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Rob Bowman

Gospel Principles and Job 38:7

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We read in Proverbs about the pre-incarnate Christ known as wisdom.

Prov 8

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

Who were these "sons of men", in whom Wisdom rejoiced "daily" before the creation of old?

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It seems to me, then, that the LDS Church misinterprets Job 38:7.

It crossed my mind also, but I don't see the inconsistency of the Gospel Doctrine comment with the passage in Job. The rhetorical "Where wast thou?" could equally imply "Thou wast with me." The "foundations of the earth" were spiritual before they were physical, and the subject in council and in planning even before that. The whole purpose of the earth is for the exaltation of God's children (children of Abraham, joint-heirs with Christ, means actual inheritances on a celestial earth), which necessitates its being the place where The Only Begotten Son would fulfill the Father's will in every regard for said salvation.

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The verse is clearly taken out of context when it's used to reference Job's presence. The verse is hardly necessary, however, to support the Latter-day Saint doctrine of premortality.

I agree with Mr. Mak on this, and would suggest this is one of the most frequently used proof-texts for an LDS belief that has nothing to do with the belief itself (i.e. Job's premortal existence).

I even mentioned this to my Sunday school class the other day, but I did follow it up with Mak's well taken point that this verse is not necessary to support the doctrine.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I agree with Mr. Mak on this, and would suggest this is one of the most frequently used proof-texts for an LDS belief that has nothing to do with the belief itself (i.e. Job's premortal existence).

I even mentioned this to my Sunday school class the other day, but I did follow it up with Mak's well taken point that this verse is not necessary to support the doctrine.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Wow, I'm not sure that I have ever heard Job 38:7 used as a proof-text for Job's premortal existence. I have repeatedly encountered the passage used in the way it appears in the book Gospel Principles and in Ezra Taft Benson's sermon in reference to a general human premortal existence, and I for one do not believe that such usage is at all inappropriate.

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Zakuska,

You wrote:

We read in Proverbs about the pre-incarnate Christ known as wisdom.

Prov 8

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

Who were these "sons of men", in whom Wisdom rejoiced "daily" before the creation of old?

The text does not say that wisdom rejoiced with the sons of men before creation. In this passage "wisdom" says that she was there before any of God's works (v. 22), before the earth was formed (vv. 23-26), when God made the heavens and the earth (vv. 27-30), and rejoiced when God made the earth inhabited, especially delighting in human beings (v. 31). The passage has a chronological progression, corresponding in a poetic way to Genesis 1.

Now, wouldn't you agree with me that Job 38:4-7 does not teach that human beings preexisted as spirits in heaven and rejoiced to hear Heavenly Father's plan of salvation?

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David,

You wrote:

Hello Rob,

Who do you believe the Sons of God were in Job 38?

Angels (created spirits).

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Dan,

You wrote:

The verse is clearly taken out of context when it's used to reference Job's presence. The verse is hardly necessary, however, to support the Latter-day Saint doctrine of premortality.

I appreciate this much of a concession. Isn't it true, though, that Job 38:4 rather clearly assumes that Job was not present at creation?

You wrote:

Now, clearly this phrase "sons of God" is related to Job 1:6 and 2:1's "sons of God," Gen 6:2's "sons of God," Ps 29:1's "sons of God," Deut 32:8's "sons of God," and, most importantly, Psalm 82's "sons of Elyon." If this is incorrect, please let me know. Given what we know (and what I've tried to explain) about the historical context of this concept of God's offspring, was Jesus' application in John 10 of Psalm 82 correct?

Without conceding everything you claim to have shown with regard to the "sons of God" in these OT texts, I certainly maintain that Jesus' application in John 10 of Psalm 82 was correct.

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Zerinus,

I appreciate your effort to correct my understanding of the book of Job.

With regard to Job 38:4, I'm afraid I cannot agree with you that the rhetorical question "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" assumes the answer "You were there with me but have forgotten." If that were true, we would have expected God to say, "You were there when I laid the foundation of the earth, but you have forgotten." The link between Job's ignorance and the rhetorical question is clearly that Job was ignorant of creation because he wasn't there.

I offered an explanation in my opening post for why the sons of God shouted for joy when the earth was founded.

Thanks again.

You are misinterpreting Job. The best way that I can answer your questions is to quote and give the right interpretation of the passages you have quoted. I will quote from the KJV:

Job 38
:

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Here God is chastening Job for complaining against Him! Job had complained that he was innocent of any crime (which he was!), and that that God had punished him unjustly without him having done anything to deserve it. God

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Angels (created spirits).

Well, there it is.

Mormons happen to believe they were angels, too...

except we are they.

Bernard

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Furthermore, the sons of God shouted for joy, not because they were going to be sent to the earth to become exalted beings, but because the earth was going to be the place where Jehovah, the God of creation, would manifest his glorious presence in the universe.

The earth occupies a somewhat piddly spot in the universe. In fact, there are innumerable

earths in the universe. Another rock with air and water is something to shout about? Seems to me God had already

manifested his glorious presence when he created the whole thing. Now that would be something

to shout about!

On the other hand, I can imagine we, the sons of God, shouting for joy at the founding

of our very own earth by our loving Father, so he could bring to pass his purposes...

our eternal lives.

Bernard

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It's not regarding Job 38:7, but I've always considered Genesis 2:1 is the best Biblical evidence for the premortal existence of man (and everything else). Lexically, a host of people (and everything else) was created before Adam was placed on the earth. I think the Church should use it, but it doesn't as far as I can tell.

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BC,

You wrote:

It's not regarding Job 38:7, but I've always considered Genesis 2:1 is the best Biblical evidence for the premortal existence of man (and everything else). Lexically, a host of people (and everything else) was created before Adam was placed on the earth. I think the Church should use it, but it doesn't as far as I can tell.

Genesis 2:1 is referring to all of the living things that populated the heavens and the earth. This would include all of the birds of the sky, all of the fish and other sea animals, all of the land animals, and the first human beings. It might also have included the angels, though this isn't explicit in Genesis 1. Since God could (as Christians and Jews traditionally believe) have created numerous angels without ever intending that any of them become humans, I see no way for Genesis 2:1 to be evidence that humans had a premortal existence.

Furthermore, in context I would argue that Genesis clearly teaches that human beings' existence begins with the beginning of their physical lives on earth. I have to stop at this point, but perhaps that would be a good discussion for a separate thread.

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Bernard,

I disagree with your statement about the earth; the earth is a very, very special place. In any case, God's plan was to manifest his presence on earth in a unique way through human beings, whom he was about to create in his image. This in no way implies that we were present when the earth was created. Again, Job 38:4 strongly counts against this idea.

The earth occupies a somewhat piddly spot in the universe. In fact, there are innumerable

earths in the universe. Another rock with air and water is something to shout about? Seems to me God had already

manifested his glorious presence when he created the whole thing. Now that would be something

to shout about!

On the other hand, I can imagine we, the sons of God, shouting for joy at the founding

of our very own earth by our loving Father, so he could bring to pass his purposes...

our eternal lives.

Bernard

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EbedDilemma.png

I offered an explanation in my opening post for why the sons of God shouted for joy when the earth was founded.

Well at least you are making progress. You acknowledge that the sons of God existed and "shouted for joy when the earth was founded." Now all you have to do is gain an understanding as to the identity of the sons of God. Are you up for the challenge? Maybe the scriptures can help you out:

I am sure you are aware that God created Adam.

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I disagree with your statement about the earth; the earth is a very, very special place. In any case, God's plan was to manifest his presence on earth in a unique way through human beings, whom he was about to create in his image. This in no way implies that we were present when the earth was created. Again, Job 38:4 strongly counts against this idea.

Oh yes, the earth is very special...to us, for whom it was created. And there is much more in store

for it and for us.

Job 38:4 only counts against this idea

if one believes we are not the sons of God spoken of. I happen to believe we are those very angels.

I probably misunderstand you, but it seems to me your position is that God was proving something when he

created the earth and man for the earth. Why would he need to do that? To whom was he showing his

power and presence?

Bernard

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David,

You wrote:

Angels (created spirits).

Don't ask Tsuzuki who the sons of the morning stars are. Your gonna lose your mind.pirate.png

BTW thanks Rob for bringing this up. Originally I just skimmed through this chapter and most of Job.It was putting me to sleep easily. Goes to show how paying attention to what HF says is important. However, and not to derail your OP, after comparing all of Job 38 between KJV and NASB it only confirms my belief even more of J. Smiths KFD . Also that CEN does not exist.

This goes to show the Lord teaches through the unintentional acts of others. Mahalo ala nui!

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Dan,

You wrote:

I appreciate this much of a concession. Isn't it true, though, that Job 38:4 rather clearly assumes that Job was not present at creation?

Job's a rather late book that appeals to a wide variety of ideologies. It does not espouse the premortal existence, but the book is not necessary to support the doctrine. Other texts do plenty.

You wrote:

Without conceding everything you claim to have shown with regard to the "sons of God" in these OT texts, I certainly maintain that Jesus' application in John 10 of Psalm 82 was correct.

Then you've got some explaining to do. Jesus appealed to a Second Temple Period interpretation of "Sons of Elyon" as a reference to Israelite priests. John appealed to a related ideology in John 1:12 with "sons of God." Now, you're saying (accurately, in my opinion) that the OT "sons of God" are not human. Who is right, the Old Testament or the New Testament? If there's some nuance to the question, please explain. As it stands, your reading of Job 38:7 does not square with Christ's reading of Psalm 82.

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David,

You wrote:

Angels (created spirits).

But angels are entirely unrelated to the sons of God in the Israelite pantheon. It wasn't until the Hellenistic period that they were conflated. See my discussions here and here. Angels are never presented as anything but absolutely obedient in the Hebrew Bible, which stands in stark contrast to the Sons of God in Genesis 6 and Psalm 82, and is perfectly consonant with the Ugaritic hierarchy on both counts. It wasn't until the idea of an individualized adversary (Satan) was developed that a need also developed to account for him. At first he was shoved in with the sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1), and then they were all demoted to conflation with angels. This required an ideology of fallen angels, which was developed in 1 Enoch and expanded in other pseudepigraphical literature and the New Testament.

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With regard to Job 38:4, I'm afraid I cannot agree with you that the rhetorical question "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" assumes the answer "You were there with me but have forgotten." If that were true, we would have expected God to say, "You were there when I laid the foundation of the earth, but you have forgotten." The link between Job's ignorance and the rhetorical question is clearly that Job was ignorant of creation because he wasn't there.

Thanks for the comments, but I am afraid I cannot agree with you! The context of the verses makes it clear that the emphasis is on Job

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The context of the verses makes it clear that the emphasis is on Job

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