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Fairness in the "Book of Job"
The Treatment of Job in The Book of Job violates every principle of fairness and justice. Over time, we have come to accept a universal definition, or concept, if you will, of fairness. The idea of fairness does not come from a dictionary, but rather it has evolved from many different religions into what we now call the Golden Rule. The illustrious Chinese philosopher thought of this long ago: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you” (Yen). The Golden Rule can be found in two specific places in the Bible. In the Gospel of Matthew, in his sermon on the mount, Jesus says, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Passantino). Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam also teach similar versions of the Golden Rule. For instance, the Talmud says, “What is hateful to you do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary” (Sermon). Philosophers, too, have contemplated versions of the Golden Rule and ideas of fairness. A post-Machiavellian idea, Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative states that we must “always treat humanity, whether in yourself or in other people, as an end in itself and never as a mere means” (Hinman 15).
In the Book of Job, God, however, uses Job solely as a means. Not only has Job never failed in his obedience to God, but also he has never failed to live by the Golden Rule. Moreover, Job insures that his children are equally obedient and rule abiding: “Job sent for his children and sanctified them, rising early in the morning and sacrificing a whole-offering for each of them; for he thought that they might somehow have sinned against God and committed blasphemy in their hearts. This he always did” (BOJ 670). God agrees, “Job was the greatest man in all the East” (670). God says to Satan, “You will find no one like him on earth, a man of blameless and upright life” (670). It is because of Job’s...