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In Job 1:20, Job performs four actions: 1) he rends his garment; 2) he shears his head; 3) he falls to the ground; and 4) he prostrates himself. The third of these can be read either (with the first two) as an act of mourning or (with the last) as an act of worship. I suggest that this is a deliberate literary choice: the poetic technique of Janus parallelism. Since Janus parallelism has already been demonstrated to be both frequent in the book of Job and significant for its meaning, this unexpected Janus parallelism in the prose portion of the book confirms that those chapters are not an early survival but a creation of the author of the book as a whole.
© 2016 Brill. Originally published in Vetus Testamentum, a Brill journal. This is a pre-publication version of this article, the version of record can be found at the DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15685330-12301222
Job, poetry, Janus parallelism, Cyrus Gordon, Avi Hurvitz, Scott Noegel
Carasik, Michael, "Janus Parallelism in Job 1:20" (2016). Departmental Papers (Jewish Studies). 15.
Available for download on Thursday, February 01, 2018
Date Posted: 14 June 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.