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5 ISRAELITE LITERATURE feet. " What then is the quintessential symptom of the spirit's presence? Glossolalia. Speaking in tongues was, in the apostolic age, the "most strik ing and characteristic" effect of the spirit. In what would appear to irrev erent spectators as madness and drunkenness, believers in the apostolic age would pinpoint the indisputable effect of God's spirit. It took quite enough courage — or arrogance — for Gunkel to chal lenge so many of his professors and peers. Yet the most poignant dimen sion of this scenario is perhaps not that a young scholar had the academic courage to launch such an unflinching critique of renowned — and influ ential — German professors who possessed the power to manipulate his destiny.
17 ISRAELITE LITERATURE Later in the book, a beleaguered Job protests that he would never speak wrongly or deceitfully as long as he lives, "as long as my breath is in me and the spirit of God is in my nostrils" (Job 27:2-4). Here again is the quintessential expression of the spirit in the shadow of death. Job reckons with the reality of pending, perhaps impending, death, when he knows that he will speak only "as long as" he has breath and spirit within him. Job, however, is not alone with his thoughts; there is an unwelcome character at the ash heap, alongside Job, who understands the reality of the spirit as well.
The spirit which humans have is no different from the spirit of animals, and all succumb to the same fate. The spirit which God gave returns to God when a human returns to dust. Life is swallowed up by death. Elihu and the Preacher, then, are like equally balanced playmates on a teeter-totter — with one failing to acknowledge the shadow of death and the other seeing narrowly only the shadow of death. The tragic figure of Job, in contrast, falls prey to neither of these simplistic conceptions of the spirit within.