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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book of Job - ancient scientific method in divination modalities

How to Find Wisdom:
A Methodology in the Book of Job
and the
Roots of Scientific Method in the
Divination Modalities.

Exegesis of the “Hymn to Wisdom”
in Book of Job, Chapter 28

Author: Tom Key, Student, Master of Divinity
THB 3007-01 “Hebrew Bible”
Professor:  Marvin Sweeney
Date Due: December 16-21, 2016 

Table of Contents

         (1)  Definitions. 13
                        Hellenic Divination Drama:  Prometheus Bound. 17

Exegesis of “Hymn to Wisdom”

Chapter 28, in Book of Job

1.   Introduction

 The “Hymn to Wisdom” appears as a short poem in the middle of an epic poem, the Book of Job.  The Book itself is described as “a great work of art”.[1]   The Hymn is 28 verses long and takes up the entirety of the 28th Chapter of the 42 Chaptered work.  The Book of Job is part of the Writings – Ketuvim—in the Canon of the Tanak.  This Scripture is the outcome of centuries of theological processes and “shaping”.[2] 
We take only Chapter 28 as our pericope, the subject of this study.  The Chapter asks “Where can Wisdom be found?”  The 28th verse concludes the Chapter by deliberately eliding the Where Question, and instead defining the What:  Wisdom is “fear of the Lord.
We explore the answer hidden in previous verses.  We submit the discovery that the Hymn inserts a practical methodology for finding Wisdom, which is remarkably contemporary.  Indeed it spells out what we call “Scientific Method” today.  Furthermore, the method is spelled out, and demonstrated, in the first 26 verses.  No other Scripture provides this step-by-step demonstration of Scientific Method.  
Not only is the Method spelled out, but the demonstration is by the deity.  In other words, this methodological language is a dramatic shift from almost every other ancient sky god of wisdom which typically knows all because from their exalted vantage point, they see all.[3]  Here, the deity is not wise merely because he is the creator, but because he saw, measured, studied, and probed the location!
The verses appear to acclaim the mighty creator of the meteorological mysteries – “He looks to the ends of the earth; He sees all that is under the heavens”. (Job 28:24).   The deity appears, with the divine title Yahweh, in verse 23, and with the title Adonay,”Lord”,  in verse 28.  This single Adonay, appears in no other part of the Book.[4]  Spelling out the path, or “way” to find wisdom, is also facially incompatible with the preceding poem in which Job and his friends repeatedly acknowledge Wisdom as inaccessible.  Some commentators however have noted the fact that the Hymn expressly submits a path to Wisdom through personal discovery.[5]  The unique divine title “Lord” Adonay in this verse may be a deliberate contrast with the “fear of Yahweh” and Elohim of the Patriarchs and Job elsewhere before and after this Chapter.  Here, God finds Wisdom by using scientific method, taking steps which humans can do.  This unique title is another “flag” for a hidden meaning.  The steps limned in verses 24-26, are then tightly summarized with four delocutive verbs in the 27th.   This Methodology is “hidden” above the 28th verse which functions as an evasion. 
Finally, we show a relationship between this Methodology for finding Wisdom, and Divination, which was the “science” as understood in the Ancient Near East.   The roots of Scientific Method lie in occult efforts to understand the world.   Divination practices were essential to explaining reality, not just predicting the future or contacting gods.  This understanding requires a look at the dialogical context, the historical and literary setting, and an analysis of the intention of the Hymn’s unknown author or authors.  For comparison, we use a remarkable Play written by Aeschylus, the Greek dramatist who was roughly a contemporary.  Divination and occult arts as boons for humankind are the subject of Prometheus Bound.
Addressing the language of the Chapter, we distinguish epideictic presentation, examine the meaning of the poetic images, show appreciation for sod or secret practices and text, and then focus on four delocutive verbs in the penultimate verse.  The methodology is “hidden” behind the out-of-place prosaicism of the 28th verse which does not answer the call.  The summarizing verbs in Verse 27 answer the Question, and reveal a methodology which approximates Scientific Method:
See it – (r’y) look for things; know from direct first hand experience;
Declare it – (spr) ventilate and document what you find, specify;
Establish it – (kwn) appraise, measure, weigh; record it; and
Test it – (hqr) search and probe; investigate duplicates; look into its workings

We conclude by showing that at the heart of the Hymn, verse 27 is a holon.   We discuss its holonic fit in the Book of Job, which is a holon of Scripture.  Nothing is sacred if it is not part of a quest for Wisdom.  Scripture is a process, a stage, and a step of and toward Scientific Method.  A single verse, hidden behind the prosaic cover of the final verse, develops the foundation of Science from the Divination praxis of the Ancient Near East, carefully scrolled by the tradents of the Temples.  The quest for Wisdom reflects the most fundamental element of theology.  In this Judaic text and ancient Middle East context, Wisdom is advanced with Scientific Method, and both object and process are the subject of Theology.

2.   The Boundaries and Translation Issues.

      The pericope is the 28 verses of the 28th chapter of the 42 chapters in the Book of Job. A copy is provided in the Appendix.[6]  The Book on the whole presents not only a mix of genres but also contrasts in linguistic sophistication,[7] and more surprisingly, in theological outlook.[8]  In turn, the pericope itself reflects that mix of styles, genres, and linguistic creativity, in small.
Translation issues are legion,[9] and are exacerbated by the demands of a “sacred” text which clearly hides or disguises the message.  Most exegetes agree that the Hymn was exposed to natural corruption and reflects shaping and redaction activity, as does the entire Book, reflecting a range of agendas we may never understand.[10]  The narrative of Job itself is hoary, reflects literate post-Persian and pre-literate oral traditions, and was no doubt first displayed in what is now an unknown language.  The hinge of a repeated refrain (Job 12 and 20) may even suggest it was set to music,[11] although no cantillation or even a Selah has survived.
The Chapter is a work of creativity and beauty. As with all “art”, it is true that the esthetics and cultic expressivity can be “lost” in translation. With hymnic poetry, we step into the Saussurian dragon’s mouth, blind and deaf:  If we try to “objectify” we lose much beauty and perhaps the quality of the “sacred”. Translation also risks the loss of conceptual content, and the “art” of the dramaturge. For example, the Book has been compared with Aeschylus’ “Prometheus Bound” which we compare from across numerous translations. Only with good translations of both artifacts can we attempt this exercise.  However, once well translated, the epic elegance of the dramatic Jobian dialogue “literally” bootstraps the comparison to the Greek playwrights.
Some scholars have shown that conveying an idea from an earlier time, using different media, with different semiotics, and in different natural languages, make the conveyance of an exact idea, or even close equivalence, unlikely.[12] One of many systemic differences between Hebrew and English lies in presupposition structures.  Hebrew allows relative clauses to be formed in syntactic contexts not possible in English.[13]    
At the heart of the lexical prosody in the chapter are a series of “metaphors”.  Figurative language is itself a generator of linguistic change, increasing the effort required to understand translations.  “Most lexical items are dead metaphors”, as one linguist has pointed out.[14] 
Finally, we note that the translation issue is also sharpened with respect to “religious” texts where some objects, such as the “gold” described in five different ways in this pericope, could be Fetishistic.  Fetishism is a form of religion that is almost universal, and Ancient Israel contains a profusion of fetish objects:[15] Abraham had a sacred grove, and perhaps a Black “kissing” Rock used in the Kaaba; Jacob anointed a stone at Bethel; Moses erected a fiery serpent of brass upon a pole; Egyptian contemporaries worshiped animals.  Judaism was in a syncretic phase when the Hymn was written, and we may not appreciate at this distance, the numerous objects described.
In drawing upon the English version provided by the Jewish Publication Society, I have only contrasted the four delocutive verbs to show how other translators understood these four interesting words cited in our Introduction and discussed below.  No “discrepancy” altering the finding of a Methodology in the four verbs is noted – all the translations make the same point.  No attempt to master ancient Hebrew has been made.

3.   The Relationship with the Dialogical Context.

Our focus is on a Chapter of the Book of Job (Iyyob), the third book of the Ketuvim, in the Hebrew Tanak.[16]   The Tehillim (Psalms) leads the first three, followed by Mishle (Proverbs). The Ketuvim represent the Present where the law and history represents the Past, and the Prophets – literally practicing Divination modalities -- touch the Future.  The books are wheels in the wheels of the Tanak[17]  in a cyclical sacred world of Creation.[18]  The recurring pattern of liturgical celebration and encounter between human beings, nature, the text, and G-d constitutes the core of Jewish experience captured in the order of Torah.[19]  Thus the pertinence and telicity of verbs which constitute a Methodology for prediction (“divining”) and gaining an understanding of the world.
For example, a dialectic and interpersonal dynamic is immediately raised by the hymnic form of Chapter 28.  It may have been a song, it certainly can be sung, and as such matches the hymnic forms which appear elsewhere in the Book (hymns of Praise in Job 5.9-16, 9.4-10, 13-25, and 26.5-14, another wisdom poem in 24:13-18.), and in other Books (Psalms 104, compare Amos 4.13, 5.8-9).  The cry for Wisdom echoes Proverbs – “Doth not wisdom cry?”  The riddling question of “Where is the place of understanding?” (28:12) echoes issues anticipated in Psalms and Qoheleth particularly. The didactic question reflects a vast heuristic of Wisdom literature across the Torah, and across the region. In fact, this quest is a many-wheeled “engine”, a methodology, for scientific innovation and discovery.

(1)  The Re-ordering of the Book of Job in the Old Testament

Curiously, the OT reverses the order and begins with the Book of Job.  While this appears to be significant – primacy-- the reasons remain speculative. Is it part of the linear eschatological paradigm of Christianity which looks for a scriptural vector Ending with a Messiah?  Is Job eschatological?  Is Wisdom? 
We prefer to leave speculation to the Diviners. Not only are the Christian sects disputing their own canonization (at the level of Canonization achieved by Judaism for the Masoretic Text), but any doubts rising from lack of original texts are compounded.  We are presented with the re-ordering, but we have little agreement about why, and absolutely no information about who, did the re-ordering over the centuries..[20]  The re-naming of the Torah, calling it the “Old Testament”, is an obvious polemic.  However, we no longer understand, if anyone ever did, the displacement of the primacy of the Psalms by the Book of Job.  It is possible that a suffering but righteous man, tortured by G-d’s angel, may raise a reflection of a crucified Christ.  However, the naked theodicy and denial of an after-life is not likely to inspire Alexandrian or Syrian believers to their “Christian” purposes.[21] Perhaps a polemic against the Egyptian cultic beliefs in resurrected immortality is involved.  The search for Wisdom requires less not more speculation.
The Book of Job is first included in the Christian scriptures compiled by the Unitarian (“Arian”) Universalist, Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD).  By that time, scroll-writing was being superseded by technologies of book-making out of parchment.  The re-ordering became quasi-canonical in these first efforts to select the “scripture”.  The  displacement of the Psalms by Book of Job remains a mystery.  Logically, Christians could just as well prefer primacy of place for the Psalms with promises of a Messiah, over a Book which questions the moral character of G-d.  

(2)  Structure of the Chapter.

Most scholars agree that Chapter 28 is highly structured, and tightly versed.  Even though it is likely an inclusio,[22] with inclusios, translators concur it is composed by an author having the same high level of literary skill demonstrated by the author of the Book of Job.  The Hymn has three parts, separated in two “hinge” places by two almost identically repeated, almost teasingly not chiastic, interrogatory refrains:  [Underlining added to highlight the difference between the two.]
Verse 12 : “But wisdom, where shall it be found? And where is the place of understanding?”[23] 
Verse 20: ““Whence then cometh wisdom? And where shall it be found?” then repeating the second half identically.

The difference creates reflection on the fact that some wisdom has to be sought to be found, and some comes, without seeking it.  The reflection is a wonderful introduction to “scientific method” itself which must provide for both modalities of discovery.
We further consider what the structural contribution is.  The inserted Hymn is an obvious diversion, leaving the intense personal engagement between the suffering Job and his “friends” for an abstract lark about “Wisdom”.  The Hymn wanders off through a catalog of geography and gold, then ends in a prosaic cliché.  The diversion is deliberate, crafted.  The cliché covers a summary of the previous specific steps which “G-d” uses to find Wisdom, and which are shown step by step.  Following the Hymn, Job begins a new lament for the old days: “And Job again took up his parable, and said Oh that I were as in the months of old, As in the days when God watched over me.” This statement within statement, wheel within wheel, is a structure which highlights the fact that things are different now.
Little wonder that Job demands exegetical strategies of interpreters, [24] and touches upon its own deconstructed and dialogic character,[25] while endlessly raising issues of intertextuality as a brilliant and often-repeated literary text.[26]  One exegete even calls the structure of its catalogic-anthological “lists” to be part of a “blemished perfection”.[27] 
 The formal components are a poetic triptych of panels separated with two hinge Questions[28] which are parallel, almost identical, and create a drama around a heuristic for how to find wisdom expressed in four delocutive verbs,[29] which are also parallel and chiastic.[30]  The four verbs were remarked in the Introduction, and we treat them in detail below.
 The last and 28th verse, completing the 28th chapter, is a couplet echoing piety expressed repeatedly elsewhere in Scripture. Psalms 111:10 [31]; Proverbs 1:7; 3:7;[32] 16:6. The Hymn is the 28th chapter inserted into the 42 chaptered Book of Job, as an independent interruption or “self-contained” unit, of the riddled Job narrative.  A “bottom line” consensus about the Hymn among scholars is that they agree on lack of consensus.  Even the relationship of Wisdom and Creation in the Hymn is disputed, apparently for lack of feminine referents in Job, and in Genesis, in spite of Proverbs 8.  One doubts if any of the Commentators are surprised by lack of consensus, considering the complexity of Job. For example, consideration is given to its unique theme, syntax, genre, and forward and backward “pointing” gestures.[33]  The commentators also disagree concerning the discordant tone of the concluding couplet.[34]   This suggests the sod cover.
            The Form is distinctive as almost self-cantillated hymnic poetry, itself unique within both the Book,[35] and except what it shares dialectically, within the rest of Scripture. Commentators opinions range from openly embarrassed—because theodicy, because G-d is morally repugnant-- to the conviction that with the closing lines, a counterpoint and synthesis of the entire Book, if not all Scripture, is asserted.[36]  The style is intellectually serene, somewhat befitting its insertion in an almost action-free tragedy.[37]   The Hymn limnically refutes the prior arguments and sets the stage for G-d’s appearance and non-argument in Chapter 39.  The Hymn references “gold” (1, 6, 15, 16, 17, 17b, 19) seven times, and elemental earth (5, 24), fire (5), “water” (11,25,26) and weighted winds (25) and storms of thunder (26), and declares G-d “knows”.  And then he shows exactly how G-d “understands the way”:  The methodology of four verbs is illustrated, in verses 23-26, and then concisely “summarized” in verse 27.
The final triptych is like the final argument in a trial, after the testimonial dialogues among “friends”, and presaging Job’s subsequently-imagined prosecution of G-d in a court of law.[38] Text-linguistic and literary-synchronic approaches of Form criticism are well-placed to address the synchronic display of Chapter 28 as a wisdom composition.[39] Social-scientific criticism is perhaps best-suited for comparing the Hellenic (Prometheus Bound) and Judaic (Hymn to Wisdom) texts as reflections of complex social structures and symbolic matrices.[40] This discussion necessarily and briefly explores the intertextual dialectic between the Hymn and the full canonical context, and like Brevard Childs, this can be done without explicitly invoking “canonical criticism”, which is still emerging as a discipline.[41]   
            In addressing the very specific themes of divination and “scientific methodology” in the Hymn, it is useful to draw upon the description of canonical exegesis distilled Mary Callaway, understood to be interwoven with literary, historical and socio-anthropological methods. Callaway describes four features of canonical criticism, as follows:[42]
            THEOLOGICAL.  First, the underlying concern is “to find the locus of authority…analyzing the ways in which the texts were authoritative for the believing communities that received them as scripture.”   
            DYNAMIC.  Second, focus on the dynamics by which the communities of faith and developing traditions shaped each other.
            HERMENEUTIC.  Third, an assumption that interpretation and understanding[43] can be “appropriated”,[44] and need not be imported from systems outside the scriptures themselves.
            DIALECTICAL.  Fourth, the insistence that authority resides only in the full canon, and each “particular tradition is heard canonically against other voices and points of view; no position is absolute.”

The early, often and continuous invocation of Wisdom creates both authority and religion itself.  Wisdom can be taken as a theology.  A methodology for finding Wisdom, is not only practical but developmental – by looking at the literature, we can trace the roots of Scientific Method back through Divination/Oracles and kitchen middens.  The hermeneutic feature runs squarely into the reality that scripture presented is cobbled together from pre-scriptural sources, and an ironic feature of hermeneutics is its origins in the systematic study of Greek literature.  Both allegorisis (saying something different) and hyponoia/hypothesis (underlying meaning/working conjecture) were practiced widely in the Stoic and Neoplatonist schools since the sixth century BCE.  Hence, our comparison with a roughly contemporary dramatist who drew from the same “suffering saint” theme, Prometheus Bound.
Finally, as to the fourth feature, we note that the Hymn tells a story – limns a quest – within the “story” of the Book.  And by repeating “themes” from the Book and Scripture at large, it is not merely story, but lively dialectic constantly responding to different facts.[45]  

4.   Defining Key Terms and Traditions

(1)  Definitions

Divination.  The practice of foretelling the future, or “discovery of what is hidden or obscure by supernatural or magical means”. [46]  [Emphasis added.]  The Hymn straddles divinatory incantatory roots and references, and introduces non-magical step-by-step instructions for discerning real Knowledge.
Science. Knowledge acquired by study, and as opposed to belief or opinion. Demonstrated truths or observed facts systematically classified under general laws using trustworthy methods.[47]
Scientific Method.  A method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. Exposure to criticism and dialectic by publication is an essential component.
Wisdom. Turning to how one expert with the Wisdom Tradition defines the Term as forged in the sapiential literature of the Ancient Hebrew, Leo G. Perdue offers a definition of Wisdom, hokma, with four general features:[48] 
First, it is a body of knowledge about the world, nature, humanity and an understanding of G-d.
Second, it is a discipline designed to “lead to the formation of character”.
Third, wisdom was moral discourse. “Through the attainment of wisdom, the sages were able to enter into and dwell within an esthesis of beauty, order, justice, and life”.
Fourth, the semantic range included terms for “untutored fools”, court wisdom for kings and scribes, including skills with communication.

Interestingly, Professor Perdue includes “teachings of the cult” and mantic knowledge, such as divination, or hidden activities of G-d. Finally, he notes that Wisdom is associated with the divinity, and as such, “often a personified and eventually hypostatized attribute seen in the activities of Woman Wisdom”.[49] 

(2)  Divination as Ancient Near Eastern Tradition

Scripture both condemns and invokes Divinatory practices.  The apparent contradiction may reflect a contemporary misunderstanding of both “Divination” and “Scientific Method”.  The Hymn of Wisdom illustrates both practices at a period of time when the testing and investigatory observational techniques were functionally the same. Divination formed a major part of the scholarly and royal libraries and the temple libraries.  For example, Beate Pongratz-Leisten points out that “the divination tablets in Assurbanipal’s library making up more than a quarter of the holdings thus showing its importance in the ancient world view”.[50]  The fact is, foretelling the future was important to decision-making.
In Job’s day, learned people turned to nature to discern divine purpose. Wisdom itself is concerned with the natural world.  Existence was explained as a Creation.[51]  The effort to discern Divinity in nature, and a Divine Will behind events, was a concern of all who would be “wise”. In addition, assuming the Book is created after the Babylonian exile (“Exile”),[52] most investigators assert that “earlier themes no longer obtained in a world of national holocaust,” and presume that the poetic book is “a theological investigation”.[53]  Clearly, the Exile raised a question of the existence of the Deity, as well theodicy and justice. Put more bluntly, the express existential challenge to a Deity in the Book is likely to be its intention. It looks to alternatives.
“Wisdom” in pre-scientific ages has been linked to the occult because that is what we had before we had “Science”. “The sage’s knowledge derives from personal experiences and perhaps very little from ancestral teachings or reveleations from divinities.  The fact that priests relied on visions and mastery of omenology and the public spectacle of examination of entrails is an admission of an absent god .”[54] Mantic wisdom was prominent in Mesopotamia and in the book of Job.[55]
At the same time, fraudulent and cunning deceptions by tricksters pretending to legitimacy are repeatedly condemned throughout Scripture.  Divination is specifically condemned in Hebrew scripture in what may be polemics against con-artists in general, and specifically against competing priesthoods of Egyptian, Hellenic, and Canaanite or nature-worshiping practices.
The condemnation is clear and repeated:  Joshua 14:6 putting a divinator to the sword; Ezekiel 12:21-25 forbidden in the House of Israel; Deuteronomy 18:9-22 forbids learning “the abhorrent practices of those nations [in the land]. No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead.” The express rationale is “You must remain completely loyal to the Lord your God”. The passage notes that “these nations that you are about to dispossess do give heed to soothsayers and diviners, as for you, the Lord your God does not permit you to do so.” However, in the very next verse, the Deuteronomist predicts that “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people”. Deuteronomy 18:15. To insure the fidelity of prophesy, the passage includes a death penalty: False prophets “shall die”. (18:20).  And Jeremiah laments the fact that the land is full of ungodly prophets and priests (Jeremiah 23:11, 13-14), and the Lord cautions against listening to prophets who are “deluding you”. (23:16; “who has stood in the council of the Lord so as to see and to hear his word?” 23:18).
However, the Exilic Hebrew faced the unknowns of the future with what appeared to be one certainty: That the God of Exodus did not prevent the Exile. Our own generation is still just recovering from such an “epoch-making” event in the Shoah. Perhaps in the Exile, a scholar such as today’s Emile Fackenheim argued that in spite of “no proof of G-d’s existence”, Jews must affirm G-d “to maintain Jewish identity” and to see the future of Judaism against those who seek to rob it.[56]  Perhaps in the Exile, a scholar such as Eliezer Berkovits rejected the notion that the destruction of the Temple was mippenei hatta’einu “because of our sins”. And instead posed the call to righteousness using the example of Job:  As Professor Sweeney describes this position: “G-d must withdraw from the world at times to allow humans the opportunity to develop morally, to exercise free will, and to fulfill the divine purpose for human beings in the world.”[57]  The burden of this Essay is to show that Job, explicitly in the Hymn, turned to Scientific Methodology.

(3)  Example of Contemporary Tradition:

Hellenic Divination Drama:  Prometheus Bound.

Here we submit the Hymn to a textual comparison with Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound:[58]  Aeschylus and the Author of Book of Job may not be exact contemporaries or had any access to each other’s work. However, they both ask “Where can Wisdom be found?” and question the justice of a powerful deity who causes great suffering.  The similarity of features is as dramatic as the dialectical plots they share. 
Prometheus is a Titan who brought fire and the arts of divination to humankind.  Without “just cause”, Zeus has Prometheus chained to a mountain and tortured.  While he suffers, various “friends” visit him to offer what turns out to be useless comfort.  The play consists of dialogue.  The following selection is between a Chorus of nymphs and Prometheus, and in Section 6B below we compare this extract to Chapter 28, line by line.  This extract provides an introduction to the modes of divination which were widespread in the Ancient World. 
Foul shame thou sufferest: of thy sense bereaved,
Thou errest greatly: and, like leech unskilled,
Thou losest heart when smitten with disease,
And know’st not how to find the remedies
Wherewith to heal thine own soul’s sicknesses.

Hearing what yet remains, thou’lt wonder more,
What arts and what resources I devised:
And this the chief: if any one fell ill,
There was no help for him, nor healing food
Nor unguent, nor yet potion; but for want
Of drugs they wasted, till I showed to them
The blendings of all mild medicaments,[59]
Wherewith they ward the attacks of sickness sore.
I gave them many modes of prophecy; [60]
And I first taught them what dreams needs must prove[61]
True visions, and made known the ominous sounds
Full hard to know; and tokens by the way,
And flights of taloned birds I clearly marked—
Those on the right propitious to mankind,
And those sinister—and what form of life
They each maintain, and what their enmities
Each with the other, and their loves and friendships;
And of the inward parts the plumpness smooth.
And with what colour they the Gods would please,
And the streaked comeliness of gall and liver:[62]
And with burnt limbs enwrapt in fat, and chine,[63]
I led men on to art full difficult:
And I gave eyes to omens drawn from fire,
Till then dim-visioned. So far, then, for this.
And ‘neath the earth the hidden boons for men,
Bronze, iron, silver, gold, who else could say
That he, ere I did, found them?[64]  None, I know,
Unless he fain would babble idle words.[65]
In one short word, then, learn the truth condensed—
All arts of mortals from Prometheus spring.

Here, the debate with a Chorus of Ocean Nymphs, continues.  Just as Job’s friends came ostensibly to comfort him, the Nymphs sit with Prometheus, but end up only torturing him more by reminding him that “Zeus the Lord, Whose sovran sway rules all”, has brought woe to him because of what he did: “For thous in pride of heart, Having no fear of Zeus, In thine own obstinacy, Does show for mortal men, Prometheus, love o’er much.”   Just as in Job, the witnesses tell the victim he deserves to suffer.
            Of course, we are noting the correspondence of the oracular references between the Promethean seer and the Hymn, both of which step through the modes of divination as useful praxis. See below, Section 6(A).  To understand the efforts of these masters at the dawn of Sciencia, we first turn to a review of the Sitz in Leben und Literatur.

5.   The Social and Historical Setting .

(1)            The Jobian Wisdom Literature

Hymnic compositions and story-telling around a “wise one” suffering at the hand of a deity was a wide-spread and ancient theme in the region.[66]  A Sumerian trove of proverbs clearly takes up the idea of Wisdom as a goal and a struggle.[67]  The earliest fragments are as yet un-dated,[68] but it takes the literary idea back to the pre-Semitic Mesopotamian civilization which flourished from the 3rd millennium to 2600 BCE.[69] 
The search for “wisdom” is clearly the subject of the Hymn, which is itself embedded in a Book which questions the indifference or antagonism of Deity during “troubles”.  Most scholars agree that this theme is widespread and ancient.[70],[71]  This evidence points to the established fact that Wisdom is a universal value.  Functionally, the search for wisdom unites people. The Hymn interrupts all argument and narrative, with a purposeful leap into this “Wisdom” tradition.  And the pericope explicitly places a high value upon it –“it cannot be gotten for gold” (28:15), “it cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir” or with “pure gold” (28:16, 19).
The point is that Wisdom is long, highly, and universally valued.  The Hymn appeals to, invokes, and gives fresh legs to the search for Wisdom.  Discovery of some 200 Sumerian collections of proverbs antedate Hittite, Egyptian and Hebrew wisdom literature, giving further proof of the ancient foundation of the Canon, and Job in particular.  Scholars and investigators clearly present proof of the universality of the high value given to wisdom – through time and space and even piercing “the crust of cultural contrasts and environmental differences”.[72]

(2)            Date of Composition

Exact dating of the text and its numerous putative emendations is difficult[73] and beyond the scope of this analysis. Professor Mitchell says that “Job probably dates from the seventh to fifth centuries before the common era.”[74]  Based on wine-stopper technology referred to by Elihu in another portion of the text, the Book goes back at least to sixth century BCE.[75] The late John Gray completed a text-critical study of the Book of Job with a chapter on “Date and Provenance”.[76] He carefully concludes that the Book of Job was substantially composed between 450 and 350 BCE, granting that the 28th chapter may be a part of the expansions which reflect “continued preoccupation with the definitive book”.[77]  
The Sitz im Literatur, in this case, is clearly later than what appears to be the Sitz im Leben setting of the book in an early Pre-Israelite period.[78]  Not surprisingly, the text itself is problematic in that Job is a wealthy desert sheikh in Chapter 1, and becomes a city-dweller of noble estate in Chapters 29-31.  Indeed, from a righteous man warm to the widows and the helpless, he is restored to even greater wealth at the end. He then accepts, yet does not give, boons. Maimonides notes that he never was or ever becomes a “wise man”.  But for the Book, and similar Literatur, the figure is absent from history.
Form critics have identified standardized formal language of Prophetic speech used to validate their message. For example, “Thus says YHWH” is often featured formula.[79] Additional Form criticism of the Book of Job would be required before the theory, suggested here by historical likelihood and intertextual comparison, is taken seriously.     
Of course, the writing itself has antecedents.  While accepting the Canon text, socio-historical scholarship notes evidence of “a very old story”.[80]  The pre-Semitic Sumerian “Job Tablets” predate possible oral traditions among any early “Hebiru” people.[81] The substantial theological dialectics and techniques for finding Wisdom, however, may be evidence of re-working by a sophisticated post-exilic priesthood from the “later times of the Persian Empire”.[82] For example, the tension between theodical arguments in the core of the book, and the theophany in the frame which restores Job’s losses and health, reflect a well-worked text almost signed by a priest writing late Second Temple dissent literature.[83]

(3)        The Celebration of Wisdom coincident with a Golden Age

The Hymn is inserted in a Book which contains strong exegetical evidence of a long process of re-working by tradents and a sapient tradition which culminated in this Scroll. The timing is coincident with a Golden Age reaching across the known world.
As discussed above, the Book reflects a process of redaction and inclusio.  Here it is necessary to the analysis to admit the multi-cultural, Universalist, and “science” dimension of this process. With the gradual development of improved alphabet-based writing systems, led by the Hebrews, the human spirit was stirred to a remarkable degree in the century between 750 to 650 BCE. This was the time of the first four writing Prophets, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah[84], as Israel struggled between Assyria and Egypt. 
In neighboring Aegean Greece, Homer’s epic poetry was also written down for the first time.  In the next centuries, the 2d Golden Age of Athens opened, with the great impious tragedian Aeschylus dying in 456 BCE, and succeeded by god-challenging Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Euripides.
In India, the Upanishads appeared, and Zoroaster was born in an “imperially” expanding Persia.  The Buddhist reformation was spreading to China, leading to wisdom-worshiping Confucius and Lao-tse. These and a thousand other great writers rocked the world with the search for “wisdom” which Job opens and hymns.

(4)        The Author of the Hymn

The identity of the author of the pericope, is not necessarily the author of the rest of the Book of Job, or Job himself.  The fact that the text reveals little about the author, and that no other writer refers to him, may suggest that he is not a “Prophet” or Priest.  Women often “disappear”, so perhaps the author was a woman.  Job’s un-named wife.  See the following Section , and Job 2:9.  The genius of the hymn burned into a charismatic text, should give pause to speculation.  Of course, the author clearly claims to have conversations with G-d, a charismatic authentication for both prophets and priests.[85]  

(5)        A Patriarch’s Polemic

Ideological Criticism reveals additional polemics in the Hymn. For example, “Wisdom” in Proverbs is always feminized,[86] and is grandly so viewed throughout Egyptian,[87] Hellenic and the Phoenician-Aramaic Ishtar-dominated Middle East.  Wisdom is a womanly attribute.[88] Indeed even the post-exilic commentators accepted without comment the fact that a wise woman priestess authenticated, with authority, the Deuteronomic texts found in the Temple during Josiah’s reconstruction.[89]  
However, in the Hymn, both actual and allegoric feminine features are absent.  Das ewigweiblische nichts dran uns hinan, may Goethe forgive me.[90]  Female as a source of Wisdom is not even considered. The attribute of Wisdom is male, and G-d is male. The debates are among males. Male activities – like mining, and hunting, as opposed to cooking and weaving – are the loaded metaphor. 
Indeed, the only woman in the entire Book is Job’s wife, who appears briefly before and after the Hymn.  Although Job’s wife is introduced, she is not even named.  Job 2:9.  She is extraordinarily fertile with two cohorts of offspring, and she even has a significant line:  “Curse God and die!”  She is immediately reproached for speaking, “as one of the impious women”.[91] In Job, women and feminine power are subordinated and removed.[92] Desaparecida.
As Job asks “Whence cometh Wisdom?” the Feminine is not referenced, and the iterations of the question are followed by “Man knoweth not” (Job 28:13), and it is to a male -- “unto man” the male G-d issues his final dispensation: “Fear of the Lord, that is wisdom” (Job 28:28).  Job presents a contrast with the roles of gender depicted in Proverbs.[93]
And conclusions must also be drawn from the association of Wisdom with a supreme deity,[94] the Christian doctrine on charism.[95]  The text is also a contrast with the Love covenant of Judaism expressed by the major Prophets,[96] where the Hymn is profoundly and apparently deliberately, silent about any relationship with Elohim.  Why is this important?  It is exactly these types of omissions, biases and dialectics which point to a sod or hidden intention.

6.    Intention

The intention is not always apparent from the text, even when read synchronically or structurally.  Granted, almost all commentators join in the general observation that biblical authors wrote “to communicate something to a specific audience”.[97] A structural exegesis would expose the explicit semantic oppositions in the Hymn. For example, the panels of the triptych and the two hinge queries can be compared, and the subtle differences in wording could elucidate the system of convictions.
A “hidden” intention would not be obvious, although direct textual mirroring makes it hard to miss.  For example, we show mirroring between the accounts of Prometheus and Job. Prometheus was the prophetic god, skilled in Divination and oracular arts. The Hellenistic Pantheon prevailed in the Aegean/Asia minor region at the time Book of Job was written. Most of what we know about Prometheus is drawn from one play written by Aeschylus – Prometheus Bound.   This tragic play adopts a plot with similarities to Book of Job.  In addition, Prometheus is confronted with the rewards and risks of divination, the same challenge faced by Hebrew cults.  Numbers 22:7.  In effect, we take a second pericope, this drawn from a comparable tragic poem, Prometheus Bound, and compare it with our examination of Chapter 28.

A.   Analysis of the Text

Verses 12 and 20 show parallelism, with incomplete inversions, and together, they function as a repeated interrogatory refrain, hinge-ing the three parts of the narrative. The Questions are opened with Separative Ablatives—“where” and “whence”. The opposition between “wisdom” and “understanding” is reduced by the question of “where” and the singular verb ---really looking for ONE thing.
The second appearance of the Questions, verse 20, repeats the “Understanding” refrain, but creates an elision if not an opposition, in the idea of Wisdom “coming” rather than being “found”.  While the difference may be of interest to an apprentice prophet, it does not appear to affect the tool-kit or techniques of divination which indulge all the senses and observances.  Further examination of the translated words (maugre translation issues), leaves us susceptible to Lundblum’s comment about excesses of Form criticism being “little more than an exercise in textual description”.[98]  
Shifts in content, framing, and theology make understanding the differences problematic.[99]  All the more reason to utilize appropriate methodology up to the task, in our case, of discerning the emergent proto-methodology of scientific method.  In this analysis, we apply the methodology of modified canonical tradition-historical criticism[100] because we presume to explore or trace the transmission of the divinatory complexes from a Greek poet playwright to a leading poet/dramatist of the Hebrew Yehud.

B.   The Pericope, with Commentary.

Chapter 28 begins without an epigraph or superscription but with an asseverative particle ki with the noun mosa literally meaning “place of coming forth”.[101],[102] The JPS provides the translation:
1.      For there is a mine for silver,
And a place for gold which they refine.

The significance of this paratactic is that although most Commentators seem to agree that the entire Hymn is an insert, the first words lead in from what was last said in the last Chapter – expressing deliberate but indefinite reference.  The subject, however, is not continuous. Chapter 27 has Job ventilating about “the portion of the wicked man”, and Chapter 28 is about finding Wisdom.  However, the indefinite referents are clearly deliberate – “there is” – and this may be a “Delphic” technique[103] used by diviners.  The Oracles are famous for ambiguity. 1 Kings 22.[104]  To ascertain what was the subject of Chapter 27, we insert redacted verses from the last subject discussed: {Italics used for emphasis.}
13. This is the portion of a wicked man with God, And the heritage of oppressors, which they receive from the Almighty. …
21. The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth; And it sweepeth him out of his place.
22.  Yea, it hurleth at him, and spareth not; He would fain flee from its power.
23.  Men shall clap their hands at him, And shall hiss him out of his place.

We note that hand-claps were used in the Delphic caves, and in mines for signaling. Of course in nature they are, and are literary portents of, thunder.

 “Hissing” is a sound associated with snakes.  Sounds, especially hissing and whispering fricatives, and snakes of any kind, are especially noteworthy among the diviners.

From the teacher of divination, in Prometheus Bound

“I gave them many modes of prophecy;
And I first taught them what dreams needs must prove
True visions, and made known the ominous sounds”            

The 28th Chapter continues, in the first of the triptychs, addressing the manly and difficult pursuit of mineral extraction from the earth:
1.      For there is a mine for silver, And a place [maqom] for gold which they refine.[105]

2.      Iron is taken out of the dust, And brass is molten out of the stone.

In Prometheus Bound, the fact that men search and do not find (28:24), with the list of metals having value, hidden, below ground, dimly seen/ shadowed (28:3): 

Till then dim-visioned. So far, then, for this.
And ‘neath the earth the hidden boons for men,
Bronze, iron, silver, gold, who else could say
That he, ere I did, found them?

3.      Man setteth an end to darkness, And searcheth out to the furthest bound The stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of death.

How do humans “end darkness”? With fire.  Hymn does not credit any deity for the Promethean boon.  Humans themselves used fire and continue to search.  But this recalls “All arts of mortals from Prometheus spring”.  The “searcheth out” matches Prometheus’ “found them” for us.

The “stones of thick darkness” may also recall stones used for casting lots and oracles, drawn from the dark pocket enclosure of priestly garments, possibly like the “Urim and Thummim”.[106] Ezra 2:63; Numbers 27:21.

4.      He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn; They are forgotten of the foot that passeth by; They hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.

The commentators have devoted paragraphs to the meaning of this verse, noting that the Egyptians employed Semites in the mines of Sinai, and the Hymn clearly shows technical and dramatic familiarity with mining.[107] The difficulty of finding “hidden” things, in remote areas (forgotten of the foot, afar from men) without fire is obvious.

5.      As for the earth, out of it cometh bread, And underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.

This verse spells out the link to fire, not just as a created element, but as a tool. The fire “turns up” the hidden things underneath.

6.      The stones thereof are the place of sapphires, And it hath dust of gold.

Sapphires were “magic” stones, because of their celestial hues and inner light. King Solomon and Abraham wore talismans of sapphire, and there are numerous references in priestly rituals or vestment.  Exodus 28:19; 39:13; Ezekiel 28:14.   Sapphire is not only a beautiful semi-precious stone, but Yehud Hebrews associated it with healing, comforting, and magical qualities. “ Isaiah 54:11-17:  “O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors…”.

Greeks wore Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli for wisdom at Delphi when seeking answers from the Oracle.  Diviners used stones among the “many modes of prophecy” Prometheus remarks.  Dust and powders were used in painting/marking, making oil or water paste, and in coloring castings for divination. Prometheus notes the different “colour they the Gods would please”.

7.      That path no bird of prey knoweth, Neither hath the falcon’s eye seen it;

The poet now moves to discernment of other “forms of life” invoked by Prometheus as part of the divination tool kit.  The raptors that daily afflicted Prometheus correspond to the “bird of prey”. Diviners would face a direction (or orient to the sun path or moon vale) and observe the flights of birds. Prometheus “clearly marked” the “right propitious” from the “sinister”. They had learned that falcons could see what we could not.  The Egyptian tutelary deity, Horus, was falcon-headed and could see the future.

8.      The proud beasts have not trodden it, Nor hath the lion passed thereby.

The commentators note yet another Jobian reference to “lion”, and the fact that Job describes the creature with five different words.[108] The reference to different creatures reflects the diversity in “what form of life They each maintain” of which Prometheus instructed humans. Biblical stories abound with animals which “see” what humans do not. Numbers 22:27 involves Balaam’s speaking ass.

9.      He putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock; He overturneth the mountains by the roots.

The “flinty rock” is one used to cut and also make fire, a direct Promethean reference. It may also be used in ritual, and possibly the Umim and Thumim.

10.   He cutteth out channels among the rocks; And his eye seeth every precious thing. 

11.  He bindeth the streams that they trickle not; And the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.
These verses supplant deity. Hewing the earth itself, and “seeing” the precious, are divine powers. “Binding” streams is magical, and bringing “light”/fire to the hidden. Prometheus boasts “I gave eyes to omens drawn from fire”.  This is exactly why Zeus bound Prometheus to the rock, for enabling men to be as gods.
12.  But wisdom, where shall it be found? And where is the place of understanding?

This is the first of the hinges between triptychs. The set of questions echo Prometheus’ rhetoric “Who else could say That he, ere I did, found them?”  So the hinge rests on the verb, and shares the goal: “In one short word…learn truth”.  Here, Prometheus and Proverbs pronounce the same cry of Wisdom.  Compare, Proverbs 8:1 and 5, 7.  Wisdom builds the same house[109] and her cry is the apercu shared with the Promethean lament.

13.  Man knoweth not the price thereof; Neither is it found in the land of the living.

The second triptych now continues the interplay with elements and valuable things, pointing to a treasure which is priceless and unequaled. Examples of priceless treasures would be “All arts” and Wisdom.
14.  The deep saith: ‘It is not in me’; And the sea saith: ‘It is not with me.’
The Hebrew for “deep” or subterranean water, is tehom.  The word often reflects the Akkadian tiamtu and the primordial powers associated with pre-creation Chaos in both Genesis and the Baal story of the Canaanites.  And Yam for the “sea”. Some commentators see a double reference to Wisdom, but that assumes Wisdom was with God “in the beginning”. Proverbs 8:22-31.
15.  It cannot be gotten for gold, Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

Having looked for it with the senses, the Hymn declared it.  The poet now turns to appraising it.

16.  It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

17.  Gold and glass cannot equal it; Neither shall the exchange thereof be vessels of fine gold.

18.  No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; Yea, the price of wisdom is above rubies.

19.  The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, Neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

This systematic comparison concludes with documentation – “establishing” it. 

20.   Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?

This Question is the second hinge, repeating the Questions invoked in verse 12, but expressing an active and passive verb. This suggests that Wisdom can be found by actively seeking it or by letting it “cometh” by revelation.  This insight is apparent in the Aeschylus’ tool kit for Divination as well – as the skill-set includes both “what dreams needs must prove” and what is taught about “True visions” understood and received only passively. The “proof” standard shows that Aeschylus regarded divination practice as valid.

21.  Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, And kept close from the fowls of the air.

This verse makes the distinction clear, that “seeing” and actively searching is not enough. In the third triptych the poet considers the mortality of human, looks beyond, and invokes the divine. Prometheus also ends with the reminder of the limitations of mortals—“All arts of mortals from Prometheus spring”.  Aeschylus here uses the word “mortals”, the other word for “humans”, reflecting on the fact that Death takes its turn with them.

22.  Destruction and Death say: ‘We have heard a rumor thereof with our ears.’

23.  God understandeth the way thereof, And He knoweth the place thereof.

24.  For He looketh to the ends of the earth, And seeth under the whole heaven;

25.  When He maketh a weight for the wind, And meteth out the waters by measure.

26.  When He made a decree for the rain, And a way for the storm of thunders;

These verses turn to divinity as explanation for mysteries.  This is exactly why Divination seems to work: the invocation of the ineffable to explain the inexplicable. It shows the sincerity of the author in his art and science. 

We also underline the verbs to bring attention to the fact that a methodology is described:  listen for clues, look everywhere at everything, figure out the way things work, measure and weigh them, and then pronounce your discovery so that it can be considered by others.

By comparing these methodological verbs with Aeschylus, we find the same methodology as a form of instruction by Prometheus explaining his teaching:  “I showed them”, I gave them many modes of prophesy” and “what dreams needs must prove”, in “visions” and “made known the ominous sounds”, “I clearly marked”, the “forms of life” and their characteristics to be discerned, including the “inward parts” and their “colours” and textures. “I gave eyes to omens drawn from fire”, for humans to find the boons of the earth, and “learn the truth”.

 In this explicit language we see the Methodology for finding facts, documenting knowledge, and ultimately “the way” to Wisdom.  We see the emergence of Scientific Method from the tool kit of the Diviners and professional Sooth-sayers.

27.  Then did He see it, and declare it; He established it, yea, and searched it out.

This is the penultimate verse, and it provides four delocutive verbs of an emergent Scientific Method: 

See it – (r’y) look for things; know first hand;

Declare it – (spr ) ventilate and document what you find;

Establish it – (kwn ) appraise, measure, weigh; and

Search it out – (hqr ) test what you found; probe; look into it.

There is little consensus on exact translation of the four verbs,[110] but the differences are within poetic ranges.[111] Considered together, they lose their illusive telicity and become an inter-related quadrafecta of Scientific Methodology.  A step-by-step approach to proof, where ultimate Wisdom is an ongoing process.  Wisdom now functions as a gerund. The action-verb cluster is intended for finding Wisdom, and in fact constitutes an early formulation of Scientific Methodology. 

In Job 27, the penultimate verse, we not only see, but appraise/measure, establish/document, and probe/test our findings. [112]   These four verbs are a How To for making Science.  The four verbs are demonstrated in verses 24-26, summarized in 27, and hidden by the prosaic final verse, which falls back on the proverbial forever waiting “wisdom” of Proverbs:
1.      And unto man He said: ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’

C.    Comparison to the Wisdom of Proverbs.

The final verse, clearly invokes the “fear of the Lord” formula which appears throughout the Tanak.  It is a prosaic and Proverbial formula.  Here it is instructive to compare these Jobian steps to the call of Wisdom in Proverbs.[113]  Proverbs 8 announces “instruction”, but fails to provide steps.  The “instruction” simply does not rise to a methodology, praxis, or technique:

8:32 Now therefore, ye children, hearken unto me; for happy are they that keep my ways.
8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
8:34 Happy is the man that hearkeneth to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
8:36 But he that misseth me wrongeth his own soul; all they that hate me love death.'

Proverbs 8:1-35 is a powerful invocation of Wisdom, and it mentions gold and silver, understanding and truth.  It also invokes feminine attractions, explicitly promises love and life, and the favor of the Lord.  Job does not promise those things. 
In other words, the formula in Proverbs fails to provide a methodology for How to become wise or How to find Wisdom.  The end falls upon passive verbs, the blessed boon of Wisdom simply calling out to us.  We may or may not hear her cries.  But we wait for her--“waiting at the posts” of the door.  What is missing is action or methodology.

7.   Theodicy and Wisdom – looking for the Solution

Norman C. Habel places great significance on this closing verse as the key to the Chapter.  He notes that it is a “traditional saying” presented as a solution to the ancient riddle repeated in 12 and 20.[114]  The final verse is also linked to the Prologue 1:1, creating a frame for the first half of the book.  “Understanding”, Habel translates bina as Discernment, often paired with Wisdom hokma and characterized with “shunning evil” sur mera, which is how Job was introduced.
Here, the Chapter 28 concludes.  Chapter 29 then begins, with a misdirection.  While Job may be resuming his speech, he does not in fact “take up again his parable” as he says.  Instead, he opens a new subject, reflecting upon better times:
29: 1 And Job again took up his parable, and said: 2Oh that I were as in the months of old, As in the days when God watched over me;

Wisdom and Theodicy touch each other in the Scripture, often arising from the same texts.[115]  Wisdom Scripture in the Tanak/Old Testament[116] tends to follow the argument of Proverbs that articulates an ideal created world in which wisdom may be learned by observing the patterns of creation and society insofar as “G-d consulted Wisdom in creating the world”.[117]  Some commentators deny that Wisdom is involved in Creation itself, where it is not mentioned in Genesis.  For example, Gerhard von Rad offers that wisdom is somewhere in the world, and yet separate from the works of creation. He denies that it is a personification or a divine attribute.[118]   Quite contrary to Proverbs 8 and 9, Job provides a literal dialectic, and argues that whatever it is, “the attainment of wisdom is not so easy”.[119]  Indeed, the steps may be “hidden” or kept secret.
Positioned after two sections describing the disaster and suffering inflicted upon Job, the “Wisdom” poem suggests that wisdom may be unattainable since no one knows where it is or what its source is. And G-d eventually enters the dialogue with no answer, but with more questions out of “wind”. Job 37:9, 38. Therefore, our reading of the steps taken by G-d to find wisdom, the explicit methodology in verses 24-26, summarized in verse 27, and reflecting modes of Divination in the Promethean tool-kit, is all the more compelling.
The Book is also in “dialogue” with other Scripture.  Professor Sweeney describes the Book of Job as a contrast to Proverbs, and a challenge to G-d while expanding the Psalmic and Prophetic view of divine Power: “Proverbs is a wisdom book that instructs its readers on how to live in the world”, positing a stable world of creation with “wisdom as the first of creation” consulted by G-d. “Job questions the stable world of creation and moral order” and argues that “divine wisdom is difficult to understand”, citing chapter 28.  Thus, the hidden “methodology” inserted into the Book, drawn from forbidden Divination texts, makes perfect sense.
Commentators remain profoundly divided but may “school” among evangelicals, liberals, and those adhering to traditional views.  Curiously, we barely achieve consensus on what “Wisdom” is.[120]   The final couplet of Chapter 29 may have replaced or added to accommodate a spectrum of views among the tradents.  Murphy suggests that the reason for the insertion is that for different generations of Israelites, wisdom itself carried different meanings.[121] The G-d who can be questioned by Job in the rest of the Book, and the G-d loosely-limned in the pericope, are inconsistent and in contrast with each other.  G-d is immoral, finds torture amusing enough to support multiple wagers for sport, and is largely absent when needed. The G-d of the pericope is hidden and hiding, but powerful and understanding all – “He knoweth”.  Job 28:23.  We can find methodology in the steps he takes. Job 24-27.  We find several Jobs, and several G-ds, in the Book and within the pericope itself.  Absent, however, is any mention of a moral, loving, powerful, just and wise supreme Lord acting in a relationship with humankind. 
For comparison, and because Isaiah almost always has something to say, we note that Wisdom in Isaiah holds a position of pride and place. The enlarged editorial framework of this prophetic, visionary, and oracular book, comprises the introductory section. Isaiah 1–5.  The visions are followed by Chapters 7 through 48 relating to Judah’s history under overpowering empires. The concluding chapters, 49–66, shift the entire emphasis of the work, and focus on Wisdom as a value second only to peace for the world.  This tie-in to Wisdom in the conclusion of Isaiah is described by Goran Eidevall:[122]
Even though Judah is constantly threatened by other nations, the identity of the attackers and colonizers seems to be of minor importance (cf. Isa 1:7–8; 3:1–4:1; 5:13, 26–29). Sooner or later they are bound to fall, all of them. Judah and YHWH will take revenge on their enemies, symbolized by Edom (63:1–6). In the end, the motif of foreign armies surrounding Jerusalem (7:1; 29:1–8; 31:4–5; 36–37) will be transformed into a picture of peaceful pilgrimage. From all parts of the world people will travel to Zion, seeking wisdom and bringing material goods (2:2–5; 60:1–14). That seems to be the message of the editorial framework of the book of Isaiah. [Emphasis added.]

Wisdom, in the Isaiah vision, is not only an individual achievement, but a uniting national goal and universal end.  It will ignite and sustain an industry of pilgrimage.
It appears that Isaiah’s vision reflects the divination Arts and oracular skills of the region.  With the methodology developed by the Jobian author, the Arts gradually develop into Scientific Methodology.  Job is remarkably secular in his piety.  He does not fear G-d or Death.  In Job, the methodology is practical, and it is no longer divinatory or oracular.  The quadrafecta of verbs are what humans do.  By proposing the methodology, we have a way to reach Wisdom, directly.  The holonic divinatory Quest for Wisdom is the kernel which grows into Scientific Method.

8.    Divination, and “Science”, as the Solution      

Scripture is filled with Magic, Divination and Sorcery. For what reason?  These are now out-moded labels, but they reflect the same intentions we have today exercised under the labels of Scientific Method:  Humanity seeks understanding.  We have Questions: Where did we come from?  And, What are we supposed to be doing?  Do you hear the cry of “Wisdom” rising out of the Proverbial Deeps?
The concept of Wisdom, and its learning, is not new or modern.  The idea of Wisdom has been remarkably constant over the centuries.  But our methods change, sometimes quickly.  We now use different means of searching it out.  Methods change with cultural paradigms, relationships with nature, definitions, and entire “religions”. [123]    Anthropologists have not found, in time or space, a people who have not “prayed”.  {Nor an anwering deity.}
            In the past, to answer questions, we resorted to “divination” -- drawing lots (Proverbs 16:33; Judges 1:1; Joshua 7:14), inspecting the entrails of sacrificed animals (Ezekiel 21:21; Numbers 23:1, 14), tracking the movements of animals (Number 22:27 Balaam’s she-ass; 1 Samuel 6:12 kine), and discerning the omens drawn from fire and water (Genesis 44:5).  The scripture contains multiple reference to “Urim and Thummim,” involving a repeated form of divination sanctioned by G-d, and conducted by priests with special vestments. (Exodus 28:30, Leviticus 8:8; Numbers 27:21; Ezra 2:63). Significantly, these two parts of a sacred oracle are connected to an equally mysterious “ephod”. [124]      Taken together, the three oracular components may be analogous to the Babylonian Tablets of Destiny worn on the breast of Marduk, but this is still speculation. [125]   
            The diviners who practiced in ancient Israel were developing an art founded upon discerning observation and logical processes which were accumulated and shared by specialists of the day.  They were practicing early “science”. [126]    Divination is an “early” form of science, antecedent to the now accumulated facts.  Today, our specialists gather and use “information” in a more informed manner. We now understand as coincidence what once was confused with causality. The diviner’s reasoning may be wrong, but it was based on observation and the applied understanding of the day. [127]      The application of the same methodology, the same process, is now called “scientific method. [128]

9.     Conclusion -The Message of the Text.

            Exegetical methods provide a somewhat unified interpretation of what the author of Book of Job was saying about “Wisdom”.  Granted, that Wisdom is a moving target of inquiry.  In the past, the best minds have studied the Book of Job, often caught up in the ironic presentation of theophany in the teeth of theodicy.  Others look for insight into Wisdom. Maimonides, for example, traces Job’s progress [129] from merely righteous, to being wise. [130]     Modern readings are characterized by an interest in “human perception”, backed away from the transcendent. [131]  Wisdom, in scripture/Job, not G-d, is the goal—that is, G-d never appears with a theological context, and Wisdom appears with a geological context.[132]  Wisdom is sought with a How To manual for finding it. Practical steps are described. Wisdom found, learned and gained by executing delocutive verbs: [133]  “Then did he see it, and declare it; He established it, yea, and searched it out.” (Job 28:27)  . In verses 23-26, the author describes G-d doing what men do.  YHWH plays a third person, the apophatic“He”.  G-d does not answer, and does not displace Wisdom.  “He” is, however, doing exactly what men can do in order to find Wisdom.
The four-part heuristic instruction for finding Wisdom is followed by the remainder of the Book, which includes G-d threatening Job, censoring his friends, and “answering questions with questions.”  The restoration of all Job’s losses at the end is quick, partial justice, and has no credibility. His wife suddenly has ten more children, and the most beautiful daughters.   The Hymn is an invitation to follow the Methodology which was used by YHWH to find Wisdom.  Four steps to find the wise path, to elevate human conduct. .
            While scholars debate the details, a consensus flourishes around the understanding that the Hymn highlights a path toward gaining a valuable autotelic human faculty.[134]  The great tragedy of Job sets the stage for this anthem to Wisdom.  The Hymn is deliberately anthemic, and it sings from the heart – the rough middle -- of the Book.
Yet this advanced step-by-step practical methodology appears to be “hidden” in the Hymn, above the Final Verse.  The key to Wisdom is not given pride of place.  Why not?  And why is it presented as the acts taken by YHWH to find Wisdom, but not as an express invitation to everyone?  Perhaps the “sod” view is that Wisdom, and even G-d, is not a noun, but a moving target, a gerundive verb.  
By comparing the text with other Wisdom literature, we find that the Book of Job refined the divination techniques known to the Ancient World.  By comparing the text with the Proverbial “fear of the Lord” formula used in other texts, we find that the Hymn offers a Methodology for finding Wisdom.  The Hymn provides practical steps that can be taken in the real world, by humans, to gain discernment and understanding of the real world.  By comparing these practical steps to what we now know as Scientific Method, we find that the Book of Job reflects a dramatic step toward scientific understanding.


Aeschylus. “Prometheus Bound.” In Nine Greek Dramas; by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, edited by Charles W. Eliot, translated by E.H. Plumptre, 8:166–206. New York, NY: P F Collier & Son Company, 1909.
Balentine, Samuel E. Job. The Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary. Macon, Ga: Smyth & Helwys Pub, 2006.
Berquist, Jon L. Judaism in Persia’s Shadow: A Social and Historical Approach. Eugene, Or.: Wipf and Stock Pub., 2003.
Boss, Jeffrey. Human Consciousness of God in the Book of Job: A Theological and Psychological Commentary. London ; New York: T & T Clark, 2010.
Camp, Claudia V. Wisdom and the Feminine in the Book of Proverbs. Bible and Literature Series, 0260-4493 ; 11; Bible and Literature Series ; 0260-4493 11. Decatur, GA : Almond Press, 1985.
Camp, Claudia V. “Female Voice, Written Word: Women and Authority in Hebrew Scripture.” In Embodied Love: Sensuality and Relationship as Feminist Values, Edited by Paula M. Cooey, Sharon A. Farmer, and Mary Ellen Ross, 97–113. San Francisco: 1987., n.d.
Crenshaw, James L., ed. Theodicy in the Old Testament. Issues in Religion and Theology 4. Philadelphia : London: Fortress Press ; SPCK, 1983.
Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
DeWaal Malefijt, Annemarie. Religion and Culture: An Introduction to Anthropology of Religion. Reissued. London: Macmillan, 1989.
Hastings, James, Editor, “Dictionary of the Bible.” Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1963.
Eidevall, Goran. “Propagandistic Constructions of Empires in the Book of Isaiah.” In Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires, edited by Alan Lenzi. Society of Biblical Literature Ancient Near East Monographs, Volume 7. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014.
Exum, J. Cheryl. Tragedy and Biblical Narrative: Arrows of the Almighty. Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Gordis, Robert. The Book of Job: Commentary, New Translation, and Special Studies. Moreshet Series, v. 2. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978.
Gray, John. The Book of Job. The Text of the Hebrew Bible 1. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2010.
Habel, Norman C. The Book of Job: A Commentary. The Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1985.
Hoffman, Yair. A Blemished Perfection; the Book of Job in Context. Bath: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1996.
Hulme, William E. Dialogue in Despair. Nashville, Tennesee: Abingdon Press, 1968.
Keenan, Edward L. “Logic and Language.” In Language as a Human Problem, 187–98. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1973.
Kramer, Samuel Noah. History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine Firsts in Man’s Recorded History. 3rd rev. ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981.
Lemprière, John. Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary. London: Bracken Books, 1984.
Lenzi, Alan, ed. Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires. Society of Biblical Literature Ancient Near East Monographs, Volume 7. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014.
Low, Katherine. The Bible, Gender, and Reception History: The Case of Job’s Wife. Scriptural Traces : Critical Perspectives on the Reception and Influence of the Bible 1. London ; New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Malmkjær, Kirsten, and James Maxwell Anderson, eds. The Linguistics Encyclopedia. London ; New York: Routledge, 1995.
McKenzie, Steven L., and Stephen R. Haynes, eds. To Each Its Own Meaning; an Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.
Mitchell, Stephen, ed. The Book of Job. Rev. ed. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987.
Murphy, Roland E. The Psalms, Job. Proclamation Commentaries. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977.
Murray, James Augustus Henry, Philological Society (Great Britain), Bradley, Henry, Craigie, W. A., and Onions, C.T., eds. The Oxford English Dictionary; Being a Corrected Re-Issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. 13 vols. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1933.
Perdue, Leo G. Wisdom Literature: A Theological History. 1st ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.
Phillips, J. B. Four Prophets; Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Micah. New York, NY: MacMillan and Company, 1963.
Pritchard, James B., and Daniel E. Fleming, eds. The Ancient Near East; an Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2011.
Roland Murphy. “The Personification of Wisdom.” In Wisdom in Ancient Israel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Roland, Murphy, ed. Theology, Exegesis, and Proclamation. New York: Herder and Herder, n.d.
Schreiner, Susan Elizabeth. Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? Calvin’s Exegesis of Job from Medieval and Modern Perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Scofield, D. D., Rev. C. I., ed. The Holy Bible; Containing the Old and New Testaments. New and Improved. Scofield Facsimile Series No. 2. New York: Oxford University Press, n.d.
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Form Criticism.” In To Each His Own Meaning, 58–89. London: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.
———. Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.
———. Tanak: A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible, 2011. http://www.librarything.com/work/12075940/edit/133767278.

Special Vocabulary*

Apophatic – the belief that God can be known only in terms of what He is not (such as 'God is unknowable')
                Taught and demonstrated by Maimonides.
Chiastic – inversion of 2d of parallel phrases; e.g. Job 28:27 per Gordis, but see below.
Delocutive – as to verbs in Hebrew – word coined by Emile Beneviste, more useful than piel or hiphil.
                Demonstration with Job 28:27 action verbs, revealing proto-scientific methodology:
See it – (r’y) look for things; know first hand;
Declare it – (spr) ventilate and document what you find;
Establish it – (kwn) appraise, measure, weigh; and
Search it out – (hqr) test what you found; probe; investigate; look into it.
Dialectics – arriving at truth by exchanging logical arguments. 2. Interaction of ideas
Epideictic – as for presentation – designed for rhetorical display, possibly hiding secret content (Sod)
Exegetic – explanation or critical interpretation, especially of Scripture.
Hermeneutics – interpretation of texts; Compare, “Double hermeneutic” – Giddens (1984:20)
 “[t]he concepts of the social sciences are not produced about an independently constituted subject-matter, which continues regardless of what these concepts are. The ‘findings’ of the social sciences very often enter constitutively into the world they describe.”
Holon - simultaneously a whole and a part. Coined by Koestler in “The Ghost in the Machine”.
                Compare “synecdoche” – in which a part represents the whole or vice versa {not a whole}
                                Example: “England lost by six wickets”, where the cricket team is not England.
Paratactic – literary technique, short sentences with coordinate conjunctions.
Pericope --  A selection or extract from a book; esp. a selection from the Bible, used as a text for study
Here, the Book of Job, Chapter 28. 
Telicity – reference to goal or endpoint; compare telic and atelic.

*  “Key Terms and Traditions” are defined in Section 4 of the Text:
Divination, Science, Scientific Method,  and Wisdom.

Attachment – Copy of Chapter 28, Book of Job

28:1 For there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine.

28:2 Iron is taken out of the dust, and brass is molten out of the stone.

28:3 Man setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out to the furthest bound the stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of death.

28:4 He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the foot that passeth by; they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro.

28:5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread, and underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.

28:6 The stones thereof are the place of sapphires, and it hath dust of gold.

28:7 That path no bird of prey knoweth, neither hath the falcon's eye seen it;

28:8 The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor hath the lion passed thereby.

28:9 He putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock; He overturneth the mountains by the roots.

28:10 He cutteth out channels among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing.

28:11 He bindeth the streams that they trickle not; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

28:12 But wisdom, where shall it be found? And where is the place of understanding?

28:13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

28:14 The deep saith: 'It is not in me'; and the sea saith: 'It is not with me.'

28:15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

28:16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

28:17 Gold and glass cannot equal it; neither shall the exchange thereof be vessels of fine gold.

28:18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; yea, the price of wisdom is above rubies.

28:19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

28:20 Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?

28:21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.

28:22 Destruction and Death say: 'We have heard a rumor thereof with our ears.'

28:23 God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.

28:24 For He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

28:25 When He maketh a weight for the wind, and meteth out the waters by measure.

28:26 When He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the storm of thunders;

28:27 Then did He see it, and declare it; He established it, yea, and searched it out.

28:28 And unto man He said: 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'

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[1] Boss, Human Consciousness of God in the Book of Job, 1–2. John Milton classified the book of Job as a short epic, and is the author of Paradise Lost, which shares the form. Boss notes that the “stage” is not a great city or battle, but the “very being of a single person,” and the battle waged within Job.
[2] McKenzie and Haynes, To Each Its Own Meaning, 148; quoting Brevard Childs whose exegetical work has revealed shaping efforts implicated in the canon, giving as an example the sapientialization of theology in a historical process.
[3] Habel, The Book of Job, 399: “It is typical of ancient sky gods that they see all things” and hence know all, citing M. Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion, New York: Meridian Books, 1963,  2.
[4] Gray, The Book of Job, 341, 350, noting that “Adonay” is unique in verse 28 and is an indication of an editorial gloss, or redactional addendum.  Gray does note that the “fear of God” appears in other reverential literature as "yir at “Elohim".”
[5] Habel, The Book of Job, 401. “...the difference between v. 28 and the preceding poem lies not so much in the different kinds of wisdom but in the modes by which wisdom is acquired.”  Also noting that “fear of Yahweh” is the pint of departure in Proverbs, citing 1:7, 9:10. Habel understands Proverbs to reflect the theological position that Yahweh gives wisdom, and that model is in conflict with this counterpoint suggesting personal discernment and discovery.
[6] The Attached Appendix consists of a copy of the pericope, verses 1-28 of Chapter 28, translated into English with the ending and beginning text of the immediately adjacent chapters and a frontispiece, from the New Jewish Publication Society of the Masoretic text. 
[7] Boss, Human Consciousness of God in the Book of Job, 138. Boss takes the view that “the text we have can be read in continuity with what comes before and after it”. However, some scholars feel the Hymn is “outside the pattern” of the rest of the Book and do not treat it as a unity.
[8] McKenzie and Haynes, To Each Its Own Meaning, 172. [Patricia K. Tull “Rhetorical Criticism and Intertextuality”, 156-180.]  Noting internal dialogism in the broad range of mocking, sarcastic, and rhetorically overblown speeches between Job and his “friends” who fail to comfort him. Job says “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you”. [12:1] Many scholars have noted that the “prose narrative constrasts with the poetic dialogue of the rest of the book” in genre, sophistication, and “more surprisingly, in theological outlook”. 
[9] Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, 344: “It is sometimes said that there is no task more complex than translation.”
[10] Mitchell, The Book of Job: ”Through many centuries of oral and scribal transmission, corruptions are bound to occur even in the simplest text; and Job, because of its strange idiom and the extreme compression of its verse, must have seemed difficult even to the poet’s contemporaries. Difficult, and scandalous. In several places, it is obvious that some scribe has deliberately altered a word, out of a pious desire to suppress Job’s blasphemy. And there are numerous other errors that must be due to inadvertence or misunderstanding.Nota Bene, Professor Mitchell did not include a translation of Ch. 28 in his excellent book.
[11] Music is mentioned here because it often “translates” and transmits quite well.
[12] Keenan, “Logic and Language,” 194.
[13] Ibid., 194: "The Hebrew relative clause is logically more transparent that the English one then, since it presents explicitly an entire sentence identifying the person referred to by the relative clause. Not surprisingly, then, Hebrew allows relative clauses to be formed in syntactic contexts not possible in English.".
[14] Malmkjær and Anderson, The Linguistics Encyclopedia, 308–312, citing Sadock, with Umberto Eco concurrence. Noting that “figurative language is one of the most productive sources of linguistic change” at 309, compounding translation issues.
[15] DeWaal Malefijt, Religion and Culture, 37, citing de Brosse; discussing the Urweisheit of believers emerging from the mental world of myth to religions of majesty and beauty and revelation.
[16] Sweeney, Tanak, 24.  Tanak is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh.
[17] Ezekiel 1:16 ff, not to over-egg a pudding about Prophets.
[18] Sweeney, Tanak, 12, citing Rosenzweig’s 1921 Der Stern der Erlosung.
[19] Ibid., 12, citing Martin Buber’s “Ich und Du” which builds upon the model of dialogue, including reflection in the aftermath of Shoah.
[20] http://www.bibleodyssey.org/tools/bible-basics/what-is-the-difference-between-the-old-testament-the-tanakh-and-the-hebrew-bible.aspx. Professor Amy Jill Levine makes a case for why Judaic tradition shaped the Canon, and Christians adopted, and then re-ordered and re-wrote, the Scriptures in the Septuagint. No explanation specifically for Book of Job.
[21] Psalms 16:20 invokes the Redeemer of Genesis 3:15. The re-framed and shaped Greek Septuagint was written in Alexandria to project a Messianic message in every book.  This inclusive effort arguably includes expanding the meaning of the words beyond recognition. For example, is a tribal official charged with restoring the rights of another and avenging wrongs a “Messiah”?  Making every Judge a “Messiah”? Leviticus 25:48, 49; Numbers 5:8Ruth 4:1Job 19:25Psalm 19:1478:35. For that matter, was “Jesus a King”?
[22] Sweeney, Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology, 196.
[23] Gray, The Book of Job, 341–342: Gray translates both of the interrogatories, at verses 12 and 20 identically, and with female gender: "But Wisdom--whence comes she? And where is the abode of understanding?"  His translation is as consistent in applying, as the JPS is in avoiding, the female gender for Wisdom.
[24] Sweeney, Tanak, 30.
[25] Ibid., 32, rejecting singularity themes of Theology, Salvation, Heilsgeschichte, covenant, canon, in "dialogue" with other Books, such as Proverbs.
[26] Ibid., 33, citing Bakhtin’s explorations of literary texts.
[27] Hoffman, A Blemished Perfection; the Book of Job in Context, 282.
[28] Boss, Human Consciousness of God in the Book of Job, 142.
[29] Ballantine, Job, 427, citing Crenshaw, “Education in Ancient Israel” (NY: Doubleday, 1981) 217.
[30] Gordis, The Book of Job, 311, noting the parallel verbs in 28:27 but other translators emend.
[31] Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all they that do thereafter; His praise endureth for ever.
[32] 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the LORD, and depart from evil;
[33] God possesses wisdom because he grasps the complexities of the world (Job 28:24-26) – a theme which looks forward to God's speech in chapters 38-41 with its repeated refrain "Where were you when...?" Fiddes, Paul (1996). "'Where Shall Wisdom be Found?' Job 28 as a Riddle for Ancient and Modern Readers". In Barton, John; Reimer, David. After the Exile, Essays in Honour of Rex Mason. Mercer University Press. {{same title, different book and author}}
[34] Gray, The Book of Job, 349: "This verse, which is markedly prosaic after the sublime poem on Wisdom...". He notes the almost verbatim quotation from sapiential wisdom, citing Psalms and Proverbs.
[35] Murphy, The Psalms, Job, 71: "Chapter 28 stands out in all singularity and beauty, unconnected with the previous or following chapter, but complete in itself.".
[36] Habel, The Book of Job, 393–394; “Job 28 is a brilliant but embarrassing poem for many commentators.” Reviews the claims of Dhorme, Leveque, Gordis, Rowley, Sawyer, Andersen, and Westerman as well as his own.
[37] Exum, Tragedy and Biblical Narrative, 11; the serenity of this Hymn embedded in a tragedy highlights the attributes of both.  What makes Job tragic "is not his suffering, but his struggle to know its cause and his refusal to accept blame." The Hymn is the key to the wisdom he sought.
[38] Gray, The Book of Job, 40.
[39] McKenzie and Haynes, To Each Its Own Meaning, 68,-85.
[40] Ibid., 132; 125-139.
[41] Ibid., 146-147.
[42] Ibid., 147.
[43] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hermeneutics/
[44] McKenzie and Haynes, To Each Its Own Meaning, 147. Callaway may be referring to appropriation of the meaning of a text by its whole scriptural context, without relying upon interpretation in the philosophic (largely Greek) hermeneutic tradition.  But what would such a hermeneutic look like? Since the middle ages, and specifically with Aquinas and consistently through to the German Romantics, Christian exegetes have used philosophical hermeneutics. The Aristotelian Organon is one example used in all textual domains for centuries.  Calley at least does make it clear that reconstructing of nexuses of meaning would also be contrary to the process of deconstruction used by Derrida and his followers.
[45] Ibid., 147. Callaway quotes Childs in accord: "One of the important aspects within the shaping process of the Old Testament is the manner by which different parts of the canon were increasingly interchanged to produce a new angle of vision on the tradition. The canonical process involved the shaping of the tradition....For example, law was seen from the perspective of wisdom; psalmody and prophecy were interrelated; and Israel’s narrative traditions where spatialized...The canonical process thus built in a dimension of flexibility which encourages constantly fresh ways of actualizing the material.“  While I have no idea what Professor Childs means by ”actualizing", this penetrating insight in the flexibility of the Absolute, and the common ground of the sapient tradition, is the basis for my suggestion that the Hymn to Wisdom is a Holon within a Holon within a Holon.
[46] Murray et al., The Oxford English Dictionary; Being a Corrected Re-Issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 554, entry for “Divination”. We quote only the first of three senses. The 2d is “prevision or guessing” including “conjecture”. Emerson uses the word this way as reliance upon “instinct” in his Literary Works (Bohm ) II.113.  The third meaning adverts to adjudicatory use in Roman Law.
[47] Ibid., 221c, “Science” with six definitions, we collapse.
[48] Perdue, Wisdom Literature, 29–30.
[49] Ibid., 30. Perdue flatly states that “Woman Wisdom” was originally "a goddess in Israeli religion prior to the development of monotheism, and then a personified metaphor." He notes that as a goddess, she would receive prayers, then ablution, and finally the ablation and disappearance of almost all female honors from the cult.  This is vividly true in our Chapter--Wisdom is not feminized or associated with female crafts (weaving, cooking, healing).
[50] Lenzi, Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires, 33.
[51] Sweeney, Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology, 188: Professor Sweeney notes that the Wisdom is based on “empirical observation and rational evaluation of the world”. He argues that Wisdom literature is but should not be dismissed or neglected in biblical theology, and emphasizes both its roots in the ancient literary world as well as its function “alongside portrayals of revelation by divine word”.
[52] Perdue, Wisdom Literature, 84. Perdue discusses factors which point to the location and period of composition as post-Exilic, while noting that we have “no direct evidence” of either the author, date, or location.
[53] Ibid., 78.
[54] Ibid., 85. Wisdom traditions and influence on Book of Job. Words associated with “Wisdom” often refer to occupations and skills; few to theophany. Wise persons rarely claim divinity (or give credit to the gods they prefer having for themselves). Perdue mentions none. The close connection is between wisdom and cult, not deity.
[55] Ibid., 91–92  "Mantic Wisdom"; Job 4:12–21 revelation; cf. 15:14; 25:2–6; 26:4; even Elihu expresses similar views, 32:8, 18; 33:14 and 36:7–12.  Perdue suggests that with the “very untraditional” appearance of G–d in the whirlwind, moves mantic wisdom from the fringes to the center of the cultic practice, “paving the way for the association of seers and sages in the figure of Enoch.”  It is the burden of this paper to inquire into the possible relationship of the Hymn to the praxis of Seers, those who divine the future.
[56] Sweeney, Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology, 12.
[57] Ibid., 13.
[58] Aeschylus, “Prometheus Bound,” 183–84.
[59] Here, the translator, E.H. Plumptre, provides a footnote 34 we quote in its entirety:

“Here we can recognize [in Aeschylus] the knowledge of one who had studied in the schools of Pythagoras, or had at any rate picked up their terminology. A more immediate connexion may perhaps be traced with the influence of Epimenides, who was said to have spent many years in searching out the healing virtues of plants, and to have written books about them.”

Epimenides is another “Biblical” connection with Hellenes, and with Wisdom connected with Divination.   Epimenides was a semi-mythical seer said by Plutarch to be a founder of Orphism and the author of poems and rituals which assisted Solon in his reform of the Athenian state.  Plutarch, Life of Solon, 12; Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 1. Epimenides appears twice in the New Testament. Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12.

Clement of Alexandria counted Epimenides  among the wisest philosophers, and adopted the Orphic theogony, placing the “Son of Zeus”/ Ieusus as the Christo redeemer. Stromata, i.14.Lemprière, Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary, “Epimenides” 253.

[60] Here, the translator, E.H. Plumptre, provides a footnote 35 we quote in its entirety:

“The lines that follow form almost a manual of the art of divination as then practiced. The “ominous sounds” include chance words, strange cries, any unexpected utterance that connected itself with men’s fears for the future. The flights of birds were watched by the diviner as he faced the north, and so the region on the right hand was that of the sunrise, light, blessedness; on the left there were darkness and gloom and death.”

[61] Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed, outlines twelve modes of prophecy relied upon in Ancient Israel. Ten are dreams or visions: Source: https://en.wiki2.org/wiki/Prophecy#cite_note-24
The Tanak contains prophecies from various Hebrew prophets (55 in total) who practiced forms of Divination.

[62]  Ezekiel notes hepatoscopic examination in the court of Babylon. Ezekiel 21:21: "For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination; he shakes the arrows, he consults the household idols, he looks at the liver."[2]

[63] Chine - cut (meat) across or along the backbone. A widespread form of divination called haruspicy (haruspicina) involved reading the entrails (exta), hence also extispicy (extispicium) of sacrificed -- “burnt limbs”-- animals.
[64] Finding metal ore is the threshhold illustration in Book of Job 28.
[65] Belief in the power of Words has characterized and hag-ridden Religion. The translator uses the word “babble” to characterize idle words, which itself derives from the Biblical “Tower of Babel” story. Genesis 11:1-9.
[66] Mitchell, The Book of Job, ix.
[67] Kramer, History Begins at Sumer, 284–88.
[68] Pritchard and Fleming, The Ancient Near East, 352–357, without noting the efforts to provide a date for the tablet. Compare, Kramer, History Begins at Sumer, 284–288, noting Shulgi, founder of 3rd Dynasty of Ur, whose rule brought in a Golden Age of wisdom, of which he boasted: “I am accomplished in wisdom.”  Shulgi of Ur (2029-1982 BCE) is considered the greatest king of the Ur III Period in Mesopotamia (2047-1750 BCE).
[69] “Dictionary of the Bible,” 942, “Sumer” entry.
[70] Pritchard and Fleming, The Ancient Near East, 365–374, “I will Praise the Lord of Wisdom,” Ludlul Bel Nemeqi, is a hymnic lament including Jobian physical afflictions, concerns of abandonment, and questions about finding wisdom.
[71] Ibid., 379–383, 382.
[72] Kramer, History Begins at Sumer, 117. Noting "The Sumerian proverbs were compiled and written down more than thirty-five hundred years ago and many had no doubt been repeated by word of mouth for centuries before they were put in written form." In reviewing the selection, many of which are examples of wisdom, and even dialectics, none depict a search or techniques for finding “Wisdom” as a hypostasis such as we find in Job and Aristotle.
[73] Berquist, Judaism in Persia’s Shadow, 208. “Dating the Book of Job is extraordinarily troublesome.”
[74] Mitchell, The Book of Job, 95, providing a “Note on the Text”. Also explains examples of translation issues, on top of his excellent one.
[75] “Dictionary of the Bible,” 142. Discusses transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic consonants, notes on translation issues, and an archeological and philological note which shows the text goes back at least to sixth century BCE based on the linguistic and wine-jar stopper technology surrounding wine in Palestine. 142, citing Job passage-- Elihu complains "Behold my belly is like wine that has no vent, Like jars of new wine it is ready to burst." 142.
[76] Gray, The Book of Job.
[77] Ibid., 35.
[78] Sweeney, Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology, 195–196; Professor Sweeney also places the Book in its final form as a composition of the mid–sixth to mid–fourth century BCE to coincide with the Exile prior to the Macedonian Alexander’s conquest.
[79] Sweeney, “Form Criticism,” 59.
[80] Berquist, Judaism in Persia’s Shadow, 164.
[81] Kramer, History Begins at Sumer, 111–115, citing Sumerian poetry drawn from six clay tablets, 5000 years ago. He suffers, and laments having no recourse but to glorify a silent god. No theophany, divination, prophesy, or issue of “wisdom” in our pericope is raised.
[82] Berquist, Judaism in Persia’s Shadow, 164; 206, 207-213.
[83] Ibid., 2016. Professor Berquist provides a detailed examination of the Yehud conditions and includes the Book as “Dissent literature,” without examination of the Chapter 28 inclusio specifically.
[84] Phillips, Four Prophets; Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Micah, xxiii, citing 750-650 BCE, what Karl Jaspers calls an “axle period” of human history, detected from Cornwall to China.
[85] DeWaal Malefijt, Religion and Culture, 228–242, chapter on Religious Specialists.
[86] Scofield, D. D., The Holy Bible, 674, Proverbs 4:5–13 "Get wisdom...Forsake her not...get understanding, Exalt her, and she shall promote thee...She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace...Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life".
[87] Pritchard and Fleming, The Ancient Near East, 379–380, “The Words of Ahiqar”: “Wisdom...To gods also she is dear”.
[88] Camp, Wisdom and the Feminine in the Book of Proverbs.
[89] Camp, Claudia V. “Female Voice, Written Word: Women and Authority in Hebrew Scripture.” In Embodied Love: Sensuality and Relationship as Feminist Values, Edited by Paula M. Cooey, Sharon A. Farmer, and Mary Ellen Ross, 97–113. San Francisco: 1987. Speaking of the role of Huldah in authenticating the discovery of Deuteronomy in the rebuilt Temple by Hezekiah.
[90] Mit “nicht”, quoting the last line of Goethe’s tragic play/poem, Faust.  Faust alludes to Job 38, and sings of the Feminine Wisdom of Proverbs 8.  Faustus ultimately displaces G-d.
[91] Without a name or previous introduction, at Job 2:9, “his wife” speaks to him: “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse G-d and die.”  Job, sitting in ashes, scraping his burning skin with shards, reproves her for speaking, “‘Thou speakest as one of the impious women speaketh”. She speaks no more. In the King James, Job tells her she speaks as a “foolish woman”. The Holy Bible; containing the Old and New Testaments in the King James Version, Nashville, TN (1950) 394b.
[92] Low, The Bible, Gender, and Reception History, 3: Job’s wife exemplifies yet another biblical case of “the disappearing woman,” especially when Job’s children “were born to him” (!:3, 42:13).
[93] Proverbs 31:10 asks “10A woman of valour who can find? For her price is far above rubies.” While Job asks “Who can find wisdom? “For the price of wisdom is above rubies”, and subordinates [his wife] or omits women, only using them as ornaments and legatic property, such as the “happy ending” having the “fairest daughters”.  Job 42:13:  “He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14And he called the name of the first, a Jemimah; and the name of the second, Keziah; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch. 15And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.”
[94] Hulme, Dialogue in Despair, ambivalent attitude toward silent G-d, 65, 82-84; Deity unmoved 82-84.
[95] Roland, Murphy, Theology, Exegesis, and Proclamation, 18.
[96] Phillips, Four Prophets; Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Micah, xvii.
[97] McKenzie and Haynes, To Each Its Own Meaning, 185; Semiotic theory, however, may not have caught up with Maimonides’apophatic  theme of Hiddenness in Guide to the Perplexed. And some commentators observe that a large portion of “communication” is noise with very little semantic content.
[98] Ibid., 160.
[99] McKenzie and Haynes, To Each Its Own Meaning. 172. Discussed supra, Section 3(2).
[100] Ibid., 90–99. We highlight explicitly the objective criteria drawn from facts and linguistics upon which a relationship between divination and “wisdom” are hidden within the “awe” of deity.
[101] Habel, The Book of Job, 389.  Habel translates the first line “Truly there is a source for silver”.
[102] Gray, The Book of Job, 341–342. Gray translates the line “Surely there is a mine for silver.”
[103] By the 7th century BCE, the Greek city states often consulted the oracle at Delphi, and the Romans continued the practice through the time of the contemporaries, Plutarch the Delphic priest, and Paul of Tarsus (“St Paul”), the alleged Pharisee Priest.  To cite but one infamous ambiguity, when King Croesus of Lydia asked “Should I make war on the Persians?” was advised “If you make war on the Persians, you will destroy a great realm.” Eager for plunder, Croesus attacks. He loses the war, and it is seen that the empire lost was his own. Indefinite referents.
[104] Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel, gathered 400 prophets together and asked them “Shall I go against Gilead to battle?” The reply could be interpreted either for or against taking the assault, for lack of a name for what would be delivered to whom.
[105] Habel, The Book of Job, 395. Habel finds the repetition of [maqom], repeated four times (verses 6, 23, and in the two questions of 12, 20) to be the key term. In the Quest for Wisdom, “everything has its place” in the order of things.
[106] Sweeney, Tanak, 112.
[107] Gray, The Book of Job, 344, citing Dhorme, among others.
[108] Habel, The Book of Job, 390.
[109] Wisdom hath built her House…Proverbs 9:1, and cries out, Proverbs 8:1.
[110] Habel, The Book of Job, 389  translates verse 27: "Then he saw her and appraised her, Established her and probed her.“ Verse 27 discussed at 400 : ”There is a mystery in eternal Wisdom that transcends definition and can only be portrayed by metaphor." Habel links Proverbs 8:22 to the process of creation depicted in verses 25-26. He has G-d discovering Wisdom and then penetrating her, without seeing the methodology expressed in the chiastic arrangement of the four verbs.400.
[111] Gray, The Book of Job, 349. Gray does not explain his translation of the verbs as “consider,” “assess,” “studied,” and “explored”.  In terms of observing the development of Scientific Method, all of the translations work quite well.
[112] Habel, The Book of Job, 389; Habel discusses the four Hebrew verbs of verse 27 in detail, and with obvious familiarity with other translators.
[113] Nota Bene: The translators are split on the gender of wisdom.  JPS refers to it as “it”, while scholars who understand Proverbs 8 as incorporating the personification of Wisdom, as a partner of Creator in the Creation, refer to “she”. 
[114] Habel, The Book of Job, 392. Habel also ties the vocabulary of the poem in with unusual expressions and affinities in the speeches both before and after the Chapter. For example, Bildad had fervently addressed the inaccessibility of wisdom theme in Chapter 11. Of course, none of the disputants find wisdom, and for Job to return to the traditional “fear of Shaddai” [yir’a “piety”] 6:14 would mean “returning to a posture of pious unquestioning submission which the friends had advanced all along and which he had repudiated time and again.” 15:4; cf. 22:4.
[115] Sweeney, Tanak, 22. While speaking of the Prophets, Professor Sweeney defines theodicy, "viz., defending the righteousness and power of G-d against claims that G-d was somehow unjust or powerless...".
[116] Crenshaw, Theodicy in the Old Testament, 100–108 describing the inter–related theodicy issue with the theme of wisdom. describing the caustic irony of a broken man reconciled. Analysis of the author’s intention.
[117] Sweeney, Tanak, 24.
[118] Roland Murphy, “The Personification of Wisdom,” 224, citing G. von Rad, Weisheit in Israel, p 194..
[119] Sweeney, Tanak, 24: "Job argues that the attainment of wisdom is not so easy since G-d may act in ways that humans find difficult to understand, but it calls upon humans nevertheless to adhere to G-d while continuing to ask critical questions of G-".
[120] Roland Murphy, “The Personification of Wisdom,” 222–23.
[121] Ibid., 223.
[122] Eidevall, “Propagandistic Constructions of Empires in the Book of Isaiah,” 127.
[123] One Dictionary provides a wonderful reflection on the aspirational standard of “Scientific Method”. “An orderly technique of investigation that is supposed to account forscientific progress. The method consists of the following steps: (1) Careful observations of nature. (2) Deduction of natural laws. (3) Formation of hypotheses — generalizations of those laws to previously unobserved phenomena. (4) Experimental or observational testing of the validity of the predictions thus made. Actually, scientific discoveries rarely occur in this idealized, wholly rational, and orderly fashion. [Appreciative Emphasis Added in italics!].  Source: The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
[124] “Dictionary of the Bible,” 1020, entry for “Urim and Thummim,””; 263 “Ephod”–probably an image.  describing an identification role for the objects.
[125] Sweeney, Tanak, 112. Professor Sweeney describes an identification role for the objects..
[126] “Dictionary of the Bible,” 607–611, providing detailed Biblical references.
[127] Aeschylus. “Prometheus Bound.” In Nine Greek Dramas; by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, edited by Charles W. Eliot, translated by E.H. Plumptre, 8:166–206, especially 170, 184. New York, NY: P F Collier & Son Company, 1909
[128] Murray et al., The Oxford English Dictionary; Being a Corrected Re-Issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. Description of the term.
[129] Mitchell, The Book of Job, ix. "Maimonides was the first to point out, Job is a good man, not a wise one.".
[130] Schreiner, Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? 59–60, 63. Maimonides points out that Job was never described as “wise” or “loving”. He was “perfect and righteous”, and even in his own recollection of his golden past, Job seems to recall court life (rhetoric, adjudication) and battle skills (“broke the jaw”, “bow is straight”), but no fulfillments in Love or Arts. See 29:14-25. The text seems to challenge G-d (never providing answers or justice), female roles (absent or subordinated), justice, wisdom, and forces the question of how a man who breaks the jaws of others, and neither gives, receives or mentions Love, can really be perfect and righteous?
[131] Ibid., 156–90.
[132] Hoffman, A Blemished Perfection; the Book of Job in Context, 279. “The great accomplishments portrayed are not so remarkable that they cannot be ascribed to mortal human beings.”
[133] –Sense it  (r’y) look for things; know from direct first hand experience;
Declare it – (spr) ventilate and document what you find, specify;
Establish it – (kwn) appraise, measure, weigh; record it; and
Search it out – (hqr)  test, pursue and follow it
[134] Habel, The Book of Job, 391–401; Professor Habel provides a translation with Textual Notes and a review of the Design and Context as described by himself, Dhorme, Leveque, Gordis, Rowley, Sawyer and Westermann.  Habel characterizes the Chapter as “a brilliant but embarrassing poem for many commentators.”