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Home » Daily Readings, Old Testament, Wisdom

Vindication

Submitted by on Saturday, 4 October 2008One Comment
  • Reading I: Job 42:1-3,12-17
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 119:66,130
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 10:17-24

 

vindication

Vindication.  That is the word for the conclusion of Job’s story.  The author does not tell us what happens to his friends, but  that is immaterial now, even for the original readers of the story.  Job’s friends have been convincing him throughout to admit to his secret wrongdoings so that God would take care of him once more.  Job did not do so since he knew himself to be innocent.  But God vindicates his innocense by doing precisely — and more — what Job had said He would.

If one would go back a few chapters, one would find Job saying something about how he would be vindicated.  The NAB has this

But as for me, I know that my Vindicator (goeli) lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.
Whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him, (Job 19:25-27)

The NRSV, with annotations gives the following translation

For I know that my Redeemer {Or [Vindicator]} lives,
and that at the last he {Or [that he the Last]} will stand upon the earth; {Heb [dust]}
and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then in {Or [without]} my flesh I shall see God, {Meaning of Heb of this verse uncertain}
whom I shall see on my side, {Or [for myself]}
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!

Compare both translations to the King James Version, and one would realize that it is a difficult text even to interpret.

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

The difficulty in translation is due to the text itself which in the ancient versions were understood to have the idea of resurrection. Hence, even Jerome with his desire to maintain a "Hebrew flavor" for his translation ends up with the following:

scio enim quod redemptor meus vivat
et in novissimo de terra surrecturus sim
et rursum circumdabor pelle mea
et in carne mea videbo Deum
quem visurus sum ego
ipse et oculi mei conspecturi sunt
et non alius
reposita est haec spes mea in sinu me

For indeed I know that my Redeemer lives
and in the last day I will resurrect from the earth
and once more will I be wrapped in my skin
and in my flesh I will see God
whom I will look upon with my own eyes and not with another’s. My hope is hidden in my heart.

The Septuagint does not help much here, although it does have a pre-Christian rendering of a Hebrew text that the Alexandrian translator :

For I know that he is eternal who is about to deliver me,
and to raise up upon the earth my skin that endures these sufferings: for these things have been accomplished to me of the Lord;
which (things) I am conscious of in myself,
which mine eye has seen, and not another,
but all have been fulfilled to me in my bosom.

Here is my translation, offered so as to justify this blog and the subject I have started to write about:

For I know that my Redeemer/Vindicator lives
and my descendant will stand on the earth
and though my skin be consumed
yet in my flesh I will contemplate my God
whom I will see for myself
my eyes will see, not a stranger’s
This is fulfilled, even now,
in my heart.

The sense is that Job, his skin consumed by disease, will not see death before he sees the following.  He will still see his descendant (or descendants) alive on the earth and will be able to see God with his own eyes (and not die).  He says finally that this hope is fulfilled in his heart, very much like what the author of Hebrews writes, that faith is the realization — albeit in germine — of things hoped for.  If you would notice, he does see God, and now he sees other sons and daughters given to him.  What was the seed of his hope has now become a reality.

Bible Article

Read about the day’s Gospel reading here: The Christian Mission Anticipated
Job 42:1-3,12-17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Then Job answered the Lord, and said:
2I know that thou canst do all things, and no thought is hid from thee.
3Who is this that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have spoken unwisely, and things that above measure exceeded my knowledge.
12And the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. And he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
13And he had seven sons, and three daughters.
14And he called the names of one Dies, and the name of the second Cassia, and the name of the third Cornustibil.
15And there were not found in all the earth women so beautiful as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
16And Job lived after these things, a hundred and forty years, and he saw his children, and his children's children, unto the fourth generation, and he died an old man, and full of days.
Psalm 119:66,130
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
66Teach me goodness and discipline and knowledge; for I have believed thy commandments.
130The declaration of thy words giveth light: and giveth understanding to little ones.
Luke 10:17-24
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
17And the seventy-two returned with joy, saying: Lord, the devils also are subject to us in thy name.
18And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightening falling from heaven.
19Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall hurt you.
20But yet rejoice not in this, that spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven.
21In that same hour, he rejoiced in the Holy Ghost, and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight.
22All things are delivered to me by my Father; and no one knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and to whom the Son will reveal him.
23And turning to his disciples, he said: Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see.
24For I say to you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them.
Job 19:25-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
25For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth.
26And I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I will see my God.
27Whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another: this my hope is laid up in my bosom.

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One Comment »

  • 31st Sunday OT A: For Those Who Shared In The Body and Blood of the Lord said:

    […] The selection from Wisdom does not yet reflect the Christian belief in the “souls of the departed” although it already points to it. The passage considered in its historical background reflects the Jewish hope in the vindication of the just who suffers in the hands of the impious. To this latter, he may appear dead, but in reality — which is all that matters for the devotee — the just are “in the hands of God”. The phrase “yet is their hope full of immortality” echoes Job 19:25-27 as reflected in the LXX […]

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