Job’s Dark View of Creation:

How to Cite

Häner, T. (2020). Job’s Dark View of Creation:: On the Ironic Allusions to Genesis 1:1-2:4a in Job 3 and their Echo in Job 38-39. Old Testament Essays, 33(2), 266-284. Retrieved from


Research on the intertextual relations between Job 3 and Gen 1:1-2:4a (undertaken by Michael Fishbane, Leo Perdue, Samuel Balentine and others) has demonstrated the likely presence of conspicuous parallels between the two texts. However, the rhetorical function of these connections remains an unsolved problem.  This article’s reassessment of the lexical, motivic and structural parallels as well as the comparison of Job 3 with Jer 20:14-18 attempts to show that not only does Job’s soliloquy refer to the priestly creation hymn by means of allusive irony to facilitate a critical engagement with the Torah. Also, the same rhetorical device is used in Yhwh’s first speech (Job 38-39) which in turn alludes to Job 3 and is understood as ironically reversing Job’s allusive curse and lament. Based on these findings we may conclude that Job is ultimately defeated by Yhwh with his own arguments, yet not in a harsh, but rather in a soft and mitigative way.


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