of Job, Davis says that Job’s suffering is put into perspective when God says that he delights in the chaos monsters, the Behemoth and Leviathan. In the mythology of the Ancient Near East these chaos monsters were normally portrayed as enemies of the gods, creatures that needed to be eliminated to make way for divine order. But in Job they are portrayed as God’s creatures. (I would say that Job’s resilience makes him a wild, untameable creature too.)

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