« PreviousContinue »
FOR J. H. PARKER; AND J. G. AND F. RIVINGTON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-
YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE, LONDON.
In presenting this essay to the public, it will perhaps be necessary to explain, that it is brought forward not so much with the idea of establishing any of the facts adduced, as to court inquiry into the interesting subject on which it treats.
All that writers have yet been able to discover of the idèntity of Job and the book bearing his name is at the most but conjecture. There remains, therefore, ample room for research; and it may perhaps still never be our lot to arrive at any certainty on this point.
The Author of these few pages was induced to investigate the subject, by observing that Issachar had a son, who in our translation of the Pentateuch is called Job.
Since these pages were prepared for publication, he has seen for the first time the
Ephemerides Philologica of Herman von der Hardt, obligingly lent him by the Rev. Mr. Pusey, Reg. Professor of Hebrew in the University of Oxford. This Author treats of the identity of Job, and has advanced nearly the same opinions which are to be found in the following pages; and although this learned German had among his countrymen the reputation of being paradoxical, and was therefore little read, and consequently little known out of his own country, yet he was the first who advanced the opinion, that the books of the Prophets were written in metre; this, like his other conjectures, was treated with contempt by his cotemporaries, yet it has obtained more credit since the same hypothesis has been maintained and so ably supported by Bishop Lowth. His opinions respecting Job may therefore perhaps be relied on to a certain extent, and may be considered in some sort as an apology for the present conjectures.
THERE are few writings which have occupied so much of the time and labour of commentators as the book of Job, and few with so little apparent success; for there are scarcely any two who do not differ in their opinions on the subject.
That much industry and learning should have been already bestowed on this book is not to be wondered at, when we consider not only the sublimity of the language and composition, but also the fervent and cheering strains of piety, and the types and prophecies which it contains, as well as the excellent example which it affords.
Many and various conjectures have been formed as to the reality of Job's existence; and supposing him to have been a real character, which somea have doubted, there has been much difference of opinion as to the age in which he lived, and the author of the book which bears his name in our