The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Aqedah (Genesis 22) and Its Interpretations

By Ed Noort; Eibert Tigchelaar | Go to book overview

ABRAHAM, JOB AND THE BOOK OF JUBILEES: THE
INTERTEXTUAL RELATIONSHIP OF GENESIS 22:1–19,
JOB 1:1–2:13 AND JUBILEES 17:15–18:19

Jacques van Ruiten


1. Abraham and Job

The Old Testament does not make an explicit comparison between the figures of Abraham and Job. In the book of Ezekiel, the righteousness of Job is compared to that of Noah and Daniel (Ezek 14:12, 20).1 Ben Sira refers to Job in the context of a reference to Ezekiel and the twelve prophets, and he reflects on what Ezekiel has to say about Job (cf. Ben Sira 49:9). Only in the Testament of Abraham is Job for the first time explicitly related to Abraham. The archangel Michael announced Abraham's death to him. Abraham was not willing to follow him, however. The archangel then said to God: 'Lord Almighty, thus he speaks, and I refrain from touching him, because from the beginning he has been your friend and he did everything which is pleasing before you. And there is no man like unto him on earth, not even Job, the wondrous man. And for this reason I refrain from touching him. Command, then, immortal king, what is to be done] (Test. of Abr. 15:14–15).2 According to Delcor, the Testament of Abraham should be seen as a polemic against the image of Job that is painted in the Testament of Job.3 The author of the Testament of Abraham borrows the virtuous image of Job from the Testament of Job and transfers it to Abraham.4

1 For a comparison of Ezek 14:12–23 with Job 1:1–2:10; 42:7–17, see U. Berges,
'Der Ijobrahmen (Ijob 1, 1–2, 10; 42, 7–17). Theologische Versuche angesichts un-
schuldigen Leidens', BZ 39 (1995) 225–245 (esp. 229–231). Daniel is mostly identified
with the hero from Ugaritic Epos of Aqhat, see: M. Noth, 'Noah, Daniel und Job
in Ezechiel XIV', VT 1 (1951) 251–260; H.P. Müller, 'Magisch-mantische Weisheit
und die Gestalt Daniels', UF 1 (1969) 79–94; J. Day, 'The Daniel of Ugarit and
Ezekiel and the Hero of the Book of Daniel', VT 30 (1980) 174–184.

2 The translation is taken from E.P. Sanders, 'Testament of Abraham', in: J.H.
Charlesworth (ed.), Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, I (London 1983), 892.

3 M. Delcor, Le Testament d'Abraham. Introduction, traduction du text grec et commentaire
de la recension grecque longue, Leiden 1973, 76.

4 J. Weinberg, 'Job versus Abraham. The Quest for the Perfect God-Fearer in

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