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Job in the Testament of Abraham

Dale C. Allison, JR Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 2001 12: 131 DOI: 10.1177/095182070101200201 The online version of this article can be found at:

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[JSP 12.2 (20M) 131



Dale C. Allison, Jr

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh

PA 15206, USA


Scholarship has not perceived the heavy dependence of the Testament of Abraham upon the Tanakh. Much of the story, especially the first half, borrows phrases from Genesis 12-25, which it replays in creative ways. But the Testament is also greatly indebted to other portions of Scripture. Particularly important is the material borrowed from Job, which in fact creates a Job typology. Taken together, the parallels between Abraham and Job put the Testament in an exegetical tradition, for Jewish sources frequently compare the two figures.
The Scriptures in the Testament of Abraham E.P. Sanders has asserted that almost nothing of the Old Testament appears in the Testament of Abraham except the obvious references to Abraham in Genesis, and James Charlesworth has cited his comment with approval: As E. P. Sanders states, virtually nothing from the Old Testament is found in the Testament of Abraham, other than the obvious and relatively insignificant references which can be traced back to Genesis? These statements, however, need to be corrected. It is true that the Testament of Abraham (hereafter Testament) quotes from Genesis rarely
1. E.P. Sanders, Testament of Abraham, in OTP , I, pp. 871-902 (879). He cites, from the long recension, 1.5; 3.6; 4.1.1; 6.4; 8.5-7; 11.12; 13.8. 2. James H. Charlesworth, In the Crucible: The Pseudepigrapha as Biblical Interpretation, in James H. Charlesworth and Craig A. Evans (ed.), The Pseudepigrapha and Early Biblical Interpretation (JSPSup, 14; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,

1993), pp. 20-43 (35).

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132 and explicitly refers to episodes therein only occasionally. But explicit reference and quotation hardly exhaust the ways in which texts may interact ; and careful examination of the Testament reveals that it constantly alludes to and rewrites sections of the Tanakhh.
Table 1. The Parallelism of the Testament of Abraham 2-3 and Genesis, Especially 18.1-8 (LXX)

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Consider, for example, chs. 2 and 3, where Abraham entertains Michael the archangel, who has come down from heaven to earth. The story clearly replays the patriarchs past, especially Genesis 18, where he entertains three angels. Indeed, one could hardly ask for more extensive or obvious parallelism (see Table 1, opposite). This sort of dense, extended intertextuality is hardly confined to chs. 2-3. Vast portions of the Testament rewrite lines and episodes from Abrahams story as told in Genesis 12-25. But Genesis is not the only scriptural subtext. Consider, for instance, Abrahams prayer in ch. 9:

beg you, Commander-in-chief of the upper powers, since you did not deem it altogether unworthy to come daily to me, sinner and your unworthy supplicant, I plead with you again now, Commander-in-chief, to serve me yet once before the Most High, and to speak to him as follows: Thus says Abraham, &dquo;Lord, lord, every task and word which I have asked of you, you have done, and you have given to me according to my heart and have fulfilled all my will. And now Lord, I do not resist your might, for I know that I will not be immortal but mortal. Since then at your command all things submit and shudder and tremble before your power, I too am afraid. One more request I nonetheless request of you. And now, Master Lord, hear my prayer. While I am yet in this body I wish to see all the inhabited earth and all the things made, which you established through one word, Master; and after I have seen these things, then I shall not grieve when I depart from
(this) life

This, like Jon. 2.2-9 and so many other Jewish prayers,4 is built largely out of scriptural phrases, as one can see at a glance: 1. Lord, lord--KUpts xupte: this address appears often in LXX prayers: Deut. 3.24; 9.26; Judg. A 6.22,28; 3 Bas. 8.53;1 Chron. 17.24; Est. 4.17b ; 2 Macc. 1.24; 3 Macc. 2.2 ; Pss. 68.7; 108.21; 129.3; 139.8; 140.8; Amos 7.2, 5; Jer. 28.62; Ezek. 21.5. 2. have given to me according to my heart and have fulfilled all my will―eScoxa~ pot KaTa TIl5 Kapa5 pou Kcd Traoav Tiv ~3ou?~riv J..lOU 1T~p)oa5: this is from LXX Ps. 19.5~ 5(jpr) OOt KaTa TTjV Kap5iav oou Kat Traoav TTjV j~ouX~v oou

rr3~rlp~aQa l .
3. My translation, as elsewhere, based upon the critical edition of Francis Schmidt, Le Testament grec dAbraham: Introduction, édition critique des deux recensions grecques, traduction (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1986). 4. Judith H. Newman, Praying by the Book: The Scripturalization of Prayer in Second Temple Judaism (SBLEJL, 14; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999).
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And now Lord*―KO~wv KUptE: this formula occurs 20 times in the LXX, most often in Kings (3 Bas. 3.7; 8.25, 26; 4 Bas.19.19;

4. ~ .. all things...shudder 1U1d tremble before your power&dquo;&horbar;TTOfvT<x...~ptTTEt Kai TpE~Et atro TTpoo1TTOU &Ivapsca5 o<~: these words come from Pr. Man. 4, OV rr~v-ra q>ptTT1 , kal&dquo; TpStJCt1


CXTTO TTpOOeJTTOU uvJlEc&eth;s 000. One more request I...request of you&horbar;~Ntwv...~{cw o~TTtaiv... a TOJlal TTap ao~i : this petition appears in 3 Bas. 2.16,
20, Kal vuv alT1lolv tuav...EyM alTo5pat Trapa aou...atTTtOt~ Jliav Eyco stTou~atTrapa odu. And now, Master Lord-Kat vuv 5E<j7roTa KuptE: Kat V5V appears immediately before 6ia7ToTa KUp t E in prayers to God in LXX Jdt. 5.20; Jon. 4.3; and Dan. 9.15; and Abraham addresses God as OEOTroTa KuptE in Gen. 15.8.
~ ,,,



,,.,..,, 1I




prayer&horbar;~oaKOUoov TI1S 6ETIGEC05 ~tCHj: cf. LXX Est. 4.17, ETraKouoov riis &4GZca5 ~ou; Ps. 27.2, E~oaKoutJtOU; 60.2, sto<Kauoov... T11S s~&oelig;c&eth;5 ~OU; Gov .. A5 8ETlacc,o!g Jdt. 9.12, c10aKOUCOV T1s &}OEc&eth;S pov.
...hear my

Most of the texts just cited belong to prayers; and 3 Bas. 2.16 and 2.20

record a request directed to a king. Let me offer yet a third example of how utterly dependent upon the Bible the Testament really is. In ch.10, Abraham rides upon a cherubic chariot and sees the world from on high. Beholding sinners committing various sins, he prays for judgment to overtake them. In vv. 5-6 he sees thieves who want to work murder and to steal and to burn and destroy, and he asks for beasts (to) come out from the thicket and devour them. In vv. 8-9 he sees a man and a woman who were committing adultery with each other, after which he prays that the earth might open up and that it might swallow them. And in w. 10-11 he sees a man breaking into houses and stealing the possessions of others, to which he responds by urging, Lord, command that fire might come down from heaven and consume them. The violent judgments that Abraham calls down are all biblical; indeed, they draw upon specific scriptural texts. Verses 6-7 borrow from the episode of 2 Kgs 2.23-25, where the curse of the prophet Elisha fetches devouring bears from the woods or thicket:

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4 Bas. 2.24

r. Abr. 10.6

~~6ov + bears + EK TO 6pB1~o + Km + maul + ~~ cn1Tc2Jv &Scaron;~6CA1atV + beasts + EK rdu 6pu~o + KCX( +
verb devour


T. Abr. 10.7

~Tt60v + beasts + EK TOO verb devour + CXTOS-

6pupoo + Mat+

As fbrv. 9, it evokes the splitting of the earth in Numbers

16, which relates the dramatic and memorable punishment that comes upon Koran, Daman, and Abiram and their followers :
LXX Num.


LXX Num. 16.32

LXX Dent. 11.6



T. Abr. 10.9a
r. Abr. 10.9b

svot~aoa ~ yil... KCXTcx1TsTal auTou? ~voxT1 ~ yil Kcxl KCXT1TISV CXTOS avo~aoa T} yn...KaTETTtEv aTOS ~vo(X61l ~ Y1 Kal KaTETTtEv xvu ~ Y1 Ken KaTa1Tu aTos

Eot~a6p rt Y1 Kal MtTEmEV auTOUs

scriptural subtext for v. 11is manifestly 2 Kgs 1.10-12, where Elijah summons heavenly fire to consume two companies of soldiers: 4 Bas. 1.10 KaTa(3TosTcxl1TP EK TO oupacvov Kal KcxTcx4>ysTal + object KCXT(3ll mip EX TO opavo Kal KcxTE4>YEV + object 4 Bas. 1.12 Ktna(3ToETal wp EK TO opavo Kal KaTa<txXysTal + object KCXT(3T) wp EX Tou opavo KaI KaTE4>ysv + object I T Abr. 10.11 KaT6-a 1Tp EK TO ovpavov Kal KaTcx4>yT)Tal + object KcxTIl6sv Trup EK Tou oupavou Kal KaTE4>YEV + object So when Abraham calls down his three judgments, readers sense ~~~~ VM.
And the
In one case he is like Elisha. In another he is like Moses. In yet another he

is like


5. See further my article, Rejecting Violent Judgment: Luke 9.52-56 and Its JBL 121 (2002), pp. 459-78. Retatives,
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Despite Sanderss assertion that very little ofthe Tanakh appears in the
Testament, the Bible is, if one looks closer, and as these examples intimate, almost everywhere present, albeit often subtly.6 The subject of this article is not, however, the Testaments use ofthe Bible in general but rather its interaction with one book in particular&horbar;namely. Job. Scholars,
in missing the Testaments heavy scriptural intertextuality, have also overlooked the importance of the oblique references to Job. He is mentioned by name only once (15.15). Yet he and his book have made no small contribution to the content and structure of the Testament.
Job in the Testament of Abraham

The Testament, as just indicated, mentions Job once. At the end of ch. 15, after Michael has become wholly frustrated in the attempt to escort Abraham willingly to the next world, the archangel ascends to heaven and says to God:

touching him because he has been your friend from the and all that is pleasing before you he has done. And there is not a beginning, to him on the earth, not even Job,the wondrous man. And so I like person shrink from touching this one. Command, immortal king, what is to be done. (15.14-15)
There is, admittedly, a textual variant here. While MSS B and Q have ICAJ(3, A has laKCAJ(3.8 But there can be little doubt that Job is original. 9 While some ancient sources make Abraham and Job contemporaries,
For the intriguing case that the judgment scene in chs. 11-13 depends in part Dan. 7, see Phillip B. Munoa, Four Powers in Heaven: The Interpretation of upon Daniel 7 in the Testament of Abraham (JSPSup, 28; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic

I shrink from

Press, 1998).
7. &ogr;&uacgr; &kap a;&a cgr;&nu; = not even Job. For the meaning see Mathias Delcor, Le Testament dAbraham: Introduction, Traduction du Texte Grec et Commentaire de la Recension Grecque Longue (SVTP, 2; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1973), pp. 48-49. 8. MSS B G H I and J are all deficient here because they either omit the entire second half of v. 15 (so G and J) or lack the relevant clause (so H and I, the latter


clearly due to homoioteleuton ). 9. Job was variously dated. Many thought that he married Jacobs daughter and so lived at the end of the patriarchal period (cf. LXX Job 42.17b; LAB 8.8; Targ. Ps.-J . on Gen. 36.11; Eusebius, Dem. ev. 1.6; Chrysostom, Exp. in Job Preface [Ursula and Dieter Hagedorn [eds.], Johannes Chrysostom Kommentary zu Hiob [Patristiche Texte und Studien, 35; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1990], p. 1]; Job was sometimes equated with the Jobab of Gen. 36.33-34, as in T. Job 1.1). Others put him in the time of Moses (e.g. R. Joshua b. Levi b. Lahma in b. B. Bat. 15a; cf. b. Sot. 11a) or even later (see further
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137 Jacob was, according to the biblical chronology, a scant 15 years old when Abraham died,~ and the narratives of grandfather and grandson do not overlap,&dquo;so a comparison of them would be strange. More importantly, the language of T. Abr. 15.14-15 is clearly based upon the book of Job:
T. Abr. 15.15


av8pcarros l10105 auTOU TTI T15


Job 1.8 A


av6pMTTo? I10105 auTM TMV Em


Job 2.3 A

OK OTIV KaT aUTOV T6V Em T15 y~js,

O:V6pCTT05 I10105 aTC~12

The overlap with Job extends further because Michael hesitates to touch (Tou a~ao6at, bis) Abraham. TTTW, with the meaning, contact in order to harm, is the verb LXX Job uses to describe the afflicting of its hero, particularly near the books beginning ( 1.11, 12, 19; 2.5; 19.21 ). Obviously 15.15 has been composed with Job, not Jacob, in mind. The synkrisis of Abraham and Job, which we shall see below was conventional, is in the formers favor. He is exalted over Job, however great the latter may be. But before asking how this comparison contributes to the meaning of the book, other parallels between the two figures need to be exposed. In ch. 4, in another conversation between Michael and God, the archangel has this to say:

Lord, Lord, may your sovereignty know that I am unable to proclaim the notice of death to that just man. For I have not seen a person like him on the earth-merciful and hospitable, just, truthful, God-fearing, abstaining from
b. B. Bat. 15a-b). But according to Simeon b. Lakish in Bar Kapparas name in y. Sot. 5.6, Job was a contemporary of Abraham. This opinion also appears in Tanhuma B Numbers, Shelah 27; Gen. R. 57.4; Apost. Const. 8.5.11-12; 8.12.63-64 (these pre. on 22.20-22; cf. Cyprian, sumably reflect a Jewish Urtext ); and Jerome, Quaest. in Gen 75.3. of Job Jobab with the Does this last tradition the identification Ep. presuppose Jobab of Gen. 10.29&mdash;especially as Uz (cf. Job 1.1) is mentioned in the nearby 10.23? In any case, , c written in archaic paleo-Hebrew script, is evidence that 4QpaleoJob someone at Qumran thought the book to be of very great antiquity. 10. Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born (Gen. 21.5). Abraham died at 175 (Gen. 25.7). Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born (Gen. 25.26). 11. This also holds for extracanonical materials, with only a few exceptions, such as b. B. Bat. 16b, which has Jacob comfort Isaac upon Abrahams death. 12. LXX Job 1.8 B S (&ogr;&uacgr;&kap a; &eacgr;&sigma;&tau;&iota;&nu; &kap a;&alpha;&tau;&alpha;&uacgr;&tau;&oacgr;&nu; &tau;&wcirc;&nu; &eacgr;&pi;&iacgr; &tau;&eta;s &gamma;&eta;s) and 2.3 (&ogr;&uacgr;&kap a; &eacgr;&sigma;&tau;&iota;&nu; &kap a;&alpha;&tau; &alpha;&uacgr;&tau;&ogr;&nu; &tau;&omega;&nu; &epsilon;&pi;&iacgr; &tau;&eta;&sigmav; &gam a;&eta;&sigmav;, &alpha;&nu;&thetas;&rho;&omega;&pi;&ogr;&sigmav;) are also close.

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every evil deed. And now know. Lord, that I am unable to proclaim the notice of death ? that just man. (5~6)

Again Michaels words are built upon lines that introduce and characterize Job, lines that are repeated in LXX Job 1 and 2. &dquo;That just man&dquo;, nat...a person on the earth, justa trustworthy. God-fearing, and abstaining from every evil are all from Job 1.1,8, and 2.3-the latter two being the very same verses behind 7&dquo;. Abr. 15.15 (see above) :
T. Abr. 4.6 I Job 1.1

rbv ~~ ~a t av


r. Abr. 4.6 I Job 1.1

r. Abr. 4.6

avSpof &Scaron;KSKOV 0 ~cv8pra~ro~ KEVOS OK SlOOV sm TI5 yT)S avQpMTrof JlotOV


Job 1.8 A LXX Job 2.3 A

ouxEOTtv v6pCuos JlGIOS auTcj Em TIts- rT1S OUKEOTtV...ETTt Trjs yT}s, ~cv8pwno~ POt05

T. Abr. 4.6 Job T. Abr. 4.6 I Job 1.1 Job 1.8 Job 2.3

aUTM a1JlOVCX Kat (})tX6~vov


r6tvV, EOOS(31

aX~vcs~..6Eooe~y aXT}(hp6~ soosl31s rtVs... soosl31s

aTTE)(o~Evov atro trCXVTOs- TrOB1l1PO upYJlCXTOS CxmXllvos awo UCXVTs- ~ovr~pov npaypaTC~ ans~o~csvas a~ro lTCXVTs lTovrpo rrpay~aa-ro~ lTsXJlsVOS OtTTO UCXVTOS KaOU The lines from Job must have been, incidentally, very well known. Job 1.1 I
T. Abr. 4.6 I Job 1.1 Job 1.8 Job 2.3

opens the

book, 1.8 and 2.3 repeat its content, and the three verses are elsewhere as summary descriptions of Job. 13 quoted Interestingly enough, b. B. Bat. 15b, just like r. Abr. 4.6, associates
Abraham with Job 1.8 and 2.3 :

13. E.g. 1 Clem. 17.3; Clement of Alexandria, Strom. 4.17; 7.13; Origen, . in Lc. Fr 222 (M. Rauer [ed.], Die Homilien zu Lukas in der &Uuml;bersetzung des Hieronymus und die griechischen Reste der Homilien und des Lukas-Kommentars [Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller, 35; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs], p. 323); Cyprian, Mort . 10; ev. Gen. 7.8; m. 53.202; . Sot Praep. Eusebius, Hom. 1-67 in Chrysostom, 23.12(4) PG . 15b; Exod. R. 21.7; Num. R. 22.1. 5.5; ARN A 2; b. B. Bat
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Now there
was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, whence come you? And Satan answered, etc. He addressed me Holy One, blessed be He, thus: Sovereign of the Universe, I have traversed the whole world and found none so faithful as your servant Abraham

Furthermore, rabbinic tradition names Abraham and Job as among the few known as God-fearers14 whereas T. Abr. 4.6 describes Abraham as 6eoae(3~s by borrowing precisely from Job 1.1, 8; and 2.3. Unless it has somehow inftuenced b. B. Bat. 15b, it would seem that, in borrowing from Job 1-2 in order to characterize Abraham the Testament preserves a traditional haggadic

Table 2. ?%e ParaMelism

of the Testament of Abraham ]-$ and



14. See Tanh. B, Wayyikra1.15, and Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (7 vols.; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1947), V, p. 361n. 332.
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It is crucial to see that T. Abr. 4.6 belongs to a conversation in heaven between God and Michael regarding Abraham, and that Job 1.8 and 2.3 is likewise part of a conversation between God and a member of the heavenly court about a great man on the earth. If, moreover, one sets T. Abr. 4.6 and its context beside Job 2.3 and its context, a whole series of parallels immediately appears (see Table 2, above). Clearly the structure and plot of Testament 1-4 are imitative: they recapitulate much of Job 1-2. There may be less significant ways in which the Testament is indebted to Job. In 7.2, for instance, we find the words, Isaac replied and began to say (1Toa{3~v oe 10aaK ~p~aro YSl v). Now 1Toa{3Sv + OE + subject + a form of~eyM is a refrain in LXX Job, where it occurs 23 times at the beginning of speeches (for &dquo;)~~1...~l).~ So the idiom adds to the Jobian echoes. Again, informed readers of the Testament would, upon reading of Abrahams massive wealth, great philanthropy, and eager hospitality,16 have likely been reminded of Job, who likewise has these in (over)abundance in Job as well as in later literature. 17

The Traditional


That an ancient storyteller would think of Job when composing legends about Abraham is natural enough. Both men were famous converted pagans.~ Both were said to have been kings.19 Both were given new

15. Elsewhere in the LXX, only in Dan. 3.95 and 4 Macc. 8.13. The expression, which also appears in T. Job 36.4 and 38.6, is not characteristic of patristic texts. 16. For the patriarchs wealth see Gen. 13.2; 24.1; 1QapGen 21.3; 22.29-32; Josephus, Ant. 1.165; Sefer ha-Yashar 1. For his philanthropy see Philo, Abr. 107-14; Quaest. Gen. 4.8, 10; Josephus, Ant. 1.200; 1 Clem. 10.7; T. Jac. 7.22; Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 3.10; Ambrose, Abr. 1.32; Catena Sinaitica 1050 on Gen 18.1; 1056 on Gen. 18.2 (F. Petit, Catenae Graecae in Genesim et in Exodum [Corpus Christianorum, Series Graeca, 2; Turnhout: Brepols, 1977], pp. 106, 109); . 10a; ARN A 7; b. Sot b. B. Mes. 86b; Gen. R. 43.7; 47.10; Midr. R. 110.1; Pes. R. 42.3. 17. Job 29.12-16; 31.16-23, 32; Aristeas the Exegete apud Eusebius, Praep. ev. 9.25.1-4; T. Job 9-13; ARN A 7; b. B. Bat. 15b; b. Meg. 28a; Gen. R. 30.5; John

Cassian, Conf . 6.10.5; etc.

18. Cf. Num. R. 14.2 (Abraham and Job came to their knowledge of the true God unaided) and Irving Jacobs, Literary Motifs in the Testament of Job, JJS 21(1970), pp. 1-10 (4-5). LXX Job 42 makes Job an Edomite king. The Testament of Job tells of his conversion to monotheism. The majority opinion among the rabbis is that Job was a Gentile; see b. B. Bat. 15b. Already the Bible indicates that he is a Gentile by
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by God (Job was once, according to legend, Jobab).20 And both were remembered as paragons of philanthropy.2 Further, if Job suffered terribly, Abraham was widely remembered as one who had himself undergone very difficult trials.22 Not only had he been tested by the Akedah, but convention eventually came to hold that Abraham our father, may he rest in peace, was tested ten times (m. Ab. 5.3).~ Perhaps the number ten itself owes something to a comparison with Job, for in Job 19.3 we read: These ten times you have cast reproach upon me. However that may be, it is not surprising, given the parallels, that the Testament is far from being the only text to link Abraham and Job. b. B. Bat. 15a-16b contains a long discussion of Job and the book that

bears his name. When was Job written? Who wrote it? Did Job believe in the resurrection? Is his story historical or was he perhaps a fictional character ? Scattered throughout the arguments are several comparisons of Job with Abraham. 1. In a retelling of Job 1.7-8, Satan says to God, I have traversed the whole world and found none so faithful as your servant Abraham, to which God replies, Have you considered my servant Job ? For there is none like him on the earth (b. B. Bat.15b).

(1) making him hail from the land of Uz; (2) failing to give him a genealogy; and (3) omitting any reference in Job to Israels history. 19. For Abraham as king, see LXX Gen. 23.6; Philo, Abr. 261; Virt . 216; Josephus, Ant. 1.159 (quoting Nicolaus of Damascus); Gen. R. 43.5. For Job as king see LXX Job . 9.25.3; T. Job 28.7; 29.3-4; 31.1. 42.17; Aristeas the Exegete apud Praep. ev Eusebius, 20. For this similarity see Olympiodorus of Alexandria, Job ad 42.17b (ed. Hagedorn, p. 396), and cf. Jacobs, Literary Motifs, pp. 8-9, and Annette Joshiko Reed, Job as Jobab: The Interpretation of Job in LXX Job 42.17b-e, JBL 120 (2001), pp. 31-55 (51). For the change in Jobs name see T. Job 2.1 (Now I used to be Jobab before the Lord named me Job); cf. LXX Job 42.17; Aristeas the Exegete apud Eusebius, Praep. ev. 9.25.3. 21. See nn. 16 and 17 (above) and cf. Chrysostom, Exp. in Job ad 1.3 (ed. Hagedorn, pp. 5-6). 22. Cf. Tanh. B Numbers, Shelah 27; Didymus the Blind, Job preface (A. Henrichs [ed.], Didymos der Blinde: Kommentary zu Hiob [Tura-Papyrus] . I. Kommentar zu Hiob Kap. 1-4 [Papyrologische Texte und Abhandlungen, 1; Bonn: Rudolf Habelt,
1968], p. 40). LXX Gen. 22.1 uses &pi;&epsilon;&iota;&rho;&alpha;&zeta;&epsilon;&iota;&nu; of the sacrifice of Isaac, and while neither this verb nor &pi;&epsilon;&iota;&rho;&alpha;&sigma;&mu;&sigma;&sigmav; appears in LXX Job, they are naturally used of him elsewhere; e.g., Aristeas the Exegete apud Eusebius, Praep. ev. 9.25.3; Olympiodorus of Alexandria, Job Hypothesis; ad 1.7 (ed. Hagedorn, pp. 4, 17). 23. See further Jdt. 8.25-27; Ecclus 44.19-21; 1 Macc. 2.51-52; Jub. 17.17-18; 19.2-3, 8; ARN A 34, B 37; etc.
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same exchange appears in 16a, rewriting Job 2.2-3 (see above). R- Johanan, we are told, said, Greater praise is accorded to Job than to Abraham. For of Abraham it is written, &dquo;Far now I know that you fear God&dquo; (Gen. 22.12), whereas of Job it is written, That man was perfect and upright and one that feared God and eschewed evil&dquo; (Job 1.1). The idea seem to be that Abraham


had to prove his fear of God whereas Job had such fear from the

Dust should be placed in the mouth of Job. He refrained from looking at other mens wives (Job 31.1). But Abraham did not even look at his own, as it is written, Behold now I know that you are a fair woman to look upon (Gen. 12.11), which shows that up to then he did not know this (b. B. Bat. 16a; cf. ARN A 2).

beginning (b. B. Bat. 15b)< Rab is purported to have said,

Abraham and Job are compared or contrasted elsewhere in rabbinic literature. In ARN A 7, for instance, Jobs hospitality, although spectacular, is outdone by Abrahams hospitality. In t. Sol. 6.1 and Tanhuma B Leviticus, Wayyikra 15, Abrahams fear of God (Gen. 22.12) is set beside Jobs fear of God (Job 1.1; cf. Tanhuma B Numbers, Mattot 1; y. Ber. 9.5 ; b. &~. 31 a). 24 ~~. ~. 49.9 says that Abraham and Job said the same thing, after which Gen. 18.25 (Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked) and Job 9.22 (he destroys both the blameless and the wicked) are cited. Targ. Job 30.19 has Job declare, They have made me like a man who was formed from clay, and I have become like Abraham who was made like dust and ashes (cf. Gen. 18.27). Midr. Ps. 26.2 teaches that when God smote Job, he rebelled, but that when God smote Abraham, he laughed (cf Sem. 8: Job protested, Abraham was

silent). Although all of the relevant texts are later than the Mishnah, the rabbinic comparisons nonetheless carry forward an old tradition. This is demonstrated by patristic sources that set the two men side by side25 as well as
24. The rabbinic debate over the meaning of Jobs fear of God and its relationship Abrahams fear has generated much discussion. For a recent treatment see Joanna Weinberg, Job versus Abraham: The Quest for the Perfect God-Fearer in Rabbinic Tradition, in W.A.M. Beuken (ed.), The Book of Job (BETL, 114; Leuven: Leuven University Press/Peeters, 1994), pp. 281-96. 25. See, e.g., 1 Clem. 17.2-4; Clement of Alexandria, Strom . 4.17 (For Abraham, who for his free faith was called "the friend of God", was not elated by glory, but modto
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by the Testament, with its abundant assimilation of Abrahams story to Jobs story. There is also the Testament of Job. The latter tells the tale of Jobs conversion in such a way that the dependence upon the legends about the patriarchs conversion is unmistakable.26 As the story opens, Job is a pagan. He lives near an idols temple,just as Abraham does in J~~ilees 12 (where his father Terah serves in the pagan temple) and in Apocalypse of Abraham 1-8 (where Terah makes idols; cf. Gen. R. 3KI3). But Job soon begins to wonder about the real character of the gods of the nearby temple, which is precisely what Abraham does in extrabiblical tradition (cf. Jub. 12.2-5 ; Apoc. Abr. 27). Is this, Job asks, really the God who made heaven and earth, the sea too, and our very selves? (2.4; cf. Jub. 12.4 ; Apoc. Abr. 7.11). Eventually, he comes to know the true God and so determines to destroy the place of Satan, which he does (chs. 3-5). This is the same scenario one finds in Jubilees 12: Abraham, becoming a convert to monotheism, bums down the house of idols. The links with the legends about Abraham are strengthened by the notice that the Lord changed Jobs name from Jobab to Job (2.1; cf. Gen. 17.5) and by the circumstance that heaven addresses Job with the double vocative (Jobab, Jobab!), to which he answers, Here I am (toou eyco, 3.1-2)-a call and response memorably associated with Abraham (Gen. 22.1,11; LXX: toou yCAS).27 Furthermore, Louis Gin~erg judged that the description of Jobs hospitality and benevolence in the Testament af :lob is only a duplicate of the Abraham legend.28 In sum, then, if the Testament borrows from Job to fill out its story of Abraham, the Testament of Job borrows from traditions about Abraham to fill out its story of Job.

estly said,



dust and ashes". And of Job it is thus

written, "Job was just and

blameless, true and pious, abstaining from all evil"); Origen, Hom. in Gen. 8.10; Chrysostom, Exp. in Job on 1.3 (ed. Hagedorn, pp. 5-6); Olympiodorus of Alexandria, Job
42.11 and 17b (ed. Hagedorn, pp. 390, 396). 26. The parallels have been noted before; cf. C.T. Begg, Comparing Characters: The Book of Job and the Testament of Job, in Beuken (ed.), The Book , of pp. Job 43545 (438), n. 10; John J. Collins, Testaments, in Michael E. Stone (ed.), Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus (CRINT, 2.2; Assen: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 325-55 (350 n. 121); Jacobs, Literary Motifs, p. 6 n. 29; R.P. Spittler, Testament of Job, in OTP , II, pp. 829-68 (840 n. 2b). 27. This becomes a refrain in the Apoc. Abr.: 8.1-2; 9.1; 19.1; 20.1-2; cf. 12.7; 14.1, . 18.1, 10; Philo, Somn. 1.195; Chrysostom, Hom. 1-67 in Gen. PG 54.429. 9; Jub 28. Ginzberg, Legends , V, p. 383 n. 10.
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144 The Testament ~,~~~b is not the earliest witness to the assimilation of these two figures. Jubilees introduces the story of the sacrifice of Isaac with the following words:
And it came to pass in the seventh week, in its first year, in the first month, in the jubilee, on the twelfth of that month, that words came in heaven concerning Abraham that he was faithful in everything which was told him and he loved the Lord and was faithful in all affliction. And Prince Mastema came and he said before God, Behold, Abraham loves Isaac, his son. And he is more pleased with him than everything. Tell him to offer him as a burnt offering upon the altar. And you will see whether he will do this thing. And you will know whether he is faithful in everything in which you test him. (Jub. 17.12-16; cf. 4Q255 2.1.8)

As George W.E. Nickelsburg has observed, this is clearly reminiscent of Job 1-2.~ In Jubilees 17, a heavenly accuser, Mastema-another name for Satan-converses with God and proposes testing the faithful Abraham (cf. Job 1-2). The proposal is occasioned by praise of the patriarchs virtues and piety, just recounted (cf. Job 1.8; 2.3). And God, taking up the challenge, decides that the test should take place (cf. Job 1.12; 2.6). So when Abraham is commanded to sacrifice his only son, he becomes obviously a Job-like figure,.30
The Testament of Abraham Again

In addition to the broad generalization that the Testament belongs with other texts that liken Abraham and Job to each other, the sources just surveyed permit several observations. First, the statement, in 15.15, that Abraham is greater than Job, appears to have been a topos (cf. ARN A 7; b. B. Bat. 15b; Gen. R. 49.9; Midr. Ps. 26.2). Second, b. B. Bat. 15b-16a supplies evidence that moving the virtues of Job to Abraham, as in T. Abr. 4.6, was likewise conventional. Third, as Jubilees augments its narrative

29. George W.E. Nickelsburg, The Bible Rewritten and Expanded, in Stone (ed.), Jewish Writings, pp. 89-156 (99). The same is true of the related version in b. Sanh . 89b. 30. Saul M. Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming in AncientJudaism (TSAJ, 36; T&uuml;bingen: J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1993), of Angels 25. Cf. Cees Jobs Perseverance in the Testament of Job, in Michael A. Haas, p. Knibb and Pieter W. van der Horst (eds.), Studies on the Testament of Job (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 117-54 (148-50), and Reed, Job as Jobab,

p. 51.
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by assimilating Abraham to Job, in this particular also the Testament offers nothing new. To revert then once more to Sanders and Charlesworth, not only is the Jewish Bible forcibly present in the Testament, so too are some of its attendant exegetical and haggadic traditions. What else may be said? According to Mathias Delcor, the Testament knows the Testament of Job and, further, takes a polemical stance against its hero.31 Yet even if there were clear signs of literary dependence, which there are not, Job is not here the object of polemic. When 15.15 declares that there is no person like him [Abraham] on the earth, not even Job, this is a way of exalting Abraham, not denigrating Job. To demote Job would be to miss the whole point of the comparison. Rhetorically speaking, Abrahams exalted status depends upon Jobs exalted status, for only if the latter is a great man is surpassing him high praise. To put it another way, the more exalted one deems Job to be, the more exalted one must deem Abraham, who betters him. A polemical interpretation has things backwards. My judgment, in contrast to Delcors, is that the Testaments Job typology is less a theological phenomenon than it is a literary phenomenon. The Testament, to state the obvious, makes up stories about Abraham. But it cannot do so ex nihilo. Rather must it take up prefabricated materials, for all composition is, to one degree or another, intertextual rearrangement. However creative authors may be, they necessarily use words and phrases, genres and structures, and plot elements already to hand. Now because of the rich tradition, introduced above, of assimilating Job and Abraham, the book of Job might naturally have suggested itself as a likely source of inspiration, a text from which to borrow, to an ancient author concocting tales about the patriarch. Surely this in itself goes some way toward explaining what we find in the Testament. Here practical need may have been matched by happy coincidence. For if the author of the Testament wished to write about the Angel of Death coming to Abraham (chs. 16-20), the figure who afflicts Job is instructed, He is in your power; only spare his life (Job 2.6). Later exegetes took this line to mean that Satan had the power to take Jobs life, and indeed some found here reason to identify Satan with the Angel of Death (so Resh Lakish in b. B. Bat. 16a).32 Such an equation, seemingly known to

31. Delcor, Testament, pp. 47-51. He does not

explain the motive for this alleged

32. Cf. Deut. R. 11.10 and Targ. Ps.-J. for Satan, is the Angel of Death.
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some patristic authorities,33 may likewise have been familiar to the author of the Testament. If so, then the descent of the Angel of Death to take Abrahams soul (after Michael has given up the task) would have a close analogy in Job 1-2, where the same character descends to afllict Job. There is another fundamental parallel that might have moved our author to think of Job when writing of Abraham. In some sources, the patriarch is like Job because both are righteous sufferers. In the T~~t~~erct, however, Abraham instead resembles Job because both are unaware of what is really going on. Job does not understand the cause of his unmerited suffering. He is wholly ignorant of its genesis in a conversation between God and the accuser in heaven. This is partly what gives the book its profound poignancy. Readers have been behind the Job has not. It is the same in the Testament. When the book opens, Abraham is in the dark. Unlike the Testaments readers, he is not privy to Gods conversation with Michael in heaven, so he does not know that his time to die has come, and he does not understand the events that subsequently unfold about him. Saint though he may be, Abraham, in his mortality, is human like the rest of us. No more than anyone else does he know what his future holds, nor does he understand why certain things are happening. So once more Abraham looks a lot like Job. Being upon the earth, and so unaware of what has been decided in heaven, they both live in ignorance of what God has decreed for them. One final point. The allusive nature of the Testament adds to its entertainment value. 15.15 introduces Job simply by naming him. No additional information is offered. The audience, it is assumed, already knows him and his story. Given this, it seems likely enough that informed readers, by which I mean those familiar with canonical Job, are expected to espy the parallels between Abraham and Job. That is, those parallels should function as allusions. Now allusions to and echoes of other texts often carry much implicit meaning. This is especially true when subtexts are revered authorities, such as the Tanakh; and the Testaments allusions do sometimes generate such meaning.34 Sometimes, however, tacit references are simply meant to be enjoyed, and this appears to be the case with our Testaments Job typology. The unfolding of implicit connections while reading is like getting a joke: it leads to what Arthur Koestler called the eureka of

33. Death and the Devil were occasionally, though inconsistently, equated in the

writings of the fathers. So Jeffrey Burton Russell, Satan: The Early Christian Tradition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981), p. 46 n. 49. 34. See again my article, Rejecting Violent Judgment.
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bisociative experience.35 And the Testament is full of opportunities for such an experience. The analogies with Job, who gets named only once, not only add the comfort of familiarity, they also generate the pleasure of discovery. The unspoken parallels and oblique references become, when deciphered, occasions for enjoyment. The imagination gains satisfaction from uncovering the covered; it takes pleasure in detecting hidden analogies and experiencing literary deja vu. In short, the allusions to Job, whatever else they may do, make a pleasing story even more pleasing.

35. Arthur
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Koestler, The Act of Creation (London: Hutchinson, 1964).

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