The Book of Job
The Book of Job has been praised but also neglected all at the same time. Its literary work is written in a poetry sense with a prose format and considered one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. The Book of Job is one of first book of five generally called "The Books of Poetry", which contain Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. The Book of Job is written in the Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible and the main theme that is seeks out is "Why does God allow the righteous to suffer?" First of all I will be talking about the origins and history of the book, and then I will give a brief summary on the story and theme of what the Book of Job is addressing. I will then be breaking down, in detail, the book into five parts: the prologue, the symposium, the speeches of Elihu, the nature poems, and the epilogue. Furthermore, I will try to interpret the message that that author was trying to convey and with the issue of Eudemonism. I will also explain the critics' point of view on the book and why there is such ambiguity about the book.
The authorship of the Book of Job is oftentimes debated; the Jewish religion credits the book to Moses whereas other scholars suggest Job, Elihu, Solomon, Isaiah, Hezekiah, and Baruch. Since the author is unknown, the period that it was written in is also highly debated. Some say that it was written before Moses (1500 BC), others suggest a period around the time of Solomon (900 BC) and even as late as the Babylonian Exile (600 BC). There are many factors in proving that the events in this book are true such as the style of narrative which was written matches that of other biblical narratives of its kind. Job is also written about in Ezekiel 14:14 and mentioned as an example of perseverance in James 5:11. The events in the book give the impression that it occurred during the "Patriarchal" period, an era between Noah and Moses, although it does not mention the Law of Moses or the flood.
Job was a wealthy man that lived in the land of Uz. He was a righteous man and worshiped God wholeheartedly and turned away from evil. Job had everything he could ever want, seven sons and three daughters, and a field full of livestock which included seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred oxen and five hundred she-asses. He loved and respected God but also feared him as well. One day Satan came before God and says that he can make God's greatest servant, Job, curse God's name and the only reason why Job feared God was because God had blessed him with everything. So God made this deal with Satan stating that he can do anything to Job, besides harming him, and he still will not curse God's name. Satan agreed and took off on his quest to destroy everything that Job had loved. Satan sent Sabeans to steal all his livestock and conjured up a tornado to wipe out his house along with his seven sons and three daughters. Job was in deep agony but still he did not curse God and continued to worship him wholeheartedly. So Satan came before God once more and made another deal with him, stating that he would curse God if job himself was harmed. So God agreed and Satan strikes Job with painful boils all over his body. Job's wife had lost all faith in God and told him to curse God and kill himself. However, Job remained faithful and still continued to praise God. Job's three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar came to comfort Job through this time of disaster but did not recognize him because of the boils that had covered his entire body. They sat there for seven days and night without saying a word to him because they were overwhelmed by his grief and suffering. Job finally speaks after the seven days and nights, cursing the day his was born and also the night of his conception, but does not sputter a word of blame on God. He questions suffering and even death and why life is given to those who have to suffer. His friends finally speak and say that God...
Cited: Atkinson, David J. Message of Job: Suffering and Grace. London, GB: InterVarsity Press.
Hamel, Christopher D. The Book: a History of the Bible. London: Phaidon Press, 2001. 206-209.
Holy Bible: New International Edition. Job 1:8-42:6. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001.
Hone, Ralph E. The Voice out of the Whirlwind: The Book of Job: Materials for Analysis. San
Fransisco: Chandler Publishing Company, 1982.
O 'Connor, Kathleen M. The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations. Theology Today.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document