Job is an interesting book of the Bible. It is written using vocabulary that is older than the rest of the Hebrew Bible. As a consequence, some believe it to be the earliest Hebrew literature we have. I asked Bruce Waltke about this and he stated that it was from a later period and merely used older language. In other words it would be like someone today writing in the language of the KJV. Whichever it is, the result has been that some words are only present in Job and we aren’t sure what they mean. Job is also an interesting story that makes certain theological points and one may be confused as to who they should be sympathetic towards.
In Job1, we are introduced to Job and his family but only as a foil to demonstrate Job’s righteousness. I’m certainly glad that I’m not one of Job’s children! Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die…because Satan hates your dad and wants to make a point with God. The chapter concludes with a recurring theme in Job: “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
In chapter two we meet Job’s wife who said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” She is never rebuked for her attitude, nor does Satan attack her in order to cause Job to sin, perhaps because she is his greatest ally in belittling her husband. Throughout this entire ordeal Job remains righteous. Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhiter and Zophar the Naamathite show up next in order to sympathize with him and comfort him.
Chapter three contains a speech by Job in which he curses the day of his birth and its anniversary and wishes he had died at birth. I have trouble not seeing this as an attack on God because after all God knit him together and gave him life.