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The Fourfold Structure of Job: Variations on a Theme

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image of Vetus Testamentum

This paper explores further the suggestion of Steinmann that the book of Job displays a consistent preference for fourfold structuring. After restricting the corpus of text to material belonging to the 'narrator', which includes the speech ascriptions introducing each speaker, attention is turned to four different areas. Regular groupings of four are discerned first in the narrative material of the Prologue, introduction to Elihu, and Epilogue, next in the speech ascriptions introducing the speeches of Job, Elihu, and YHWH, then in the speech ascriptions of the dialogue between Job and his three friends, and finally in the book as a whole. Comparisons are then drawn with other typological numbers and with the structure of the speeches themselves, followed by general conclusions concerning the composition of Job.


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