Moses Maimonides on Job'S happiness and the riddle of divine transcendence

N. Verbin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper explores the nature and role of divine transcendence in Maimonides by focusing on the figure of Job as he is understood by him. In the first part, I discuss Maimonides' diagnosis of Job's suffering. In the second, I focus on Maimonides' analysis of the nature of its defeat, and the manners in which that defeat involves the mediation of divine transcendence and hiddenness. In the third, I discuss some of the difficulties involved within the picture presented in the second part, namely, Maimonides' seeming commitment to two incompatible conceptions of divine transcendence. I argue that the incompatible accounts need not be harmonized since the Guide of the Perplexed is not a textbook that attempts to provide a doctrine concerning the nature of divine transcendence and its relation to the world. Rather, its purpose is to present a riddle, the great riddle of divine transcendence, around which Jewish life, as he understands it, is built. This riddle, for Maimonides, cannot be solved or dissolved; rather, it has to be recognized and embraced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


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