Job's Wife as Hero: A Feminist-forensic Reading of the Book of Job

In: Biblical Interpretation
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Abstract

This article offers a new reading of the role of Job's wife in the trial of Job, based on feminist hermeneutics, legal hermeneutics, and comparative legal historical analysis. The article proposes that the book of Job explores the problem of the violence and oppression of God's law as manifested through human suffering. Mrs. Job offers Job the best means available for resisting a violent, oppressive legal system, that is, martyrdom. Although Job does not use that strategy directly, he does employ it in an indirect fashion to exercise another form of legal resistance against God's violence in order that the case might be resolved. Consequently, God settles the matter with Job. The article demonstrates that Mrs. Job is a more important and more powerful figure in the book than prior readings have allowed. She is both heroic and wise.

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