Job (Hebrew אִיּוֹב, Iyov ). Biblical book of the Old Testament , it is the first of the five called with absolute proper poetic and wisdom. Narrative prose occupies a very small space in it; It is found only in the prologue (chap. 1–2), in the epilogue (42.7–17), in a brief transition passage (32.1–6), and in some introductory verses of the dialogue. The rest, practically the entire body of the writing, is poetry.
The author of this masterpiece of world literature Template: Appointment required is revealed in it as an accomplished stylist. With remarkable skill, he manages the resources of the language, combining in an extraordinary way the depth of thought with the beauty of a poetic language, sonorous and full of rhythm, rich in parallels and images of singular plasticity.
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- 1 Outline of content
- 2 Synopsis
- 1 Foreword
- 2 Job’s lament
- 3 Discussion of Job with his friends
- 4 Eliú’s intervention
- 5 God speaks to Job
- 6 Epilogue
- 3 Message
- 4 Comment
- 5 Curiosities
- 6 See also
- 7 Sources
- Prologue (1.1–2.13)
- Discussion between Job and his three friends (3.1–27.23)
- Hymn to wisdom (28.1–28)
- Defense of Job (29.1–31.40)
- Eliú’s intervention (32.1–37.24)
- Jehovah’s Intervention and Job’s Responses (38.1–42.6)
- Epilogue (42.7–17)
The protagonist, Job, is a wealthy landowner (1.3) who lives with his family in Uz, a population believed to be located in the Aramaic region that extended to the southeast of Palestine . A man of faith, described as “perfect and upright, fearful of God and separated from evil” (1.1), Job is the victim of a chain of misfortunes that leave him abruptly childless and without wealth, sick and reduced to a miserable condition (7.4 -5). In spite of all the misfortunes, he trusts God and blesses him (1.21), he does not allow his lips to sin against the Lord, and he even comes to the path of the wife’s complaints asking him: «Will we receive good from God, and Shall we not receive evil? (2.10).
In that situation, three friends of the protagonist come “to sympathize with him and to console him”: “Eliphaz, the Temanite, Bildad, the Suhita and Zofar, the Naamatite” (2.11). Answering Job’s wails, his visitors speak in turn, and he responds to every intervention. In this way, three series of speeches are arranged (3.1–31.40), at the end of which another character appears, the young “Eliú son of Baraquel, the buzita” (32.2, cf. v.6), who takes the floor to rebuke irony to Job and his friends.
None of them replies to Elihu’s long and affected speech (32.6–37.24), after which it is Jehovah himself who intervenes and ends all the dialogue (38–41), which will only be followed by a few words of repentance spoken by Job ( 42.1–6) immediately before the epilogue in prose.
Chapter 3 gives entrance to the first of the poems. Job laments his misfortune in terms that reveal a deep bitterness, very distant from that serene spirit with which in the prologue he faced adversity. Now Job’s complaints and passionate accents predominate, and he unceasingly wonders why God sends suffering to someone who, like him, has always served him faithfully and has done nothing wrong.
Job’s discussion with his friends
Job and his three friends
The answer of his three friends is repeated over and over: Misfortune is the punishment of sin, so Job must have committed a serious sin, when God did it.
punish with so many evils; Only if you repent will you again enjoy the blessings of the Lord. But this argument does not satisfy Job; He knows that he is not guilty, and he trusts that God himself will witness his innocence and justify it and finally reveal the reason for so much suffering (31.35–37; cf. 19.25–27).
After this series of speeches, Eliú intervenes in the colloquium to reproach Job’s daring and the inadequacy of the responses of his three visitors. The style of this section is reiterative and emphatic. Eliú claims the attention of those present, before whom he announces himself as an impartial teacher who, even when young, is well-trained to give lessons and make wise judgments (32.11–22) and accusations (34.7–9, 34–37).
Despite the haughty tone of this character, his words invite reflection. Because he exalts the justice and wisdom, the holiness and the greatness of God, and places a particular emphasis on the pedagogical value of human pain. God, through suffering, can lead the sinner to conversion and salvation (cf. 36.5–16).
God speaks to Job
The last speech belongs to Jehovah, who speaks “to Job from a whirlwind” (38.1; 40.6). God manifests himself thus, breaking the silence that until then he had kept and of which Job had often complained. But, surprisingly, the Lord’s words do not refer to Job’s sufferings, but are an affirmation of the greatness of God, of his power and of the inscrutable wisdom of his universal government.
Job, touched in his conscience, confesses to being an ignorant and daring person who “spoke, and understood nothing” (42.3). Abhorring himself and repenting “in dust and ashes” (42.6), he maintains his trust in God, even when he has not been able to decipher the mystery of the sufferings and the unhappiness of the innocent (38.1–42.6).
In the prose conclusion of the book, Jehovah rebukes the visitors, praises Job’s faithfulness and more than returns what he had lost from his estate, family, and friends (42.10–15).
The book does not pretend to establish a general theory about human suffering, nor a particular one about the unhappiness of those who also love the Lord and act with righteousness. What the book offers is a dialogue between two points of view on the cause of the misfortune: the traditional one, held by Eliphaz, Bildad and Zofar, according to which God rewards in this world the good and punishes the bad; and the one that Job represents refusing to admit that his personal misfortune is due to divine punishment.
In this double and contradictory perspective, the voice of God is finally heard to lead the dialogue to the recognition of the human inability to understand the mystery of divine designs.
Job , as a literary phenomenon, must first say that its author was an exceptional poet, both as regards the content of the work and the command of the language. A poet who, in addition, had a great experience of life and a critical and daring mind that impelled him to discuss doctrinal positions considered then as irrefutable.
What is not known is the identity of the poet or the time in which he lived; Regarding these or other personal data, the text says nothing. However, based on certain indications, it can be recognized that the work went through various stages before reaching its final form, possibly around the century. V (ane)
- ” Earth hangs on nothing,” Job 26: 7 Scientists came to this conclusion in just over 100 years. At the time the book was written, the Earth was believed to be flat and supported by elephants , turtles, or a great giant called Atlas.
- “The weight of the wind”. Job 28:25 This “weight” of air is physically known as atmospheric pressure . From the days of Aristotle , through the Middle Ages and up to the Renaissance, the scientific world believed that air had no weight. It was not until the Italian Torricelli, in the year 1643, invented the barometer , that this scientific truth was confirmed.
- The water reaches the Earth through the rain, runs through the mountains towards the rivers, returns to the oceans and evaporates, to fall again as rain. This very simple concept was not clearly recognized by science until the year 1740, by Perrault and Mariotte. Job 36: 27-28 identified this process of rain formation thousands of years in advance.
- “Light can be divided”. Job 38:24. Physically it is known as light scattering . Sunlight divides and blue light reaches our eyes, that’s why the sky looks blue (Discovered by Isaac Newton , many years later).
- The book of Job is the first and the one that most describes the character “Satan” within the Old Testament, a figure so usual in the New Testament .
- 2 creatures of dubious identification are mentioned, the Behemoth and the Leviathan . Some commentators suggest that the author refers to the hippopotamus and the crocodile respectively.