AUTHOR: Unknown (perhaps Job himself, Elihu, Moses, or Solomon)
DATE: Uncertain. Thought to be the oldest book. Perhaps 1800 BC.
While we do not know who wrote this book, it is titled for the central character, Job, who is confirmed as a historical person (Ezek. 14:14, 20; James 5:11). Job’s name means “one who is persecuted.”
The book wrestles with the age-old questions: Why are the righteous persecuted? If God is a God of love and mercy, why doesn’t He stop suffering? The book of Job presents a theodicy–a vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil. The book clearly teaches the sovereignty of God and the need for man to acknowledge God’s sovereignty. It also reveals the spiritual warfare that is ongoing, but unseen by us. It gives important insights into the work of Satan (1:6-2:10).
In his suffering, Job is visited by three friends who gave essentially the same answer: All suffering is due to sin. When another arrived, Elihu, he declared that suffering is often the means of purifying the righteous, and that’s exactly what God does in Job. Job never received the explanation about why such calamity had come upon him. With the answers, Job came to a place of trusting only in God, knowing that He is in control of all things and His purpose and plan are just and perfect. The best-known verses in the book are 19:25-26.
OUTLINE OF JOB
I. The Disasters of Job, 1:1-2:13
A. Job’s Circumstances, 1:1-5
B. Job’s Calamities, 1:6-2:10
1. Satan’s proposal, 1:6-11
2. God’s permission, 1:12-22
3. Satan’s persistence, 2:1-6
4. Job’s patience, 2:7-10
C. Job’s Comforters, 2:11-13
II. The Dialogues with Job, 3:1-42:6
A. Job’s Lament, Job 3:1-26
B. Eliphaz’s First Speech, 4:1-5:27
C. Job’s Reply to Eliphaz, 6:1-7:21
D. Bildad’s First Speech, 8:1-22
E. Job’s Reply to Bildad, 9:1-10:22
F. Zophar’s First Speech, 11:1-20
G. Job’s Reply to Zophar, 12:1-14:22
H. Eliphaz’s Second Speech, 15:1-35
I. Job’s Second Reply to Eliphaz, 16:1-17:16
J. Bildad’s Second Speech, 18:1-21
K. Job’s Second Reply to Bildad, 19:1-29
L. Zophar’s Second Speech, 20:1-29
M. Job’s Second Reply to Zophar, 21:1-34
N. Eliphaz’s Third Speech, 22:1-30
O. Job’s Third Reply to Eliphaz, 23:1-24:25
P. Bildad’s Third Speech, 25:1-6
Q. Job’s Third Reply to Bildad, 26:1-14
R. Job’s Last Reply to His Friends, 27:1-31:40
1. A protestation of innocence, 27:1-23
2. A pronouncement concerning wisdom, 28:1-28
3. A panorama of his life, 29:1-31:40
S. Elihu’s Speeches, 32:1-37:24
1. His first speech, 32:1-33:33
2. His second speech, 34:1-37
3. His third speech, 35:1-16
4. His fourth speech, 36:1-37:24
T. God’s Speeches, 38:1-42:6
1. God’s first speech: His knowledge, 38:1-40:2
2. Job’s wise silence, 40:3-5
3. God’s second speech: His power, 40:6-41:34
4. Job’s repentance, 42:1-6
III. The Deliverance of Job, 42:7-17
A. In Relation to His Friends, 42:7-9
B. In Relation to His Family, 42:10-17
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