Survey on the Book of Job

Topics: Book of Job, Elihu, Zophar Pages: 7 (2053 words) Published: July 28, 2010
I. Background:
A. The Man Job
Job was a prosperous man living in the land of Uz. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. Job is blameless and upright. He feared God and shunned evil. •Where: Uz

•Occupation-:wealthy, landowner and livestock owner
• Relatives: wife and first ten children not named. Daughters from the second set of children : Jemimah, Keziah, Keren-Happuch • Contemporaries:Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu
B. The Book
1. Author: The Book of Job does not specifically name its author. The most likely candidates are Job, Elihu, Moses and Solomon. 2. Date of Job’s Writing: Although the time of the events may be placed with a great deal of certainty, the date of the writing of Job is far less clear. The following dates have been offered for the composition of the Book of Job:

1. before the time of Moses. Some pro and con arguments include:
a. It would be natural to assume that the composition of Job would occur soon after, if not contemporaneous with, the events in the book of Job.
b. However, some would argue that there is no compelling reason to believe that the
effects of the Mosaic law would be felt in the land of Uz or Teman even as late as
1,000 B.C.
c. If Job had been written close to the events, then most likely it would not have
originally been written in Hebrew but was later translated to Hebrew from some
other language.
d. Some point out that the worship of the sun and moon mentioned in Job 31:26
point to a late date, however, it has been shown that the sun and moon were
worshiped far back into the Patriarchal age.
e. Some say that just because the Book of Job excludes any references to the Mosaic law, that does no mean that it had to be written prior to the law. However, it is hard to believe that the total commitment to monotheism displayed by Job and his companions would be explained without any reference to Israel, had they been a nation at that time.

f. Some see references in Job 24:2-11 to the Mosaic laws against keeping pawned
clothes overnight, the gleaning of fields, and the removal of boundary markers.
However, a closer reading of the passage indicates that this is what was
happening and not that it was a violation of any law.
g. The best evidence points to a pre-Mosaic authorship as listed below:
1). There is no hint of the Mosaic law in Job.
2). There is no acknowledgement of a monotheistic nation of Israel in Job.
3). There is no mention of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob in Job, an anomaly only
seen in Job since every other OT book presupposes Abraham or the law.
2. During the reign of Solomon. This view is commonly held by many prominent
scholars based on the following reasons:
a. Solomon’s age was prosperous and hence was fertile for the writing of wisdom
literature like Job.
b. Solomon’s age was very much interested in wisdom, and hence it would be
natural for a book like Job’s to have been written during Solomon’s time.
c. Proverbs 8 and Job 28 view wisdom similarly.
d. A wide knowledge of foreign cultures exist in Job that would be much easier to
explain in Solomon’s time than in Moses’ time.
e. Problems with this view include the following:
1). How could events which occurred several centuries earlier been accurately
2). If these are not historical events, then they need to be seen as some sort of
drama in which the events are not as important as the moral truth being
3. In the reign of Manasseh. Manasseh’s age was an age of moral degeneracy in
which questions raised in the Book of Job would have been common.
4. The period of Jeremiah in the late seventh century B.C.
a. This is based on supposed similarities between Job...

References: 1. Life Application Study Bible
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