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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Job

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WRITER: Unknown. The following have been suggested: Moses, Ezra, Solomon, Job and Elihu. That Elihu is the writer seems most likely (Job 32:16).

DATE: Unknown. Evidently it was written during the patriarchal period. Did Job know Jacob? It is possible. It was written before Exodus, it would seem, as there is no reference to the Mosaic Law nor to any of the events recorded in the Book of Exodus. Here are the arguments which seem to place Job with the patriarchs:

1. Length of Job’s life span (Job 42:16).
2. Job acted as high priest in his family.
3. Eliphaz the Temanite was descended from Esau’s eldest son (Genesis 36:10, 11).

PURPOSE: Many problems are raised and settled in this book.

1. To determine why the righteous suffer. (This is not the primary teaching.)
2. To refute the slander of Satan.
3. To reveal Job to himself.
4. To teach patience. Was Job patient?
5. Primary purpose: To teach repentance.

God selected the best man who ever lived (Christ is the exception) and showed that he needed to repent. In contrast, we usually choose the worst man who repents as an illustration. Manasseh, a most ungodly king, repented; Saul of Tarsus repented; St. Francis of Assisi, a debauched nobleman, repented; and Jerry MacAuley, a drunken bum, repented. God chose the best man and showed that he repented — “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5, 6).

ESTIMATION: Tennyson said of the Book of Job, “The greatest poem, whether of ancient or modern literature.” Carlyle said, “I call [Job] one of the grandest ever written with pen.” Luther said, “More magnificent and sublime than any other book of Scripture.” Moorehead said, “The book of Job is one of the noblest poems in existence.”

Poetical Books ← Prior Section
Outline for Job Next Section →
Notes for Esther ← Prior Book
Notes for Psalms Next Book →
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