Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Book of Job

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39314.452292.4E (Published 30 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:453
  1. John Launer, senior clinical lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic, London, and an associate director at the London GP Deanery
  1. jlauner{at}londondeanery.ac.uk

    Many of the books in the Hebrew Bible take the form of histories, while some are collections of poetry or prophecy, and a few are like short novels. The Book of Job, uniquely, is a play. Its brief prologue tells of the catastrophes inflicted by God on the hero, a wealthy and virtuous farmer. These include the deaths of all his children and servants, the loss of his entire livestock, and affliction with a vile skin disease. In the verse drama that then follows, Job bemoans his fate in a series of chilling suicidal laments: “Let the day perish …

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