This book addresses one of the oldest questions that is known to the human race, why do we suffer?
Author & date
If Job wasn’t written by Moses (as some commentators suggest it was), it could well be the oldest book of scripture. From internal evidence Job seems to be set during the time of the early patriarchs, but no one can be too dogmatic. Suggestions of its authorship range from Moses to Job himself, though with little substantial evidence. Some commentators suggest that, judging from the way Elihu’s speech is recorded, the fourth friend of Job is the author. The truth is we don’t know for certain!
A. Job’s calamities Ch.1-3
- Loss of possessions & family Ch.1
- Loss of health Ch.2
- Loss of patience Ch.3
B. The discourses Ch.4-37
1. Round 1 Ch.4-14
a(i). Eliphaz – Claims to have had a vision giving the answer ch. 4-5
a(ii) Job – “Thou scarest me with with dreams; and terifiest me through visions: so that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than life” Ch. 6-7
b(i) Bildad – Avoids the issue by asking questions Ch. 8
b(ii) Job – “..how should a man be just with God?” Ch. 9-10
c(i) Zophar – Concludes Job is wrong in behaviour and belief Ch.11
c(ii) Job– ” Ye are physicians of no value. O that ye would altogether hold your peace… though He slay me yet will I trust Him:” Ch.12-14
2. Round 2 Ch.15-21
a(i) Eliphaz – Tries to make out Job’s problems are not what he thinks they are Ch. 15
a(ii) Job – “Miserable comforters are ye all” Ch. 16-17
b(i) Bildad Withdraws friendship Ch.18
b(ii) Job – ” I know that my redeemer liveth… shall I see God : whom I shall see for myself…” Ch.19
c(i) Zophar – Tries to support his views by logic Ch.20
c(ii) Job – “How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?” Ch.21
3. Round 3 Ch.22-31
a(i) Eliphaz Accuses Job of treating others wickedly Ch.22
a(ii) Job “But He knoweth the way that I take : when He hath tried me , I shall come forth as gold.” Ch.23-24
b(i) Bildad Just pours out principles and platitudes Ch.25
b(ii) Job – ” How hast thou helped him that is without power” Ch.26-31
4. Elihu Ch.32-37
- He was angry with Job because he justified himself rather than God
- He was 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.
- He has a false sense of humility.
- He has a false idea of authority( based on creed rather than character)
- He has a false application of chastisement (Job was not being punished)
C. The Lord answers Ch.38-41
- 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.
D. The end of the Lord Ch.42
- Job’s repentance Ch.42:1-7
- God’s anger Ch.42:8-9
- Job’s restoration Ch.42:10-17
a. Key verse
The key to understanding the discourses is the following verse.
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
b. The wrongness of everyone
- Satan was wrong in thinking Job only served God for material prosperity.
- Job’s wife was wrong in thinking the loss of wealth is the loss of everything.
- Job’s three friends were wrong in thinking Job was suffering because of sin.
- Elihu was wrong in thinking he alone had the answer to Job’s suffering.
- Job was wrong in accusing God of injustice.
c. Recommended reading
Baffled to fight Better by Oswald Chambers (Marshall Pickering).