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The Tree of Life starts with a quote from the Book of Job:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Later on the story of Job is again referenced in a sermon the family is listening to in a church (during the funeral of Jack's drowned friend?). But having only very superficial knowledge of the Book of Job (and as scarce an understanding of The Tree of Life's deeper meanings, if any), I wonder how the Book of Job's story or motives or this quote in particular tie in with The Tree of Life.

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The quote from the Book of Job is, as you have perhaps identified, a central motif of the film: namely, ruminating on the nature and intentions of 'God'.

In the Book of Job, God's great plan is questioned, to which God replies:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

The inference of this is for God to say; mortal men have experienced little and as such know nothing of my great plan, it is all for purpose; know your place.

This is quoted at the start of the film (When R.L is discovered to have committed suicide), and at the funeral of the drowned boy, hence its relevance.

It is traditionally intended to bring comfort to the bereaved, to explain that God has a plan for all of us.

Immediately following this 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? ' quote, we segue into the sequence showing the creation of life. The film is a rumination on the Sublime, focusing on a single family...

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Eloquent and nicely interpreted. Well done. –  JohnP Jan 16 at 4:36

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