This Shall Turn out for My Deliverance: An Exercise in Intertextuality

Greetings, Siestas!

I am cold.

How are you?

I will have you know that Houstonians have been notified that we have a 70% chance of snow flurries over the next twenty four hours. We are all nestled at home by the fire, awaiting the likes of the Chicago blizzard. The doors of schools and workplaces have been locked and abandoned. Food stuffs have long since been purchased. Shelves are practically empty. In short, we are all certifiably insane.

In other news, on Tuesday night at Bible Study my Mom read out of Philippians 1.19:

For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (NASB)

Every time I hear this verse, a bell starts ringing in my head and it drives me crazy because I can never identify it. But, at last, the other night I finally discovered that the echo is coming from Job 13.16. We can see that the phrase “this shall turn out for my deliverance” in Philippians 1.19 (τοῦτό μοι ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν) finds a word for word correspondence in the Greek version of Job 13.16:

Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless man would dare come before him! (NIV)

For those interested, you can see the correspondence in the Greek below:

Philippians 1.19 οἶδα γὰρ ὅτι τοῦτό μοι ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν δεήσεως καὶ ἐπιχορηγίας τοῦ πνεύματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

Job 13.16 καὶ τοῦτό μοι ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν οὐ γὰρ ἐναντίον αὐτοῦ δόλος εἰσελεύσεται.

The Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible are known collectively as the Septuagint (commonly abbreviated LXX). The LXX is overwhelmingly the Bible that Paul uses in his letters. What is fascinating about this instance in Philippians 1.19 is that Paul does not use any introductory formula (for example, something like, “the Scripture says”) to introduce his allusion or echo of Job 13.16.  This discussion is a conversation in intertextuality.  Intertextuality, in simplest terms, is the relationship between texts. So what I am getting at with this particular discussion is, how is Paul using Job 13.16 in Philippians 1.19? If that question does not make sense, think of it this way: what is the relationship between Philippians 1.19 and Job 13.16?

There are several explanations as to what may be going on but here are just a couple of general options:

1) In spite of the verbatim verbal correspondence, Paul has not consciously invoked Job 13.16. It is sheer coincidence and no implications should be drawn about the relationship between these two texts.

2) Paul has uttered the words “this will turn out for my deliverance” in passing, without too much thought. It is noteworthy that we do this all the time, not because we are trying to invoke entire contexts of biblical passages, but because of our familiarization with a certain verse. For example, when we have a friend who has suffered a loss, we might say, “All things work for the good of those who love him” without even realizing we just quoted half of Romans 8.28. Our intention was not to point our friend to the entirety of Romans 8 but simply to quickly apply a very familiar verse to a new and relevant situation.

3) In Philippians 1.19, Paul has intentionally echoed the language and context of Job 13.16 because he is identifying himself and his circumstances with Job, the paradigmatic righteous sufferer who, in his suffering and affliction, hoped in God for ultimate vindication and redemption.

Discussions of intertextuality, like this one, can be quite fascinating and complex since the line between option two and option three is often difficult to discern. If you wish to do so, take a look at the pertinent verses and let me know what you think. First, look at Philippians 1.19 and its surrounding context. Second, check out Job 13.16 (read all of Job 13 if you really want to make the most of the discussion). Finally, go back to Philippians 1.19 and try to discern the nature of the relationship between the two texts.

As a side note, today I forgot my Bible, so I am using one of my Mom’s old ones and it is dated to approximately 1990. The marginal notes are full of stars, exclamation marks, and observations in curly little cursive handwriting and it is making me so happy.

Have a great evening, dear ladies.  Whatever you do, do not make your way to Houston; Chicago, Antarctica, the North Pole, anywhere would be safer than Houston.




286 Responses to “This Shall Turn out for My Deliverance: An Exercise in Intertextuality”

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  1. 1

    So funny to think of you all down south going crazy over a little snow headed your way. Kind of cute 🙂

  2. 2
    Texas in the Mountains says:

    1. I was sure that intertextuality was going to have something to do with you finally being on twitter.

    2. According to my facebook friends (you know it’s gotta be true); I officially live in the coldest place on the planet. Yesterday the temperature in Antartica -28; the temperature in Laramie Wy -33.
    And the schools stayed open.

    • 2.1
      Melissa says:

      🙂 I forgot to mention the Twitter thing. But you are right it would have been especially appropriate. I can’t believe it was -33 yesterday! That is just CRAZY!

    • 2.2
      candifer says:

      it was like that earlier this week up here in rapid–the schools stayed open here as well. and i had a completely flat tire to boot!

    • 2.3
      Nancy Jensen says:

      That is funny because I thought the same thing with intertextuality and now I am sitting here laughing!

      It has been amazingly cold in Iowa, too. We did have a 2 hour late start two days this week, but still bundled up the kiddos and sent them to school.

    • 2.4
  3. 3
    candifer says:

    come to south dakota–we’re having a HEAT WAVE!!!! today, it actually got above freezing!!!!!! people were wearing shorts (no joke). stay warm & safe!

    • 3.1
      Melissa says:

      I am happy for you all in South Dakota! Enjoy your shorts!

      • candifer says:

        for the record, it’s actually the same temperature in sd as it is in houston… it just feels ridiculously warm compared to -45 degree windchills! 🙂

    • 3.2
      Karen E says:

      Come to Minnesota! Yesterday people were wearing shorts when it was -2 F. Yes, really. I was not one of them, however. I like my down jacket, thank you!

  4. 4
    Kim Feth says:

    About all I can say is that I’m glad a woman as beautiful as you and as smart as you follows God! I’d be afraid, very, very afraid if all of those looks and brains were for evil! Praise Him!
    Kim Feth
    Apex, NC

  5. 5
    Melanie says:

    Intertextuality…..very cool. Have always loved both of those verses, and never knew of the connection.

    And as a native Texan, living in New England….I’m laughing at the closed schools and bare store shelves! Y’all be careful down there! ; ) I’d be more than happy to send the three feet of white stuff in my yard straight to Houston!

  6. 6
    Becky Roode says:

    Hey Melissa! Great seeing you on the blog. 🙂

    Since Paul knew his stuff I think it was intentional, especially considering all that Paul suffered for the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Surely it could have been coincidental. But given the fact that Paul was “a Hebrew born of Hebrews” and studied under Gamaliel, I’m sure he knew those scrolls like the back of his hand.

    I hope you contribute more as time allows. I’m currently studying Paul now in seminary so reading this was especially interesting for me this evening.

    Get us thinking, gal! 🙂

    Love and warm thoughts!

    • 6.1
      Melissa says:

      Hey Becky, where are you going to seminary? Hope you are enjoying your classes! All my best, Melis

      • Becky Roode says:

        Hey Melis,
        I’m working on a masters degree in theological studies at Liberty right now. I’ll be finished in August. At that time I will move on to Regent to begin work on an MDiv.
        Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend!

    • 6.2
      Judy says:

      My thoughts exactly, Becky. And Melissa, I love your challenging, intellectual, humorous post! More! More!

  7. 7
    Anne says:

    This is an interesting question, Melissa. I imagine Paul might very well have identified himself with Job. I wonder, would the Philippians have caught the allusion? Of course, there would have been Jews in the community, but would the Gentile believers have recognized a reference to the LXX?

    I suppose there is a certain irony in the parallel. Job is answering his “friends” who have charged him with secret sin, whereas Paul is writing a letter of encouragement to the Philippians who have supported him with prayers and money. Perhaps the context (and contrast) of the two statements provides an opportunity to discuss how Christians respond to tribulation in the lives of other Christians. Are we judges or encouragers? And do we pray for their deliverance THROUGH their tribulation, which is what Paul was convinced would come about through the prayers of his fellow believers.

    • 7.1
      Melissa says:

      Anne, your comment about the irony in the parallel is insightful. Also, your question about Gentile believers recognizing the reference to the LXX is one of the biggest issues in the discussion.

  8. 8
    DigiNee says:

    Laughing at we Houstonians and also love the brain expansion. Check out a uTube from called “Snow in Houston” —- it is hilarious! Not looking forward to leaving for the hospital at 5:45 a.m., when it is supposed to be bad —— we will see. Tried to convince my boss that my administrative position was not an “essential” position —- did not work. Stay warm!

  9. 9
    Dee says:

    Hi Sisters,

    I would think Paul knew what he was saying, being a student of the text. I think sometimes we claim a verse and cling to it, making it our own. Perhaps Paul didn’t make the Job reference because he claimed that verse. Maybe he said it a lot and figured the Philippians might already know where it came from. Those are just my thoughts. Very interesting though.

    Here is Zeeland, MI, it’s not super cold, but we got TONS of snow on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. There was anywhere from 2 to 3 feet in my driveway depending on where I was standing. No school for two days. I even got a snow day from work yesterday. 🙂 Our temps are around 20 degrees. Wish I could share my pictures with you all. 🙂

    Be blessed and stay warm everyone!!!!

  10. 10
    Kelli says:

    I sit in awe and wonder at your level of intelligence. You challenge me in ways that I didn’t know were possible and in ways that make me glad I follow this blog. Deep thoughts are very often eluded by hubby out of town, kids at school and cold, 50 below temperatures and frozen pipes (and this is just the last couple of days!)

    I will sit down this evening, after I have put all crazy noise makers to bed and really read these two passages and get back to you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an amazing follower of Christ. I truly enjoy you!

    Kelli in Colorado

  11. 11
    Karene says:

    Right about now, I’m really glad I live in sunny So. Calif. We freak out when the temp gets below 65! 🙂

    I haven’t had a chance to look at the passages yet, but knowing Paul’s education, I tend to think his reference was intentional. Very interesting. I love when you check in with us, Melissa!

  12. 12
    Diane says:

    I’m the “rotten egg” at work tonight, here alone and wrapping things up before I run to a meeting, but I took a minute out to do this.

    Job and Paul were both being accused and were both going to go before judges. Job wanted to plead his case before God because he was certain of his innocence and wanted to defend his ways before God. (“Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated. Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die.” Job 14:18 – 19)

    I think that while Paul was enduring his difficulties, he did what we tend to do when we’re in a rough patch: we turn to Job for encouragement. I think he had probably bathed himself in the book of Job and felt the same certainty with regards to his own upcoming hearing. Just like all of us do when we are camping on a particular section of scripture for a period of time, the quote came out of Paul’s mouth very naturally. I’m sure the Holy Spirit solidified the truth of scripture to Paul and encouraged him with it… so Paul could use the sword of the Spirit to fend off fear and discouragement.

    But that’s just my take on it, here in 70 degree and drop dead gorgeous California. 🙂

  13. 13
    twinkle says:

    Personally, I think the Holy Spirit penned it just for me today. As usual, The Word has become Flesh and dwelt among us.

    Job 13:15 has long been my declaration of faith.
    Job 13:16 now speaks to the place where everything becomes settled and delivered…in the audience of God Almighty. He delivers us.

  14. 14
    lavonda says:

    I do hope you all get some of that forecasted snow — especially for the little ones’ sake. I remember the very few times it would snow in Florida growing up… lots of memories made with even our grandparents coming over to play in it with us.

    When I moved up here to Atlanta a few years ago, everyone said, ‘it never snows here’ and yet, it’s snowed about 2-3 times every winter. We just had 6 inches a few weeks ago! This southern girl LOVES it.

    Sitting by a fire with people you love and the Word of God on your lap?

  15. 15
    Maria says:

    When I saw the heading of this blog I thought you were going to talk about texting on your iphone ..I love ya girl…too deep for me tonight…:) Enjoy the snow…I’ll send Houston snow from NYC tomorrow. 🙂

  16. 16
    Jill_in_AL says:

    I LOVE this, MMF. This sort of connection between the Old and New shows the real people that they were and that is both facinating and encouraging to me.

    In Job the passage builds with more and more emotion as I read it….in verse 15 he is saying “though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” which may have been exactly how the Apostle Paul felt day after day in chains and holding on to the living hope he met on the road to Damascus. Holding on to the only hope he had left. Perhaps Paul found solice in the words of Job. Not sure I’ve ever thought of our Bible heroes as also being regular readers of the same scriptures.

    It is entirely possible that as Paul sat in chains, on house arrest and all manner of infirmity he read and re-read Job and other scriptures just as we read and re-read our Bibles. Did he read and re-read the Psalms to also lift his spirits–surely so.

    I also want to ponder Job 13:3 a bit….surely that is not how I sound when I’m “venting” to the Almighty. While I like to think I’m laying out my heart to him and do desire to “speak to the Almighty” I can’t say I even come close to feeling like arguing my case with Him **shutter** plus, I’m not sure the wording is accurate b/c I cannot imagine God lowering Himself to argue WITH any one or thing.

    Well, thank you, resident scholar Melissa. You once again have brought me to open the Word, to learn, to think and to ponder.

    Happy Snow Days to you! Jill

  17. 17
    Gretchen says:


    I just came from work where I had the worst imaginable day as a result of something stupid that I said that was taken out of context and then I made it even worse by saying something even more stupid and to read the first few words of your post felt like a gift from God. And I am just going to receive it as a promise that even in my foolishness, the Lord can and will work it out for my deliverance from this incessant insecurity. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. Please pray for me.

    And I’m going to be praying that you enjoy being “homebound” during this mini-ice age in Houston.

    With gratitude and wishes for blessings on you,


  18. 18
    Mona says:

    Ooh! Food for thought – yummy!

    It’s cold here in Rome, Georgia too! We got snow today when only rain was predicted. Enough to put a thin white blanket on the ground. 😉

    Back to the brain food – I haven’t participated in one of these brain teasers and I don’t know Greek or Hebrew, but I read both passages and thought there seemed to be some similarities. Here’s the way I see it. I definitely can’t go along with #1 – sheer coincidence. Don’t believe in those – I believe it was your mom that said a “coincidence” is when God wants to be anonymous. God’s timing is always perfect, so…

    I guess #2 is possible. Maybe that phrase was common, like “it’s raining cats and dogs” or something. Thing is, whether Paul realized the connection or not, God did. All scripture is inspired by Him after all. Right?

    So I tend to go more with #3. I find it interesting that both men were telling their side of things. Job says that when his case is presented, he’ll be vindicated. Paul says he eagerly expects not to be ashamed because Christ will be exalted in his body. Both men base their hope on God. Both talk about death as a possibility, but aren’t worried about it (“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him”-Job & “To live is Christ; to die is gain”-Paul). The phrase that “it will turn out for my deliverance” just captures the attitude of both godly men (deliverance – whether from the thing, through it or by it). Hmmm, what a coincidence (refer to #1). 🙂

  19. 19
    k&c's mom says:

    My second grade class in Austin is praying that snow hits Austin in time to cancel/delay school tomorrow. This teacher seconds that prayer!

  20. 20
    Michele says:

    THIS IS AWESOME!!! I’ve been getting back to studying Greek lately, baby steps but progress. My memory verse this time is in Greek. I sure would love to dive in and come up with some impressive answer, but honestly right now I’ve got nothing. I started a blog hoping to be able to ask these kinds of questions and study fascinating nuggets like that with others, but I’m just not up to it yet.

    And that phrase really speaks to me right now because I’ve been in a deep pit of depression from recent trauma. Ended up in ER from anxiety attacks & have an appt tomorrow am to see about getting some meds. God has been telling me that He will use this pain for my deliverance, it just still hurts for now. I’m also thinking there is a bit of a spiritual battle waging.

    Melissa, I hope we will hear more from you on the blog and I hope someday you and I can have a deep theological discussion – in the original languages!
    Love you, Lady! 🙂

    • 20.1
      Michele says:

      p.s. – It was great to see you at Deeper Still. I could not believe that you remembered me and something I had written. That totally made my day! Thank you!

  21. 21
    Bethany says:

    Girl, you make my brain hurt but that is a good thing! I am a bit overtired tonight to dig into this but I want to so will do so this weekend. Thank you for the bible study dear sister in the Lord!

  22. 22
    Amanda Billings says:


    I do wish so much that I had your level of intelect.

    I read and re-read your post and I have three young children running around in pajamas playing with flashlights, so there is no way I’m going to be able to comment. You are so smart. I love to think I’m a “student” of the Bible…but you my dear are a definite “career student” of the WORD! Great job!

  23. 23
    Amy says:

    I’m no expert, but reading through I immediately thought #3. As someone mentioned Paul would have known the Scripture and believing His word as fact he would have known that it would have turned out for his good. And just as I type that, I want to say “all things work together for the good of those that love him”. I think when you have scripture memorized, you automatically apply it to situations you are in. I don’t see how it would have just been a random coincidence.

  24. 24


    Cool post. I love when reading one part of the bible makes you think of another part. Sometimes I really sit in awe of this, at how amazing this really is that Scripture is written by so many different people and over such a long span of time. Like today while reading in Jeremiah 17:7-8 I thought of Psalm 1:1-3. Two different descriptions of what a ‘blessed’ man looks like. One doesn’t walk in councel of the wicked and the other trusts in God and his trust is God, but they are both described as being like trees planted by water. I think that is cool.

    To answer your question…I think it is #1. Reading both of these passages and the verses surrounding them, they just feel different, maybe because Paul says emphatically that he will ‘rejoice’ twice before the verse in question. They seem to be in different ‘places’.
    But yet both men are stating their covictions of having a full trust in God.
    But the difference is that Paul is basically saying he doesn’t care about his situation as long as the gospel is being preached, that Christ is proclaimed. And Job is defending himself before his friends but yet trusts that God will be his salvation. So really both Paul could be wanting to identify with Job for that reason…they are saying the same thing, maybe the answer is #3, but it feels like #1. Ok I don’t know…:)

    Thanks for posting this.

    michelle in VT

  25. 25
    Sister Lynn says:

    We are cold here in Tucson TOO! Although there is no snow coming… just below freezing temps!

    Now on to your discussion (I LOVE these kinds of posts)

    I don’t know if Paul consciously referenced the passage from Job or not. I think he was so steeped in Scripture that he probably quoted from it all the time without being completely aware. How much more so when writing letters of spiritual encouragement?

    Like was said above – his readers wouldn’t automatically make the connection and he didn’t deliberately point it out by saying “as scripture says” or something like that
    So… I think that he everyday language and thoughts were so shaped by Scripture that they just rolled off his tongue or pen…. would that we all could do that!

    Blessings – its great to see you here and on Twitter!
    Sister Lynn

  26. 26
    JEN says:

    Hello from sunny Florida! Actually, it’s kind of chilly tonight, 67degrees.

    Sorry, just had to.

    Enjoy the flurries!

  27. 27
    Jessica says:

    i’m just shocked that you knew that was in Job… O_o.

    i can’t wait to get that familiar with the word. O_o i’m really impatient about this matter.

    also, yes, Houston is too cold. My afro was FROZEN yesterday when it was like 21 degrees. When i step outside that morning i knew something was wrong because my hair “shivered”, then i reached up and it was stiff as if i put mega monkey glue in it.. O_o.

    anyhow. i can just imagine how lethal i’d be with that much word all in my vains and such..

    i’d imagine the enemy would have to attack me from the trenches.

  28. 28
    Tack says:

    Here’s what I thought when I read the entire chapters. Paul had been put in prison to keep the message from being spread but the attempt failed. Satan wanted to test Job and I think he thought if Job failed that people would cease believing in God. Which again was a failed plan. I imagine Paul probably identified with Job more than any other biblical figure and looked to his writings when he was being persecuted.

    Just my thoughts and not very scholarly ones.

    Here in Oklahoma we did the same thing Monday night preparing for the blizzard. We even cancelled school before a single flake fell. Tomorrow will be our 4th day out of school and there is still over a foot of snow in my yard. I was glad I prepared and have been able to stay indoors (except for shoveling the driveway)and out of the below zero windchills.


  29. 29
    Suzanne in RI says:

    Love it, thanks!

  30. 30
    JACKIE says:

    I now know why Angie Smith calls you the smartest person she knows. What a mind you have my dear. I would not be a bit surprised if Paul was indeed comparing himself with Job. However not to get sympathy but to make a point or a better way of putting it to plead his case. Just a thought.

  31. 31
    Ashley says:

    I love this post – it makes me happy. I’m not sure what I think, but as others have said, Paul surely would have been aware of it’s occurrence in Job. Whether or not he intended for the readers to make the connection, who knows, but I know I regularly pull out snippets here and there – sometimes to make a point and sometimes purely for fun. It makes me laugh to break out a “thou knowest” or a “verily I say to you…” with my kids (I don’t use the KJV but it’s more fun to quote sometimes because they look at me like I’m crazy).

  32. 32
    Aunt Rhody says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I love it when you, and your Mom, give us “‘splanations.” That would “explanations” about scriptures. Being one of the persons in TX where the snow and ice has me cabin bound, that was a really Good Word!
    FYI, the reason all the schools are cancelled is that in many cases there are frozen pipes and water leaks. Or power outages due to the ice and snow or high usage. And, since we infrequently have freezing weather or snow/ice for this many days, there is no local equipment for clearing roads. Road crews are working to clear interstates and some major highways, but in Texas that means thousands of miles. All equipment is diverted from small towns and even large cities for clearing major roadways. Additionally we don’t have snow tires or chains or snowblowers, so we are stuck. I know it’s difficult to imagine, but I had a neighbor from Ohio once who said she was appalled at her first TX ice storm to find that she really could not leave her driveway. Anyway, I read today that 154 school districts in TX are all in the same boat–frozen! Four days of no school now.

  33. 33
    Chelsea says:

    Fun to hear the connection b/w those verses! It’s a pretty big deal to claim a verse about suffering in reference to Job, even for Paul. I’m glad you brought it up and gave me something to ponder.

  34. 34
    Gene says:

    I’m new at this but I did what you suggested. Looked at Phil 1 than Job 13. To me, it seems that both men are arguing the same thing. In laymen terms, “Why are you proclaiming the truth of God for selfish reasons?”

    I wondered if the same statement used could possibly be a social phrase that was passed down through the generations such as our own, “As God is my witness.”

    Just curious, what is your take on bible coding? Only layman knowledge here. I’ve often wondered why the scripture, especially in Leviticus and Numbers, repeats the tabernacle instructions, priestly robes, ceremonial sacrifices, etc – 2-3 times.

    Anyway, thanks for the challenge. If you know the correct answer, please tell us.

  35. 35
    Antoinette says:

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

  36. 36
    valerie (in TX) says:

    My brain is too tired to consider the question at hand at the moment, but I will say that here in WEST Texas the issue isn’t the snow (we almost never have any), but the WIND. 35 mph winds in 9* temps is COLD, no matter where you are! 😉 And…there’s a reason we live in Texas – we don’t like the cold!!

  37. 37
    Heather Smith says:

    Oh Melissa I love this!! Thank you for this insight! I will be chewing on it…

    I just ordered my Key Word Hebrew and Greek Bible and have been tracking its progress to (COLD) Lewiston, Idaho!! I have been so excited I can hardly contain myself! 🙂 It makes me feel like a total nerd, but I couldn’t care less. I can’t wait to get even deeper in the Word.

    Glad to see you on the blog today! Blessings!

    Heather 🙂

    • 37.1
      Marie says:


      You live in Lewiston? I’m up in Post Falls! Have lots of family down where you are. 🙂

      • Heather Smith says:

        HI Marie-
        Yes…. another Idahoan on the blog!! 🙂
        Did you go to LPL in Spokane?? It was so very good!
        Where are you in school right now? I saw your post below about the Pauline Lit class you are in.

        • Marie says:


          I was at LPL in Spokane! Was my first LPL event, and I loved it.

          I’m in my last semester at Regent University for my undergraduate degree in Theology. Not sure what I’m going to do after that.

          Blessings and hugs,


          P.S. – drop me an email if you like! [email protected]

  38. 38
    Casey says:

    thank you for drawing that parallel…I am going to do some digging of my own with that!

  39. 39
    Patti Reavis says:

    Oh my gosh! Does anyone in Houston have a coat? Regardless, it’s so short lived there.
    Loved the food for thought and plan to ponder that one awhile. Job and Philippians – amazing.

  40. 40
    Marie says:

    Intertexuality! Yay! And me in my Pauline Lit class right now…. Bear with me. I might get this wrong.

    I think I’d go for Option #2. In verse 18, Paul writes that he rejoices because the message of Christ is being preached, and he isn’t concerned about the motivation of those who preach. (Fascinating commentary, to me, about getting over ourselves and ignoring those who would tear us down).

    Then he goes on to say that he’ll keep rejoicing. Paul is calling attention to the prayers, and thus the support, of the Philippian believers and God’s provision of the Spirit (love that!), first. Second, in verse 20, he writes that he hopes for sufficient courage so that Christ will be glorified, whether by his (Paul’s) continuing in this life or his entrance into the next.

    Over in chapter 13, Job is talking about seeing God face to face and defending himself, and that his righteousness will be his deliverance. He’s rebuking his friends while Paul is thanking his. He has questions for God; there’s almost a defensiveness about the passage. Paul is eager to see God, but not to ask Him questions. God, for Paul, is the ultimate. He is the gain.

    So, I don’t know that Paul is comparing himself to Job here. Job suffered completely out of the blue, for no reason that made sense to him (or, frankly, to me). Paul suffers in a way he once perpetuated, and must have expected. He didn’t seem to have questions about it.

    As a student of Scripture, those words must have rolled around in Paul’s mind, but I don’t think he meant to point to Job directly.

    • 40.1
      Marie says:

      P.S. – as the Philippians were Gentile, I’m not sure they would have gotten the reference if it was specific, anyway.

      And here in Idaho, it was a blamly 23 degrees. We broke out the shorts and flip-flops. 🙂

  41. 41
    Barb Lanktree says:

    I can just testify to the truth of their words. As I look back at my life and even the impending events I know are coming I know that God has used ALL events/trials of my life that I thought of as awful, difficult, maybe some that felt tragic at the time, HE has used for my deliverance. He had to let me/cause me to trip over myself & fall into the pit before I would bend my knee & recognize who was in control. When I was in control I was definitely headed to the firery lake. He is such an awesome, amazing preeminent God whose love just will not let us go. We have a shepherd’s cross behind our altar, I can remember early on after coming to the Lord when I was looking up at that cross, “I was so busy running & pushing You away and You just followed patiently until the fullness of time and drew me in.” Indeed He has worked all things for my deliverance & has me in a “so far” place that I know that no matter what happens in my life or how difficult it may be to walk through it, He will always be at my side and will continue to use it for my deliverance and His glory. Barb in Shelby Twp, MI @ -5 windchill. Was thinking today all of those billions of snowflakes in my yard & every one else’s are unique, no 2 alike, just like He made us. No 2 alike. God Bless.

  42. 42
    Diana A says:

    Gosh I just wanted to say Hi!

    I am in Canada on the west coast in BC and we are having warm weather with showers. No snow for a couple months.

    As for Paul, I think he knew whom he was quoting, but I like the idea God knew first and used all means to bring wisdom to those who had ears to hear.

    Hope you find joy in the snow, it always melts eventually:)

    Thanks for stretching my mind, it may not absorb like yours but I like the hope of seeing things anew.

  43. 43
    texatheart says:

    My mom called me today from College Station and was laughing at all the cancellations for tonight and tomorrow. (She grew up in Kansas). We haven’t seen above zero for quite some time. Three 8″+ snow storms in as many weeks and our snow is nothing like others have received. We have had 5 snow days this past 3 weeks which means we may not end this school year until the first part of June.
    I’m moving back to Texas this summer and I will never forget the winter of 2011.

  44. 44
    Teri Miller says:

    Okay, intertextuality…that’s just over the top…
    (Is anyone else flipping out that there is actually an ancient Greek font???? Wow.)

    Seems to me that both writers are claiming the same hope and faith-expectation of deliverance from the pending tribulation. Just as you compared it to the “all things work together for good” phrase that we so often take out of context – we could also adopt the expectant phrase, “this shall turn out for my deliverance,” as a response to hardship.

    I perceive it as a phrase of ‘defense’ for Job; kind of a “you wait & see, it’ll all work out,” comeback for his naysayers. But more of a ‘hope’ phrase for Paul; along the lines of “trust & believe for His Handiwork, even amidst hardship.”

    Good words for pondering! Thanks!

  45. 45
    mary says:

    Blessings Melissa,
    My husband LOVES the posts when you and your mom look “deeper”, and bring in the Greek or Hebrew translations. I guess it helps that he has a English degree. (: Please post more. Any ideas where/how he can do his own research? Here in Colorado we just got above 0 degrees. Stay warm and stay off the roads.

  46. 46
    stillanon says:

    I’d have to VOTE for #3…1)Paul and Job have been “appointed” to “defend” the gospel and both are doing so while in bondage and suffering. 2)Job says that true wisdom and power belong to God (12:16) and Paul prays for wisdom and discernment for his partners(1:9) 3)Paul addresses various “message” speakers in 1:14-17 and rejoices in 1:18 that Christ is being proclaimed. Job’s arguments also result in the gospel being boldly proclaimed.(envy and strife preaching-philippians v.s. the judgemental and punitive aspect-job) 4)job 13:16 “for no godless person can appear before him” (hcsb)v.s. phil 1:10 and 1:20 (1:20 echoing to Job 13:15) and finally, reading Job 13:13-16 alongside Phil 1 and seeing each man see his deliverance in advancing the gospel so all men hear and have the ability to stand “pure and blameless in the day of Christ”phil 1:10. I think Paul may have spent much imprisonment time with Job’s arguments rolling around his mind, knowing that various messages were being proclaimed on the outside by many brothers and decided like Job that the heart of the matter,his deliverance was in preaching the gospel, in his complete faith in the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Job13:15″ i will hope i him”) and sharing that with the brothers in prayer. Both men are defenders of the gospel(Job 13:15 and Phil 1:16) within which is their salvation/deliverance! (Praise Him! i tried to edit this down!)

    • 46.1
      stillanon says:

      ps…now seeing the “fine line” between 2 and 3 i’m switching to #2….he KNEW the context but his brothers didn’t need the Job context/reference to “get the message”

      • stillanon says:

        pps—studying James 1:3 “….Test your faith….” that was Job’s actual “Test” and the “Deliverance” of both men….and ultimately you, me and all men! Abraham’s faith was ” counted as righteousness “!! i promise no more ps’s! its back to homework for me!

  47. 47
    Carol says:

    1) I love you calling your Mom, Mom & not Beth.
    2) I, too, am cold.
    3) I truly love your writing. I graduated from Bible College in 1964, and it feels so wonderful to see your breaking down a scripture and explaining it.
    You’re just brilliant when it comes to intertextuality! Our daughter writes Shakespeare curriculum for the teachers in the NY School System. She has her Master’s Degree also. I know how her brain gets fried, so I hope you have a time to rest, like she does. Thanks for your incredible blogging!!!!

  48. 48
    Carolyn says:

    I like the intentional version. I don’t think anything in the Bible is coincidental, especially from Paul. Ohio isn’t as bad as this time last year, but rather icy. Stay safe because the South isn’t used to snowy weather.

  49. 49
    Kelly says:

    I feel like I’m performing a compare and contrast on these two verses (or chapters). The comparison, of course, is the suffering that both men were enduring and that they were making the statement as a re-assurance to themselves, as well as to others. But, the interesting contrast is that Paul was making the statement in a song of praise to the Phillipians for their prayers and support of him: while poor Job was trying to rationalize his sufferings in the presence of his non-supportive trio of friends.

    But – what do I really think of the link?….I think that Paul intentionally quoted Job and that the verse was probably a much quoted scripture in that time in history.
    Much like in our society today, there are several quoted scriptures that we all seem to use repeatedly. And, that makes me feel good…I love when I can see glimpses of how we are still the same today as they were then. Just as God is the same today as He was then!

    [Can’t you see Paul quoting this to Timothy while the prison guards were listening…no wonder many guards were converted! To endure that suffering and be more on fire for Jesus with each passing day had to excite them!]

  50. 50
    Tara G. says:

    Head to Kyiv- we have no snow and no more than a foot or so all winter! God is so good! 🙂

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