The Makers and Teachers of Judaism eBook

Charles Foster Kent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 462 pages of information about The Makers and Teachers of Judaism.
a considerable class in the community were conscious that they had committed no crimes worthy of the bitter persecutions and calamities that overtook them, and that it was often just because of their virtue and the steadfastness with which they clung to the nobler ideals of their race that they were thus assailed, the current interpretations of evil were no longer satisfactory.  When in time many of them went down to the grave crushed by affliction and the objects of the taunts and revilings of their wicked pursuers, the insufficiency of the current explanation of misfortune was tragically demonstrated.  To their minds Sheol or the grave offered no solution, for, as among all early Aryan and Semitic peoples, it was thought of as the dark, passionless, joyless abode of the shades.

In most of the psalms of this period the poets who speak in behalf of the afflicted class, like the author of Malachi, expressed the hope that Jehovah would speedily come to their deliverance and signally vindicate and reward them.  The heroism and fidelity that they represent can only be fully appreciated in the light of this discouraging period when evil was regnant.  It was apparently at this time that the great poet, who speaks through the book of Job, presented, with the spirit and method of a modern philosopher, the lot of these innocent sufferers.  He also proved for all time that misfortune is not always the evidence of guilt, and that the current doctrine of proportionate rewards and the explanations that were adduced to support it were in certain cases absolutely untenable.


[Sidenote:  Job 1:1-5] There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job.  And that man was blameless and upright; he feared God and turned away from evil.  And seven sons and three daughters were born to him.  His possessions also included seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she asses, and an exceedingly large number of servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the peoples of Palestine.  And his sons were accustomed to hold a feast in one another’s house each on his day.  And they were wont to send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  And when the days of their feasting were over, Job used to send and sanctify them, and he rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, Perhaps my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts.  Thus Job did continually.

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The Makers and Teachers of Judaism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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