The Extra Text of Job

The Extra Text of Job from the Greek Septuagint

Published: Fri, 31 Mar 2023

I have been doing a lot of reading from the Greek Septuagint lately, and I always seem to find something interesting during my reading sessions. But this time, I was reminded by my wife, who was asking me some questions about Job while reading one of her books, that there is a small, additional paragraph appended to the end of Job in the Septuagint. This extra text is appended to Job 42:17, and it gives some historical information about Job. The authenticity of this text is not certain, but I'll provide a few points of view on the matter after I provide the text below.

Here is the extra text appended to Job 42:17. I will include verse 17 in square brackets in the passage below.

[And Job died, being old and full of days.] And it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up. This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis, on the borders of Idumea and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abraam. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovof the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans.

There are some interesting details provided there, especially the opening sentence about Job rising again "with those whom the Lord raises up." Now, the authenticity of this text is under question with some commentators doubting its authenticity and some claiming its authenticity. For instance, John Gill in his Exposition stated this: "There is a fragment at the end of the Septuagint and Arabic versions of this book, said to be translated from a Syriac copy, which gives a very particular account of Job's descent... The substance of this is confirmed by Aristaeus, Philo, and Polyhistor, ancient historians." So, John Gill seems to think the text as authentic. On the other hand, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary has this to say, doubting the text's authenticity: "The Septuagint adds, 'It is written, that he will rise again with those whom the Lord will raise up.' Compare Matthew 27:52-53, from which it perhaps was derived spuriously." Here is another opposing view from Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible:

What is the authority for this statement is now entirely unknown, nor is it known from where it was derived. The remark with which it is introduced, that it is written that he would be raised up again in the resurrection, looks as if it were a forgery made after the coming of the Savior, and has much the appearance of being an attempt to support the doctrine of the resurrection by the authority of this ancient book. It is, at all events, an unauthorized addition to the book, as nothing like it occurs in the Hebrew.

I'm always amazed at the interesting things I find about the Septuagint or within the text of the Septuagint. It certainly is a fascinating read, and this text from Job is no exception. Whether it's authentic or not, I cannot say. I'll leave that to folks more skilled in the matter.