The Bible Book by Book
Name. Job, from its chief character, or hero, and mean "Persecuted."

Date. Neither the date nor the author can be determined with certainty. I incline to the theory of the Job authorship.

Connection with Other Books. It stands alone, being one of the so-called wisdom books of the Bible. It nowhere alludes to the Mosaic law or the history of Israel.

Literary Characteristics. Chapters one and two and parts of chapter forty-two are prose. All the rest is poetry. The different speakers may have been real speakers, or characters created by one writer to make the story. There is, however, little doubt that the story is founded on historical facts.

The Problems of the Book. This book raises several great questions, that are common to the race, and directly or indirectly discusses them. Among those questions the following are the most important. (1) Is there any goodness without reward? "Doth Job serve God or naught"? (2) Why do the righteous suffer and why does sin go unpunished? (3) Does God really care for and protect his people who fear him? (4) Is adversity and affliction a sign that the sufferer is wicked? (5) Is God a God of pity and mercy!

The Argument. The argument proceeds as follows: (1) There is a conference between God and Satan and the consequent affliction of Job. (2) The first cycle of discussion with his three friends in which they charge Job with sin and he denies the charge. (3) The second cycle of discussion. In this Job's friends argue that his claim of innocence is a further evidence of his guilt and impending danger. (4) The third cycle. In this cycle Job's friends argue that his afflictions are just the kind that would come to one who yielded to temptations such as those to which he is subject. In each of the three cycles of discussion with his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, each argues with Job except that Zophar remains silent in the third cycle. They speak in the same order each time. (5) Elihu shows how Job accuses God wrongly while vindicating himself and asserts that suffering instructs us in righteousness and prevents us from sinning. (6) God intervenes and in two addresses instructs Job. In the first address, Job is shown the creative power of the Almighty and his own folly in answering God whom animals by instinct fear. In the second address, Job is shown that one should know how to rule the world and correct its evils before one complains at or accuses God. (7) Job prays and is restored.

Purpose. The purpose of the book, then, is to justify the wisdom and goodness of God in matters of human suffering and especially to show that all suffering is not punitive.

Job's temptation. Job's temptation came by stages and consisted largely in a series of losses as follows: (1) His property, (2) His children, (3) His health, (4) His wife's confidence-she would have him curse God and die. (5) His friends who now think him a sinner, (6) The joy of life-he cursed the day of his birth, (7) His confidence in the goodness of God-he said to God, "Why hast thou set me as a mark for thee?" In his reply to Elihu he doubts the justice if not the very existence of God.


I. Job's Wealth and Affliction. Chs. 1-2.

II. The Discussion of Job and His Three Friends. Cha. 3-31.

1. The first cycle, 3-14.

2. The second cycle, Chs. 15-21.

3. The third cycle, Chs. 22-31.

III. The Speech of Elihu, Chs. 32-37.

IV. The Addresses of God, Chs. 38-41.

1. The first address, 38-39.

2. The second address, 40-41.

V. Job's Restoration, Ch. 42.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The personality and malice of Satan.Point out his false accusations against Job and God, also the signs of his power. (2) Concerning man look for evidence of: (a) The folly of self-righteousness, (b) The vileness of the most perfect man in God's sight, (c) The impossibility of man, by wisdom, apart from grace, finding God. (3) Concerning God, gather evidence of his wisdom, perfection and goodness. (4) Job's disappointment in his friends. (5) Elements of truth and falsehood in the theory of Job's friends. (6) Job's despair of the present, his view of Sheol and his view of the future. Does he believe in a future life or think all ends with the grave? (7) Does the book really explain why the righteous are allowed to suffer? (8) Make a list of the striking passages especially worthy of remembering.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Job 1. Job's Holiness; Satan's First Test: Loss of His Children and Goods

1. The holiness, riches, and reverent care of Job for his children.
6. Satan, appearing before God, obtains leave to afflict Job.
13. Understanding of the loss of his children and goods, in his mourning Job blesses God.

Job 2. Job's Second Test: Job Loses His Health

1. Satan, appearing again before God, obtains further leave to tempt Job.
7. He afflicts him with sore boils.
9. Job reproves his wife, who moved him to curse God.
11. His three friends console with him in silence.

Job 3. Job's Lament

1. Job curses the day and services of his birth.
13. The ease of death.
20. He complains of life, because of his anguish.

Job 4. Eliphaz Reproves Job

1. Eliphaz reproves Job that the innocent do not suffer
7. He teaches God's judgments to be not for the righteous, but for the wicked.
12. His fearful vision to humble the excellency of creatures before God.

Job 5. Eliphaz Shows that God Is Just

1. Eliphaz shows that the end of the wicked is misery;
6. that man is born to trouble;
8. that God is to be regarded in affliction;
17. the happy end of God's correction.

Job 6. Job's Reproves His Friends of Their Unkindness

1. Job shows that his complaints are not causeless.
8. He wishes for death, wherein he is assured of comfort.
14. He reproves his friends of unkindness.

Job 7. Job Declares His Life Seems Futile

1. Job excuses his desire of death.
12. He complains of his own restlessness, and reasons with God.

Job 8. Bildad Shows God's Justice to the Good

1. Bildad shows God's justice in dealing with men according to their works.
8. He alleges antiquity to prove the certain destruction of the hypocrite.
20. He applies God's just dealing to Job.

Job 9. Job Acknowledges God's Justice

1. Job acknowledges God's justice
22. Man's innocence is not to be condemned by afflictions

Job 10. Job Complains to God, Craves a Little Ease Before Death

1. Job, taking liberty of complaint, expostulates with God about his afflictions
18. He complains of life, and craves a little ease before death

Job 11. Zophar Rebukes Job for Justifying Himself; God's Wisdom Is Unsearchable

1. Zophar reproves Job for justifying himself
5. God's wisdom is unsearchable
13. The assured blessing of repentance

Job 12. Job Maintains Himself against His Friends; Acknowledges God's Omnipotence

1. Job maintains himself against his friends that reprove him
7. He acknowledges the doctrine of God's omnipotence

Job 13. Job Reproves His Friends for Partiality, Professes Confidence in God's Purpose

1. Job reproves his friends for partiality
14. He professes his confidence in God;
19. and entreats to know his own sins, and God's purpose in afflicting him

Job 14. Job Asks God for Favor Because of the Shortness of Life

1. Job entreats God for favor, by the shortness of life, and certainty of death
7. He waits for his change
16. By sin the creature is subject to corruption

Job 15. Eliphaz Reproves Job for Justifying Himself; Declares the Wickedness of Men

1. Eliphaz reproves Job for impiety in justifying himself
17. He proves by tradition the restlessness of wicked men

Job 16. Job Reproves His Friends for Their Unmerciful Outlook; Maintains His Innocence

1. Job reproves his friends for unmercifulness
17. He maintains his innocence

Job 17. Job Appeals from Men to God

1. Job appeals from men to God
6. The unmerciful dealing of men with the afflicted may astonish,
9. but not discourage the righteous
11. His hope is not in life, but in death

Job 18. Bildad Reproves Job for Presumption and Impatience

1. Bildad reproves Job for presumption and impatience
5. The calamities of the wicked

Job 19. Job Feels Insulted, Craves Pity, Believes the Resurrection

1. Job, complaining of his friends' cruelty,
6. shows there is misery enough in him to feed their cruelty
21. He craves pity
23. He believes the resurrection

Job 20. Zophar Declares the Triumph of the Wicked Is Brief

1. Zophar shows the state and portion of the wicked

Job 21. Job Says God Will Deal with the Wicked

1. Job shows that even in the judgment of man he has reason to be grieved
7. Sometimes the wicked prosper, though they despise God
16. Sometimes their destruction is manifest
21. The happy and unhappy are alike in death
27. The judgment of the wicked is in another world

Job 22. Eliphaz Accuses and Exhorts Job to Repentance

1. Eliphaz shows that man's goodness profits not God
5. He accuses Job of various sins
21. He exhorts him to repentance, with promises of mercy

Job 23. Job Longs to Appear before God

1. Job longs to appear before God
6. in confidence of his mercy
8. God, who is invisible, observes our ways
11. Job's innocence
13. God's decree is immutable

Job 24. Wickedness is Often Unpunished, but there is a Secret Judgment for the Wicked

1. Wickedness often goes unpunished
17. There is a secret judgment for the wicked

Job 25. Bildad Says that Man Cannot be Justified before God

1. Bildad shows that man cannot be justified before God

Job 26. Job Declares the Greatness of God

1. Job, reproving the uncharitable spirit of Bildad
5. acknowledges the power of God to be infinite and unsearchable

Job 27. Job Affirms His Own Righteousness; The wicked Will be Cursed

1. Job protests his sincerity
8. The hypocrite is without hope
11. The blessings which the wicked have are turned into curses

Job 28. Wisdom Is Harder to Obtain than Earth's Treasures

1. There is a knowledge of natural things
12. But wisdom is an excellent gift of God

Job 29. Job Bemoans His Former Prosperity

1. Job bemoans his former prosperity

Job 30. Job's Present State Is Humiliating

1. Job's honor is turned into extreme contempt
15. and his prosperity into calamity

Job 31. Job Asserts His Integrity

1. Job makes a solemn protestation of his integrity in several duties

Job 32. Elihu Rebukes Job and His Three Friends

1. Elihu is angry with Job and his three friends
6. Because wisdom comes not from age, he excuses the boldness of his youth
11. He reproves them for not satisfying Job
16. His zeal to speak

Job 33. Elihu Declares God Calls Man to Repentance by Visions and Afflictions

1. Elihu offers himself instead of God to reason with Job
8. He excuses God from giving man an account of his ways, by his greatness
14. God calls man to repentance by visions, by afflictions, and by his ministry
31. He incites Job to attention

Job 34. Elihu Accuses Job for Charging God with Injustice

1. Elihu accuses Job for charging God with injustice
10. God omnipotent cannot be unjust
31. Man must humble himself unto God
34. Elihu reproves Job

Job 35. Many Cry in Affliction, But Are Not Heard for Lack of Faith

1. Comparison is not to be made with God,
6. because our good or evil cannot extend unto him
9. Many cry in their afflictions, but are not heard for lack of faith

Job 36. Elihu Shows How Job's Sins Hinder God's Blessings

1. Elihu shows how God is just in his ways
16. How Job's sins hinder God's blessings
24. God's works are to be magnified

Job 37. Elihu Says God is to be Feared Because of His Great Works

1. God is to be feared because of his great works
15. His wisdom is unsearchable in them

Job 38. God, Speaks, Convinces Job of Ignorance

1. God challenges Job to answer
4. God, by his mighty works, convinces Job of ignorance
31. and weakness

Job 39. God Speaks of His Creation

1. Of the wild goats and hinds
5. Of the wild donkey
9. The unicorn
13. The peacock, stork, and ostrich
19. The horse
26. The hawk
27. The eagle

Job 40. Job Humbles Himself to God

1. Job humbles himself to God
6. God stirs him up to show his righteousness, power, and wisdom
16. Of the behemoth

Job 41. God's Power Shown in Creatures

1. Of God's great power in the leviathan

Job 42. Job Confesses; God Makes His Friends Submit; God Blesses Job

1. Job submits himself unto God
7. God, preferring Job's cause, makes his friends submit themselves, and accepts him
10. He magnifies and blesses Job
16. Job's age and death
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