An Existential Analysis of Tropes in the Book of Job

The book of Job in the Old Testament is one of the most mysterious books of Wisdom Literature. The Devil is able to make a bargain with God which means that Job is God’s servant. Job can be said to be most devoted and loyal to God because God has blessed him with prosperity. The Devil asks God to let him take the possessions of his family and be struck with affliction. Job will then turn against God. Then God permits Job to be tested by the Devil for a test on Job. Job’s possessions as well as his family members are taken and the body is wounded. But Job stays committed to God and in the final God gives Job all the things he has lost.

The Devil in his conversations with God declares: you treat Job as a pet and ensure nothing ever happens to his property or family, and bless everything he does. The conversation, which is a metaphor, reveals the nature of the Devil which is hatred and envy. The Devil seeks to undermine the egocentricity of God. This will be a anti-archetype that is negative. Christianity as well as Judaism are religions inherent with the Binary divide between God with the Devil. The covetousness, envy, hatred love, murder and covetousness are possessions from a anti-christian archetype. Atheistic existentialism dismantles the concept of evil and exhorts a moral relative view. It’s a mystery as to why God let us reign a anti-christian archetype in Job’s life. Visit:-

If Job has lost his children as well as his material possessions, Job says”I am naked and come from the womb of my mother and in nakedness I’ll return to the womb of the earth.’ The earth’s womb serves as a metaphor. This is where Job places the earth in a female archetype, the earth being a mother, a womb.

When Job is afflicted with ulcers and sores the man laments: “I’m blanking out the night that I was born. Make it a black hole in the space.’ There’s no doubt that black holes exist in space. But when used in a metaphorical sense, they point out to a dismal abyss, a hole of despair where light gets trapped.

Again Job complains about’may those who are good at cursing swear at the day, and unleash the beast Leviathan on it’. The meaning of this story is simultaneously apocalyptic and poetic. As a poetical trope it is a sadness, a pathos of being depicted. As an apocalyptic symbol, we are told of the Leviathan as a creature emerging from the ocean in the Bible of Revelation. Cloned animals-humans can be transgenic. Leviathan could also signify the coming of warring nations across the sea.

One of the companions of Job asks Job: “Will a truly innocent person end up as scrap heap”? Dirt and squalor are evident in this metaphor. This is also an accusation which is meant to prove Job’s innocence. Job’s friend responds: ‘God the Sovereign trusts no one and how could him trust people who seem as fragile and vulnerable as moths”? Moths are as fragile is an existential metaphor. Looking at the metaphor in a spiritual perspective it is difficult to get a awareness as to the reason God lets the Devil to be a threat to Job’s integrity. From an existential nihilist’s point of point of view, the metaphor represents a unmeaning life. Man can be compared to Camus”momentum The myth of Sisyphus.

Job replies to his friends saying: “My misery can be measured; you could put my entire heavy burden on scales, and it’ll weigh more than the sand in the sea. “The poison-arrows of God are inside me’. Scales represent the weight of angst. Job is engrossing in an obsession with negativity that is narcissistic. Angst being heavier than the sea is hyperbolic. God’s choice to not respond to Job’s plight is conveyed in the metaphor of poison the arrows. For Sartre, the existential atheist this is incongruous; a nihilist, existentialist should be able endure his or her pain.

Job states that God is able to take me down like a bug. Do I possess the strength of steel? Are you sure I’m formed of iron? The existential problem of Job being a helpless victim is poignant in this portrayal. Job is grudgingly yielding to God’s wishes. This makes me ask the question : What was God, Christ like when dealing with Job? Why did God of the Old Testament choose to be a different God in comparison to the God who is New Testament Christ? Job is succumbing to the plight of a weight he is unable to carry. For Sartre, the God you resent is you. The pressure of being in turmoil is a human affliction that we all have to experience on earth.

Job has a rant against his fellows and claims that even though God abandoned Job, his companions have not remained loyal to him and they are like ‘gulch in an empty desert’. The irony of the situation is that all of Job’s companions are friends who enjoy fair weather. Job repeats that he is covered with maggots and scabs and the skin becomes covered in pimples and scales.’ It is so overwhelming that one is unable to comprehend the storms of anguish that Job endures. The reptilian nature of Satan being sent to hellfire can be seen in this metaphor. The body of Job turns into an unfriendly or errant machine. Job claims that he is ‘a puff out of air.’ Job is a mockery of himself and points to the insignificance and futility of human life. We have to be in agreement with Sartre”man’s liberation is his condemnation’. He tells that his life is like a ship at full sail; like an eagle falling into its prey’. A sinking ship and an eagle reaching out its prey depict horrific circumstances in Job’s life. Job says: “God has made him into a pottery. He marvels at how well God has worked with clay. Now God reduces him a”mud pie.’ Job compares the wonders of being made and then to be transformed back to mud. Job doubts the meaning of purpose, the reason for creation, and the destiny in the creation of God. A philosophical understanding is, you have to weather your own storm. A life lived by an existentialist is absurd. What is Job the kind of person who questions God’s absurdity? He says that his ‘ears are a swamp of affliction’. It is a way to translate sorrow and pain into a symbolic metaphor which is synesthetic. Job explains the reason God kicks him like a tin can and why you should beat a dead animal. The tentacles that cause torment without reason, find a intense plea in Job’s explanation of his fate.