An Outline

1. Background

Many commentators believe Job to be the oldest  book of scripture, written about the time of the  patriarchs, for the following reasons:

1.  No mention is made of the  Exodus  or Moasic law.

2. The length of Job's life.  ( 140 years  Job 42:16-17)

3. Job acted as priest for his family, something that was not allowed after the exodus.  (Job. 1:5)

4. Could the  Eliphaz of Job be that of Gen. 36:10-11?

2. Message

This book  has  one of the oldest  questions that is known to the human  race, why do we suffer?  Suffering was thought to be the result of personal sin,  and this is the line that  Job's friends take.  But  Job knew that he had not sinned and despite his "comforters' " protests, he  insisted that he wasn't suffering because of personal sin.  What none of them knew was that  Satan and God made Job a battleground: Satan was  sure that  Job only worshipped God for the material benefits he received, whereas God knew that was not the case. God never told Job or any of his friends this , He was just wanting  Job's total and complete trust. 

3.  The wrongness of  everyone

1.  Satan was wrong in thinking Job only served God for material prosperity.

2. Job's wife was wrong in thinking the loss of wealth is the loss of everything.

3. Job's three friends were wrong in thinking Job was suffering because of sin.

4. Elihu was wrong in thinking he alone had the answer to Job's suffering.

5. Job was wrong in accusing God of injustice.


 We must remember in our analysis the words that the  Lord spoke  at the end of the book:

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Job 42:7




Job's calamities

Quotes  of Job
1. loss of possessions & family
The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. v21
2. loss  of health
Shall we receive good at the hand of the  God and shall we not receive evil?   v10
3. loss of patience
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me. And that which I was afraid of is come unto me.  v.25

(a) We are told the reason for Job's suffering , but Job was NOT.
(b) Job never curses God, but  he does curse the day of his birth.

Ch. 1-3
The discourses  concerning suffering
Round 1
Claims to have had a vision giving the answer
ch. 4-5

"Thou scarest me with with dreams; and terifiest me through visions: so that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than life" 7:14-15
ch. 6-7

Avoids the issue by asking questions
ch. 8

" should a man be just with God?" 9:2
ch. 9-10

Concludes  Job is wrong in behaviour and belief 

" Ye are physicians of no value. O that ye would altogether hold your peace.........
though He slay me yet will I trust Him:" 13:4-15

ch.12- 14
Round  2
Eliphaz Tries to make out Job's problems are  not what he thinks they are.
ch. 15

Job "Miserable comforters are ye all" 16:2
ch. 16-17

Bildad Withdraws friendship

Job " ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strangers to me" v3

" I know that my redeemer liveth......shall I see God : whom I shall see for myself..." vv25-27

Zophar Tries to  support his views by  logic.

Job "How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth  falsehood?" 21:34
Round  3
Eliphaz Accuses Job of  treating others wickedly

Job "But He knoweth the way that I take :  when He hath tried me , I shall come forth as gold."  23:10

Bildad Just pours out  principles and platitudes

Job Job's parable.
" How hast thou helped him that is without power" 26:2
"The words of Job are ended" 31:40


 He was angry with Job because he justified himself rather than God & angry with the three friends for they found no answer yet condemned him.  However Elihu whilst coming near to the truth, he was still missing the point.
1. He has a  false sense of humility  32:1-6
2. He has a false idea of authority( based on creed rather than  character)  33:12-13
3. He has a false  application of chastisement
( Job was not being punished)34:31-37

ch. 32-37

Ch. 4-37
The Lord answers
God never tells Job why he was suffering, instead He asks Job about the natural  world; implying that if Job could not understand the natural government of God  much less could he ever understand  that which pertains to the spiritual realm.  All God was asking for is Job's complete  confidence in Him whatever happened.
The end of the Lord
Job's repentance
Job admits his ignorance  and repents.
God's anger
God was angry with the three friends: they had misrepresented Him; Job offers a sacrifice for them
Job restored
The end was better than the beginning!
Jms. 5:11



5. Recommended reading

One excellent book on Job that I recommend is:   Baffled to fight  Better  by Oswald Chambers (Marshall Pickering).

6. Final question

Who wrote Job? For whilst God never told  Job, nor his friends the truth behind the scenes,  someone was  in order to write it!