My Psalm Has Turned into Weeping
Job's Dialogue with the Psalms
Drawing inspiration from the widely recognized parody of Ps 8:5 in Job 7:17–18, this study inquires whether other allusions to the Psalms might likewise contribute to the dialogue between Job, his friends, and God. An intertextual method that incorporates both “diachronic” and “synchronic” concerns is applied to the sections of Job and the Psalms in which the intertextual connections are the most pronounced, the Job dialogue and six psalms that fall into three broad categories: praise (8, 107), supplication (39, 139), and instruction (1, 73). In each case, Job’s dependence on the Psalms is determined to be the more likely explanation of the parallel, and, in most, allusions to the same psalm appear in the speeches of both Job and the friends. The contrasting uses to which they put these psalms reflect conflicting interpretive approaches and uncover latent tensions within them by capitalizing on their ambiguities. They also provide historical insight into the Psalms’ authority and developing views of retribution. The dialogue created between Job and these psalms indicates the concern the book has with the proper response to suffering and the role the interpretation of authoritative texts may play in that reaction.