Hitchcock's Bible NamesJob
he that weeps or cries
Smith's Bible DictionaryJob
(persecuted), the third son of Issachar, (Genesis 46:13) called in another genealogy JASHUB. (1 Chronicles 7:1)
ATS Bible DictionaryJob
A patriarch distinguished for his integrity and piety, his wealth, honors, and domestic happiness, whom God permitted, for the trial of his faith, to be deprived of friends, property, and health, and at once plunged into deep affliction. He lived in the land of Uz, lying, it is generally thought, in Eastern Edom, probably not far from Bozrah.
THE BOOK OF JOB, has originated much criticism, and on many points a considerable diversity of opinion still exists. Sceptics have denied its inspiration, and called it a mere philosophical romance; but no one who respects revelation can entertain this notion, or doubt that Job was a real person. Inspired writers testify to both. See Ezekiel 14:14 James 5:11, and compare 1 1 Corinthians 3:19 with Job 5:13. The book itself specifies persons, places, and circumstances in the manner of true history. Moreover, the name and history of Job are spread throughout the East; Arabian writers mention him, and many Mohammedan families perpetuate his name. Five different places claim the possession of his tomb.
The precise period of his life cannot be ascertained, yet no doubt can exist as to its patriarchal antiquity. The book seems to allude to the flood, Job 22:15-17, but not to the destruction of Sodom, to the exodus from Egypt, or the giving of the Law. No reference is made to any order of priesthood, Job himself being the priest of his household, like Noah and Abraham. There is allusion to the most ancient form of idolatry, star-worship, and to the earliest mode of writing, Job 19:24. The longevity of Job also places him among the patriarchs. He survived his trial one hundred and forty years, and was an old man before his trial began, for his children were established each at the head of his own household, Job 1:4 42:16. The period of long lives had not wholly passed away, Job 15:10. Hales places the trial of Job before the birth of Abraham, and Usher, about thirty years before the exodus, B. C. 1521.
As to the authorship of the book, many opinions have been held. It has all the freedom of an original composition, bearing no marks of its being a translation; and if so, it would appear that its author must have been a Hebrew, since it is written in the purest Hebrew. It exhibits, moreover, the most intimate acquaintance with both Egyptian and Arabian scenery, and is in the loftiest style of oriental poetry. All these circumstances are consistent with the views of those who regard Moses as its probable author. It has, however, been ascribed to various other persons. IT presents a beautiful exhibition of patriarchal religion. It teaches the being and perfections of God, his creation of all things, and his universal providence; the apostasy and guilt of evil spirits and of mankind; the mercy of God, on the basis of a sacrifice, and on condition of repentance and faith, Job 33:27-30 42:6,8; the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body, Job 14:7-15 19:25-27.
The main problem discussed in Job is the justice of God in suffering the righteous to be afflicted, while the wicked prosper. It is settled, by showing that, while the hand of a just God is manifest in his providential government of human affairs, it is his sovereign right to choose his own time and mode of retribution both to the evil and the good, and to subject the graces of his people to whatever trials he deems best.
The conference of Job and his friends may be divided into three parts. In the first, Eliphaz addresses Job, and Job replies; then Bildad and Job, and Zophar and Job speak, in turn. In the second part, the same order is observed and in the third also, except that after Job's reply to Bildad, the three friends have no more to urge, and instead of Zophar, a fourth friend named Elihu takes up the word; and the whole is concluded by the decision of Jehovah himself. The friends of Job argue that his remarkable afflictions must have been sent in punishment of highly aggravated transgressions, and urge him to confession and repentance. The pious patriarch, conscious of his own integrity and love to God cast down and bewildered by his sore chastisements, and pained by the suspicions of his friends, warmly vindicates his innocence, and shows that the best of men are sometimes the most afflicted; but forgets that his inward sins merit far heavier punishment, and though he still maintains faith in God, yet he charges Him foolishly. Afterwards he humbly confesses his wrong, and is cheered by the returning smile of God, while his uncharitable friends are reproved. The whole book is written in the highest style of Hebrew poetry, except the two introductory chapters and part of the last, which are prose. As a poem, it is full of sublime sentiments and bold and striking images.
The DISEASE of Job is generally supposed to have been the elephantiasis, or black leprosy. The word rendered "boils" does not necessarily mean abscesses, but burning and inflammation; and no known disease better answers to the description given, Job 2:7,8 7:5,13,13 19:17 30:17, than the leprosy referred to above. See LEPER.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaJOB
job ('iyobh, meaning of name doubtful; some conjecturing "object of enmity," others "he who turns," etc., to God; both uncertain guesses; Iob): The titular hero of the Book of Job, represented as a wealthy and pious land-holder who lived in patriarchal times, or at least conditions, in the land of Uz, on the borders of Idumea. Outside of the Book of Job he is mentioned by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20) as one of 3 great personages whose representative righteousness would presumably avail, if that of any individuals could, to redeem the nation; the other two being Noah, an ancient patriarch, and Daniel, a contemporary of the prophet. It is difficult to determine whether Job was an actual personage or not. If known through legend, it must have been on account of some such experience as is narrated in the book, an experience unique enough to have become a potent household word; still, the power and influence of it is due to the masterly vigor and exposition of the story. It was the Job of literature, rather than the Job of legend, who lived in the hearts of men; a character so commanding that, albeit fictitious, it could be referred to as real, just as we refer to Hamlet or Othello. It is not the way of Hebrew writers, however, to evolve literary heroes from pure imagination; they crave an authentic basis of fact. It is probable that such a basis, in its essential outlines, existed under the story of Job. It is not necessary to suppose, however, that the legend or the name was known to Israel from ancient times. Job is introduced (Job 1:1) as if he had not been known before. The writer, who throughout the book shows a wide acquaintance with the world, doubtless found the legend somewhere, and drew its meanings together for an undying message to his and all times.
John Franklin Genung
JOB, BOOK OF
" I. INTRODUCTORY
1. Place in the Canon
2. Rank and Readers
II. THE LITERARY FRAMEWORK
1. Setting of Time, Place and Scene
2. Characters and Personality
3. Form and Style
III. THE COURSE OF THE STORY
A) To Job's Blessing and Curse
1. His "Autumn Days"
2. The Wager in Heaven
3. The Silent Friends
4. Whose Way Is Hid
B) To Job's Ultimatum of Protest
1. The Veiled Impeachment
2. Wisdom Insipid, Friends Doubtful
3. Crookedness of the Order of Things
4. No Mediation in Sight
C) To Job's Ultimatum of Faith
1. Detecting the Friends' False Note
2. Staking Everything on Integrity
3. "If a Man Die"
4. The Surviving Next of Kin
D) To Job's Verdict on Things as They Are
1. Climax and Subsidence of the Friends' Charge
2. The Real Cause of Job's Dismay
3. Manhood in the Ore
4. Job Reads His Indictment
E) The Denouement
1. The Self-constituted Interpreter
2. The Whirlwind and the Voice
3. The Thing That Is Right
4. The Restored Situation
IV. THE PROBLEM AND THE PURPOSE
1. Beyond the Didactic Tether
2. What Comes of Limiting the Purpose
3. The Book's Own Import of Purpose
4. Problem of the Intrinsic Man
V. CONSIDERATIONS OF AGE AND SETTING
1. Shadowy Contacts with History
2. Place in Biblical Literature
3. Parallels and Echoes
1. Place in the Canon:
The greatest production of the Hebrew Wisdom literature, and one of the supreme literary creations of the world. Its place in the Hebrew Canon corresponds to the high estimation in which it was held; it stands in the 3rd section, the "writings" (kethubhim) or Hagiographa, next after the two great anthologies Psalms and Proverbs; apparently put thus near the head of the list for weighty reading and meditation. In the Greek Canon (which ours follows), it is put with the poetical books, standing at their head. It is one of 3 Scripture books, the others being Psalms and Proverbs, for which the later Hebrew scholars (the Massoretes) employed a special system of punctuation to mark its poetic character.
2. Rank and Readers:
The Book of Job was not one of the books designated for public reading in the synagogues, as were the Pentateuch and the Prophets, or for occasional reading at feast seasons, as were the 5 megilloth or rolls. It was rather a book for private reading, and one whose subject-matter would appeal especially to the more cultivated and thoughtful classes. Doubtless it was all the more intimately valued for this detachment from sanctuary associations; it was, like Proverbs, a people's book; and especially among the cultivators of Wisdom it must have been from its first publication a cherished classic. At any rate, the patriarch Job (though whether from the legend or from the finished book is not clear; see JOB) is mentioned as a well-known national type by Ezekiel 14:14, 20; and James, writing to Jewish Christians (5:11), refers to the character of patriarch as familiar to his readers. It was as one of the great classic stories of their literature, rather than as embodying a ritual or prophetic standard, that it was so universally known and cherished.
II. The Literary Framework.
In view of the numerous critical questions by which the interpretation of the book has been beclouded-questions of later alterations, additions, corruptions, dislocations-it may be well to say at the outset that what is here proposed is to consider the Book of Job as we have it before us today, in its latest and presumably definitive edition. It will be time enough to remove excrescences when a fair view of the book as it is, with its literary values and relations, makes us sure that there are such; see III, below. Meanwhile, as a book that has reached a stage so fixed and finished that at any rate modern tinkering cannot materially change it, we may consider what its literary framework does to justify itself. And first of all, we may note that preeminently among Scripture books it bears the matured literary stamp; both in style and structure it is a work, not only of spiritual edification, but of finished literary article This may best be realized, perhaps, by taking it, as from the beginning it purports to be, as a continuously maintained story, with the consistent elements of plot, character scheme, and narrative movement which we naturally associate with a work of the narrator's article
1. Setting of Time, Place and Scene:
The story of the Book of Job is laid in the far-off patriarchal age, such a time as we find elsewhere represented only in the Book of Genesis; a time long before the Israelite state, with its religious, social and political organization, existed. Its place is "the land of Uz," a little-known region Southeast of Palestine, on the borders of Edom; a place remote from the ways of thinking peculiar to Israelite lawgivers, priests and prophets. Its scene is in the free open country, among mountains, wadies, pasture-lands, and rural towns, where the relations of man and man are more elemental and primitive, and where the things of God are more intimately apprehended than in the complex affairs of city and state. It is easy to see what the writer gains by such a choice of setting. The patriarchal conditions, wherein the family is the social and communal unit, enable him to portray worship and conduct in their primal elements: religious rites of the simplest nature, with the family head the unchallenged priest and intercessor (compare Job 1:4, 5; Job 42:8), and without the austere exactions of sanctuary or temple; to represent God, as in the old folk-stories, as communicating with men in audible voice and in tempest; and to give to the patriarch or sheikh a function of counsel and succor in the community analogous to that of the later wise man or sage (compare Job 29). The place outside the bounds of Palestine enables him to give an international or rather intercommunal tissue to his thought, as befits the character of the wisdom with which he is dealing, a strain of truth which Israel could and did share with neighbor nations. This is made further evident by the fact that in the discourses of the book, the designation of God is not Yahweh (with one exception, Job 12:9), but 'Elohim or 'Eloah or Shaddai, appellatives rather than names, common to the Semitic peoples. The whole archaic scene serves to detach the story from complex conditions of civilization, and enables the writer to deal with the inherent and intrinsic elements of manhood.
2. Characters and Personality:
All the characters of the story, Job included, are from non-Palestinian regions. The chief spokes-man of the friends, Eliphaz, who is from Teman, is perhaps intended to represent a type of the standard and orthodox wisdom of the day; Teman, and Edom in general being famed for wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8, 9). The characters of the friends, while representing in general a remarkable uniformity of tenet, are quite aptly individualized: Eliphaz as a venerable and devout sage who, with his eminent penetrativeness of insight, combines a yearning compassion; Bildad more as a scholar versed in the derived lore of tradition; and Zophar more impetuous and dogmatic, with the dogmatist's vein of intolerance. In Elihu, the young Aramean who speaks after the others, the writer seems endeavoring to portray a young man's positiveness and absoluteness of conviction, and with it a self-conceit that quite outruns his ability. The Satan of the Prologue, who makes the wager with Yahweh, is masterfully individualized, not as the malignant tempter and enemy of mankind, but as a spirit compact of impudent skepticism, who can appreciate no motive beyond self-advantage. Even the wife of Job, with her peremptory disposition to make his affliction a personal issue with God, is not without an authentic touch of the elemental feminine. But high above them all is the character of Job himself, which, with all its stormy alternations of mood, range of assertion and remonstrance and growth of new conviction, remains absolutely consistent with itself. Nor can we leave unmentioned what is perhaps the hardest achievement of all, the sublime venture of giving the very words of God, in such a way that He speaks no word out of character nor measures His thought according to the standards of men.
3. Form and Style:
The Prologue, Job 1 and 2, a few verses at the beginning of chapter 32 (verses 1-6a), and the Epilogue (42:7-17) are written in narrative prose. The rest of the book (except the short sentences introducing the speakers) is in poetry; a poetic tissue conforming to the type of the later mashal (see under PROVERB), which, in continuous series of couplets, is admirably adapted alike to imaginative sublimity and impassioned address. Beginning with Job's curse of his day (Job 3), Job and his three friends answer each other back and forth in three rounds of speeches, complete except that, for reasons which the subject makes apparent, Zophar, the third friend, fails to speak the third time. After the friends are thus put to silence, Job speaks three times in succession (Job 26:1-31:40), and then "the words of Job are ended." At this point (Job 32) a fourth speaker, Elihu, hitherto unmentioned, is introduced and speaks four times, when he abruptly ceases in terror at an approaching whirlwind (37:24). Yahweh speaks from the whirlwind, two speeches, each of which Job answers briefly (40:3-5; 42:1-6), or rather declines to answer. Such, which we may summarize in Prologue (Job 1; Job 2), Body of Discussion (3-42:6), and Epilogue (42:7-17), is the literary framework of the book. The substance of the book is in a way dramatic; it cannot, however, be called so truly a drama as a kind of forum of debate; its movement is too rigid for dramatic action, and it lacks besides the give-and-take of dialogue. In a book of mine published some years ago I ventured to call it "the Epic of the Inner Life," epic not so much in the technical sense, as in recognition of an underlying epos which for fundamental significance may be compared to the story underlying the Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus. It will not do, however, to make too much of either of these forms as designating the Book of Job; either term has to be accommodated almost out of recognition, because the Hebrew literary forms were not conceived according to the Greek categories from which our terms "epic" and "dramatic" are derived. A greater limitation on our appreciation of its form, I think, is imposed by those who regard it as a mixture of forms. It is too generally divided between narrative and didactic debate. To the Hebrew mind it was all a continuous narrative, in which the poetic discussion, though overweighting the current of visualized action, had nevertheless the movement and value of real events. It is in this light, rather than in the didactic, that we may most profitably regard it.
III. The Course of the Story.
To divide the story of Job into 42 parts, according to the 42 numbered chapters, is in the last degree arbitrary. Nothing comes of it except convenience in reading for those who wish to take their Job in little detached bits. The chapter division was no part of the original, and a very insignificant step in the later apprehension of the original. To divide according to the speeches of the interlocutors is better; it helps us realize how the conflict of views brought the various phases of the thought to expression; but this too, with its tempting, three-times-three, turns out to be merely a framework; it corresponds only imperfectly with the true inwardness of the story's movement; it is rather a scheme than a continuity. We are to bear in mind that this Book of Job is fundamentally the inner experience of one man, as he rises from the depths of spiritual gloom and doubt to a majestic table-land of new insight and faith; the other characters are but ancillary, helps and foils, whose function is subordinate and relative. Hence, mindful of this inwardness of Job's experience, I have ventured to trace the story in 5 main stages, naming them according to the landing-stage attained in each.
A) To Job's Blessing and Curse:
1. His "Autumn Days":
The story begins (Job 1:1-5) with a brief description of Job as he was before his trial began; the elements of his life, outer and inner, on which is to be raised the question of motive. A prosperous landholder of the land of Uz, distinguished far and wide as the greatest (i.e. richest) of the sons of the East, his inner character corresponds: to all appearance nothing lacking, a man "perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil." The typical Hebrew blessings of life were his to the full: wealth, honor, health, family. He is evidently set before us as the perfect example of the validity of the established Wisdom-tenet, that righteousness and Wisdom are identical (see under PROVERBS, THE BOOK OF), and that this is manifest in its visible rewards. This period of his life Job describes afterward by retrospect as his "autumn days," when the friendship or intimacy (coah) of God was over his tent (see 29:4, and the whole chapter). Nor are we left without a glimpse into his heart: his constant attitude of worship, and his tender solicitude lest, in their enjoyment of the pleasures of life, his sons may have been disloyal to God (Job 1:4, 5). It is easy to see that not Job alone, but Wisdom as embodied in Job, is postulated here for its supreme test.
2. The Wager in Heaven:
Nor is the test delayed, or its ground ambiguous when it comes. Satan proposes it. Two scenes are given (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-6) from the court of God, wherever that is; for they are overheard by the reader, not seen, and of course neither Job nor any inhabitant of earth is aware of them. In these scenes the sons of God, the spirits who rejoiced over creation (38:7), are come together to render report, and Satan, uninvited, enters among them. He is a wandering spirit, unanchored to any allegiance, who roams through the earth, prying and criticizing. There is nothing, it would seem, in which he cannot find some flaw or discount. To Yahweh's question if he has considered Job, the man perfect and upright, he makes no denial of the fact, but raises the issue of motive: "Doth Job fear God for nought?" and urges that Job's integrity is after all only a transparent bargain, a paying investment with only reward in view. It is virtually an arraignment both of God's order and of the essential human character: of God's order in connecting righteousness so intimately with gain; and of the essential human character, virtually denying that there is such a thing as disinterested, intrinsic human virtue. The sneer strikes deep, and Job, the perfect embodiment of human virtue, is its designated victim. Satan proposes a wager, to the issue of which Yahweh commits Himself. The trial of Job is carried out in two stages: first against his property and family, with the stipulation that it is not to touch him; and then, this failing to detach him from his allegiance, against his person in sore disease, with the stipulation that his life is to be spared. Yahweh acknowledges that for once He is consenting to an injustice (2:3), and Satan, liar that he is, uses instrumentalities that men have ascribed to God alone: the first time, tempest and lightning (as well as murderous foray), the second time, the black leprosy, a fell disease, loathsome and deadly, which, in men's minds meant the immediate punitive stroke of God. The evil is as absolute as was the reward; a complete reversal of the order in which men's wisdom had come to trust. But in the immediate result, Yahweh's faith in His noblest creature is vindicated. Urged by his wife in his extremity to "curse God and die," Job remains true to his allegiance; and in his staunch utterance, "Yahweh gave, and Yahweh hath taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh," Job, as the writer puts it, `sinned not, nor attributed aught unbeseeming (tiphalah, literally, "tasteless") to God.' Such is the first onset of Job's affliction and its result. It remains to be seen what the long issue, days and months of wretchedness, will bring forth.
3. The Silent Friends:
We are now to imagine the lapse of some time, perhaps several months (compare Job 7:3), during which Job suffers alone, an outcast from house and society, on a leper's ash-heap. Meanwhile three friends of his who have heard of his affliction make an appointment together and come from distant regions to give him sympathy and comfort (2:11-13). On arriving, however, they find things different from what they had expected; perhaps the ominous nature of his disease has developed since they started. What they find is a man wretched and outcast, with a disease (elephantiasis) which to them can mean nothing but the immediate vengeance of God. The awful sight gives them pause. Instead of condoling with him, they sit silent and dismayed, and for seven days and nights no word is spoken (compare Isaiah 53:3). What they were debating with themselves during that time is betrayed by the after-course of the story. How can they bless one whom God has stamped with His curse? To do so would be taking sides with the wicked. Is it not rather their duty to side with God, and be safe, and let sympathy go? By this introduction of the friends and their averted attitude, the writer with consummate skill brings a new element into the story, the element of the Wisdom-philosophy; and time will show whether as a theoretical thing, cold and intellectual, it will retain or repress the natural outwelling of human friendship. And this silence is ominous.
4. Whose Way Is Hid:
The man who, in the first onset of trial, blessed Yahweh and set himself to bear in silence now opens his mouth to curse. His curse is directed, not against Yahweh nor against the order of things, but against the day of his birth. It is a day that has ceased to have meaning or worth for him. The day stands for life, for his individual life, a life that in the order of things should carry out the personal promise and fruitage for which it had been bestowed. And his quarrel with it is that he has lost its clue. Satan unknown to him has sneered because Yahweh had hedged him round with protection and favor (Job 1:10); but his complaint is that all this is removed without cause, and God has hedged him round with darkness. His way is hid (Job 3:23). Why then was life given at all? In all this, it will be noted, he raises no train of introspection to account for his condition; he assumes no sinfulness, nor even natural human depravity; the opposite rather, for a baffling element of his case is his shrinking sensitiveness against evil and disloyalty (compare Job 3:25, 26, in which the tenses should be past, with 1:5; see also 6:30; 16:17). His plight has become sharply, poignantly objective; his inner self has no part in it. Thus in this opening speech he strikes the keynote of the real, against which the friends' theories rage and in the end wreck themselves.
B) To Job's Ultimatum of Protest:
1. The Veiled Impeachment:
With all the gentle regret of having to urge a disagreeable truth the friends, beginning with Eliphaz the wisest and most venerable, enter upon their theory of the case. Eliphaz covers virtually the whole ground; the others come in mainly to echo or emphasize. He veils his reproof in general and implicatory terms, the seasoned terms of wisdom in which Job himself is expert (4:3-5); reminds him that no righteous man perishes, but that men reap what they sow (4:7, 8); adduces a vision that he had had which revealed to him that man, by the very fact of being mortal, is impure and iniquitous (4:17-19); implies that Job's turbulence of mind precludes him from similar revelations, and jeopardizes his soul (5:1, 2); advises him to commit his case to God, with the implication, however, that it is a case needing correction rather than justification, and that the result in view is restored comfort and prosperity. As Job answers with a more passionate and detailed portrayal of his wrong, Bildad, following, abandons the indirect impeachment and attributes the children's death to their sin (8:4), saying also that if Job were pure and upright he might supplicate and regain God's favor (8:5, 6). He then goes on to draw a lesson from the traditional Wisdom lore, to the effect that sure destruction awaits the wicked and sure felicity the righteous (Job 8:11-22). On Job's following this with his most positive arraignment of God's order and claim for light, Zophar replies with impetuous heat, averring that Job's punishment is less than he deserves (Job 11:6), and reproving him for his presumption in trying to find the secret of God (Job 11:7-12). All three of the friends, with increasing emphasis, end their admonitions in much the same way; promising Job reinstatement in God's favor, but always with the veiled implication that he must own to iniquity and entreat as a sinner.
2. Wisdom Insipid, Friends Doubtful:
To the general maxims of Wisdom urged against him, with which he is already familiar (compare Job 13:2), Job's objection is not that they are untrue, but that they are insipid (Job 6:6, 7); they have lost their application to the case. Yet it is pain to him to think that the words of the Holy One should fail; he longs to die rather than deny them (Job 6:9, 10). One poignant element of his sorrow is that the intuitive sense (tushiyah; see under PROVERBS, THE BOOK OF) is driven away from him; see Job 6:13. He is irritated by the insinuating way in which the friends beg the question of his guilt; longs for forthright and sincere words (6:25). It is this quality of their speech, in fact, which adds the bitterest drop to his cup; his friends, on whom he had counted for support, are deceitful like a dried-up brook (6:15-20); he feels, in his sick sensitiveness, that they are not sympathizing with him but using him for their cold, calculating purposes (6:27). Thus is introduced one of the most potent motives of the story, the motive of friendship; much will come of it when from the fallible friendships of earth he conquers his way by faith to a friendship in the unseen (compare 16:19; 19:27).
3. Crookedness of the Order of things:
With the sense that the old theories have become stale and pointless, though his discernment of the evil of things is undulled by sin (Job 6:30), Job arrives at an extremely poignant realization of the hardness and crookedness of the world-order, the result both of what the friends are saying and of what he has always held in common with them. It is the view that is forced upon him by the sense that he is unjustly dealt with by a God who renders no reasons, who on the score of justice vouchsafes to man neither insight nor recourse, and whose severity is out of all proportion to man's sense of worth (7:17) or right (9:17) or claim as a creature of His hand (10:8-14). Job 9, which contains Job's direct address to this arbitrary Being, is one of the most tremendous, not to say audacious conceptions in literature; in which a mortal on the threshold of death takes upon himself to read God a lesson in godlikeness. In this part of the story Job reaches his ultimatum of protest; a protest amazingly sincere, but not blasphemous when we realize that it is made in the interest of the Godlike.
4. No Mediation in Sight:
The great lack which Job feels in his arraignment of God is the lack of mediation between Creator and creature, the Oppressor and His victim. There is no umpire between them, who might lay his hand upon both, so that the wronged one might have voice in the matter (9:32-35). The two things that an umpire might do: to remove God's afflicting hand, and to prevent God's terror from unmanning His victim (see 13:20-22, as compared with the passage just cited), are the great need to restore normal and reciprocal relations with Him whose demand of righteousness is so inexorable. This umpire or advocate idea, thus propounded negatively, will grow to a sublime positive conviction in the next stage of Job's spiritual progress (16:19; 19:25-27).)
C) To Job's Ultimatum of Faith: 1. Detecting the Friends' False Note:
As the friends finish their first round of speeches, in which a remote and arbitrary God is urged upon him as everything, and man so corrupt and blind that he cannot but be a worm and culprit (compare Job 25:4-6), Job's eyes, which hitherto have seen with theirs, are suddenly opened. His first complaint of their professed friendship was that it was fallible; instead of sticking to him when he needed them most (Job 6:14), and in spite of his bewilderment (Job 6:26), they were making it virtually an article of traffic (Job 6:27), as if it were a thing for their gain. It was not sincere, not intrinsic to their nature, but an expedient. And now all at once he penetrates to its motive. They are deserting him in order to curry favor with God. That motive has prevented them from seeing true; they see only their theoretical God, and are respecting His person instead of responding to the inner dictate of truth and integrity. To his honest heart this is monstrous; they ought to be afraid of taking falseness for God (J Obadiah 13:3-12). Nor does his inference stop with thus detecting their false note. If they are "forgers of lies" in this respect, what of all their words of wisdom? they have been giving him "proverbs of ashes" (Job 13:12); the note of false implication is in them all. From this point therefore he pays little attention to what they say; lets them go on to grossly exaggerated statement of their tenet, while he opens a new way of faith for himself, developing the germs of insight that have come to him.
2. Staking All on Integrity:
Having cut loose from all countenancing of the friends' self-interested motives, Job now, with the desperate sense of taking his life in his hand and abandoning hope, resolves that come what will he will maintain his ways to God's face. This, as he believes, is not only the one course for his integrity, but his one plea of salvation, for no false one shall appear before him. How tremendous the meaning of this resolve, we can think when we reflect how he has just taken God in hand to amend His supposed iniquitous order of things; and that he is now, without mediator, pleading the privilege that a mediator would secure (13:20, 21; see 8, above) and urging a hearing on his own charges. The whole reach of his sublime faith is involved in this.
3. "If a Man Die":
In two directions his faith is reaching out; in both negatively at first. One, the belief in an Advocate, has already been broached, and is germinating from negative to positive. The other, the question of life after death, rises here in the same tentative way: using first the analogy of the tree which sprouts again after it is cut down (Job 14:7-9), and from it inquiring, `If a man die-might he live again?' and dwelling in fervid imagination on the ideal solution which a survival of death would bring (Job 14:13-17), but returning to his reluctant negative, from the analogy of drying waters (Job 14:11) and the slow wearing down of mountains (Job 14:18, 19). As yet he can treat the idea only as a fancy; not yet a hope or a grounded conviction.
4. The Surviving Next of Kin:
The conviction comes by a nobler way than fancy, by the way of his personal sense of the just and God-like order. The friends in their second round of speeches have begun their lurid portrayals of the wicked man's awful fate; but until all have spoken again he is concerned with a far more momentous matter. Dismissing these for the present as an academic exercise composed in cold blood (Job 16:4, 5), and evincing a heart hid from understanding (Job 17:4), Job goes on to recount in the most bitter terms he has yet used the flagrancy of his wrong as something that calls out for expiation like the blood of Cain (16:18), and breaks out with the conviction that his witness and voucher who will hear his prayer for mediation is on high (16:19-21). Then after Bildad in a spiteful retort has matched his complaint with a description of the calamities of the wicked (an augmented echo of Eliphaz), and he has pathetically bewailed the treachery of earthly friends (19:13, 14, 21, 22), he mounts, as it were, at a bound to the sublime ultimatum of his faith in an utterance which he would fain see engraved on the rock forever (19:23-29). "I know that my Redeemer liveth," he exclaims; literally, my Go'el (go'ali), or next of kin, the person whose business in the old Hebrew idea was to maintain the rights of an innocent wronged one and avenge his blood. He does not recede from the idea that his wrong is from God (compare 19:6, 21); but over his dust stands his next of kin, and as the result of this one's intercession Job, in his own integral person, shall see God no more a stranger. So confident is he that he solemnly warns the friends who have falsely impeached him that it is they, not he, who are in peril (19:28, 29; compare 13:10, 11).
D) To Job's Verdict on Things as They Are:
1. Climax and Subsidence of the Friends' Charge:
That in this conviction of a living Redeemer Job's faith has reached firm and final ground is evident from the fact that he does not recur to his old doubts at all. They are settled, and settled right. But now, leaving them, he can attend to what the friends have been saying. Zophar, the third speaker, following, presses to vehement, extreme their iterated portrayal of the wicked man's terrific woes; it seems the design of the writer to make them outdo themselves in frantic overstatement of their thesis. As Zophar ceases, and Job has thus, as it were, drawn all their fire, Job refutes them squarely, as we shall presently see. Meanwhile, in the course of his extended refutation, the friends begin a third round of speeches. Eliphaz, who has already taken alarm at the tendency of Job's words, as those of a depraved skeptic and ruinous to devotion (15:4-6), now in the interests of his orthodoxy brings in his bill of particulars.
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JOB, TESTAMENT OF
See APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Job, Book of
A great diversity of opinion exists as to the authorship of this book. From internal evidence, such as the similarity of sentiment and language to those in the Psalms and Proverbs (see Psalm 88 and 89), the prevalence of the idea of "wisdom," and the style and character of the composition, it is supposed by some to have been written in the time of David and Solomon. Others argue that it was written by Job himself, or by Elihu, or Isaiah, or perhaps more probably by Moses, who was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and mighty in words and deeds" (Acts 7:22). He had opportunities in Midian for obtaining the knowledge of the facts related. But the authorship is altogether uncertain.
As to the character of the book, it is a historical poem, one of the greatest and sublimest poems in all literature. Job was a historical person, and the localities and names were real and not fictious. It is "one of the grandest portions of the inspired Scriptures, a heavenly-repleished storehouse of comfort and instruction, the patriarchal Bible, and a precious monument of primitive theology. It is to the Old Testament what the Epistle to the Romans is to the New." It is a didactic narrative in a dramatic form.
This book was apparently well known in the days of Ezekiel, B.C. 600 (Ezek. 14:14). It formed a part of the sacred Scriptures used by our Lord and his apostles, and is referred to as a part of the inspired Word (Hebrews 12:5; 1 Corinthians 3:19).
The subject of the book is the trial of Job, its occasion, nature, endurance, and issue. It exhibits the harmony of the truths of revelation and the dealings of Providence, which are seen to be at once inscrutable, just, and merciful. It shows the blessedness of the truly pious, even amid sore afflictions, and thus ministers comfort and hope to tried believers of every age. It is a book of manifold instruction, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
It consists of,
(1.) An historical introduction in prose (ch. 1, 2).
(2.) The controversy and its solution, in poetry (ch. 3-42:6).
Job's desponding lamentation (ch. 3) is the occasion of the controversy which is carried on in three courses of dialogues between Job and his three friends. The first course gives the commencement of the controversy (ch. 4-14); the second the growth of the controversy (15-21); and the third the height of the controversy (22-27). This is followed by the solution of the controversy in the speeches of Elihu and the address of Jehovah, followed by Job's humble confession (42:1-6) of his own fault and folly.
(3.) The third division is the historical conclusion, in prose (42:7-15).
Sir J. W. Dawson in "The Expositor" says: "It would now seem that the language and theology of the book of Job c
Persecuted, an Arabian patriarch who resided in the land of Uz (q.v.). While living in the midst of great prosperity, he was suddenly overwhelmed by a series of sore trials that fell upon him. Amid all his sufferings he maintained his integrity. Once more God visited him with the rich tokens of his goodness and even greater prosperity than he had enjoyed before. He survived the period of trial for one hundred and forty years, and died in a good old age, an example to succeeding generations of integrity (Ezek. 14:14, 20) and of submissive patience under the sorest calamities (James 5:11). His history, so far as it is known, is recorded in his book. an be better explained by supposing it to be a portion of Minean [Southern Arabia] literature obtained by Moses in Midian than in any other way. This view also agrees better than any other with its references to natural objects, the art of mining, and other matters."
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) A sudden thrust or stab; a jab.
2. (n.) A piece of chance or occasional work; any definite work undertaken in gross for a fixed price; as, he did the job for a thousand dollars.
3. (n.) A public transaction done for private profit; something performed ostensibly as a part of official duty, but really for private gain; a corrupt official business.
4. (n.) Any affair or event which affects one, whether fortunately or unfortunately.
5. (n.) A situation or opportunity of work; as, he lost his job.
6. (v. t.) To strike or stab with a pointed instrument.
7. (v. t.) To thrust in, as a pointed instrument.
8. (v. t.) To do or cause to be done by separate portions or lots; to sublet (work); as, to job a contract.
9. (v. t.) To buy and sell, as a broker; to purchase of importers or manufacturers for the purpose of selling to retailers; as, to job goods.
10. (v. t.) To hire or let by the job or for a period of service; as, to job a carriage.
11. (v. i.) To do chance work for hire; to work by the piece; to do petty work.
12. (v. i.) To seek private gain under pretense of public service; to turn public matters to private advantage.
13. (v. i.) To carry on the business of a jobber in merchandise or stocks.
14. (n.) The hero of the book of that name in the Old Testament; the typical patient man.
Strong's Hebrew7103. Qetsiah -- "cassia," a daughter of Job...
<< 7102, 7103. Qetsiah. 7104 >>. "cassia," a daughter of Job
. Transliteration: Qetsiah
Phonetic Spelling: (kets-ee-aw') Short Definition: Keziah. ... /hebrew/7103.htm - 6k
6691. Tsophar -- one of Job's friends
... << 6690, 6691. Tsophar or Tsophar. 6692 >>. one of Job's friends. Transliteration:
Tsophar or Tsophar Phonetic Spelling: (tso-far') Short Definition: Zophar. ...
/hebrew/6691.htm - 6k
1292. Barakel -- "El does bless," the father of one of Job's ...
... Barakel. 1293 >>. "El does bless," the father of one of Job's friends. Transliteration:
Barakel Phonetic Spelling: (baw-rak-ale') Short Definition: Barachel. ...
/hebrew/1292.htm - 6k
1085. Bildad -- perhaps "Bel has loved," one of Job's friends
... << 1084, 1085. Bildad. 1086 >>. perhaps "Bel has loved," one of Job's friends.
Transliteration: Bildad Phonetic Spelling: (bil-dad') Short Definition: Bildad. ...
/hebrew/1085.htm - 6k
464. Eliphaz -- "God is fine gold," a son of Esau, also a friend ...
... Eliphaz. 465 >>. "God is fine gold," a son of Esau, also a friend of Job.
Transliteration: Eliphaz Phonetic Spelling: (el-ee-faz') Short Definition: Eliphaz. ...
/hebrew/464.htm - 6k
3224. Yemimah -- a daughter of Job
... << 3223, 3224. Yemimah. 3225 >>. a daughter of Job. Transliteration: Yemimah
Phonetic Spelling: (yem-ee-maw') Short Definition: Jemimah. ...
/hebrew/3224.htm - 6k
7163a. Qeren Happuk -- "horn of antimony," a daughter of Job
Qeren Happuk. << 7163, 7163a. Qeren Happuk. 7163b >>. "horn of antimony," a daughter
of Job. Transliteration: Qeren Happuk Short Definition: Keren-happuch. ...
/hebrew/7163a.htm - 5k
7163. qeren hap-puwk -- "horn of antimony," a daughter of Job
... "horn of antimony," a daughter of Job. Transliteration: qeren hap-puwk Phonetic
Spelling: (keh'-ren hap-pook') Short Definition: Keren-happuch. Keren-happuch ...
/hebrew/7163.htm - 5k
347. Iyyob -- a patriarch
... << 346, 347. Iyyob. 348 >>. a patriarch. Transliteration: Iyyob Phonetic Spelling:
(ee-yobe') Short Definition: Job. Word Origin ... Job's (2). Job. ...
/hebrew/347.htm - 6k
3102. Yob -- a son of Issachar
... Job. Perhaps a form of Yowbab, but more probably by erroneous transcription for
Yashuwb; Job, an Israelite -- Job. see HEBREW Yowbab. see HEBREW Yashuwb. ...
/hebrew/3102.htm - 6k