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I noticed that in the 2011 NIV, Job 28 is marked off as an interlude as does not appear in quotation marks; whereas in the 1984 NIV, the text appears in quotation marks and is considered a part of Job's final speech. I can see how 29:1 might recommend the 2011 approach. Should this passage about wisdom be considered an interlude by the narrator? If so, why might the narrator choose to place it there?

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I know you know this, but for the sake of people reading this later: quotation marks represent an interpretation on the part of the translator. Neither ancient Hebrew nor Greek had symbols for demarking a passage as a quotation. So the question is about how the passage in question ought to be rendered using modern punctuation. (It's a great question that I don't know how to answer myself. +1) –  Jon Ericson Nov 22 '11 at 21:13

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If you read the text straight through without the division into chapters, chapter 28 seems to flow naturally from the end of 27 -- the chapter division almost seems to be in the middle of a thought. I don't know why the chapters were divided the way they were, but they are not in the original text. Chapters 29-31 read clearly as one discourse. So I don't see clear textual support for it not being part of his discourse, though I can't prove it's not an authorial interruption.

One might argue that chapter 29 beginning with "Job continued..." means there must have been an interruption. I don't have an answer for that beyond noting that "X said... and X said" constructs appear elsewhere too. It's not common but it does happen.


Please note: This answer was written for a neutral, academic audience and is not intended to be interpreted in the context of a religious belief or doctrine.

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Good point about the chapter divisions. Another way to look at the start of 29 is that it's a really long speech. After a while, the reader (and any listeners) would start to lose track of who is speaking and so a reminder could be in order when the topic changes. –  Jon Ericson Nov 23 '11 at 0:02
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@JonEricson, right -- every now and then an "X said" helps you keep track. That doesn't mean it needs to occur in each chapter, as demonstrated by 29-31. (We agree; I'm just adding to what you said.) –  Gone Quiet Nov 23 '11 at 1:02
    
@JonEricson - I was just looking at this again, and one thing I noticed is that these "And Job continued" lines appear after some part of the discourse where it is not obvious that Job is speaking anymore. 26:1-4 it's obvious Job is speaking to his friends. Verses 5-14 then could be a monologue. 27:1 "Job continued", 27:2-12 dialogue, 27:13-28:28 monologue, 29:1, "Job continued". The rest of the way it's all obvious Job is speaking until 31:40: "The words of Job are ended." Still don't know what to make of it. –  Soldarnal Dec 15 '11 at 21:31

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