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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of Job
The Mystery of Suffering
The Prologue, Job 1:1-22 ; Job 2:1-13
1. Job’s Prosperity, Job 1:1-5
2. The First Council in Heaven, Job 1:6-12
3. Job’s Adversity, Job 1:13-22
4. The Second Council in Heaven, Job 2:1-6
5. Job’s Affliction, Job 2:7-13
The Poem, Job 3:1-6
1. Job’s Lament, Job 3:1-26
2. The First Colloquy, Job 4:1-22
3. The Second Colloquy, Job 15:1-34
4. The Third Colloquy, Job 22:1-40
5. The Address of Elihu, Job 32:1-24
6. The Address of Jehovah, Job 38:1-41 ; Job 39:1-30 ; Job 40:1-24 ; Job 41:1-34
7. The Submission of Job, Job 42:1-6
The Epilogue, Job 42:7-17
1. Job and His Friends Reconciled , Job 42:7-9
2. Job Restored to Prosperity , Job 42:10-17
This is one of the great poems or dramas of the world, founded on historical fact. That Job was a real person may be inferred from Ezekiel 14:14 and James 5:11 .
Neither the age in which Job lived nor the date of the book itself has ever been definitely determined. The author is unknown. The book is unique in the canon in that it has no immediate connection with the people of Israel or their institutions. The most natural explanation of this fact is that its events antedate the history of Israel.
The problem of the book is world-old-how reconcile the goodness and justice of God with the apparently arbitrary and unequal distribution of affliction and prosperity that we see about us? It shows us how, in the fierce light of reality, men who have prided themselves on their uprightness suddenly become convinced of sin and resigned to God’s dealings.
Of its literary character perhaps no one has written better than Carlyle: “I call this book… one of the grandest things ever written with pen. One feels indeed as if it were not Hebrew-such a noble universality, different from ignoble patriotism or sectarianism, reigns in it. A noble book, all men’s book! It is our first, oldest statement of the never-ending problem-man’s destiny and God’s ways with him here in this earth. And all in such free, flowing outlines; grand in its sincerity, in its simplicity…. Sublime sorrow, sublime reconciliation; oldest choral melody, as of the heart of mankind; so soft and great; as the summer midnight, as the world with its seas and stars! There is nothing written, I think, in the Bible or out of it, of equal literary merit.”
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Job in the printed edition
Review Questions on Job
( a ) What are the three main divisions of the book?
( b ) What is the structure of the poem?
( c ) Who are the leading characters?
( d ) How is the book of Job to be classified as literature?
( e ) What may be said regarding the date of the book and the events it records?
( f ) What problem does the book seek to solve?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .
1. How is Job described? What is Satan’s charge against Job? What is the meaning of the name “Satan”?
2. How did Job meet the loss of his possessions?
3. Why does Satan suggest a further test?
4. Name Job’s friends. What hard question does Job express in his first speech?
5. What common theory does Eliphaz bring forward in answer?
6. What blessings does Eliphaz promise Job on condition of repentance?
7. How does Job picture the disappointing unkindness of his friends?
8. What questions does Job ask in his anguish?
9. According to Bildad, what does experience teach about the punishment of wickedness?
10. Why does Job feel the need of a “Daysman” or umpire?
11. What accusations does Job in his bitterness make against God?
12. What is Zophar’s challenge to Job?
13. What illustrations of God’s apparent injustice does Job bring forward?
14. What new appeal for light does he make?
15. How might we explain Job’s sudden hope for a future life?
16. What teaching of Jesus contradicts these harsh words of Eliphaz?
17. What expression shows that Job is turning from his friends to God for comfort?
18. How does Job describe the future in Sheol?
19. What was lacking in the attitude of Job’s friends, even if their suspicions had been true?
20. What does Job mean by calling God his “Vindicator,” or Redeemer?
21. What does Zophar declare about “the triumphing of the wicked”?
22. How does Job contradict this?
23. Of what specific sins do Job’s friends now accuse him?
24. What assurance gives Job courage to seek God’s presence?
25. What wrongs does Job say he has seen go unpunished?
26. What is Bildad’s final word?
27. How does Job set forth God’s limitless power?
28. How may we explain Job’s apparent contradiction of his former words?
29. With what does Job compare the search for wisdom?
30. What striking pictures of his former blessedness does he give?
31. What severe tests does he apply to his past life?
32. What is Elihu’s reason for entering the discussion?
33. How does he believe affliction may be explained?
34. What defense of God’s justice does he bring?
35. In his opinion what stands in the way of God’s answering Job?
36. Does he offer Job any comfort?
37. What circumstances inspired Elihu’s last appeal?
38. What two things are made clear by Jehovah’s questions to Job?
39. How is the mystery of inanimate nature brought to Job’s mind?
40. How does animal life suggest the wonders of God’s universe?
41. What is Job’s first confession of his own weakness?
42. What lessons are derived from a consideration of the crocodile?
43. Why was Job’s attitude toward God completely changed after this experience?
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