Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Job a Jobab?

                The story of Job, in the Old Testament, is unique in scripture.  It tells the story of a just man that loses everything!  Taking the form of a dialogue it relates Job’s experiences, and the views of Job and his friends on his condition.  Including a dialogue between Job and God; it serves as a moral story of suffering and faithfulness to God.  It also includes some interesting references to mysterious creatures; but, more on those later. 

                First, the question at hand is this: Who is Job?  When did he live? Where was his homeland? I believe it can be shown that Job is listed in the Genesis genealogy.  It will be shown that the story of Job is one of the oldest stories in scripture; one that predates Abraham! 

                Now, the Genesis genealogy lists Jectan, one of the sons of Heber; his children included … Jobab!

“And Ophir, and Hevila, and Jobab.  All these were the sons of Jectan.” (Genesis 10:29)

                This Jobab might be Job and might not be.  Examining the story of Job, and using some references from the Jewish historian, Josephus; the case for “Job a Jobab” will become stronger.

                The Book of Job says he lived in the land of Hus (Job 1:1).  Now Josephus delineates the genealogy and settling of man, after the flood of Noah; by expanding on the Genesis lists in  his writings.  There is Chus, the son of Ham, who settled in Ethiopia.  It also must be noted that Nimrod, a son of Chus ruled in Babylon.  The same it was that built the Tower of Babel.  So we have a possible range that goes from Ethiopia to Mesopotamia; as the land of Hus. Assuming that Hus is in fact Chus!  The possible range is  further  east, as we will show shortly.    Scripture says:
 “this man was great among all the peoples of the East.” (Job 1:3) 

                Suddenly, a happy well off Job loses everything to the invading Sabeans, who “took all away,” (Job 1:15).  As well as the Chaldeans, who take his camels and slay his servants (Job 1:17).  Searching for the Sabeans, Josephus says that Canaan, (who settled Judea) the fourth Son of Ham, founded the Sabeans.  (Antiquities 1:6:2 {134})  And of course the Chaldeans were from Arphaxad, son of Shem.  (Antiquities 1:6:4 {143})  This places the Job story, generations after the flood, at the earliest.  There is also a Sabeus, son of Joctan, a brother to ... Jobab!  He seems a likely source for the Sabeans. 

                Next, we can glean information from the people around Job; all his friends.  His friends, listed in Job 2:11 are:  Eliphaz the Themanite,  Baldad the Suhite,  and Sopher the Naamathite.  A source for Sophar the Naamathite can be found; but it is stunning.  Naamah, a daughter of Lamech might be the source for the Naamathite.  Naamah is a sister to … Noah!  This possibility provides more proof for my hypothesis that more people survived the flood; than the accepted eight.  See my previous Post:  More Than Eight Survived The Flood of Noah!  It seems reasonable to me that Noah would take his sister, and her family on the Ark.    I cannot discern a source for Baldad the Suhite.

                There are some references to Theman, a number in fact.  These are all later in the Genesis history.  But, could justly be used to give a later date for the Job story.   “And Eliphaz had sons:  Theman, Omar, Sepho, and Gatham, and Cenez.”  (Genesis 36:11)  These are the grandchildren of Esau.  The possibility of this Theman being the source of the Themanites is also interesting.  For this reason, you could point to another Jobab; Jobab the son of Zara, and ruler of Bosra. (Genesis 36:33) However, given the conjunction of more names around the time; and person of the earlier Jobab.  I think the earlier Jobab is the right one. 

                There is another friend of Job mentioned, Eliu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram.  For him, there is a possible reference.  Buz, was one of the eight sons of Nahor and Milcha.  Perhaps he could be the source for the Buzites.  Nahor was of the kindred of Abram; thus placing the story after Abram.  But, there is one earlier possibility!  Euilat the son of Joctan, and brother to, yep … Jobab!   Also Aram founded the Aramites, a good choice for Ram? 

                There are slight differences between the Genesis genealogy, and Josephus’s parallel genealogy.  Genesis has this:

“Which Jectan begot Elmodad, and Saleph, and Asarmoth, Jare, and Aduram, and Uzal, and Decla, and Ebal, and Abimael, Saba, and Ophir, and Hevila, and Jobab.”  Genesis 10:26 – 29

Josephus has: 

“Now Joctan, one of the sons of Heber, had , these sons, Elmodad, Saleph, Asermoth, Jera, Adoram, Aizel, Decla, Ebal, Abimael, Sabeus, Ophir, Euilat and Jobab.  These inhabited from Cophen, an Indian river, and in part of Asia adjoining to it” Antiquities - Book I:6:4:{147}

Observe the slight spelling or pronunciation differences for the relevant people in this hypothesis.  Saba is interpreted as Sabeus; perhaps our Sabeans.  Hevila is given as Euilat; the possible Eliu of Job.  Whether these are different pronunciations, or interpretations only an expert might be able to say.  But, I shall assume this is Josephus’s interpretation of the name; or a tradition which he has passed on to us from ancient Jewish history.  One other noteworthy point is their homeland.  Josephus places them around the Cophen River (now the Kabul River), which is in the mountains of Afghanistan.  It flows through Pakistan, joining to the Indus River!  Jobabs descendants may have expanded into the Indus River area as well.  Perhaps Jobab moved around because of his persecutions?  It would explain why he can be  placed in Afghanistan, Canaan (Later Israel), or other spots in the Middle East.   

Next, it will make you wonder why his brothers are called friends in Job.   If you study the Genealogy lists in Genesis, or in any other part of scripture.  They are Patriarchal, or male centered. Only rarely are the ladies mentioned; even though they certainly had first born daughters!  But, there is a solution to the issue.  I suggest in the genealogy records in scripture; the wives were listed under the husband’s name.  So that, many of the sons listed in these genealogies, are in fact son-in-laws!  Thus, Jobs friends are his brother-in-laws as well.   This will open up some different interpretations of the genealogies in early scripture.

Now, in the Job story are mentioned unusual animals; which might be possible references to earlier, now extinct animals!  An earlier Jobab  would help support contact with unknown or extinct animals.  Some of which may have survived the Flood of Noah by being on his Ark.  The one of interest to me is the Behemoth. 

“Behold behemoth whom I made with thee, he eateth grass like an ox.  His strength is in his loins, and his force in the navel of his belly.  He setteth up his tail like a cedar, the sinews of his testicles are wrapped together.  His bones are like pipes of brass, his gristle like plates of iron.  He is the beginning of the ways of god, who made him, he will apply his sword.  To him the mountains bring forth grass: there all the beasts of the field shall play.  He sleepeth under the shadow, in the covert of the reed, and in moist places.  The shades cover his shadow, the willows of the brook shall compass him about.  Behold, he will drink up a river, and not wonder; and trusteth that the Jordan may run into his mouth.  In his eyes as with a hook he shall take him, and bore through his nostrils with stakes.”  (Job 40:10 -19)

There are clues here to the appearance of this animal.  He is a vegetarian.  There is great size or strength in his legs and belly. It has a tail like a cedar tree! Its testicles may be kept inside its body, that is, wrapped in its sinews.  A large animal living in the water might need this adaptation.  Beavers have the same arrangement!  Bones like pipes, and cartilage like iron.  And it drinks with a large mouth, from the river Jordan.  Next, its habitat is identified as well.  It lives in or around the river, and under water among the reeds; hence, it’s under the shadows.  The willows surround him, perhaps a favorite food?  A very important clue is the last sentence.  To catch him with a hook the size of a stake, you must hook his nostrils in his eyes! His eyes and nostrils are next to each other!  Finally, he is the beginning of the ways of God.  The “beginning of the ways of God”… were certainly dinosaurs!  Only the sword of God could stop them!   This sounds like a possible description of a sauropoda dinosaur, with a large tail, and a head with its eyes and nostrils on the top of its head!  This one lived in and under the Jordan River, raising its head to the surface to breath from the top of its head.  The Brachiosaurus or similar dinosaur could fit this description nicely.

Summing it up, it can be shown by Scriptural evidence; interpreted with a study of genealogy in Josephus’ “History of the Jews.”  The story of Job was from the early Genesis history and genealogy.  Many of his associates or relatives appear in the Genesis genealogy. So that I can say,   Job is Jobab in the Genesis account!   Finally, many of “the beginning of the ways of God”… dinosaurs; may have survived into man’s age, even after the flood of Noah!

Cophen River (Kabul River)

Sources: All quotes used with permission of the Publishers!

The Holy Bible : Douay – Rheims Version (1899 Edition)
by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.

The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (1987)
Translated by William Whiston,  A.M. ; Published by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.

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