Job

Outline of Job

The Mystery of Suffering

The Prologue, Job_1:1-22; Job_2:1-13
1. Job’s Prosperity, Job_1:1-5
 2. The First Council in Heaven, Job_1:6-12
 3. Job’s Adversity, Job_1:13-22
 4. The Second Council in Heaven, Job_2:1-6
 5. Job’s Affliction, Job_2:7-13
The Poem, Job 3:1-42:6
1. Job’s Lament, Job_3:1-26
 2. The First Colloquy, Job 4:1-14:22
3. The Second Colloquy, Job 15:1-21:34
4. The Third Colloquy, Job 22:1-31:40
5. The Address of Elihu, Job 32:1-37:24
6. The Address of Jehovah, Job_38:1-41; Job_39:1-30; Job_40:1-24; Job_41:1-34
7. The Submission of Job, Job 42:1-6
The Epilogue, Job_42:7-17
1. Job and His Friends Reconciled, Job_42:7-9
 2. Job Restored to Prosperity, Job_42:10-17

Introduction

This is one of the great poems or dramas of the world, founded on historical fact. That Job was a real person may be inferred from Eze_14:14 and Jam_5:11.

 Neither the age in which Job lived nor the date of the book itself has ever been definitely determined. The author is unknown. The book is unique in the canon in that it has no immediate connection with the people of Israel or their institutions. The most natural explanation of this fact is that its events antedate the history of Israel.

The problem of the book is world-old-how reconcile the goodness and justice of God with the apparently arbitrary and unequal distribution of affliction and prosperity that we see about us? It shows us how, in the fierce light of reality, men who have prided themselves on their uprightness suddenly become convinced of sin and resigned to God’s dealings.

Of its literary character perhaps no one has written better than Carlyle: “I call this book… one of the grandest things ever written with pen. One feels indeed as if it were not Hebrew-such a noble universality, different from ignoble patriotism or sectarianism, reigns in it. A noble book, all men’s book! It is our first, oldest statement of the never-ending problem-man’s destiny and God’s ways with him here in this earth. And all in such free, flowing outlines; grand in its sincerity, in its simplicity…. Sublime sorrow, sublime reconciliation; oldest choral melody, as of the heart of mankind; so soft and great; as the summer midnight, as the world with its seas and stars! There is nothing written, I think, in the Bible or out of it, of equal literary merit.”