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

1 Scopus citations


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


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1110/13


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