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9780851114989-Fyall-NSBT-Now-my-eyes-have-seen-you-Job

Fyall lays the crux of Job as the question of which and why the evil? More precisely, he lays out two related questions. Is God Job’s advocate or his Satan (accuser) is God for Job or against him:

Here Job comes close to reconstructing the scene of the heavenly council in the Prologue; but he turns it inside out. He identifies God as his enemy rather than his advocate. At this crucial point he is tested to the ultimate. From his perspective he is led to wonder if God in whom he trusted is not in reality his satan.

Page 43, quoting J.E. Hartley. A related question is the presence of evil in creation. To Job, there seems to be a dualism in creation: an equal evil power to the power of God, a power which lies in contrast to God but which operates on the same plain as God.

To combine the questions: Is this affliction the power of God or is it the power of something God cannot control?

To develop this question, Fyall looks to the nature of the evil powers as presented in the language of ANE mythology.  There is way in which the allusions would be understood. This is not to say that Job believes the ANE mythology but rather that the allusions give detail and personification to the evil:

My argument is that personification is necessary because it corresponds to a profound reality. The reality is that the universe is not a mechanical system as envisioned by a rationalistic deism (which, incidentally, is a metaphorical view as any other) but a vast series of complex relationships involving not only God but other powers. It is, in other words, the metaphor of the heavenly court that brilliantly embodies this idea.

Pages 125-126.

Working through this thesis, Fyall explains the manner in which God’s speech to Job answers the question: and thus leads to Job’s statement,

Job 42:5 (ESV)

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

Job realizes there are no powers beyond God’s control; Job learns to understand God more clearly.

In addition to working through this issue, Fyall develops various themes and makes observations which help us to understand theology and the Scripture well beyond Job. For example, the discussion of Jesus and the sea opened up a whole new way to understand Jesus walking upon and Jesus stilling the sea.