On Man’s Side
The Greeks…are on man’s side, both in sympathy and in loyalty; the Hebrews, on the contrary, on God’s. Never would we have heard from a Greek such words as those of the sorely beaten “blameless and upright” Job, addressed to the god who had “destroyed him without cause” and who then came at him in the whirlwind, boasting of his power.
“Behold,” pleaded Job, “I am of small account…I know that thou canst do all things…. I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
Repent! Repent for what?
In contrast, the great contemporary Greek playwright Aeschylus, of about the same fifth-century [B.C.E.] date as the anonymous author of the Book of Job, puts into the mouth of his Prometheus—who was also being tormented by a god that could “draw Leviathan out with a fishhook, play with him as with a bird, and fill his skin with harpoons”—the following stunning words: “He is a monster…. I care less than nothing for Zeus. Let him do as he likes.”
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