Book of Job

Brief Summary with Six W’s
ch=Job+1&version=KJV for online recording
Who is it about?
What happened?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did it happen?
How did it happen?
The Inverted Pyramid
From most newsworthy to the least
From important stuff to fluff of no consequence
Climactic order (Progressively
Intensive) vs. the Inverted Pyramid
Climactic order
Intensive) fits the
law of Recency
In the two rounds of
trials/tortures of Job,
the chronological
order is intertwined
with the climactic
the Inverted
Pyramid—from the
most important or
newsworthy to the
least—fits for
people on the run
who may not have
enough time to find
out all the details;
The Book of Job
The Old Testament
one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It
relates the story of Job, his trials at the hands
of Satan with God’s permission, his
discussions with friends on the origins and
nature of his suffering, his challenge to God,
and finally a response from God.
The book is traditionally interpreted as a
didactic poem sandwiched in a prose frame.
The over-riding and oft-asked question asked
in the book of Job is, "Why do the righteous
Prose vs. Poetry
Natural Flow vs. Artistic flow
the language in literature is stylized
on purpose
Prose is the most
typical form of written
language, applying
ordinary grammatical
structure and natural
flow of speech rather
than rhythmic structure
(as in traditional
Language in poetry is
more intense and
Poetry has something
else -- the poetic line.
Poets decide how long
each line is going to be
and where it will break
off out of his/her
Job’s name is associated with
Patience, Steadfast, Perseverance,
and Endurance
1. the central figure in an Old Testament
parable of the righteous sufferer.
2. a book of the Bible bearing his name.
3. a male given name: from a hebrew
word meaning “persecuted.”
Note : Figuratively, any long-suffering person
can be said to be “as patient as Job.”
So don’t have a name like that since it
implies your job is to go through a series of
trials in life.
Oxford English Dictionary
(The name of) a patriarch of the land of Uz
(for East), the eponymous protagonist of a
book of the Old Testament and Hebrew
Scriptures, taken as the type of extreme
poverty, destitution, etc., or of patience and
Freq. in similar phrases, as (as) patient as
Job (also the patience of Job ), and (as) poor
as Job .
Part I: Job is tested
(Chapter 1 & 2)
Annotations on page 1
Eschew evil (to abstain or keep away from; shun;
avoid: to eschew evil)
Substance, material possessions or wealth: a man
of substance
Five hundred yoke of oxen = five hundred pairs of
oxen/or 1000 oxen;
Yoke is a device for joining together a pair of draft
animals, especially oxen, usually consisting of a
crosspiece with two bow-shaped pieces, each
enclosing the head of an animal.
To prevent bad things from happening
“Doth Job fear God for nought?”
(Old English for “nothing”) page 1
Job “rose up early in
the morning, and
offered burnt offerings
according to the
number of them all: for
Job said, It may be that
my sons have sinned,
and cursed God in their
hearts. Thus did Job
continually” (Job 1.5).
Job is buying security
for his future, for his
sons’ future.
Job’s piety is associated
with fear, of not out of fear.
In his regard, Job shares his
friends’ view;
The concept of “reward and
punishment” has been
projected onto mother
nature on the one hand and
onto God on the other.
We need to reassess our
relationship with mother
nature, among other things.
We are not alone in this
Sons (assistants) of God,
including Satan (Job 1.6 or page 1)
In the Book of Genesis,
Yahweh is seen as the
single deity, with "sons
of elohim" as his
Elohim is for "god" or
"gods" in both modern
and ancient Hebrew
Satan in earlier
usage means
opponent, rival,
adversary, not
necessarily evil.
Satan plays a role
of persecutor of
some sort;
Satan’s challenge
KJV for King James Version: “Then Satan answered
the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?”
(Job 1.9).
NIV for New International Version: “Does Job fear
God for nothing?” Satan replied.
It implies Job’s praying to God or his fear of God is
associated with some motives, not entirely free from
benefits or reward, thus Job is not in an autonomous
state; rather, he is in a heteronomous state in
Kantian term. In other words, he is not doing this for
its own sake.
Three-Part Structure
Poetry sandwiched in between prose
The book of Job has a fairly simple structure.
Job 1 and 2 are the prologue, written in
Job 3:1-42:6 is poetry that consists of a cycle
of speeches between Job, Eliphaz, Bildad,
Zophar and later Elihu, and then the dialogue
between Yahweh and Job.
Job 42:7-14 is the epilogue, which is written
in prose.
Speech cycles
Cycle 1
Cycle 1
Job Chapters 3
Eliphaz 4-5
Job 6-7
Bildad 8
Job 9-10
Zophar 11
Cycle 2
Cycle 2
Job Chapters 12-14
Eliphaz 15
Job 16-17
Bildad 18
Job 19
Zophar 20
Cycle 3
Cycle 3
Job Chapters 21
Eliphaz 22
Job 23-24
Bildad 25:1-5
Job 26; 27-28; 29-31
The third cycle, it should be noted, does not follow
the pattern of the first two cycles. Zophar does not
give a speech and Bildad's speech is significantly
shorter than his previous speeches.
noun, plural -quies.
1. an utterance or discourse by a person who
is talking to himself or herself or is
disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers
present (often used as a device in drama to
disclose a character's innermost thoughts):
Hamlet's soliloquy begins with “To be or not
to be.”
2. the act of talking while or as if alone.
Job’s Soliloquy Chapter 3
disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present
Having sat in silence for seven days in the presence
of his friends who had come to comfort him, Job
finally speaks. In the form of a soliloquy, he begins
by cursing the day of his birth and the night of his
conception for failing to prevent his sorrow (3.1-10).
He then bemoans why he did not die at birth or even
be stillborn, for then at least he would be at rest, just
like those who were great in their lifetime, or like
those who had been oppressed (3.11-19). Job also
wonders why the suffering who long for death are
allowed to linger. He concludes by stating that what
he most greatly feared has now come upon him:
trouble, from which there seems to be no rest (3.20-
Monologue vs. Soliloquy
Implied audience
[C17: via French from Greek monologos speaking
In theatre, a monologue (or monolog) is a speech
presented by a single character, most often to
express their thoughts aloud, though sometimes also
to directly address another character or the
audience. Monologues are common across the
range of dramatic media (plays, films, animation,
etc.). It is distinct from a soliloquy, which is where a
character relates his or her thoughts and feelings to
him/herself and to the audience without addressing
any of the other characters.
Unity through Variety (page 4)
Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell
upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it (Job 3.5).
“Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid
sorrow from mine eyes” (Job 3.10).
“Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost
when I came out of the belly?” (Job 3.11).
To curse the making of himself, Job is indirectly cursing the
“What did I do wrong?” Job associated his punishment with
sins, though in this case, the punishment is groundless.
General vs. Specific
Regarding Question 1 in the worksheet
Identify a general
theme that runs through
talks of Job’s three
friends—what’s in
common? What is the
Summarize this in an
umbrella term,
overarching your
argument at the
Then be
specific/accurate on
each friend’s charge
of Job;
Quote textual
Karen DiYanni’s example
You need to follow up
on Question 1!
Regarding why Job was
punished, his friends have
different interpretations: Eliphaz
claims that…; moreover, Bildad
assumes that…; the last but not
the least is Sophar’s charge
In short, they’ve all assumed
one way or another Job must
have done something wrong to
deserve all this. Their charges
are tied to the notion of reward
and punishment. (This is a
more general statement to sum
up the main point.)
On how to interpret Kafka’s
fiction, Karen DiYanni states
that “Some interpreters have
emphasized the religious
aspect of Kafka’s novels and
stories (Spann 59). Others
have claimed that his fiction
should be interpreted from
the standpoint of Freudian
psychoanalysis (Greenberg
Job’s friend No. 1: Eliphaz (vs. Job)
(4:1-7:21); Eliphaz is a leader
Eliphaz’s charge is not warranted since he
has simply made some assumption.
“Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being
innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?” (Job
4.7). (Course Reader 5)
Rhetorical question: asking back, not expecting an
answer since the answer is pre-programmed in the
“being innocent,” as a condition, meaning “if”;
This means if Job were innocent and righteous, he
wouldn’t have been punished like this. This implies
that Job must have sinned.
The concept of “reward and punishment” has been
extended beyond the human world.
Job’s Friend No. 1
Eliphaz the Temanite
“Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished,
being innocent? or where were the righteous
cut off?” (5)
Eliphaz the Temanite starts with expressing
his view that the innocent don't suffer, the
wicked do. As support for his position, he
refers to a vision that he had. Chastening
Job, Eliphaz then directs Job to seek God's
forgiveness, reminding him of the blessings
that would come if Job repented (4:1-5:22).
Eliphaz: You get what you’ve
sowed (page 5)
“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and
sow wickedness, reap the same” (Job 5.8).
“By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of
his nostrils are they consumed” (Job 5.9). Ironically
this seems finger-pointing at God. As a matter of
fact, many sinners are still at large!
Here the human desire for reward and punishment is
projected onto God.
But God has other jobs to do, if there is a god. The
human society is only a small part of the entire
Eliphaz’s Dream page 5-6
subtly charging Job of being arrogant
15: Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of
my flesh stood up:
16: It stood still, but I could not discern the form
thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was
silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
4.17: Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall
a man be more pure than his maker? (Rhetorical
question that implies of course not). This implies
that Job is too arrogant, thinking himself more just
than God.
But in this case, who is more just: Job or God?
A great deal of irony?
Eliphaz’s defense of God page 7
God is patient!
“He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in
seven there shall no evil touch thee” (Job
New International Version (©1984)
From six calamities he will rescue you; in
seven no harm will befall you.
New Living Translation (©2007)
From six disasters he will rescue you; even in
the seventh, he will keep you from evil.
Job’s self-defense page 9
Job. vs. Eliphaz
22: Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for
me of your substance? (I did not ask for all this
trouble myself in the first place!)
23: Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or,
Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?
24: Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause
me to understand wherein I have erred.
29: Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea,
return again, my righteousness is in it.
Speeches of Job
Job, confident of his own innocence,
maintains that his suffering is unjustified as
he has not sinned, and that there is no
reason for God to punish him thus.
However, he does not curse God's name or
accuse God of injustice but rather seeks an
explanation or an account of his wrong
Job’s Friend No. 2
Bildad the Shuhite (8:1-10:22)
Bildad the Shuhite now steps in and rebukes Job for
his strong words. Maintaining that God is just, he
implies that Job's sons died because of their own
transgressions, and if Job were only pure and
upright he would be blessed by God. Appealing to
wisdom of the ancients, he contends the wicked are
without support, and that God will not cast away the
blameless. If Job would only repent, God would fill
him once again with laughter and rejoicing (8:1-22).
Faith vs. Reason page 10
Bildad’s fallacious argument
“Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty
pervert justice?” (Job 8.3).
New International Version (©1984)
Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert
what is right?
Judgment by a general pattern already established,
failing to take into consideration of a specific context;
Refuse to examine a specific case, simply assuming
that some authoritative figure must be right,
regardless… (fallacious argument)
“If thy children have sinned against him, and he have
cast them away for their transgression” (Job 8.4).
1. Introductory remarks (1-7)
a. He rebukes Job for his words
b. He maintains that God deals justly
c. If Job's sons sinned, they were killed for
their transgression
d. Restoration would occur if Job would only
seek God and repent
Bildad appeals to the wisdom of
the ancients (8-18)
a. Heed what others have already learned, for our
time is short
b. The wicked are like the papyrus with no support,
for they soon wither
c. God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He
uphold the evildoers (the implication is "Job, you are
not blameless") “Behold, God will not cast away a
perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers” (Job
d. God will yet restore Job (assuming he repents)
(foreshadowing God’s two-fold restoration at the
end, except that the new set of children was not the
Job agrees but argues that…
Use “Ctrl F” for Find to access any quote
KJV: “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with
God?” (Job 9.2) (rhetorical move: make a concession, then
turn against it…) Is it an agreement or objection then? Page 12
in the course raeder
New International Version (©1984)
"Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can a mortal be
righteous before God?”
The relationship between God and man is not equal.
The word “covenant” doesn’t refer to a contract that is based on
A covenant is based on the conditional promises made to
humanity by God, as revealed in the Scripture.
Yes, God is powerful,
but is God accessible? Do I get a chance to
reason with God face to face?
Job provides numerous examples of God's power
Because of such power, Job's complains of God's
inaccessibility (9:14-20)
Later when Job did get an audience from God, it was
quite surprising to Job. This was when Job became
“For he [God] is not a man, as I am, that I should
answer him, and we should come together in
judgment” (Job 9.32).
“Neither is there any daysman (umpire/mediator)
betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job
Job is perplexed (page 14)
he reasons from his own
“This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth
the perfect and the wicked” (Job 9.22). (This is a
perspective from human beings, not from God; in
other words, this is something that human beings
have projected onto God. It implies that God is
supposed to do what we human beings have
assumed! What subjectivity! What arrogance!)
Parable of Zhuangzi—who needs your hats?
“Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might
lay his hand upon us both” (Lob 9.33).
Daysman: Archaic: an umpire; mediator.
“I am full of confusion” (Job 10.15).
Job’s third friend: Zophar the
Naamathite (15)
Zophar the Naamathite enters the dialogue
1. with his own rebuke of Job for his rash
words. Indicating that 2. Job has actually
received less suffering than he deserves, 3.
he reproaches Job trying to search out the
deep things of God.
Instead, Job should be putting away iniquity
and wickedness, for then he would abide in
brightness, security and hope (11:1-20).
Job vs. Zophar (the third friend)
He chides his accusers (12:1-12)
He affirms God's own wisdom and strength (12:1325)
The advice of his friends has been no help (13:1-12)
Confident of his own integrity, Job again wishes to
speak with God (13:13-19)
Job appeals to God for an audience (13:20-28)
He expresses hopelessness in this life (14:1-12)
He longs for death (14:13-22)
Job’s “Comforters” (Irony)
A person who tries to console or help
someone and not only fails but ends up
making the other feel worse.
In the Old Testament, a man whose faith was severely tested
by Satan, with God's permission. Job was the most prosperous
and happy of men, who faithfully praised God for God's
goodness. In order to get him to curse God, Satan destroyed all
that Job owned, killed his children, and struck Job himself with
vile sores from head to toe. False friends of Job's suggested
that he should abandon his beliefs ( see Job's comforters).
But even in absolute misery, Job would not curse God, saying
instead, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away:
blessed be the name of the Lord.” As a reward for his steadfast
faith, God healed Job and “gave him twice as much as he had
Job’s Friends (including Job):
God always
rewards good and punishes evil
Job's friends do not waver from their belief that Job
must have sinned one way or another to incite God's
punishment. As the speeches progress, Job's friends
increasingly berate him for refusing to confess his
sins, although they themselves are at a loss as to
which sin he has committed. They also assume, in
their view of theology, that God always rewards good
and punishes evil, with no apparent exceptions
allowed. There seems to be no room in their
understanding of God for divine discretion and
mystery in allowing and arranging suffering for
purposes other than retribution.
Tema 8
south; desert, one of the sons of Ishmael,
and father of a tribe so called (Gen. 25:15; 1
Chr. 1:30; Job 6:19; Isa. 21:14; Jer. 25:23)
which settled at a place to which he gave his
name, some 250 miles south-east of Edom,
on the route between Damascus and Mecca,
in the northern part of the Arabian peninsula,
toward the Syrian desert; the modern
Sheba 8
1. Queen of, the queen who visited Solomon to test
his wisdom. I Kings 10:1–13.
2. Biblical name of Saba ( def. 2 ) .
Wesley's Notes for Job 6:19
6:19 Tema - This place and Sheba were both parts
of the hot and dry country of Arabia, in which waters
were very scarce, and therefore precious and
desirable, especially to travellers. Companies - Men
did not there travel singly, as we do, but in
companies for their security against wild beasts and
Arcturus 12
a first-magnitude star in the constellation
Boꞌötes, a constellation in the northern sky,
located between 0° and +60° declination,
and 13 and 16 hours of right ascension on
the celestial sphere. The name comes from
the Greek Βοώτης, Boōtēs, meaning
herdsman or plowman (literally, ox-driver;
from boos, related to the Latin bovis, “cow”).
Orion 12
Astronomy--the Hunter, a constellation lying
on the celestial equator between Canis Major
and Taurus, containing the bright stars
Betelgeuse and Rigel.
Classical Mythology--a giant hunter who
pursued the Pleiades, was eventually slain
by Artemis, and was then placed in the sky
as a constellation.
Pleiades 12
Classical Mythology--seven daughters of
Atlas and half sisters of the Hyades, placed
among the stars to save them from the
pursuit of Orion. One of them (the Lost Pleiad
) hides, either from grief or shame.
Astronomy . a conspicuous group or cluster
of stars in the constellation Taurus,
commonly spoken of as seven, though only
six are visible.
The chambers of the south 12
Arcturus is a northern constellation, near that called
the Bear. Orion is a more southerly constellation,
that rises to us in December. The Pleiades is a
constellation not far from Orion, which we call the
seven stars: by the chambers, (or inmost chambers,
as the word signifies) of the south, he seems to
understand those stars and constellations which are
toward the southern pole, which are called inward
chambers, because they are for the most part hid
and shut up from these parts of the world.
Elihu enters the scene
Chapter 32-37 (page 44)
disciplinary vs. punitive
Angry with Job justifying himself rather than God,
and by the inability of Job's friends to provide an
answer, Elihu feels compelled to speak (32:1-33:7).
He takes issue with Job's claim of innocence while
charging God with counting him (Job) as His enemy.
He proposes that God often uses various means to
keep man from death ("the Pit"), including
chastening with pain. Therefore Job should be
looking at suffering as a disciplinary measure from
a loving God, not as a punitive measure from one's
enemy (33:8-33).
Elihu's speech (page 44)
The bulk of Elihu's speech then focuses on the
justice of God, which Elihu feels Job has maligned.
Elihu charges Job with adding to his sin by
multiplying words against God without knowledge
(34:1-35:16). He concludes his speech with an effort
to speak on God's behalf and by ascribing
righteousness to the Almighty. This he does by
reviewing God's justice and majesty. The former as
seen in His dealings with man, the latter as seen in
His dealings in nature. With an admonition for Job to
stand still and consider the wondrous works of God,
Elihu seems to be preparing Job for what is about to
follow (36:1-37:24).
Elihu is Angry because…
He is angry at both Job and his three friends
a. At Job, because he justified himself rather
than God
b. At his friends, because they provided no
real answer and yet condemned Job
c. He had waited to speak because of his
youth, but the silence from the three men
made him angry
Job, you are wrong in charging God as your
enemy (33:8-13)
God uses various ways to speak to man
God's purpose is disciplinary, not simply
punitive (33:29-33)
Elihu proclaims God's justice (34:1-37)
Elihu condemns Job's reasoning (35:1-16)
Elihu vs. Job and his Three Friends
Fundamentally, they assume God punishes
evil doers and reward the good guys;
“Work for hire” is deeply rooted
Elihu maintains God’s impartiality;
God’s Reply Chapter 38
page 53
a name of God, transliterated by scholars from the
Tetragrammaton and commonly rendered jehovah.
Tetragrammaton--the Hebrew word for God,
consisting of the four letters yod, he, vav, and
he, transliterated consonantally usually as
YHVH, now pronounced as Adonai or Elohim in
substitution for the original pronunciation forbidden
since the 2nd or 3rd century b.c.
God Speaks, Job Is Humbled
At last, Job is finally given his desire to have an audience with
God. It is not what he expected. Speaking from a whirlwind,
the Lord charges Job with darkening counsel by words without
knowledge. A challenge is then made for Job to answer
questions posed to him. A series of questions follow in rapid
succession regarding the creation and nature that certainly
contrast God's great power and wisdom with Job's limited ability
and understanding. God ends His first discourse then with a
repeated challenge for the one (i.e., Job) who contends with the
Almighty and who rebukes God to answer these questions.
Overwhelmed, Job admits his unworthiness and inability to
answer. He admits he has spoken before, but will do so no
more (38:1-40:5).
God’s second discourse
A second discourse begins with another challenge
for Job to answer God's questions. Job is asked
whether he truly thinks he can annul God's
judgment, or condemn Him so that he can be
justified (cf. Elihu's charges, 32:2; 33:8-13). If Job
can thunder with a voice like God's, adorn himself
with majesty, splendor, glory and beauty, bring the
proud down low, then God would confess that Job
could save himself. To once more illustrate the
power and wisdom of God, Job is asked to consider
two great creatures, the behemoth and Leviathan. If
man is fearful before them, how then could one
stand against God (40:6-41:34)?
Job's final response
Job's final response is to humbly
acknowledge God's ability to do everything,
and that no purpose of His can be withheld
from Him. He also confesses that he has
spoken of things he did not understand, and
beyond his ability to comprehend. Having
now heard and seen God, Job abhors
himself and repents (42:1-6).
Mazzaroth 54
Mazzaroth (Mazarot ,‫ ַמזָּרֹות‬LXX μαζουρωθ)
is a hapax legomenon of the Hebrew Bible,
found in Job 38:31-32. The similar word
mazalot ( (‫ ַמזָֹּלות‬in 2 Kings 23:3-5 may be
prognostications, found only Job 38:32,
probably meaning "the twelve signs" (of the
zodiac), as in the margin (comp. 2 Kings
6th-century depiction of the zodiac,
mosaic in Beit Alpha, Israel.
Restorative Justice
At the end, God doubled what Job has lost,
including a new set of children (irony).
“After this lived Job an hundred and forty
years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons,
even four generations” (42.16).
“So Job died, being old and full of days”
Job is rewarded with longevity.
The Book of Wisdom
The Book of Wisdom, often referred to
simply as Wisdom or the Book of the
Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the
deuterocaꞌnonical books of the Bible. It is one
of the seven Sapiꞌential or wisdom books of
the ꞌSeptuagint Old Testament, which
includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Song of
Songs), and Sirach.
What lesson can we learn from Job?
1. “work for hire”—doing something not for its
own sake, but for the benefits/reward
2. Projecting a human law onto mother
nature, God and other domains—
insensitivity/arrogance/being self-centered;
3. reposition ourselves in the universe;
Far East—from whose point of view?
The Central Kingdom
Delphi—a point heaven and earth meet
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