THE BOOK OF JOB
Tonight we will speak on the Book of Job, possibly the most misquoted book in the world. I dare say all day long you use passages, and you aren’t aware you are misquoting this Book of Job. For no one knows who wrote the book. It bears the title of its hero, as do so many books of the Bible: the Book of Joshua, Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel, Ruth – so many bear the name of the hero of the volume. That is the Book of Job. The word “Job,” so claim the famous scholars, by analysis means: “Where is my father?” You and I have heard it as “the persecuted one,” but the central point of the narrative is that Job was completely innocent – not guilty of any offense, but simply the victim of the most cruel experiment by God. The very last chapter reveals that it was all by God. Some scholar along the way, or some scribe, inserted some little story in the first chapter which is suspect, because they couldn’t believe that God could do that to man. So they claim that a pact was made between Satan and God, and God allowed Satan to do it: Satan the accuser, Satan the doubter. But Satan disappears in the very first chapter and never reappears. He does in the second chapter just for a moment, but he doesn’t in the forty-two chapters thereafter, not even in the epilogue.
And so we know that the cruel experiment was by God.
Now, you are Job, I am Job, the world is Job – the world of humanity. And to approach it as if it were an object lesson in patience – patience under stress, under trial – is to go astray at the very start. That is not the purpose of the story. I hope I can get it over to you as I see it. If I were to place it in the Bible, I would place it at the very end of the Old Testament, for it seems to lead right into the revelation of the New Testament. But I am not rewriting the Bible or rearranging it – but were I to place it, that is where I would put it. It simply leads right into the unfolding of the vision as we find it in the gospels and the epistles.
First, if you are not familiar with it, let me just tell you a few of the highlights of Job. The scene is laid in Edom and all the characters are Edomites, renowned for their wisdom, semi-nomads. Job, as the story tells us, was an upright and very rich Arab sheikh, owning thousands of sheep, thousands of camels, hundreds of she-asses and oxen, numbers of servants and ten children – seven boys and three perfectly beautiful girls. So we are told in the story. It’s a prologue to tell us this much of the great hero who was Job.
Then come the four woes, based upon the pact between Satan and Jehovah. The first one comes in and announces the fact that the Sabeans came suddenly and slaughtered all the servants who were taking care of the sheep and took away all the sheep. While he was yet speaking, the second woe appeared and he said that they took away all the camels and slaughtered all the servants. Then comes the third woe: they took away all the oxen, the she-asses, and slaughtered all the servants. Then comes the fourth woe, that his children –all of them –were dining in the house of the oldest son, and while they were all together there came this mighty wind and crushed the four corners and the house collapsed and they were all killed, and he was the only one who escaped to come and bring the news to Job.
And Job rent his robe, shaved his head, threw himself upon the floor, and then said: “Naked I came into the world, naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return.” Then he blamed himself – not for the act, but for having said: “Naked I came into the world and naked I shall return.”
He saw nothing to condemn in God, and so he did not see anything wrong that God had done.
And then, after the four woes, and everything is taken from him – all the children, all his possessions, everything – then starts the physical destruction of the man called Job, and it started with the boils. And that’s when Satan disappears from the scene and all these things followed one after the other – the boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head. And then his wife said to him: “Are you still going to be honest about it? Your integrity is unshaken? Curse God and die.” And he said to her: “You have spoken like a foolish woman. Shall God who gave us the good not give us the evil?” And so nothing came from his lips that could in any way be condemnation of God.
Then came his comforters. They’re spoken of as “Job’s comforters.” There were three friends. They came to comfort Job. They heard of his plight. He lost everything, being the richest sheikh in all of Edom, and they couldn’t recognize him, he was such a horrible-looking creature. When they saw him, they too rent their robes and sat with him for five days and five nights without speaking in mourning for their friend. Job breaks the silence and he breaks it with the claim that the very day should disappear from the calendar year. “Let the day perish wherein I was born and the night which said a male boy is conceived.” And then he has this tirade against being brought into this world. He didn’t ask to be brought, he was brought. And he finds himself now
without any guilt and all these things happening to him. And after he makes the terrific defense of himself, then comes the first comforter, who doesn’t comfort at all.
For he is trained – as Job was trained, as you and I are trained – to believe in divine justice. So we all believe in divine justice, in retribution. For we look at a person like a Hitler, who lived to the very last moment in his fifteen gloating years; or a Stalin, for his thirty-odd years – how they slaughtered millions. And what happened to Stalin? He died as you, as I will die – a little brain hemorrhage and in no time he was unconscious, after having slaughtered millions. Where is the retribution? Man wants retribution. Where is Stalin’s retribution, where is Hitler’s retribution, where is any tyrant’s? They live just as we live – they live on the fat of the land, murdering unnumbered millions, and they simply die as we die. And so priesthoods will tell us they will have their day. God will punish them beyond the grave – or in some future embodiment, if you believe in reincarnation. How could you live and how long would you have to live to repay the debt of thirteen million, when you burned them alive and you slaughtered them – how long would you live?
And so they bring argument after argument after argument to persuade Job he, in some way had violated this code. Maybe in his youth, maybe in the past – and he can’t think of what he has done. Maybe as a child, said he, some little infraction. But this is far beyond the proportion of anything I could have done, this judgment of God. What has he done to me now? This far transcends anything that any just judge would put upon me for anything I might have done in my youth. They still try to persuade him.
And so, as the Father said: “Even-handed is the justice of God. Even-handed.”
Then come the three comforters – who aren’t comforters at all, like all of our friends. May I tell you: may you not have something physically wrong with you after having confessed you believe what I talk about. May you never be financially embarrassed after having once gone out on a limb and confessed to everyone you believe it. They will come like this Uriah Heap, and all will lament. “It shouldn’t happen to you,” they will say, “certainly not to you. You mean you who know that the states are real and all you need to do is to get into a state and the state blossoms in your world – and you?” These are the comforters of Job. And so they come to comfort Job.
And he said: “Merciful comforters you are, and so were I in your soul rather than in my soul I would not say to you what you said to me.” But they persisted. Each had three chances to deflate him and each time that they tried he comes back with a direct answer. But he is so self-righteous. He showed all the things he did: he never turned
away any infant, any fatherless child, any widow, any stranger from comfort, from shelter, from food. He was fabulously wealthy, but he never once turned away anyone in need. And he itemizes them all, all the way down. But he never understood what I hope you understand – which comes in the flower called the New Testament of “grace” – that no one in this world can build a way to God. You can’t be good enough to earn coming into the presence of God – no man in the world. It comes by “grace,” this strange elective love. And he calls us one by one. So he did not know there is no such thing in this world as divine justice. He didn’t know it. The fathers didn’t teach that. And they still – in all orthodoxy the world over – they teach and preach divine justice, retribution. And it isn’t. There is no such thing!
My child – were I the father of one born demented, where not only the child but the mother suffers, I suffer, the brothers suffer, and the whole vast circle suffered – then should I suffer because of it? And that is divine justice? And you try to justify it by telling me that in some past embodiment he did this, that, and the other; that is why he is; and we were related in some strange way in the past and that is why today we all have fallen into the same net?
That was answered for us in the 9th [chapter] of John: “Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” The answer given: “Neither this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him.” No retribution whatsoever. There is something entirely different: that God as we now see him is the God of grace, the God of mercy. Were I pure I would never know that there was such a thing as a God of mercy. And God has consigned all men to disobedience that he may have mercy on all of them, that not one can crow and boast of his own purity.
So, to the very end Job is still giving arguments of his own self-righteousness – how good he is, how kind he has been, and all these things – that this thing should not have happened to him. And that’s Job’s arguments, while all these so-called comforters are still giving it back to him. And then at the very end he is demanding that God will appear. He wants to meet God, to confront him. He says: “I know he will slay me, I have no hope, but I will present my case to his face.” And then he makes this statement: “This shall be my salvation. For the godless shall not stand before him, and so if I can so persuade him to see me, to present my case, then I stand before him, and only the pure in heart can stand before him. So if I stand before him, that is my salvation.”
To the end, he still justified himself. He never heard of the great story of vicarious suffering, never heard of it. Or the author of the book never heard of it, for Job didn’t
write it. He is simply the hero of the narrative, of the story. So the very end, by demanding that you listen to my case, how righteous I am (he still believes – although it is not stated – he still believes in retribution and is demanding by his own self-righteousness that a verdict be brought in his favor because he is self-righteous) he feels he should be acquitted, that this thing should not go on as it has gone on for so long in his life. So you see: he has not yet abandoned the belief in retribution, though he denies it when the friends argue the point of retribution. The friends try to prove to him that he was wrong at some time in the past, because there is such a thing as divine justice, and therefore he could not possibly have these sores, and lose his kingdom, lose his family, lose everything – were it not that at some time he had earned this judgment.
And so he brings in his righteousness. And then comes the voice of God. For the first time God speaks. God refuses to answer all the arguments of the men. He refuses to answer the arguments and requests of Job. Job is fuming in his own self-righteousness, for in hell the only voice is the voice of self-righteousness. In heaven all is forgiven and the voice of heaven is complete forgiveness – complete forgiveness no matter what a man has ever done. In heaven the voice is complete forgiveness. In hell all is self-righteousness. He was in hell though walking on earth, as we are in hell if we are filled with self-righteousness.
Then God answers him out of the whirlwind. And may I tell you: it is a perfect expression: the “whirlwind.” That is how he comes. When he comes, he comes through the medium of a whirlwind. You hear it and you feel it and you think it is the most frightening storm you have ever encountered, that any man could experience. When you hear it and you feel it, you’ll know by the wind it’s the whirlwind, then God is about to speak. Either you hear the words or you have the scene, and it begins to unfold the most fantastic vision, more real than this room now – when you hear the voice of the whirlwind. So God answered Job out of the whirlwind and he asked all the questions concerning creation. Where were you when I created the universe? He asked one question after the other, all pertaining to creativity, and Job cannot answer. And then God shows himself, he displays himself.
In the 42nd chapter he now repents and covers himself in ash when he sees how audacious he had been in the past demanding that God answer him. Then he said: “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see thee.”
His religion, like our religion before the experience, was inherited. The oral traditions of the fathers and churches. And then I heard it, I didn’t experience it, I only heard it. Mother told me and took me to church, and the minister or the rabbi told me – and so I heard it from seeming authority and so my religion was inherited. Thus I expected to find a different kind of a God – a God that man made in his own image down here, a God that he called a just God – an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. I couldn’t conceive of another kind of a God – of infinite love, where there is grace, that it doesn’t matter what a man has ever done in this world – no, not even a Hitler or a Stalin. So everything in the world will be forgiven. “Though your sins be like scarlet they shall be white as snow.” “And so I heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee.”
Now Job turns to his friends, and Jehovah calls the friends and he tells them to sacrifice, because: “You lied about me. Everything you said of me was false and what Job said about me was true.” Job’s rebellion was against orthodoxy. His rebellion was against all ecclesiasticism, all rituals that said this is the way to God. He did them all, yet he suffered. He kept every law of the ancient church: he sacrificed, he did everything – and yet in the end he suffered as no man has suffered. And he knew it wasn’t true. So he commended Job, for what he said of Jehovah was true, and what the righteous ones said of Jehovah was false. He made them sacrifice and told them to go to Job and ask Job to pray for them. If Job would pray for them, then they would be set free – it would depend upon Job. And Job prayed for his friends and his own captivity was lifted.
Now that is where you come in: to completely forget yourselves in the love of a friend who is in need. Without raising a finger, you lift him mentally out of one state and put him into another. No matter what he has been in the past, forget it and put him in another. He was only expressing in a state, he was never the state that he expressed. We condemned him thinking he was the state, but Job prayed for his friends, lifting them out of that state of self-righteousness and divine justice, and he saw them in the state of grace. It doesn’t matter what they have ever done in the past. It is now what he sees them to be – and at that moment Job’s captivity was lifted. And so the whole thing hinged upon man’s ability to forgive.
We are told in the 13th [chapter] of Luke, when they came to him and said Pilate slaughtered the Galileans and mingled their blood with their sacrifices, he said to them: “Do you think that they were worse sinners than those who escaped? I tell you: no. Unless you repent you shall meet a like fate. Do you think that when the tower fell in Jerusalem and crushed eighteen that they were greater offenders than those it did not
crush? I tell you: no. But unless you repent you shall meet a similar fate.” So when you hear someone is hurt, don’t gloat that God is getting even. God doesn’t get even. If you hear of anyone being hurt tonight, don’t gloat: “It serves him right.” No retribution at all, not in this revelation.
Simply a man unknowingly falls into a state; falling into a state it could be a good state or an evil state, but he reaps the fruit of the state. He is neither good nor evil. So Blake said: “I do not consider either the just or the wicked to be in a Supreme State, but to be every one of them States which the Soul may fall into in its deadly dreams of Good and Evil when it leaves Paradise following the Serpent.” Who’s that serpent? God himself! For he consigned me, consigned you, every being in the world, to disobedience, and we left through disobedience, for he stated: “You shall not surely die.” And who told me that? The serpent, and who is the serpent? Just a symbol of God himself.
So he told me I wouldn’t die after first telling me if I ate a certain thing, did a certain thing, I would die. Then he tells me I will not really die, but my eyes will open and I will become as wise as the gods. And so he enticed me into disobeying him and so I left the state of innocence for a world of experience where I fall headlong into different states. After unnumbered experiences falling into states and redeeming myself from these states, he redeems me from it all and lifts me into a world completely subject to my imaginative power, where I completely awake. Here, I am in a state of sleep, so I don’t know I am in a state and I think this is my very being.
Blake made the statement: “Do not let yourself be intimidated by the horrors of the world. Everything is ordered and correct and must fulfill its destiny in order to attain perfection. Seek this path and you will attain from your own Soul an even deeper perception of the eternal beauty of creation. You will attain an ever increasing release from that which now seems so sad and terrible.” Not a thing to be judged in this world, not a thing to be condemned, only to be redeemed. So you and I play the part of redeeming individuals here, and at that moment of God’s own good grace he lifts us out of the whole vast world of states. But until then we can redeem each other.
You don’t feel well? All right, I will persuade myself you have never felt better. I’ll persuade myself you never felt better and to the degree I am persuaded I am pulling you out of one state into another. Don’t try to pinpoint why he is not feeling well. It’s a state. Don’t try to pinpoint it and say it serves him right, I knew he was no good. Forget that! The being that was never any good at a certain time, you pull him out of
that state into another, so that though his sins are like scarlet, because of you they become white as snow. And then you keep on redeeming people, one after the other.
Regardless of how many times you fail, try it anyway and you pull them out.
Then one day when you least expect it, God will reveal himself to you and you will say: “I have heard of you. I really didn’t know you existed. I believed and hoped you did, but I heard of you with the hearing of the ear – that is, the oral tradition. My teacher in school talked about you, and my father, the churches – all the people who believed in you talked about you, but now my eyes see you.” It doesn’t matter what the whole vast world will say. I see something entirely different. You are not at all what they told me you were. You are not a judge. There is no such thing as righteous judgment with you, no divine justice – only grace. “The law came through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” So, now I see. I don’t have to be taught any more who you are. I see you. And then, may I tell you, he is going to embrace you, because when he asks you, he answers in you.
Now, what do I mean by vicarious suffering (mentioned earlier)? It is the most difficult concept in the world for man to grasp. Every time I have used it with someone who at the moment suffered, I invariably got the same reply. Someone said to me recently in San Francisco: “I am suffering. You said God suffers for me? Well, maybe he is suffering somewhere in eternity but I am in pain, I am suffering.” I said: “What is his name?” “God” “No, that is not his name. His name is ‘I AM.’ Who is suffering?” “Well, I am. “
“Good, that’s God.” “No God here, I am suffering.”
It’s the most impossible thing to get over to man, that man who seems to be alive, is alive only by reason of the fact that God became him – that God became man, that man become God. He sunk himself in man, that man could say: “I am,” for that is God’s name, and that all things are done by God to God, to individualize you, me, all of us. When in his eyes the work is done, after unnumbered ages of pain – it takes pain like putting gold in the raw state of ore into the furnace and bringing out molten gold, pure gold, nothing but pure gold. It takes heat, it takes fire. These are the furnaces of experience, and we are put into the world of experiences and brought out as pure gold. When we are brought out, in his presence we are just like him. “It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know when he appears, we shall be like him.” For we become what we behold. I must behold it to become it.
So, “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear but now my eye sees thee.” And as you see him you are stamped with the image of eternity. You are one with him, one
with God, as God. It is he – doing it in you, in man, and when he has completed the task, we are told: “He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” He will bring it to completion. He initiated it and he will complete it. He took eternity and put it into this clay that is man, that is himself, and he works upon it, brings it out, and individualizes you. You become one like the being that created you.
That is the story of Job. It is the most glorious story, but I think if not the most misunderstood, it is not far from it. You and I have quoted it and we have misquoted it. We speak of the patience of Job. There was no patience of Job – he rebelled. We start from the very third chapter and it is a rebellion, and there are only forty-two chapters. The first is only an introduction, the prologue, and it starts in the second part of the second chapter where the prologue comes to an end. By then the four woes have been accomplished. The whole kingdom and his family are gone. Then come the sores on himself. The boils appear suddenly on the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Now you find rebellion: “Let this day perish wherein I was born and the night that said a man, a male child, is conceived. Let it be so hidden that God cannot even find this day.”
Job doesn’t stop the rebellion until he hears the voice of Jehovah out of the whirlwind. That comes at the end of the great narrative. Then he repents. He repents and sees Him, for the first time really sees Him – a God of grace, a God of love. He sees why he went through what he did. It was his own voice in hell of self-righteousness.
If I can this night reflect upon any good thing I think was good that I did, that is self-righteousness. It doesn’t earn me one little step towards where I am going. Do something because you want to do it, but to feel you are adding up and putting something in the bank for yourself – forget it. And so he was so good, he was so self-righteous, he never once turned anyone away from his place, no widows, no fatherless, no strangers. And he always abided by the law. He made all the sacrifices designated by the law. At the end of this special feast, Job not knowing what might have happened in the home of the individual brothers where the feast met today, each in a different home – he went and he sacrificed generously, that should they in any way have violated even in their inner will that which Jehovah designated, then he by his sacrifice would atone for them. So he atoned for his sins. He did everything that the law demanded. But still he broke out in all the boils and then he learned that you can’t be good enough to earn God’s gift. Self-righteousness is only the voice in hell. So you were right, Job: there is no such thing as divine justice, no retribution at all, none.
Did he not say: “O the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, the staff in their hands is my indignation”? [Is. 10:5] So I will use him, for I have made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
And so, just as I have planned it so shall it be, as I have purposed so shall it stand. I will not turn back – “[The anger of] the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.” (Jeremiah 23:20) Only in the latter days will he reveal himself. You will see that all the sufferings that you went through, the God of love put you through. Just like the great artists who are putting ore through the heat to extract the gold, he wasn’t concerned about the heat, just extracting pure gold for his labor, for his work – any more than the great sculptor is concerned about the clay. And Job said: “You made me of clay, are you going to return me to the dust?” What does the potter think of the clay when he puts it through every form to fulfill his purpose or what he purposes for it? He isn’t concerned. So you and I are the clay in the potter’s hand and he is bringing us out into his own image.
I heard someone gloat in NYC when these lovely little children, in their early twenties and teens, on the eightieth-odd floor of the Empire State Building, and this plane came too low. He was simply showing off because they were warned time and again not to fly over NYC low, and here was this 102-story building plus this enormous antenna that goes way beyond that, and the chap coming through with one aboard, and two passengers that were not supposed to be there, showing what he could do, and he couldn’t maneuver the plane. He went right into that building and he snuffed out the lives of something like thirty-four or forty young girls in a Catholic charity. And if someone, like this one who spoke to me, is anti-Catholic, he would then say that is what God did. Well you have to be silent, because they express complete stupidity. What can you do? If my daughter were among them and he said it, chances are he would be in the hospital. He could judge that God did that because he was against this charity work of some Catholic. These sweet little children, all Catholic, work in the organization (or maybe they were not all Catholic). And he dared to say that. They could have been a Jewish organization and some anti-Jew would have said the same thing, etc.
Here, this is the story of Job. There is no such thing as divine justice. We are all coming out, and when we all come to the end we will all see it and then we will understand. But don’t tell me the six million Jews who were walked right into the furnaces of
Germany, that that was divine justice. Job didn’t see it, or the author of the b
see it. They did not understand the mystery of vicarious suffering, because the Father said it and then the three friends who came, they echoed it, and then he said, “Nonsense, it’s a lie.” That’s what Job said.
But still in the last confession in the end when he rehearsed all of his good qualities, all of his virtues, expecting to be exonerated by this rehearsal of virtues, that surely an acquittal must be brought in that must be the only verdict that could be brought in. That was his last soliloquy. And then comes the voice and then he realizes that all the so-called good things that he did don’t mean a thing in the eyes of God. God started it and God is going to complete it and God is working us into the image of himself. He has to put us through these experiences, but he has laid the foundation of infinite states. So when you see someone who is unlovely in the world by his actions, he is only expressing a state into which he has fallen, and chances are unwittingly. Not deliberately, but unknowingly and he has to occupy it while he is in it and then because he is alive he simply radiates it, it grows and bears the fruit of itself. So know that you can forgive every being by simply pulling him out. This is the supreme test of one’s ability to forgive. To identify the one you would forgive with the ideal that so far he has failed to express. To the degree that you can become self-persuaded that he is that ideal, to that degree he will express it, and then you deliver him, you save him – you forgive him by putting him into another state altogether.
Job didn’t see that. Job thought if he gave things and was kind and generous – but he did nothing to change them. The orphan remains an orphan, the widow remains the widow and they all remained as they were. They were fed from this generous table, but all remained what they were before they were fed. Don’t let anyone remain what he was after you see his need. You see him differently — pull him out of his state and put him in another. Poor man, it is so easy to put your hand in your pocket and say: “Here’s a dollar.” It’s so easy, but to see him gainfully employed and to persuade yourself that he is, that he really doesn’t need that dollar, is difficult. If you give him the dollar, like Job you will recount your virtues: the day you once gave a man a dollar — he didn’t earn it, you gave it. So He said: I the Lord, who gave from his hand the good, also gave the evil. Who gave it? And so I say: you can forgive forever.
It’s fun giving, but it’s far better if you still give to him by transforming him in your mind’s eye and see him not in need. If men were not in need, what a balloon would be broken, starting with our government. Just imagine if they were not in need, for then their own claims to us, across the face of our country, and on radio and TV, how generous they are because they are giving balloons away. So, suppose we were not in
need of balloons, what deflation of balloon personalities! If you meet someone on the street that really is in need of your dollar, switch it around that they are not in need of any of your dollars. And now you have the power, greater than the dollar, to take them from where they are and put them where they would like to be, in your mind’s eye.
And now, in closing, when you read the book in the future, see the whole drama taking place in the mind of Job. It didn’t take place between three friends and the fourth one who was brought in and Jehovah and all the others. The whole thing takes place in Job. This argument portrays Job himself as the accuser and the accused. So as you read it in the future, see only one being playing all the parts, and it is Job – you – and he is in conflict with himself, and at the very end he is integrated. He is torn apart between the one accusing him and the one defending his rights, but suddenly he becomes an integrated soul. At that moment of complete integration where there is no one but himself, he finds God. For God becomes him that he may become God, who is sunk in us. The confusion goes on until finally there is no other to whom we can turn.
The whole thing was contained within us, and at that moment of perfection he appears seemingly coming from without. He doesn’t come from without at all, for when you look at him he looks just like you, and so you see, he really isn’t coming from without. He appears to, but really he is coming from within and gives the appearance of coming from without that you may see what you look like. “I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes have seen Thee.”
Now let us go into the silence.
Question & Answer Period
Q. What would have happened to Job if he had not prayed for his friends?
A. Then he would not have known concerning the state. He would not have known he was only in a state at any moment of time when he was complaining. He could deliver those from their state, but it wasn’t Jehovah who did the praying. Jehovah said to them: “Ask Job to pray for you.” So who is Jehovah? As Blake said: “When Jesus Christ arose from the dead he became Jehovah.”
See the Bible through the eyes of Blake. In Blake’s engravings, when the left foot is forward, he uses the devil. And in the state of love it becomes a man, but the foot
becomes a cloven hoof. When God is speaking in the most marvelous way, the right foot is forward; the other place, the left foot is forward. The left foot is the state which is doubt. So the symbolism is perfect with Blake in his illustration. But for sheer beauty of English, read the book. What English! Carlyle said it is the greatest piece of literature of all time. Tennyson said of it: “It is the greatest poem ever written.” Luther – who gave us a great religion when he broke away at the beginning of the reformation – claims it is the most magnificent book of all scripture. So, he makes extravagant claims for the Book of Job. But for sheer beauty of English read the book. You are Job. I am Job, and when you ask these things: “Why did it happen to me?” – not only physical things but the loss of a friend, loss of a child. What is more heart-breaking than a father who has raised a child and loved that child, and hopes he will transcend him in time, and will leave an estate for him – to go to the graveside and bury him? And he buries him, the same way Job lost his estate, lost everything, and his ten children all snuffed out. But the play is taking place in him. In the very last chapter, not only they all came in the very end after he was redeemed – his brothers and sisters, all of his friends of old came to sympathize and to comfort him for the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. His seven sons and his three daughters were there, yet in the first chapter they were dead. In the last chapter they were there.
He lived 140 years. Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value and symbolical name. In symbolism, 100 has the letter “qoph” [pron. “koof”] – “the back of the head.” The hundred is simply this, and forty is “mem” whose symbolical value is “womb.” So, here is the womb where he lived (the back of the head). In the back of the head this womb becomes man’s tomb. It infers that man is actually buried but doesn’t know it, and one day he will awake. He will awake within himself to find he is entombed. He never knew before that he was entombed; he thought he was walking the earth. He didn’t realize all this was like a dream unfolding, until one day he awakes and the tomb is his own skull. Mem-Qoph. Here is the mem and here is the forty, the womb. It is here that he is begotten by God himself. And so he lived 140 years. Qoph-Mem.
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