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“My Beloved Son, Come and Rest in Me”: Job’s Return to His Mother’s Womb (Job 1:21a) in Light of Egyptian Mythology

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AbstractJob 1:21a makes better sense when understood in light of the Egyptian idea of death as a return to the womb of the mother goddess; that mythology provides a much more likely context than the idea of “Mother Earth,” which is attested only in texts that are (or are likely to be) quite late. As in various other cases in the book (for example, in his expressions of preference for death) Job practices a kind of theological brinksmanship, crossing an apparent line only to pull back in the next breath or the next chapter. In light of the Hathor/womb headrests from the tombs at St. Étienne’s, it may be that Job’s theological rhetoric was not merely a literary invention.

Affiliations: 1: Fuller Theological Seminaryhays@fuller.edu

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685330-12341088
2012-01-01
2016-12-10

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