Franz Delitzsch Picture

Franz Delitzsch

1813-1890

The Book of Job

German Lutheran Theologian and Hebraist

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One hardly knows where to begin in describing Franz Delitzsch. He is certainly among the greatest biblical scholars ever. He held professorships in theology at the University of Rostock, the University of Erlangen, and the University of Leipzig. He wrote commentaries on numerous books of the Bible, including Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, and Hebrews. He also wrote books on biblical psychology, Christian apologetics, Jewish antiquities, and a history of Jewish poetry.

Delitzsch was not himself Jewish but had a great love for the Jewish people. He defended the Jewish community against anti-Semitism, and translated the entire New Testament into Hebrew. Delitzsch also founded the Institutum Judaicum in Leipzig to train missionaries for work among the Jews. His last work before his death was a full-length book, Messianic Prophecies in Historical Succession. The translator wrote in his preface,

The proofs of the original were read by the lamented author as he was confined to his bed by his last illness, weak in body, but clear in mind. The preface which he dictated five days before his departure was his final literary work. The last printed sheet was laid on his bed the day before he died.

Delitzsch's commentaries on Old Testament books, including this one on Job, became part of the famous Keil and Delitzsch series of commentaries covering the entire Old Testament. That collection still stands as a necessary resource for any scholarly exegesis on the Old Testament.

Job is a fascinating book, and Delitzsch's commentary on it is a scholarly work of the highest order. Nevertheless, it is well within the reach of any serious student of the Bible who will put forth the effort.

Delitzsch's commentary on Job is in two volumes. We have reproduced the text exactly as it is in the English translation of the Keil and Delitzsch series printed by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. with only the following exceptions:

  1. We have occassionally modified the punctuation to make the sentences easier to understand.
  2. Where paragraphs start and end changes occassionlly due to length of paragraph or excerpting.
  3. We changed some of the British spellings in the English translation to the accepted American spellings as, for example, honour changed to honor.
  4. Francis Bolton, The English translator of Delitzsch's commentary on Job, unfortunately used "Jehovah" for the name of God. Samuel Ives Curtiss, translator of Deltizsch's Messianic Prophecies in Historical Succession points out that Delitzsch never pronounced the name of God as Jehovah, "which he considered a philological monstrosity." We fully agree and therefore changed Jehovah to Yahweh.

No other changes were made.

We have taken excerpts that span the entire book of Job to give the reader a thorough introduction to it. We have omitted much of the technical Hebrew exegesis, and the excerpts selected are mainly Delitzsch's more homiletical summaries. For further study, he is encouraged to buy the complete set of Keil and Delitzsch commentaries. This set should be in every serious student's library.

Excerpts

Chapters 1-10

Excerpts

Chapters 11-21

Excerpts

Chapters 22-37

Excerpts

Chapters 38-42

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