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Who Changes His Mind about Dust and Ashes? The Rhetorical Structure of Job 42:2-6

In: Vetus Testamentum
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In the present article it is argued that the phrase ונחמתי על־עפר ואפר (Job 42:6) is to be rendered “and I have compassion with dust and ashes”. This means that v. 6, which is generally regarded as Job’s final dramatic—but ambiguous!—confession, can only be spoken by God: it is God who changes his mind! The strophic structure of the poem 42:2-6 confirms this interpretation.

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