I've been doing really, really well regarding Facebook. In fact, the only day it was hard was the first day and that was because it was just a habit. People message me there (rather than sending an email), so I have gone over there multiple times to answer those, and when I finish a recommended book I post something on the wall of the person who encouraged me to read it so they will know I appreciated it, but otherwise I've cut my usage down from 72 hours a day to about ten minutes. I am hurting my elbow patting myself on the back.
I think the reason it was so easy is that I've gotten better at quitting things that I know are not good for me. First politics, then Castleville -- Facebook was easier in a way because while there were definitely some good things about it, there were also bad (like my cousin getting ticked off at me).
I started reading the Job commentary. It was published by the Soncino Press, which is a British company that specializes in Jewish subjects. They treat the Bible as divine and tend toward the Orthodox version of things.
That being said, however...They do not think Job is a true story, but present it as an allegory. This is not a problem, of course, for two reasons. One -- I'd never thought of it that way, so I suppose it's possible that it IS an allegory, but two -- I can ignore that part. :)
They say that Satan has "not yet become a Prince of Darkness." I'm not sure exactly what they mean by this. They seem to imply that he is still an angel, albeit a cantankerous one.
"Note that the Satan is one of the sons of God. His role is that of a celestial Intelligence Officer who must report to God in the Heavenly Council." Then later, "The Satan appears in the Hebrew Bible as 'the Adversary,' 'the Opposer.' His part is to oppose men in their pretensions to a right standing with God, and to test their sincerity."
I'm not sure what to think about all of that. Hmmm.
None of this is why I wanted to read a commentary, however -- I understood chapter one quite well on my own. It's once Job and his friends start talking that I lose any sense of what's going on.
Incidentally, I think it is interesting that the word that is translated "blaspheme" -- or "curse" in a different version -- (for example, in verse 5) is actually the Hebrew word for "bless." It's an expression: "Ibn Ezra points out that this is an euphemism for its opposite 'to curse, blaspheme.' Rashi likewise suggests that out of motives of reverence the verb 'bless' was substituted for 'curse.'" THIS is the stuff I wanted a commentary for. I have a feeling that Job is LOADED with expressions that you simply cannot understand if you don't know anything about ancient Hebrew.
Also -- in just one chapter of this commentary I am really thrown into the thick of the difference between Jews and Christians. I'd almost forgotten; even though I live with a Jew he's been pretty Gentile-ized in his old age. The Jewish outlook is different from the Christian outlook. I don't just mean about the Messiah -- I mean the whole worldview. I have to say that I love it. I always wanted to be Jewish because Jesus was a Jew, so I am predisposed to love the things that separate Jews from Greeks.
And -- don't worry. I am very unlikely to write a blog entry for all 42 chapters of Job. It's just that I get kind of excited when I start something like this and now that I'm not Facebooking I have to express myself in writing SOMEWHERE. And that somewhere is...here.