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Overview of Job
Author's Preface
About the Author



Commentary on the Book of Job

Prepared by Walter Lang

In this book we shall develop the premise that Job is the original author of Job, chapters 3-31 and that Elihu is the original author of chapters 32-42:6. We believe Solomon used these as source material, adding the Prologue (Job 1-2) and the Epilogue (Job 42:7-17), plus the Introduction to Elihu's speeches (Job 32:1-6). At first we wrestled with the idea that Solomon who, according to I Kings 4:31, was the wisest of all men, gained wisdom and style from Job. Many commentators, including Luther, believed that Solomon had used original documents, adding the drama and poetry and, perhaps, the difficult style. After our thorough study of the book, we are now convinced that Job, indeed, was a great man and that Elihu properly attributes prophetic inspiration to himself (Job 32:8, 33:1).

It is our opinion that Solomon gained his style and most of his wisdom from the book of Job as originally written. Solomon added the Prologue (Job 1-2), the Epilogue (Job 42:7-17) and the Introduction to Elihu's speeches (Job 32:1-6). These are in prose. The speeches of Job and his friends, and of Elihu, were originally written in poetry; Solomon made no changes. We believe that Solomon is responsible finally for the inspiration of the Biblical book of Job. There is a marked similarity between Job and the other books by Solomon -- Ecclesiastes and Proverbs. There seem to be quotations from Job and Elihu in Deuteronomy and in the Psalms. This upholds the position that the original writings were in existence prior to the time of Solomon.

Challenge of the Eternal Why

Job is best known for addressing the question of why the righteous suffer and, seemingly, the wicked prosper. This is called the "eternal why". Six answers are found in the book of Job.

(1) The first answer is that of Satan who insists that Job is righteous only because he has been blessed. And it was Satan who instigated Job's trials. In Job 1:7-12 and 2:1-6 is the revelation that God permits the devil to enter heaven, along with angels, in order to challenge Him. In this instance he challenged God with regard to Job. In Zech 3:2 Satan even somewhat challenges God in heaven, with the angel of the Lord. The Zechariah passage may even be based on the Job passage.

(2) The second answer is that Job must have committed a secret sin although God declared him perfect (Hebrew) תם tam (Job 1:8 and 2:3). Still, the three friends argued the only possible reason was that Job had committed a special sin. They endeavored to develop this thought elaborately in a syllogism, an argument with a major premise, minor premise, and conclusion. The major premise (Job 3-14) develops the thought that God punishes sinners. The minor premise (Job 15-21) elaborates on Job's unusual suffering. In the conclusion (Job 22-26) they insist that Job must be guilty of a special, secret sin to merit such punishment. Job replies that he is perfect and without sin. He is not perfect in himself, for in 9:20 he states that he cannot justify himself. But he is perfect in the Pardoner (7:21), in the Advocate (9:33), in the Savior (13:16) and in the Redeemer (19:25). Unable to understand, the friends think Job is arrogant. They do not make their point. Zophar, last of the three to speak, admits this because he does not even try to add a conclusion as did Eliphaz and Bildad.

(3) The third answer is by Job and accuses God of injustice. His repentance is found in 42:6. It is seen in the way he answers his friends (Job 3-26), with perhaps the strongest statements being in Job 9:23 and 12:4 where he claims that God laughs at the innocent.

(4) The fourth answer spans two chapters (27.28) where Job attempts to lead his friends to the Gospel. Not knowing the Gospel of substituted atonement, they could not understand perfection in the Redeemer.

On the surface it appears that Job contradicts himself (ch.27), insisting the wicked are punished when previously, (ch. 24), he had made the point they are not punished. He is addressing two different situations. In chapter 24 he argues against his friends' thesis that righteous people are always blessed while the wicked are always punished. In chapter 27 Job indicates the hypocrisy of this apparent righteousness. After indicating their sinfulness, he leads them to the Gospel (ch.28), indicating that while nature cannot provide the Gospel, it does furnish wisdom. The context demands the "Gospel fear of God" in Job 28:28.

(5) The fifth answer is given by Elihu, the young man who had refrained from speaking until his elders had finished. Insisting he is prophetically inspired, he leads Job deeper into the Gospel, referring to the Angel above a Thousand (33:23) who would ransom him from the grave and renew his cancerous and leprous skin (Elephantiasis or Yaws - also called Framboesia) to the freshness of a baby's skin (33:25). Elihu contends that Job's afflictions are not punishment, but chastisement from a loving God. Job did not argue with Elihu as he had with the three friends.

In a total of four speeches (chapters 32-37) Elihu, in a loving manner, censures Job for accusing God of injustice. Speaking indirectly, Elihu treats Job like a king though at the time he is sitting on a dung heap, despised even by the cave people (30:1-7).

(6) The sixth answer is provided by God in two whirlwind talks (Job 38-41). Here is manifested God's power, particularly in the 39 scientific questions of chapter 38, demonstrating that God creates and preserves and controls everything in nature. God controls also afflictions; thus, they are chastisements rather than punishments. Eleven wild animals are mentioned from 38:39 through chapter 41. God's loving care extends to these wild animals which Job barely knows exist. Through them God shows Job how wild, stupid and wicked he is. The leviathan had a heart hard as a rock (41:24); Job's heart was hard as a rock. As the character of wild animals cannot be changed by nature, so it was with Job. What he needed was the miracle of the Gospel. The first three answers are wrong while the last three are correct. The correct answers are in Job sharing the Gospel with his friends (Job 27.28), Elihu kindly censuring Job and leading him deeper into the Gospel, and God speaking to Job in two whirlwind talks (Job 38-41) demonstrating His infinite power. In general, the correct answer is that for Christians, afflictions are not punishments, but are chastisement.

Challenge to Science in Job

A second reason for this commentary is to find as much as possible a challenge to science. Scientists like to limit their disciplines to evidence from observations in nature and the book of Job is filled with illustrations from nature. Scientists have attacked the accuracy of the description of the stupid ostrich (39:13-18), but research confirms the picture of a cruel and stupid creature.

Another example of scientific accuracy relates to foundation sockets in 38:6. An odd word (Hebrew) ארניה 'adaneyah  is used for "foundations" which is transliterated as eden. This word is used for the sockets holding up the staves in the tabernacle (Ex 26:19).

It is used in this manner a total of 52 times. Then it is used for the "sockets" of the ideal king in Songs 5:15. The only place in Scripture where it is used for "foundation sockets" is in Job 38:6. The Alaskan earthquake struck on Good Friday of 1964. Through use of more than 200 seismographs operating worldwide, using push waves and shock waves, scientists determined that foundation rock of earth is mantle rock. Surprisingly it was learned that underneath the oceans, this mantle rock extends down for 2-5 miles but underneath each of the continents it extends downward 300 miles, truly providing a socket for each of the seven continents. This statement made 4000 years ago in the book of Job was proved accurate.

In Job 38:16 we find the expression "springs of the sea." It is one of the 39 scientific questions asked Job by God and it relates to inorganic material. Job was to learn how small was his knowledge and how great and infinite was God's wisdom. Los Angeles and San Diego, and the nation of Israel, have supplied water for their citizens by piping it across mountains. Perhaps they should look for springs in the sea. They actually did use these in Aradus, a Phoenician town, 3000 years ago, when they put a leather pipe down on a fresh-water spring in the ocean. Force of the spring carried up fresh water from a salty ocean. The reference is in "The Phoenicians" by Gerhard Herm, Wm. Morrow, N.Y., 1975, pg.68.

In this commentary our objective will be to relate its wisdom with today's science disciplines. Not only is Job accurate, providing scientific challenge, but we will gain a superior philosophy of science.

This will be developed particularly as we distinguish between "wisdom" (Hebrew) חכמה chokmah (Job28:28) and "understanding" (Hebrew) בינה biynah (34:16), "prudence" (Hebrew) שכל sekel (22:2, 34:27) and" "data" or "knowledge" (Hebrew) דעת da'at (34:35) and "heart understanding" (Hebrew) לב leeb (36:5). Some try to distinguish between what is learned through observation of nature and "wisdom" in Job 28:28. Science, they claim, is not wisdom or (Hebrew) חכמה chokmah. However, what is generally regarded as science, is covered by the word "data" (Hebrew) דעת da'at in Job. From Prov. 1:7 we learn that even these "data" need the Gospel fear of the Lord to become true science or real "data." The Gospel fear of God is the beginning of science as it is the beginning of what Job calls wisdom (28:28). Job teaches, as do Ecclesiastes and Proverbs, that Scripture ought not be separated from science.

Challenge of Gospel Miracle

The miracle of the Gospel is another challenge in Job for Job knew the Gospel, e.g., the Pardoner (7:21), Daysman or Advocate (9:23), Savior (13:16), Redeemer (19:25). Job's three friends were intelligent and religious, but they did not know the Gospel. Job witnessed (27.28), but even he did not have a deep knowledge of Gospel until Elihu led him into the total Gospel. Job's flesh, covered with cancerous and leprous boils (Elephantiasis or Yaws) would be restored fresh as a child's. Job repented and lived another 140 years (42:6-16). Physically and spiritually the miracle of the Gospel is found in Job. We are reminded of John 3:7 where Jesus told Nicodemus he needed to be born again, and of Acts 9:1-19 which records the conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus.

In chapter 38 are the 39 scientific questions God asked Job, proving His power to perform miracles. The wild animals (38:29-41:34) show the need for a miracle. These wild animals (lion, raven, wild goat, wild ass, wild bull, ostrich, war horse, hawk, eagle, behemoth and leviathan) cannot change their wild nature, but God provides for their needs. So Job needs a miraculous change through the Pardoner and Redeemer. Job can no more change his sinful nature, accusing God of injustice, than can a stupid ostrich become a gentle swan (39:13-18). The miracle of the Gospel is needed. According to Job 1:1, 1:8, 2:3,31, Job was "perfect" (Hebrew) tam yet he needed a total change. His perfection was in the miracle of the Gospel. His sinful flesh accused God of injustice. When Job repented fully (42:6) a miraculous change came about. Christians need this every day.

Challenge of a Personal Faith

Job was in error when he accused God of injustice, saying God laughs at the innocent (9:23, 12:4). In a sense his friends were right in accusing him of arrogance. Zophar compared him with wild asses' colt (11:12). Elihu was more indirect and discreet and answered properly. Elihu spoke of Job as a king on a throne (34:18) even with Job sitting on a dung heap. In the whirlwind talks (38-41) God compares Job with eleven wild animals, with a heart as hard as a rock, as that of leviathan (41:24). Job repented (42:6) and sacrificed for his friends, who had become his enemies by then. God restored and doubled all Job had lost (42:10).

In spite of his faults, Job had an unusual personal faith. In Job 1:1 he is called perfect. God describes him as perfect to Satan (1:8,2:3). Elihu treats Job like a king (Job32-37). God treats Job like a king. Job knew the Gospel well: Pardoner (7:21), Advocate (9:33), Savior (13:16), and Redeemer (19:25). Job knew the importance of being close to God (1:5), sacrificing for his sons and daughters that they might not "bless" God. What "bless" here means is that his sons and daughters should not depart from God. Job did not want his family to leave God because of birthday feasts. Job understood what it meant to pray without ceasing as in I Thess. 5:17. Job 31 shows the amazing righteousness of Job. He even had consideration for the land, displaying an ecology morality (31:38-40). Job might even have had a greater faith than that of David. Later, we shall indicate quotations from Job by David.

Law of Equalization in Job

There is a serious problem with Job. Strong as his faith was, he continued to accuse God of injustice. A strange way of doing this was through development of what we term the law of equalization. The law, against his friends who insisted righteous people are always blessed in this world while the wicked are always punished, is found particularly in chapters 3 and 24. Job insists rich and poor are alike; all are equalized in death. Also, righteous and wicked are equalized in death. This is not true, because in eternity, the wicked will suffer in hell while the righteous will live in heavenly bliss. Job even speaks of heaven in 16:19 and in 19:25. What, then, does he mean that all are equalized in death?

There is some substance to what he is saying. In Eccl. 9:5 we read that the dead know nothing and there is no contact between living and dead persons. Because there is no contact with the dead, in this life only there is equalization in death; rich and poor, wicked and righteous, all die a physical death.

Job's reply was in answer to his friends who insisted that wicked people always receive punishment in this life whereas the righteous are blessed. He knew this does not apply to life hereafter. Also, he lay at death's door, suffering from what seemed to be terminal diseases (cancer and leprosy). He wanted to die to end it all.

But Job misused this law. He should have emphasized that in the next life the wicked are doomed to eternal punishment while the righteous will enjoy eternal bliss.

Job was abusing a law of nature. This is what scientists and educators in general do when they use a law in nature, such as adaptation to the environment, claiming that environment produces new kinds of plants or creatures. Laws of nature are abused in evolution-based science disciplines.

Quotations from Job in Psalms

In determining authorship of Job it is necessary to note what seem to be a number of quotations from Job in the Psalms, indicating that some form of the book of Job was available before the time of Solomon even though Solomon may be regarded as an inspired writer of the Biblical book of Job. Apparent quotations from Job in the Psalms indicate much of the book of Job was available to David. We list the following possibilities:

Ps. 19:2 Day and night utter speech and show knowledge. Job 31:3 records Job's wish that the day he was born had perished, personifying day and night.

Job 4:19 --  Eliphaz speaks of those who live in houses of clay and whose foundation is dust, and in 10:9 Job says he was made of clay and would return to dust. A similar statement is made in Gen. 3:19 which Job may have been quoting. In Ps. 103:14 David says that God knows our frame and that we are dust; he may be quoting both passages.

Job 3:24 - reference to roaring and in 4:10 is a reference to roaring of a lion. Job 3:24 has a feminine subject and masculine verb, a fairly common Hebrew oddity. Ps. 22:2-speaking of Christ in prophecy, David places Him on the cross, asking God why He is so far from His roaring. This is quoted in I Pet. 5:8 where the devil is pictured as a roaring lion.

Job 4:10.11--Lions are described in five stages of development. One of the 11 wild animals mentioned in Job 38:39.40 is a lioness with her cub. Ps. 7:2 mentions lions lying in wait in dens, and a lion is greedy of its prey. A young lion in secret (Ps.17:12) and young lions roaring after their prey, seeking meat from God (Ps. 104:21) are noted. These may be quotations from Job.

Job 5:1--Eliphaz asks to which saints would Job turn and in Ps. 89:7 David writes that God is to be greatly feared in the assembly of His saints, perhaps a quotation.

Job 5:9, 9:10, 37:5--God does wonders without number, cannot be comprehended, is unsearchable. Ps. 147:5-God's understanding is infinite, Ps.40:5 - God's wonders cannot be numbered, Ps.72:18 -- God does wondrous things, Ps.77:14 -- it is God who works wonders, Ps.136:4 -- God alone can do wonders. These expressions of David imply he quoted from Job.

Job 5:16 - Eliphaz says iniquity shuts its mouth. Ps.107:42 - again, iniquity shuts its mouth. It may be a quotation though it is not certain that David is the author of this Psalm.

Job 6:4 - ln grief Job claims that God is shooting arrows at him and they stick in him. He also claims God has set him as a target and is shooting arrows at him (Job 16:12). This seems to be quoted by Moses in Deut. 32:42 where Moses says God's arrows will be spent on Israel, a picture found also in Ps.7:13 where God prepares arrows for David's persecutors and in Ps.45:5 where God's arrows are prepared against David's enemies.

Job 6:4--The word for "terrors" is found also in Ps. 88:16-God's terrors cast off the Psalmist.

The word for "without form" (Hebrew) tohu in Job 6:18 is first found in Gen. 1:2; Job may have quoted from God's tablet. The same word tohu is found in Ps. 107:4-God caused His people to wander in the wilderness, or "waste." The Psalmist may have been quoting from both sources.

Job 7:12--Job insists he has a right to complain. The same idea is found in Psalms 55:2, 77:3, 142:2.

Job 7:12 and 38:11--Bars on the oceans are mentioned. They are mentioned also in Ps. 104:9 and Jeremiah 5:22 says there are bounds for the sea, perhaps quoting from Job.

Job 8:9 and Ps.102:11-Our days are pictured as a shadow. Also, in 109:23, the Psalmist says he is a shadow over against the enemy.

Job 10:8-12--Development in the womb is described. In Ps. 139:13-16 it is described more elaborately. The word "interweave" (Hebrew) tiskekeeniy is similar to a word in Ps. 139:13.

Job 7:19 and 10:20--We find the expression "to be made away from me" or "get away from me." Job wants God to leave him alone. The same expression is used in Ps.39:13; is used for prayer in Ps. 142:2 and for meditation in Ps. 104:34 and 119:97.99. Reference seems to be to devotional life as Eliphaz questions Job's devotional life. Perhaps Job had a stronger personal faith than did David. David wants to be spared before he leaves and is no more.

Job 11:13--Zophar uses "to set the heart aright" and Asaph claims Israel did not set her heart aright (Ps. 78:8). Also, I Sam 7:3 and II Chr. 20:3 may be quotations from Job.

Job 13:9--Job asks his friends, will things go well with them when God searches them as they have searched for a secret sin in Job? Ps. 139:23-David asks God to search him and know his heart.

Job 15:4--Eliphaz says Job is withholding his piety before God. The word (Hebrew) sicah is used for prayer in Ps.142:2 and 64:1 and for meditation in Ps. 104:34 and 119:97.99. Reference seems to be to devotional life as Eliphaz questions Job's devotional life. Perhaps Job had a stronger personal faith even than David.

Job 16:4--Job shakes his head against his friends. Ps. 22:7-ln prophecy David says that Christ's enemies shake their heads at Him on the cross. Ps. 109:25 also refers to shaking of the head.

Job 19:16-ln his affliction, Job called with a loud mouth to his servant; previously he had only to look or nod. A loud mouth is noted also in Ps. 89:1 and 109:30.

Job 19:13-17-Job's friends appeared strange and they turned from him.

Ps. 69:9--ln prophecy David pictures the Savior as a stranger to His brethren and an alien to children of his mother.

Job 13:13--Job's problem is not with friends, but with Almighty God, demonstrating his strong personal relationship with God, which David copied.

Job 22:8 and 40:9--We read of the "arm" of power. In Ps. 44:3 there are contrasting powers, the arm of man and of God. Ps. 77:15 states God has redeemed His people with His own arm, perhaps a quotation.

Job 23:11--We find the thought of turning aside to a wicked way, also found in Ps. 125:5 one of the Songs of the Degrees.

Job 25:2-Bildad seems to refer to harmony in the stars. In Ps. 19:4 we read the line of stars is gone out into all the world. In Ps. 147:4 we learn that God calls each star by name. Harmony of stars in the sky may have been learned by David from Job.

Job 28:19-A poetic word for gold of the finest quality is (Hebrew) ketem used to show that even it cannot buy wisdom. David uses the same word in Ps. 45:10 to describe the gold of Ophir which the queen possessed.

Job 29:14--Before his afflictions Job clothed himself with righteousness. The same expression is found in Ps. 132:9. In the songs of degrees, the temple priests are clothed with righteousness.

Job 30:9-We find the thought of a song of drunkards or despised people, e.g., cave people. Ps.69:12-ln a prophecy of Christ, David says He is a song for the drunkards.

Job 32:21-Elihu says he will not "flatter" (Hebrew) akaneh even with tongue. Flattery is used also in Psalms 5:9, 12:2.3, 78:36.

Job 19:20-Due to his afflictions, Job's bones were cleaving to his skin, (Elihu in 33:21). David described the suffering of the coming Savior as poured out as water and all His bones are out of joint (Ps. 22:14). Jesus could "tell all His bones" (Ps. 22:17). David may have learned this expression from Job.

Job 36:16-Elihu says that Job shall have a broad place, (Hebrew) rachab. The picture is used also in Ps. 4:1 where, when the Psalmist was in distress, God enlarged him and in Ps. 18:20 where in his song of victory David says God brought him to a large place.

Job 36:24-Elihu encourages Job to exalt the deeds of God of which men have sung. In the Psalms there are many songs and David may have built on Elihu's words to sing a new song (Ps. 33:3) and to let the soul rejoice in God's salvation (35:9).

Job 38:4-The Hebrew word for "foundations" is (Hebrew)yasad, with reference to earth's foundations. In Ps.78:69 the same word is used to indicate that Jerusalem is founded forever and in Ps.104:5 where God establishes the foundations.

Job 38:22--We read of "treasures" (Hebrew) 'otzerot of rain and snow. The same word is used in Ps.135:7 where we read the Lord produces wind out of His treasures.

Job 39:19-35--Here is a picture of a war horse with its near miraculous zeal. But God does not delight in "strength" of a horse (Ps. 147:10).

Job 41:5--The word for sparrow, or "little bird," is (Hebrew) katzipor. The same word is used in Ps. 84:3 where it refers to a sparrow which has found a nest for itself in the house of God and in Ps. 102:8 where a sparrow is alone on a housetop.

These references indicate the personal relationship which David and other Psalmists had with God and this may have been nurtured by reading the book of Job. Job also emphasizes the indwelling of the Trinity in a Christian, mentioned by Christ in John 14:23.

Authorship of Job

There is a considerable variance of opinion on the authorship of Job. Writing in Biblical Illustrator, Joseph Exell states: "both the prevailing tone of the book and its literary style point steadily and unmistakably to the age of Solomon as the period in which it at least assumed the form it has come down to us" (p.9). We disagree with Exell's claim that, because some of the Psalms contain words which are also in Job, the present form of Job must be dated later than the Psalms. We maintain, rather, that the Psalmists quoted extensively from Job. Author Spence quotes Luther as follows: "I look upon the book of Job as true history, yet I do not believe that all took place as written, but that an ingenious, learned, and pious person brought it into its present form." Luther believed that person was Solomon (p. 9). Exell claims there are about 100 words in Job not found elsewhere (p.56). Spence points out that in the Septuagint Jobab, king of Edom (Gen. 36:33), was "Job" (p.58). Jobab apparently was the son of Zerah, the son of Ruel who was Esau's son. This would date him four generations down from Esau, and about the time the Israelites journeyed to Egypt. In our opinion, this is far too late a date. Writing in Lange's commentary (p. 3), Zoeckler says it is impossible to connect Jobab of Gen. 36:33 with Job of the book, both for linguistic and historical reasons (p.3).

The other Biblical reference is Gen. 10:29 concerning Jobab, son of Joktan and brother of Peleg. This would date him about five generations after the Flood, or about 130 years following the Flood. This seems far too early for the book of Job.

Zoeckler presents seven reasons why he believes that Job lived at the time of the patriarchs.

    1. He lived to an age beyond 140 years, perhaps 210 (Job 42:16).

    2. The word for money (Hebrew) qesitha in Job 42:11 is similar to what Jacob used in purchasing land of Hamor at Shechem (Gen.33:19). The same purchase is referred to in Joshua 24:32 along with the statement that Joseph was buried there. The same word for "money" is used.

    3. Use of words for musical instruments (Job 21:12 and 30:31), words used also by Jubal in Gen. 4:21 and by Laban in Gen. 31:27, indicate Job lived during the time of the patriarchs. The words are (Hebrew) ugab for flute and (Hebrew) toph for timbrel and (Hebrew)kinor for harp.

    4. There are references to writing on stone (Job 19:12) and in a book or parchment (31:35). Job complains that God is writing bitter words against him, as in a legal document (Job 13:25). To Zoeckler this implies the time of the patriarchs.

    5. Job's burnt offering for his family (Job 1:5) and for his friends (42:8) reminds us of what Noah, the patriarch, did (Gen. 8:20) and what Jacob did (Gen. 35:3).

    6. The number seven (7) is found in Job 42:8 and Job 1:3. This is found also in the Flood account of Gen. 7:2 and Gen. 8:10 and may be a number ascribed to the patriarchs.

    7. Worship of the sun and moon is found in Job 31:26. It is also implied in the account of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:4). And it is referred to by Moses in Deut. 4:19 and 17:3.

For these reasons we believe that Job lived at a later date than Jobab mentioned in Gen. 10:28 but much earlier than Jobab of Gen. 35:33. It is our opinion that he lived at the time of Terah, about 250 years after the Flood.

We also believe that Job himself is the author of chapters 3-31, with Elihu as the original author of chapters 32:6 - 42:6. We believe that Solomon wrote the Prologue (Job 1 and 2) and the Epilogue (Job 42), as well as the prose introduction to Elihu's speeches (32:1-6). Solomon probably made no changes.

Because in I Kings 4:31 Solomon is acknowledged as the wisest natural man who ever lived, we had difficulty at first with him getting his wisdom, his style of writing from Job. A thorough study has led us to a recognition of the stature of both Job and Elihu, and now are sure Solomon did just that. Solomon added the Prologue and Epilogue and is responsible to us for the inspiration of the book.

The Word "Jehovah"

Both Prologue and Epilogue make extensive use of the word (Hebrew)Yehvah. It is seldom found in the Job and Elihu sections. In our mind this establishes that Solomon wrote both Prologue and Epilogue and the Introduction to Elihu's speeches. The word is used 14 times in the Prologue: (Job 1: and Job 2: It is used seven times in the Epilogue (Job 42: It is also used in Job 12:9 when Job answers Zophar, and its equivalent (Hebrew)'adonay used in 28:28. In the whirlwind talk (Job 38:1, 40:1.6) it is used three times. Sacred numbers include 7,14,3.

Formal Expressions

Somewhat formal expressions are found in Job 1 and 2. The record of Job's loss of material possessions (Job 1: is stated too matter-of-factly and too formally to be written by Job who had suffered these bitter experiences. We believe Solomon wrote this section.

Wisdom Chapter

The wisdom chapter (28) is an attempt by Job to lead his friends to accept the Gospel of the Redeemer (19:25). Following the discourse, he realized that his friends did not know the Gospel. Nature and science cannot provide this. This section is similar to Proverbs 8, written by Solomon, where wisdom is personified and a prophecy of Christ is given, in whom are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3). Perhaps Solomon patterned his wisdom chapter in Proverbs after the one in Job.

Comparison: Job/Proverbs/Ecclesiastes

One reason we believe Solomon is connected with authorship of Job is because of many similarities in language in Job and in Solomon's writings.

Job wishes the stars of twilight darkened, not ushering in a new day. In Job 3:9 the word for "twilight" is (Hebrew) nishpo. The same word is used for twilight also in Job 24:15--The eye of the adulteress waits for twilight. Solomon uses the same word in Prov. 7:9--the adulterer goes in to the adulteress at twilight.

In Job 3:20 we read "bitter in soul" or (Hebrew) lemareey naphesch. In Prov. 31:6 it is translated as "of heavy hearts" (KJV).

In Job 4:19 people in the house of clay are "crushed" or (Hebrew)daka. Job wishes God to crush him (6:9); arms of the fatherless have been crushed (22:9); the wicked are crushed in the gate (5:4). In Prov. 22:22 the poor are not to be crushed in the gate.

In Job 5:19 Eliphaz speaks of "six troubles." In Prov. 6:16 we read of six things hated by God: in Prov. 30:15.18.21 the numbers are three and four rather than six and seven; in Eccl. 11 :2 the numbers are seven and eight. Again-a Solomon connection.

In 6:3 Job complains that his calamities are heavier than "sand" (Hebrew)chol. In Prov. 27:3 we read that sand is weighty but a fool's wrath is heavier.
In Job 7:7 we read "my life is wind" or (Hebrew) ruach. In Prov. 11 :29 we read that he who troubles his own house inherits the wind.

The word for grave (Hebrew) sheol in Job 7:9 refers to a physical grave and to hell, indicating no return from the grave. This is a civic term and is used as such in Prov. 1:12. 9:18, 30:16 and in Songs 8:6. Eccl. 9:5 conveys the same thought-the dead know nothing and cannot contact the living.

Zophar intimates that Job's multitude of words make him look foolish (11:2). In Eccl. 5:3 this thought describes a fool's voice, and in Prov. 10:19 it is used in connection with a sinful person.

In 11:3 Zophar complains that Job is mocking but no one is putting him to shame. The word for "shame" (Hebrew) kalas is used also in Prov. 25:8 for neighbor putting neighbor to shame. In Prov. 28:7 it is used for a riotous person putting his father to shame.

In 11:4 Zophar challenges Job who claims his "doctrine" (Hebrew)laqach is pure. This same word for doctrine is used in Prov. 1:5, 9:9, 16:21.

In Job 12:22 the word for "deep things" (Hebrew)amuqot has a short "u." The same form is used in Prov. 23:27.

The "scent" of water (Hebrew) mariyach causes tree roots to sprout (Job 14:9). This is derived from (Hebrew) riyach which is derived from (Hebrew) ruach, meaning "to breathe." It is used in Songs 1:12, 2:13, 7:14 for "scent" by Solomon.

Eliphaz asks whether Job was born before the hills (15:7), implying existence of something prior to hills. In the wisdom chapter (Prov. 8:24) Solomon writes that Christ (Wisdom) was brought forth when there were no fountains abounding with water.

In 17:3 Job asks "who will strike hands with me" (Hebrew)liyadiy yitaqee'a. Reference is to a legal procedure with God and, according to Job 17:3, it involves the three Persons of the Trinity and is also a reference to forgiveness of sins. The same expression is used in Prov. 6:1 where we read of "striking palms" with a stranger. It is used also in Prov. 11:5,17:18 and 22:26.

In Job 17:5 is a word best translated as "betray" (Hebrew) yagiyd. In Eccl. 10:20 it is used regarding a bird betraying one who curses the king and in Prov. 29:24 where a thief does not betray his partner.

In 19:27 the word for "stranger" is (Hebrew) tzar. This does not mean "adversary" but that Job himself will see God, and not another. In Prov. 27:2 we are advised to let a stranger praise us rather than praising ourselves.

Eliphaz promises that if Job is righteous, a bright light will shine upon his way (22:28). In Prov. 4:18 we read the path of the just is as a shining light which shines more and more unto the perfect day.

In Job 27:12 the Hebrew word for "vanity" (Hebrew) hebel is translated as "foolish notions." This same word for "vanity" is used 36 times in Ecclesiastes and serves as Solomon's theme for the book. The theme for vanity in Ecclesiastes is very much taken from the concepts of Job 7.

Job says (23:16) that God has made his heart "soft" (Hebrew)herag. The verb is (Hebrew) rag. In Prov. 15:1 we read that a "soft answer turns away wrath."

In Job 28:28 we read "the fear of the Lord is wisdom" (Hebrew)chokmah. Similar expressions are noted in Prov. 1:7 and 9:10.

Job notes blessings he enjoyed prior to his afflictions (29:11), with the word "bless" (Hebrew) wete'ashereeniy meaning "to pronounce blessed." It is used also in Prov. 31:28 regarding a virtuous woman being blessed. In Songs 6:9 we read that daughters of the beloved bless her.

Job asks God to weigh him in a just balance (31 :6). In Prov. 11:1 we read of "false balances" and in 20:23 a similar word is used for "just balances."

Job maintains his heart has not been seduced by a woman (31:9). Proverbs has many expressions for women seducing men. In Prov. 7:7 a young man seduced by such a woman is said to be without understanding. In 5:3 we read a strange woman's lips drop as honey comb.

Job did not rejoice at the destruction of his enemy (31:29). In Prov. 25:21 is the admonition to feed our enemy if he is hungry and offer drink if thirsty.

There is distinction between "knowledge" (Hebrew) yada and "wisdom" (Hebrew) chokma as in Job 28:28 and "knowledge" without "wisdom" which Elihu claimed for the friends (34:1-4). The same distinction is made in Prov. 1:7, 9:10, 19:20, 27:23, where "know" is regarded as an inferior knowledge.

Elihu says his "burden" is not heavy on Job (33:7), using (Hebrew)'akab. In Prov. 18:6 Solomon says the mouth drives or, lays, a burden on a person.

The word for "steering, guidance, management" (Hebrew) techebelu is used in 27:12 with reference to wind being directed or managed by God. First meaning of the word is "sailor" and it is used also for a rope used by sailors for guiding/steering a ship. In Prov. 1 :5 it is translated as "counsels" and in Prov. 11:14; as "counsel." It stands for "good advice" in Prov. 20:18 and in 24:6 for "wise counsel." In Prov. 12:5 it means "counsels of wicked." These indicate a Solomon connection.

In Job 38:41 food hunted by a raven is (Hebrew) tzeeydo. Solomon uses the word to describe a slothful man who does not roast what he has hunted (Prov. 12:27).

Connection Between Job and Moses

In determining authorship of Job we ought also examine a relationship between Moses and Job. We date Job about 250 years after the Flood and date Moses about 500 years later. If writings of Job and Elihu existed in their original form at the time of Moses, he might quote from them. Also, there appear to be Job quotations in Deuteronomy.

The word for "without form" (Hebrew) tohu is first used in Gen. 1:2, describing a world "without form" until creation of light. It is used in Job 6:18 where he says his friends are as a brook which disappears in the ground and becomes "nothing." In Deut. 32:10 Moses uses the word in referring to a waste, howling universe. First source for Moses may have been God's tablet (Gen. 1:1-2:4a) but he may also have borrowed from Job. This supports our contention that Job's original script was available to Moses.

In Job 8:8 Bildad tells Job to inquire of "an earlier age" and to consider searching of their "fathers." In Deut. 32:7 Moses asks the people to remember days of old and to consider the years of many generations. As Bildad had done, Moses directed the people to the fathers.

Job said in 23:16 God made his heart "soft" (Hebrew)heerag. The verb is (Hebrew) rag; it is in the Hiphiel. The same word is used in Deut. 20:3 where Moses tells the people not to be soft or fainthearted as they enter battle, for the Lord is with them.

In Job 28:7 the word for "hawk" (Hebrew) ayah seems to refer to a vulture or hawk. Moses used this word in Deut. 14:13 to describe unclean creatures.

There is an odd word in Job 30:4 for "pluck" (Hebrew) haqeothephiym referring to cave people plucking mallows from bushes. It is found also in Deut. 23:25 to describe people who pluck corn from neighbors' fields.

In Job 31:28 Job says those who secretly worship sun, moon and stars should be tried in court and their transgressions labeled a capital offense. Moses follows this injunction when he says people who worship the host of heaven should be stoned to death (Deut. 17:3-5).

In Job 32:6b Elihu was afraid and "stood back" (Hebrew) tsachaletiy. Being young, he did not speak until his elders had finished. The same word in Deut. 32:24 is translated as "serpents" because they shrink into the ground. There may have been a connection here.

We read in Job 39:5 the Lord has set the wild ass "free" (Hebrew) chapheshiy. It is used with the accusative of the predicate. The same grammar form is found in Deut. 15:12.

In Job 39:9-12 is mentioned a "wild bull" or "auroch" (Hebrew) reeym. The animal of Deut. 33:17 has two horns and cannot be the unicorn as translated in the KJV. The word is used also by David in Ps. 22:21.

The behemoth (Job 40:16) has strength (Hebrew) kocko in his loins. When loins are smitten, a person is shattered (Deut. 33:11). Jacob's strength was in his firstborn (Deut. 21:17). In both passages reference to strength in reproduction is connected with the firstborn.

Already referred to is Job 6:4 which makes mention of arrows. References to arrows are also found in Psalm 7:13 and 45:5 and in Deut. 32:23. Moses says God's arrows will be spent on Israel.

Certainly some of these statements of Moses could havebeen made without reference to Job, but similarities (most in Deut. 32.33) seem to indicate that Moses was aware of material originally written by Job and Elihu.

Isaiah and Job

Isaiah may also have quoted from Job. His statements in Is. 19:5 that water shall fall from the sea and the river wasted and dried remind us of Job 14:11. His description of Egypt's erring rulers who are drunk and stagger (Is. 19:13.14) is similar to Job 12:24.25 where rulers lost heart and wandered in the wilderness, staggering as drunkards.

Job and Amos

Expressions in Amos 4:13 (the Lord forming mountains, creating wind, declaring man's thoughts, causing morning darkness, treading on high places of the earth) remind us of Job 9:8 -- the Lord spreads out the heavens and treads upon waves of sea. The Lord creates the seven stars of the Pleiades and Orion (Amos 5:8), turning the shadow of death into morning. The Lord creates Arcturus, Orion, Pleiades and chambers of the south (Job 9:9). God asks Job whether he can bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion (Job 38: 31). Amos declares that the Lord builds stories of heaven, founds His troops in the heavens, and pours out water (Amos 9:6). Job (12:9) says the Lord's hand has wrought all this.

Other Ideas on Authorship of Job

Scripture does not provide us with the name of the author of Job; thus, there is room for speculation. Writing in a commentary published in Australia, Norman C. Habel claims the wisdom poem of Job and the Elihu speeches are later additions and are inconsistent with the basic structure of the book. On the contrary, we suggest these sections are basic to the structure of the book, pointing up the importance of the Gospel and leading the reader more deeply into the Gospel. The Gospel alone had power to change a stubborn Job who may be described as almost a sanctified paranoid. Commentator Zoeckler notes that some people place the book of Job between Proverbs and Songs.

Source of Revelation

We find almost nothing missing with regard to morality and doctrine in the book of Job. What was the source of his revelation? In Job 4:12-16 Eliphaz refers to a vision as one foundation for his authority. A close examination of the vision reveals the following: cryptic revelation, fear causing hair on flesh to stand up, bones shaking, trembling, and a statement that even angels are charged with folly. And there is no Gospel in the vision. This was a vision from the forces of evil rather than from God.

Elihu, on the other hand, seems to have experienced a genuine vision from God (Job 33:14.15). There is no fear or terror, and clear instruction in place of cryptic statements. And there was the deeper Gospel that quieted Job. This kind of vision is genuine.

Ancients are mentioned in Job 8:8-11 with Bildad referring to fathers and their fathers who handed down information. With the ancients is wisdom, says Job (12:12).

Job goes to nature and its revelation (12:7) for authority, saying we can learn from the beasts. Elihu, however, says the Lord will teach us more than the beasts (Job 35:11). Nature does not teach the Gospel generally.

Then there is, we are convinced, the assertion by Elihu that he was prophetically and Biblically inspired. He talks about the spirit in him (32:8). He says the spirit of God has made him and the breath of the Almighty has given him life (33:4). In 33:6 Elihu claims he is there in God's stead. In 23:4 Job asked for a direct confrontation with God. Elihu says this is not necessary; he is taking God's place. This adds weight to the idea that he was prophetically inspired. Elihu also claims he is perfect in knowledge (Job 36:4), a claim he could not make if he were not prophetically inspired. This is the same kind of inspiration Peter mentions in II Peter 1:21. We have a perfect Bible and Elihu also had God's Word, complete to that period of time. God also spoke directly with Job, e.g., whirlwind talk (Job 38-41) and in 42:7.8. Other saints with whom God communicated directly were Abraham and Jacob.

Writing and the Tablet Theory

We believe there was another source. We accept the Biblical doctrine of perfection: that God created a perfect world (Gen. 1:31) which allows for no evolution. When Adam and Eve sinned (Gen. ch.3), not only were they cursed, but the earth and all therein, the entire universe. Yet, God demands perfection (Deut. 18:13, Matt. 5:48). Nothing in nature, or in science, or in mankind is perfect. God's greatest miracle was to send His only Son, Jesus Christ, into our world to be perfect in our stead. Through the power of that forgiveness the Holy Spirit inspired men of God to write a perfect Bible which He has miraculously preserved (Ps. 12:7). Oral transmission does not assure perfect transmission and, thus, from the beginning a written Bible was needed. Job is described as being perfect (Hebrew) tam in 1:1. God calls him perfect (1:8 and 2:3). Yet in Job there are no references to a written Bible though there are references to writing: Job 13:26, 19:23.24, 31:35 and to "papyrus" in 8:11. In Job 22:19ff there is a reference to the Law or Word of God. This may be a reference to oral tradition but we think it means more. Is there any evidence that such a written record existed?

Tablet Theory

We shall briefly describe the "tablet theory" proposed by P. J. Wiseman which is described in detail in our book Genesis and Science (pp.20-24). According to this theory in chapters Gen. 1-37 the word "generations" (Hebrew) toledoth used, not as a title word as is the case in the rest of Scripture, but it is a signature. Thus, there were 11 tablets containing history from day one of creation week. They were written by the following: God-Gen. 1:1-2:4a; Adam-Gen. 2:4b-5:1a; Noah-Gen. 5:1b-6:9a; Shem, Ham, and Japheth-Gen.6:9b-10:1a; Shem-Gen.10:1b-11:10a; Terah-Gen. 11:1 Ob-11:27a; Ishmael-Gen. 11:27b-25:12a; Isaac-Gen. 25:12b-19a;  Esau-Gen. 25:19b-36:1a; Esau again-Gen. 36:1b-9a; Jacob-Gen. 36:9b-38:2. There seem to have been page numbers on the tablets which Moses left unchanged. By this we mean that last word of previous tablet is first word of next one.

It is our view that from the beginning there was a written Bible. Though there are no direct references to tablets in Job, we believe there are indirect references. By Job's time there would have been tablets by God, Adam, Shem, Ham, and Japheth and, perhaps, Shem. We list the indirect references:

Job 24:24/Gen. 5:24: The same word is used for the wicked "being not" (Hebrew)we'eenenu in both passages.

Job 40:15/Gen. 1:24-26: The behemoth and man were created on the same day. Not only does this deny evolution, but it almost demands that Job had access to a tablet record.

Job 7:12/Gen. 1:21: (Hebrew) tanin for "whale" is used in both references.

Job 7:17/Gen. 1:1-31: Man is magnified (Gen.); man is the crown of creation (Gen.).

Job 9:17: "Crush" (Hebrew) yishupheeniy is otherwise found only in Gen. 3:15 and Ps. 139:11.

Job 10:8.9, 33:6/Gen. 2:7: Man formed from clay.

Job 10:9/Gen 3:10: Man returns to "dust" (Hebrew) 'apher.

Job 14:1/Gen. 3:6: Man is born of woman (I Tim. 2:13).

Job 15:14/Gen. 3:17: Clean cannot issue from unclean.

Job 3:11, 10:18, 13:19, 14:10, 27:5/Gen. 6:17, 7:21: Same Hebrew word for "dying" (Hebrew) gawah

Job 14:15 /Gen. 3:9: God calls and Adam/Job answers.

Job 16:15/Gen. 3:7: "Sewing" (Hebrew) taphar fig leaves in Eden and sackcloth for Job.

Job 16:18/Gen. 4:10: Job wishes for blood to cry for vengeance; Abel's spilled blood also cried for vengeance.

Job 26:7/Gen. 1:2: "Without form" (Hebrew) tohu is used both times for "emptiness."

Job 27:16/Gen.11:3: Word for "clay" (Hebrew) chomer is used in both instances.

Job 33:17/Gen. 3:8: Hiding, as in Garden of Eden.

Job 33:4/Gen. 2:7: Spirit of God and breath of Almighty made Job; God breathed life into Adam.

Job 34: 15/ Gen. 3:19: Man shall return to dust.

Job 36:27/Gen. 2:6: Word for "mist" (Hebrew) eed used in both instances and only in these cases.

Job 42:1/Gen. 11:6: No thought is withheld from God. Same Hebrew word "withheld" (Hebrew) batzar is used.

Because of indirect references, we tend to believe that Job, Elihu and the friends had at least acquaintance with alleged tablets.

References to Writing

References to writing (Job 13:26) and to engraving on stone (19:24) do not indicate a later date. From the beginning there was writing. Also, the Word of God, and the Law, are mentioned in 22:22ff. This may also have been transmitted orally, but it does not mandate a later date for the book.

There are references to writings of judges against Job (13:26, 31:35ff). Job even wants to carry this on his head, indicating that writing was common, particularly legal documents. Zoeckler notes this in the German Commentary by Lange (p.22).

Egyptian Background in Job

Mining of minerals (28:1-11) and mention of floods is a reminder of Egypt. There seem to be references to the Nile in Job (8:11-13, 9:26). Apparent reference to a mausoleum (3:14) reminds us of Egypt's pyramids. There seems to be a reference to judges from Egypt in Job 31:35. Apparent reference to a Phoenix bird in Job 29:18 and the picture of a warrior horse in 39:19ff remind one of Egypt. The behemoth (Job 40) may be a veiled reference to Egypt if one regards it as an hippopotamus as most do. Actually, this was a plant-eating dinosaur which had no connection with Egypt. Likewise, the leviathan of Job 41 is regarded by some as a Nile River crocodile, but actually it was a plesiosaurus, a meat-eating, sea dinosaur. However, it could have been a large crocodile-type reptile, having a hint of reference to Egypt.

Reference to papyrus in Job 8:11 and following is a reminder of Egypt though it grows also in Palestine. Reference to Jordan, speaking of the behemoth (40:23), indicates acquaintance with Palestine (p.25).

Arabic and Aramaic or Ugaritic References

Zoeckler refers to numerous Aramaic and Arabic references. Recently scholars have indicated that most, if not all, Aramaic references are actually Ugaritic. Because of an alleged Aramaic influence, some scholars date the book at the time of Daniel. They may be better explained as a Ugaritic influence.

No Reference to Jerusalem

Because there are no references to Jerusalem, it would indicate the experiences happened before Jewish history in Egypt or afterward. This places Job in the Patriarchs outside Palestine (p.25). There are references to the desert, to large creatures of Egypt and Arabia, and to precious goods of these lands, leading to the idea that Job lived somewhere between these lands, along the borders of Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and the desert. Zoeckler concludes this may, or may not be, the case (p.25).

Zoeckler concludes that Job lived outside Palestine, perhaps along the southern border. Yet he believes that Solomon wrote the book, rejecting the idea of Delitzsch that Heman the Esrahite and singer, author of Psalm 88, wrote the book of Job.

Challenges to Integrity of Job

(Zoeckler lists but does not accept them)

Poetry or Prose

Some challenge the integrity of Job on the basis of poetry in the heart of the book and prose in the Prologue and Epilogue. Without Prologue and Epilogue, says Delitzsch, there would be neither head nor feet to the book. Yet, even these have poetic qualities. Announcement of the four calamities (Job 1: is formal, dramatic and has poetic quality. And there is prose in the poetic center of the book, and in the beginning of the Elihu section (Job 32:1-5).

Another charge leveled at the integrity of the book is that in the main portions Job asserts he is without sin and yet, in the conclusion, he repents of sin. He was without sin only through Christ's atonement (19:20-27), but he sinned in accusing God of injustice. Through the whirlwind talk (38:1-41:34) he realized his stubbornly sinful nature and the need for the miracle of the ransom (33:23). .

Job's Schizophrenia

Some say there is contradiction in Job's trust in God (ch.1) and his accusations of God (ch.3-31). Considering the magnitude of his affliction, this is understandable. Zoeckler hints Job did not have a New Testament understanding. But the deeper love of Gospel helped him as Elihu brought it to him. Thus he knew the Gospel 2000 years before the New Testament.

Job's Children

Job seems to entreat an estranged wife for the sake of his children (19:17) though, according to 1:19, his children were dead. Perhaps he had other children, or he was referring to nephews, or he had the dead children in mind.

On the other hand, Job 8:4 implies the children had been cast away while Job 29:5 deals with a time when they were still with him, indicating that they were not at that time with him. We also read (in Job 14:21) of sons coming to honor him but Job does not know them. It does not necessarily mean the sons were there.

We read in 31:8 that if Job is wicked, his offspring would be rooted out. "Rooted out" may have a meaning different from our meaning. Zoeckler says (p. 27) there is no destruction of integrity here.


Sacrifice is mentioned in the Prologue (1:5) and in the Epilogue (42:8) but not in the body of the book. This does not imply two authors, but perhaps that offerings were always a custom . Sacrifices were made at critical times to help others. The first was to ensure that Job's children would stay close to God. The second aided in leading his friends to the Gospel.

The Name Jehovah

Critics claim this name is found only in the Prologue (Job 1: and in the Epilogue (Job 42:, not in the body of the book. This, they say, means there were two authors. In the body of the book the name "Eloah" or "Shaddai" is used but Jehovah is used in 12:9 and 28:28 by Job. In the whirlwind talk God uses it five times (38:1, 40:1.3.6, 42:1)

Critics do not make their point, says Zoeckler (p.28). According to Hengestenberg, use of Jehovah in the Prologue indicates that God is revealed in the body. In the use of words for God he sees an effort to find a solution to the question of why the righteous suffer, solely from nature. In the Prologue and Epilogue God is more clearly revealed and clarity might revolve around use of the word "Jehovah," for the Covenant God (p.28).

Problems in the Wisdom Section

Critics claim Job is contradicting himself in 27:13-23 where he claims the wicked are punished whereas in previous chapters he maintains the righteous are punished while the wicked are, to some extent at least, blessed. According to Berholdt and Stahlman this is Zophar's speech, not Job's. Also, Job is too humble when he claims real wisdom is found only in the fear of God (ch.28). This contradicts his accusations that God is unfair, they say. Wette, therefore attributes chapter 28 to Bildad.

Although Job had problems with the idea that God punishes the wicked, he did not discard it, but covered all bases. A better answer is that Job realized his friends did not understand the Gospel (ch. 27-28) so he shakes them with the Law and then, in the Wisdom chapter, leads them to the Gospel. Thus, he could show his friends their error in maintaining that the wicked are always punished in this life, yet when he led them to the Gospel, he showed how the wicked are punished (ch. 27). It is not a contradiction.

Problems with Behemoth and Leviathan

Zoeckler gives reasons why commentators Bertholdt, Stuhlmann, Bernstein, Ewald, E. Meier, Simson, Eichhorn, Dillmann and Foerst, maintain the section on behemoth and leviathan do not belong in Job.

They claim someone at the time of Jeremiah added this section. This person had lived in Palestine (references to Jordan in Job 40:23) and had gone with Jeremiah to Egypt where he became acquainted with the hippopotamus and crocodile. He added this section, they claim.

It is contended that these creatures as described do not fit the theme of God's justice in His dealings with mankind. For example, in 42:6 Job is admonished to humble himself under God's mighty hand. Critics claim these beasts do not fit such a concept.

Also, in Gen. 1:19, 9:2 and Psalm 8 man is given dominion over all creatures. As these creatures are pictured, man could not dominate them, it is claimed. Ultimately, of course, man has gained control. The main purpose, which critics miss entirely as do most commentators, is to show Job that he was intractable as these creatures. Thus, he needed a total regeneration of the Ransom (33:23), the Redeemer (19:25), Pardoner (7:21) and Advocate (9:33). When Job got the message, he repented (42:6).

Some critics say this is an anticlimax, not as powerful as descriptions in Job 38. But it is a climax when these creatures are identified as a plant-eating dinosaur and a meat-eating dinosaur rather than an hippopotamus or crocodile. These huge creatures existed. God speaks of wild animals (Job 38 and 39), closing with these largest and most fierce of wild animals. God's providence extends even to these wild creatures (Zoeckler p. 31). In addition, these creatures mirror the stubborn and sinful nature of Job (and us). Total regeneration is needed.

Commentators and Elihu

Zoeckler summarizes challenges to Job's integrity (p. 32), mentioning Elihu's speeches as a challenge. Liberal commentators, including Eichhorn, Stuhlmann, Bernstein, Knobel, DeWette, Schroeder, E. Meier, Ewald, Heiligstedt, Hirzel, Dillmann, Bleck, Hupfeld, Seinecke, Davidson, Staendler, Bertholdt, and even Gesenius, Rosenmueller, Schaerer, Umbreit, Arnheim, Gleisz, Friedlaender, Stendel, Steckel, Baikinger, Herbst, Wette, Hoevernick, Keil, Hahn, Schlottmann and Hengstenberg, all imply God's greatest attribute is His majesty and infinite wisdom. This is emphasized in Job 38-41 and Elihu's speeches seem to get in the way. Elihu refers to God's might and power, but they are not as dramatic as the whirlwind talk. These commentators sense the love in Elihu but do not realize its significance. To them it is vastly inferior to the demonstration of God's power in the whirlwind talk.

Actually, high point of the whole book is the love of the Messenger in a Thousand (33:23-26). These commentators view this Messenger merely as an angel, not as the Savior. Only through the Savior's love could Job be reached, revealing the superiority of grace perspective. It was the miracle of grace which led Job to repentance, with the whirlwind talk building on that foundation. Elihu mentions Job by name three times: beginning of his serious address (Job 33:1), after presenting the deeper Gospel (33:31) and completing his description of God's majesty (37:14). There was more love in Elihu's message than in the whirlwind talk. According to liberals, Elihu was an upstart; actually he presents the climax. Elihu is more sociable, speaking lovingly to Job (32:2-6), preparing him for the whirlwind talk. Job sacrificed for his three friends (42:9) but not for Elihu for he knew the Gospel (Zoeckler p. 32).

Some note differences between Elihu and the others. He uses more Aramaisms which we prefer to call Ugaritisms. Thus we need not date this section at the time of Daniel. He is said to be too rational. But it was his different approach which soothed and comforted Job. People who have not really experienced love cannot appreciate this. Though mild and loving, Elihu addresses himself to Job who was righteous in his own eyes (32:1). In chapter 36 he prepares the way for God's whirlwind talk (Zoeckler p. 33).

Elihu is not mentioned in the Prologue or Epilogue but it does not make him an interloper. He has the characteristic difference which the Gospel in depth gives (Zoeckler p. 33).

Ewald claims there is nothing in Elihu which was not already stated in the book. If he only knew! Elihu is completely new and different in his approach and milder tone (Zoeckler p. 37). He is not mentioned in the Prologue or Epilogue because nothing in him needs criticism. He had the truth in his deeper Gospel (Zoeckler p. 34).

Elihu challenged Job's self-righteousness with true righteousness and the wisdom of his three friends with real wisdom. He challenged their judgment by showing the two sides of Christ's atonement and substitution. This gives a better understanding of God and nature, and is the testing side of forgiveness of sin. Job needed to be tested; we all need testing. We understand this only in the Gospel (Zoeckler p. 35).

The section of Job 36:26-37:18 is not an interpolation; it is preparation for God's whirlwind talk.

Unique Expressions by Elihu

In 32:6.10.17 and 36:3 Elihu uses (Hebrew) dee'ay rather than (Hebrew) da'at. In 34:10.32 he uses (Hebrew)'awel in place of (Hebrew) 'awelah. Compare with Job 36:23. Then there is (Hebrew) no'ar rather than (Hebrew)ne'uriym in Job 33:25 and 36:14. (Hebrew) Peneey in 32:21 is unique. There are three words not otherwise used in the Bible. One is (Hebrew)'abiy in Job 34:36; another is (Hebrew)chaph in 33:9; a third is (Hebrew) 'akephiy in 33:7. This is not unusual in talks of this length.

Outline: Elihu's Speech (Job 32-37)

We endure no suffering we do not deserve. What appears as injustice is chastisement from God's love. This is the first half of the positive solution for Job's dilemma.

Introduction: Elihu Justifies Himself
(Job 32:1-33:7)

1. Enters scene. In prose (Job 32:1-6a)

2. Why he enters conflict, though younger, (w. 6-10)

3. Justification for speech, (w.11-22)

4. Speaks mildly and directly to Job. Asks that he calmly consider his calamities. (33:1-7)

First Speech-Man's Guilt Before God
(Job 33:8-33)

a. Criticizes Job for trust in being without fault. (w.8-11)

b. How a sinful man acts before God.

    1. Through conscience and dreams (vv. 15-18)

    2. Through sickness and suffering (vv. 19-22)

    3. Through Messenger who redeems from pit, restoring flesh to that of a baby (vv.23-30)

c. Close. Job admonished to listen; he does. Nor does he argue. (vv.31-33)

Second Speech-Man Has No Right to Doubt God's Righteousness (Job 34)

a. Job criticized for doubting God's righteousness (vv. 1-9)

b. Need for God's righteousness.

    1. God's love to creatures (vv. 10-15)

    2. God rules the world (vv. 16-30)

c. Job is wrong to accuse God of injustice. Added rebellion to his sin (vv. 31-37)

Third Speech-Criticizes Idea that Righteousness Does Not Produce Blessings

(Job 35)
a. Folly to think righteousness and godliness do not produce blessings (vv. 1-8)

b. Real reason for delay of blessings (vv. 9-16)

    1. No true fear of God (vv.9-14)

    2. Arguing against God (vv.15.16)

Fourth Speech-God Works with People Through Love, Justice and Power (Job 36.37)

Introduction. More reasons to justify God's righteousness (Job 35:1-4)

a. Defense of God's righteousness with man as chastisement, demonstration of power (Job 36:5-21)

    1. Unless Job repents, ransom can not deliver him. (v.18)

    2. In general, (vv. 5-15)

    3. Particularly in Job's experiences (16-21)

b. God's righteousness justified by His power in nature. (Job 36:22. 37:25)

    1. Rain clouds, weather, lightning, thunder. (36:33-37:5)

    2. Winds: north wind, frost, snow (37:6-13)

c. Conclusion. (Job 37:14-34) Zoeckler pp. 39.40

Literature on Job

Zoeckler divides literature on Job into Patriarchal period, Reformation period, and historical-critical period (p. 41). He quotes Delitzsch on Origen's problems with Job, similar to problems of Septuagint. Whole sections are left out and others torn from their places. Holes are filled with apocryphal material.

Patriarchal Period: Origen, Gergor V. Nyssa, Olympioder, Froriep, Augustine, Albertus, Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Nikolaus de Lyra, Gregor Barkebraeus. Among Jews were Saadja Gaon, Schwarz, Esra of Toledo, Machmanidus, Levi Gerson, Schimeon Daschan (p.42)

During Reformation period among Lutherans were Johann Brens-1546, Jerome Weller-1703, Victorin Strigel-1566, Abraham Calov-1672, Sebastin Schmid-1670, Johann Heinrich, Michaelis-1720, Kortaem-1708.

Among Reformed are John Oekolampadius-1522, Martin Bucer-1528, H. Zwingli-1518, J. Calvin-1569, J. Mercier-1573, J.Drusius-1636, J. Pescator-1643, Hugo Grotius-1644, J. Clericus-1731, Albert Schaltens-1708.

Catholics include J. Maldonatus-1583, Casper Sanctius-1525, Joachim de Pineda-1637, Balthaser Corderius-1650, Antonio de Escabor-1669, Balducius-1631, Fr. Vavasser-1681, Augustin Calmet-1707.

1750 to 1820: Goele-1758, J. Bahrdt-1764, J. J. Bauer-1781, Eckermann-1778, Sander-1780, Moldenhauer-1780, J. D. Dathe-1789, J. Chr. F. Schulz-1796, H. A. Schultensand H. Muntinghe-1797, F. F. Weidenbach-1797, C. Rosenmueller-1824, Theo. Dereser-1797, Stuhlmann-1804, J. M.Schaerer-1815, W. Moessler-1823, E.G.A. Boechel-1821, L. F. Melsheimer-1823

1820 to 1870 K. Umbreit-1824, F. B. Koester-1831, H. Ewald-1836, L. Herzel-1839, Olshausen-1852, J. G. Stickel-1842, J. G. Baikinger-1842, A. Heiligstadt-1847, B. Wette-1849,H. A. Hahn-1850, Ed. Isid Magnus-1850, Konst Schlottmann-1851, A. Ebrard-1838, Fr. Delitzsch-1864, Ad. Kamphausen-1865, F. Boettcher-1849, G. H. Jahr-1865, A. Dillmann-1869, E. W. Hengstenberg-1870.

Included in English scholars are Sam Lee-1837, Carey-1858, A. Barnes-1858, A.B. Davidson-1862.

Ernest Renan--1859 represents French.

Among modern Jews Arnheim-1836, J. Wolfsohn-1843, Max Loewenthal-1846.

General Commentaries include Starke, Joach, Lange, Berleburger, Fischer, Wohlforth, Gerlach, Deachsel.

In Monographs there are F. Spannheim-1672, C. Zeysz-1731, Garnett-1751, Stusz-1752, Lichstenstein-1773, D. llgen-1789, J. Bellermann-1813, J. F. Krause-1811, Krehl-1834, M. Sachs-1823, A. Knobel-1835, D. Friedlaender-1834, W. Gleiss-1845, H. Hupfeld-1853, Hengstenberg-1856, G. Baur-1856 (who refers to Dante's book as "Comodie"), Schneider-1859, Fries-1860, Simson-1861. Schmidt-1869, C. Reusz-1869, W. Volich-1870, B. Schnutz-1890, A. Kenckelman-1687, J. W. Bauer-1707, T. Hasaeus-1723, E. Scheuchzer-1721, Winter-1723

Writing on "behemoth" are J. J. Reiske-1779, K. R. Eckermann-1799, J. D. H. Autenrieth-1823, F. Fockens-1844, C. W. Koestlein-1846, F. Boettcher-1867.

Drama, Style, Poetry

We have already noted that a comparison of Job with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs leads us to believe that Solomon had a hand in writing the book as we have it in our Bibles. A connection can also be shown in a comparison of drama in Job and Ecclesiates. This is how it is developed:

A Giant Syllogism

Job's three friends make a logical point in three parts. Such a formal argument is called a syllogism. It stretches from chapter 4 to 26. Job answers each point. In this procedure each of the three friends (Elpihaz, Bildad, Zophar) presents his first premise. Job answers each individually. Then each states his second premise and Job answers. Only two offer a conclusion. Zophar drops out because it is apparent to him they are not reaching Job. And they are not making their points. The giant syllogism goes like this:

First Premise: God punishes sinners.

Second Premise: Obviously Job has been singled out for special punishment.

Third Premise: Therefore, it follows that Job has committed a special sin.

In the drama Job maintains his innocence because he has been pardoned (7:21), because of the Advocate (9:33), because of salvation (13:16), and because of the Redeemer (19:25). Not understanding the Gospel, the friends demand what we call "work righteousness." They claim the wicked are always punished and the righteous always blessed. Job invokes the Law of Equalization as proof that in death both righteous and wicked are blessed. Though he understands the Gospel and lives by it, Job has problems. He accuses God of injustice. Only after the elaborate drama is completed and after it is apparent that both Job and friends are wrong, does Elihu enter to lead Job into a deeper understanding of the Gospel. Job is then effectively censured.

Drama in Ecclesiastes

Drama in Job is similar to that in Ecclesiastes where "I" and "He" are used. In Ecclesiastes the 12 chapters are divided into two parts: "I" and "He," student and teacher, flesh and spirit. They are intertwined. "I" is the skeptic in Solomon, wisest man who ever lived (I Kings 4:31). In his wisdom he found vanity in everything. But "He" the teacher and better side of Solomon, answers. In Ecclesiastes the drama is hidden, but it is there, manifesting Solomon's wisdom. The similar drama in Job leads us to believe that Solomon is also responsible for the inspiration of Job as we have the book today.


High Poetry is found in Job, different from poetry we are used to. Generally it is in parallel lines. The Prologue and Epilogue are prose (Job 1.2 and 42). Also, introduction to the four speeches of Elihu are prose (Job 32:1-5). The rest is poetry. The highest form of poetry is in Job 38 where God begins His whirlwind talk with Job. As we proceed, poetry will become evident in the translations.

CHAP. 39
CHAP. 40
CHAP. 41
CHAP. 42