Thursday, March 16, 2017

Job Picture 15

First published by Larry Clayton on July 6, 2010
Pic 15:
Above the picture on each side Blake drew a figure perhaps signalling God speaking and the legend "Can any understand the spreading of the Clouds the noise of his Tabernacle" (Job 36:29)

On the left side " Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud: And it is turned round about by his counsels" (Job 37:11-12)

And on the right side: "Of Behemoth he saith He is the chief of the ways of God -- of Levithan he said He is King over all the Children of Pride (Portions of Job 40 and 41) [truly Pride goeth before a Fall]

And underneath the picture "Behold now Behemoth, which I made with thee" (Job 40:15).

Note the three levels: At the top God with the Angels of the Presence with stars; in the middle Job with usual wife and friends, also in a starry place; what can that mean? In Picture 14 he looked up to the starry Sons of God; now perhaps he is one of them! (Like most symbols Blake used the figure of stars ambiguously; in this picture they perhaps symbolize the light that has begun to dawn for Job; in Blake generally they represent Urizen; he and the stars fell.) Look at the Introduction of Songs of Experience:

"Hear the voice of the Bard,
Who present, past, and future, sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walked among the ancient trees;
Calling the lapsed soul,
And weeping in the evening dew;
That might control
The starry pole,
And fallen, fallen light renew!

The bottom level shows the two fearsome creatures of God, Behemoth of the land and Leviathan of the sea. In the legend Behemoth here implies the O.T. God's violent dimension and Leviathan one of mankind's worse qualities - Pride.

In Encounter with the Self, Edinger (p. 55) points out the common numinosity of Pictures 13, 14, and 15, the first two reveal the creative dimension of God and this one the destructive- "the abysmal aspect of God and the depth of his [Job's] own psyche, which contains devouring monsters remote from human values...This illustrates the fact that our existence is based on ..greedy, lusting, devour matter"--which is to say that we have a spiritual and a materialistic nature, Sons of God, but made of dust.

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