Job 1-4

Job is not a fun book, so suck it up. If you want to get the gist of the story early on, watch Dark Matter’s video.

Chapter 1

Everyone knows the basic story of Job, right? If not, all you need to read are the first couple of chapters. The important events all take place right at the beginning. But the book of Job has 42 chapters….. the rest is mostly a philosophical discussion about the problem of evil, with a lot of it in poetic form ….. ugh.

Verse 6 is interesting. In the Hebrew-English translation, and in the JKV, it says that “the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.” Does this mean that Satan is one of the sons of Yahweh? Like Jesus’ brother or something? More recent translations have removed this reference, instead substituting “members of the heavenly court” (NLT) or “angels” (NIV) for “sons of god”. Hmmm. Also interesting, in Hebrew the word ‘satan’ just means ‘adversary’, not ‘evil’.

Chapter 2

Job’s wife has the right idea (v 9). She deserves a larger role and more credit! Near the end of the chapter, three of Job’s friends, who had heard of his tragedy, show up to commiserate with him. And the first thing they do when they see him is tear their robes, sprinkle dust on their heads, and fast for a week. Again, how does this help??? These guys famously become known as “Job’s comforters” – idiom: someone who tries to make you feel better but makes you feel worse instead.

Chapter 3

Job poetically curses the day he was born. That’s the whole chapter – read it all if you like poetry. Job is angry and upset and he vents at length. He sure doesn’t sound very patient to me. So where did the expression “the patience of Job” originate?

Chapter 4

job's comforterThe first friend, Eliphaz, responds by saying (in a fancy poem) that if Job is suffering it must be because of some sin he committed. “My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.” (v 8)

You might be thinking by now that I was NOT an English major in university and that poetry was NOT my favorite part of English class in high school, and you’re right. I won’t be spending much time mulling over the poetry.

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