Job: A Commentary Style Study Part 1

The book of Job functions as a dialogue containing a mix of story and poetry. It consists of elements of lament and disputation and explores themes of suffering and righteousness.

Welcome to Job: A Commentary Style Study Part 1

When it comes to the story of Job, the two primary discussions I've heard, have been:
1. Job was a patient man.
2. the reason Satan was able to get to Job is because Job himself opened the door to him through fear. Job 3:25 is often the reference used to present this narrative.

It wasn't until recent years that I became aware of how treasure laden the book of Job really is. Part one of this commentary style study is going to consist of a short, simple - at a glance - outline of the book of Job. The book is framed by the story prologue and epilogue that tell the story of Job’s calamity and ultimate restoration. The bulk of the book is made up of poetry that include dialogue of lament and disputation as Job and his friends explore themes of suffering and righteousness.

Outline of the Book of Job

Prologue (Job 1-2)

Chapter one

Jobs standing before God (Job 1:1-5).

God presides over his Heavenly counsel. Satan (better translated from Hebrew as “the satan” literally meaning “the accuser”) is among them.

After God praises Job’s Character to “the accuser”, this figure asks whether Job’s piety is because of his prosperous circumstances. To test this question, God permits “the accuser” to strip Job of all that he has (Job 1:6-12). After losing all his possessions, Job still did not sin, or charge God with wrong, or forsake Him (Job 1:13-22).

Chapter two

God again presides over His heavenly counsel. Again, the accuser appears among them. God again confirms Job’s character and steadfastness in-spite of losing all his possessions. This time the accuser responds with “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life”. To test this statement, God permits him to strip Job of his health as long as he spared his life.
Satan struck Job with painful boils from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. At this point, Job’s wife encouraged him to curse God and die. In all this, Job still did not sin, charge God with wrong, or forsake Him (Job 2:1-10). Job’s three friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite) heard of his adversity and each came from his own place to mourn with him and to comfort him. They sat with him for seven days and seven nights without speaking a word to him because they saw that his grief was great (Job 2:11-13).

Job's Dialogue With his Friends (Job 3-31)

Cycle 1

Chapter Three

Job speaks.

Chapter Four – Five

Eliphaz speaks.

Chapter Six – Seven

Job speaks.

Chapter Eight

Bildad speaks.

Chapter Nine – Ten

Job speaks.

Chapter Eleven

Zophar speaks.

Cycle 2

Chapter Twelve – Fourteen

Job speaks.

Chapter Fifteen

Eliphaz speaks.

Chapter Sixteen – Seventeen

Job speaks.

Chapter Eighteen

Bildad speaks.

Chapter Nineteen

Job speaks.

Chapter Twenty

Zophar speaks.

Cycle 3

Chapter Twenty-one

Job speaks.

Chapter Twenty-two

Eliphaz speaks.

Chapter Twenty-three – Twenty-four

Job speaks.

Chapter Twenty-five

Bildad speaks.

Job's Final Defense (Job 26-31)

Chapter Twenty-six – Thirty-one

Job speaks.

The Forth, and Youngest Friend, Elihu Speaks up (Job 32-37)

Chapter Thirty-two – Thirty-seven

Elihu speaks.

The Lord's Dialogue with Job (Job 38-42:6)

Chapter Thirty-eight - Chapter Forty verse two

Lord speaks.

Chapter Forty, Verses Three - Five

Job speaks.

Chapter Forty, Verses Six - Chapter Forty-one

Lord speaks.

Chapter Forty-two, Verses one - six

Job speaks.

Epilogue (Job 42:7-17)

Chapter Forty-two, Verses Seven - Seventeen

God is angry at Job’s three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) for not speaking what was right as Job had.
God told the three friends to take seven bulls and seven Rams to Job and offer up for themselves a burnt offering and have Job pray for them lest the Lord dealt with them according to their folly.

The Lord restored a double portion of Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.

The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than the beginning.

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