Complaint and Transformation: Decreation at the Beginning of Job

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This article contends that the decreation language found in Job 3 is used by the author to give first voice to Job’s lament—his formal covenant complaint against YHWH. This poem is not just a prelude to the complaints that follow in the speech cycles but it is actually the first expression of Job’s legitimate lament. This passage is often described as a soliloquy or an abstract poetic expression of Job’s pain that gives the reader insight into the extent of his suffering. This article argues that Job 3 is something more than just screaming at the universe. It is in fact a cry directed at the Creator of the universe. Furthermore, this decreative language sets the reader up for the response that ultimately arises in the YHWH speeches (Job 38–41). YHWH’s creative order is real, even when all we see is chaos, and that order is good.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59
Number of pages76
JournalSoutheastern Theological Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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