Tag Archives: bible

William Blake’s Book of Job Plates.

The plates that Blake made for the Book of Job are very descriptive and fairly true to the word of the Bible. I do like his interpretation in pictures what is written in words.

For this blog entry, I am concentrating on the first and last plates of the book. I intend to point out various aspects of the plates and try to explain just what Blake was trying to get at when he engraved these images.job-1last-job

In Plate 1, the day is ending, and night is coming. If we think that Light is good and dark is bad, you can see that this is a forewarning of the doom to come. Life in Plate 1 is “nice”. Job is content with his life, surrounded by his pious children and his loving wife. the open book, representing the word of God sits on Job’s lap. the family is wealthy. The flocks of sheep are deep around them and beast and man alike are content. In the background we see a church and also a town or community. Does this signify that these things, although present in Job’s life, do not take priority over his flocks and family which are displayed further in the foreground?

We see too, that it is a passive scene. Everybody, and all the beasts are at rest. The musical instruments are hanging in the tree like ornaments. Did Job take his faith for granted? Was he passive in his faith?

The Book of Job in the Bible tells the story of a man of faith. Faith that could not be broken. The Devil then goes to God and says, ” I can cause any man to stop following you, and follow me instead”. (this of course is a Dave’s paraphrase and not a literal translation). God answers Satan saying “You wanna bet? Consider my servant Job. You wont break him”. God gave Satan permission to try Job. He told him he could do anything he liked to Job except not take his life.

The book of Job tells of the trials that Job goes through. He loses all his family and flocks. His friends ridicule him and give him bad advice. They mock him and say “Listen, you follow God, but still all this bad stuff happens to you. Curse God and live!”

Job answers “Go away, what should we expect, that only good should come from God, shouldn’t we also expect some troubles?”

The whole story is depicted in 21 plates engraved by William Blake.

Plate 21 shows us the story after Satan has given up. God has won the bet. Because Job was faithful, God allowed him to live another 140 years and see 4 generations of his family following. His farm prospered and again he was highly regarded amongst his friends.

Look closely at Plate 21 (above). We can see that the night or darkness is ending, and day or good times are coming. The flocks again lay at the feet of the family. But the family itself, Job included, is not passive in their worship of God, or their spiritual life. Where before, in plate 1 the family were all seated and at peace, this new family is active in their worship of God. They are all on their feet, worshiping, playing music to God. Job himself is depicted not only holding a harp, but has his hand raised in worship to God.

Blake was telling the story of Job through the plates, but I also think he was trying to tell the believers who followed not to be passive in your life with God. If you do that, disaster may strike. Are you ready for it? Be fervent in your following of God. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”. It is the prayer and worship of God that will help us to overcome the hard times. “Even though  I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I fear no evil. The rod and thy staff, they comfort me”. The Rod represents the punishment or correction of God, the staff of a shepherd is used to keep the sheep on the right path.

Blake quotes on the top right corner of Plate 21 ” Just and True are they Ways, O thou King of Saints. Job is telling God that he knows that God was with him through all the trials. God did not desert him and so Job, will not desert the True and Just God.

I loved seeing these plates in person in the Art Gallery of NSW. I would have loved some extra time to study them. Thank God for the internet. I can look into them all I desire.

Sometimes, I think we can all relate to Job. There are times when we think that God may have deserted us. Recently, I had a fall. My health was bad. The bank made a mistake that meant I was without money. My car started to fail. But I held on. I am glad I did. My health improved, the bank issue was sorted in my favour, I bought a new car and sold the old one… I was not expecting to get money for it. I won a national photo competition, I am getting good grades at Uni, and in November, I am going to Rome to sing with my choir. So hang in there, it does get better.

Dave

 

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Literature quote

“Science teaches what the poets already knew”.

I just found this quote on someone’s social media site. I don’t have a source to attribute it to though. Can someone please help? Please put it in a comment. 

I believe that science teaches what the BIBLE already taught us. There are  instances in which science has said something where it is just a confirmation of what is written. Science confirms what we should take for on faith since God already taught us.

Many of the poets in the romantic period had their roots in the bible (William Blake) or in what nature has to teach (Wordsworth). It makes sense then that the poets knew things scientists didn’t. 

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Out of the mouths of babes

The Bible According to Kids
The following statements about the Bible were written by children and have not been retouched or corrected (i.e., bad spelling has been left in.) In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark because Noah built the ark, which the animals came to in pears. Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strong man who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slew the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to find the ten commendments. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The seventh commandment is “Thou shalt not admit adultery”. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. Then the three Wise Guys from the east arrived and found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had an Immaculate Contraption. St. John, the blacksmith, dumped water on his head. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained that “Man does not live by sweat alone”. It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance. The people who followed Jesus were called the 12 decibles. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached the holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
 

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