JO'ASH, or Jr.fro'Astr, about B.C. 884-837; King of Judah, :on of Ahaziah and Libuah of Beersheba. On the death of his father, his grandmother Athaliah having massacred his brothers and usurped the throne, he was secreted by his aunt .lehoshebath, the wife of Jelmiada the high-priest, and brought up by her in the chambers connected with the temple until his 8th year, when in a revolution AthaHalm was slain, and Joash placed upon the throne. For several years, through the influence of the high priest, lie adhered to the worship of the true God; but after the death of Jelmoiada, falling into idolatry, his kingdom was devastated by Hazael of Damascus, be was besieged in Jeru salem, and afterwards murdered in his bed by his servants, after a reign of forty year& JOB [lIeb. Job, derived by Gesenius from ayab, " to be an adversary;" hence (pas sive) "one who has an adversary," or "a persecuted .one"], the leading in one of the canonical books of the Old Testament, which is called after him. Ile is said to have lived in the land of Uz (Sept. Ausitis, cf. Pio]. V. 19. 2), a locality some where between Idumea, Palestine, and the Euphrates. Whether Job was a real or a fictitious personage has been discussed with superfluous animation by critics. The Talmud (Baba Bathra, xv. 1) holds that "Jjob serer teas, and verer vas eroded. lint is an allegory." The belief of most scholars at present is that the book of Job is a great dramatic poem, built on a basis of historical tradition. Job is a real person in precisely the same sense as the Hamlet of Shakespeare is a real person; i.e., for each there is a cer tain genuine groundwork of antique fact; but some of the incidents, together with the sentiments and speeches recorded. are purely imaginative. Who was the author, and when he lived, cannot be, or at any rate has not been, determined with exactitude. Some critics make him anterior to Moses; the LXX. identifies.him with •...Tobab, king of Edom" (postscr. to Job); others, among whom are many of the Tahmudieal authori ties, regard Moses himself as the author. The Mosaic period is elaim•d for it. by Sandia; many of the church fathers, Michaelis, Jahn. Hufnagel, etc. A nearer appi oximat ion to what would seem to be the truth is the view held by Gregory Nazianzen, Luther, Doderlein, and others, who assign the work—which shows a certain ::flinity with the proverbs—to the age of Solomon, when Hebrew poetry was in its full bloom, and a broad catholic spirit pervaded the nation; some have even given Solomon himself the credit of its composition. The reference to the gold of Ophir seems at least conch:sive against any hypothesis that would place its composition earlier; and while eet thin pas= sages in Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, which point to an acquaintatwe with it. go far to prove its comparatively early existence, Reiman, a recent French critic. ecnsiders that it belongs to the first half of the 8(11 e. B.C.; Ewald pronounces for a later period, and assigns the poem to the beginning of the 7th century. This date is also advocated by Dr. Samuel Davidson in his Introduction to the Old Testament (Load. 1862-}. Others,
again—among whom Cleriens, Grotius. Gesenius, Umbreit, Knobel, De WctIe. ch....— place it in time period of the exile; Hartmann, Vatke, Refer, and others, in the nth Christian century.
The earlier German scholars, Herder, Eichhorn, etc., looked upon the author as an Edomite—not a Hebrew at all; but this view is now generally, if cot entirely, aban doned. The poemls a genuine product of the Hebrew muse, not, however, staading on narrow national ground—the very scene being laid in a foreign conntry—but on the broad ground of a universal humanity: it is the attempt of a Hebrew thinker, of enlarged mind, to vindicate the divine government of the world.
Our space will not allow us to enter minutely into a consideration of the design of the poem, or to discuss the various theories which have been advanced. to Dr. Davidson, it was " to demonstrate the insufficiency of the current doctrine of ecm pensation." It condemns the notion that there is a necwwrngJ connection between sin and suffering, and without explaining the cause of the latter in the case of a good man, displays the most sublime trust in the wisdom of the divine Providence. It exhibits a noble spirituality: and in several places the mysterious contradictions of life scent to awaken in the soul of the writer thoughts of another life beyond the grave, in which God will vindicate the righteousness of his ways. As a work both of genius and art it occupies well-nigh the first rank in Hebrew literature, and is unsurpassed in sublimity of imaginative thought by any poem of antiquity. The language is elaborate and arti ficial in the highest degree, vet grandly simple withal, betokening not a primitive period in Jewish history, but one highly advanced. The dramatic construction of the poem indicates the same thing. It hai a prologue and epilogue; the dialogues are arranged into three series, or, as they may be termed, acts; each of these, again, consists of three speeches by Job's friends, with three replies by Job himself, which, by a little stretch. of fancy, we may describe as separate scenes. The poem (properly so called) opens and closes with a monologue by the author of the piece. The different character of the per sons introduced is skillfully observed; their words have a rhythmic flow; and the dia logues are even strophically divided (see Ewald, Das Buck .7job abersetzt and c•hhirt, Zweite Aufar;e, 1854). The integrity of the voem in its present form has been questioned by many critics; the inferiority (in a literary and poetic point of view)of the passages containing the speeches of F.lihu (xxxii.-xxxvii.), no less than the nature of the prologue and epilogue, are thought to indicate that these passages are the work of a later hand. Compare the commentaries of Schultens, Bertram, Eichhorn, RoseumCiller, Ewald (with translation), Umbreit, De Wette, Hirzel, Stickel, Schlottmann, Henan (with an admirable translation into French), Lee, Dillinann, etc.