Friday, June 18, 2010

Job Picture 6

Picture 6:
Above the top of the picture read:
"Naked came I out of my mothers womb
Naked shall I return thither"
"The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away
Blessd be the name of the Lord"

Above the pic you may see three bat wings; outside the two upper corners there are two figures (male and female?) holding the ends of a long web string and at the bottom of the strings two spiders.

The sun is going down in the West and it won't be seen again until it rises in the East in Picture 21.

"and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head" (this below the bottom of the pic)

With his left hand Satan pours a stream of poison on a prone Job and with his right hand he's about to pierce him with four arrows:
"This means that Job is being attacked by the Quaternity, the wholeness of the Self" (Edinger 29) (everything in Blake is fourfold), analogous to Christ being nailed to the cross or "Cupid's arrows of passion". (page 31)

Look at the broken pitcher beneath the picture. Edinger says it "suggests that the ego as a container may break if more is poured into it than it can stand" (Page 31). Most of us know people who have been shattered by some event: death of a child or spouse (sometimes of a parent); the person is so discombobulated that anything may happen; he/she may simply lose their faith. Some people in the hospital tell me they're just hanging on. Job hung on; he held fast his integrity.

Edinger went on to say that the "broken shepherd's crook in the lower left corner" indicates Job's dawning awareness that God is certainly no 'good shepherd'.

Here's the Biblical source for this picture at Job 2:
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD,----" and what follows will be revealed in the next Picture. Very obviously Satan is on a downward path.


ellie said...

Jerusalem, (E 166)

Then Albion broke silence and with groans reply'd

O Vala! O Jerusalem! do you delight in my groans
You O lovely forms, you have prepared my death-cup:
The disease of Shame covers me from bead to feet: I have no hope
Every boil upon my body is a separate & deadly Sin.
Doubt first assaild me, then Shame took possession of me
Shame divides Families. Shame hath divided Albion in sunder!
First fled my Sons, & then my Daughters, then my Wild Animations
My Cattle next, last ev'n the Dog of my Gate. the Forests fled
The Corn-fields, & the breathing Gardens outside separated
The Sea; the Stars: the Sun: the Moon: drivn forth by my disease
All is Eternal Death unless you can weave a chaste
Body over an unchaste Mind!

Larry said...

Repeating a verse from Jerusalem plate 21: "First fled my Sons, & then my Daughters, then my Wild Animations My Cattle next, last ev'n the Dog of my Gate." This led to reflection re Blake's dog;in the Illustrations to the Book of Job it seems to be last seen in Picture 5; the sun was last seen in Picture 6. Both reappear in Picture 21.

Perhaps Blake meant the dog as a sort of alter-ego or (better) shadow (spectre) of Job, a kind of restatement of the friend-spectre motif.