Job, Hopeful or Hopeless? The Significance of גם in Job 16:19 and Job’s Changing Conceptions of Death

David Kummerow


Failing to take into account the use of the particle גם in
Job 16:19 and Job’s changing conception of death has leaded many to argue that
Job abandons his hope in God. However, attention to these two issues leads to
the conclusion that Job remains confident in God. Firstly, גם is used in
16:19-21 by Job to highlight his supplementation of his previous
characterisation of God as his violent enemy (16:7-18), viz. that God is his
witness, advocate, and friend. Secondly, it is unclear what leads Job to change
his conception of death in his speeches from initial positivity to later
negativity if not for his hope in God. Collaborative support is thus adduced for
the contention that Job’s hope continues to centre upon God.

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