uplifting thoughts and inspiration on faith
The name Job is the English translation of the Hebrew name Iyov which means “persecuted, hated”
On the surface Job is a long, boring, somewhat confusing book and one might question how it ever came to be grouped with the “wisdom” books as it is hard to ascertain any “wisdom” in this tale of woe. For the casual reader of the Bible you may even want to omit Job from your reading list and stick with warm and fuzzy verses like John 3:16 and the 23rd Psalm.
However, for the soul in desperate search of God, for purpose to life, for direction, and for a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Messiah, Savior, and Lord, run as fast as you can to the book of Job and read it over and over. As you grow and mature in God, His grace and wisdom are imparted to you through the study of His word. The deeper you dig the more you see the book of Job as the compilation of practically every topic and theme contained in all of scripture.
The more you study the word of God the more you are able to see emerging symbolism, themes, direct lines from Old Testament to New Testament and back. Suddenly you are reading the Psalms and you realize that even though David is writing somehow he is talking about Jesus. You start to understand and grasp that often in the Old Testament the mention of angels, or The Angel of the Lord is Jesus. You understand that the when Jacob wrestled with the angel and refused to let go until he was blessed the angel was Jesus. You know that the presence Moses conversed with in the burning bush was Jesus. From cover to cover you read and discover and do it again.
Your mind starts to map the verses and you see Jesus everywhere. You see the foreshadowing, the prophecies, the foundation of the trinity. God the Father in Whom we trust. The Holy Spirit of Truth who directs and guides the hearts of the chosen of God. The Messiah, Savior, Lord, Son of God Jesus Christ through Whom all of creation was brought into being and is held together in Him.
When these things begin to come into clarity you become weak in reverent awe of the magnitude of God. The scriptures tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Job is a wisdom book. The book of Job lays out the concept of the magnitude of God.
The authorship of Job is most often attributed to Moses who is also considered the author of the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible. When studying the Bible it is important to consider the author, the setting, and the audience in order to better understand the content and themes presented. The modern book that we call the Bible is not presented to us in chronological order. If it were then the book of Job would be found immediately after Genesis.
This question has been debated since ancient times with some believing Job was a Jew, some believing Job was a gentile, and some believing Job is simply a character in a parable to present provocative food for thought with a moral at the end.
The actual truth of this debate is rendered moot due first of all to the fact that even if Job was a real man and this is an actual account no one living today would be able to meet him or shake his hand or ask him any questions regarding his story. Getting caught up such debates and investigations only leads one to spin their wheels and become distracted from the whole point of the story of Job.
“Tomorrow, if all literature was to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I should save Job.” ~ Victor HugoFrench poet, novelist, and dramatist who was the most well-known of all the French Romantic writers and author of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables.
“…the greatest poem, whether of ancient or modern literature.” ~ Lord Alfred TennysonPoet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria’s reign, credited with writing memorable works including The Charge of the Light Brigade and often quoted maxims such as:
“The Book of Job taken as a mere work of literary genius, is one of the most wonderful productions of any age or of any language.” ~ Daniel WebsterA leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. His Reply to Hayne in 1830 was regarded as “the most eloquent speech ever delivered in Congress.”
The original audience for the book of Job was the enslaved Israelite children. It is believed Moses intended to offer some consolation as they suffered as slaves under the Egyptians. Moses was no stranger to the concept of the “haves” and “have nots”. Moses himself was saved from the massacre of baby boys in Egypt when Pharaoh’s daughter rescued him from his basket floating along the Nile river and raised him as her own in the palace.
Moses was a Hebrew and yet fate, which we know was divine intervention, slated him for greatness and he was raised in the lap of luxury while he watched his Hebrew brothers suffer. It was hard for him to find equity in his situation. Though raised in the palace of the leader of Egypt, Moses found his identity in his Hebrew heritage.
Exodus 2:11-14 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
One day, when Moses was a grown man, he went out to visit his kinsmen; and he watched them struggling at forced labor. He saw an Egyptian strike a Hebrew, one of his kinsmen. He looked this way and that; and when he saw that no one was around, he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. The next day, he went out and saw two Hebrew men fighting with each other. To the one in the wrong he said, “Why are you hitting your companion?” He retorted, “Who appointed you ruler and judge over us? Do you intend to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian?”
Irony: Moses could have relished his privileged life in the palace with no regard for the suffering of the Hebrew people. Yet, his loyalty was not to Egypt but to the Hebrews and provided the impetus to become a murderer for their sake. Instead of seeing Moses as a hero meting out vigilante justice, his Hebrew brothers, no doubt in their jealousy, turned on him. The intent of his heart was a not factored in by the Egyptians or the Hebrews. He was rejected by both.
In a nutshell here is the gist of the story of Job
The bulk of the 40 chapters of Job are speeches by Job’s friends and Job’s responses to what they have to offer him in terms of wisdom, insight, and advice regarding his present situation.
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