top of page

Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Job: Job's Era

10. The era of Job is search out. It is proven that he is more ancient than Moses.

Moreover, in what age Job rose to prominence, is obscure, because the Holy Spirit has passed over that in silence, and his parents and ancestors are doubtful. The various opinions of the Hebrews are thus reviewed by Maimonides,[1] More Nebochim, part III, chapter 22: Some assert that he lived in the times of the Patriarchs, others in the time of Moses, others in the time of David, and yet others that he was of those going up from Babylon. To us he certainly appears to be more ancient than Moses himself, both because his life was prolonged unto his two hundredth year, while the length of life in the time of Moses was shorter: and because he as head-of-household sacrificed, which under the law and after it was not lawful; but it was lawful before it, after the manner of the Patriarchs: and because he nowhere makes mention of the reception of the law and God’s miracles toward the people of Israel: and because no vestiges of the later Mosaic age are found in the book of Job: and because the frequency and manner of the Divine revelations more agrees with the times of the Patriarchs. Nevertheless, since in Genesis among the descendants of Nahor, or of Abraham through Keturah, Job is nowhere listed, nor, might I add, would mention of a man so illustrious for piety and patience, and the greatest of the men of the East, have been passed over in it, if he had lived in the times of Isaac or Jacob: we subscribe our computation from the most accurate of today’s Chronologists, Ussher, Broughton,[2] and Ballie,[3] who, pushing him back to the times of Egyptian servitude, locate him between Joseph and Moses.

[1] Moses Maimonides, or Rambam (1135-1204), is reckoned by many to be the greatest Jewish scholar of his age. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Rabbinic tradition, natural science, and Aristotelian philosophy, Maimonides demonstrates great command and almost equal facility. [2] Hugh Broughton (1549-1612) was an English divine, sympathetic to the Puritans. He developed an international reputation for his Hebrew scholarship. [3] Robert Baillie (1602-1662) was a Scottish covenanting minister and theologian. He was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, and his letters contain an invaluable account of the times. In addition to other works, he wrote Operis historici et chronologici libri duo.

1 Comment

bottom of page