Job’s Wife, With Due Respect
Job’s wife has been viewed in overwhelmingly negative light in the history of reception. She has been portrayed as a shrew, a blasphemer, a second Eve, and an agent of Satan. Yet there is also a persistent tradition that depicts her positively as a devoted wife and a manifestation of divine grace. This paper reviews this “minority report” in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interpretations, notably in literature and the visual arts.
Choon-Leong Seow is Princeton Seminary’s Henry Snyder Gehman Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature. He earned his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard University. An ordained Presbyterian elder, he specializes in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the history of ancient Israelite religion, Northwest Semitic philology, and the history of biblical interpretation and reception. He has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary Series, the Writings from the Ancient World series, and Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. His major publications include Myth, Drama, and the Politics of David’s Dance (1989); Ecclesiastes: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (1997); Hebrew Inscriptions: Texts from the Biblical Period of the Monarchy (with F.W. Dobbs-Allsopp and J.J.M. Roberts, 2004).