Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Disinterested Piety

A comparison with the book of Job seems natural at this point. Here, too, we have a divine test but without the proper terminology. Here the Satan persuades God to test pious Job. The purpose of this test is to ascertain whether Job’s piety is disinterested, unselfish piety or not: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” ( Job 1:9). The key word is h.innam ‘for nothing’. The Eden Narrative tells about an analogous case. Not knowing about the potential reward—being allowed to eat from the tree of life—the two humans are asked for obedience, obedience that is not contingent on reward. They are asked for what will ultimately be disinterested piety—just as in the case of Job.—Mettinger in The Eden Narrative, page 55

<idle musing>
Just as I said yesterday, obedience for the sake of obedience, but I do like the phrase disinterested piety
</idle musing>

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