Biblical Archaeology Review 39:4, July/August 2013

Strata: The Bible in the News: Give and Take

By Leonard J. Greenspoon

Faced with the loss of family members and personal property, Job nonetheless seems to remain resolute when he declares: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

This seeming equanimity in the face of colossal loss would appear to be the origin of the “patient” Job. As readers of the entire Book of Job know, he was in reality far from patient. What do contemporary purveyors of popular culture have to say?

While reminiscing about an event 20 years ago—the victory of St. Peter’s team over Cardiff in a January 1993 game (“the greatest upset in any kind of rugby”)—the correspondent for the South Wales Echo was not at all reluctant to employ theological language. Thus, the feature is titled “Day that the Heavens Smiled on St. Peter’s” and includes a reference to “divine intervention” in the first sentence. David and Goliath, and even the pope, make an appearance. Alas, this once-in-a-lifetime victory was followed only a month later by a defeat that took St. Peter’s out of contention for the cup, leading the reporter to opine: “One scribe observed that ‘The Lord, He giveth, the Lord, He taketh away.’ But nothing can ever take away the memory of what really was a miracle witnessed 20 years ago.”

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