The Book of JobThe Book of Job: Literary Structure Relative to Animal Sacrifices
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By Frank L. Hoffman (31 Jan 1998)

I have recently been doing a study in the Book of Job, and something very interesting jumped out at me that I thought some of you might find interesting.

The only places in the entire Book where an animal sacrifice is mentioned is in the "prose" verses of Chapters 1 and 42. Nowhere could I find any references or suggestions of making an animal sacrifice in any of the "poetic" portions of the Book, which make up the bulk of the writing. Considering the way Job's friends accused him to being guilty of something, why wouldn't they also have mentioned that Job should perform such an act?

Common sense tells us that 42:10-17 was added at a later date, for it talks about the end of Jobs life. But the offering of a Burnt Offering is mentioned prior to this. Could it also be that verses 7-9 were also added at the same time? Many scholars seem to think so, as they do about the introduction which contains the only other mention of a Burnt Offering (1:5).

Just something to think about.

By Michael Shaw (31 Jan 1998)

Thanks Frank,

I agree with you 100% regarding your analysis of the Job story. Just as I have mentioned in the past regarding Cain and Abel. When we read this story, God did not tell either Cain or Abel to make their sacrifices, and there are some who say the original Hebrew does not support the idea that God preferred one over the other, but rather, He (God) was shocked at Abel's sacrifice. Further, when God is speaking to Cain after the murder of his brother Abel, God tells Cain that in order to please God he must live a good life. In this discussion, God says nothing about offering up any kind of sacrifice, be it grain or animal, as part of good behaviour.

I realize we have had this discussion before and that most on the list disagree with my views that God did not and does not require any sacrifice including the death of Jesus, however, most of my letters about this in the past were long and maybe some did not take the time to read them. Therefore, let me finish with this: I believe there is a reason for the Sacrificial tones that appear in scripture. I believe they are meant for people who suffer from an emotional wound from childhood of which they try to compensate their sense of loss with a gift. They believe if they give something to someone, then that someone will like them for what they gave them.

Don't we always teach our children the opposite of this. We tell them not to give things to children at school just to get them to like them, rather, if the child at school does not like them just for who they are, then our child is better off not playing with him or her. The same should be said of God, what kind of God wants a present of a dead animal to accept our apology? Do we as parents tell our children to kill one of their pets for us so that we will forgive them when they have done something wrong? I find the concept repugnant. And, as I have pointed out in my longer letters, there is plenty of proof in the Bible showing that God Himself has declared that He never commanded or asked for any type of Sacrifice.

There is no doubt in my mind that the "J" writers of the old testament were in harmony with the Prophets, and subsequently Jesus and the first Christians. It was the "P" writers who put in all the sacrifice stuff to justify their jobs, and the Jewish leaders of Jesus time had followed the "P" writer over and against the "J" writers. Paul of course brought with him the teachings of the Pagan Mystery Religions and added those to the Gospel if Jesus. By the way these teaching can be found in the Zodiac. Thus, the Burnettes inadvertantly confirmed my teachings when they posted their letter the other day about Dr. Kennedy saying the teachings of the Bible were in the stars. Not So!, rather, this is where the Pagans got their ideas and I believe this point is obvious.

Again, I emphasize that the idea that Jesus died for our sins is OK for people who were use to sacrificing animals and children, due to their perverse idea of how God or gods acted, this way, they are moved away from the actual practice by accepting the idea of the final atonement offering of Jesus, however, to the enlightened mind the teachings of the "P" writers and Paul were just juvenile.

Jesus death was not for our sins, rather, it was because of our sins. We, killed Jesus because we did not like his message of love. Salvation comes from following Jesus' teachings, not from belief in Sacrifice of animals, humans or deities. If there is any sacrifice to be made it is of our false egos and our childish beliefs in a God who would want one of His animals dead rather than alive for His pleasure.

Someone likened the search for Jesus to that of looking down a dark well, when you finally focus your eyes to the image at the bottom, you see your own reflection. In other words, the type of Jesus you worship is a reflection of your own heart.

By Scott Hembree (31 Jan 1998)

It seems to me to be very dangerous ground to say this was added and that was added.  I guess I still don't understand why animal sacrifices (which were to teach a very important lesson) remain such a stumbling stone to us vegetarians.

I was always taught that Moses wrote the entire book of Job and that he did it as a prophet under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This would put Job writing about his own death (or even his life) totally out of the picture. When a prophet receives a vision and writes it down it could be about someone who lived long ago or who is yet to come, it is not dependent on the involvement of the main character of the writing. This is the way I have always understood the matter of dreams and visions and the inspiration of scripture.

By Frank L. Hoffman (31 Jan 1998)

It's not a stumbling stone, Scott, it's an observation. I have no problem with Jesus' atoning death upon the cross, either. But just think about it. Why wouldn't Job's friends say that he should sacrifice along with their call for him to repent?

For someone to write of the accounts of the conversations that took place in the Book of Job, they would have had to have been present (simple logic). It is also highly unlikely that Job could write of his own death, or that one of his friends outlived him, and then wrote the Book some 140 years later.

It is quite common in Scripture for an editor to add some margin or end note, as was the case with the recording of Moses' death in Deuteronomy, or the numerous, "as it is to this day" comments. When these books (scrolls) were being copied, the scribe would probably say as we do, "Wow! I can still see this today." Then they would proceed to make a note for future generations. Somewhere along the way, they were incorporated into the main body of the text. None of these notes change God's message for us; they just add commentary, as we do on this E-mail List.

There are several theories concerning the authorship of Job. The oldest tradition is that Moses wrote Job, but there are others that believe Job wrote his own account first (Moses wasn't present), others believe that it was Elihu.

Remember, tradition says that Moses also wrote Deuteronomy, but he didn't write the last part about his own death, it was probably Joshua, or as some scholars believe, it was mostly written by the priestly writers who compiled the Bible in about 400 BCE.

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