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Book of Job

Who is it about?
What happened?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did it happen?
How did it happen?
What is it all about?
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose
name was J ob; and that man was blameless
and upright, and one who feared God and
shunned evil.
{J ob 1:1}
-the patience of Job

-Jobs comforters

- Funeral services-verse
the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name
of the Lord

-Music lovers-verse
I know that my redeemer liveth

-Book as whole is not well known

-Most people fail to understand the purpose and unable to put the
parts that they know into an appropriate context
- One of the oldest books-Abrahams era (details fit that period)
Yahweh to refer to God as Moses does (but no trace of Exodus)

- Two Questions: FACT or FICTION


Bible writers treat Job as a real person

Ezekiel lists Noah, Daniel and Job as the 3 righteous men ever lived
James refers Jobs perseverance (Ez 14:4) (James 5:11)
Opening verse- Job lived in the Mesopotamian Basin. Around the
Rivers Tigris and Euphrates beyond Damascus
reactions to disasters
Descriptions are realistic
Discussions and arguments with his wife and friends seems to true
Ownership livestock (Wealthy farmer)
Many are unconvinced by these arguments

-Doesnt seem to ring true to life-events of the first chapter(4 consecutive
disaster-one survivor)- I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!

Happy ending
-Job losses all his children in the first scene(7 boys & 3 girls)
-Has the same number in the last (loss is insignificant to him)

Factual basis of the book
-Written in Hebrew poetry in Part-1 is an artificial form of speech
- Jobs comforter's speak superbly crafted poems who committed the
poetry to paper?- all his friends are brilliant poets with outstanding
memories?-any alternative explanation Benhur

Making sense? Book of Job is faction- Facts have been enlarged and
Witten in Hebrew poetry- depends on sense and repetition great work
of literature- epic-drama-debate

Thomas Carlyle- It is a noble book
Alfred Lord Tennyson The greatest poem of ancient and modern times
Placed par with the works of Homer, Dante, Milton and Shakespeare

Pondering questions by philosophers
-Why are we here? What is life about? Where did evil come from? Why do
good people suffer? What is Gods involvement in the world? Is he
interested and does He care?
-Job covers all these themes
Philosophy deals big questions in an abstract manner- Theology relates
these questions to God

Particular view of God

-If you believe God is bad-No problem
-If good, but week and is unable to anything to help you-logically how to
look at God?-God as a sympathizer but cant help.
- If we believe God is able to help and good in nature, then do we have a
problem with suffering?
Modern theologians
-Try to avoid problem of suffering denying one or two things-Either God is
bad or He is too week to affect anything

How Job deals the conflict and how God makes himself known in the
midst of it?
There is one God-He relates to his creatures-he is almighty, all powerful
Creator, good caring and compassionate
Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon (Writings-
Prophetic period-no prophecy)

Some statements may be misleading
- not everything in the wisdom literature is right (Jobs friends makes
statements with limited understanding)
- Wisdom literature is general and not particular- not true in every
situation- Proverbs(Not a list of promises-true most of the time)
Eg. As you sow, so shall you reap
- Context
A Jewish Perspective
- Unable to see the problems of temporary life in the light of eternity, since both
good and bad people went to the same destination Sheol-the place where the
departed spirits slept- Christian perspective -John 14:2-3
Book Structure
Abstract- God makes a wager with Satan, and the wager is settled in Jobs body- At no point
does Job know that the wager has taken place- reader keeps guessing as Job faces the dilemmas
of his situation Gods character and activity-His relationship with Satan-which would be the
height of blasphemy if it were not true- God himself was responsible for Satan's attack on this
good man
THE PROLOGUE (Chapter 1-2)-prose

Two rounds: God versus Satan

THE DIALOGUE(3:1-42:6)-poetry
I. Human (3-37)
(a) Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar (3-31)
(i) Round One (3-14)
(ii) Round two (15-21)
(ii) Round three (22-31)
(b) Elihu (32-37)-a monologue
II. Divine (38:1-42:6)
(i) Round one (38-39)
(ii) Round two (40:1-42:6)
THE EPILOGUE (42:7-17)-prose

Final rounds: God versus Job
Book Structure
TWO PLOTS- Heavenly plot and Earthly plot- The events that happen on earth are the result of
something that has happened in heaven E.g.. Book of Revelation (There is war on earth directly
after a war in heaven)

-Book begins with heavenly plot: Gods meeting in heaven with Satan- Satan was an angel whose
job was to report sins and he is Gods counsel for prosecution who travelled across the earth to
report to God what human beings are like.

- Satan had reached a point of cynicism that he couldnt believe that anyone would love God for
his own sake- Debate between God and Satan (Tension)

Points to be pondered about this interaction
-Satan dont have Gods omnipresence(Discuss: Satanic attack-Demonic
attack)-Error of ancient Greeks(natural /supernatural)
-Satan needs Gods permission to attack Job
(God will never tempt above what they can bear, because he controls the temper-New testament)

Book Structure

-Larger part (debate between Job and his friends)
-Key question- Why is Job suffering more than other people?

(a) The friends are sure that the suffering has come because Job is sinning:
(b) Job is quite sure that hes not sinning and protests his innocence

Readers Bigger question?

Can I continue to believe in a God when everythings going wrong?

How to clarify? Ask What was Jobs greatest pain? Was it

Physical?-sores(head to toe)-tired & weary-considerable physical pain
Social?- Outcast-sat on ash-heap-laughing stuff
Mental?- No idea why these things happen to him
Spiritual?- His spiritual pain was far greater than other, for he felt that he had lost touch with
God-cried to Him to find,talk,argue with Him-agony-At the end?

-Introduces the characters in the story

God-Yahweh initiates the whole series of events challenging Satan
Satan- the satan the accuser
Job- blameless and upright; feared God and shunned evil- 2 things
(The fear of God leads to the shunning of evil)
Jobs wife: foolish woman- Curse God and die!
Jobs friends: 3 friends older than him (sitting with him and not saying a word for 7 days)
Book Structure

-Introduces the characters in the story

God-Yahweh initiates the whole series of events challenging Satan
Satan- the satan the accuser
Job- blameless and upright; feared God and shunned evil- 2 things
(The fear of God leads to the shunning of evil)
Jobs wife: foolish woman- Curse God and die!
Jobs friends: 3 friends older than him (sitting with him and not saying a word for 7 days)
What is a position?
A position is a theological or
philosophical stand regarding an

Who had positions in the book of Job?
Satan, Mrs. Job, Jobs friend, Job,
Elihu, and God.

A Study of Positions
Satans Position
Does Job fear God for nothing? 1:9
Skin for skin, a man will give up all he has for
his own life2:4
Serving God is only behaviorally contingent
upon its rewards-1:9,10
Removal of Gods contingency of rewards
results in apostasy-1:11
Application of an aversive stimuli in the sense
of punishment would result in the extinction
of God fearing behavior-1:11
Adversity must produce apostasy-1:11
This life is everything- 2:4,5

Mrs. Jobs Position
Are you still holding on to your integrity,
curse God and die Chap 2: 9

Integrity should be conditional, shaped
by contingencies of reward.
Apostasy results in immediate
The sufferings of this present time are
too much cost compared to the glory
that will follow.

Position of Jobs Friends
In three cycles of speeches they rebuke Job:

1) Cycle 1 of Speeches and Job's Response-
God Punishes the Wicked and Blesses the Good: 4:1--14:22

2) Cycle 2 of Speeches and Job's Response- -
The Wicked Suffer and Perish because They Are against God:

3) Cycle 3 of Speeches and Job's Response
God I s Majestic, but J ob is Wicked: 22:1--27:23
Eliphaz versus Job
Eliphaz 1: Eliphaz accused
Job of being inconsistent since
suffering results from sin and
no one is pure before God;
thus he urged Job to ask God
to help him and affirmed that
God would deliver him after He
had disciplined him 4:1--5:27
Eliphaz 2: Eliphaz affirms that
Job's words are meaningless,
that he is guilty, and that he is
like the wicked because he is
in distress 15:1-35
Eliphaz 3: Proclaiming God's
disinterest in Job for his social
deviations and spiritual
defiance, Eliphaz urges him to
repent for God is great 22:1-20

Job: Job responded by affirming
that his suffering was causing
his rash desire to die, Eliphaz's
response has disappointed him,
and by asking for forgiveness if
he has sinned 6:1--7:21

Job: Job responds rebuking his
friends for being no help,
desiring to plead his case with
God, and affirming is situation of
despair 6:1-- 17:16

Job: Job longs to plead his case
before God 23:1--24:25

Bildad versus Job
Bildad 1: Bildad affirmed that
history has confirmed that if
Job is righteous God will
restore him, unlike the ungodly
who perish 8:1-22

Bildad 2: Bildad rebukes Job
for his arrogant words about
them, and affirms that the
wicked, like he, are weakened,
ensnared, diseased, insecure,
forgotten, hated, and alone

Bildad 3: Bildad affirmed that
because God is great and man
is small and impure there was
no hope for Job to be just and
clean 25:1-6

Job: Job responds by affirming
God's wisdom and power,
asking why He is against him,
and requesting to die 9:1--

Job: Job rebukes his friends
for tormenting and insulting
him, affirms that God has
wronged him, urges his friends
to have pity on him, and
affirms that God will prove his
innocence after his death and
judge his friends 19:1-29

Job: Job affirms that his
friends are not help to him
since he knows that God is
great and powerful over nature
Zophar versus Job
Zophar 1: Zophar rebukes Job
by affirming that God should
show him true wisdom and by
affirming that if he would turn
to God, he would be blessed

Zophar 2: Zophar accuses
Job of insulting him and
reminds him that the wicked
may be blessed, but they will
then loose their riches 20:1-29

Job: Job responds by
criticizing Zophar for not telling
him anything new, not helping
him, and not representing God
well, whereupon, he again
asks God to let him die 12:1--
Job: Job retorts that his
impatience is excusable and
reminds Zophar that the
wicked prosper and live (unlike
he) 21:1-34
Jobs Final Remarks
Transitionary Discourse on God's Wisdom: Job affirms that although
man is skillful in mining, wisdom is harder to find for it is God who
knows where wisdom is 28:1-28
Job's Desire for His Former Estate of Glory: Job wishes that he was in
his former days of spiritual blessing, material prosperity and social
prestige which occurred because he helped the needy, exercised
justice and counseled others 29:1-25
Job's Lament of His Present Miserable Humiliation: Job proclaims his
misery as he is mocked by poor young men and vagabonds, and his
humiliation as he is in pain and nobody helps him 30:1-31.
Job's Ultimate Challenge--An Oath of Innocence which 'Legally' Calls
God to Answer" 31:1-40

Round one: -the Creator

-36 time job asked to speak with him-gets his wish
-On both occasions when God speaks to Job, it is out of a storm
-Much humor in the way God addresses him- God reminds Job
- He is the Creator of all things
- He runs through his awesome activity of creating and sustaining the world, asking Job
whether he could match this work
- He finishes by asking whether Job is in a position to judge, telling him that it is impertinent
for Job to believe that God should explain himself to him. Job is made to feel very small.
- Eventually Job replies, I am unworthy-how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer-twice, but I will say no more
Round one: -the Creator
Book Structure

Round two: -creatures

-God doesnt talk about himself, but two of his creatures (behemoth-leviathan)
- Great questions about life can be found in these extraordinary creatures
- Job is reminded that he cant understand
- points of Gods speech- Why are you trying to argue with me? (Discuss :Thomas
- Job understands-he realizes- he is back in touch with God again (Climax)
Book Structure
-When job accepted, the text changes from poetry to prose-
-God give back his children-his property-Job is far wealthier and happier he ever was
-God is deeply critical of Jobs friends-not spoken accurately about job (should not
quote their speeches)-Karma
- Fascinating thing- its Gods will on Job not tell anything about the wager

1. There is no strict correlation between sin and suffering in this life
2. God allows all suffering
3. We may never know the reason why? Some suffering can be sent to us as
punishment. But even if it is not, it can be purposeful even if the reason is hidden
from us
4. If sin and suffering were directly related, we would be forced to be godly for purely
selfish reasons. Love for God and people will not be voluntary

1. Job knew God of nature, not the God of grace-the cross of Jesus puts a different value
on human suffering. Job is a type of Christ-all human suffering must be seen against
the background of the pain of the cross
2. God allowed Satan to bring about Jesus death on the cross, with his own Son asking
the question, my God why? God didn't explain why?
3. Christian knows life after death-the problems of suffering need not be solved in this
life (In Greak version of Book of Job- an extra verse- and it is written that he (Job)
will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up)
4. Hope of resurrection-judgement-there will be courtroom- judgment according to what
we have done in the body-which Job longed for.
Thank You
Job 13:15

Though He
slay me, yet
will I hope in