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Introduction to the Books of the Bible

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BOOK : Job

Description : a story of suffering, questioning and restoration

Author: unknown

Date written : unknown

Chapters : 42


Brief Synopsis:

•  Gets its name from the main player, Job, who suffers and argues.
•  We are given an insight behind the scenes in heaven (Ch.1 & 2) which explains all that happens to Job and which must be remembered throughout.
•  Satan is allowed to move against Job who has the most intense suffering.
•  Three friends come to console him and end up arguing with him about the reasons for his state.
•  At the end he encounters God and realises that there is no point arguing with the Almighty sovereign God.
•  (Beware! Don't try grabbing verses out of the argument part of this book because not everything the ‘friends' say, is right.)


Outline :


Ch.1,2 Prologue
Ch. 3-27 Dialogue-Dispute
Ch.3-14 First Cycle of Speeches

Ch.3 Job's Opening Lament

Ch.4,5 Eliphaz

Ch.6,7 Job's reply

Ch.8 Bildad

Ch.9,10 Job's reply

Ch.11 Zophar

Ch.12-14 Job's reply

Ch.15-21 Second Cycle of Speeches

Ch.15 Eliphaz

Ch.16,17 Job's reply

Ch.18 Bildad

Ch.19 Job's reply

Ch.20 Zophar

Ch.21 Job's reply

Ch.22-26 Third Cycle of Speeches

Ch.22 Eliphaz

Ch.23,24 Job's reply

Ch.25 Bildad

Ch.26,27 Job's reply

Ch.28 Interlude on Wisdom
Ch.29-42 Monologues
Ch.29-31 Job's Call for Vindication
Ch.32-37 Elihu's Speeches
Ch.38-42 Divine Discourses



Key Verses :


Because there are so many facets to the arguments in this book we are not including extensive verses but would simply ask you, as you read through those arguments to bear in mind the divine assessment of Job at beginning at end:


Assessment of Job

1:22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

2:10 In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

42:7-9 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.


NB. This is important to hold on to when Job's friends try to accuse him of sinning


Job comes to Understanding

40:1-4 The LORD said to Job: "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!" Then Job answered the LORD: "I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth
42:1-6 Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, `Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. "You said, `Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."
42:10-12 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first.



Concluding Comments


•  The ultimate message of this book is don't try reasoning or rationalising suffering; you only get understanding through revelation from God.
•  If you read this book, in the early chapters catch and empathise with the anguish that Job is suffering and remember, suffering people don't want logical answers, they want loving and accepting!
•  As you go through the arguments of the friends, ask yourself is what they are saying actually true?
•  For this book we thoroughly recommend for the person who wishes to really get to grips with it, that you use the Meditations referred to below, and be prepared for some solid reading!.



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