Complaint and Transformation: Decreation at the Outset of Job

Jamie A. Grant

Highland Theological College, UHI, Scotland

 

The connection between wisdom and creation is readily observable in the biblical text. Even the most superficial reading of the wisdom texts of the Old Testament will recognize the importance of creation themes and vocabulary to the Sages. Equally, it is broadly acknowledged that the use of the Hebrew origins story in the sapiential literature is not just an interesting intertextual phenomenon: wisdom theology reflects a worldview that is, in some sense, fundamentally grounded in reflection on the created order. Creation in the wisdom literature is both comfort and challenge. It is the bedrock upon which the reader is encouraged to build her life, but it also contains the most incomprehensibly fearsome phenomena known to humanity. It is the symbol of both solid rock and uncontrollable chaos. Although frequently used to establish human finitude, by and large, creation is a positive theme in the wisdom books. It reflects the divine order in human experience. YHWH has established his ways in the cosmos and, therefore, the reader can expect a certain degree of order, security, and stability in a life lived according to wisdom principles. Proverbs 1–9 would be the primary example of this kind of establishing view of creation in wisdom texts: creation as the bedrock for a life well lived.

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