Job

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For the state of being employed, see Employment

Job is a book found in the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible that tells the story of a man named Job. It has been historically considered one of the oldest books in the Bible, though recent scholarship has moved the date of composition to the 4th century B.C.[1]

Job was a righteous man who feared God and who God had blessed greatly. God was proud of Job and spoke highly of him in front of the host of angels, but Satan challenged that Job was not deserving of God's accolades and was only righteous because God put a hedge around him so that his life went well, but Job would quickly turn on God in time of hardship. God removed his hedge of protection and allowed Satan to put his accusation to the test. A series of 4 servants came to Job one after the other telling him of disasters that had befallen his household. When they were done Job knew he had lost his children, flocks, and servants, everything but his own health (which God had forbidden Satan to touch) and his wife. Filled with grief, Job's still reacted with righteousness and fell to the ground to worship. "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." [2]

At another gathering of the host of angels, God commended Job and his righteousness, but Satan again accused him saying that if his own body was touched, then he would curse God to his face. The Lord allowed Satan to act upon his accusation, but to spare Job's life. Job was afflicted with painful itching sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head, which he scratched constantly with a piece of broken pottery. Job's wife told Job to "Curse God and Die" [3], but Job refused.

Job's friends came to talk to him and in long discourses that Job answered, implored to him to admit his sins that caused this. Job could not understand what was happening, but knew it was not due to his sin. He maintained he had been righteous and wished that God would let him know what had happened. Finally God himself came down in a storm to talk to Job. Instead of answering Job's inquiries, He asked Job questions such as "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions?"[4]. Job realized he had no answers for God and could not begin to question things he could not understand.

And God blessed Job all of his remaining years, giving him twice the flocks he had before, and 7 new sons and 3 new daughters to match the number he had before.

Interpretation

Christian theology often views the fact that God gave Job twice the material possessions he had, but exactly the same number of children as an indication of heaven. Job was only given the same number of children as before instead of double because he would see his original children again in heaven.

References

  1. http://www.livius.org/be-bm/bible/bible_chronology.html
  2. Job 1:21
  3. Job 2:9
  4. Job 38:4-5
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