Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

The Book of Job, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 4329

Research Paper

A Man Named Job and the Book Where His Name was Carved

The words of Almighty God in the Holy Bible serve as guidance and life-lessons to the readers. The book of Job’s author and the date it was written are not yet unfolded. Most likely, it was written between the seventh and fourth centuries BCE. The assumed exact date of publication is after 586 BCE. 1 It is also one of the oldest contents of the Bible. It was coherently and poetically written and produces a complex, incredibly powerful and daring contents that deliver subtle meaning, allusions, parody, quotations, narrative structure, irony, etc. 2  It is considered as one of the most debated and intriguing books among the Hebrew Scriptures and tells a story about Job, a man who had a reputation of being upright and blameless, one who had great fear in God and refused to accept the evil. 1

There are three theories on the authorship of the Book of Job. The first one is that the book was written by Job, himself. This theory was made because of the line in Job 19: 23-24 NIV, saying, “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!” It entails the desire of Job to have such book written. Second theory is that Moses was the writer of the book. Moses lived during the same period of time and assumed that he had enough knowledge about the happenings for him to compose the book. It is assumed that Moses added the prologue            on second and third chapter and provided a setting and the epilogue on chapter 42. However, this theory is denied because of the proximity of the place where Moses lived and the poetic style of writing which is different from the Pentateuch. Lastly, the third theory is that an anonymous writer during the period of the return from the captivity of Babylonian made the Book of Job. This theory suggests that the book was passed from generation to another through oral discussions and was finally put [1]into writing centuries after the occurrence of the events in Job’s life. The allegorized prologues and vocabulary during this time period were similar to what were written in the Book of Job. 3

The realness of the existence of Job is sometimes questioned by some scholars. Some studies say that he only represented men who were suffering during that time. 4 However, evidence suggests that Job actually existed in the Middle East and that he really experienced the occurrences written in the book. One of the evidences that assume the real existence of Job was written in Ezekiel 14:20 wherein Job, Noah and Daniel were named as epitomes of holiness. In the New Testament, James 5:11 described Job as an epitome of patience. Likewise, archaeologists found out that there were men who existed in the past named Job. This finding supported the fact that Job is a name commonly used before. It is assumed that Job lived during the time of Abraham. The exact location of Job’s life is not known apart from the statement that he lives in Uz. However, some studies suggest that he lived in the north eastern part of the Palestine located in the land of Aram or now known as Syria. This theory is based on Genesis 10:23 saying that Uz was an offspring of Aram. Likewise, Job 1:3 stated that Job was the greatest man among all the men who lived in East. On the other hand, some scholars suggest that Job lived in Edom, the southern part of Palestine. Eliphaz, who was one of his friends, lived in Teman which was part of Edom.

Job was a good and godly individual. He had a strong character and unparalleled righteousness. In 1:18 of the book, Job was described as a servant of God who feared Him, refused evil, blameless and upright. He was like Isaac, Abraham and Jacob who also served as a family priest. In Job 1:3, he was described as the greatest man among all the people who lived in the East. He was prosperous and possessed numerous domesticated animals and owned a big house of servants and worker.

5The intention of the Book of Job is not to completely provide answers to man’s questions of why he is suffering from great pain and why he needs to feel debilitation and severe terminal diseases. Instead, it narrows down the questions of an individual who has existed with a righteous and honourable life and is experiencing pain and asks the question why? The message of the book is to make the readers realize that all men facing suffering and struggles in their life and ask God the question why would not receive any answer from Him. According to Corinthians 5:7, questions about suffering will not help a man because of the presence of things that will not help him increase his faith. Faith is only present when people believe in God during the days they don’t understand the reasons behind everything. 6 [2]

Reasons for Sufferings

Suffering is considered as a test. It challenges man’s faith, character, values and love for God. These tests will either make or break a man or make someone bitter or better. Bitterness happens when people jump into a wrong conclusion and perspective about God’s purpose for bringing them pain and suffering. On the other hand, suffering can make a person feel better by opening his eyes to the power, wonder, wisdom, love and goodness of God. 8 Sometimes, suffering is given to people as a punishment. It can be traced back during the time when the Israel children failed to go to the Promise Land with faith in God. They had to wander in the wilderness for thirty-eight years because of their committed sin. 3 The deportation of Israeli from the Babylon was a very painful moment in their lives. It served as a great challenge for the people to have covenant relationship with God and understanding and encounter with the evil. It was indeed a normal practice for them to accept evil and embrace suffering as a disciplinary result of their infidelity and disobedience to God. 4

The Deuteronomic view of the covenant between God and Israeli (Deut 30:15-20) implies that people should establish a faithful and righteous relationship with God in order to free themselves from evil of suffering.  In Corinthian 5:5, Paul showed that suffering implies a corrective intention. Paul said that as a disciplinary action, there should be a physical intervention of life’s consequence to bring back well-being with God as well as with the whole body. On the other hand, in John 9, suffering may be a prelude of God’s reversal in the future. A blind man was asked by Jesus who had sinned and he answered none. The blind man and his parents were not sinners which made them undeserving to get punishment from God. Instead, being blind was a way for him to discover the greatness of God when he got his sight after his conversation with Jesus. Likewise, suffering may be due to spiritual agony. It was felt by the son of God, Jesus, who agonized in the Garden of Gethsemene with his sweat of blood. Another reason for suffering is that God wants an individual’s suffering to become an inspiration to other men. Paul, the apostle, suffered and became an inspiration and source of strength of the whole church. 8

On the other hand, people sometimes give wrong answers to their questions of suffering. 5 Some people think that God bring them pain because they have done something wrong. For instance, a woman who realized that she has a cancer may think that she got the disease because she had failures as a mother and God wanted her to suffer. Likewise, some people think that God does not care. These individuals think that they are not deserving of God’s attention and care. They think that if God really cared, there would be no disease and problems to suffer from. Similarly, during moments of suffering, there are people who think that the control is not in God’s hands. They believe that in spite of the fact that God can control some things in life, He cannot manipulate those that cause pain, harm and infliction to the human’s life. People assume that God can only rule the Heavens but definitely not the Earth.

Another explanation that people give is that God is not capable of stopping Satan. People who view this depend on Ephesians 2:2 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 descriptions that Satan is the prince of the air and that he is the god of the present age, respectively. These people believe that God is only for the Heavens and that He cannot stop the evil from harming the creatures in this world. Satan wants people from serving God to stop. Lastly, people believe that there is suffering in their lives because God is not fair. These individuals tend to compare what other people have and that these people are most of the time, do not deserve what they have. This sentiment is similar to Habakkuk (1:13) saying, “Why do You hold Your tongue when the wicked devours one more righteous than he?”

Job’s Sufferings

Job’s suffering was not related to punishment, inspirations, spiritual agony and other reasons that were mentioned above. The reason behind his sufferings is unknown. Job said, “I don’t have the foggiest idea why this has come to me. I can’t see any purpose to it. I don’t know what God is up to. I certainly don’t deserve it”. 8 God declared Job as a righteous man which resulted to the complexity of his sufferings. His friends Elphaz, Bildad and Zophar kept telling him that he had sins of his own however, their argument was not proven. It was Elihu who proved the three friends wrong and said that serving God brings out a profit and that if Job is not receiving any, there should be something wrong with his life. Elihu implied that God’s sovereignty liberates Him from any mistake and that the wrongness was on the side of Job.

On the other hand, some studies say that Job’s suffering was special because it was Satan who chose to attack him. 5 Since God said that Job was righteous, He invited people to companion him so that he could bless the individuals around him and the world where he lived in. Because of Satan’s desire to stop this blessing, he induced great suffering to Job. This is also the reason why the history of Israelis was filled with torment, why Jesus’s life featured his own agony and why true and devoted Christians suffered the most. Therefore, it can be said that Satan attacked Job because he was not like other individuals. Satan wanted to end his righteousness and the blessings provided by God. The Prologue, chapter one to two, depicted Satan as a challenge for Job’s righteousness. Satan removed all Job’s material wealth as well as the lives of his daughters and sons. With these first hardships, Job 1:22 stated “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Continuing the challenge, Satan started to remove the patriarch’s health, induced plagues and tempted Job’s wife to say curses and death wishes towards God. Still, Job remained faithful to God in Job 2:10. 3

However, Job started to curse the moment he was born. He questioned “why” seven times from Job 3:11, 12, 16, 20 and 23. He asked, “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Why did the knees receive me? Why the breasts that I should nurse? Why was I not hidden like a stillborn child? Why is the light given to him who is in misery? Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden?”6 He started demanding for answers to his questions from God. Job said in Chapter 3:3-9:

Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night which said, ‘a boy is conceived’. May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, nor the light shine on it. Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, let the darkness seize it, Let it not rejoice among the days of the year, Let it not come into the number of the months. Behold, let the night be barren; Let no joyful shout enter it. Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan (the crocodile). Let the stars of its twilight be darkened; Let it wait for light but have none, And let it not see the breaking dawn. 5

God’s Revelations about Himself and His Answers

Job’s ultimate desire is to hear the response of God about his questions of suffering. Finally, God answered him with an imposing from a whirlwind. God’s message to God was in two parts. The first one was a mere introduction of His message which is included in Job 38: 1-3, while the remaining part can be read from Job 38:4, Chapter 41. The second part included the questions God raised towards Job. God’s answer was overwhelming and contained impressions, questions, representations and challenges. 7  God discussed about elements of the design and structure of Creation. He talked about His roles as the Creator and Preserver of everything here on Earth. These statements of God made Job realize how poor his power was to understand things that were happening in his life. God made him realize that His insights and actions go beyond the capabilities and knowledge owned by Job. God’s speech was not merely intended to explain, justify or excuse himself; it was intended to challenge man to put his trust to God. 6

In Chapter 38-39, God had spoken and revealed Himself. In Job 38:2, God asked and referred to Elihu, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” In Job 38:4, God talked about the foundations of the Earth, the continental rocks, the globe’s surfaces and its central core. Job 38:8 talked about God’s speech about Him carefully balancing the planet’s land area and water. Job 38:9 depicted how God provided a greenhouse protective covering, the rings of water and the clouds during the Creation period. He then compared the world’s underground supply of water, depth of the oceans to the moral degradation of demise (Job 38: 16-17). God then talked about the snows and how it served as water reserves for the annual irrigation of the land. God also used these during the moments of battle and trouble just like in the flood that devastated Kishon during the battle of Barak and Deborah against Sisera (Job 38:22). In Job 38: 31, 32, God also spoke about how accurate the astronomical figures are. He described the stellar constellations including the Pleiades, Orion, Arcturus as well as the zodiac signs. Job 38:41 provided an explanation of the sustainability provided by God to the animals and how He balances the food chain. Job 39:1,2 also talked about the diversity on the periods of gestations in all faunas of the earth. God also spoke about the rich selection of plumage given to wild fowls in Job 39:13. The conclusion part was written in the fortieth chapter with God’s statement, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.” 8 God’s point in this statement is that Job should learn how to trust Him even more because He was able to take care of all the other elements existing in this world.

God rejected Job’s desire to let the darkness cover the earth because of his agony and suffering. God told him the He made night and day because every creature in this world needs light from the moon and stars. He rejected darkness because He was on the side of existence and He knows that light is an essential of life. God also talked about how the sea came from a womb and was given birth (Job 38:8) because He knows that the earthlings wound need it. God also questioned if the rain had a father and from whose womb the ice came from. He asked about it because He wanted to tell Job that He put limits on water because He never wants it to overtake and destroy the land. God was also referring to balance with His questions. When Job desired for death, God answered with a question that death is not ease, freedom and rest. He said that Death is something else and that Job had gone wrong. God is definitely a provider of life and that He rejects death as an option for a man’s freedom and ease. 5

Job’s Repentance

God’s exposition was enough for Job to understand that there were more than the things he knew about his life. Job answered yes to the question of servicing God for nothing. Job’s answer was yes because he believed that serving God should not be after His rewards, it should be built with a foundation of heart, loyalty and a desire for the presence of God in a man’s life. This presence can survive loss and chastity – darkness and hardness, which will later on result to love and light. 6

Reflections

The Book of Job provided a portrayal of God which can be hard for some readers. Some believe that the prologue portrayed a selfish, intervening at will in a man’s life, and arbitrary kind of God. On the other hand, the God of Job’s friends was described as too reacting based on a rigid system of retribution and reward and too mechanical. Likewise, Job’s God during his time of anguish was depicted as harassing humans, too violent and an anarchist. In Jobs 28, people’s commentary on the poet’s God was too inaccessible and remote. However, some commended the speeches of God.  Victor Hugo said that if all literatures would be destroyed and he had to save one work, it would be Job. Some considered the Book as the greatest poem for both ancient and modern era of literature. Daniel Webster thought that the Book was a composition of a literary genius and that it is one of the most outstanding compositions written at any language for any age. 9

During moments of despair and suffering, people often question the happenings in their lives. People believe that God is a God of love and that He treats His creations right. People believe that God only wants health, prosperity and goodness for His people. However, in times of great pain, people tend to ask questions, How could God do this? Why is He inducing such pain? The exposition of God when Job kept on asking Him to answer his questions is a fact that God answers people’s prayers and that He is always around. He is definitely not a silent God (woods). A man’s relationship with God is possible with communication that is why it is always taught to the believers that they should always say their thoughts into prayers to reach God. When God asked Job about the existence of various animals, there are some of them which are not known by Job. God asked about this because He was pointing out that there are animals that may or may not matter to Job, but all of them mattered to Him. Likewise, it is a way of saying that there are sufferings that may not matter to man but it will always matter to God. In addition, since God talked about things that Job didn’t know, Job realized that he’s not worthy to question things because of his limited knowledge. God also talked about Job’s trying to question God’s goodness. God rebutted by saying that if Job questioned Him, then it must mean that he knows more about goodness compared to God.

All these statements from God prove that there are things in life that are beyond the human knowledge. These things may not be learned by a single creature in the span of his life therefore, it is only God who knows everything. Likewise, God’s concern about all the elements of life is evidence that He cares about all the creatures in the world – that God is fair and that He does not choose certain people to get sufferings or blessings in this life. When God talked about the beasts that were described similarly to a hippopotamus and crocodile means that this life is very unpredictable and that people are bound to face both predictable and unpredictable dangers. With this, it is always man’s choice to continue imagining dangers or believe that God is always in control.

All throughout their dialog, God never told Job about His plans of bringing His son Jesus to the world to let people understand about His love and Glory. Still, Job managed and chose to believe that God cares and that He is in control. Today, people have already read great stories and lessons from the Bible and knew about the purpose of the existence of Jesus Christ, and that is to redeem the world from sin. God sacrificed His own son Jesus Christ to take away the sufferings of men. However, men still chose to disbelieve and reject the love and capabilities of God. Likewise, the dialog did not include the answers to Job’s questions. God only talked about random aspects of His creations. But still, Job accepted and believed God. He did not blame God and continued the righteousness in His life. If Job knew the reasons, it would probably not change anything since everything had already occurred. This means to say that God does not want people to question Him because in Faith there is no questioning. He just wanted men to [3]move on and realize that people do not know everything about life and that answered questions would not change a thing about their existence.

The dialog of God with Job is a proof that God is not the reason of man’s suffering. God only talked about His creations and His actions but He never talked about His will to induce pain to humans. Thus, it should be said that men should not blame God for his sufferings. Also, God is suffering with men. God’s sufferings happened in the presence of Jesus. He took away His son Jesus and put his spirit upon men so that God could suffer with humans at the same time. Likewise, God has plans for men’s suffering. In the New Testament, He put Jesus Christ as a redeemer of men’s sins and He also talked about the revelations that await men in the future.

Reading the Book of Job may cause the reader to gain and perceive sixteen truths. 10 These truths include (1) People should not limit the capabilities of God to a predetermined notion of recompense or retribution theology, (2) sin may not always be the reason and cause of man’s suffering, (3) people who accept the false tenets about pain and suffering may cause them to put the blame on God, (4) a recompensive theology destroys the ways of God and make humans set their own standards and interpretations of the actions of God, (5) Satan enjoys the fact that people believe the wrong concept of suffering and use it against the righteousness of men, (6) a strong relationship with God is the only way to get justice from the evil’s injustice, (7) believers see life as God’s way of providing purpose, (8) people do not have all the knowledge in this world, (9) God has the wisdom that men do not have, (10) blessings from God are based on grace, (11) people can face sufferings with their faith, (12) God allows people to feel suffering, pain and even demise if these are for His own purpose, (13) prosperity theology is not included in God’s plan, (14) suffering has its own preventive reason, (15) the greatest saints and true Christians struggle with underserved pain and suffering, (16) suffering is designed to glorify God.

Bibliography

1  N. Wolterstoff. The Silence of God who Speaks. Philosophia. Vol. 30. 2003.

2 M. Grinber. The Book of Job: Approaches, Contexts and Readings. 2011

3 B.T. Arnold & B. Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament, A Christian Survey. 2nd edition. 2008.

4  H.S. Kushner. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Alfred A. Knopf Inc. 1981.

5 RBC Ministries. Knowing God Through Job. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2002.

6 A.F. Badalamenti. Job’s Story and Family Health. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 48. 2009.

7 F. Johnson. A Phonological Existential Analysis to the Book of Job. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 44. 2005.

8 P.J. Pellach. The Suffering of Job: He is Every Person and No-One. Perspectives of Human Suffering. 2012

9 Mark A. Copeland. The Book of Job: Introduction to the Book. 2006

10 Larry J. Waters. Reflections on Suffering from the Book of Job. Dallas Theological Seminary. 1997

 

1 N. Wolterstoff. The Silence of God who Speaks. Philosophia. Vol. 30. 2003.

2 M. Grinber. The Book of Job: Approaches, Contexts and Readings. 2011

3  B.T. Arnold & B. Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament, A Christian Survey. 2nd edition. 2008.

4 H.S. Kushner. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Alfred A. Knopf Inc. 1981.

5 RBC Ministries. Knowing God Through Job. 16 July 2012. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002.

6 A.F. Badalamenti. Job’s Story and Family Health. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 48. 2009

7 F. Johnson. A Phonological Existential Analysis to the Book of Job. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 44. 2005.

8 P.J. Pellach. The Suffering of Job: He is Every Person and No-One. Perspectives of Human Suffering. 2012

9  M.A. Copeland. The Book of Job: Introduction to the Book. 16 July 2012. 2006

10 L.J. Waters. Reflections on Suffering From The Book of Job. 16 July 2012. Bibliotheca Sacra. 436-51. 1997

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Research Paper Samples & Examples

Non-Traditional Medicinal Choices, Research Paper Example

Introduction Non-traditional healthcare practices and medicine have been on the rise recently due to so many people suffering from chronic illnesses (Lee, 2006). Contrary to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1333

Research Paper

Adolescent Depression Awareness Program, Research Paper Example

Major depression is a common disorder among teenagers and has led to significant mortality rates. In the United States, suicide was the third leading cause [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1787

Research Paper

Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical Structure, Research Paper Example

Introduction Nurses are expected to take theory and implement it in practice. In order to do this there must be a transitional phase of knowledge [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1390

Research Paper

Buddhism: Suffering and Solutions, Research Paper Example

The causes of suffering in Buddhism go hand in hand with a set of proposed solutions.  While suffering is rooted in ignorance and desire, the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 563

Research Paper

Regulatory Challenges of International Logistics, Research Paper Example

Abstract The below paper is designed to review the main challenges that international regulatory requirements create for the international logistics industry, and supply chain managers. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1455

Research Paper

Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture? Research Paper Example

Within the essay, Orton discusses the relationship that has been developed within society between women and the culture that they are a part of.  The [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 239

Research Paper

Non-Traditional Medicinal Choices, Research Paper Example

Introduction Non-traditional healthcare practices and medicine have been on the rise recently due to so many people suffering from chronic illnesses (Lee, 2006). Contrary to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1333

Research Paper

Adolescent Depression Awareness Program, Research Paper Example

Major depression is a common disorder among teenagers and has led to significant mortality rates. In the United States, suicide was the third leading cause [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1787

Research Paper

Conceptual-Theoretical-Empirical Structure, Research Paper Example

Introduction Nurses are expected to take theory and implement it in practice. In order to do this there must be a transitional phase of knowledge [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1390

Research Paper

Buddhism: Suffering and Solutions, Research Paper Example

The causes of suffering in Buddhism go hand in hand with a set of proposed solutions.  While suffering is rooted in ignorance and desire, the [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 563

Research Paper

Regulatory Challenges of International Logistics, Research Paper Example

Abstract The below paper is designed to review the main challenges that international regulatory requirements create for the international logistics industry, and supply chain managers. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1455

Research Paper

Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture? Research Paper Example

Within the essay, Orton discusses the relationship that has been developed within society between women and the culture that they are a part of.  The [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 239

Research Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!