On God’s Providence, An Essay on Aquinas’ Literal Exposition on Job – Part 2

The Disputatio among Job and his friends: anthropology, teleology, eschatology 

Job’s friends, as is well known, argue that if he has experienced the kind of suffering which he has experienced, then this must be recompense for sin. If he will repent, he will be restored. If he does not repent, then this is final proof of his sinfulness. Job denies any consciousness of the kind of sin that would account for the level of punishment that he has experienced. He says, poetically, that he wishes to see his sins weighed against his punishments (6.1). Thomas is careful to say that Job is not, strictly speaking, morally unblemished. ‘’Because of the frailty of the human condition, no man, however just he may appear, is immune from sin. Nevertheless, in just men sins are not grave and mortal, but light and venial, and they come about from negligence and error.’62 The point is that Job’s sins have not merited what he took to be a reasonable recompense. The case of the friends amounts to saying there is a visible cause and effect at work: Job has sinned because he has suffered adversity, and indeed, he must have sinned greatly because he has suffered greatly. 

While the exposition of the speeches is detailed and interesting, I will pick out three elements in Thomas’ interpretation of the debate that are noteworthy. First, Thomas holds a rich anthropology that builds on that of Aristotle, taking full account of the realities of the bodily and social nature of human beings, as well as the distinctive intellectual human powers that enable a life of contemplatio, which is the true end of the human being. Second, Thomas extends teleology into eschatology, finding in Job’s speeches a confession of the resurrection to come, when human beings will be rewarded and punished according to the justice of their lives in this age, and the virtuous will be freed from the corruption and limitations that mark this age, so as to reach their divinely ordained end. Third, this eschatology is knowable only by revelation, a revelation given finally in the New Testament, and vouchsafed to Job by a special prophetic insight; nevertheless, this revelation does not nullify, but completes what is available to human reason, so that the evidence of the world of sense and history is rendered more, not less intelligible by it.

In interpreting Job’s laments, Thomas gives the outlines of a subtle anthropology, which is able to account for Job’s plaintive cries without recourse to an allegorical interpretation, while yet maintaining Job’s innocence and patience intact.63 Job’s laments are expressions that arise spontaneously from his bodily, animal nature. 

Now someone could say: You do indeed have cause for pain, but you ought not to burst forth into words of pain over it. Against this objection Job responds on the basis of reactions which are found in other animals. For man is like other animals in his sensitive nature; hence, reactions which are found in the sensitive nature are present in man naturally, just as they are in other animals. But what is natural cannot be totally suppressed . . . it appears natural for animals to express internal afflictions with the voice. 64

Job’s patience in the face of bodily affliction

Because of the sensitive nature of the human being, the kind of suffering Job has experienced, leads inevitably to sensual pain and emotional sadness. 65 But Job’s patience is precisely his determination not to be overwhelmed by it: ‘Now the condition of impatience exists when someone’s reason is so reduced by sadness that it contradicts divine judgments. But if someone should suffer sadness according to his sensual side but his reason should conform to the divine will, there is no defect of impatience.’ 66 At this point Thomas explicitly identifies Job’s position as that of the Peripatetics, in contrast to the Stoics, ‘that a wise man is indeed saddened, but through reason he strives not to be led into an unsuitable condition’. 67 While the comparisons to the Stoics and Peripatetics may strike one as fanciful, in fact, close examination of Job’s reasoning makes the comparisons apt. Aquinas is obviously not saying that Job explicitly thought in these categories, but he makes a strong case that Job’s view supports that of the Peripatetics, that the animal nature of the human being precludes an elimination of sadness. What Thomas means by ‘sadness’ is bodily, social and emotional discomfort. Christian patience has a different character, and Aquinas is clearly saying that Job displayed that kind of patience in the face of bodily affliction.

Thomas is sympathetic to Job’s plight, in part, because he holds that pain impedes one’s reason, and thus Job’s condition makes for a struggle. ‘For where there is vehement pain in the senses, it is necessary that the attention of the soul be distracted or impeded from the consideration of intellectual matters.’68 This potential disharmony, which Aquinas calls distraction, itself results from the sinful state of human beings in the time after the first sin, resulting in a kind of battle within the human being. 69 So, Aquinas does not deny or minimize the suffering of Job. For Aquinas, it really is the case that someone in Job’s condition, who has lost his property, his children, his health, and now his reputation and the consolation of friends, has good grounds for wishing to die, and even a certain case for cursing the day of his birth –  unless there is held out to him the prospect of a better hope in which all this will be turned to good.70

So Job undertakes to argue with his friends, asserting his innocence and pointing to the faultiness of their own reasoning, especially in claiming that he was receiving a just punishment for a sin that, on the evidence of the life Job describes in chapter 29, must have been invisible. In the course of commenting on this debate, Thomas makes one of the most startling comments in the whole of his corpus. Recall that the premise of Thomas’ interpretation is to take seriously what God has said in the heavenly scene at the outset: Job fears God. Job’s friends had, then, unjustly accused him, and indeed with mounting vehemence, in the course of their debate with him. Drawing on the Old Testament prohibition of being a ‘respecter of persons’, Thomas comments on 13.8 thus:

It is respect of persons if someone contemns another’s apparent justice or denies it because of the greatness of the other disputant although he does not know his justice. If Job’s friends judged him to be iniquitous, then, although they saw manifest justice in him, and they did so solely out of consideration for divine greatness, although they could not understand according to their own dogmas how Job might justly be punished by God, in their own judgment, by which they condemned Job, they seemed as it were to be respecting the person of God. 71

In other words, to betray their own best judgment, in the apparently pious cause of defending God’s righteousness, is injustice. Thomas goes on to note with Job that God does not need their help.72 Moreover, ‘since God is truth, but every lie is contrary to the truth, whoever uses a lie to show God’s magnificence by this very fact acts against God’. 73 Sophistry, even when cleverly employed to defend God’s honour, is not just bad philosophy, but an offence to God. For Aquinas, philosophical and theological truth complement and never contradict one another. 74 What is revealed renders what is observable more intelligible.

A better hope is just what Thomas has Job confess, as he slowly builds his case. 75 He assails the easy correlation his friends affirm between righteousness and prosperity, sinfulness and suffering in this life. 76 If the friends want to affirm that divine government corresponds to anything human beings can call just, then they have to abandon their straightforward moral calculus. But further, Job shows that there is something in the human being that is orientated toward another life. Using something like an anthropological argument, Job asserts that human desires are future-orientated, and infers that this points in some shadowy way to something more than one can attain in this present life. 77 He also takes note of the assertion within the Jewish tradition of God’s care for human beings, and argues that this is unreasonable and difficult to ascertain, if it extends only to this present life. 78

Job asserts God’s help and vindication

Job’s convictions, however, do not arise simply from observation, but from faith in a special prophetic revelation. The crux of Job’s claim is that divine justice and providence will be apparent in a future life, where he hopes for vindication. Despite the fact that he can expect no help from other human beings (and his friends seem to be proof of that), nor can he help himself, 79 Job asserts that God will help him, and indeed vindicate him. ‘For I know that my Redeemer lives, and on the last day I will rise from the earth. And I will be surrounded by my own hide again and in my flesh I shall see God. Whom I myself am going to see and my eyes are going to behold, and no one else’ (Job 19.25-27). This passage is not without its interpretative difficulties, both in understanding the meaning of the underlying Hebrew term goel, which the Vulgate here translates redemptor, and in determining whom Job is calling upon.80 The Jewish exegete Robert Gordis takes the view that in the midst of his bitterness, Job ‘rises to a vision of faith in the God of justice, whom he sees vividly before him. acting as his kinsman and Redeemer, the avenger of the wrongs he has suffered’.81

Yet, Gordis also notes that in interpretation of 19.25-27, ‘Virtually the only point of consensus among moderns, as against older exegetes, is that the passage does not refer to resurrection after death, in view of Job’s clear-cut rejection of the doctrine in 14.7- 23. 82 By contrast. ‘the older Jewish and Christian exegetes saw in 19.25 and the following an affirmation of faith in bodily resurrection’83 because they, like Thomas, read Job’s lament in 14.7ff. in a radically different way than modern exegetes. First, Thomas, like many older Jewish exegetes, following one of two possible readings in the Masoretic tradition,84 reads a confession of faith in 13.15: ‘Even if he kills me, l will hope in him, but I will still charge my own ways in his sight.’85 Modern exegetes generally follow a reading that gives the translation, ‘He will slay me; I have no hope’ (Revised Standard Version). What follows in Thomas’ interpretation of chapter 14 is a discussion of the frailty of the human being, and particularly a demonstration of the reasonableness of the supposition of the human being’s eternity, based on the great esteem and care God shows to him. 86 Having now for the first time disclosed his conviction about another life. Thomas says, Job in 14.7ff. speaks poetically about the condition of the human being in this life, considered in itself. 87 So, Thomas’ reading of these crucial texts, while not popular among modern commentators, is at least not tendentious, and parallels traditional Jewish and Christian readings.

ln commenting on 19.25-27, Thomas gives a fully-fledged Christian interpretation, digressing three times to bring in seven scriptural quotations, six from the New Testament. At this point. the teleology that Thomas has earlier adumbrated, that is, that the end of the human being is union with God, becomes an eschatology: the Redeemer is Christ and this end will come with the resurrection of the dead at the last day. 88 In his confession, Job speaks ‘in the spirit of faith’. 89 What he affirms here coheres with and completes what he had argued for on the basis of the realities of human life and the implications of affirming that God is just. 90

God’s speech to Job and the narrative epilogue 

When the debate has run its course, and Elihu has intervened, objecting to Job’s friends, as well as Job, God then appears and speaks. Thomas interprets this as the recounting of a revelation given to Job. God acts here as the determiner, or judge, of a mediaeval disputation, since human wisdom is not sufficient to comprehend the truth of divine providence.91 His speech accomplishes several things. First, he rebukes the friends of Job for the injustice of their charges against a righteous man. Second, he demonstrates to Job the paucity of his knowledge and power. 92 For Aquinas, the point of the long speeches about the wonders of creation is to show that Job fails to understand fully even God’s effects in the realm of nature, let alone the nature of God Himself. 93 That something of God’s reality may be inferred from his effects in creation is the foundation of Aquinas’ theory of analogical language in theological discourse. This theory holds that while human language about God is not univocal, neither is it equivocal. Rather, because there is a relation between the Creator and his creatures, one can use human language to speak meaningfully about God, while that language is never adequate to its object. Aquinas never affirms this theory explicitly in the Expositio, but it is crucial to the Summa contra Gentiles, Book III, and it clearly underlies his interpretation of the divine speeches. 94 Thus, if Job cannot understand even the full reality of God’s effects in creation, how can he hope to dispute with God? Now, Job, Thomas tells us, only wanted to dispute with God as a pupil, not an adversary. Nevertheless, while revelation may make the world more intelligible, and thus underline how we may properly call God just without resort to equivocation or sophistry, the true quality of his justice will always remain beyond our grasp.

The speech about Leviathan and Behemoth, Thomas tells us, is a figural representation of the power of the devil. 95 On a strictly literary level, this is less forced than one might think. Thomas notes that there are analogies explicitly mentioned in the text: the Behemoth is ‘the beginning of God’s ways” and Leviathan is ‘king over all the sons of pride’. This suggests to him, not unreasonably, that these animals are meant to represent something. 96 ln addition, Thomas points out, the whole book began with a heavenly accuser unleashed to afflict Job. 97 The literal depiction of the two great beasts of land and sea is intended to evoke awe in the woebegone Job, to convince him that he is in need of help against forces greater than himself, and to move him to take more care to temper his speech while faced with an enemy whose goal is to provoke blasphemy. 98 Third, God’s speech leads Job to repentance. The text does not specify what he repents of, simply that he repents, and so this verse occasions a great deal of controversy among commentators. Thomas finds two elements. First, he repents of having spoken lightly, though not, according to Thomas, out of haughtiness or untruth 99 and so gave an occasion for scandal by calling God to a debate with him (13.3) and putting his justice first. 100 ln other words, these smaller faults militate against the purpose of God, to manifest virtue in Job, and they cause scandal among his friends. 101

Second, he repents, not of pride in action, but ‘some inward proud thought’, which God could see, even if his friends could not. 102

In all of this, Thomas strikes a balance between his earlier affirmations of Job’s justice and his moral imperfection. First, righteous Job is not held to be faultless. Even if he is not guilty of a grave sin, indeed is a model of virtue, he remains a man touched by sin. This is evident in his repentance in dust and ashes and his recognition of his need for God in the face of the threat of the adversary. Second, however, Thomas does not simply level all moral imperfection. 103 The righteous Job will go on to pray for his friends, and God will reward them because of his prayer. The friends had accused him unjustly. Human affairs are indeed ruled by a justice that human beings cannot fully comprehend, but that in the fullness of time will be manifest, and will be manifest as justice in a way that human beings can see and comprehend as such.

God superabundantly restores what Job had lost

God restores Job’s property and gives him children again, and Thomas takes pains to show that He does so wisely and in superabundance. 104 But doesn’t that upset the whole eschatological scheme, and worse, doesn’t it subvert the idea that reward and punishment don’t appear in this life? 105 Thomas explains this in two ways. First, he cites Matthew 6.33, ‘seek first the kingdom and all else will be added to you’. Second, he says that this is in keeping with the old covenant, ‘in which temporal goods were promised so that in this way, through the prosperity which Job had recovered, an example might be given to others so that they might turn back to God’. 106 Without the divine rebuke of Job’s friends, the situation might even lend itself to their interpretation, that God had punished Job, and now restores him because he had repented. So, for Aquinas, divine revelation is again crucial to interpreting human affairs properly.

In assessing Aquinas, reading of Job, it is important first of all not to assume that there is some ground of assured modern scholarship on which one may stand in order to deliver a judgment. As Brevard Childs describes the contemporary state of discussion on Job: ‘A review of the problems arising from the exegesis of the Book of Job confirms the impression that Old Testament scholarship has reached an impasse.’ 107 Since no modern scholar seems to have won over the guild as a whole, or even a large part of it, even on the main issues, one cannot posit as a standard a ‘modern interpretation’ that results from progress in historical or philological studies since Aquinas’ time. 108

The ancient world, both Jewish and Christian, was not unaware of the difficulties of interpretation the book of Job posed. 109 Nonetheless, unlike some other of the Wisdom literature, such as Ecclesiastes, which was challenged as late as the Council at Jamnia, the canonical status of Job was never a matter of controversy. 110 Gordis explains this as the result of smoothing over the ‘heretical’ aspects of the book, since ‘only the Job of the prose tale impinged upon the consciousness of ancient readers’. 111 In particular, Gordis claims that the later fortunes or Job depended upon finding in the book an affirmation, rather than a denial of the doctrine or the resurrection. This doctrine, Gordis claims, had gained the ascendancy by the late Second Temple period. In the early Second Temple era, when Gordis believes Job to have been written, the doctrine of resurrection had not yet penetrated Judaism. 112 Gordis, then, assumes that Job denied the resurrection and that later exegetes had to cover this heretical stance in order to save the book’s canonicity.

A theological reception and appropriation of Job 

Another way of viewing this process, however, would conclude that the ancient process of canonization involved. not a ‘smoothing over’ of ‘heresies’, but a theological reception and appropriation of Job, in which the text was harmonized with other texts within a larger theological synthesis – much like the process of theological exegesis that Thomas undertook as a magister in sacra pagina. In fact, the emphasis on Job’s righteousness agrees with what we find in other canonical texts. The prose tale, which lauds Job’s fear of God, seems to have ‘impinged upon the consciousness’ of the author or redactor of Ezekiel 14.14, in which Job is ranged alongside Noah and Daniel as a model of righteousness. James 5.11 makes Job a model of patience in suffering as one awaits ‘the coming of the Lord’. The Letter of James, like Aquinas. interprets Job’s patience not only in light of a future resurrection, as the ancient Hebrew commentators did, but in light of the Christian expectation of the second coming of Christ. The reference to a resurrection, as Gordis acknowledges, is based on a reading of Job 19.25-27 that is rejected by modern exegetes, who assume that Job denies a doctrine of resurrection in Job l4.7ff. Thomas offers an alternative view of Job 14.7ff. that allows him to uphold the doctrine of the resurrection.

Thomas shares with other traditional exegetes a commitment to make sense of the text as a unified work. He avoids the ‘atomization’ of the text that Robert Alter deplores in historical-critical exegesis.113 The atomization of the text arises in part from a shift in the locus of interest, away from the message the text bears within a tradition of faith and a shared way of life, and toward historical reconstruction of the circumstances and process of the text’s production. 114 The results of this attempted reconstruct1on are particularly dubious in the case of the book of Job, about which so little consensus has emerged. Thomas’ interpretation struggles with the text as it is, and employs a subtle anthropology and a profound metaphysics of God as the author, dispenser and end of all things, 115 in order to explain how the narrative prologue and epilogue and the speeches might be fitted into an overarching interpretation. It might seem that Aquinas falls into the other camp that Alter criticizes, those who pursue ‘questions about the biblical view of man, the biblical notion or the soul, the biblical vision of eschatology’, while neglecting character, motive and narrative design. 116 Thomas, however, gives close attention to these questions in the course of his exegesis. Furthermore. Alter recognizes that Job is ‘philosophic’ in character. 117

Thomas, then, reads Job in a traditional manner. That is not the same thing as reading it in simply a conventional manner. If Thomas were bound by convention, his commentary would be much more in the shape of Gregory the Great’s Moralia. Aquinas reads Job in a traditional manner, in that he reads from within a tradition, engaging in an ongoing, living appropriation of the text within a community in which the text functions canonically. In so doing he employs the philosophical tools and insights available to him, in order, from the text, to render life more intelligible. No one who appreciates Thomas’ approach would deny that his exegesis might be surpassed by use of better historical and philological tools; 118 but his work itself is an ongoing reference point for Christian exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. The profound influence of the Expositio super lob ad litteram testifies to the contribution Aquinas has made to ongoing theological engagement with this challenging text.

Top image credit: Job Trusting God Despite Afflictions, illustration from © GoodSalt.com. Used with permission.


62 On Job 6.1ff.; 13-18 (p. 137- 38. On mortal and venial sins, see ScG, III, 139.

63 For a resume of Thomas’ anthropology in the Expositio, see M.F. Manzanedo, ‘La antropologia filosofica en el comentario tomista allibro de. Job’, Angelicum, 62 (1985), pp. 419-71 and ‘La antropologia teol6gia en el comentano tomista al libro de Job’. Angelicum, 64 (1987), pp. 301 – 31. While fairly exhaustive, the articles are arranged topically, with little analysis, and the distinction between ‘theological’ (pertaining exclusively to a human being’s relationship to God) and ‘philosophical’ (covering everything else) is not apt.

64 0n Job 6.5, 63- 70, 76-77 (pp. 138-39). Interestingly, Aquinas makes a similar point about the advantage of vocal prayer as especially fitted to man’s bodily nature in ST, 11- 11, 83, 12. 

65 On Job 6.5, 81-94 (p. 139). See also Schreiner, Where Shall Wisdom be Found?, pp. 78-79 on the difference in attitude toward suffering between Gregory and Thomas. Schreiner’s contrast may be too sharply drawn, since Aquinas does admit the variety of purposes of suffering that Gregory posits (On Job 7.21 , 527-37 (p. 156)). As with his positive evaluation of Gregory’s work in the Prologue, it is best not to take too lightly Aquinas’ approbations. On the estimation of Gregory, see de Lubac, Exegese Medievale 4/2, 2, pp. 285- 302. 

66 On Job 6.10, 128-33 (p. 140). 

67 On Job 6.12, 163–68 (p. 140). 

68 On Job 16.7, 70–72 (p. 245). 

69 On Job 7.10, 474-80 (p. 155). See also ST, I, 94, 1.

70 ‘Although being and living, considered in itself, is desirable, yet being and living in misery in a situation of this kind is to be renounced, although sometimes being in misery may be sustained willingly for the sake of some end.’ On Job 3.3, 81 – 85 (p. 101). Timothy Jackson disputes the claim that Job must be sustained by the hope of a remedy, let alone immortality: ‘Because the possibility of all persons loving and being loved is such an overwhelming good … it could outweigh even in the minds of the afflicted the tragic losses they experience in reality.’ ‘Must Job Live Forever? A Reply to Aquinas on Providence’, The Thomist, 62 (1998), pp. 1-39 (34). One must choose which of these estimations of Job’s situation seems more realistic. Furthermore, Jackson wants to identify with the Arminian tradition (p. 18), while questioning the certitude of God’s triumph over evil (pp. 19-20). But Arminius confesses what Jackson does not: the final triumph of God, and the creatures He redeems, over sin, death, mourning, pain, and weeping. Such promises occur so often and so unqualifiedly in the New Testament, that Jackson’s counter-proposals are simply staggering in their audacity. 

71 On Job 13.8, 94-103 (p. 215). 

72 On Job 13.9, 121-24 (p. 215).

73 0n Job 13.9,1131-35 (p. 215-16). 

74 Yaffe, ‘Interpretive Essay’, pp. 1-11. The well-known Thomistic principle is found in ST, I, I, 8, ad 2; I, 60, 1, ad 3. 

75 Job has held to the hope of eternal life all along, but only reveals this in the course of the debate, as he attacks the arguments of his friends. See On Job 3.13, 349- 51 (p. 106). 

76 See On Job 6.1ff; 1ff. (pp. 137ff.); On Job 9.1ff.; 1ff. (pp. 165ff.); On Job 13.1ff., 1ff. (pp. 213ff.). 77 On Job14.18ff.; 247-335. See Chardonnens, L’Homme sous le regard de la providence, pp. 81- 85. 

78 0n Job !4.5-6, 1- 10 (p. 224). 

79 On Job 6.10-11, 169-240 (pp. 141-42).

80 For discussion of the complexities of translating the term. see Edwin M. Good. In Turns of Tempest: A Reading of Job (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), pp. 257 – 58.

81 Robert Gordis, The Book of Job: Commentary, new translation, and special studies (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978), p. 528. Gordis also offers supporting for the identification of the vindicator with God (pp. 205- 6): for this identification. see also E. Dhorme, A Commentary on The Book of Job(London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1967), pp. 283 84: Robert Gordis. The Book of God and Man: A Study of Job (Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press. 1965). pp. 223-·24. For a Survey of the history of exegesis of Job 19.25-27, see J. Speer, “Zur Exeges von Hiob 19.25-27. in Zeischrift Fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 25 (1905). pp. 47-140.

82 Gordis, The Book of Job, p. 528. 

83 Gordis, The Book of Job, p. 204. 

84 See Gordis, The Book of Job, p. 144.

85 0n Job 13. 15, 217- 32 (p. 218). 

86 On Job 14.5-6. 1–10 (p. 224). 

87 On Job 14.6, 7. 57- 61. 62-67 (p. 225).  

88 On Job 19.25-27, 245- 337 (pp. 269-70). 

89 On Job 19.23. 259- 60 (p. 269). 

90 Susan Schreiner says: “Although the doctrine of immortality was. at one level, the subject of the debate between Job and his friends … the perception of order was really at the heart of the controversy’ (Where Shall Wisdom be Found?, p. 74). For Job of course, according to Thomas. it is only in light of immortality that such an order in history is plausible. 

91 On Job 38.1, 5- 8 (p. 4 I 5). 

92 0n Job 40. 1. 6- 16 (p. 443). 

93 On Job 38. 1-2. 74- 81 (p. 417). 

94 See Chardonnens, L’Homme sous le regard de Ia providence, pp. 237-51.

95 On Job 40.10, 221 – 24 (p. 448). 

96 On Job 40.10, 258-81 (pp. 448-49). 

97 On Job 40.10. 269- 72 (p. 449). 

98 On Job 40.27. 655–64 (p. 457). 

99 0n levity see ST. Il-l, 122. 3: 11-11. 68, 4; 73. 3. Aquinas· text translates 39.34 (MT, 40.4): qui leviter locutus sum respondere quid possum (What can I respond, who have spoken lightly?’). The RSV, rollowing the MT (en qalloti). translates the subordinate clause, ‘Behold, I am of small account’. ln the MT, Job makes a statement about his humble condition, while in the Vg. (both the Sixto-Clementine and the version Thomas used), Job confesses to a light manner of speaking. Nevertheless, in the following verse in all versions, Job rues his speech. Thomas is led to find precisely two types of regretted speech by the reference to having spoken twice, but this is probably a Hebrew parallelism of intensification, meaning several times. (See Gordis, The Book of Job, p. 466.) 

100 On Job 39.33-35,343- 61 (p. 441). 

101 On Job 38. 1. 9–13 (p. 415).

102 Yaffe maintains that Job, for Thomas, is ‘perfectly wise, but not perfectly just’; ‘Providence in Medieval Aristotelianism: Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas on The Book of Job’. Hebrew Studies, 20-21 (1979-80). pp. 62-74 (73-74). To posit full wisdom apart from full justice. however, is not in keeping with Thomas’ correlation of theoretical and practical reason. Furthermore, Aquinas does not think Job was perfectly just, strictly speaking (On Job 6. 1 ff. 13-18 (pp. 137- 38)). For an account of the complex connections between intellect, will and moral action in Aquinas. see Eleonore Stump, ‘Aquinas’ Account of Freedom: Intellect and Will’. The Monist, 80 (1997). pp. 576-97

103 0n the importance of this for Thomas, see ScG, Ill. 141-142. 

104 On Job 42.11-16, 119-205 (pp. 472–74). 

105 See Schreiner, Where Shull Wisdom he Found?, p. 90. 

106 On Job 42. 101ff, 103-12 (p. 472) ..

107 See Brevard Childs, lntroduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979), p. 533; E. Dhorme, A Commentary on The Book of Job (London: Nelson, 1967), p. 533. 

108 Childs sketches the main disagreement on pp. 528-33.

109 Childs, lntroduction to the Old Testament as Scripture, p . 528. 

110 Gordis, The Book of God and Man, pp 219 -24 

111 Gordis, The Book of God and Man, p. 222.

112 Gordis, The Book of God and Man, pp. 217, 223-24.

113 Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, 1981 ). 

114 Johnson, The Future of Catholic Biblical Scholarship, pp. 10- 29. 

115 See Chardonnens, L Homme sous le regard de la providence, pp. 53- I17. 

116 Chardonnens. L Homme sous le regard de la providence, p 17.

117 Chardonnens. L Homme sous le regard de la providence, p. 33.118 Alter suggests a path between atomization and failure to recognize, not naive, but artful and self-conscious redaction (pp. 19-20).

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