Bible Query from
Q: When was this book written?
A: Scholars are not sure. However, in the book of Job, Bildad was a Shuhite and Eliphaz was a Temanite. Shuah was a son of Abraham and Keturah in Genesis 25:2. Teman was a grandson of Esau. (Genesis 36:11,15,42 and 1 Chronicles 1:36,53; 1 Chronicles 1:45). Thus it was written well after Jacob and Esauís time. The New Geneva Study Bible p.698 says that the style of Job is "classic Hebrew", which would mean a date later than 1500 B.C.
Q: In Job, what is an outline of this book?
A: Here is a simple one that shows the structure by chapter.
Eliphaz (4-5) Eliphaz (15) Eliphaz (22)
Job (6-7) Job(16-17) Job (23-24)
Bildad (8) Bildad (18) Bildad (25)
Job (9-10) Job (19) Job(26-27:12)
Zophar (11) Zophar (20) ? ( 27:13-23)
Job (12-14) Job (21) Job (28-31)
The Lord (38-41)
Some think Zophar is speaking in Job 27:13-23, while the NIV, New Geneva Study Bible, and the Believerís Bible Commentary p.530 all indicate it is still Job. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.750 mentions both views and says it could be either way.
Q: Was Job taken from ancient Sumerian and Babylonian legends as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.474 suggests?
A: There is no evidence, as similarity does not necessary mean one took from another. On the contrary, it would be surprising if there were no other literature that dealt with this issue. There are two Mesopotamian works that address the problem of suffering.
I will Praise the Lord of Wisdom, an Akkadian work, sometimes is called the Babylonian Job.
The Dialogue of Human Misery (also called the Babylonian Theodicy) asks why there is suffering in general, while Job asks why he is suffering. The Dialogue of Human Misery answers by saying the gods made men evil. The book of Job answers this by saying that it is not because of Jobís sin. Rather, God is so much greater than us, that sometimes He has reasons we cannot see for why He allows his obedient servants to suffer. In Jobís particular case, Jobís demonstrated faithfulness in suffering glorified God. In Jobís case, things worked out well before the end of his physical life, but regardless, Job knew he would be vindicated after death (Job 13:15).
In modern times, the book The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis is very insightful.
Q: Was Job an actual, historical person?
A: Sure. Job indicates such, Ezekiel 14:14,20 also lists Job as a righteous person, along with Daniel and Noah. James 5:11 also mentions Job as a person. There is no evidence to indicate otherwise. Job 1 just as matter-of-factly introduces Job as 1 Samuel introduces Elkanah and Luke matter-of-factly introduces Zechariah. See When Critics Ask p.223-224, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.235-237, and 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.145 for more info.
Q: Was Job Jewish, an Israelite, or a Gentile?
A: Job probably could never have been Jewish, because the "Jewish" people were the remnants of the Israelites, who returned to the land after the Exile, and Job most likely was written before then.
Some think Job was an Israelite, because the book of Job uses the divine name a total of 23 times. However, every time except for two, the divine name is used by the bookís narrator and not Job or any of his friends.
Some think Job could be the among the earliest books of the Bible. We do not know when Job was written, but since Job 1:17 mentions the Chaldeans, and the Sumerians were not assimilated into Chaldea until around 1500 B.C., it must have been after then. (The Israelites left Egypt around 1445 B.C.)
Job very well might have been Jewish, but there is no reason to favor this interpretation, and a number of non-Jews were found named Job. The book of Job certainly could have said so, but it is silent on Jobís ethnic background. Perhaps the reason is that Jobís ethnic background was not important.
Q: In Job, who else was named Job and Bildad?
A: W.F. Albright found the name ĎIyyob used even before Mosesí time. The Berlin Execration texts mention an ĎIyyob as a Syrian prince near Damascus. "Ayyabum" is found in the Mari texts. The Tell el-Amarna letters of 1400-1370 B.C. mention Ayab as a prince of Pella. W.F. Albright found the name Bildad as a shortened form of "Yabil-Dadum" in the second millennium. See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.236-238 for more info.
Q: In Job, since the views of the speakers disagreed, how could they all be inspired?
A: God chose to show us truthfully what they said, without endorsing their views as truth. Indeed, at the end of Job God pronounced the views of the three friends wrong. See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.146 for more info.
Q: In Job, since God loves us, why does God allow so much suffering in the world?
A: Five points to consider in the answer.
1. Since the Fall, the world is under the dominion of the evil one (1 John 5:19). We are in enemy-occupied territory.
2. This is not the best possible world; we should not get too comfortable here. The best possible world is where people have freedom to love God, and everyone there will love God. The best possible world is Heaven, and this is the process to the best of all possible worlds.
3. This is not a just world, where babies suffer and some evil people live long, prosperous lives. Justice will come, and Judgment Day is when God will set everything right.
4. Godís eternal viewpoint sometimes differs from ours. We see death as the end, and suffering as extremely long. God sees a thousand of our years as only a watch in the night (Psalm 90:4). Perhaps we should have a longer-term view as God does.
5. We may not understand why we have the suffering we have, but Romans 8:28 says that God can use all things, not just good things, to work together for good for those who love Him. We may not understand our suffering, but God understands, because Jesus Himself came and suffered and was killed unfairly, and He understands our pain.
Q: In Job, why do bad things happen to godly people?
A: Sometimes we can see reasons for calamities happening to Christians. Paul first preached to the Galatians because of illness in Galatians 4:13. Paul was given some sort of thorn in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 to keep him from being conceited. Christians who took the Lordís cup lightly were disciplined with sickness and death in 1 Corinthians 11:29-32. Christians such as Paul (2 Timothy 3:10-12) and John (Revelation 1:9) suffered persecution for the Gospelís sake.
Yet most of the time, we cannot see the reasons for trials for the godly. We must be content to wait until Heaven to know the reasons for many things. We can say in general though, that trials develop perseverance (James 1:2-4). All things, even evil things, work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
The book of Job explores this question. Skipping over the many subtle truths in Job, we can say:
1. While Satan instigated the suffering, God permitted it and used it for His glory.
2. After this was over, a secondary result was that Job knew God in a much more personal and intimate way.
3. During the whole trial, Job had no idea why this was happening. In a way, this too was part of the trial.
4. Jobís three friends had all the answers for Job; unfortunately, they were the wrong answers.
5. The answer given to Job was not "Satan was allowed to torment Job to test him". Rather, the answer was, "on earth, many times God does not tell us the reasons for the suffering."
In summary, God can allow whatever He wants. Today there are many things that are not right, and a time is coming, Judgment Day, when all will be set right. See the discussion on Galatians 4:13 for more info on suffering due to sickness.
See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.147 for a complementary answer.
Q: Bart Ehrman writes, "And once you throw the Old Testament into the mix, things get completely jumbled. ... The book of Amos insists that the people of God suffer because God is punishing them for their sins; the book of Job insists that the innocent can suffer; and the book of Daniel indicates that the innocent in fact will suffer. All of these books are different,..." (Jesus, Interrupted p.12. See also Lost Christianities p.117-118)
A: Ehrman apparently has a real problem with complementary statements. If someone like Daniel at one time is persecuted because he obeyed God, Ehrman has a hard time accepting that at other time people suffer because God is punishing them. Amos never said that people only suffer because of their sins; Amos was speaking to a specific situation at his time. Job does show that people sometimes suffer for reasons unrelated to the sins of themselves of the people around them, and Daniel does show that Godís people sometimes suffer from unbelievers precisely because they are following God. They do say different things, but they are not incompatible. Different sides of a sculpture look different, but it is the same sculpture. Likewise truth has different views depending on your focus, but the views are complementary, not incompatible.
Q: In Job, as C. G. Jung said of Job, "is it worth the lionís while to terrify the mouse?"
A: As Philip Yancey says in his book Disappointment with God p.167-175, the book of Job is not about a struggle with God vs. Job, but about God vs. Satan, and Job is Godís stand-in. We cannot confuse "God" and "life", as we were made to glorify God in being victors over Satan. As one of Yanceyís interviewees says on p.184, "If we develop a relationship with God apart from our life circumstances, then we may be able to hang on when the physical reality breaks down. We can learn to trust God despite all the unfairness of life. Isnít that really the main point of Job?"
Q: In Job, why did God permit Job to suffer?
A: Five points to consider in the answer.
Since all people have a sinful nature (Romans 4:23), we live in a fallen world (Romans 8:20-22), under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19), so all people are subject to suffering.
Job was not suffering because of any specific sin he committed, and a personís suffering is not necessarily because that person is more sinful than others. Jesus taught the same in Luke 13:4. In fact, Job searched himself, and could not find any sin that would justify him getting this treatment and others not in Job 6:24,29,30. Sometimes suffering is Godís discipline to persuade us to repent of our sin, but it was not the case here.
In general, while we can read the causes and the outcome in the book of Job, Job could not. We can learn from this that sometimes obedient believers will have suffering, and not know the reason.
Specifically in Jobís case, his suffering glorified God by demonstrating his faithfulness even after he had lost hope. Even a puny, mortal believer like Job could stand up to the worst Satan could throw at him. God always has His reasons, and all reasons ultimately come back to either discipline or glorifying Him. We often do not know the reasons at the time, but we will know after we die.
In the end, God will have a world where there is no suffering or temptation, yet everyone in that place will freely choose to love Him. This is the new heavens and earth. We eagerly await that time, when "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4 NIV) Come Lord Jesus!
See Todayís Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.333-337 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:1, Job 1:8; and Job 2:3, how was Job righteous, since Rom 3:23 says that no one is righteous?
A: Job was a godly man. These verses do not claim Job was sinlessly perfect, but Job diligently obeyed God, and Job said he said he would repent of whatever he did wrong. See Todayís Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.331-333 and When Critics Ask p.223 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:1 briefly, where was Uz?
A: Uz was a son of Aram according to Genesis 3:21 and 1 Chronicles 1:17. The Arameans concentrated in Syria. Complicating matters, there was another Uz, which was descended from Edom in 1 Chronicles 1:42.
Q: In Job 1:1, where was the land of Uz?
A: Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.476-477 says there appears to be confusion about Uz, and that the Assyrians knew of a district called "Ussai" in modern-day Syria. However, Jeremiah 25:20 listing the land of Uz right before the Philistines does not mean the two were adjacent. Asimov also mentions that Edom dwelt in Uz in Lamentations 4:21, and that is because there was another Uz descended from Edom in 1 Chronicles 1:42.
However, The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.879 says that since Delitzsch notes the Arabic name for Esau is Ďis, Uz might be the place in North Arabia where two cultures, Aramean and Edomite met or divided.
For a modern illustration, I wonder if people in other parts of the world are confused in there being a Washington state and a Washington, D.C. To Americans this is not confusing, and there being two lands of Uz were probably not confusing to Bible writers either.
Q: In Job 1:1; 2:3 (KJV), what does eschewed evil mean?
A: This King James Version word means to avoid or not to do. The NIV and NKJV use the word "shunned evil". The NET Bible and NRSV say "turned away from evil".
Q: In Job 1:2, what is the significance of seven sons and three daughters?
A: There are three possibilities:
1. These could be simply what the actual numbers happened to be.
2. These numbers represent perfection and completeness in other passages, and they could just reflect that here.
3. It could be both. God had these numbers put in to represent perfection and completeness, and God worked in history so that these are the actual numbers too.
Q: In Job 1:5, should Jews have done sacrifice for others as Job did?
A: No, because the Old Testament never commanded this. Furthermore, the Bible shows that one (fallen) person cannot make atonement for another person. As a side note, nothing in the Bible says that Job was an Israelite. See When Critics Ask p.224 and When Cultists Ask p.57 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:5, does Job offering sacrifices for his children support the Roman Catholic teaching on indulgences, as one Catholic writer (Ludwig Ott) claimed?
A: No. The Catholic doctrine of indulgences is that a person can do an activity, such as paying money to the church to take away the penalty in purgatory for either their own sins, or the sins of another Catholic who has already died.
No mention of a "treasury of merit" where a departed saint can help someone on earth.
Still alive: Jobís children were still alive
Not commanded in the Bible: While Jobís intentions were good, there is nothing in the Bible that says this is what God wanted us to do, either in Old Testament times or New. Nothing says that God accepted Jobís sacrifice for anybody but Job.
No mention of purgatory is in Job, or anywhere else in the Bible for that matter.
The intent of this passage shows how righteous Job was, not to introduce a new doctrine, (which was not followed by anybody else in the Bible).
See When Cultists Ask p.57 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:6, who were the sons of God here?
A: These were angels, both good angels and fallen demons.
Q: In Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7 (NIV), should it say "Satan/adversary" or "the Satan/adversary"?
A: The definite article "the" is in the Hebrew. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.881 says "the" should be included. This would mean Satan is either the one and only Satan we know from the New Testament or else simply a demon that was an adversary against Job.
Q: In Job 1:6, why was Satan permitted to come before God, and we cannot come directly before Him?
A: While the Bible does not say, there are a few observations we can make here.
a) God is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:24).
b) God also has a special localized presence in the throne room of Heaven, as Revelation 4 shows.
c) Satan also came before God in Zechariah 3:1, in order to try to accuse the high priest. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.238-239 says this suggests that Satan has occasional access to at least one part of heaven in order to make accusations.
d) Job 1:6 does not specify in what sense Satan presented himself to God, but Job 1:6 indicates that Satan was in a group where he did not belong.
See When Critics Ask p.225 Hard Sayings of the Bible p.256-257, and 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.145-146 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:6, was Job used a "pawn" in Godís "chess game" with the devil?
A: Job was neither a pawn nor was he unique. Job glorified God by his life, now he was going to glorify God by his life in the fact of strong opposition. We too exist to serve God and glorify Him, even with the opposition we have. We may suffer in this life, but the sufferings we endure are so small compared to the riches of Heaven (1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10), which we will enjoy with God forever.
Q: In Job 1:11, should the Hebrew word here be translated as "bless" or curse"?
A: The word here can be "bless" as in a farewell blessing. In English we say "good-bye", which is a contraction of "God be with you". Both here and in Psalm 10:3, the word has an ironic sense. Thus Job 1:11 can be translated, "... and he will say good-bye to your face" Likewise Psalm 10:3 can be translated "...say goodbye and renounce the Lord." See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.237 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:13-19; 2:7, why did Satan hate Job so much?
A: Satan hated the fact that Job glorified God. Other than that, Satan did not care at all about Job, except to discredit God and the witness of one of Godís servants.
Q: In Job 1:15, who were the Sabeans/Sabaeans?
A: These might have been the same people mentioned in Joel 3:8, who lived in modern-day Yemen in the southwest of the Arabian peninsula. However, The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.883 and the Anchor Bible Dictionary volume 5 p.861 say these more likely were a group of people the Assyrians called the "Saba" who lived in north Arabia. Of course the north Arabian Sabeans might be related to the southwest Arabian Sabeans too.
Q: In Job 1:16, what was the fire of God?
A: This probably was a colloquial term to refer to fire that was not made on this earth. In other words, lightning. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.883 says that this was simply "phenomenological language" because the lightning struck from the sky.
Q: Does Job 1:20-21 teach reincarnation?
A: No. Sometimes New Age people take Bible verses that teach afterlife or resurrection, and since the verse teaches afterlife, it must mean afterlife by reincarnation. However, this verse does not even teach afterlife. Rather, Job simply observes that he came into this world with nothing (naked) and he will leave this world with nothing too. As a matter of fact, Job calls death "the place of no return" in Job 10:21. See When Cultists Ask p.58 and When Critics Ask p.225-226 for more info.
Q: In Job 1:22, what does the Hebrew word tiplah, translated wrongdoing, mean precisely?
A: According to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.883, the word is linked with "tasteless". A related word is translated "worthless" in Lamentations 2:14. Job, at this point, believed God had a higher purpose for what was happening, so Job did not charge God with doing anything worthless or without purpose.
Q: In Job 1:22, how do some people charge God with wrongdoing?
A: Some explicitly say "God is unjust" for various reasons. Some religious people say God is just, but that His justice is unfathomable. There is some truth to that, as Godís justice and love are beyond our complete understanding. However, saying that since God is infinite, we cannot understand what Godís justice is and there is no point in trying, is like saying that since Godís love is infinite, we cannot understand what Godís love is and there is no point in trying.
Some people think God is unjust because they see that punishment for the wicked is not immediate. Others think God is unjust for the opposite reason, the godly do not always get good things. Others see God as unjust because the righteous are not always getting better things than the wicked, at least in this life. We can understand what God has revealed about justice, but we have to trust God by faith that justice will come.
Q: In Job 2:3, how did God move against Job?
A: God moved in a significant way by partially lifting his protection of Job. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.257-258 for a more extensive answer.
Q: In Job 2:4, why did Satan say, "skin for skin"?
A: Satan was claiming that every person would do anything to preserve their skin. Job proved Satan wrong. As a side note, a dermatologist once quoted this in his literature to claim the Bible teaching how important the skin is. The trouble is, when he quoted this verse (in the KJV), he did not quote the first three words, and when you do not quote the beginning of a verse or sentence, you should put an ellipsis (...) which he did not. The missing words were "And Satan said".
Q: In Job 2:8, why would somebody with sores all over his skin sit in ashes?
A: This practice actually makes good sense. Fresh (but cold) ashes would be about the most sterile place a person could sit.
Q: In Job 2:9, why would Jobís wife say, "curse God and die"?
A: As Job saw, this was an evil statement by a despairing woman. Remember that though God was testing Job, Jobís wife had ten kids buried as well. The death of their children did not mean Jobís wife was any worse than other wives, but that unequal consequences can happen to people in this life.
Q: In Job 2:10, what does the word "evil" mean here?
A: This does not mean moral evil, but physical calamity. The NIV is correct to translate this as "trouble". The NET Bible is more literal in translating it as "evil".
Q: In Job 2:11, how do you pronounce the names of Jobís friends?
A: According to the Crudenís Concordance and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, they are pronounced as follows: Eí-li-faz, BILí-dad, and ZOí-far with all vowels being short except the "o" in Zophar.
Q: In Job 2:11, who were the Temanites, Shuhites, and Maamathites/Naamathites?
A: The first two peoples were known to the Hebrews, though we have some ambiguity or uncertainty about their modern location.
Teman was a well-known oasis in north Arabia. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 6 p.138 says it was one of the best-watered oases in the Arabian peninsula. Teman was also the name of a city of Edom that was known for its wise men in Jeremiah 49:7,20. 1 Chronicles 1:36 says that Teman was a descendant of Eliphaz of Edom, so the Eliphaz in Job might have been named after his ancestor.
Shua was brother of Midian who lived in the east, according to Genesis 25:2,6 and 1 Chronicles 1:32. Also, Assyrian records mention a people called "Suhu".
Maamathites/Naamathites are unknown apart from Job 2:11 and Job 20:1; 42:9.
Job was a fairly common name, based on the Tell el-Amarna Letters (1400-1370 B.C.) and Egyptian Execration texts, as well as records from Mari and Alalakh. See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.862 for more info.
Q: In Job 3, did Job sin in cursing the day he was born?
A: Job did not transgress what God revealed in the law. However, this attitude was not good for him, or us, because God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Psalm 139:14.
Q: In Job 3:16-22, what did Job think about the afterlife?
A: This passage shows that Job had an eternal perspective and believed in an afterlife. The dead have rest (Job 3:13; 17-19) in that their bodies no longer toil. However restful Job and the righteous might be, the wicked still suffer after death.
The verse that shows most clearly Jobís view is Job 19:26-27. Of course, concepts like the Millennium, the Messiahís second coming, the church age, etc. were not revealed to believers in Jobís time.
Early Christians understood Job as referring to the resurrection. Clement of Rome writes, "and again, Job says, ĎThou shalt raise up this flesh of mine, which has suffered all these things.í" 1 Clement ch.26 p.12
Q: In Job 3:16-22, what does this teach us about the afterlife?
A: First of all, this passage merely relates what Job thought, without endorsing everything Job said as true. All that Job said here was true, except that:
a) verse 22 relates only to the godly, and while verses 17-19 are true for everyone (in death he is freed from his master, etc.), and
b) Contrary to what Job griped about, there is punishment for those who reject God.
Q: In Job 3:19 should it say "the same and great are there" or "the small and great are alike/the same?
A: The NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, NET Bible, and NRSV, and the Believerís Bible Commentary p.519 translate it "are there". Greenís Literal Translation has "is there", and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament says "are together". According to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.892, it is now recognized that the Hebrew word hu should be translated "alike/the same".
Q: In Job 4, what is the basic mindset of Eliphaz?
A: Eliphaz recognized that Job had been a righteous man who helped many. However, to Eliphaz, Jobís suffering proved that Job must have done something wrong. Eliphaz had the false view that Godís justice is always immediate. If nothing happened, either good or bad, to anyone, that would simply be delayed justice, but there is more to it than that. Not only do ungodly people often not immediately face the consequences for their wickedness, but also why do bad things happen to the godly, when the ungodly are more deserving? Thus, not only is Godís justice often not immediate, but often unjust wrongs are immediate.
God will not only dispense His justice in the end, but He also will reverse all the injustices to which we are subject. In Jobís particular case, he suffered unjustly at the hands of Satan. It was not just his suffering, but his unjust suffering, that glorified God.
Q: In Job 4:5-5:27, what is the structure of Eliphazís argument?
A: It is a chiasm, which is commonly found in Hebrew poetry.
ó Opening (4:2)
ó ó Exhortation (4:3-6)
ó ó ó Godís Dealings with men (4:7-11)
ó ó ó ó The Revelation of truth (4:12-21)
ó ó ó Godís Dealings with men (5:1-16)
ó ó Exhortation (5:17-26)
ó Closing Remark (5:27)
See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.897 for more info.
Q: In Job 4:5-5:27, what is Eliphazís argument here?
A: There are two parts.
Trust your own righteousness Job, since you have given good instruction to many. Eliphaz has seen the wicked punished and the righteous rewarded.
However, no one is righteous compared to God, so no one can question injustice or resentfully blame God. I would appeal to God, because He always rescues the righteous. Even if you have sinned, God will discipline you, but He will still rescue you.
These two parts seem incongruent. One view is that Eliphaz was throwing out reasons, and not aware that his reasons conflicted. A second view, probably incorrect, given in The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.725 is that Eliphaz was deliberately incongruent. He was speaking tongue-in-cheek when he told Job to trust in his own righteousness, given the position Job was in.
Regardless, Eliphaz was incorrect on four things:
a) Godís justice often is not immediate
b) Justice can be immediate for some and not for others
c) The fact that God is so holy does nothing to justify Jobís suffering and others not suffering.
d) Most important, Jobís suffering more than other people was not due to sin.
Q: In Job 4:6, what is the best translation?
A: In the past many translated this as "Is not your piety your confidence, your hope and perfect conduct?" In other words the claim was that Job trusted in his piety. However, the Hebrews often added the letter "w" to words for emphasis in what we today call the "pleonastic waw". Thus the emphasis in Job 4:6 means it should be translated "Is not your piety, your confidence, your hope indeed your perfect conduct?"
Past scholars were unsure what these extraneous "waws" were doing in the text until they compared this with Ugaritic literature. See Ancient Orient and Old Testament p.162 for more info.
The NIV translates this "Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?" The NASB and NRSV say "Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?" ("of God" is italicized in the NASB) Greenís literal translation says, "Is not your reverence your hope; your hope the uprightness of your ways?" The NKJV says, "Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?" The NET Bible says, "It not your piety your confidence, and your blameless ways your hope?"
Q: In Job 4:6, what did Job learn about hope?
Sometimes we despair because we do not have enough hope. But more often we have too much hope. We have too much hope in the wrong things. We have hope for our salvation because Christ died for us, AND we have hope due to our bank account, AND we have hope due to our retirement savings, AND we have hope due to our family, AND our health, AND.... But what if those other things were taken away, like they were for Job? Do we still have sufficient hope?
Q: In Job 5:13, why did Paul quote Eliphaz in 1 Cor 3:19, since God later rebuked Eliphaz?
A: In Job 42:7, God did not say everything Eliphaz spoke was wrong, only some things. Eliphaz was correct in saying God would catch the wise in their craftiness, but Eliphaz was wrong in all the words where he thought God would not let any trouble come on the undeserving in this life.
See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.396-397, When Critics Ask p.226,452 and the discussion on 1 Corinthians 3:19 for more info.
Q: In Job 6:6 (RSV), what does "slime of the purslane" mean?
A: The KJV, NASB and NKJV say the white of an egg. The NIV also says the white of an egg, but adds the Hebrew meaning here is uncertain. The NRSV translates this as "mallows" and says the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. Greenís Literal Translation says "slime of an egg". The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.903 says it can be either, "the white of an egg" or, based on a table found at Alalakh, part of an unidentified vegetable.
Q: In Job 6-7, what is a summary of Jobís response?
A: Job says his rash words are because of his great anguish that God caused. He wishes God would kill him now, so that at least he could die not having ever denied the words of God.
Job has no hope, no dependable friends, and their arguments prove nothing so far, so he challenges them to teach him and show him where he was wrong.
Chapter 7 is a discourse on people in general. Man has a struggle for his short time on earth. Every night Job wonders when he will get up, and every day passes swiftly, without hope and without meaning. At least his life is brief, for he would not want to live long like this.
God, why do you care so much about man, that you examine and test him every moment? Tell me what I have done wrong, and why you cannot forgive me for what unknown thing I might have done?
Like his friends, Job too assumes his great suffering is because of some sin of his, but Job cannot figure out what sin it is.
Q: In Job 7:6, does the Hebrew word mean "without hope" or "without thread"?
A: Both, because this is a play on words. Job is comparing his days passing quickly to a weaverís shuttle, and they both come to an end without thread/hope.
Q: Do Job 7:9 and Job 14:12 deny a physical resurrection?
A: No. In Job 7:9, Job simply is saying that all who die do not come back again. In Job 14:12, he says the same thing, except that here he qualifies it by saying men do not return until the heavens are no more.
By the way, while the Bible truthfully tells us everything Job said, everything Job said is not necessarily true. For example, in Job 7:7, Job says his eyes will never see happiness again. See When Critics Ask p.227 and When Cultists Ask p.58-59 for more info.
Q: In Job 7:19, what does this literally say?
A: The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.19 says that instead of "even for an instant" it really says, "long enough to swallow my spit." Greenís Literal translation and the NKJV say essentially the same.
Q: In Job 7:20 does it say "If I have sinned" (NIV, NET Bible, NRSV), "have I sinned" (NASB, NKJV), or just "I have sinned" (KJV)?
A: The King James Version is correct here: the "If" is not present, according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.904 and Greenís Literal Translation. However, the "if" is implied by the context.
Q: In Job 7:20, how is God a watcher of men?
A: This is something about God that bothers some people. No matter how alone you try to be, God is watching over you. A friend of mine from Mainland China, in deciding to become a Christian, said one thing he thought a lot about was, "if there was no God, then why should anyone be good when no one was watching?"
Q: In Job 8, what is the essence of Bildadís argument here?
A: You can look at the effects and see the cause, just has you can see the papyrus and know there is a marsh there.
For example, Bildad assumed Jobís children sinned, and so God punished them for that.
God does not pervert justice.
God punishes sinners but helps the upright.
If Job really were upright, God would help him.
God is not helping him now, so Job is not upright.
Therefore, Job, you need to turn and repent of whatever wrong you have done.
The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.905 remarks that Bildad heard with his ears but failed to hear with his heart, as shown by the callousness of his reply.
Q: In Job 9-10, what is a summary of Jobís response here?
A: Here is a five-point summary.
1. Godís ways are so vast and his wisdom so great, there is no point for Job to question anything He does. God could crush Job for speaking up, so he is not going to speak.
2. Even if God punished a totally blameless man unjustly, there would be no point in arguing this before God (or Jobís friends for that matter).
3. (And here Jobís attitude got really ugly) Job wishes there was a third party to arbitrate between Him and God, because God pronounces people guilty without any appeal, accountability, or the guilty person even knowing what he did wrong.
4. Worst of all, God can call a totally innocent person guilty, and none can say God is unjust. Job is saying, "I am blameless and not guilty!" (Job 9:21; 10:6,7,14)
5. Job loathes his life living under an unjust God. One question still haunts Job though: Why did God take such great care to create him, and show him such kindness, when it was in Godís heart all along to hunt down his blameless servant?"
In summary, Justice that is beyond Jobís comprehension is injustice according to Job. However, we should be careful to differentiate between saying "we do not now understand, therefore we will never understand, because we cannot understand, because there is not justice to understand", and "we do not know understand, because we do not yet see an outline for the whole picture, which we will see in this life." Actually, Job saw an outline of the whole picture by the end of the book of Job.
Q: In Job 11, what is Zopharís point here?
A: Zophar did not address Jobís points. Rather, he offered a kindly "we cannot know the mysteries of God, so just come to God and repent, and donít think about it". Specifically Zophar said,
1. Job, you should be rebuked for saying that about God.
2. You tell God you are blameless, but who can really know about God or His justice?
3. So devote yourself to God and put away your [unspecified] sin.
4. Then God will rescue you, rather than letting you fall like the wicked.
Zophar and Job both agree that we cannot know about God, and that God punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous.
Q: In Job 11:6, has God really forgotten some of our sin as Zophar said?
A: Everything Jobís friends said is not necessarily correct. In fact, at the end of Job, Job was told to make a sacrifice on behalf of his friends for their wrongs words. Zophar is correct in an over-simplified way. God knows everything, so God does not forget the facts. God will punish all sin, but he punished all forgiven sin by having Jesus take the punishment on the cross. However, Zophar is correct that for those whose sins are forgiven, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has [the LORD] removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12 NIV).
Q: In Job 11:7-8, can human beings know God?
A: Yes and no, properly understood. While Zophar was not correct on everything he said, Zopharís view on knowing God was essentially correct. Zophar himself implicitly claims to know many things about God, by all the things he asserted about God. Yet, Zophar recognized that he both did not and could not know everything about God. He is saying we should not pretend that we could know everything about God, such as His mysteries and the depths of Godís knowledge.
Any theology that claims God is all-mystery, or completely unknowable, is off-base. Likewise any theology that claims God has no mystery, and can be totally understood in our small, mortal minds, has a God that is too small.
See When Critics Ask p.228 for more info.
Q: In Job 12-14, what is Jobís point here?
A: This is Jobís the second longest speech. Job is basically saying, do not belittle me by trying to teach me what I already recognize. Wisdom and power belong to God, who is over nature, people, and nations. Why me? I, Job, a godly person, am a laughingstock, and God has done this, while God leaves the marauders undisturbed. God has wisdom, and power over animals, individuals, nature, and nations.
I wish I could argue my case before God, because you guys are worthless. I know I could defend my ways. I would ask God to stop frightening me, and show me what, if anything, I have done wrong. Our life is so short, and unlike a plant, we only live and die once. The way things are, I wish God would hurry up and kill me.
Q: In Job 12:4, how did God answer Job?
A: God was not answering Job now, but he had answered Job before all these calamities occurred. He had taught Job that whatever happens in this life, trust in God who gives eternal life. The NIV Study Bible p.747 and the Believerís Bible Commentary p.523 say the same.
Q: In Job 12:6, how do some people carry their god in their hands?
A: This expression aptly describes people who worship an idol their own hands can carry. Today western people also worship gods they can carry when they worship money, material things, and themselves.
Q: In Job 13:15, should the Hebrew be translated, "yet will I trust Him" or "I have no hope"?
A: The Hebrew words can be translated either way. The KJV shows confidence: "yet will I trust in him." Similarly the NET Bible says, "I will hope in him". The NRSV shows despair: "I have no hope". The NIV says "yet will I hope in him" with a footnote that says "or I have no hope". Greenís Literal Translation says "I will not wait, but I will justify my ways before His face."
Hard Sayings of the Bible p.258 says that this is answered if one can conclude if Job is being optimistic or pessimistic here. The ambiguity lies with the Hebrew word that can be translated as "wait", "hesitate" or "tremble". Since the word can go either way, one has to look at the context, and the context here is the end of Jobís second longest speech. Job is saying that he knows he will be vindicated as a righteous follower of God in the end, so the KJV translation is correct here.
The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.925 says gives various possibilities, phrased both as a statement and a rhetorical question, but concludes that "whatever the reading, the context appears to required a translation that expresses Jobís faith, not his doubt."
Q: In Job 14:13-22, does Job deny an afterlife?
A: Job raises the question of an afterlife in Job 14, but then he answers it. Job affirms an afterlife for at least four reasons.
1. Job would not be worried about God covering over his sin in Job 14:16-17, if as soon as Job died, his sins were gone anyway since he was gone.
2. Job 14:13 says that Job wants to be concealed in the grave, until Godís anger has passed.
3. In Job 13:15, Job has confidence that he will stand before God as vindicated, even if it is after he dies. See the discussion on Job 13:15 for more info.
4. In the entire book of Job, Job is shown to be a man who is thinking about the long-term, not someone who is thinking of this physical life on earth only.
For example, Job 19:26-27 says that even after his skin is destroyed, he knows that he will see God.
Q: In Job 15, what is Eliphazís point here?
A: There are three main parts.
(15:1-14) Listen Job, you are wise, so judge your own words. Your sinful words are not only useless, they undermine piety when you claim you know more than God, and rage against God rather than find comfort in Him. You claim to be more righteous than God.
(15:14-16) Since nothing in the universe is holy compared to God, it is not your place to try to justify yourself. Since people are evil, just keep silent, stop questioning, and just accept your condition as an inevitable results of Godís mysterious justice.
(15:17-35) The wicked surely will be punished. Though they may be rich and well-fed now, their destruction will come.
Q: In Job 16-17, what is a summary of Jobís speech here?
A: What ails you that you keep on arguing, instead of encouraging and comforting? God has used family, health, mockers, and the wicked against me. May my cry never be stopped. I [Job] will go to his grave soon. Itís a good thing I hope for the grave, or else Iíd have no hope at all.
Q: In Job 19, what is Jobís point here?
A: Jobís reply has five parts.
(19:1-6) Despite my three friends tormenting me with words, you do not need to exalt yourself above me. God has wronged me.
(19:7-12) Though I cry out "violence" God is silent. Even worse, He is the one stripping me of honor and attacking me.
(19:13-20) God has alienated my family from me, little kids mock me, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
(19:21-22) So have pity on me. Do not persecute me as God does.
(19:23-29) I, Job know that in the end I will still see God, and I still yearn to see God. So cease bothering me, or else think about Godís judgment for yourself.
Job wanted some friends here, but all he had were three accusers. God was waiting in the wings to comfort Job, yet Job was charging God with wrong and accusing Him of doing this. Job saw no difference between God doing this and God permitting this. Jobís concluded his suffering was meaningless, because he did not see the meaning. Jobís suffering was from Satan, but God used it for His glory. Despite all this, despite Job wrongly thinking God was out to get Him, Job still longed to go to Heaven and be with God. Despite the worst circumstances possible, Job was unshaken in his assurance of salvation and where he wanted to be.
See The New Geneva Study Bible p.722-723, The NIV Study Bible p.754-755, and The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.938-939 for more info.
Q: In Job 19:17, how could Jobís breath be repulsive to his own children, since his children were all killed in Job 1:2,18-19?
A: The NIV says his brothers, who were not killed. Verse 18 says little boys, not his boys. When Critics Ask p.228-229 also adds that children here means descendants, including grandchildren.
Q: In Job 19:18, how did little children despise Job?
A: It could mean that even children made fun of Job. While G.R. Driver says that in Old Babylonian and in Amarna glosses this means "to flee", The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.944 says that this idiom is also in Psalm 78:19 and means "to speak against".
Q: In Job 19:20, does this mean that Jobís teeth are gone?
A: The phrase "skin of my teeth" perhaps means Jobís gums, and The NIV Study Bible p.754 says this means his teeth were gone. The New Geneva Study Bible p.723 also mentions that some commentators suggest this. However, The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.940 points out that the word "only" is not present in the Hebrew, and there is uncertainty on what is meant here. Other interpretations are simply "a narrow escape" or "gnawing at his lips with his teeth"
Q: In Job 19:26 show that resurrected bodies will still be flesh?
A: There are two answers. The NIV footnote says that could be translated as "apart from my flesh" just as well as "in my flesh". However, as 1 Corinthians 15:35-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 show, the flesh we currently have will not see God, but we will see him in new flesh, that is new physical bodies. See the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.240-241, When Critics Ask p.229, When Cultists Ask p.59-60, 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.146, and Hard Sayings of the Bible p.258-259 for more info.
Q: In Job 20, what is Zopharís point here?
A: Job criticized his three friends in Job 16:1-5, and Zophar sounds hurt by that. Zophar correctly understands that justice is not always immediate for the wicked. Sometimes they prosper for a while before receiving punishment. Zopharís speech is poetic and entirely correct in what he said. However, Zophar missed the most important point.
He failed to see while Godís justice for the wicked is not always immediate, Godís justice for the righteous sometimes is delayed too.
Q: In Job 21, what is Jobís point here?
A: Job is essentially saying, "Listen carefully. I am not asking why good things happen to bad people. Iím asking why bad things happen to the righteous, such as myself".
Q: In Job 22, what is Eliphazís point here?
A: Eliphaz has the same message as he had before, except he gets worse. Manís righteousness and sin do not benefit God. It might not be because of your wickedness that God makes you suffer.
Then Eliphaz goes farther and tells Job all the wrong things Eliphaz imagines Job must have done. Eliphaz apparently is getting exasperated with Job here. Surely after all this, Job should break down and confess all the bad things he did. Job is not, so Eliphaz is trying to help Job out.
Q: In Job 22:30 (KJV), should it say "island of the innocent"?
A: No. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.955 say linguistic studies in Hebrew and Phoenician show it should be "one who is not innocent", as the NASB, NET Bible, NIV, NKJV, and Greenís literal translation say. The NRSV says "one who is guilty". The Septuagint says "the innocent"
Q: In Job 23-24, what is Jobís point here?
A: Job as left off criticizing his three friends here. Now Job is accusing God. Job is not really accusing God of harming him unjustly here. Job is accusing God of being an AWOL judge.
Q: In Job 25, what is Bildadís point here?
A: Bildad gives the shortest speech in the entire book here. This is the last time either Bildad or the other two friends speak. Perhaps it is because they see they have run out of anything more to say. Bildad briefly reiterates:
1) God is Almighty
2) Therefore man is not pure before God
3) If even the moon and stars are not pure before God, then of course, man cannot be.
Bildad is correct here, except for the part about the stars not being pure is not Biblical, and man is not utterly wicked. However the way Bildad juxtaposed these statements shows a misconception. The fact that God is Almighty does nothing to prove Jobís suffering is justified. The fact that God is holy and just, of itself, would not prove justice for capricious, unjust harm.
Bildad understands there is justice, and there can be mercy. In all of his speeches, Bildad, unlike Eliphaz, never hints that he recognizes that justice for the wicked is not always immediate. The three friends together never understand that the righteous can suffer unjustly for a time too.
Q: In Job 25:4-6, is man just a maggot (fly larva)?
A: That is what Bildad said, not what God said. The metaphor is partly correct, but it is not a complete picture.
Our span of life is similar to the grass in Godís eyes (James 1:10-11; Isaiah 40:6-8; Psalm 90:3-6). More on the ground motif, our lives are like dust compared to God (Isaiah 40:15). God sits above the people like grasshoppers (Isaiah 40:12). However, that is only half of the story.
Despite all this, we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and made in Godís image (Genesis 1:27). He delights in His children (Zephaniah 3:17).
We may only live on the earth for a moment, but God loves us and values us. (Psalm 4-8)
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.259-260 and 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.1146-147 for more info.
Q: In Job 26-31, what is a summary of Jobís response here?
A: This is Jobís longest speech. He has had it with his friends, and:
(26:1-4) Job is sarcastically saying, "you guys have been a great help!"
(26:5-14) I know that Godís sovereignty and power over death, the sky, the waters, is just the beginning of Godís power.
(27) Though God is unjust toward me, as long as I, Job, live, I will not speak evil or deny that I have been righteous. The rich may prosper, but God will afflict him, his offspring, and family.
(28) Men search all the deep, dark recesses of the earth for metal ore, but where can we search for true wisdom? Only God has it, and we can only learn it by fearing the Lord and departing from evil.
(29) I was blessed. Oh how I long for the days when the friendly counsel of God shone over me, and my children were still alive. I was honored and people respected me. I was good to others. I helped the needy and oppressed, and I put on righteousness. I was secure until the day I would die I thought, and people listened for my counsel.
(30) But now I have no honor. Young men mock me, taunt me. I have no blessing. Even my own body torments me, because God afflicts me. No one is good to me. God is silent, even though I had heard the cry of the poor.
(31) I have made a covenant and 14 oaths. My eyes, feet, heart, and hands are clean. I have: not walked in falsehood, turned from the path, been enticed by a woman, denied justice to servants, denied the poor, hoarded bread, not helped the naked, exploited the orphans, trusted in gold, rejoiced in wealth, worshipped the heavens, rejoiced in vengeance, not been generous, or concealed my sin, then let calamity come. If God can prosecute me for these things fine, but if not...
Q: In Job 26:7, should it be translated "Zaphon" or "north"?
A: Zaphon or "Sapon", was a high mountain in Syria. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.966, says that while the Hebrew word means "north", the associated verb noteh (spreads out" is only used of the heavens. Some think this could refer to the constellations apparently rotating around the north pole.
Q: In Job 26:7, what does it mean that the earth hangs on nothing?
A: The NIV Study Bible p.761 says that the Hebrew word here for "empty space" is the same word used in Genesis 1:2 for formless.
Many ancient cultures had the idea of the earth being held up by the back of an animal, a Titan giant, or the body of a goddess. In contrast, somehow God had taught Job that the earth hangs in space, on nothing. The Believerís Bible Commentary p.530 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.749 also remark how Job knew this scientific fact centuries before science taught it.
The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.967 and the New Geneva Study Bible p.730 are more cautious, and say we cannot put much significance on Jobís scientific insights. After all, the Bible is simply recording what Job said here, without saying whether all their speech was 100% correct or not.
Q: In Job 26:11, what are the pillars of heaven?
A: There are three possibilities for the pillars/foundations of Heaven.
Heaven itself could simply be shaking when God rebukes. However, the following two alternatives are more likely.
Mountains are called pillars of the heavens, as well as pillars of the earth. The pillars shaking could refer to volcanoes and earthquakes.
The horizon was called "the foundation of heaven" in the related Akkadian language of the Babylonians.
See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.967 for more info.
Q: In Job 27:23, Job 34:37, Nah 3:19, Ezek 25:6, and 2 Ki 11:12, is it better in church to say "amen" or "praise the Lord" rather than clapping hands?
A: No, this is incorrect. Henry M. Morris of the Institute for Creation Research suggested this in the June 12, 2004 Days of Praise Devotional. There are four different Hebrew words for clap/slap and He claims none of them have a positive connotation. For example, Nahum 3:19 says others will clap when they hear of the destruction of Nineveh. In 2 Kings 11:12 the godly Israelites clapped their hands when Josiah was crowned, but Morris says that "was expressing their intent to smite and destroy wicked Queen Athaliah."
Here are Old Testament verses on clapping
caphaq, (Strongís 5606) [pronounced saw-FAK] Job 27:23; Job 34:37; Lamentations 2:15
teqa (Strongís 8628) [taw-KAH] Psalm 47:1; Nahum 3:19
mechaí (Strongís 4222) [pronounced Maw-KHAW] Ps 98:8; Isa 55:12; Ezekiel 25:6
nakah (Strongís 5221) [pronounced naw-KAH] 2 Kings 11:12
Morris is correct on the five non-underlined verses, but he is incorrect on clapping in general.
Primary verses to disprove the point:
Isa 55:12 speaks of clapping with no context whatsoever of triumph, except for the wicked man forsaking his thoughts.
Psalm 47:1 says "Clap your hands all your peoples, shout unto God with a voice of triumph." Psalm 47:3 does mention subduing nations, but 47:1 is not limited to that.
Secondary supporting verses:
Psalm 98:8 mentions God coming to judge, and God getting the victory. It does not "expressing strong disapproval of wicked men", because the clapping is "for God" not "against the men".
2 Kings 11:12 tells of the people clapping and saying "Long live the King". Morris says the clapping was "expressing their intent to smite and destroy wicked Queen Athaliah", which 2 Kings 11:13-16 discuss. However, the clapping was
In conclusion, clapping is not just for disapproval, because Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 47:1, and arguably Psalm 98:8 and 2 Kings 11:12 show clapping for approval. Even for people who think clapping is only to show triumph, we should clap in church for the triumph Jesus had at the cross, and his victory in our life.
Q: In Job 29:1-25, what is interesting about the structure of the poetry?
A: These verses form a symmetrical relationship.
Blessing ( 29:2-6)
ó Honor (29:7-11)
ó ó Jobís goodness (29:12-17)
ó Honor (29:21-25)
See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.980 for more info.
Q: In Job 31, what are the lessons for us in the parallels here?
A: Job is giving us an intimate glimpse of his heart. He is giving a promise and 14 oaths he has made, and the reasons why He is righteous. We might do well to remember these as some of the reasons we should maintain righteousness in our own lives.
Made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a woman -- Godís eyes are watching (Job 31:1-3)
Falsehood and deceit -- I would not want to do this and be judged in Godís scales - If anything of others has stuck in my hands, then my I not get any gain from what my hands plant. (Job 31:5-7)
Coveted or took otherís things -- I do not want God to let others take my things (Job 31:8-9)
Enticed by a woman - I do not want other men sleeping with my wife or ruining me financially (Job 31:1-12)
Denied justice to my servants and workers -- what would I do when God confronts me? God has made all of us. (Job 31:13-15)
Denied helping the poor and widows (Job 31:16).
Not given food to the orphans (Job 31:17-18).
Not clothed the poor (Job 31:19-20).
Oppressed the orphans in court - I do not want God to physically harm me. - I would not do these things because of the fear of Godís splendor (Job 31:21-23).
Put my trust and security in gold (Job 31:24).
Rejoiced over my great wealth (Job 31:25).
Paid respect to the sun or moon, - God would judge me for these sins or unfaithfulness to God on High (Job 31:26-28).
Rejoiced at my enemyís downfall, cursing him (Job 31:29-30).
Not been generous to those in my household (Job 31:31).
Not shown hospitality to a stranger (Job 31:32).
Concealed my sin as people do because I feared public opinion (Job 31:33-34).
Kept silent [speaking of which, I wish that "Someone" was hearing me right now!] (Job 31:35-37).
Oppressed his tenants - I would not want God to have briars come up instead of grain (Job 31:38-40).
See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.991-992 for more info.
Q: In Job 31:1, is not looking at a woman lustfully a part of New Testament morality, or Old Testament morality?
A: At all times, having pure eyes is pleasing to God. While God did not specifically command this in the Old Testament law, Godís obedient servants, such as Job, were not looking to see everything they could get away with, but rather looking to please God in all their ways. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.260-261 for a more extensive answer.
Q: In Job 31:7, what is Job saying about the cleanness of his hands?
A: According to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.993, the Oriental Kethiv shows the word the NIV translates as "defiled" really means "cling to". Thus this is saying "If anything has stuck to my hands". In other words, "If Job has stolen anything."
Q: In Job 31:10 (KJV), what does "my wife grind for another" mean?
A: This King James Version expression means that if Job did wrong, then let his wife cook (and perform the duties of a wife) for another man.
Q: What does Job 31:13 say about slavery?
A: Slavery was everywhere in the ancient world. The Law given through Moses allowed for Israelite slaves, for things such as non-payment of debt, but the Israelite slaves had to be freed every seven years. The only exception was if the slave loved his master and desired to be a slave for life.
Job 31:13 would have been a shock for slave owners in the Greek and Roman world. Jobís slaves and servants were allowed not only to have grievances against their masters, but also to openly express them and expect their grievances to be handled with justice.
The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.994 says the same.
Q: In Job 31:25, what is the significance of the last phrase?
A: Many times when people become wealthy, there is a tendency is think it was all because of their cleverness, hard work, or other abilities. People often minimize the fact that they just might have been in the right place at the right time. When people emphasize my wealth that my hands had gained, they are not being grateful to God for what God has allowed them to have.
Q: In Job 31:26-28, what is the significance of this unfaithfulness?
A: Job is saying that if he were to respect, bow down, venerate, worship (etc.) the sun or moon, he would be guilty of sin against God. Job calls him "God on High" to highlight the futility of worshipping beings and things you know are not the Highest God.
When talking with Hindus or Mahayana Buddhists, who worship many idols, ask them why they do not worship the Most High God instead of their little guys. When talking with Mormons, who believe the "god of this world" had a god and father greater than him, who had a god and father greater than him, ask the Mormons why they do not worship the Highest One.
Q: Does Job 31:33 imply that Adam concealed his transgression [of a premature conjugal relationship with Eve] by covering the sexual part of his body, as the heretic Rev. Moon teaches in the Divine Principle 5th edition (1977) p.72?
A: Not at all. Adam and Eve did four things after they sinned:
1. They sewed fig leaves as clothes (Genesis 3:7)
2. They hid from God (Genesis 3:8)
3. Adam was afraid (Genesis 3:10)
4. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:12-13)
Job 31:33 refers to Adam concealing His sin. This could refer to Adam hiding or blaming Eve as well as, or in addition to, making clothes. Even if it did refer to Adam and Eve clothing themselves, it still does nothing to prove sexual sin.
Q: In Job 31:36, what would Job wear like a crown?
A: Job is saying that if all charges against him were written down, Job is so confident of his righteousness that he would wear the book like a crown!
Are there godly attributes of your character that you have allowed pride to seep in and infect? Are there things you would stand before God and feel proud of? If so, think again before the time when you really approach to the Holy One. God does not love us because of anything we have done independent of Him. God made us for Himself, and we should be joyful, not proud, at what He is working through us.
Q: Why does Job 31:40 say, "The words of Job are ended"?
A: It is probably so that we do not expect any more speeches from Job. Job actually does speak (perhaps mutter is a more appropriate word) later in Job 40:3-5 and Job 43:1-3). The Believerís Bible Commentary p.532 humorously adds, "Jobís words will be rightly ended when he is ready to give praise to the One who alone is worthy of it. We are glad to be through with Jobís words as uttered here."
We should not be offended by the unexplained. It is fine to want to understand, but we should not demand to understand.
Q: In Job 32-37, why was Elihu correct and the other four men wrong?
A: Job asserted his suffering was because God was unjust. Jobís friends asserted that Jobís suffering was because of Jobís sin. Elihu said both were wrong. God did not say why Job was suffering, and it was presumptuous to assert why. However, we can see that God works justice, but often we have to wait for his justice, as it does not always come in this earthly life.
Q: In Job 32-37, what is Elihuís point here?
A: (32) Elihu thinks all four of them are wrong.
(33) Job, you said you were upright and God is unjust to you. You are not righteous in that you are contending with God who does not owe us any explanations. God does speak to us and mediate for us, and God can bring us back from destruction.
(34) You three wise men are wrong for not correcting Job. You three and Job essentially have the same problem; you think you can figure out the reason for Jobís suffering and that God is obliged to tell you. You think it is due to some secret sin, or else God is unjust. The one correct answer to why Job is suffering is this: "GOD HAS NOT TOLD US YET."
(35) Job, you are wrong to say my righteousness is more than Godís. Eliphaz is wrong (in Job 22:2) to say it does not profit if we are righteous or sin. God takes pleasure in godliness. God is not unjust. If you are not willing to wait on His justice, you just multiply words without knowledge....
(36-37) We can say this about Godís justice though. God despises no one. He is against the wicked, and He gives justice to the oppressed. We cannot know all of the greatness of God, but I will leap to hear the voice of God. Job, Godís works are so wondrous and He is perfect in knowledge. If you want to contend with God, then teach us what we mere mortals can say to Him.
Q: In Job 35:3 (NRSV, NIV), should it say "benefit to me/ have I" or "benefit to you"?
A: While the NRSV has "what advantage have I" the original Hebrew is "to you" according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1017, NASB, NKJV, NET Bible, and Greenís Literal translation. (The KJV has "thee", which is the same as you.) The NIV has "benefit to me" but it has a footnote saying "you".
Since Elihu was asking Job a rhetorical question, the NIV and NRSV take the pronoun here as referring to Job, not God. If the pronoun should refer to Job, it would be more accurate, in English, to translate it as "to me/have I". The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.761 also says this refers to Job. On the other hand, the Believerís Bible Commentary p.534 indicates that the pronoun here refers to God.
Q: In Job 37:18, how is there a solid dome above the earth?
A: This is a simile, comparing the sky to a clear mirror. Back then, mirrors were made out of highly polished metal, as they did not have glass mirrors. See When Critics Ask p.229-230 for more info.
Q: In Job 37:24 (KJV, NASB, NRSV, NIV marginal reading), should it says "he does not regard", or "does he not have regard...?" as the NIV says?
A: Bible Scholars disagree. The KJV, NASB, NIV footnote, NRSV, NET Bible, and Greenís Literal Translation have the first reading, as a statement. The NKJV has the first reading, but it says "shows no partiality" instead of "has no regard". The NIV has the second reading. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1028, it should be the second reading, as a question, because the first reading in the NIV margin is contrary to Proverbs and all wisdom literature. However, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.765 prefers the NIV margin reading.
The Believerís Bible Commentary p.534-535 follows the NKJV, but says an alternate reading by Francis Andersen is "surely all wise of heart fear Him!"
Q: In Job 38-41, what was Godís point here?
A: Here is a brief summary behind the 80 questions God asks Job.
(38-39) Job, why are you darkening my counsel with word without knowledge? Where were you when I created the earth, the sea, the dawn, death, light, snow, thunderbolts, the starts, the clouds, and the animals? Are you going to contend with God and correct Him?
(49:1-5) Job says He has no answer for God.
(40:6-41:34) Then answer me this. If you annul Godís judgment to justify yourself, would you like to have the job of being the judge (and enforcing your judgments)? Can you make the behemoth (hippo) or draw out the leviathan (the crocodile). Can you play with him, as with a bird, or put him on a leash?
Q: In Job 38:1, how did Job obscure Godís counsel?
A: Job had taught false things about God. Job had said that while Job was righteous, God was unjust; while Job was godly, God was his enemy. Job had jumped to conclusions, speaking presumptuously when he did not have all the facts about what was going on behind his suffering.
More generally, some people obscure Godís counsel when they forget we are made in Godís image and try to make God in their own image. However, Job darkened Godís counsel in a second way: Job was saying things about God to justify Jobís suffering and justify himself and calling God unjust.
Q: In Job 38:31-32, does this support astrology?
A: No. Looking at the stars to wonder about their Creator, and using the stars to mark off seasons is not against the Bible, unlike astrology.
Q: In Job 38:31, what is the significance of the Pleiades?
A: The Pleiades is a dense cluster of stars. It is amazing there can be so many stars in, what appears from earth, to be so small a space. Why do they not expand to look like other stars? How do they keep from collapsing together? Also, The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1041-1042 mentions that the heliacal rising of the Pleiades marked the beginning of spring at that time.
However, Philo the Jew (15/20 B.C. Ė 50 A.D.) mentions the setting of the seven stars of the Pleiades as the time to sow and the rising of the Pleiades is harvest time. On the Creation 38:115 p.17.
Q: In Job 38:32, what is "Mazzaroth"?
A: This is thought to be the same as "Mazzaloth" (l instead or r) in 2 Kings 23:3 according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1042. We are not sure what orderly progression of the heavens this is. It could be a constellations or else the planets.
Q: In Job 39:13-15, what is peculiar about the ostrich?
A: Ostriches are strange-looking birds. They have large wings, which do not help them to fly. Several ostriches might lay their eggs in the same nest. If there is no room, then they lay their eggs on the sand outside of the nest. Many times, mother ostriches, weighing up to 300 pounds, step on their own eggs. Sometimes a mother ostrich sits on other eggs, forgetting which are her own. The mother ostrich "treats her young harshly" by driving her yearling ostriches away when mating season arrives. Yet ostriches survive. They can run 40 miles per hour, which is faster than a horse. How would Job think of even creating such an animal?
See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1039, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.769 and an article by George F. Howe in Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 15 December 1963 p.107-110 for more info.
Q: In Job 39:14 (KJV, NASB), does an ostrich forsake/abandon her eggs or lay her eggs here?
A: The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1039 and the NIV remark that Job 39:41 says the ostrich "lays its "eggs. A homonym of the Hebrew word for lay is "forsake", and that probably is what confused the KJV translators. The NKJV, NET Bible, and NRSV say "leaves its eggs".
Q: In Job 40:4-5, how did Job speak only once or twice, and that he would speak no more?
A: These are figures of speech common in Semitic languages according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1045. This does not mean Job was saying he would never talk again.
Q: In Job 40:15, 21-22, what is behemoth?
A: Job shows it is a huge plant-eating animal that lives among reeds. The hippopotamus is the second largest land animal alive today, and hippos live in Egypt. The NASB footnote also identifies Behemoth as a hippopotamus. Some might think the animal is an elephant, interpreting the "tail" as a trunk. However, the animal is a hippo because it is hidden among the reeds in a marsh, and elephants do not stay submerged like hippos do.
Q: In Job 40:15, was behemoth a throwback to the monster Tiamat of Babylonian mythology, whom Gilgamesh slew?
A: Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.485-486 suggests this. Behemoth was a large, fierce animal, most likely a hippopotamus. Male hippos in particular can be very dangerous to people.
In Job 39-40, God is mentioning unusual animals to Job that were either very powerful or else peculiar, yet well-adapted to their environment. Prior to this, God had mentioned the goats, dear, wild donkeys, ox, ostrich, horse, hawk, and eagle. It would seem strange to pass in silence on the hippopotamus and crocodile.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.261-262 for more info.
Q: In Job 41, what is Leviathan?
A: The NASB footnote says that Leviathan is a crocodile. The NIV Study Bible also says that the leviathan was a large marine animal, possibly a crocodile. Figuratively, Leviathan was considered as a great sea monster. The NIV Study Bible p.1053 says that in Isaiah 27:1 leviathan was a Canaanite symbol of wicked nations, such as Egypt.
Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.239-240 says the Bible and pagan sources differed in that pagan sources believed in the real existence of mythological creatures, while Biblical authors used the terms in a purely figurative and metaphorical sense. English literature of the 17th century and earlier frequently used mythological allusions in much the same way. See When Critics Ask p.230-231 for more info.
Q: In Job 42:1-6, why was Jobís response proper?
A: In Job 42:1-6, Job admitted he was presumptuous to accuse God, and Job is sorry. God is not saying every one of Jobís words in the book of Job were proper (indeed they were not), but that Jobís final response was proper.
Q: In Job 42:5, how could Job see God and live, since Ex 33:20 says no one can see God and live?
A: Job is not saying he physically saw God in a particular form. Rather, Job experienced God in a closer way than he had previously. See Todayís Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.399 for more info.
Q: In Job 42:8-10, when should we pray for God to forgive others?
A: Five points to consider in the answer.
1. God has the right to forgive or not forgive, to show mercy or refuse to do so (Romans 9:11-18),
2. The only restriction is His own self-set bound of His justice.
3. God chooses to forgive all who come to Him in repentance.
4. However, a person needs Godís grace to even come to Him. God chooses to intervene to bring some to repentance, and for others He does not intervene.
5. In Acts 7 Stephen prayed for God to forgive others for killing him, and we should pray for God to intervene with his mercy to others too.
Q: In Job 42:10, how were Jobís blessings doubled, since he only had ten children to replace the ten he lost?
A: If there was no afterlife, then this would be a legitimate problem. But, this shows an interesting point. If Jobís first ten children in Job 1:2 were believers, Job would have twenty children in Heaven, and his blessings would be doubled. 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.148 also mentions this (12 instead of 10 in this book is apparently a typo.)
Q: In Job 42:11, how did God bring evil on Job?
A: God brought evil on Job in two ways.
Physical calamity came to Job, and the word "evil" in the Hebrew means both physical calamity and moral evil.
God allowed a morally evil being, Satan, to oppress Job. Satan was doing evil, but Satan had to ask for Godís permission, and God gave Satan permission. God did not do any moral evil himself, but He allowed Satan to test Job.
Q: In Job 42:15, what is the significance of his daughters being so beautiful?
A: God not only blessed Job because of Jobís faithfulness, God blessed his family because of Jobís faithfulness, too. Also, this verse shows that physical beauty is OK.
Q: In Job, what are some of the earliest manuscripts that still exist today?
A: Dead Sea scrolls: (c.1 B.C.) 4 separate copies according to the Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.30 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.436-438. These are 2Q15, 4Q99, 4Q100, and 4Q101.
Overall, preserved in the Dead Sea scrolls are the following verses from Job: 3:5-6; 4:16-21; 5:1-4; 8:15-17; 9:27; 13:4;19-20,24-27; 14:4-6,13-17; 17:14-16; 18:1-4; 19:11-19,20; 20:1-6; 21:2-10,20-27; 22:3-9,16-22; 23:1-8; 24:12-17,24-25; 25:1-6; 26:1-2,10-14; 27:1-4,11-20; 28:4-13,20-28; 29:7-16,24-25; 30:1-4,13-20,x,27-31; 31:1,8-16,26-32,4-; 31:14-19; 31:20-21; 32:1-3,10-17; 32:3-4; 33:6-16,24-32; 33:10-11,24-26,28-30; 33:28-30; 34:6-17,24-34; 34:28-31; 35:5-15,16; 36:7-16,23-33; 37:1-5,10-19; 38:3-13,23-33; 39:1-11,20-29; 40:4-14,23-31; 41:15-26; 42:1-2,4-6,9-12. See The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for more details.
Aramaic translations, called targums, have been found of Job among the Dead Sea Scrolls in cave 4. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.32-33 and The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated : The Qumran Texts in English 2nd ed. The Targum of Job contains small fragments from Job 17:14-42:11, though only 37:10-42:11 are intact, according to The Wandering Aramean p.164. Also another targum of Job has preserved Job 3:4 and Job 5-4:16-5:4 according to The Wandering Aramean p.165. The scroll 11QtgJob has verses 16:3, 18:23, 30:4, as well as other verses.
Theodotion made a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which includes Job.
Symmachus and Aquila were other Jews who also made Greek translations of the Old Testament, and they included Job.
Christian Bible manuscripts Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.), Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.), and Alexandrinus (c.450 A.D.) have each preserved all of Job.
Q: Which early writers referred to Job?
A: Pre-Nicene writers who referenced or alluded to verses in Job are:
Philo the Jew of Alexandria (15/20 B.C.-50 A.D.) quotes Job 14:4 in On the Change of Names ch.6 (47) p.345.
Clement of Rome (96-98 A.D.) quotes Job 1:1 as "Written of Job" in 1 Clement ch.17 p.9.
Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) mentions Job and Zechariah in Dialogue with Trypho the Jew ch.103 p.251
Melito/Meleto of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) "As in Job, in speaking of the devil: ĎHe is the beginning of the ways of the Lord.í" (Job 40:19) From the Oration on our Lordís Passion fragment 8 p.761
Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) quotes Job 9:9 in Theophilus to Autolycus book 1 ch.6 p.91. He does not refer to Job anywhere else.
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) quotes Job 1:21 as by Job. Stromata book 4 ch.25 p.439
Tertullian (197-220 A.D.) discusses the travails of Job, mentioning Job by name. On Patience ch.14 p.716
Tertullian (207/208 A.D.) alludes to Job 1:12. Five Books Against Marcion book 5 ch.13 p.456
Hippolytus (222-235/6 A.D.) quotes Job 31:1 as by Job in his Commentary on Proverbs p.173
Origen (225-254 A.D.) "In the last (chapter) also of Job, in which the Lord utters to Job amid tempest and clouds what is recorded in the book which bears his name," Origen Against Celsus book 6 ch.43 p.593.
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) quotes from Job as being from Job in Treatises of Cyprian Treatise 12 the third book 1,14.
Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) discusses in detail Job 2:10 and 1:8 in Treatises of Cyprian Treatise 7 ch.10 p.471
Firmilian of Caesarea to Cyprian (256 A.D.) For the grace of God is mighty to associate and join together in the bond of charity and unity even those things which seem to be divided by a considerable space of earth, according to the way in which of old also the divine power associated in the bond of unanimity Ezekiel and Daniel, though later in their age, and separated from them by a long space of time, to Job and Noah, who were among the first; so that although they were separated by long periods, yet by divine inspiration they felt the same truths." Letters of Cyprian Letter 74.3 p.390
Pontius (after 258 A.D.) "If Job, glorious by Godís testimony, was called a true worshipper of God, and one to whom there was none upon earth to be compared, he taught that we should do whatever Job had previously done... He, contemning the loss of his estate, gained such advantage by his virtue thus tried, that he had no perception of the temporal losses even of his affection. Neither poverty nor pain broke him down; the persuasion of his wife did not influence him; the dreadful suffering of his own body did not shake his firmness." The Life and Passion of Cyprian ch.3 p.268
Gregory Thaumaturgus (240-265 A.D.) alludes to Job 20:20 and 1:21 in A Metaphrase of the Book of Ecclesiastes ch.5 p.12-13
Dionysius of Alexandria (246-256 A.D.) quotes part of Job 14:1 as scripture. From the Books on Nature fragment 3 p.86.
Methodius of Olympus and Patara (270-311/312 A.D.) quotes Job 38:14 (Septuagint) and Job 10:8 as by Job in The Banquet of the Ten Virgins Discourse 2 ch.2 p.314
Aphrahat the Syrian (337-345 A.D.) quotes Job 16:19 "as Job said". Select Demonstrations ch.22.10 p.405
Athanasius (367, 325-373 A.D.) "There are, then, of the Old Testament, twenty-two books in number; for, as I have heard, it is handed down that this is the number of the letters among the Hebrews; their respective order and names being as follows. The first is Genesis, then Exodus, next Leviticus, after that numbers, and then Deuteronomy. Following these there is Joshua, the son of Nun, then Judges, then Ruth. And again, after these four books of Kings, the first and second being reckoned as one book, and so likewise the third and fourth as one book. And again, the first and second of the Chronicles are reckoned as one book. Again Ezra, the first and second are similarly one book. After these there is the book of Psalms, then the Proverbs, next Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Job follows, then the Prophets, the twelve being reckoned as one book. Then Isaiah, one book, then Jeremiah with Baruch, Lamentations, and the epistle, one book, afterwards, Ezekiel and Daniel, each one book. Thus far constitutes the Old Testament." Athanasius Paschal Letter 39 ch.4 p.552.
Pacian of Barcelona (342-379/392 A.D.) alludes to Job 42:10. Letter 3 ch.24.1 p.66
Ephraim (350-378 A.D.)
Basil of Cappadocia (357-378/379 A.D.)
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.)
Ambrose of Milan (370-390 A.D.)
Gregory Nanzianus (330-391 A.D.) mentions Job in his poem of scripture. Gregory's poem is (in Greek) in Gregory vol.37 of Migne's Patrologia Graeca, cols. 471-474 (Carmina Dogmatica, Book 1, section 1, Carmen XII) See http://www.bible-researcher.com/gregory.html for more info.
The Donatist heretic Tyconius (after 390 A.D.)
Gregory Nanzianzen (330-391 A.D.)
Pacian (342-379/82 A.D.)
Gregory Nyssa (c.356-397 A.D.)
Didymus the blind (398 A.D.) paraphrases Job 1:7-12; 2:2-6 as "the book of Job" Commentary on Zechariah 3 p.68-69
Syriac Book of Steps (350-400 A.D.)
Rufinus (374-406 A.D.)
Jerome (373-420 A.D.) discusses the books of the Old Testament. He specifically discusses Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, the Pentateuch, Job, Jesus son of Nave [Joshua], Judges, Ruth, Samuel Kings (2 books), twelve prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,, Zechariah, Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Letter 53 ch.7-8 p.99-101.
Council of Carthage (218 bishops) (393-419 A.D.)
Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.) was crazy over the number 22. He gives the 22 (!) books of the Old Testament in the following order: Pentateuch (5), Joshua, Job, Judges, Ruth, Psalms, Chronicles (2) Kings (4), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles [Song of Solomon], Twelve prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra (2), Esther. The Book of Lamentations did not fit his contrived system, so he put Lamentations at the end. These are the 39 books we have today.
John Chrysostom (-407 A.D.) refers to Job 2:9 by Job vol.9 Concerning the Statues Homily 4.5 p.366, and 4.10 p.369
Orosius/Hosius of Braga (414-418 A.D.) refers to Job 1:7 as by Job. Defense Against the Pelagians ch.20 p.143
The Pelagian heretic Theodore of Mopsuestia (392-423/429 A.D.)
Augustine of Hippo (338-430 A.D.) refers to Job 34:30 as "written in the book of Job". Nature of Good, Against the Manichaeans ch.32 vol.4 p.358
John Cassian (419-430 A.D.)
Theodoret of Cyrus (423-458 A.D.)
Pope Leo I of Rome (440-461 A.D.)
Q: In Job, how different is the Masoretic text from the Aramaic targums among the Dead Sea scrolls?
A: They are very close. Here is a targum (paraphrase) of Job 42:9-12 from column 38 of 11Q10. The translation is from the Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition volume 2 p.1201. "[the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite] and they did [as they were told by] God; and G[o]d heard Jobís voice and forgave them their sins on his account. And God turned /to Job/ in mercy and gave him twice as much of all he had possessed. Then came to Job all his friends and all his brothers and all his acquaintances and they ate bread with him in his house, and comforted him for all the evil that God had brought upon him. And each one gave him a ewe (female sheep) and each one a gold ring. Blank. And God blessed J[o]b in the en[d...]"
Note that the Masoretic text has a piece of silver instead of an ewe.
Q: In Job, what are some of the translation differences between the Hebrew and Greek Septuagint?
A: Overall the Greek seems close to the Hebrew. The main exception is that the oldest copy of the Septuagint Job is one-sixth shorter according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.855. Here are a few of the translation differences from chapter 1. The first phrase is the Hebrew translation from Jay P. Greenís Literal Translation. The second is the Septuagint rendering is from Sir Lancelot C.L. Brentonís translation of The Septuagint : Greek and English.
Job 1:3 "greater than all the sons of the east" vs. "noble if the east"
Job 1:6 "sons of God" vs. "angels"
Job 1:6,7,12 "Satan" vs. "the devil" four times
Job 1:10 "and his possessions have increased in the land" vs. "multiplied his cattle upon the land"
Job 1:11 "not curse" vs. "bless"
Job 1:13 "eating and drinking" vs. "drinking"
Job 1:15 "Sabeans" vs. "spoilers"
Job 1:16 "The fire of God has fallen" vs. "Fire has fallen from heaven" (in both cases this refers to lightning)
Job 1:16 "young men" vs. "shepherds"
Job 1:17 "Chaldeans" vs. "horsemen"
Job 1:18 "drinking wine" vs. "drinking"
Job 1:19 "from across the wilderness" vs. "from the wilderness"
Job 1:19 "young men" vs. "your children"
Job 1:22 "charge wrong" vs. "impute folly"
Job 2:11 "Eliphaz the king of the Thaemans, Baldad sovereign of the Saucheans, Sophar king of the Minaeans"
Job 3:4 "day" (Hebrew and Alexandrinus) vs. "night" (Septuagint)
Job 3:6 "rejoice" vs. "be joined" (Septuagint, Syriac, Targums, Vulgate)
Job 5:5 "Taking it even from the thorns, And a snare snatches their substance." (Masoretic) vs. "They shall not be taken from evil men. The might shall draw them off" (Septuagint) vs. "And the armed man shall take him by violence. And the thirsty shall drink up their riches" (Aquila, Symmachus, Syriac, Vulgate)
Job 7:20 "I am a burden on myself." (Masoretic, Targums, Vulgate) vs. "am I a burden to you?" (The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.902,904 says that in this case the Septuagint preserves the earliest reading, and the Masoretic text was changed to remove what was thought blasphemous. We know this because of a scribal note, or Tiqqune sopherim, that was kept.
Job 9:19 "me" vs. "him" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Job 10:8 "together all around; yet You destroy me" vs. "afterwards thou didst change and smite me." (Septuagint, Syriac)
Job 10:20 "Are not my days few? Then cease, and" vs. "Are not the days of my life few?" (Septuagint, Syriac)
Job 13:14 (question) vs. (statement)
Job 14:3 "Will I will bring him?" vs. "Will you bring him?" (Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac)
Job 14:10 "where is he?" vs. "he is no more"
Job 14:16 "number" vs. "numbered" (Septuagint) vs. "not number" (Syriac)
Job 16:3 "Shall windy words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?" vs. "What! Is there any reason in vain words? Or what will hinder you from answering?"
Job 17:10 "all of them" (many Masoretic, Targums) vs. "all of you" (some Masoretic, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Job 18:3 "until when will you set perversion for words" vs. "How long will you continue?"
Job 19:20 "in me" (most Masoretic texts) vs. "in him" (many Masoretic texts, Septuagint and Vulgate)
Job 19:28 "in me" (many Masoretic texts) vs. "in him" (some Masoretic texts, Septuagint, Theodotian, Vulgate) (The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.944 says the context shows that "in him" is correct here.)
Job 21:24 "pails" vs. "bowels" (Septuagint, Vulgate) vs. "sides" (Syriac) vs. "breasts" (Targums) (Apparently modern scholars are not the only ones who had difficulty with this word!)
Job 21:28 "the tent, the dwelling place" (Masoretic) vs. "the covering of the tabernacles" (Septuagint) vs. "the dwelling place" (Vulgate)
Job 22:8 (absent) vs. "And you say" (Dead Sea scroll targum of Job)
Job 22:8 "so dark" vs. "light"
Job 22:9 "were crushed" vs. "you have crushed" (Septuagint, Syriac, Targums, Vulgate)
Job 22:17 "to them" vs. "to us" (Septuagint, Syriac, Dead Sea Scroll Targum)
Job 22:30 "one not innocent" vs. "the innocent"
Job 23:2 "rebellious" (Masoretic) vs. "out of my reach" (Septuagint) vs. "bitter" (Syriac, Targums, Vulgate)
Job 23:2 "the hand on me" (Masoretic, Targums, Vulgate) vs. "his hand" (Septuagint and Syriac)
Job 23:9 "he turns" vs. "I turn" (Septuagint, Syriac)
Job 23:12 "treasured from" vs. "treasured in" (Septuagint, Vulgate)
Job 24:2 "they [the wicked]" vs. "the wicked"
Job 24:21 "He ill-treats" vs. "he has not treated ... well"
Job 24:24 "like all others" vs. "lie mallow"
Job 25:3 "his light" vs. "his snare/ambush" (The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.964 says the Septuagint translators must have seen the Hebrew word Ďorebo instead of the word Ďorehu.)
Job 26:5 "departed spirits" vs. "giants"
Job 27:19 "he is no more" (Masoretic, Targums) vs. "But shall not add" (Septuagint, Syriac) vs. "But take away nothing" (Vulgate)
Job 28:11 "dams up/binds" vs. "searches/probes" (Septuagint, Aquila and Vulgate)
Job 28:13 "its price" vs. "the way to it"
Job 29:6 "wrath" vs. "the rock" (a few Masoretic texts)
Job 30:11 "my bowstring" (Masoretic, Syriac, Targum) vs. "His bowstring" (Septuagint, Vulgate)
Job 30:18 "my garment is disfigured" (Masoretic text, Greenís literal translation) vs. "becomes like clothing to me" (Masoretic text, The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.988), vs. "taken hold of my garment / grasps my clothing) (Septuagint)
Job 31:32 "to the road" (Masoretic) vs. "to the traveler" (Septuagint, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate)
Job 32:1 "in his own eyes" vs. "in their eyes" (Septuagint, Symmachus, and Syriac)
Job 32:3 "condemned him." vs. "condemned Job, and so had condemned God" (an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition)
Job 32:9 "many" vs. "old" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Job 33:30 "to be illuminated/lighted with the light of life/the living" vs. "that my life may praised him in the light" (Septuagint translated by Lancelot) vs. "so that they may see the light of life" (Septuagint translated by the NRSV)
Job 34:6 "I am considered a liar" vs. "he [God] lies" (The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.1013)
Job 39:13 "ostrich" vs. "of delighted ones (=peacock)" (The Septuagint has ostrich everywhere else in Job.)
Job 39:19 "with a mane" vs. "with terror"
Job 39:21 "they dig" vs. "it paws" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
Job 41:6 "merchants" vs. "Phoenicians"
Job 41:7 "Can you fill his skin with barbed irons [harpoons], or his head with fishing spears?" vs. "And all the ships come together would not be able to bear the mere skin of his tail; neither shall they carry his head in fishing-vessels"
Job 41:9 "one is cast down / overwhelmed" vs. "the gods overwhelmed" (Symmachus, Syriac)
Job 41:9 "Any hope of subduing him" vs. "your hope" (one Masoretic text)
Job 41:11 "that I shall repay" vs. "and be safe"
Job 41:22 "faintness or dismay" (scholars are unsure of the Hebrew word) vs. "destruction"
Job 42:11 "a piece of silver" (Masoretic texts and Symmachus) vs. "a lamb" (Septuagint) (Lancelotís Septuagint translation has a footnote that this might be a coin stamped with a lamb.) (Rabbi Akiba and Qimchi say this refers to money.)
Job 42:16 "140 years" (Masoretic) vs. "240 years" (Septuagint) vs. "248 years" (Alexandrinus)
Job 42:17 "full of days" (Masoretic and Aquilaís version (126 A.D.)) vs. "full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up." (Septuagint and Theodotion)
Job 42:17+ (absent) vs. "This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis, on the borders of Idumea and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abraam. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor (Semphor in Alexandrinus), and the name of his city was Dennaba; but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job: and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign of the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans."
Bibliography for this question: the Hebrew translation is from Jay P. Greenís Literal Translation and the Septuagint rendering is from Sir Lancelot C.L. Brentonís translation of The Septuagint : Greek and English. The Expositorís Bible Commentary and the footnotes in the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV Bibles also were used.
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