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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Historical Setting.

1.

A second-century BCE Targum on the book of Job discovered at Qumran and the translation into Greek in the Septuagint require an earlier date for the biblical text than the third century. Linguistic evidence seems to point to the sixth century or later (Hurvitz 1974 ), and certain other features also indicate the Persian period (539–332), for example the language for administrative bureaucracy ( 3:14–15 , kings, counsellors, and princes), the probable allusion to the Behistun Rock, with lead inlay depicting the achievements of Darius the Great ( 19:24 ), the reference to caravans from Teman and Sheba ( 6:19 ), and the form of the title for the Adversary (the definite article with śaṭān as in the sixth-century text of Zechariah and unlike the later form in Chronicles).

2.

Several other factors may not settle the debate, but they fit into this general period: the numerous Aramaisms, the similarity with laments in the Psalter, as well as sections of Deutero-Isaiah and Jeremiah, the theological similarities with Ps 73 , and the emerging monotheism and monogamy. Less convincing are the sociological conclusions of Crüsemann (1980) and Albertz (1981 ) that the oppressive conditions reflected in the book of Job point to the time of Nehemiah. Such abuse of power by the nouveaux riches may have occurred at various periods in ancient Israel and Judah.

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