Job Sees The Light - First in a series
Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion
The Book of Job is a steep climb and broad crossing from wonder at the inscrutable trials of a godly man— to the Lord’s complete deliverance of him from spiritual darkness.
In this blog series we will travel verse by verse or by passages with Job and his friends, up the rocky face of God’s permissive will and across endless miles of mental darkness to the glorious new birth that was the appointed end.
The meaning of his name
Scholars have concluded that the name, Job, could mean “hated” or “turn,” connoting repentance, or “where is my father?” or that it bears no literary significance.
Where he lived
Job lived in Uz, perhaps so named for a great-grandson of Noah. Noah’s middle son. Shem had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. (Gen 10:22) Aram fathered Uz. (Gen 10:23)
AN ASIDE: Arphaxad was the grandfather of Eber who was the progenitor of the Hebrews: Eber > Peleg > Reu > Serug > Nahor > Terah > Abram. So maybe Job and Abraham were distant cousins.
Historians say the land of Uz may have been in Bashan, or east of the Sea of Galilee or on the edge of the Arabian desert.
When did he live?
Some reasons for viewing Job among the ancients include:
- According to rabbinical tradition he lived in Abraham’s times. Some view him as Melchizedek to whom Abraham tithed.
- There is no reference in Job to the book of the law, nor of the levitical institutions, priesthood and sacrifices. Sacrifices are mentioned in the beginning and the end of the book. But no priest is indicated. It is the primitive way of approaching God by a sacrifice.
- Nothing is said of the history of Israel, nor is there a quotation from the writings of the prophets.
- We move evidently in this book in a time before the law was given and before Abraham’s seed constituted a nation. (Arno Gaebelein)
- He lived while God was known by the name of God Almighty more than by the name of Jehovah for he is called Shaddai--the Almighty, more than thirty times in this book.
- He lived while divine knowledge was conveyed, not by writing, but by tradition for to that appeals are here made, xxi. 29 xv. 18 v. 1. And we have therefore reason to think that he lived before Moses, because here is no mention at all of the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, or the giving of the law. (Matthew Henry)
Was he a real or fictional man in Scripture?
Real. Scripture says “this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (Job 1:3)
Job is cited in the book of James as an “example.” James wrote, Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)
Would James have instructed the brothers in long suffering or any vital trait based on a fiction? Would he have classed Job among God’s prophets (Jas 5:10) if he were merely a book character? Would he have said that these brothers had seen what the Lord finally brought about if God actually did nothing?
Ezekiel, too, mentions Job and classes him with Noah and Daniel. (Ez 14:14-20) That is something to ponder: The saints will be preserved. (Ps 41:2, Psa79:11, Psa 86:2, Psa 121:7, 2Ti 4:18 et al)