The Old Testament is divided into three divisions: Historical (Genesis-Esther); Poetical

(Job-Song of Solomon); Prophetical (Isaiah-Malachi). Approximately the same number of chapters are divoted to each division. The book of Job begins the poetical section.

The poetical books are thus called because they are composed almost entirely of Hebrew verse.

The poetcial element, however, is not limited to the five poetical books. Almost every part of the Bible contains poetry. Large portions of its prose, especially in the prophetic books, rise by noble thoughts and beautiful sentiments into the sphere of genuine poetry.

Chronologically the book of Job belongs to the period of Genesis. Tradition ascribes the book to

Moses, indicating it was written during his stay in Midian. If this is correct, Job is the oldest book

in the Bible, even preceding the writing ofthe book of Genesis.

The last of the histrocial books, Esther, and the first of the poetical, Job, have much in common.

They present two eastern princes, Ahasuerus and Job, in the hands of God and Satan. Job is

considered to the the greatest man, and Ahasuerus the greates king in the East. Both books exhibit God's constant care. In the one case, a beloved man; in the other, a cherished nation.

Both books show Satan's hostility to individuals and nations.

In both books God is glorified, Satan is defeated, and man is blessed.


(Chapter 1 - 2)

Job is the principle speak and character in the book. It is significant that the name in Hebrew means; the one persecuted or the one who turns to God.

There is little ground for questioning Job as a historical character. In Ezekial 14, he is mentioned

with Noah and Daniel, as one of the three great intercessors in whom God delighted. In the New Testament, James referes to both Job and Elijah in Chapter 5. If one is recognized as a historical

character, the other must be also.

If Job were only a mythological character, such implication would be given either in the book itself or in the references to it. Christ plainly designated His parables as such, and no other method of discernment between fact and fiction in Scriptures would be worthy of the Word of


All the other great poems in the Bible, such as the song of Moses in Exodus 15 and the song of Deborah in Judges 5, are based entirely upon historical incidents.


The subject of the book of Job is not the conversion of a sinner, but the consecration of a saint.

The theme of the book is the study of affliction.

Studies on Nature

No other book in the Bible contains as much natural theology. The characters presented facts in astronomy, which have not been generaly known until recent days. Their knowledge of physical geography and zoology was most accurate. One of the oldest books in the world, the book of Job refers to the rotundity of the earth; the suspension of the earth in space, the circular motion and density of the clouds, the names of present-day stars and constellations, the rotation and the revolution of the earth.

Study of Satan

The book of Job is unusual in its study of Satan. No other book reveals such information about the 'prince of this world'. God disclosed the fact that the adversary is a person; that he has great power; that he controls the winds and lightning of heaven, and plagues and diseases of earth.

He is the 'accuser of the brethren.' But while he is the author of all evil, he cannot tempt man without God's permission. Satan is presented in his role as an accuser of the brethren. When God calls his attention to the righteousness of Job, whom Satan had been unable to corrupt. Satan charges Job with a mercenary spirit and declares that if God took away Job's temporal blessings

, he would no longer be loyal to Him. God accepts Satan's challenge, not so much that Job's loyalty might be tested, as that the power of God's grace to keep His servant might be demonstrated.



It is possible to determine with some degree of accuracy the time in which Job lived. He was one

of the patriarchs, living probably before Abraham. At the time of his trial, he was married and

had grown sons and daughter, the former living in home of their own.

Early marriages were not common among the patriarchs. Isaac was forty years of age and Jacob

eighty-four. Job may have been approxaimtely sixty years old when the scene opens in the first chapter. Since he lived 140 years after this testing, he must have been at least 200 years old when he died. As the longetivity of the human race underwent a gradual incline after the deluge

until the Exodus, a study of Bible genealogy in Gensis 11 indicates that the period of Job could

not consistently be placed later than Terah, the father of Abraham.

Some suggest that Job lived between the building of the Twoer of Bale, and the call of Abraham.

The absence of any reference to the children of Israel and their laws, which is found in every

other book of the Old Testament, and the failure to mention the Sodom and Gomorrah

catastrophe, would suggest a period prior to Abraham.

Moreover the religion of Job was the religion of the patriarchs, when the medium between God

and man was the family altar, and not the officiating priest of the Mosaic dispensation.