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Bible Commentaries
Job 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible



Author: We don’t know who is the author of the book of Job. It may have been handed down by the patriarchs by oral inspiration until it was put into inspired written format. Ancient Jewish sources say "The only tradition which has come down to us with respect to the authorship of the Book of Job ascribes it to Moses."

The book is named after its principal character. He may have written it himself.

Date: The date it was written is unsure, with theories ranging from pre-Mosaic times to the time of Solomon. The book itself gives no indication as to time of authorship or date of composition. If Moses wrote the book the date would fall between 1500-1400 BC.

The events recorded occurred long before Moses’ time. Job probably lived about the time of Abraham.

Key Verses: 1:21, ". -- Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither" Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah." Proverbs 1:21

Key Thought: Why do the righteous suffer?

Key Word: Tried.

Key Persons:

Job, a patriarchal chieftain of Uz, a godly man who is suddenly robbed of his children, his wealth and his health;

His wife, who unconsciously becomes a tool of Satan urging Job to renounce God;

Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, his three friends of long standing. These three being wise men (philosophers) discuss with Job the reasons for his misfortune. They, too, inadvertently are used by Satan to try to destroy Job.

Elihu, a youthful observer, who injects himself into the discussion;

Jehovah in heaven who is proud of Job’s righteous life and allows him to be tested to prove his loyalty;

Satan, the adversary and accuser of God’s children who is determined to discredit and destroy Job.

Type of Literature: It is dramatic poetry with a prose narrative for introduction and closing. It is based on a true historical episode (Ezekiel 14:14,20; James 5:11). Ezekiel 14:14, Ezekiel 14:20, James 5:11

Period of History: Internal evidence suggests that the events took place in the patriarchal period prior to 1450 B.C.

Purposes: To reveal that suffering in itself is not proof of God’s displeasure.

Message: The book teaches that men should be righteous, not simply to gain peace of mind, health, or wealth. These are rewards and by-products of righteousness. God wants us to serve him because we love him and because it is the right thing to do, not because of what we can get from him.


Job was a real historic person, not mythical or symbolic (Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11). His home was the land of Uz (Job 1:1), on the border of Edom (Lamentations 4:21), Southeast of Palestine near the Dead Sea. He had seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:2). It was an age of polygamy but it is noteworthy that he had but one wife.

Job was wealthy having seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses. He was greatest of all the children of the east (Job 1:3).

Job’s character is described as perfect, i.e., mature and complete. He was upright, straight in his dwellings. He feared God with a reverent respect. He turned away from evil in his moral conduct (Job 1:8). He was sympathetic toward the unfortunate (Job 30:25).

Job was a "Wise Man" (Job 15:2). This meant far more than just brilliant; it was an honored title for respected philosophers and counsellors. The wise men collected the wisdom of the world and taught it to their fellowman. He personally feared God and continually led his family in sacrificial worship (Job 1:5). This indicates the patriarchal form of worship.


His wife: Satan could have destroyed her with Job’s children. Instead he used her to try to destroy Job. She urged Job to do just what Satan had said he would (compare Job 1:11 and Job 2:9). Her faith was shallow and unable to stand the testing.

His friends: The three friends represent four kinds of authority in religion.

Eliphaz claimed a religious experience, basing his arguments on dreams and visions (Job 4:12-17).

Bildad based his authority on religious traditions. He did not reflect much originality or independence of thought.

Zophar was a practical man of common sense who appealed to human experience and wisdom (Job 20:2-5). His language was more violent and offensive. He represents the prejudice and narrow-minded bigotry of mankind, thinking he knew all.

Elihu claimed to speak for God by inspiration (Job 32:8). He appears to be a younger man who was an observer of the discussion (Job 32:6). He was an impetuous youth. He sought to defend God, arguing that affliction is the chastisement of a loving Father.

The friends argued that all suffering is the result of personal sin, therefore Job’s great suffering proved him to be a great sinner.


What Do You Weigh?

Job 31:6


1. On the front page of a newspaper sometime ago appeared a most attractive pen picture. It was an old-fashioned set of balances, or scales. In the weighing pan on one side was a picture of very fat sultan of middle eastern country. His head was adorned with a silk turban, and a happy smile wreathed his face.

2. As we think of that picture, there are a couple of passages of Scripture which come immediately to our mind.

a. Belshazzar gave a great feast. Before the astonished eyes of his guests, a part of a hand came out from nowhere and wrote on the wall four words: "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin."

b. The other verse is the one in Job 31:6, and this filled with such a great message for us: "Let me be weighted in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity." Job was talking to his so-called comforters. They had been interpreting his disasters as the result of his disobedience and sins. His defense was this magnificent statement: "Let God weigh me in an even balance [that is, in scales that are perfectly balanced], and both you and God can examine my integrity."


1. This set is individual and belongs to you alone. No one can see the face of it except you. There are many things about you that no one else knows. You know yourself better than anyone else in the world knows you. What do you weigh in your own little private set of scales?

2. Paul said, "Let a man examine himself." (1 Corinthians 11:28). To what do you aspire? What is the purpose of your life? What kinds of pictures do you hang on the walls of your imagination?

3. Several years ago a preacher told of young lady that he and his wife had taken into their home for a few weeks.

4. What you weigh in your own scales is most important. It can bring happiness and joy. It can add zest to life and help you face the dawn of a new day with joy and confidence. On the other hand, what you feel about yourself can make you feel terrible and rotten and not fit to live with not caring to live.

5. It can mean having the abundant life that Jesus told us about or it can mean a miserable existence and even death. First, what do you weigh in your own scales?


1. These are the scales that you cannot see. They are turned facing the other way. We are familiar with the little sentence, "O wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!"

2. These scales are more important than we sometimes think. Influence is sacred. No Christian has the right to say, "I don’t care what people think of me." "Adorn the doctrine [gospel of God" (Titus 2:5).

3. "What do you weigh in the scales of other people?" is a searching question.

4. I heard about the time a famous preacher was in a Gospel Meeting in Abilene, Texas.


1. These are the scales about which Job is talking. His desire was that God would weigh him in an even balance so that God might know his integrity.

2. How many of us would want the people we know to look at God’s scales when we are put in that even balance?

3. Of course, God’s scales don’t weight in pounds and ounces, and Job wasn’t talking about that kind of weight. He was talking about those scales of God which weigh the intangible things, the invisible things. God’s scales do weigh such things as integrity, courage, zeal for the kingdom’s work, honesty, sincerity, earnestness, and especially faith.

4. Friend, if God were to weigh you in his balances, what kind of a faith would he find? Is yours a trusting obedient faith?

5. If you want to correct what the Lord knows about you in his scales make your life right with Him; obey the Gospel!

Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.

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Verse Comments

Verse 6

Job 1:6

sons of God . . This expression here refers to all the holy angels who imitate God’s purity and holiness.

sons of . . The Jewish mind often spoke metaphorically of a "characteristic" dwelling in a person, and sometimes calling him the "son of ... " that characteristic. Thus, of Barnabas as "son of consolation" Acts 4:36, and James and John as "sons of thunder" Mark 3:17; and the term "son of perdition" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

See ISBE "Son; Sons" (3)

(3) The word “son” is used with a following genitive of quality to indicate some characteristic of the person or persons described.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Job 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/job-1.html. 2021.
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