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.