Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to
When Shall These Things Be?
The Resurrection of the Dead
Part 12 Job 19:25-27
David A. Green
Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Strimple Argument #12: Job 19:25-27 says that Job himself, with
his own “eyes” and in his own “skin,” would “see God.” This is an allusion
to a physical resurrection of the dead. Job 14:13-17 confirms this
interpretation. In that passage it says that if Job’s vindication were to
come after his death, God would hide him in the grave until the time set
for Job’s “renewal,” and that God would then “long for the creature [His]
hands have made” (294-295).
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. Whom I shall
see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;
though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:25-27)
As Strimple admits, the phrase “from my flesh,” or “in my flesh,” in
Job 19:26 can be translated “without my flesh” (i.e., outside of my flesh).
Job could have been saying that he expected to be vindicated at a nonfleshly
resurrection (“without my flesh”) on the Last Day. Some preterists
take this interpretation.
But even if we translate the phrase to read, “from my flesh” (i.e.,
from the vantage point of my flesh), this could be taken to mean that Job
expected to see God within his own lifetime, while still in his flesh. And,
as a matter of fact, that is exactly what happened.
After Job’s time of tribulation and anguish, his Redeemer at last
arose on the dust and answered Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1).
After God’s “archers”/“troops” (i.e., Job’s accusers) surrounded and “devoured”
Job, and after Job was filled up with the afflictions of his flesh,
he was redeemed from his sufferings. He was vindicated as “a perfect
and upright man” and his enemies were judged (cf. Job 19:29 and 42:7-
9). Thus Job, with his own eyes, and from his flesh, saw God:
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye
has seen You. (Job 42:5)
Regarding Job 14:13-17:
O that You would hide me in Sheol, that You would keep me secret,
until Your wrath be past, that You would appoint me a set
time, and remember me! If a man dies, shall he live again? All
the days of my appointed time [literally, “warfare”] will I wait,
till my change come [or, “until my exchanging or replacement
come”]. You shall call, and I will answer You. You will have a
desire to the work of Your hands. (Job 14:13-15)
If Job was prophesying concerning the resurrection of the dead in
this passage, then we must say that Job was triumphing in the idea that
his wretched and miserable condition (his “warfare”) would continue
for hundreds or even thousands of additional years while in Sheol (Job
14:14), and that only at the end of human history would God’s “wrath”
(Job 14:13) against him pass, and that, only then, would Job be relieved
from his warfare as a battle-wearied soldier is replaced by another
(“changed”) (cf. Job 10:17; 14:14-15).
According to the logical implications of Strimple’s interpretation of
the above scripture, Job remains hidden in Sheol to this very day and
God remains angry with him to this very day. At the same time, according
to the anti-premillennial Strimple, New Testament saints who have
died are in the face-to-face presence of Christ Himself and are reigning
with Him today. Yet Strimple tells us that we cannot establish a contrast
between the afterlife of Old Testament saints, such as Job, and that of
New Testament saints (293).
Either God remained/remains angry with Job for hundreds or thousands
of years after Job’s death, or Job was not speaking of a vindication
at the resurrection of the dead. As the context leads us to believe, what
Job desired was vindication instead of death. Instead of resigning himself
to dying, stricken of God, Job yearned by faith for vindication and
redemption in his own lifetime. He hoped that God would not crush
him as an enemy, but would instead relent and restore him to Himself
(Job 14:14b, 15). As we know, Job’s hope was not deferred, as per futurism
(Prov. 13:12). Instead, it was fulfilled and Job was delivered and
vindicated in his own lifetime. “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job
more than his beginning” (Job 42:12).