Job’s Resurrection Verse: Job 19:25-26

What does Job actually “know” here?
It is different from what many today say He knows.
“For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”
Job 19:25-26

This is the version often quoted. But already we have an unfortunate problem. This rendition has several problems. Mainly, for my purpose here, two problems:

1. There are no “worms“. The King James Version added that in their attempt to be helpful.

2. More importantly, the “see[ing] God” does not come “in” the flesh, but “from” the flesh. In other words, Job is not voicing a confidence that he will, in some future time, have a fleshly body with which he will see God. He is saying that even after his body will be destroyed he will still – afterward – see God. The destruction of his body will have no bearing on his assurance of seeing God. And this interpretation I didn’t get from my fellow Preterists. I knew about it long before. Consider these mainline sources:

“And after my skin, thus torn to pieces,
And without my flesh shall I behold Eloah,”

“Therefore by far the majority of modern expositors have decided that Job does not indeed here avow the hope of the resurrection, but the hope of a future spiritual beholding of God, and therefore of a future life;” – Keil & Deilitsch

“After they shall have destroyed my skin, this shall happen – that I will see God.” – Gesenius

“The literal meaning is, “from, or out of, my flesh shall I see God.” It does not mean in his flesh, which would have been expressed by the preposition ב (b) – but there is the notion that from or out of his flesh he would see him;”

It cannot be proved that this refers to the resurrection of that body, and indeed the natural interpretation is against it.”

“And after this skin of mine is destroyed I will yet, without flesh, see God.” – Luther (translated from the German)

Both of these points I went in greater detail because they help do away with core objections against the Preterist understanding of both human nature and of the resurrection.

Our blessed hope does not include eternal life in physical bodies, however glorified. We will have perfect spiritual existence,individual and corporate. This is neither (as I have been accused) gnosticism or Eastern pantheistic oversoul existence. It is plainly what the Bible teaches. To get to the proof of this – and it admittedly is a slow and painstaking process – one must first deal with each and every passage that seems to teach otherwise. These two verses in Job are prime candidates, seeing that they are often quoted to teach what they pointedly do not teach.

One thing that Scripture does not teach is that Christ will return physically. Of course, I believe that He had already returned (but that has been covered in other articles). The issue here is how He appeared.

He has/had no need to return in a physical body. Consider this: The reason why Jesus went through the whole spectrum of physical experience – incarnation, perfect life, suffering, death on the cross, resurrection, ascension – was so that He would “fulfill all righteousness“. All the bases have been touched (if I am allowed to use a mere baseball metaphor for this awesome doctrine).

There is no similar requirements concerning His coming again, or concerning His judgment. Likewise there is no similar requirement that we live on forever in limited physical bodies. The only reason that it seems to be a requirement – and a cardinal doctrine to boot – is because of all that tradition we have inherited over the centuries, not the Bible.

As always, however, we need to always distinguish between what Scripture teaches and what tradition has taught us that Scripture teaches.  

About asterisktom

I breathe, therefore I blog.
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