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Dialogue Between A Man and His God (1.151)

(643 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Just Sufferer Compositions Commentary This is the earliest Akkadian treatment of the problem of theodicy, the theme of the just sufferer that reaches a literary climax of sorts in the Biblical Book of Job. The present treatment is known from a single text of Old Babylonian date. Like later ones, it is primarily concerned with suffering in the form of illness, assumed to be punishment for sins known or unk…

The Babylonian Theodicy (1.154)

(1,853 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Just Sufferer Compositions Commentary Formally, this classic statement of the theme of theodicy comes closest to the biblical book of Job, for it is cast in the form of a dialogue, albeit the sufferer has only one “friend” to put up with as interlocutor, and that friend is unnamed. A further formal parallel to biblical poetry in general is provided by the strophic structure which, like Ps. 119, features successive stanzas of equal length whose initial signs spell out…

The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer (1.153)

(3,623 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Just Sufferer Compositions Commentary This is the most elaborate treatment of the theme of theodicy. It includes a veritable thesaurus of medical symptoms (Tablet II) and their cure (Tablet III). Because the sufferer protests not so much innocence as ignorance of his sins, his modern designation could well be “pious sufferer” rather than “just sufferer.”1 He is identified by name in the text (Tablet III, line 43) and was possibly its author. The ancient…

A Sufferer’s Salvation (1.152)

(518 words)

Author(s): Foster, Benjamin R.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Just Sufferer Compositions Commentary This treatment of the theme of theodicy bridges the gap between the Old Babylonian ones (in Sumerian and Akkadian) and those of neo-Assyrian date. It comes from Ugarit, where scribal schools adopted and adapted the Mesopotamian curriculum in the Late Bronze Age. It is preserved in a single fragmentary exemplar. [WWH] A Sufferer’s Salvation (1.152) Subject: 1 Sam 28:6, 15; Pss 42:4; 80:6; Ps 113:5f [ Gap of about 15 lines]( ) Evil [port…