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This third edition of the Anchor Bible Commentary on the Book Of Job (Volume 15 in the series) contains numerous new, revised or augmented notes. Of special interest is the inclusion of readings from the earliest translation of the Book Of Job, the recently published Targum (Aramaic translation) recovered from Cave XI of Khirbet Qumran, in the Judean Wilderness near the Dead Sea, perhaps the version which was suppressed by Rabbi Gamaliel.
The Book Of Job is one of the indisputably great works of world literature. The story is well-known: a prosperous and happy man, distinguished for rectitude and piety, falls victim to a series of catastrophes. And the occasion (if not the reason) for these undeserved calamities: Satan's challenge to Yahweh to test the sincerity of Job's faith.
It is by now proverbial to refer to the patience of Job. Yet this traditional image derives only from the Prologue and the Epilogue of the book. But the Job who confronts us in the long middle section is anything but patient. His outcries against God raise the question of theodicy, or divine justice, which occupies the greater portion of Job's Dialogue with his comforters.
But it is inevitably as literature that Job must be read and enjoyed. This translation is marked by a concerted effort to capture as much as possible the poetic and metrical characteristics of the original Hebrew: the result is a version notable for its accuracy and directness. The experience of reading the Book Of Job in this translation, then, is to rediscover an exceedingly eloquent masterpiece. In the terse, rhythmic quality of the translation, the incisive comprehensiveness of the introduction and notes, Job maintains the high standard of scholarship, literateness, and readability established in The Anchor Bible.