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1 The Opening of Heaven in the Book of Job

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Chapter Summary

The apocalyptic writers' concern to affirm and vindicate the reality of divine justice has obvious points of connection with the prophetic tradition. Those connections have received a great deal of attention, especially in relation to the eschatological dimension of apocalyptic literature. The visions of God described in the heavenly-ascent apocalypses also have clear antecedents in prophetic passages such as Isaiah 6:1-5 and Ezekiel. The most fundamental discordancy or "dissonance" encountered in the Book of Job is that between the encapsulating prose narrative or "frame" (1:1-2:13 and 42:7-17) and the encapsulated dramatic poem. An exegete who clearly recognized an apocalyptic dimension within the Book of Job was William Blake, whose powerful series of Job engravings has the cosmic conflict between God and the Satan respectively depicted as an ancient patriarch and a handsome angelic youth as its dominant theme.

Keywords: apocalyptic literature; Book of Job; divine justice; God; Satan

10.1163/9789004272040_003
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