Job

Author: Possibly Moses

Time: Apparently around 1500 B.C.

Summary: Job is the first poetic book of the Old Testament. It relates the anguish of a righteous man as he and his friends struggle to explain the affliction which has befallen Job and has stripped him of his wealth, his family, and his health. The dialogue continues between Job and his friends as each presents his opinion on the reasons behind such troubles.

The purpose of the book of Job is to grapple with the question of why good people sometimes suffer. God promises that he will bless the faithful. Job agonises over the apparent exceptions. The book concludes that ultimately the reason behind much suffering is known only to God.

Key verses:

"As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice . . . as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit." (27:2–4)

Main people: Job, his family, his friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu)

1. Affliction of Job 1:1 – 2:13

a) Description of Job 1:1–5
b) Affliction of Job 1:6–2:10
c) Arrival of Job’s three friends 2:11–13

2. Debates between Job and his three friends 3:1–31:40

a) First cycle of debate 3:1–14:22
b) Second cycle of debate 15:1–21:34
c) Third cycle of debate 22:1–31:40

3. The speeches of Elihu 32:1–37:24

4. Restoration of Job 38:1–42:17

a) God’s first challenge to Job 38:1–40:2
b) Job's response 40:3–5
b) God’s second challenge to Job 40:6–41:34
c) Job’s submission and restoration 42:1–17 
                                                                                              

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