The Book of Job, provides a debate, in poetic form, on whether the righteous are always rewarded and the wicked alway punished.  The dialogue surrounds the character of Job who has led a successful, just and honourable life but is suddenly and unexpectedly stricken by immense physical and mental suffering.  The dramatic arguments are often filled with allusions to natural phenomena and to farming and this is a theme that I’ve been following in this blog.

Here is another example illustrating this theme, see also previous posts here and here.  In this case Job is comparing humanities grim reality to that of a tree:

For a tree has hope:                                                                                                                though cut down, it can still be removed,                                                                       and its shoots will not cease.                                              Though its root grow old in the ground                                                                             and its stock die in the dust,                                                            from the scent of water it flowers,                                                                                         and puts forth branches like a sapling.                                          But a strong man dies defeated,                                                                                         man breathes his last, and where is he?

(Job 14:7-10) Translation by Robert Alter

The irony is that even trees manage to survive and regenerate unlike perishing humans!  Here’s a few images of fallen tree trunks and old stumps providing a natural nursery for new tree growth.  Perhaps this type of procedure was used as an ancient agricultural practice in the time of the writing of Job.

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