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Ancient Near Eastern Literary Parallels

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Lesson

Other cultures in the ancient near east created literature with themes that are similar to the book of Job. The book of Job is unique because of his character and the answer that the book provides for the situation he is in.

Outline

I. Parallels in Literature Outside the Bible

A. Mesopotamian myth of Atrahasis

B. Babylonian prayer to Marduk

C. Babylonian "Ludlul bel nemeqi" ("I will praise the lord of wisdom")

D. Sumerian "A Man and His God"

E. Canaanite, describes the trials of "King Keret," who like Job, lost 7 sons

F. Egyptian "Protests of the Eloquent Peasant"

II. Differences from Job

A. In no case is the sufferer absolutely righteous

B. The god does not appear and give an answer

C. The text in Job is more compelling and balanced

III. Significance

A. The ancient literature of lamentation influenced Job

B. The book of Job answers the question that other literature only raises

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