Janus Parallelism in Job 1:20

in Vetus Testamentum
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In Job 1:20, Job performs four actions:

1) he rends his garment; 2) he shears his head; 3) he falls to the ground; and 4) he prostrates himself.

The third of these can be read either (with the first two) as an act of mourning or (with the last) as an act of worship. I suggest that this is a deliberate literary choice: the poetic technique of Janus parallelism. Since Janus parallelism has already been demonstrated to be both frequent in the book of Job and significant for its meaning, this unexpected Janus parallelism in the prose portion of the book confirms that those chapters are not an early survival but a creation of the author of the book as a whole.

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    See C. H. Gordon“New Directions,” Bulletin of the American Association of Papyrologists 15 (1978): 59-66.

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