Job Commentaries

Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Here is a Song Which Summaries the Book of Job
The Book of Job
Related Blogpost
Job 1-3 Job 4-37 Job 38-42



Conflict Debate Repentance
Dilemma of Job Debate of Job Deliverance of Job
Disasters of Job Dialogues with Job Deliverance of Job
A Great Man
A Great Examination
A Great Discussion A Great Revelation
A Great Vindication
Controversy Between
Jehovah & Satan
(Satan & the Saint)

Controversy Between
Job & Three Friends
Cycle 1
Eliphaz & Job (4-7)
Bildad & Job (8-10)
Zophar & Job (11-14)

Cycle 2
Eliphaz & Job (15-17)
Bildad & Job (18-19)
Zophar & Job (20-21)

Cycle 3
Eliphaz & Job (22-24)
Bildad & Job (25-31)
Elihu & Job (32-37)

Communication Between
Jehovah & Job
Dialogue in Heaven Dialogue on Earth Dialogue Between Heaven & Earth
Job Tested & Despairing Job Counseled Job Approved
The Onset of Suffering The Reality of Suffering The Final Word from God
Challenge of Satan: 1-2
Complaint of Job: 3
of Men
of God
Takes Place:
Heaven & Earth
Takes Place:
Land of Uz (North Arabia)
Takes Place:
Heaven & Earth
Patriarchal Period
(circa 2000 BC)
Author Unknown
The Problem of Pain
The Blessing Through Suffering

OUTLINE OF JOB - Meredith Kline The Wycliffe Bible Commentary

I. Desolation: The trial of Job's wisdom. Job 1:1-2:10 

Job's wisdom described. Job 1:1-5
Job's wisdom denied and displayed. Job 1:6-2:10. 

The enmity of Satan. Job 1:6-12.  
The integrity of Job. Job 1:13-22. 
The persistence of Satan. Job 2:1-6. 
The patience of Job. Job 2:7-10.

II. Complaint: The way of wisdom lost. Job 2:11-3:26. 

The coming of the wise men. Job 2:11-13. 
The impatience of Job. Job 3:1-26

III. Judgment: The way of wisdom darkened and illuminated. Job 4:1-41:34. 

The verdicts of men. Job 4:1-37:24. 

First cycle of debate. Job 4:1-14:22. 

First discourse of Eliphaz. Job 4:1-5:27. 
Job's reply to Eliphaz. Job 6:1-7:21. 
First discourse of Bildad. Job 8:1-22. 
Job's reply to Bildad. Job 9:1-10:22. 
First discourse of Zophar. Job 11:1-20. 
Job's reply to Zophar. Job 12:1-14:22. 

Second cycle of debate. Job 15:1-21:34. 

Second discourse of Eliphaz. Job 15:1-35. 
Job's second reply to Eliphaz. Job 16:1-17:16. 
Second discourse of Bildad. Job 18:1-21. 
Job's second reply to Bildad. Job 19:1-29. 
Second discourse of Zophar. Job 20:1-29. 
Job's second reply to Zophar. Job 21:1-34. 

Third cycle of debate. Job 22:1-31:40. 

Third discourse of Eliphaz. Job 22:1-30. 
Job's third reply to Eliphaz. Job 23:1-24:25. 
Third discourse of Bildad. Job 25:1-6. 
Job's third reply to Bildad. Job 26:1-14. 
Job's instruction of the silenced friends. Job 27:1-28:28. 
Job's final protest. Job 29:1-31:40. 

The ministry of Elihu. Job 32:1-37:24. 

The voice of God. Job 38:1-41:34. 

The divine challenge. Job 38:1-40:2. 
Job's submission. Job 40:3-5. 
The divine challenge renewed. Job 40:6-41:34.

IV. Confession: The way of wisdom regained. Job 42:1-6. 

V. Restoration: The triumph of Job's wisdom. Job 42:7-17. 

Job's wisdom vindicated. Job 42:7-9
Job's wisdom blessed. Job 42:10-17

Key Words (NAS):

Almighty (31x), curse (10x), cry, cries (20x/18v), wicked (34x), sin (25x/23v), iniquity (21x), transgression (9x), sons of God (3x), Satan (14x/11v), how? (25x/24v), why? (22x/19v), perfect (3x), blameless (4x), righteous (12x). right (18x), righteousness (8x), just (4x), wisdom (21x/20v)

Job's Secret for Survival
in the Storms of Life

How Could Job Persevere and Hold Fast in the face of such extreme suffering and pain? The answer may lie in the fact that Job held fast to the Word of Truth which in turn anchored him when the winds of adversity blew and the waves of pain rolled over his body and soul. Job 23:12-note he declares "I have not departed from the command of His lips. I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Note what he has just said in context - In Job 23:8-9 clearly Job cannot perceive, see or behold God! And yet he is able to confidently declare "But (contrast with not being able to see Him) He knows the way I take (How did Job know this? Job 23:12-note!). When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10-note). How could he be so confident that the testing and refining would remove the dross and bring his heart and soul forth as "pure gold"? There can be only one answer -- Job knew and believed in the character of God, especially His goodness to His children (cp 2Ti 1:12-note). And how did Job know? Because he had "eaten" and held fast to the living, active, eternal Word of Truth for soul nourishment ("soul food"!), placing a greater value on the powerful Word of Life than he placed even on his daily intake of food necessary for physical nourishment! Many millennia later Job's Redeemer (Job 19:25) declared the same truth that "Man does not live on bread alone but on every word which proceeds from the mouth of God!" (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4-note; cp 1Pe 2:2-note, Heb 5:14-note)

Irving Jensen in his modern classic lists the main purposes of the Book of Job as…

(1) To reveal Who God is.

(2) To show the kind of trust He wants His children to have. (E.g., trust God even though you cannot fully account for your circumstances. Cp 2Cor 4:17-note, 2Cor 4:18-note) Approval by God means “tried and found true” (cf. Ro 16:10-note).

(3) To reveal His favor toward His children and His absolute control over Satan.

(4) To answer man’s questions about why a righteous person may suffer while an evil man may be healthy and prosperous. (Jensen, I. L. Jensen's survey of the Old Testament - recommended)

Was Job a real person? What "saith the LORD?" The Word of God answers through the prophet Ezekiel "even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness" (Ezekiel 14:14; see also Ezekiel 14:20). If you doubt Job's existence, you also have to doubt Noah & Daniel both of whom were described as real people by Jesus (Mt 24:15, Mt 24:37-38)

Theology of Job
Greg W. Parsons

Introduction .

The reader who desires to unlock the rich theological treasures contained in the Book of Job should assume its literary unity. Also he or she must interpret each part in light of its whole.

Although the Book of Job is a complex work composed of many different speeches, its almost architectonic symmetry argues for a literary unity. The prose framework (Job prologue [Job 1-2] and epilogue [Job 42:7-17]) encloses the intricate poetic body (Job 3:1-42:6). After Job's initial monologue (Job 3) a dialogue of three cycles occurs between Job and his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (Job 4:27). Since Job's response to each friend is always longer than the corresponding speech, the short speech by Bildad (Job 25) and the absence of Zophar's speech in the final cycle may indicate Job's verbal victory over his friends, who fail to refute him ( see Elihu's remarks in 32:3,5). Job 28, a wisdom interlude between the three cycles of dialogue and the three monologues by Job, Elihu, and the Lord, marks the futility of dialogue as long as Job and his friends rely on human reasoning (Job 28:12-13,20-22). Job's closing monologues (Job 29-31) ignore the friends and appeal to God for legal vindication (Job 31:35-37). Elihu's speeches (Job 32-37) foreshadow theological concepts in and prepare the way for the Lord's speeches (Job 38-41).

Critics interpret the inconsistency between the "patient Job" who never complains (Job see 1:21-22) and the "impatient Job" of the poetic body who curses the day of his birth (Job 3) and considers God an enemy (Job 6:4; 16:10-14) as indicating "sloppy editing" by the final author. It is better to view these two contrasting portraits of Job as intentionally displaying that Job was no "plaster saint" who suffered stoically. Rather, he was a real person struggling with emotions and feelings believers still have today.

Since most of the Book of Job contains human reasoning, one must interpret each individual unit within the contest of the book as a whole and of the main purpose of the book. The reader must pay special attention to the prologue (Job 1-2) and the Lord's speeches (Job 38:1-42:6) to avoid erroneous conclusions. The former notifies the reader (like the narrator in a dramatic production) that Job is innocent and that Satan is the instigator of Job's sufferings. The latter is the most determinative part, since God himself addresses Job.

Though many suppose that the main purpose of the Book of Job is to explain the mystery of the suffering of the righteous, it does not provide a definitive answer to this matter (and neither do the Lord's speeches address it directly); therefore, it must not be the main issue. Rather, the problem of innocent suffering serves as a catalyst for the question of the proper motive for man to relate to God (Job 1:9). Thus the main purpose of the book seems to be to show that the proper relationship between God and humankind (in all circumstances) is based solely on God's sovereign grace and the human response of faith and submissive trust.

The Doctrine of God (in the human speeches). The Friends' Doctrine of God .

Though the three friends basically have an orthodox view of God, they often misapply the doctrine to Job's situation. Eliphaz acknowledges that God does great and inscrutable deeds in governing the world (Job 5:9). God utilizes his power and wisdom to bring about social justice, whether delivering the lowly or thwarting the schemes of crafty criminals (Job 5:10-16). Sometimes he disciplines humans through suffering (Job 5:17). Eliphaz accuses Job of possessing a distorted view of God's transcendence (Job 22:12-14)—that he is so lofty in heaven that he cannot see what is happening on earth.

Bildad emphasizes that God is just because he never rejects an innocent man (Job 8:3,20-22) but punishes the wicked (Job 18:5-21). He lauds God's sovereign power and awe-inspiring rule over the cosmos (Job 25:2-3).

Zophar agrees with Eliphaz that God is wise and inscrutable to man (Job 11:6-9), and states that he is omnipotent (Job 11:10).

Wrongly assuming that Job's condition indicates some secret sin, all three friends urge him to repent so God can deliver him (Job 5:8,18-20; 8:5; 11:13-14; 22:21-24).

Job's View of God .

Job possesses an ambivalent view of his Maker. Having carefully constructed him and infused him with life, the Almighty used to watch over him and his family (Job 29:2-5). Now he believes that God has turned against him (Job 10:8,17; 30:11) and treats him as an enemy (Job 6:4; 13:24-28; 16:9-14; 19:8-12). This belief affects Job's understanding of God's attributes and actions.

Although Job acknowledges that God is wise and so mighty in strength (Job 9:4-6; 12:13) that he is omnipotent (Job 9:12; 23:13; 42:2), he seems to abuse his power in an arbitrary way (Job 9:13-24; 12:14-25; cf. Job 30:18-20). The Almighty uses his power indiscriminately to mistreat innocent Job (Job 6:4; 27:2) or to punish the wicked who deserve it (Job 21:15,30; 27:10,11, 15). Also Job portrays God as unjust Judge (Job 9:22-24) who is cruel (Job 30:21-22) and unfair to him (Job 19:6-22) and to many innocent victims of social injustice (Job 24:1-12). Job depicts the Lord as an angry God who punishes him harshly (Job 9:13-24; 10:17; 16:9-14; 19:11-22). On the other hand, he perceives God as a hidden and invisible Judge (Job 9:11,15; 23:7-9) who would listen fairly to his case if he could be found (Job 23:3-7; cf. Job 13:3,15-24).

On a positive note, Job agrees with his friends that God is sovereign Creator and Ruler who has done unsearchable things (Job 9:10) in the creation and control of the cosmos (Job 9:5-9; 26:7-14). He realizes that all things are in God's hand (Job 12:9), including Job's persecution (Job 30:21) and his disease (Job 19:21). Job has believed from the outset that God is responsible for his circumstances (Job see Job 1:21). Yet the prologue reveals that this was only God's permissive will since he had given limited authority over Job into Satan's hand (Job 1:12; 2:6). Since the life and breath of all humankind are in God's hand (Job 12:10) he is ultimately responsible for all things, including calamities (Job 12:16-25) and the prosperity of the wicked (whose circumstances are not in their own hand(s) [Job 21:16]). Thus, Job trusts that god's hand controls the elements of chaos in creation such as the sea, the storm cloud, and the cosmic sea monster Rahab (Job 26:12-13).

Elihu's View of God .

Preparing the way for the Lord's appearance, Elihu presents a more balanced view of God and his relationship to humankind. He corrects Job's view of God's hiddenness by arguing that God reveals himself in mysterious ways (Job including dreams, pain and illness, and angels) (Job 33:13-23). Supplementing Eliphaz's teaching about pain and suffering, he mentions a preventive purpose (to help keep a person from sinning and himself — Job 33:17-18,30a) as well as a disciplinary and educational objective (Job 33:16,19-22,30b; cf. Job 36:10). Elihu calls God the sovereign Teacher (Job 36:22) who will instruct Job (Job chaps. 38-41) with dozens of rhetorical questions. God uses affliction to get man's attention concerning pride (Job 33:17; 36:8-10). Although Elihu errs in assuming Job has had pride from the beginning of his suffering, the speeches of Job and of the Lord reveal the subsequent pride of Job.

Elihu states that the Almighty does not pervert justice (Job 34:12) but is a sovereign (Job 34:13), immanent (Job 34:14-15), just (Job 34:17-18), and impartial Ruler (Job 34:19-20) who does not reward on man's terms (Job 34:33). As omniscient Judge who sees all the ways of humankind, he often brings judgment (Job 34:21-28) but must not be questioned when he does not decree speedy retribution (Job 34:29-30). One reason God seems cruel in ignoring cries of the afflicted is that he does not hear the insincere cries of the proud (Job 35:9-13). God's transcendence means that he is not affected by a man's righteousness or sin (Job 35:5-6). However, this does not mean that he is impersonal (Job 36:7). Anticipating the Lord's teaching of 41:11, Elihu states that a person (Job no matter how righteous) cannot put God under obligation (Job 35:7; cf. Job 34:33).

Elihu corrects Job's theology by arguing that God is mighty but not arbitrary in his power (Job 36:5-6). He is the exalted and sovereign Teacher whom Job should not try to correct; rather Job should magnify his strength and power through song (Job 36:21-24) and meditate reverently on his awesome majesty and wonderful works in nature (Job 37:1-2,14-18,22-24). God is great beyond understanding in the mighty thunderstorm and snowstorm (Job 36:26-37:13). He is the great and sovereign Warrior who commands the thunderstorm as he dispenses lightning (like arrows) from his hands (Job 36:32). He lifts up his majestic voice in thunder (Job 37:2-5). This metaphorical description of God counteracts the pagan myths, which depicted the Canaanite storm-god Baal-Hadad and the Mesopotamian counterpart Adad holding a flash of lightning as a weapon. The clouds and lightning obey the sovereign command of the true God (Job 37:11-12).

The Lord reinforces this teaching (Job 38:22-30,34-38) by demonstrating his unique sovereignty over the weather. Only the Lord (not any so-called god, much less any human) can lift up his voice to command the thunderclouds and to dispatch the lightning (Job 38:34-38).

Elihu emphasizes the divine attributes of omnipotence. Three times he states that God is "mighty" or "great" (Job 34:17; 36:5 [twice]). A half-dozen times he utilizes the divine title "Almighty" (Job 32:8; 33:4; 34:10,12; 35:13; 37:23). This epithet is used in the Book of Job by all the characters in the poetic body for a total of thirty-one times in contrast to seventeen times in the rest of the Old Testament. Though its etymology is disputed, the Septuagint translation (Job pantokrator;[Job 27:2,13; 33:4; 34:10,12; 35:13) support the traditional translation "Almighty."

Lord's View of Himself and His Relationship to Humankind .

Because of his omnipotent work of creating and sustaining the order of the universe, Yahweh alone is its sovereign and benevolent Lord who relates to finite humankind only on the basis of his own sovereign grace and man's joyous trust in him.

Ignoring Job's cries for a verdict of innocent or an indictment of specific charges, the Lord confronts Job with his ignorance of Yahweh's ways in governing the universe (Job 38:2). Utilizing dozens of rhetorical questions, he documents human ignorance of and impotence in controlling each domain of inanimate (Job 38:4-38) and animate (Job 38:39-39:30) creation, which are under the sovereign care of the all-knowing Lord. Almost all the rhetorical questions beginning with "who?" (Job Heb. mi;[Job 38:5,6, 25,28, 29,36, 37,41; 39:5 — which expect the answer "none but Yahweh" ) emphasize the incomparable sovereignty of Yahweh as ruler of the uNIVerse. No human or any so-called god can usurp his role. Questions beginning with "where?" (Job 38:4,19, 24), "on what?" (Job 38:6), and sentence questions including the pronoun "you" or "your" (Job 38:12,16, 17,18, 22,31, 32,33, 34,35, 39; 39:1,2, 9,10, 11,12, 19,20, 26,27; 40:8,9) expose Job's impotence and finiteness in light of God's sovereignty and infinite greatness. Since God is nobody's equal, Job's audacious attempt to subpoena God (Job 31:35) and to wage a "lawsuit" to enforce his rights (Job 40:2) is absurd.

The Lord demonstrates his wise and sovereign control over things humankind has considered chaotic or evil. He has restricted the chaotic sea with its proud waves (Job 38:8-11) yet provides the precise amount of rain to inhibit the encroachment of the desert (Job 38:26-27,37-38). By daily commanding the sun to rise (Job 38:12-15), he limits darkness and the wicked who operate at night. Thus he has assigned places for both light and darkness (Job 38:19-20) and sovereignly controls the dark underworld (Job 38:16-17). He is master of the wild animals, which man can seldom tame and often fears (Job 38:39-39:30). He benevolently provides food for the mightiest carnivore (the lion) to the weakest carrion-eating raven (Job 38:39-41). The Lord's dominion allows room for chaotic forces (cf. Job 4:7-11, where Eliphaz employs the lion as a symbol of the wicked ). But the Lord also protects the weak and vulnerable deer and mountain goat (the prey of the lion — Job 39:1-4). He has created vultures with the instinct to feed on the wounded (including humans slain in battle — Job 39:30) to help prevent the spread of disease. Since Yahweh wisely supervises the balance of nature, which includes chaotic forces, humankind should trust him to restrict properly the chaotic and evil forces in society.

Yahweh confronts Job's prideful questioning of his justness as ruler of the universe (Job 40:8-14). He ironically challenges him to clothe himself in the divine attributes of kingship (Job 40:10-12) in order to subdue Behemoth and Leviathan (Job 40:15-41:34), which represent the proud and wicked elements in the cosmos (Job 40:11-13; 41:34). Since Job does not dare rouse Leviathan (Job 41:1-10a), how much more absurd that he has challenged the authority of Yahweh, the maker and ruler of Leviathan (Job 41:10b-11).

Fundamental Issues Concerning God's Relationship to Humankind . Theology of Retribution .

One common denominator between the theology of Job and his friends is a belief in the retribution dogma, a simplistic understanding of the principle of divine retribution: God (Job without exception) punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous. Since the righteous are always blessed and the wicked always receive God's judgment, Job must be a sinner since God has removed his physical blessings. Because God never punishes the godly man or preserves the evildoer, all three friends contend that Job's suffering is a sign of hidden sin (Job 4:7-11; 5:8-16; 8:11-22; 11:4-6,14-20; 18:5-21). Eliphaz implies (Job 4:11 —see the context of Job 4:7-10) and Bildad (Job 8:4) states that Job's children were killed as punishment for their sins. In the second cycle of speeches, all three friends emphasize God's certain punishment of the wicked. Both Eliphaz (Job 15:17-35) and Zophar (Job 20:4-29) explain Job's initial prosperity by the prevailing idea that the wicked many enjoy temporary prosperity before God metes out retributive judgment.

Job denies the accusations of his three friends that he is being punished for sin and openly questions the validity of the retribution dogma by citing counterexamples of the prosperity of the wicked (Job 21:7-16,31). Furthermore, he properly challenges the corollary that God punishes children for the sins of their parents (Job 21:19-21; see also Deuteronomy 24:16 ). Yet, when Job accuses God of unjustly punishing him for sin (in order to maintain his own innocence — Job 9:20-23; 40:8), he unconsciously retains the dogma of divine retribution.

Even Elihu argues that God operates according to retribution so that he ought not be accused of perverting justice (Job 34:11-12).

The purpose of the Book of Job (negatively stated) involves the refutation of this retribution dogma, which assumes an automatic connection between one's material and physical prosperity and one's spirituality. Both Job and his friends unknowingly restrict God's sovereignty by their assumption that he must always act according to their preconceived dogma. Because of this dogma, Job impugns God's justice in order to justify himself (Job 40:8). Though divine retribution is a valid principle (see Deuteronomy 28) the error is making it an unconditional dogma by which one can predetermine God's actions and judge a person's condition before him. God is not bound by this man-made dogma but normally will bless the righteous and punish the wicked.

The Book of Job also refutes the corollary that God is obligated to bless man if he obeys. This issue surfaces in the prologue, when Satan claims that Job serves God only for profit (Job 1:9-11). After Job's numerous possessions are removed, Job demands that God give him a fair trial in court (Job 10:2). Because God does not answer his plea to specify charges against him, Job dares to challenge the sovereign power of the Almighty by trying (as it were) to subpoena him for testimony (Job 31:35). He accuses God of oppressive tactics (Job 10:3), including apparently the forcible removal of what rightfully belongs to him. When Job assumes that God owes him physical blessing since he has been obedient to Him, he was imbibing a concept that undergirded ancient Near Eastern religions—that the human relationship to the gods was like a business contract of mutual claims that was binding in court. The Book of Job shows the absurdity of demanding that God operate in this manner since he is obligated to no one: "Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me" (Job 41:11). Thus, God's free sovereignty is independent of all human rules, including those imposed by any religion.

Need of a Mediator .

Since Job perceives of God as unjust and inaccessible, he expresses a desire for an impartial mediator (Job 9:33—Heb. mokiah - the probable term for the ancient Near Eastern judge who functioned like a modern arbitrator) between God and himself.

The identity of Job's "witness" or "legal advocate" (Job 16:19) in heaven is disputed. Job's appeal to God (Job 17:3) to act as his advocate by laying down a pledge (i.e., to provide the bail or surety needed in his desired court case) may support that Job refers to God in Job 16:19. However, Job's wish for an impartial "mediator" between God and himself (Job 9:33) and the context of Job 16:21 suggest that Job is using a legal metaphor for an advocate who would plead for him with God. Since he believes strongly in his innocence, there must be someone pleading his case in the heavenly court just as in an earthly court. This anticipates the role Christ now plays as intercessor (see Hebrews 7:25) and advocate (Job 1 John 2:1 ).

In Job 19:25 Job expresses his confidence in his living redeemer. Although he may be referring to God (see mention of "God" in JOb 19:26 and the prior context of Job 17:3), the context of 9:33 (his desire for a neutral party) and of Job 16:19-21 implies that Job more likely refers to someone other than God. By again using the legal metaphor, Job expresses his conviction that he would be vindicated as innocent (which in an earthly lawsuit would require a vindicator or legal advocate). Job believes that surely there is a legal advocate in his "lawsuit" against God. Though Job probably uses a legal metaphor for someone other than God, his longing for a "vindicator" is eventually fulfilled in God (Job 42:7, where God says his servant Job spoke what was right about him). One must not assume that Job had any knowledge of Christ as his Redeemer (Job a truth revealed only in the New Testament); nonetheless the paramount fulfillment of Job's need for a mediator and legal advocate has now been found in the person of Jesus Christ.

Concepts of Death and the Grave .

Job longs for death as an escape from God and the unrelenting trouble that God has caused him (Job 3:10-13,20-22; 7:15,19-21). At first Job perceives of the grave as a place of rest and quiet (Job 3:11-13,17) in contrast to life (Job 3:26) and as freedom from bondage (Job 3:18-19) and as separation from God (Job 7:21). He compares death to sleep (Job 14:12) and wishes that the grave could hide him from God's wrath (Job 14:13). Yet Job stresses that it is dark, gloomy, and without order (Job 10:18-22).

Sheol is a land of no return (Job 10:21) and a place without hope (Job 17:15-16). The dead person is oblivious to life on earth (Job 14:21), and those on earth quickly forget him (Job 18:27). Job portrays Sheol as a house (Job or home — Job 17:13) and a meeting house appointed for all the living (Job 30:23). He realizes that in the grave the pit and the worm (Job 17:13-14) would become deadly relatives, consuming both the righteous and the sinner (Job 17:13-14; 24:19). Bildad portrays disease as the "firstborn of death" (Job 18:13) and death as "the king of terrors" (Job 18:14).

Though Sheol is very deep and far away (Job 11:8), dark (Job 10:21-22), and sealed up (Job 7:9-10), Job believes that Sheol is not concealed from God's purview (Job 26:5-6). Though he has wished that he could hide from God there, he acknowledges the reality that even the dead are not immune from God's all-pervasive sovereignty. The Lord confirms this truth (Job 38:16-20).

Thus, Job expresses confidence of seeing God after death (Job 19:26). Interpretation of the difficult phrase (Heb. mibbesari) "from [or apart from] my flesh" determines whether Job conceives of bodily resurrection or merely conscious awareness of God after death.

Conclusion . Practical Theology .

The Book of Job presents a lofty view of God as One worthy of our worship and trust no matter how enigmatic our circumstances. A person ought to trust God even when his ways are inscrutable (Job 42:2-3; cf. Job 5:9; 9:10-12; 11:6-9). Yet the book also teaches that we may ask honest questions of God when we do not understand "why?" (Job 3:11-20; 10:18; 13:24; 24:1-12) or even express strong emotions such as bitterness (Job 7:11; 10:1) or anger. The Lord does not give a direct answer to Job's question "why?", but communicates that when things seem chaotic and senseless he himself is still in charge. The book as a whole teaches that God is ultimately the author of pain and suffering (Job 5:18), which he may use for various purposes (Job 5:17; 23:10; 33:16-30). Since Satan cannot inflict suffering without God's express permission (Job 1:12; 2:6), believers can find strength from the assurance that God sovereignly limits Satan's evil activities.

The heated debate between the impatient Job and his dogmatic "friends" must not overshadow Job's overall example of practical holiness and ethical purity. Job's model of a blameless servant fearing God (Job 1:1,8; 2:3; 42:2-6,7-8) and the message of the book demonstrate that reverential submission is always the proper response for believers—whether in prosperity or tragedy. Job's blameless record as a neighbor and city official (Job 29:12-17; 31:16-23), including pure inward motivations (Job 31:1-2,24-25,33-34) and attitudes (Job 31:1,7,9,26-27,29-30) toward God and neighbor, are lofty ethical standards to emulate. This example is unique and unparalleled until the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

Bibliography . G. L. Archer, Jr., The Book of Job: God's Answer to the Problem of Undeserved Suffering ; E. Dhorme, A Commentary on the Book of Job ; J. E. Hartley, The Book of Job (borrow) ; G. W. Parsons, BibSac 138 (Job 1981): 139-57; R. B. Zuck, A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, pp. 207-55.

Copyright Statement Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516-6287. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement.

Bibliography Information Elwell, Walter A. Entry for 'Job, Theology of'. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 1996.

Here is a Song Which Summaries the Book of Job

 Christ in the Poetical Books - Job
A M Hodgkin

In whatever aspect we look at it, the Book of Job is perhaps the most wonderful poem that has ever been written. Tennyson called it ''the greatest poem whether of ancient or modern literature.'' Luther regarded it as ''more magnificent and sublime than any other book of Scripture.''

The scene is laid in patriarchal times, and it is said to be the oldest book in existence. That Job was a real person is settled by Scripture itself. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God says of the land: ''Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls'' (Ezek 14:14,20).

The book is wonderful in the beauty of its language, in the wide sweep of knowledge it displays, in its scientific accuracy. It is wonderful in that it deals with the mystery of pain, and with the riddle of all times, ''Why do the righteous suffer?'' It lifts the veil of the spirit world, and teaches us both the extent and the limit of the power of Satan. It is wonderful in clearly revealing the fact of the resurrection, and, above all, in foreshadowing the mystery of redemption.

The language of the book is sublime in its simplicity. The pathos of Job's description of his sufferings has found an echo in countless souls who have been brought into God's crucible. As Elihu describes the gathering storm, we can see the clouds rolling up, the flashing of the lightning, and hear the roar of the thunder. Out of the midst of the storm God speaks.

God's Book.

Though the object of the Bible is not to teach science, its language is always abreast of the latest discoveries. This is nowhere more noticeable than in the Book of Job.

''He hangeth the earth upon nothing'' (Job 26:7). What could more accurately describe the poise of our world in space?

''Canst thou bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades?'' (Job 38:31). Alcyone, the brightest of these seven stars, is actually, so far as it is known the pivot around which our whole solar system revolves. How mighty and at once how sweet must be its influence to hold these worlds in place at such a distance and to swing them round so smoothly!

''The morning-stars sang together'' (Job 38:7). Only modern science has discovered that the rays of light are vocal, and that if our ears were more finely tuned we should hear them (see Job 19:1-3).

''By what way is the light parted?'' (Job 38:24). Could language more exact be employed even after the discoveries of the spectrum analysis?

Had Bildad been taught the chemical absorption of chlorophyll by plants from light, he could have used no [more exact] term than this: ''He is green (Job or, 'is full of juice') before the sun'' (Job 8:16).

The Mystery of Suffering.

The Book of Job deals with the mystery of human suffering, especially the suffering of the righteous. Job's friends erred in thinking that all suffering is God's special judgment upon some special sin. ''Who ever perished, being innocent?'' (Job 4:7) was the burden of all their consolation. They reckoned that Job's sin against God must be exceptionally great to account for such exceptional suffering. In this connection, it is important to remember Job's attitude towards God. He was one who, having access to Him through the blood of sacrifice (Job 1:5), was walking with Him in integrity of heart and conformity of life. God's own testimony of him was, ''There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil'' (Job 1:8). ''Of all men, he was the one most fitted to be entrusted with the service of suffering, being chosen as a pattern of the ways of God in the ages to come, for all His children in the service of trial.'' [quoted from The Story of Job, by Mrs. Penn-Lewis.] Job knew that his heart was true to God, and he could not accept the accusations of his friends. He shows them that their conclusion is false, and that the wicked often prosper in the world. ''They gather the vintage of the wicked'' (Job 24:6). One of the elements of danger in a course of sin is that it is so often successful. The young man who wins his first stake in gambling is in far greater peril than the one who loses.


Elihu, who had been listening to the argument of Job and his friends, sums up their discussion in two terse sentences: ''Against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job'' (Job 32:2,3). Elihu was a true messenger from God to Job, and brought out His gracious purpose in the chastisement of His children. Elihu's words prepare the way for God's own revelation of Himself which followed. Chastisement is the Key-note of this book. [cp. Heb 12:5-11]

Spectators of the Conflict.

But God has a deeper purpose in the suffering of His children than even their personal perfection. We have the clue in the words of Paul: ''To the intent that now, unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the Church, the manifold wisdom of God'' (Eph 3:10,11). An unseen cloud of witnesses is eagerly watching the conflict carried on in the arena of this little world. God is unfolding to the angels of light and to the hosts of darkness ''the eternal purposes'' of His grace in His dealings with His redeemed children on the earth. The adversary had challenged the integrity of Job in the council of heaven, and God's honor is in question. How little did Job realize the issues which hung upon his steadfastness, when he said, ''The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord'' [Job 1:21]; and again, ''Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him'' [Job 13:15]. How little the Church today realizes the issues which hang upon her faithfulness, or God would find among those who trust Him a larger number of saints whom He could trust.

The Adversary.

Both the extent and the limit of Satan's power are brought out in this book. He had power to bring up the hordes of hostile Sabeans and Chaldeans to carry off the oxen and the asses and the camels. He had power to manipulate the lightning to consume the sheep, to summon the wind to slay Job's children, and to smite Job himself with a terrible disease; for is he not the Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience? [Eph 2:2]. And did he not bring against Paul a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him? [2Cor 12:7]. But, on the other hand, he had no power at all, except in so far as God permitted him to break through the protecting hedge with which He had surrounded His servant (Job 1:10). What comfort there is here for the child of God: no calamity can touch him except as his Father permits it; and He who has ''shut up the sea with doors,'' and said, ''Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed'' (Job 38:8-11), will never suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, or allow the furnace to be hotter than we can bear [1Cor 10:13].

We have, in the Book of Job, not merely the theory of suffering, but a living example of one of God's children placed in the crucible, and the effect of it upon his life. Because God trusted Job, He assigned to him the ministry of suffering. Because He loved him, He chastened him [Heb 12:6]. Even in the midst of his anguish, Job recognized that it is only the gold that is worth putting in the fire. Job, in his prosperity and uprightness and benevolence, was in danger of becoming self-confident, and not recognizing that he had only held his power and position in trust for God. But as God dealt with him, we see him broken (Job 16:12,14 17:11) and melted (Job 23:10) and softened, so that he could say, ''The hand of God hath touched me'' (Job 19:21); ''God maketh my heart soft'' (Job 23:16).

''Now mine Eye seeth Thee.''

But it was the vision of God Himself that completed the work and brought Job into the very dust. He had protested that he was prepared to reason with God over His strange dealings with him [eg. Job 10:2 Job 13:3]. But when God took him at his word and said, ''Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him?'' Job replied, ''Behold, I am vile (Job or, contemptibly mean [low, common] ); I will lay mine hand upon my mouth'' [Job 40:1-4]. God continued to deal with him until Job was brought to the very end of himself, and cried out, ''I have uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee: wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust an ashes'' (Job 42:1-6).

God's ''Afterward.''

God's chastened, softened servant is now ready to intercede at God's command for the friends who had so aggravated his woe. Before his own misery is relieved, he offers the appointed sacrifice which they have brought, and prays for them. As he does so, God turns the captivity of Job, and his prosperity returns to him, doubled in every particular. Twice as many sheep and camels and oxen and asses fell to Job's portion as before-- but only the same number of children, seven sons and three daughters. We have here the most beautiful intimation of the certainty of resurrection. Job's prayers had evidently been answered, and his sacrifices accepted, on his children's behalf [Job 1:5], and the fact that he was only given the same number [of children] as before was God's assurance that those who had been taken were safe in His keeping, ''where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest'' (Job 3:17).

''My Redeemer Liveth.''

Job's vision of the future life had been obscure at first, for we find him asking the question, ''If a man die, shall he live again?'' (Job 14:14). But with his affliction his faith grows, and he answers his own question in the glorious words: ''I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the dust: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself and on my side. Mine eyes shall behold Him and not a stranger'' (Job literal translation, Job 19:25-27). However dimly Job himself may have understood the Spirit-given words, what a vision of the future life we have here, what a prophecy of the coming Savior, sounding forth in the earliest ages! Job sees Him as the Goel, the Kinsman Redeemer-- not a stranger; the One who, because He is the next of kin, has the right to redeem. Again and again, in this book, we have the foreshadowing of the Savior. We see Him in the accepted sacrifices which Job offered for his children as the book opens, and for his friends as it closes. We see Him in Job's question, ''How shall man be just before God?'' [Job 9:2]. A question answered only in Him who has justified us ''by His blood'' (Job Ro 5:9).

One Mediator.

We see Him in the ''Daysman,'' the ''Umpire,'' [whom] Job longs for between him and God. ''For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any Daysman betwixt us, that might lay His hand upon us both'' (Job 9:32,33). The need of the human heart has only been met in ''God our Savior,'' the one Mediator between God and men-- Himself, Man-- Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all'' (Job 1 Ti2:4-6, R.V.).

A Ransom.

Yet once more, we see Christ again, in the words of Elihu, ''Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom'' (Job margin, ''atonement'') [Job 33:24]. The ransom prophesied by Elihu and the ransom proclaimed by Paul are one [1 Ti 2:6]. ''Job had seen his Redeemer as the living One who would vindicate him in the day of His coming, but [He] let him now see Him as the ransom, the One who would be gracious to him, and deliver him from going down into the pit-- not on the ground of Job's integrity, but on the ground of His own shed blood as the price paid for the redemption of fallen man.'' [quoted from The Story of Job, by Mrs. Penn-Lewis.]

The next verse gives the result of this ransom. ''His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall pray unto God, and He shall be favorable unto him; and he shall see His face with joy.'' Cleansing and communion resting on the ground of full atonement.

Yet once again, we see the Cross dimly foreshadowed in Job's sufferings. His sufferings were through the enmity of Satan. ''The suffering upright man pointed the way to the suffering sinless man-- the Man of Sorrows.'' [cp. Isa 53:3]. Job was wounded by his friends. He was ''the song and by-word'' of base men. ''They spare not to spit in my face... My soul is poured out upon me... my bones are pierced in me. He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.... I cry unto Thee, and Thou dost not answer me'' (Job 30:16-20).

How closely all this answers to the description of the suffering Savior [cp. Ps 22:1-31]. But while Job complained and justified himself, the sinless Lamb of God was dumb before His shearers, and poured out His soul a sacrifice for our sins [Isa 53:7,12].The Book of Job from Christ in All the Scriptures


Explanation - Most of the resources below are newer commentaries (written after 1970) and other Bible resources which previously were available only for purchase in book form or in a Bible computer program. The resources are made freely available by but have several caveats - (1) they do not allow copy and paste, (2) they can only be checked out for one hour (but can be checked out immediately when your hour expires giving you time to read or take notes on a lengthy section) and (3) they require creating an account which allows you to check out the books free of charge. To set up an account click and then click the picture of the person in right upper corner and enter email and a password. That's all you have to do. Then you can read these more modern resources free of charge! I have read or used many of these resources but not all of them so ultimately you will need to be a Berean (Acts 17:11+) as you use them. I have also selected works that are conservative and Biblically sound. If you find one that you think does not meet those criteria please send an email at The resources are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name and some include reviews of the particular resource. 

The wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes : an introduction to wisdom literature by Kidner, Derek  70 ratings

Cyril Barber - Kidner's works are appreciated by pastors and Bible students. He provides a sensitive introduction to the form and content of the books mentioned in the subtitle. His summaries of modern criticism are generally helpful. Also worthy of note is Kidner's comparison of the literary genre of the biblical and Apocryphal writings.

Job : a man of heroic endurance by Swindoll, Charles

The Remarkable Record of Job - Henry Morris (2000) 148 pages. 

Cyril Barber - Topical studies based on the Book of Job and demonstrating the consistency of the patriarch's statements with the findings of modern science. A most interesting discussion.

Be Patient - Waiting for God in Difficult Times (Job) - Warren Wiersbe - 264 ratings

Barber - Here is a brief but masterful presentation of the teaching of the Book of Job. It is ideal for use in adult discussion groups. Preachers, too, will find it useful for its quotations and illustrations. Recommended.

Job by Roy Zuck (1978) 196 pages.  16 ratings (CLICK HERE for a list of more than 20 excellent books by Roy Zuck that can be borrowed).

Cyril Barber - In thirteen pertinent, well-written chapters, Zuck explains the theme of Job and the lessons to be learned from his sufferings. This is a masterful condensation of material, and the structure lends itself for use with adult Bible study groups. Recommended.

Rosscup - Job- Everyman's Bible Commentary - Zuck, a Biola University graduate, Associate Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, has written this 192-pp. paperback for the Everyman’s Bible Commentary. Written in thirteen chapters for use in Sunday school, this volume assumes a thoroughly orthodox position with reference to all critical areas. In addition, Zuck reckons a patriarchal time setting (perhaps akin to Terah’s time?). One helpful section is Zuck’s treatment of chapters 20 and 21 and the repartee between Zophar and Job. Zuck views the grand purpose of the book as dealing with motives behind worship. He sees its solemn lesson in the futility of criticizing God’s ways. This volume is recommended for home Bible studies and Sunday school.—Jan Sattem (Ibid)

Job - Will you torment a windblown leaf? (from the Focus on the Bible series) by Bill Cotton - 

User review - Bill Cotton unlocked the book of Job for me as no other has. It is easy reading; thorough, and gets right to the heart of the issues in each chapter. This is not a word for word exegesis of Job; rather a paragraph by paragraph explanation of each thought. Suffering is a way of life for fallen humanity. Even our Savior learned from the things He suffered! But suffering without a context for our faith can be overwhelming. Bill Cotton's book will give you a way to look at the over all purpose of God in what He allows for us. Do yourself a favor; buy the book and see if it doesn't take its place among the other books you have found dear for your faith. - The poet Alfred Lord Tennyson is reputed to have called the book of Job “the greatest poem of ancient or modern times.” It is, indeed, a poetic masterpiece—one of the most original poems in the history of mankind—and it is also is one of the most dramatic illustrations in the Bible of the interrelationship of God, mankind and Satan. There is much argument as to what is the basic theme of Job. There are many opinions—the patience of a good man under testing, the suffering of the innocent, the tragedy of life in a fallen world, justification by faith, the incomprehensibility of God’s dealings with people, and even a parable of the suffering of Israel—all have been suggested. One reason why it may be difficult to find a unifying theme is that it really happened! This is not someone’s opinion about spiritual matters but an event that is reported in detail and then set in a different literary style. Bill Cotton has put together a fascinating study of the book of Job. To aid the reader he has added highlight boxes throughout the commentary that discuss basic problems and the flow of thought. What’s more, with the Logos edition, Scripture passages are linked to your favorite English translation for quick reference, or to your Greek and Hebrew texts for original-language study! That gives you quick access to the message of the Bible as you study it!...This commentary will serve as a vital aid for sermon preparation, for personal and group Bible study, and for anyone looking to apply the text of Scripture to practical Christian life.

The book of Job (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Hartley, John E

James Rosscup on John Hartley's The Book of Job - It is good to see this firmly evangelical work. This is evident in many places. However, Hartley is subjective and without real necessity in shuffling Job 27:13–23 to Chapter 25, etc. Generally, his careful handling of the text, syntax, views and reasoning constitute this one of the best conservative works on Job. (Ibid)

Cyril Barber - Cyrus H. Gordon wrote of this work, "Hartley has given us a scholarly and at the same time down-to-earth and readable commentary. He presents a thorough introduction, translation, and explanation with learned but lucid notes."

Ligonier Ministry (Keith Matheson) - Hartley’s commentary on Job is not as comprehensive or technical as Clines’ work, but it is not written at an introductory level either. It is a thorough and demanding work that supplements Clines well. Readers will find much insight into the meaning of Job here. Highly recommended.

The book of Job interpreted by Strahan, James

Strahan, James. The Book of Job. Edinburgh: T an T Clark. 1914. One of the best expository treatments, but difficult to obtain. Based upon a moderate form-criticism. THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE.

When the hurt won't go away by Powell, Paul

Powell, Paul W. When the Hurt Won't Go Away. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1986. Uses the Book of Job as the springboard for these messages on suffering. Plain; practical.

Job : an introduction and commentary by Andersen, Francis I.

Andersen, Francis Ian. Job: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1976. An excellent treatment that maintains a high standard of evangelical scholarship and must take its place among the finest nontechnical expositions ever produced on this enigmatic portion of God's Word.

Ligonier Ministry (Keith Matheson) - For those seeking a more introductory-level commentary on the book of Job, Francis Anderson’s commentary is the best place to start. Anderson is a renowned scholar, and the commentary reflects his learning without becoming overly technical. Virtually any reader should be able to pick up this volume and work their way through it with little difficulty. A very helpful introductory commentary.

The Communicator's Commentary. Job by McKenna, David L  2 ratings (The revised title is Preacher's Commentary - see 5 ratings)

Lord from the depths I cry by Philip, George 132 pages. This book looks Biblical, practical and non-technical.

Job : an Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale OT Commentary Series) by Andersen, Francis I 74 ratings

J E Rosscup on Andersen's Job (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) - Andersen has provided one of the best modern and informed expositions of the text of Job, displaying intimate familiarity with the Hebrew and cognate languages and literature (as well as referring to a broad range of English literature). He utilizes a good, almost conversational style and closely analyzes the text. Not all evangelicals will be pleased with Andersen’s cyclical theory of composition (which he sees as reaching completion by 750 B. C., although he allows that composition could have occurred any time between Moses and Ezra). This is a valuable aid to exposition.—Dan Phillips. He dates job during Solomon’s reign. On problem texts he gives views, as on 19:23–27, where he believes Job refers to a real meeting with God after death, though does not feel there is a full statement of a faith in bodily resurrection here (this point has been much debated). The verse by verse commentary is good most of the time, and Andersen is quite abreast of modern research on the book.—J. E. Rosscup. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors)

Job : a self-study guide by Jensen, Irving

The book of Job; Introduction and Commentary by Hanson, Anthony Tyrrell - No reviews available therefore Acts 17:11 applies

Why Me, God? A Bible Commentary for Laymen - Job by Robert N. Schaper - No reviews available. Does not go into great detail but has an engaging style and could be used to supplement more detailed commentaries. 

1 Chronicles thru Job by Longman, Tremper (2012) 248 pages.

Here’s an accessible reference that aids personal Bible study or Sunday school preparation—the Layman’s Bible Commentary, reference for the everyday Christian, not the scholar! Volume 4—covering 1 Chronicles through Job—provides section-by-section commentary on the flow and theme of each book, as well as historical and literary context for each. Major interpretations are presented for controversial passages and topics. Puzzling passages and Bible practices are explained, and charts and diagrams further aid your understanding. And “Take It Home” segments provide a practical application for each passage.

Expositor's Bible Commentary - 1 Kings - Job - Frank Gaebelein editor. Author of Job = Elmer B Smick.  2 ratings - The Gold Medallion Award–winning Expositor’s Bible Commentary is a major contribution to the study and understanding of the Scriptures. Providing pastors and Bible students with a comprehensive and scholarly tool for the exposition of the Scriptures and the teaching and proclamation of their message, this 12-volume reference work has become a staple of seminary and college libraries and pastors’ studies worldwide. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary uses the New International Version for its English text, but also refers freely to other translations and to the original languages. Each book of the Bible has, in addition to its exposition, an introduction, outline, and bibliography. Notes on textual questions and special problems are correlated with the expository units; transliteration and translation of Semitic and Greek words make the more technical notes accessible to readers unacquainted with the biblical languages. In matters where marked differences of opinion exist, commentators, while stating their own convictions, deal fairly and ironically with opposing views.

Our ultimate refuge : Job and the problem of suffering by Chambers, Oswald, 57 ratings (2006) 148 pages

The purpose of suffering (Job) by Young, Edwin (1985) 148 pages

Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen? : a devotional study on living by faith by Arthur, Kay 101 ratings

As Silver Refined : Answers to Life's Disappointments by Arthur, Kay, 315 ratings Excerpt - "Let’s take a look at someone else who was no stranger to pain. The man in Scripture we probably associate most with painful trials is Job. And in his experience too we encounter penetrating and practical truth about the sovereignty of God." (from chapter 9)

Through the valley of tears by Barber, Cyril J Amazon - Each year in the United States, roughly two million people die, leaving behind them many grieving hearts in need of perspective and comfort. Many are husbands or wives who reach for a missing partner on the other side of the bed. Others are children, young and old, who suddenly realize that their parents are gone, leaving the world a strange and lonely place. Some are parents whose plans and dreams fade as they watch a child pass away. Dr. Barber addresses the pain of losing a parent and its effect on children of different ages - toddlers, young children, older children, and teens. He also offers practical advice for widows and widowers, for those who re-marry, and for those who blend children of both surviving parents into one new family. For anyone who mourns the loss of a loved one, 'Through the Valley of Tears' is a valuable source of comfort and advice

Broken things : why we suffer by DeHaan, M. R  64 ratings "Before M. R. DeHaan was teaching on Radio Bible Class, he was a physician and well acquainted with pain and suffering. Dr. De Haan, in his book Broken Things—Why We Suffer, takes a biblical and practical look at suffering and helps you to discover that often it is through seasons of trial that God seeks to mold and shape you into His image."

Job by Gibson, John (Daily Bible Study Series)

Cyril Barber - Contains a mixture of good and notso-good things. Flashes of insight reveal the writer's pastoral heart. Much of the text is taken up citing the biblical passage with the exposition being proportionately brief. Though this study should not be ignored, other English works are more reliable on critical issues.

Below are more general resources that cover Job in less depth...

KJV Bible Commentary - Hindson, Edward E; Kroll, Woodrow Michael. Over 3000 pages of the entire OT/NT - no restriction on length of time one can use  it. No copy and paste. Well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective.  User reviews - it generally gets 4/5 stars from users. - 372 ratings

Very well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective (pre-millennial)  user reviews 

The King James Version Bible Commentary is a complete verse-by-verse commentary. It is comprehensive in scope, reliable in scholarship, and easy to use. Its authors are leading evangelical theologians who provide practical truths and biblical principles. Any Bible student will gain new insights through this one-volume commentary based on the timeless King James Version of the Bible.

NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version Study Bible by Radmacher, Earl D; Allen, Ronald Barclay; House, H. Wayne; 917 ratings Very helpful notes. Conservative.

New Bible Commentary - (1994) See user reviews 

The Experiencing God Study Bible : the Bible for knowing and doing the will of God - Blackaby, Henry (1996) 1968 pages - CHECK THIS ONE! Each chapter begins with several questions under the title "PREPARE TO MEET GOD." Then you will interesting symbols before many of the passages. The chapter ends with a "DID YOU NOTICE?" question. This might make a "dry chapter" jump off the page! Read some of the 48 ratings

Wycliffe Bible Commentary - OT and NT - Charles Pfeiffer - 1560 pages (1962). 214 ratings Less detailed than the KJV Bible Commentary. 

The New Testament and Wycliffe Bible commentary - This version has no time restriction but only has the NT. 

The Defender's Study Bible : King James Version by Morris, Henry M. Excellent notes for well known creationist. 45 ratings

The MacArthur study Bible - John MacArthur. Brief but well done notes 1,275 ratings

The David Jeremiah study bible - (2013) 2208 pages. 2,272 ratings - "Drawing on more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah has compiled a legacy resource that will make an eternal impact on generations to come. 8,000 study notes. Hundreds of enriching word studies"50+ Essentials of the Christian Faith" articles."

ESV Study Bible - Excellent resource but not always literal in eschatology and the nation of Israel 6,004 ratings

Believer's Bible Commentary by MacDonald, William (1995) 2480 pages

Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. - "Concise yet comprehensive - the most complete single-volume commentary I have seen."

Warren Wiersbe - "For the student who is serious about seeing Christ in the Word." 

Life application study Bible : New Living Translation. Has some very helpful notes. 4,445 ratings

The Lion handbook to the Bible - (1999) 822 pages. This resource is absolutely loaded with very nice color pictures and charts.

NIV archaeological study Bible (2005) 2360 pages 950 ratings (See also Archaeology and the Bible - OT and NT)

The NIV study Bible by Barker, Kenneth L; Burdick, Donald W (1995) 2250 pages. Note this is the first edition. This resource has been fully revised in 2020. 

The Ryrie Study Bible - Charles Ryrie (1978) 2142 pages. Conservative.  216 ratings

With the Word - Devotional Commentary - Warren Wiersbe - 428 ratings

Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament by Wiersbe, Warren W 113 ratings

"Even the most difficult Scriptures come alive as Warren Wiersbe leads you book-by-book through the Old Testament and helps you to see the "big picture" of God's revelation. In this unique volume, you will find: • Introductions and/or outlines for every Old Testament book • Practical expositions of strategic chapters • Special studies on key topics, relating the Old Testament to the New Testament • Easy-to-understand expositions that are practical, preachable, and teachable If you have used Dr. Wiersbe's popular BE series, you know how simple and practical his Bible studies are, with outlines that almost teach themselves. If not, you can now discover a wonderful new resource. This work is a unique commentary on every book of the Old Testament. It contains new material not to be found in the BE series.

Evangelical Commentary on the Bible - editor Walter Elwell (1989) 1239 pages. User reviews

Eerdmans' family encyclopedia of the Bible (1978) 344 pages

Eerdmans' handbook to the Bible (1983) 688 pages 

Tyndale handbook of Bible charts & maps by Wilson, Neil  

Bible handbook and A-Z bible encyclopedia

Commentary on the Book of Job
The Bible for Home and School

That Reference Job
"The largest Bible Study Resource on the Web"

Hint: Do a "control + find" when you open a "hit" and search Job.
This may take some practice but will yield some "gems"!
Recommended Resource

Related to the Book of Job

Book of Job
Plethora of sermons, homilies, illustrations

Job 1:1 Sermons organized by chapter and verse - select chap/verse at top of page
Links below are to the full page which includes illustrations, homilies, sermons

Job Commentary
Two Volumes - about 800 pages!

Spurgeon's Review: "Exceedingly good. One of the best of this author’s generally valuable productions. The student should purchase this work at once, as it is absolutely necessary to his library." (Commenting and commentaries lectures)

Book of Job

Job Commentary

Job Sermon Notes
Some survey, some in depth
Calvary Chapel, Fullerton, California

Click for audios

Job Commentary

Adam Clarke (1760-1832) was Methodist, Wesleyan, Arminian, (e.g., Clarke "suggested that although God can know all future events, he chooses not to know some events beforehand" Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, page 808). He did not always interpret Scripture literally and so was amillennial (he interpreted Revelation as a Historicist) which led him to interpret the church as fulfilling many OT promises to Israel. Influential in development of doctrine of entire sanctification. Affirmed the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, but held a belief of "plenary dynamic inspiration" (idea of every thought inspired), thus falling short of "plenary verbal inspiration" (every single word inspired) (Bib. Sacra: Vol 125, p 163, 1968). In summary, a useful, respected commentary but as with all these resources you are advised to "Be a Berean!"

- JOB -
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown.
Published 1871

See Also the Unabridged Version
Reliable Resource


Sermon Notes on Job

Cambridge Bible Commentary
Book of Job

Rosscup writes: "This is a detailed investigation of the text verse by verse and has much to offer."

Spurgeon adds "Strict grammatical treatment of Scripture is always commendable, and in this case the results are valued by advanced scholars."

& George Gray
A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on
Book of Job

One of the better commentaries from the point of view of solid scholarship. It is in depth and formidable in its array of technicalities but still can be useful to those without Greek or Hebrew skills. 
Volume 2 - Philological Notes - Knowledge of Hebrew necessary

Commentary on the Holy Bible
The Book of Job

In Depth

Devotionals Related to Job

Book of Job
Robert A Watson

Warren W. Wiersbe - If you can locate the six-volume edition of the Expositor’s Bible, buy it immediately! It takes up less space than the original fifty-volume set, and not everything in the original set is worth owning. Samuel H. Kellogg on Leviticus is a classic; so is Alexander Maclaren on the Psalms and on Colossians. (A Basic Library for Bible Students)

Cyril J. Barber - This set, originally published in 1903, contains expositions by both conservative and liberal theologians. The most important works are by Dod (Genesis), Chadwick (Exodus and Mark), Kellogg (Leviticus), Blaikie (Joshua, I and II Samuel), Adeney (Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther), Maclaren (Psalms), Moule (Romans), Findlay (Galatians and Ephesians), Plummer (Pastoral Epistles and the Epistles of James and Jude), and Milligan (Revelation.) (The Minister’s Library)

Book of Job
Interesting Resource

Annotated Bible Commentary
Book of Job

Job Commentary
Westminster Commentaries

Well Done Exposition

Job Commentary

Book of Job

Comments on the
Book of Job

Job Commentary
Conservative, Evangelical, Millennial Perspective

Job Commentary
Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Job Commentary

Relating to Job

Job Commentary

Old Testament Commentary on Job

Spurgeon quotes another source: "Unquestionably the most valuable work on this inexhaustibly interesting Scripture that has reached us from Germany.”—Nonconformist.

Popular Commentary
Book of Job

Lutheran Perspective

Old Testament Commentary
For English Readers
Job - Edited by C J Ellicott

Sermons on Job

'Thru the Bible'
Mp3's on Job

Most from Our Daily Homily
Two from Our Daily Word

Introduction Job 1 Job 2 Job 3
Job 4 Job 5 Job 6 Job 7
Job 8 Job 9 Job 10 Job 11
Job 12 Job 13 Job 14 Job 15
Job 16 Job 17 Job 18 Job 19
Job 20 Job 21 Job 22 Job 23
Job 24 Job 25 Job 26 Job 27
Job 28 Job 29 Job 31 Job 32
Job 33 Job 34 Job 35 Job 36
Job 37 Job 38 Job 39 Job 40
Job 41 Job 42

Defender's Study Bible Notes
On Job

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on the Book of Job


Job Articles free online…



  • What was Job's "secret" for surviving such severe suffering? See the following commentary notes for a clue as to how Job could endure especially Job 23:12 - Job 23:10; Job 23:11; Job 23:12



Rosscup on Andersen's Job (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries) - Andersen has provided one of the best modern and informed expositions of the text of Job, displaying intimate familiarity with the Hebrew and cognate languages and literature (as well as referring to a broad range of English literature). He utilizes a good, almost conversational style and closely analyzes the text. Not all evangelicals will be pleased with Andersen’s cyclical theory of composition (which he sees as reaching completion by 750 B. C., although he allows that composition could have occurred any time between Moses and Ezra). This is a valuable aid to exposition.—Dan Phillips. He dates job during Solomon’s reign. On problem texts he gives views, as on 19:23–27, where he believes Job refers to a real meeting with God after death, though does not feel there is a full statement of a faith in bodily resurrection here (this point has been much debated). The verse by verse commentary is good most of the time, and Andersen is quite abreast of modern research on the book.—J. E. Rosscup. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors)

Rosscup has an interesting comment on the number one choice of Challies and Matheson - Clines' Word Biblical Commentary - In many texts this is careful in handling details of text, syntax, views and reasons. Clines’ grasp and use of scholarly writings enriches his effort, which seems of a conservative nature in many passages. He sees the story set in patriarchal times, but a writer between the seventh and second centuries B. C. using compositions from centuries before (a view that many will feel problematic). While so often productive on many aspects, Clines is a big disappointment in concluding on a key text, Job 19:25, that Job’s redeemer is not God but Job himself in a personified plea, however that can be, which is not altogether clear. (Ibid)

Rosscup on John Hartley's The Book of Job - It is good to see this firmly evangelical work. This is evident in many places. However, Hartley is subjective and without real necessity in shuffling Job 27:13–23 to Chapter 25, etc. Generally, his careful handling of the text, syntax, views and reasoning constitute this one of the best conservative works on Job. (Ibid)

Rosscup on Roy Zuck's Job- Everyman's Bible Commentary  - Zuck, a Biola University graduate, Associate Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, has written this 192-pp. paperback for the Everyman’s Bible Commentary. Written in thirteen chapters for use in Sunday school, this volume assumes a thoroughly orthodox position with reference to all critical areas. In addition, Zuck reckons a patriarchal time setting (perhaps akin to Terah’s time?). One helpful section is Zuck’s treatment of chapters 20 and 21 and the repartee between Zophar and Job. Zuck views the grand purpose of the book as dealing with motives behind worship. He sees its solemn lesson in the futility of criticizing God’s ways. This volume is recommended for home Bible studies and Sunday school.—Jan Sattem (Ibid)

CYRIL BARBER - reviews of resources - Minister's Library 2 and Minister's Library 3

Bullinger, Ethelbert William. The Book of Job. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1990. Long before the symmetrical analysis of the text of the OT became the pursuit of post-Redaktionsgeschichte scholars, Bullinger made available to his readers his insights into the biblical text. He was a competent scholar, and this commentary deserves careful reading.

Clines, David J. A. Job 1--20. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1989. Few studies can equal the erudition of this exposition of Job, chapters 1--20. Cline's research is awesome, the way he marshals his evidence is exemplary, and his treatment of the text leaves his readers in his debt. The manner in which Clines develops the theological themes of Job differs from Habel and others, and the originality of his discussion is going to enrich the sermon preparation of pastors throughout the English-speaking world. Recommended.

Kidner, Derek. An Introduction to Wisdom Literature: The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. Downers Grove, Ill.:. InterVarsity Press, 1985. Kidner's works are appreciated by pastors and Bible students. He provides a sensitive introduction to the form and content of the books mentioned in the subtitle. His summaries of modern criticism are generally helpful. Also worthy of note is Kidner's comparison of the literary genre of the biblical and Apocryphal writings.

Murphy, Roland Edmund. Wisdom Literature: Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981. The author, a Carmelite monk, makes available the first volume in a series, The Forms of the Old Testament Literature. Though form-critical, the purpose is to lead students of the Scriptures into a first-hand acquaintance with the text. 

Andersen, Francis Ian. Job: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1976. An excellent treatment that maintains a high standard of evangelical scholarship and must take its place among the finest nontechnical expositions ever produced on this enigmatic portion of God's Word.

Dhorme, Edouard. A Commentary on the Book of Job. Translated by H. Knight. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984. First published in French in 1926 and made available in English in 1967, this work has been reissued with a new preface by F I. Andersen. Eagerly sought after for its exegetical insights, but readers will be dismayed by Dhorme's frequent emendation of the MT and lack of usage of Near Eastern sources. Though the comments on the text are valuable, the abiding worth of this compendious study lies in the introductory essays.

Gibson, Edgar Charles Sumner. The Book of Job. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock. Christian Publishers, 1978. A perceptive and edifying study. Contains useful outlines at the beginning of different sections. These are most helpful to expository preachers in preparing biblically based messages on the grammar of the OT text. The value of this work increases with its use. It should be in every minister's library.

Gibson, John C. J. Job. Daily Study Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1985. Contains a mixture of good and notso-good things. Flashes of insight reveal the writer's pastoral heart. Much of the text is taken up citing the biblical passage with the exposition being proportionately brief. Though this study should not be ignored, other English works are more reliable on critical issues.

Green, William Henry. The Argument of the Book of Job. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1981. Few works are as helpful as this one in tracing the argument of the book, exposing the shallowness of human explanations of suffering, and then revealing the believer's resources. Careful perusal of this book will add depth and new insight into job. It will enhance any messages preached on this portion of God's word. Recommended.

Green, William Henry. Conflict and Triumph: The Argument of the Book of Job. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1997. First published in 1874. Green was one of the outstanding OT scholars of his era. Within these pages is all a pastor could wish for—and more. Recommended.

Habel, Norman C. The Book of Job. Cambridge Bible Commentary. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975. Based on the text of the NEB. This study generally follows the emendations of the Hebrew text adopted by the translators on whose work the series is based. Habel locates the events of job in the patriarchal period but believes the book was not written until the seventh century. He sees the theme of job revolving around the conflict between the integrity of God and the integrity of man. What he presents is truly helpful in spite of the weaknesses inherent in his presuppositions

_______, The Book of Job: A Commentary. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1985. †Not since Dhorme's magisterial work has a treatment as comprehensive as this one been attempted. Habel makes good use of modern research and combines this information into his own contribution. Those who preach on this longforgotten book of the OT will find Habel's commentary most valuable

Hartley, John E. The Book of Job. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988. Cyrus H. Gordon wrote of this work, "Hartley has given us a scholarly and at the same time down-to-earth and readable commentary. He presents a thorough introduction, translation, and explanation with learned but lucid notes."

Janzen, J. Gerald. Job. Interpretation. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1985 A controversial work which succeeds in bringing to the fore numerous challenging and thoughtful ideas that deserve fuller consideration. At the same time, real discrimination is evidenced in the author's amplification of appropriate Hebrew words.

Mason, Mike. The Gospel According to Job. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994. Contains 215 two-page meditations on selected verses in the Book of Job. Mason’s comments do not always follow the Biblical text even though they do provide a wealth of pertinent information on each verse cited.

Morris, Henry Madison. Remarkable Record of Job: The Ancient Wisdom, Scientific Accuracy, and Life-Changing Message of an Amazing Book. Santee, CA: Master Books, 1988. Topical studies based on the Book of Job and demonstrating the consistency of the patriarch's statements with the findings of modern science. A most interesting discussion.


Strahan, James. The Book of Job. Edinburgh: T an T Clark. 1914. One of the best expository treatments, but difficult to obtain. Based upon a moderate form-criticism. THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE.

Powell, Paul W. When the Hurt Won't Go Away. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1986. Uses the Book of Job as the springboard for these messages on suffering. Plain; practical.

Rowley, Harold Henry. Job. New Century Bible. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980. First published in 1970. This study is not a commentary in the strict sense of the word but rather treats specific words or phrases in different verses. It is insightful and also most useful due to the bibliographic references interspersed throughout the text.

Expository Studies in Job: Behind Suffering. Waco, Tex.: Word Books, 1981. With an emphasis on essential values and a word of comfort to those facing the perplexities of suffering, Stedman relates the teaching of the book of job to the needs of the hour. A most worthy addition to a Bible student's library

Simundson, David J. The Message of Job: A Theological Commentary. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1986. Concentrates on the message and theology of Job. Assesses the complexities and ambiguities of life, and provides a wholesome account of "faith under fire."

Strahan, James. The Book of Job. Edinburgh: T an T Clark. 1914. One of the best expository treatments, but difficult to obtain. Based upon a moderate form-criticism. THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE.

Thomas, David. Book of job: Expository and Homiletical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1982. First published in the 1870s under the title Problemata Mundi, this work outlines and discusses each discourse and unfolds the essential theme of the book.

Wiersbe, Warren Wendell. Be Patient. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1991. Here is a brief but masterful presentation of the teaching of the Book of Job. It is ideal for use in adult discussion groups. Preachers, too, will find it useful for its quotations and illustrations. Recommended.

Wolfers, David. Deep Things Out of Darkness: The Book of Job, Essays and a New English Translation. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995. As Wolfers shows, the Book of Job tackles the most perplexing religious issue of its time, in fact, of all time, namely, Why do good people suffer? To Job this comes down to one basic question, “Who broke the sacred Covenant, God or his people?” He is unaware of any sin in himself, and he fears to charge the Almighty with any failure. And so he is left with a bewildering dilemma. The answers given by his “counselors” are spacious, and his own human reasoning is insufficient to explain his excruciating mental, emotional and physical pain. Both, therefore, leave him unsatisfied. Wolfers, an M.D., shows that in the Book of Job there are issues as momentous as those found in any other religious writing, and the explanation given is far in advance of the wisdom of any culture in the ancient Near East

Zuck, Roy B. Job. Everyman's Bible Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1978. In thirteen pertinent, well-written chapters, Zuck explains the theme of Job and the lessons to be learned from his sufferings. This is a masterful condensation of material, and the structure lends itself for use with adult Bible study groups. Recommended.


JOHN BERRIDGE (Read fascinating Biography)


Job 13:15 Trusting God in Trials

Mary Kimbrough composed this poem based in Job 13:15, which underscores the wisdom of trusting God through trial:

“Though He slay me, I will trust Him,”
Said the sainted Job of old;
“Though He try me in the furnace,
I shall then come forth as gold.

“Though the ‘worms of deep affliction’
Cause this body to decay,
In my flesh I shall behold Him —
My Redeemer—some glad day.”

“Though He slay me”—can I say it
When I feel the searing fire,
When my fondest dreams lie shattered —
Gone my hope and fond desire'

“Though He slay me, I will trust Him,”
For He knows just how to mold,
How to melt and shape my spirit —
I shall then come forth as gold!

Our Daily Bread, January 3, 1995

Job 38ff God Explodes - God doesn’t explain. He explodes. He asks Job who he thinks he is anyway. He says that to try to explain the kind of things Job wants explained would be like trying to explain Einstein to a little-neck clam… God doesn’t reveal his grand design. He reveals himself. (Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking, p. 46, quoted in Disappointment With God, Philip Yancey, Zondervan, p. 190)

Job 41:21 - Leviathan - “In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea” (Isaiah 27:1). There is a remarkable animal called a “leviathan,” described in the direct words of God in the 41st chapter of Job. It is surprising that most modern expositors call this animal merely a crocodile. Our text plainly calls it a “piercing serpent… the dragon that is in the sea.” He is also said to “play” in the “great and wide sea” (Psalm 104:25,26). God’s description, in Job 41, says “a flame goeth out of his mouth” (Job 41:21) and “he maketh the deep to boil like a pot” (Job 41:31). The entire description is awesome! Whatever a leviathan might have been , it was not a crocodile! In fact, there is no animal living today which fits the description. Therefore, it is an extinct animal, almost certainly a great marine reptile, still surviving in the oceans of Job’s day, evidently one of the fearsome reptiles that gave rise to the worldwide tales of great sea dragons, before they became extinct. But that is not all. In ending His discourse, God called leviathan “a king over all the children of pride” (Job 41:34), so the animal is also symbolic of Satan, whose challenge to God instigated Job’s strange trials. He is “the great dragon… that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Perhaps, therefore, the mysterious and notorious extinction of the dinosaurs is a secular prophecy of the coming Day of Judgment when God “shall punish leviathan” (Isaiah 27:1) and the “devil that deceived them” will be “cast into the lake of fire… and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). HMM Our Daily Bread, Saturday, October 31.






Here is Dr MacArthur's excellent outline of Job

I. The Dilemma (Job 1:1–2:13)

A. Introduction of Job (Job 1:1–5)

B. Divine Debates with Satan (Job 1:6–2:10)

C. Arrival of Friends (Job 2:11–13)

II. The Debates (Job 3:1–37:24)

A. The First Cycle (Job 3:1–14:22)

1. Job’s first speech expresses despair (Job 3:1–26)

2. Eliphaz’s first speech kindly protests and urges humility and repentance (Job 4:1–5:27)

3. Job’s reply to Eliphaz expresses anguish and questions the trials, asking for sympathy in his pain (Job 6:1–7:21)

4. Bildad’s first speech accuses Job of impugning God (Job 8:1–22)

5. Job’s response to Bildad admits he is not perfect, but may protest what seems unfair (Job 9:1–10:22)

6. Zophar’s first speech tells Job to get right with God (Job 11:1–20)

7. Job’s response to Zophar tells his friends they are wrong and only God knows and will, hopefully, speak to him (Job 12:1–14:22)

B. The Second Cycle (Job 15:1–21:34)

1. Eliphaz’s second speech accuses Job of presumption and disregarding the wisdom of the ancients (Job 15:1–35)

2. Job’s response to Eliphaz appeals to God against his unjust accusers (Job 16:1–17:16)

3. Bildad’s second speech tells Job he is suffering just what he deserves (Job 18:1–21)

4. Job’s response to Bildad cries out to God for pity (Job 19:1–29)

5. Zophar’s second speech accuses Job of rejecting God by questioning His justice (Job 20:1–29)

6. Job’s response to Zophar says he is out of touch with reality (Job 21:1–34)

C. The Third Cycle (Job 22:1–26:14)

1. Eliphaz’s third speech denounces Job’s criticism of God’s justice (Job 22:1–30)

2. Job’s response to Eliphaz is that God knows he is without guilt, and yet in His providence and refining purpose He permits temporary success for the wicked (Job 23:1–24:25)

3. Bildad’s third speech scoffs at Job’s direct appeal to God (Job 25:1–6)

4. Job’s response to Bildad that God is indeed perfectly wise and absolutely sovereign, but not simplistic as they thought (Job 26:1–14)

D. The Final Defense of Job (Job 27:1–31:40)

1. Job’s first monologue affirms his righteousness and that man can’t discover God’s wisdom (Job 27:1–28:28)

2. Job’s second monologue remembers his past, describes his present, defends his innocence, and asks for God to defend him (Job 29:1–31:40)

E. The Speeches of Elihu (Job 32:1–37:24)

1. Elihu enters into the debate to break the impasse (Job 32:1–22)

2. Elihu charges Job with presumption in criticizing God, not recognizing that God may have a loving purpose, even in allowing Job to suffer (Job 33:1–33)

3. Elihu declares that Job has impugned God’s integrity by claiming that it does not pay to lead a godly life (Job 34:1–37)

4. Elihu urges Job to wait patiently for the Lord (Job 35:1–16)

5. Elihu believes that God is disciplining Job (Job 36:1–21)

6. Elihu argues that human observers can hardly expect to understand adequately God’s dealings in administering justice and mercy (Job 36:22–37:24)

III. The Deliverance (Job 38:1–42:17)

A. God Interrogates Job (Job 38:1–41:34)

1. God’s first response to Job (Job 38:1–40:2)

2. Job’s answer to God (Job 40:3–5)

3. God’s second response to Job (Job 40:6–41:34)

B. Job Confesses, Worships, and Is Vindicated (Job 42:1–17)

1. Job passes judgment upon himself (Job 42:1–6)

2. God rebukes Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (Job 42:7–9)

3. God restores Job’s family, wealth, and long life (Job 42:10–17)





Rosscup - This is a good synthesis which helps to trace the developing thought of the book of Job. A detailed outline is given. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors)








See Also: Living A New Life: OT Teaching About Conversion by William D Barrick


  • The Book of Job. Edinburgh: T an T Clark. 1914. "One of the best expository treatments, but difficult to obtain. Based upon a moderate form-criticism." (Cyril Barber) 



JOB OVERVIEW BOOK CHART - see right side of page

Job Overview = Why is Job so important? The Israelites categorized Job within their wisdom literature. The book includes language from ancient legal proceedings, laments, and unique terms not found elsewhere in the Bible. In addition, the majority of Job is written in parallel lines which are indicative of poetry. The book delves into issues near to the heart of every human who experiences suffering. The prologue provides a fascinating peek into the back story—why God allowed Satan to afflict Job with such pain and turmoil. Then, through a series of dialogues and monologues arranged in a pattern of threes, human wisdom attempts to explain the unexplainable, until finally God Himself speaks. The final chapters of Job record God’s masterful defense of His majesty and unique “otherness”—of God’s eternal transcendence above creation—in contrast with Job’s humble and ignorant mortality. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? / Tell Me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4).

What's the big idea? Job’s plight of undeserved suffering compels us to ask the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The answer given to Job may or may not satisfy the reader. God allows pain for good reason, but He may never reveal those reasons. Job did not reject God, but Job did challenge and accuse Him. The Almighty quieted Job decisively when He finally thundered His own perspective on the situation. God did not answer Job’s question of “Why?”—He instead overwhelmed Job and his friends with the truth of His majesty and sovereignty. Job came away with a deeper sense of God’s power and splendor, trusting Him more: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5–6)

How do I apply this? - Pain inevitably afflicts each one of us. Suffering is unavoidable in this life. Will your relationship with God be enough when trials come? Will you trust Him through your suffering? Read Job 38–42. Spend time with the Almighty. Pray for a stronger faith in the powerful Creator described in those chapters. Pray for a right perspective of Him so that you might see your situation through His eyes. Instead of asking where God is in the midst of your pain, the book of Job affirms God’s control and asks us, “Where are we in our pain? Are we trusting our Creator, even though we cannot understand our circumstances?”


PAUL VAN GORDER - Reflections of Christ in the Old Testament

Job is classified as one of the poetical books of the Old Testament. It may be the most ancient of the Bible writings. That such a man really lived is sufficiently proved by the testimony of the Holy Spirit in Ezekiel 14:14,20 and James 5:11 where his name is mentioned. Job lived in the time of the patriarchs, probably long before the days of Moses. He offered sacrifices on behalf of his family, and no reference is made in Job to the book of the Law given from Sinai. Another indication of the early writing of the book is the fact that Job lived to be approximately 210 years of age.

No other Bible book contains as much scientific truth as Job (Listen to Dr Henry Morris talk on The Remarkable Record of Job - YouTube). Consider, for example the passage that says God ''hangeth the earth upon nothing'' (26:7). Job's contemporaries all believed that the earth was flat, and that it rested on the shoulders of one of the gods, or the back of an elephant or giant sea turtle. Think of it! Startlingly accurate scientific statements written more than 3,000 years before the discovery of America!

We may well write over the entire book the word ''tested.'' Job's name means ''persecuted.'' The theme of the book sounds forth loud and clear: ''He knoweth the way that I take; when He hath tested me, I shall come forth as gold.'' (Job 23:10).


  1. Prologue (Job 1:1-2:8): A look behind the scenes.
  2. Job and His Wife (Job 2:9,10)
  3. Job and His Three Friends (Job 2:11-31:40)
  4. Job and Elihu (Job 32-37)
  5. Jehovah and Job (Job 38-41)
  6. Job's Final Answer (Job 42:1-6)
  7. Epilog (Job 42:7-17)

The overriding question in the book of Job is this: ''Why do the godly suffer?''


The above question is answered in the book of Job from four principal and divergent viewpoints. We will consider these representative opinions about why people suffer.

(1) Satan's view.

Satan hurled the challenge into the face of God that His people love and serve Him only to gain temporal advantage. Hear the adversary say, ''Doth Job fear God for nothing?'' (Job 1:9). God named that evil insinuation the devil's lie. In effect, God said to Satan, ''There are men on earth who will follow me in poverty.'' The record tells us that Job fell down upon the ground and worshiped God, saying, ''Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord'' (Job 1:21). But God went beyond this to prove to Satan that there are men on earth who will trust Him even while their bodies are wracked with pain and disease (see Job's remarks in Job 2:7-10). We must note this: it often takes more faith to suffer than it does to be healed. God places that faith just as high on the scroll as any other. Look again at Hebrews 11:1-34, then read carefully verses 35-39. Yes, God does honor suffering faith.

(2) The view of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

These three friends of Job came to the conclusion that the suffering of the righteous is punishment for known, but perhaps secret, sins. This viewpoint is refuted by God's Word and the experience of Job. Eliphaz expressed his opinion that suffering is punishment for sin in these words: ''Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off?'' (Job 4:7). Be assured of this: not all of ''Job's comforters'' are dead. A pernicious doctrine that is extant today says that sickness is always the result of sin or that people don't get well because they lack faith. People who believe this do not understand the book of Job.

(3) The view of Elihu.

This wise man pictured God as a great God. He gave us a noble and true accounting of man and suffering. But Elihu was conceited, and he was guilty of the very thing of which he accused Job.

(4) God's view.

God finally confronted Job and, in a unique revelation of Himself, gave him a discourse on His attributes. In his response, Job expressed God's solution to the problem of human suffering in his own words (Job 42:1-6). They could be summed up this way: The godly are afflicted so that they may be brought to self-knowledge and self-judgment. Afflictions are purifying. Job was a good man, but he was self-righteous. The book of Job is a picture of the situation that is stated in 1Corinthians 11:31,32; Luke 22:31,32; and 1Corinthians 5:5.


Job longed for a mediator (Job 9:32,33). The word translated ''daysman'' in verse 33 means ''mediator.'' He realized that he was a fallen man, the offspring of Adam. He knew that in heaven was a holy God, and that between him and God was a vast gulf. His cry was for a kinsman-redeemer, and by faith he saw the God-man. ''For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus'' (1Timothy 2:5).

Job's vision of a future life had been obscure, as witnessed by his question, ''If a man die, shall he live again?'' (Job 14:14). But a light broke upon his soul, for later we hear him exclaim, ''For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God'' (Job 19:25,26). Job understood the process of bodily disintegration, but with the eye of faith he also saw the resurrection and his Redeemer standing upon this earth. He saw himself in a future body of flesh, for he said of Christ, ''Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another'' (Job 19:27).

Yes, this is just one more proof of the validity of our Lord's words, ''They… testify of Me'' (John 5:39).

A PRACTICAL THOUGHT--A right view of God, a right view of self, and then a right view of others is the correct order. The blessings described in Job 42:10 were the result of a vision of God that followed with an abhorrence of self, tears of repentance, the sweet odor of burnt offering, and the embrace of love (Job 42:11).


CHARLES AKED Aked presents the book of Job as a drama, dividing the book into major themes and characters. He examines the literary aspects of the text, such as style and characterization. In an engaging and easy to read style, Aked helps the reader see this book of the Old Testament in a panoramic view, as well as understanding the key elements of Job.


CHARLES J BALL Ball examines the text and interpretation of the book of Job. He offers a new translation of a few of the speeches in this book, then some commentary on the entire text. He focuses on the philology and semantics of the Hebrew text, as well as providing valuable exegesis. Ball believes that the character and goodness of God in all situations is the key theme to this book. In order to understand this doctrine, Ball leads the reader on an exegetical and historical journey through this book of the Old Testament.

CHARLES J BALL First delivered as a series of twelve lectures at Westminster Abbey in 1885 and 1886, bible scholar George Granville Bradley presents his study on the book of Job. He gives the historical, social, and Hebraic context for the book in the introduction, as well as a linguistic and poetical examination. Bradley also compares the book of Job with Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. He then provides an exegetical and detailed commentary on the story of Job. Included is a table of contents and outline of the book of Job.



C P CAREY This is a massive study on the book of Job, including exegetical and critical notes, a translation, maps, and illustrations. Bible scholar and pastor Carey also includes dissertations, an analytical paraphrase, and various readings of the Hebrew text. Featuring over 500 pages, this study will aid the general reader as well as the scholar for a comprehensive overview and examination of this key book of the Old Testament. Carey was a pastor in England in the nineteenth century. He was born in 1819. Educated at Elizabeth College in Oxford, he later became a curate of the Bishop of Windsor and then a pastor of St. John’s in Guernsey. He died in 1858.

T K CHEYNE Bible scholar Cheyne interprets the book of Job, as well as Ecclesiastes in this study. In the introduction, he addresses the question of how the Old Testament relates to Christianity as a whole, providing valuable context. Not only does he examine each chapter of the book of Job, he goes over various questions and common academic arguments. Readers will find this to be an informative, holistic approach to this important book of the Old Testament.


J NOBLE COLEMAN This is a holistic translation of the book of Job, including notes both critical and exegetical. Bible scholar J. N. Coleman includes many cross-references and indexes guaranteed to aid the reader with historical context and general comprehension. He spent years researching and comparing various translations and scholars and ancient literary traditions. The text is embedded with helpful and insightful commentary and interpretation.



Representative chapter links below

SAMUEL COX Taking over fourteen years to compose, A Commentary on the Book of Job provides a highly readable exposition of this book of the Old Testament. Bible scholar and pastor Samuel Cox wrote this commentary in hopes that it would aid the general reader not just now and then, but with every inquiry into the book of Job. He presents a holistic introduction to the book, covering such topics as literary style, historical context, and historical reception. Cox brings his reader into the academic conversation surrounding this book, making practical application throughout.





From Tragedy to Triumph: Studies in the Book of Job - The Paternoster Press


Spurgeon: "Discourses from fourteen single verses from different parts of the patient patriarch’s history. They are quite out of the run of Church of England preaching, and are full of thought and originality. They would have been all the better for a little gospel, for even if his text does not look that way, we do expect a Christian minister to have something to say about his Master." These fourteen lectures on the life of Job were originally presented over the course of ten years in various churches and were collected in book form in 1856. Minister Alfred Evans brings the story of Job to life, drawing out application and careful exposition from this familiar book of the Old Testament for modern readers. Evans believes that Job was not merely a man of great suffering and great faith—he is a character with whom all of humanity can relate. He says, “Job is the brother of all the afflicted, and a son of God in all his afflictions.” This series of lectures will encourage and enlighten all who read them.

GEORG H EWALD German Bible scholar Georg Ewald turns his attention to the book of Job in this commentary. He systematically goes over each section of Job as a drama, highlighting the contentions and resolutions throughout. In the introduction, Ewald gives context to the format, content, and style of the book as poem. He also examines the date and history of Job as well. Written in an academic yet readable style, this commentary will help all who seek to understand the complexities of this book of the Old Testament.



Spurgeon: "Written in a devout, inquiring spirit, with due respect to learned writers, but not with a slavish following of their fancies. Fry’s work is somewhat of the same character as Good’s. We greatly esteem this exposition for its own sake, and also for the evangelical tone which pervades it." John Fry, biblical scholar, believes that Job was a real person and that events described in the book of Job actually occurred. Fry discusses the authenticity, authorship, and historical context, before providing a commentary on the dialogues, theology, relationships, and questions of suffering presented in this book of the Old Testament.


F W Grant









WILLIAM KELLY In Notes on the Book of Job, William Kelly focuses on the character of God as presented in the story of Job—how to reconcile His righteousness with the suffering of the godly? How do we make sense of evil and still trust God? These are vital questions, and Kelly provides a commentary that seeks to answer them in spite of the difficulties they present. Following the clear outline in the book of Job, Kelly goes over each section in great detail, giving the reader a clear view on the context and comfort that this book of the Old Testament can give.



Spurgeon: "Exceedingly instructive. Most charming reading."

SAMUEL LEE Although categorized as a translation, scholar Samuel Lee’s work, The Book of Job contains so much more. Lee includes contextual background on the character of Job, history, times, as well as the origin of the writing itself. He also includes a commentary and cross-references throughout the translation, providing invaluable insight and information on this all-important book of the Old Testament. And with over 500 pages, the reader will receive a complete survey of the book of Job.










JOHN NEWTON - sermon

A S PEAKE Peake believes that the character and love of God are enough to comfort us in times of trouble, even though suffering will always be mysterious and painful, and he uses the story of Job to illustrate this point.









All of the following are from Smith's "Handfuls on Purpose"


This book, supposed to have been first committed to writing by Moses, is regarded by many as the oldest in the world. Its object is to set before us the trial of an "upright man." Job himself is quite unconscious of the fact that he is being used by God as an object-lesson to all generations; he knows nothing at all about the conference that has taken place concerning him, recorded in Job 1:7-12. The days of Job were probably about the time of Abraham, as in the book there is no mention of Israel, the Tabernacle, the Temple, or the Law. The book is of great value as a revelation of the forces that are at work against the life of the righteous. All the characters are representative: Job, the servant of God; Satan, the adversary; the three Friends, the wisdom of the world; Elihu, the wisdom of God; God, the Judge of all. That Job was no mythical character is clearly proven in Ezekiel 14:14 and 20, when his name is mentioned by Jehovah Himself. As the teaching of this book is centered in the person of Job, we shall try and grasp its leading principles through this man, that they may, if possible, become more interesting and powerful in our own individual lives.

I. He was Perfect. "Perfect and upright, one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1). "There is none like him in the earth" (v. 8). As a man, he was all that a man in those days could be in holiness of character. That there was "none like him in the earth" is not his own testimony, but the statement of Him who knows what is in man. "The Lord knows them that trust in Him" (Nahum 1:7). He was perfect, not in the sense of being sinless, but in the sense of being plainly (Hebrews ) devoted to God and to righteousness. He was transparently upright, according to his knowledge and ability. He walked in the light, although that light may have been but twilight. Like an honest man, Job straightened himself up, morally, before God and men. His character is in strong contrast to the multitude of men who, like the woman in the Gospel, are so "bowed down" with the love of the world, and the fear of man, that they can in no wise lift themselves up. Love and lust are fetters that bind the souls of men as with iron bands.

II. He was Rich. "His substance was 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen," etc.; "so that he was the greatest of all the men of the east" (Job 1:3). Good men are not always rich; but God had surely put a premium on the goodness and faithfulness of Job, by allowing him to become the wealthiest man in the country. The best man will always be the richest, if not in material goods, certainly in the more enduring treasures that are spiritual and Divine. Although there was a gulf of agony between Job's present and future life, yet he found that it paid to be righteous. The perfect man will be upright, will fear God and hate evil, if all his worldly possessions should need to be sacrificed for this end. If his riches increase—-even spiritual riches—he sets not his heart on them.

III. He was Wise. "Job rose up early in the morning and offered burnt-offerings for all his family, for he said, It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. This did Job continually" (Job 1:5). These family gatherings, for social enjoyment, were in themselves a good testimony to their upright and priestly father. Those seven sons must have been well brought up, when they sought so often the fellowship of one another, and did not fail to give their three sisters a special invitation to their parties. Job did not forbid such festivities, but he knew human nature too well to suppose that there was no moral danger connected with such seasons. "It may be that my sons have sinned." When it is a question of pleasure-seeking it is so easy to forget God, and to act in such a way as to dishonor His holy Name. So Job, as priest in his own family, offers a sacrifice for each of his sons. As a wise father, he is most concerned that his sons should be kept right with God. It is not enough for the "perfect man" that his family should be healthy and happy and prosperous in the world; he longs intensely, and spares no sacrifice, that they might each one live and walk in the fear and favor of God. Sin against God is that one thing which his upright soul has learned to hate.

IV. He was Protected. "Have You not made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side?" (Job 1:10). His person, his family, and his property, were hedged about by the special care of God. Three circles of defences had been raised about him. He and his were as the vineyard of the Lord (Isaiah 5:1, 2). Satan seems to have known more about the impregnable position of Job than Job himself. His fear of God had made him safer than he thought. The God of yesterday is the same God today. We cannot see that "angel of the Lord that encamps round about them that fear Him," but the Devil does. Hedges of the Lord's making are too thick even for the cunning hand of Satan. Satan's testimony to the security of God's children is of great value. Without God's permission his great power is utterly useless against the man that is hiding in the bulwarks of his God. "God is our refuge... therefore will not we fear."

V. He was Marked. "The Lord said unto Satan, Have you considered My servant Job. Then Satan answered, Does Job fear God for nothing?" (Job 1:8, 9). Job, being a perfect and upright man, was an object of special consideration to the Lord and to Satan. He was a marked man for the favor of the Lord, and for the envy and hate of Satan. Both God and the Devil marks the perfect man (Psalm 37:37). The divine consideration is all for our safety and usefulness—the Satanic consideration is how to disturb and destroy. Is it not true in a sense, of every "perfect man in Christ Jesus," that they become the special objects of assault by the powers of darkness? When Joshua, the high priest, was seen "standing before the angel of the Lord," Satan was seen "standing at his right hand to resist him" (Zechariah 3:1). Why was Satan so desirous to have Simon Peter that he might sift him as wheat? Did he dread lest that warm impetuous nature should be wholly yielded to the cause of Jesus Christ? Those whom Satan and his host takes no trouble at must be accomplishing very little for God. Heaven and Hell marks the holy man. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.

JOB'S ADVERSARY. Job 1:6-22; 2:1-10.

Job's case was typical. You have heard of his patience, as you have seen the faith of Abraham, and the meekness of Moses. Job's desperate struggle is allowed to take place in the open arena, that we might learn the secret of resistance. It is a battle between the best of men and the worst of enemies. Satan does his best to crush and overthrow the integrity of this "perfect man" who has been incased with the special providence of God, and who can offer but a passive resistance. Although God's environments were everything that could be desired, he was not proof against the powerful temptations of the Devil. The environments of Christ Himself did not save Him from Satanic assaults. Job had a good house, and a good income, but houses and wages are not everything that men need, if they would stand firm against all the deadly wiles of the Devil. About this enemy of all righteousness, let us not forget—

I. His Personality. According to the teaching of Scripture there is but one Devil, but many demons. The apostles and evangelists in referring to him always speak in the singular, and this they do about thirty times. "Get behind Me Satan" could never be said of a mere impersonal influence. He is a liar from the beginning, an influence cannot lie. Only men and devils can lie. All lying is devilish, and devilishness proves there is a Devil.

II. His Origin. "The Lord said unto Satan, Whence come you? Then Satan answered, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it" (Job 1:7). The same mystery that hangs over the fact of sin, hangs over the origin of Satan. When our Lord says that he was a murderer, and a liar, from the beginning, it is difficult to believe that he has ever been anything better. According to his own confession, his sphere of work is "going to and fro in the earth." His domain is the world; and his condition is one of eternal restlessness. That Satan and his demon host are the disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race, that brought the condemnation of God upon them because of sin, is a theory not without some attractions.

III. His Object. His unwavering purpose is to set God and man at variance (Job 1:11). In his devilish business he is, alas, too often successful. Before he attempted the separation of Job from his God, he had succeeded with Adam and with Cain, and afterwards with Saul and with Judas, and a multitude of others. There is no man in all the earth that annoys Satan so much as the "perfect man." He directs all his energy against the praying, sacrificing man. While Jesus Christ was on the earth, the forces of Hell were continually meeting Him in one form or another. The names given to Satan in the Scriptures are strongly indicative of his character and purpose. He is the Adversary; the Accuser of the brethren; the Murderer; the Prince of darkness; the Prince of this world; the roaring lion. He is the God of this lost world; the ruler of its darkness. He is the opposer and the accuser of the brethren; the liar against the truth, and the murderer of souls. "Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

IV. His Power. That Satan is capable of great power as well as great wrath is unquestionable. But he is utterly powerless to touch a child of God, or anything that he has, without His permission. Satan was allowed to send his messengers, one after another, to buffet Job, just as he was afterwards permitted to do with the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7), and blessed be God, with much the same result. Although the Devil may be allowed at times to sift, he is not allowed to devour the wheat: "Behold all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand" (Job 1:12). So far, but no farther. Then when this adversary made his second challenge, the Lord said, "Behold he is in your hand, but save his life" (Job 2:6). It was a long rope this roaring lion got, and he used every inch of it. He had got access to everything but the spirit of this evil-hating man, and having received liberty to exercise his fiendish are, we soon discover where the secret of his power lies. He finds his mighty weapons in the Sabeans, the Chaldeans, the lightning, and the wind (Job 1:15-19). That he should be able to commandeer such forces is a revelation of his wonderful power and resources. The Devil has two arsenals, one in the heavens, and the other in the earth, namely, the elements, and the hearts of ungodly men. Such an enemy is not to be trifled with.

V. His Manner of Working. His first act is, to get himself away out of the presence of God. "So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord" (Job 1:12). Satan, and all his host, seen and unseen, whether they be men or demons, love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. He has a great task before him— to break down a perfect man's confidence in his God— so he waits for the best time to make the attack. That opportune day arrived when Job's "sons and daughters were eating and drinking in their eldest brother's house" (Job 1:13). To get at Job, the Devil had to break down the outside fences first; this he did by prevailing upon men to steal his oxen, his donkeys, his camels, and to kill his servants. Little, perhaps, did these men think that when they were helping themselves to the property of Job, they were the agents of the Devil carrying out his diabolical ends. The same spirit is now working in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). Ungodly men are tools lying ready at hand for the work of Satan. He entered Judas just because he was a fit person for the accomplishment of his fiendish purposes against the Son of God. He sent fire from the heavens, and burned up the sheep, to make Job believe that it was a judgment from God. Satan surely thought this was a master-stroke, when the servant whom he had spared to carry the tidings went and said, "The fire of God is fallen from Heaven, and has burned up the sheep" (v. 16). If Satan can only get God's people to believe when the time of affliction and testing comes, that God is against them, he has gained a victory. He was very careful to spare one, who might run to Job, saying, "I only am escaped alone to tell you." The I's here are most emphatic. The method he adopted in breaking the news to Job was in itself devilish. The Devil's wheat is all bran. King Canute promised to make the man who would kill King Edmund, his rival, the highest man in England; he fulfilled his promise by hanging him on the highest tower in London. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against "wicked spirits," which use flesh and blood as their instruments in seeking to overthrow our faith in God. We are not ignorant of his devices: give no place to the Devil.

JOB'S TRIALS. Job 1:13-22; 2:1-10.

"Satan desires us, great and small,
As wheat to sift us, and we all are tempted. 
Not one, however, rich or great.
Is by his station or estate exempted."—Longfellow.

The very name of Job means persecuted. In his unique trials he is the prototype of Christ. Every perfect man will have his Eden to enjoy, his Isaac to sacrifice, and his wilderness of severe and prolonged testing. It is through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom of God's greater fullness and power. No affliction for the present is joyous, but grievous, but, nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. Was there ever a man more exercised about his troubles than Job? But meanwhile we shall look at—

I. Their Purpose. Two cross-purposes find their center in Job. The one was Divine, the other was Satanic. Satan said, "Does Job fear God for nothing?... Put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face" (Job 1:9-11). Satan did not believe that any man would remain true to God if bereft of all material and earthly enjoyment. If Job staggered under such a test, Jesus Christ did not. He had not where to lay His head. He was "the Man of Sorrows," yet He always did those things which were pleasing to His Father. Job, being utterly unconscious that he was being used in this fashion as a test case, must have felt it as a severe trial of his faith. Well the Devil knows, that if men are going to overcome the world by faith, his power is broken, and his kingdom lost. It has been so since the beginning; those who would fear God, and eschew evil, must fight the good fight of faith.

II. Their Nature. The character of Job's troubles was of the worst kind. There were no half measures. Every separate trial was a complete catastrophe. There was the—

1. LOSS OF PROPERTY. His "seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred donkeys," were all suddenly stolen, or burned up with fire from Heaven. The richest man in the east had in one day become a bankrupt. That in itself would have driven many a one into absolute despair.

2. LOSS OF FAMILY. Seven sons and three daughters all killed by one terrific stroke (Job 1:19). This judgment must have been "a great deep" to the upright, sensitive soul of Job (Psalm 36:6). There is no natural law by which such workings of the providence of God can be understood. The dominion of faith, for the spirit of man, is beyond nature.

3. LOSS OF HEALTH. "Satan went forth and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown" (Job 2:7). He was covered with a loathsome disease; there was no soundness in his flesh. Like Lazarus, he was "full of sores." This bodily affliction, like the others, came suddenly. He had no premonition of the approach of this fearful malady—no time to fortify himself even by prayer against the assault. Satan had permission to touch his flesh, and he touched every inch of it. With the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ—for in all things He has the pre-eminence—it is questionable if ever any other mortal was so sorely tried. If there was not something supernatural about faith in God, it could not possibly survive such a shock.

4. LOSS OF POSITION. The "greatest man in the east" has now become the most loathsome object in the east. He who sat among princes is now sitting "among ashes" (Job 2:8). He has been stripped of everything but his life.

5. LOSS OF SYMPATHY. "Then said his wife unto him, Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die" (Job 2:9). His wife, the only comfort left him, turns out to be a canker. She cannot understand faith in God in circumstances like these. Fair-weather Christians always get shipwrecked in a storm like this. This taunt through his wife was the Devil's last weight to break the back of Job's integrity. It was the poisoning of his last earthly spring of consolation. Job has at last sounded the abyss of his sufferings; he has found the bottom of this great deep. His is now "a lifeless life," a finished monument to that great master of the malignant are. And this is the master many take pleasure in serving. To serve sin is to be the slave of the Devil.

III. Their Effect. The immediate result of those awful trials which stripped Job naked of every earthly comfort was a clearer revelation of the inward, spiritual man. "He fell upon the ground, and worshiped, and said, The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the Name of the Lord" (Job 1:20, 21). These words, spoken by this pre-eminent sufferer, have come down as a legacy to the bereaved in every generation since then; on many tombstones they may be read as the language of deep, heart-felt sorrow and submission. "The Lord has taken away." Job saw the Lord behind the Sabeans and the Chaldeans who fell upon his flocks. "In all this did not Job sin with his lips" (Job 2:10). That no murmur escaped those burning lips in such a furnace proves how completely he had given himself and all that he had to God. "What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" Has the Giver of all good not the right to withhold that good or His own pleasure? What have we that we have not received? Job may not be a prophet, but he has "spoken in the Name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience" (James 5:10). There is a life that does not consist of the things which we possess; it is infinitely superior to them and independent of them. After getting a glimpse behind the scenes of the purpose of Job's trials, let us by faith count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations (trials), knowing that the testing of your faith leads to power of endurance (James 1:2, 3).


"How that to comfort those that mourn
Is a thing for saints to try: 
Yet, haply, God might have done less 
Had a saint been there—not I.

"Alas! -we have so little grace,
With love so little burn, 
That the hardest of our works for God 
Is to comfort those that mourn."—Faber.

The beauty and meaning of some pictures are best seen and understood at a distance. We can see deeper into the meaning of Job's sufferings than either Job or his comforters could see. From our sun-lit mountain top, we look down upon these friends as all working in the darkness, just as, perhaps, some of the angels of God may look down upon us in pity as they see us vainly striving to find out the reason why God in His providence so deals with us. The great fundamental lesson of the book of Job is "Have faith in God." These comforters cannot be charged with hardness of heart, or of having impure motives. Men that could "lift up their voice and weep" at the sight of Job's condition, and sit in company with him for "seven days and seven nights" were surely not void of real sympathy and compassion. Their weakness and their sin lay in their self-confidence. Each seemed sure that he was laying his finger on the cause of Job's downfall, although his experience was a new thing in the providence of God. To us, their eloquent reasonings is a powerful evidence of the utter inability of the "wisdom of this world" to explain or to understand the mysteries of Christian experience.

Job began this great wordy warfare by opening his mouth and "cursing the day wherein he was born" (Job 3:1-3). Satan had said, "Touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face." Job went perilously near the fulfilling of the Devil's prediction, when he "cursed his day," but yet he did not curse his God. Many a one has been constrained, through sin and suffering, to curse the day of their first birth, but history has never told us of one who had any desire to curse the day of their second birth. Man that is born in sin is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward, but the man that is born again is born into the kingdom of peace. During those long, weary, seven days the gold of Job's character seemed to become dim, and the most fine gold changed, for he did speak unadvisedly with his lips (chapter 2:10). In the day of darkness and trial let us beware of that "unruly evil," the tongue. This opening speech of the suffering patriarch betrays a soul overwhelmed with bewilderment. It has many questions. Yet this outburst of agony has taught many to be still under the mighty hand of God. It is no mere hyperbole to say that the sufferings of Job, like the sufferings of Jesus Christ, were for the good of others. The Bible would have been much poorer if there never had been the conflict and the patience of Job. It will be impossible in these brief notes to grasp anything like the full meaning of those great torrent speeches. We shall only attempt to catch a word here and there that might help us to understand the book, and to enter into a deeper experience of the things of God.

I. The Speech of Eliphaz (Job 4, 5).

1. "IF WE ASSAY TO COMMUNE WITH YOU, WILL YOU BE GRIEVED" (Job 4:2). Eliphaz begins very tenderly; he feels that the wound to be dressed is very deep and painful. One needs the tongue that is learned by experience to speak a word in season to him that is so weary and heavy-laden. It is a solemn and gracious work to commune with the sorrowing, but let such missionaries see that their own hearts are at the same time in communion with God, or they may but aggravate the anguish.

2. "YOUR WORDS HAVE UPHELD HIM THAT WAS FALLING ... BUT NOW.. YOU FAINTEST" (Job 4:3-5). This friend knew Job's past life, and ventures to remind him of how he had been a means of blessing to others in their time of need. This was but a small spark of light for Job's great darkness, but still there was a glimmer in it. To tell a man that he once was rich will not console him much now that he is bankrupt. It is easier to speak cheering words to the tempted than to bear the temptation. The comforters of others need at times to be comforted. "They that wait on the Lord shall.. not faint."

"Remember, I pray you, who ever perished, being innocent?" (v. 7). This saying is like a double-edged sword, it cuts both ways. It may mean, if you were innocent, as you profess to be, you would not have been perishing in this fashion; or, because you are innocent, it is impossible for you to perish. The Lord knows them that are His, and how to deliver them out of temptation (2 Peter 2:9). The Lord could do nothing with the guilty Sodomites until the righteous were taken out (Genesis 19:22). The facts of history are well worth remembering.

3. "AFFLICTION COMES NOT FORTH OF THE DUST.. AS FOR ME, I WOULD SEEK UNTO GOD" (Job 5:6-8, R. V. ). Affliction does not spring up by chance; it is not the sudden outcome of spontaneous generation. The law of microbes is included here, and if I were you, "I would seek unto God, and unto Him would I commit my cause." What could be better than this? But Eliphaz was not in Job's position, and so it was comparatively easy for him to say what he would do. Still, it is the best thing to do. To whom can we go but unto Him. The Lord alone knew all the reasons why this dark and cloudy day had come. In the day of adversity consider, yes, consider Him who endured contradictions for us.

4. "BEHOLD, HAPPY IS THE MAN WHOM GOD CORRECTS" (Job 5:17). To be reproved of God is a comforting evidence of His love and carefulness. Every true child of God desires to have their thoughts, feelings, and ways corrected by their heavenly Father. We ought to count it a great privilege to be put right by either His word or His rod.

5. "HE SHALL DELIVER YOU IN SIX TROUBLES; YES, IN SEVEN" (Job 5:19). "HEAR IT, AND KNOW IT FOR YOUR GOOD" (v. 27). Solomon says that "a just man fails seven times, and rises up again" (Proverbs 24:16). Six troubles had overtaken Job, and he had not yet been delivered out of any of them; but God is the God of deliverances. Let not the number of our troubles or our difficulties limit the Holy One. "Hear it." Let not the voices of the world, or an evil heart, so dull the ear that you cannot hear the still small voice of promise (Psalm 34:19).

II. Job's Reply (Job 6, 7). The wonderful words of Eliphaz had little effect. Job begins by saying:

1. "OH, THAT MY GRIEF WERE THOROUGHLY WEIGHED." What is more heavy and more difficult to weigh than grief? But what benefit would it bring the distracted sufferer even could he know the full weight and measure of it. His grief, like the grief of Him who agonized in Gethsemane, was both terrible and mysterious.

2. "THE ARROWS OF THE ALMIGHTY ARE WITHIN ME" (Job 6:4). A week ago he said, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away," but now his soul is pierced with the arrows of the Almighty. Still, he does not say with "the fiery darts of the Devil." The arrows have been many and sharp, but they have come from the finger of God (Psalm 38:2). The arrows of the Almighty never miss the mark (Lam. 3:12), and when they are within us, only He who sent them can remove them (2 Corinthians 5:11).

3. "IS MY FLESH BRASS?" (Job 6:12). God could easily have made our flesh to be as hard, as endurable, and as insensible as brass, and our strength as "the strength of stones," if it had not been good for us to be afflicted. The rod of correction would be useless on a brazen body. He knows the frailty of our frame, and will not lay upon us more than we are able to bear.

4. "CAUSE ME TO UNDERSTAND WHEREIN I HAVE ERRED" (Job 5:24). If this calamity has come upon me because of my sin—as Eliphaz seemed to think (chapter 6:8)—then, show me, says Job, where the sin is. Suffering is not always a chastisement or correction, it may be but a narrow gate or a rough road into a place of larger blessing, the Jordan, through which we go into a new land of promise. Job was not conscious of having sinned. The last thing we see him doing, is offering sacrifices for his sons, lest they may have sinned. If in our affliction there is no consciousness of sin, we may be sure God has something new to reveal to us. Wait patiently on the Lord.

5. "I WILL SPEAK... I WILL COMPLAIN" (Job 7:11). This is the language of a spirit in anguish, and a soul in bitterness. We would much rather have heard him say, "I will trust... I will pray." There is a silence and a dimness that savors of unbelief more than submission, but why should a believer in God make up his mind to complain? When the Man Christ Jesus was in an agony He prayed more earnestly. The "perfect man" in the Old Testament comes far short of the perfect Man in the New. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble." It is just as easy to call as to complain.

6. "LET ME ALONE" (Job 7:16). It may at times be hard to bear the weight of the heavy hand of God, but it is infinitely worse to be let alone. What becomes of the branch that is let alone by the tree? What would happen to the child that was left alone by its mother? Ephraim is joined to his idols—let him alone. There is a painless disease that speaks of certain death. As saints or as sinners we know not what we do when we ask God to let us alone. It is of the glory of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus that He does not let us alone. There are prayers God graciously refuses to answer.


I. The Speech of Bildad (Job 8). His manner is abrupt to begin with, and seems less sympathetic than Eliphaz. His argument amounts to this, that unless God sends deliverance speedily we must conclude that both you and your family have been guilty of sinning against God, and that this dire calamity is the just reward of your works. Like Eliphaz, he is in total ignorance of the purpose of Job's trials, but speaks with all the confidence of an oracle. Mark some of his key-notes—

1. "DOES THE ALMIGHTY PERVERT JUSTICE?" (Job 8:3). Is it possible for God to be unjust? Can He who sits upon a Great White Throne be unrighteous in His dealings with any one? No. But what comfort can an aching, bleeding heart find in this? That the Law is holy, just, and good, is not much of a consolation to a soul smitten with profoundest anguish. The troubled heart yearns for love, and grace, and pity.

2. "IF YOU WERE PURE AND UPRIGHT, SURELY NOW HE WOULD AWAKE FOR YOU" (Job 8:6). If you are all that you profess to be, surely now, when you have got into such a depth of misery, God would arise to your help. The glitter of the cold steel is easily seen in this merciless thrust. How the tender soul of Job must have felt it. It is the silver not dross that the refiner puts into the fire. "Every branch in me that bears fruit He purges it." Joseph was fruitful in the land of affliction (Genesis 41:52). Yet there is truth in Bildad's statement, for "Whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).

3. "PREPARE YOURSELF TO THE SEARCH" (Job 8:8). There is much to be learned from the past, and from God's dealings with the fathers, but that all things are to continue as they were is not the teaching of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:4). Job would "prepare himself" in vain to search for the cause of his sorrows in the teaching of a "former age." Man by searching cannot find out God; it is by trusting that we learn to know Him. The life of faith is on altogether a different plane from the life of reason and of sight. Believe and you shall see.

4. "CAN THE RUSH GROW UP WITHOUT MIRE?" (Job 8:11). The Shuhite now says some plain things about hypocrisy. As the rush cannot grow up without mire, neither can a "hypocrite's hope" flourish without being nourished with that which is suitable to it. If Job has still hope, it is because of the mire of his hypocrisy. If "he is still green before the sun's" withering rays it is because he has within him the waters of deceit (v. 16). Although "the hope of the hypocrite shall perish" that does not prove that because, through excessive trial, a man's hope has fainted that he is perishing without hope. God pity the man whose trust is only in "a spider's web" (Job 8:14). Hope you in God.

5. "BEHOLD, GOD WILL NOT CAST AWAY A PERFECT MAN " (Job 8:20). This, like many others of their sayings, is capable of a double interpretation. If you had been a "perfect man" God would not have cast you away like this or, if you are in reality a perfect man, God will not cast you away although you have been brought so low. It is a mercy to know that when others are misjudging you, that God looks upon the heart. He knows them that are His. "He will not forsake His inheritance" (Psalm 94:14). To Bildad's credit let us say, that he closes his address with a word of hope (Job 8:21, 22). They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

II. Job's Reply (Job 9, 10). Job begins his answer to Bildad by asking a very searching question.

1. "HOW SHALL MAN BE JUST WITH GOD?" (Job 9:2). It is easy to tell a man what he should be, but how is this thing to be done? A man should be just with God, but in what way is this to be accomplished? How is man's iniquity to be put away, and the guilt of his sin cleansed? Who shall make the key that shall fit this lock? On what ground shall a sinner stand righteous before God (r. v. ). There is no use of "contending with Him" (Job 9:3). It is a question of how shall we escape. But this question has been fully answered by God Himself who does wonders without number (Job 9:10) in the gift and sufferings of Jesus Christ His Son.

2. "HOW SHALL I... REASON WITH HIM" (Job 9:14). He is not a man as I am. What arguments can an unholy man use with a holy God? If it is a question of sin and judgment then there is absolutely no room for man's reasonings. He cannot justify himself (Job 9:20). Although he should wash himself with snow water, yet will he find himself plunged into a filthy ditch, and his own clothes an abhorrence to him (Job 9:30, 31). But God's own backsliding children are asked to "Come and reason" with Him, (Isaiah 1:18) and a precious promise is herewith given to such. What God asks for those smarting for their sins is, not to come and reason, but to confess, and forsake their sins.

3. "NEITHER IS THERE ANY DAYSMAN BETWEEN US" (Job 9:33). These well-known words truthfully express the deepest need of a sinful suffering spirit. O for one capable to act as umpire between a mighty God and a miserable soul. One who is Divine and human, one able to lay his hand on both and meet the need of each, satisfying the just claims of God and speaking peace to a troubled heart. This great need has been perfectly met in Jesus Christ for, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 2:1, 2). "No man comes unto the Father but by Me" (John 14:6).

4. "I WILL SAY UNTO GOD... IS IT GOOD UNTO YOU?" (Job 10:2, 3). Yes, say it unto God. Let the thoughts of the heart come up before Him. There is nothing hid from His eyes, and as a gracious Father He will even listen to our complaints. Many things may seem bad to us which are "good unto Him." If Job could have but known all the meaning of his sufferings, he no doubt would have said, "Good is the will of the Lord." He had said this before (Job 1:21).

5. "YOU KNOW THAT I AM NOT WICKED" (Job 10:7). If our hearts condemn us not then have we confidence toward God. Negative purity is not everything, but it is something. This is not the language of the Pharisee, "I thank God that I am not as other men," it is the honest confession of one who is not conscious of having, through sin, merited such terrible judgments. This is not a boast, but a protest against the idea of punishment, being an explanation of the mystery of his afflictions. We should surely bow with holy reverence, submission, and faith, when His hand is heavy upon us, if our hearts are clean. "The pure in heart shall see God."

6. "REMEMBER... YOU HAVE MADE ME AS THE CLAY" (Job 10:9). Then it is not for the clay to resist the wonder working hand of the Divine Potter. He will not reduce the clay to dust; the potter cannot fashion dry dust into a useful vessel. When we have been brought low by the weight of affliction, so low that we feel as if we had been brought back to that condition of soul in which we were at first, when God, by His Spirit, began to operate upon us. Let us believe that His purpose is to make us into "another vessel" more meet for His service; or in other words, when God's vessels are reduced again to clay it is that they might be refashioned for higher and more honorable work. Job's latter days is an evidence of this.

7. "I AM FULL OF CONFUSION, THEREFORE SEE YOU MINE AFFLICTION" (Job 10:15). This is an honest confession: he cannot understand the meaning of this terrible tragedy. He is covered with shame, yet his conscience is clear, but he makes his appeal to the eye of the Omniscient, "See You mine affliction." My light is turned into darkness, I cannot see, but see You. There is no confusion in the mind of God, no matter how perplexing and inexplicable His providence toward us may be. In the realm of spiritual things, human reasonings can only end in confession. Saul was full of confusion when he said, "What will You have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). So were many on the Day of Pentecost, when they cried, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, can still bring order out of confusion. Commit your way unto Him.


The Speech of Zophar. Like the others, he is fully convinced that Job is suffering because of his sins, and like Bildad, he opens his address with some biting questions. He cannot bear to hear Job justifying his "doctrine as pure" and his life as being "clean in your eyes" (Job 11:4). So he says, as in an agony of soul, "Oh that God would speak!" He is sure that if God would but speak, he and his friends would be justified in all that they said, and Job's secret sins revealed, and all his arguments confounded and put to shame. They found it otherwise when God did speak (Job 42:7). We may know much, but let us remember that we don't know everything. He who exalts himself shall be abased. But Zohpar goes on to say, "Can you by searching find out God? Can you find out the Almighty unto perfection?" A perfection that is "high as Heaven," "deeper than Hell," "longer than the earth and broader than the sea." The soul makes a great find when it finds God, although it may never be able to search out the fathomless depths of His infinite perfections. This is eternal life, to know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The closing part of his speech contains wonderful words and might be called—


I. The Needed Work. He mentions three things that are essential to salvation:

1. "PREPARE YOUR HEART" (Job 11:13), The heart needs preparation, for it is deceitful above all things. The one good thing found in Jehoshaphat was that he "prepared his heart to seek God" (2 Chronicles 19:3). The best way to get the heart prepared is to yield it unto the Lord (Proverbs 16:1).

2. "STRETCH OUT YOUR HANDS." Let the hands of prayer and supplication be stretched toward God. He only can bring about the great deliverance so much needed. He is able to save to the uttermost. Stretch out your empty, helpless hands to Him, whose mighty hands are outstretched in mercy for the uplifting of the poor and the needy.

3. "PUT AWAY INIQUITY" (Job 11:14). Let the wicked forsake his wicked ways, and his unrighteous thoughts about God, and let him turn, and the Lord will have mercy upon him. "He who covers his sins shall not prosper." Those who would draw near to God must confess and forsake their sins. Then, what follows?

II. The Blessed Result. Such heart preparation, and stretching out of hands, will certainly be answered in a copious, soul-satisfying measure. Zophar mentions eight privileges that will be enjoyed.

1. "YOU SHALL LIFT UP YOUR FACE WITHOUT SPOT" (Job 11:15). You shall have confidence before God, and a clean countenance. All the boil spots of sin and suffering will be taken away (1 John 3:19).

2. "YOU SHALL BE STEADFAST." Established as a house built upon the rock. Taken from the fearful pit, and the feet established in the ways of truth and righteousness.

3. "YOU SHALL FORGET YOUR MISERY" (Job 11:16). Like Joseph, in the day of his exaltation and glory, you shall forget all the toil of the past (Genesis 41:51). In the joy of the new life in Christ, the wretchedness of the old life of sin is forgotten.

4. "YOU SHALL SHINE FORTH... AS THE MORNING" (Job 11:17). You shall not only be illumined, but shall also become a guiding light to others. This new light is not of your own kindling, but, like the dawning of the day, it is the gift of God-the brightest and the best.

5. "YOU SHALL BE SECURE, BECAUSE THERE IS HOPE" (Job 11:18). You shall have such a hope as will make you and all your higher interests perfectly secure—a hope that makes not ashamed.

6. "YOU SHALL TAKE YOUR REST IN SAFETY." You shall have such a rest, as cannot be disturbed by the turmoils of earth—a God-given rest (Matthew 11:28).

7. "YOU SHALL LIE DOWN, AND NONE SHALL MAKE YOU AFRAID" (Job 11:19). Your salvation will be so perfect that you shall be fearless in the face of men or of devils. This is the blessing with which the Lord shall bless all those who put their trust in Him.

8. "MANY WILL ENTREAT YOUR FACE" (Job 11:19, margin). The face that has been lifted up to God, and cleansed and brightened, is always attractive.

Job's Reply. His answer to Zophar occupies three chapters, and has reference to the unanimity of his three friends in condemning him through a false judgment of his case. "No doubt but you are the people, and wisdom will die with you" (Job 12:2). Perhaps if they had prayed more and argued less, they all would have come sooner to a better understanding of the whole case. As long as they trusted their own wisdom, and depended on the skill and force of their own reasonings, they were all "physicians of no value" (Job 13:4). Their prescriptions were worthless, because their diagnosis was wrong. In this world of mysteries we cannot judge moral principles by physical symptoms. Job's well-known saying in Job 13:15, expresses the true attitude of the soul in the midst of such a storm of bewildered suffering, "Though He slay me—or is slaying me—yet will I trust—or wait for Him." Knowing as we do the Divine purpose in Job's calamities, it makes it much easier for us to say, like the Psalmist, "Yes, though I walk in the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" (Psalm 23:4), or with the apostle, "I am persuaded that neither death... nor any other creature shall be able to separate me from the love of God" (Romans 8:38, 39). In the last part of his speech the patriarch deals with man in general (Job 14). This portion might be fitly entitled—


It has been said that "man was made to mourn." This chapter begins with "man" and ends with "mourn." But hear the voice of this man of sorrows.

1. Man! HE "IS FULL OF TROUBLE" (Job 14:1). His troubles are so numerous that he is brimful of them. "He is as a rotten thing" (chapter 13:28). Who can bring a clean thing out of this? (Job 14:4). Who is able to prescribe for such a complication of troubles as man's? What a bundle of miseries God has to deal with in saving man.

2. Man! HE "FLEES ALSO LIKE A SHADOW" (Job 14:2). As the cloud shadows rush along the hillside like breathless specters, so man hurries on from the mystery of birth to the mystery of death. Here he has no continuing city. He comes forth like a flower, to be seen and felt by a few, and cut down.

3. Man! HIS DAYS AND MONTHS ARE NUMBERED (Job 14:5). The limit of his life has been fixed by God. He knows not when the end will be. He has not even authority for saying, "I will do so and so tomorrow."

4. Man! HE "DIES AND WASTES AWAY" (Job 14:10). He soon becomes insensible to the pains or pleasures of earth, his mental and physical powers speedily waste away. He has scarcely attained maturity when the wasting process begins.

5. Man! HE "GIVES UP THE SPIRIT, AND WHERE IS HE?" (Job 14:10). He yields up his spirit as one who cannot keep it longer, but where has he gone? Where is he? He must be somewhere. The where depends on the character of that spirit (see Luke 16:22, 23).

6. Man! HE "LIES DOWN, AND RISES NOT UNTIL THE HEAVENS BE NO MORE" (Job 14:12). When he lies down it is until the dawning of the new heavens (Isaiah 65:17). This seemed a long way off to Job, but it is not so far away now (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16).

7. Man! "IF HE DIE, SHALL HE LIVE AGAIN?" (Job 14:14). "There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again" (Job 14:7), and how much better is a man than a tree? Job was not without the hope of immortality; he knew that after his body had been destroyed by worms, that he would yet—in another body—see God (chapter 19:25, 26). This question finds its perfect answer in Rev. 20:12: "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God."


In this book we see much more than "the patience of Job;" we are face to face with the dreadful deeds of the Devil; for just now Job is in the hand of Satan, but with this Divine limitation, "Save his life" (Job 2:6). The upright patriarch would gladly see the hand of God in it all, and this constrains him to say something about God, that coming from other lips would be sheer blasphemy; but God graciously overlooks it all. He knows that His servant is entirely in the dark as to the purpose and cause of his sufferings. By the Lord's permission, Satan was the cause of all his sorrows. Job, in the midst of his hopeless misery, is a finished specimen of the Devil's workmanship. His purpose and business is to kill and to destroy. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living Devil. The "God of this world" is also a "consuming fire." Our God consumes the chaff and the dross, but this God would burn up the wheat and the silver. The Lord delights to give, but Satan glories in taking away. Note here some of his devices—

I. He Separates from the Best Company. "You have made desolate all my company" (Job 16:7). His family was cut off, and even his wife became strange to him. The fellowships in which he formerly delighted had all been broken up by the hand of the enemy, and his new friends were all miserable comforters. This is what happens when any child of God falls into the condemnation of the Devil through yielding to sin. Christian fellowship is made desolate, and the company that he keeps, in his backsliding state, are miserable helpers in his time of need. Satan is a professional schismatic. Beware of him in the church and in the family.

II. He Disfigures the Face. "You have filled me with wrinkles" (Job 16:8). The joy and peacefulness that used to beam in the countenance of Job has now given place to gloom and discontent. Those who walk in fellowship with the Lord have their faces transfigured with the heavenly light, but those in the power of the Devil have often his own dark image stamped upon their faces. The Devil will so mar and blacken the face that the man is ashamed to lift it up unto God. This satanic change has often been observed in the countenance of backsliders. The wrinkles of sullen despair and God-defiance are easily seen. That face that should be illumined with the glory of God, becomes an index of the darkness of death.

III. He Brings Leanness into the Life. "My leanness bears witness to my face." No wonder the face gets wrinkled and disfigured when the soul is being starved to death. When the Devil gets a man out of touch with God he will soon get him out of touch with His Word. The Devil's corn is all bran, and his wheat nothing but chaff. His dupes mistake quantity for quality; they may eat much, but still leanness "rises up in them." No servant of sin can know anything of the soul-satisfying fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

IV. He Takes Advantage of the Helpless. "He tears me in his wrath; he hates me; he gnashes upon me with his teeth" (Job 16:9) This language is highly figurative, but most terribly expressive. Satan can show no mercy, the weaker we are the better for him. Job has been, for the time, handed over to him to be tested, and he makes it his business to pile on sorrow upon sorrow and agony after agony. If he gets possession of a boy he will tear him and cast him into the fire and into the waters (Mark 9:22), he has no compassion on the helpless lad. If he even gets hold of the helpless swine, he will hurl them out into the sea. To be without Christ is to be without power and without a defense against the wiles and wrath of the Devil. Tears have no effect on him (Job 16:16).

V. He Breaks Asunder, and Shakes to Pieces (Job 16:12). Job "was at ease" in his prosperity, like a ship at sea with a fair wind, but suddenly the ship was overtaken with a crushing tempest, and driven furiously on the rocks, and broken asunder, and shaken to pieces by the violence of the waves. Whenever Satan gets hold of the helm of the life he seeks to make a shipwreck of the faith. He will break the soul asunder, separating all he can get of it from God and spiritual things, and shake in pieces the future prospects of his victims.

VI. He has Many Helpers. "His archers compass me round about" (Job 16:13). The Devil has many angels, or demons, waiting his bidding to surround the soul, guarding every way of escape, and ready to shoot their fiery darts at every attempt made for liberty and salvation. It is no easy matter for some to escape out of the hands of this Giant Despair. His archers are sharp-eyed, and have had long practice in dealing with fugitives. They know when and where to hit to be most effective. Men and women that are likely to do damage to his kingdom are specially watched. His most zealous servants usually prove, when delivered, his bitterest enemies. No garrison of demons can hinder a soul for a moment when the overcoming blood of Christ is trusted.

VII. He Uses Powerful Tactics. "He runs upon me like a giant" (Job 16:14). He does not trifle with his opportunities. When he sees a chance of overcoming any upright man, he runs like one in haste to catch a felon, and grips at once with a giant hand. He lingers about the gates of the soul, with luring temptation and bewitching enticement, until he gets a gate open, then he rushes in like a giant, to overthrow the citadel. He is a strong one, and seeks to get possession of the goods of man's soul, and then make peace, a peace that means certain death and destruction. But a stronger than he has come to spoil him of his goods, establish a new order of things, making peace and inaugurating the Kingdom of Heaven. "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you." Job longed for "One that might plead for a man with God." To us, Jesus Christ is that One (Job 16:21).


Bildad begins his second speech, if anything, more exasperated than the others at the reasonings of Job. His wickedness must be very great he thinks, when he still persists in justifying himself in their eyes, and maintaining his integrity in the sight of God. The Shuhite's description of the dreadful calamities that are sure to come upon the wicked, and those that "knows not God" (Job 18:21), is most graphic and appalling in its fullness and truthfulness, but utterly wasted on the innocent patriarch. Still, we feel thankful to Bildad for these burning words. As a description of the condition and prospects of those who are living in lawlessness toward God, it is one of the most powerful within the compass of the Bible. The keynote of this terrible speech is found in the last sentence of it: "And this is the place (portion) of him that knows not God" (Job 18:21). See what this portion is. It implies—

I. Darkness. "The light of the lawless shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine" (Job 18:5). The light of the ungodly is of their own making; it is but the sparks of the fire which they themselves have kindled, and which shall not shine when abiding light is needed (Isaiah 50:10, 11). This light is in their own eyes, and when their eyes grow dim, and faint, and blind, their candle is put out, and darkness settles down in the tabernacle of the soul. How different it is with the man of faith! He can say, "The Lord my God who has lit my candle, He will enlighten my darkness" (Psalm 18:28).

II. Disappointment. "The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down" (Job 18:7). The confidence of the self-righteous and the ungodly is in their strength and their wisdom, but both shall utterly fail to bring them into their desired haven. The steps of his strength shall be suddenly shortened and hindered, so that he will be compelled to give up the objects of his pursuit, and sink down like a weary exhausted traveler who has lost his way and finds it impossible for him to reach his home. "His own counsel shall cost him dear." His boasted wisdom shall turn out to be his confusion. The counsel he has given to others shall cover his own face with shame, when he staggers and falls under the burden of his own folly and failure. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool." By the wisdom of this world God is not known.

III. Danger. The position of the ungodly is so fraught with dangers that the fowler's vocabulary is exhausted in describing them. "His feet in a net.... the gin shall take him by the heel.. the noose (R. V. ) shall prevail against him.... the snare is laid for him... a trap set for him in the way" (Job 18:8-10). Satan uses every possible means to prevent that man who "knows not God" from escaping out of his hands. But it is with "his own feet" that a man walks into the Devil's net. It is when he yields to temptation that the noose "prevails against him." He falls into the snare of the Devil, because he walks in the Devil's territory. If he neglects the salvation of Jesus Christ, there is no escape for him; but by trusting Him the snare will be broken, and his soul shall escape like a bird.

IV. Dread. "Terrors shall make him afraid on every side" (Job 18:11). He may say peace, peace, but the time will come when terrors shall break in upon him from every side. Terrors behind him, and terrors in front of him; the past, the present, and the future, all full of dread. Terrors crowding in upon him, and "chasing him at his heels," like so many beasts of prey (v. 11, R. V. ). What an awful experience, to go into eternity and up to the Judgment Throne of God, chased by the sins and iniquities of a God-neglected life. The terrors of the Lord must follow close upon the "heels" of the sinner. The guilty man's feet are never swift enough to outrun the pursuing justice of God.

V. Desolation. "The firstborn of death shall devour his strength, root up his confidence, and bring him to the king of terrors" (Job 18:13, 14). What a sorrowful plight to be in: strength devoured, confidence rooted up, and face to face with the king of terrors. The firstborn of death is like that disease, or physical disorder, which is the forerunner of death, and is gradually eating up the strength, and tearing the hope of health up by the roots, and bringing the life under the dominion of temporal death. Spiritually the firstborn of death is unbelief, that forerunner of eternal separation from God and Heaven, which devours all strength for the service of Christ, roots up all real confidence before God, and brings the soul into the bondage and dread of the king of terrors (Mark 16:16). After death the judgment. The Lord, the righteous Judge, upon the great White Throne will be the King of Terrors to all who have rejected His redeeming grace (Rev. 6:15-17).

VI. Despair. "His roots shall be dried up:.... his remembrance shall perish:... he shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world" (Job 18:16-18). Could words present a more dismal picture than this? The "place of him that knows not God" is indeed the place of despair. His roots shall be dried up, because they are not in God, but in the barren wastes of self and the world (Malachi 4:1). His remembrance shall perish, because his name is not written in the Lamb's book of life. He shall be driven from the light of the Gospel into the darkness of hopeless despair. He shall be chased out of the world as unworthy to live in it, as one unfit for the Kingdom of Heaven, and as one who is as loath to leave this world as Lot's wife was to leave Sodom.

VII. Destruction. "Destruction shall be ready for his halting" (Job 18:12, R. V. ). All that destruction means is here personified as a powerful enemy. Keeping step with the man that knows not God, watching, and waiting for that moment when death shall cause him to halt, that he might have the opportunity of accomplishing his dreadful work. To the ungodly, death means destruction. It is the destruction of all his coveted fellowships, of all his boasted possessions, of his joy, of that false peace with which he comforted himself, of his hope for time and eternity. It is the destruction of all the faculties of his soul for the seeing or enjoying of those pleasures which are at God's right hand. His God was his belly, his glory was his shame, and his end is destruction.

LIGHT IN DARKNESS. Job 19:25-27.

Job's soul was sorely vexed with the words of his would-be comforters. "These ten times have you reproached me," he says. Anybody with enough hardness of heart can easily reproach another in the day of their downfall. "If you will magnify yourselves against me," he continues then, "know now that God has overthrown me" (Job 19:5, 6). The overthrowing was the work of the Devil, and it was complete, permitted by God, as was the crucifixion of Christ, yet the work of "wicked hands." It is most interesting to notice that it was after Job had experienced the weakness and deceitfulness of all earthly kinships, that the vision of the kinsman-Redeemer came upon his desolate spirit. Surely this is the work of the Spirit of God, it is absolutely true to the manner of the Holy Spirit in New Testament times. The unsatisfactory nature, the insufficiency and inability of all earthly friendship to meet the needs of a sinful, sorrowful soul, must be fully realized, before the glories of the kinsman-Redeemer can be fully appreciated. "I know that my Redeemer lives" (Job 19:25). Who but the Lord Jesus Christ was ever able to record such a melancholy list of broken friendships as Job does in this chapter. Hear what he says about them: "My brethren are far from me... mine acquaintance are estranged from me... my kinsfolk have failed, my familiar friends have forgotten me... my maids count me a stranger... my servant gave me no answer... my breath was strange to my wife... all my inward friends abhorred me" (Job 19:13-19). There was not one arm of flesh left on which he could lean, when this new light dawned upon him constraining him to say, "I know that my kinsman-Redeemer lives," and that apart from my flesh I shall have God on my side (r. v. ). We are cautioned by some commentators not to read too much into these words, but we are bound to take them as they stand, and believe they mean all that they say. The teaching of the Spirit of God is not limited to the conditions and circumstances of men. The language of Job here is full of prophetic meaning, and is rich in spiritual consolation. We can at least easily read into these words—

I. The Fact of Redemption. "My Redeemer lives." What a relief for the oppressed and bewildered soul to turn from the failing kinships of earth to the unfailing Kinsman above, who ever lives to make intercession for us. Yes, Job, out of all your troubles this Kinsman-Redeemer will yet deliver you. He shall redeem your life from destruction, and crown you with loving-kindness and tender mercies. He vindicates the cause of all who put their trust in Him. He who redeems and purchases the soul by His own blood lives for the salvation and vindication of His own. That He, the eternal Son of God, should condescend to be our Goel (kinsman) is the mystery and marvel of infinite grace.

II. The Joy of Personal Assurance. "I know." He knew that all his earthly friends had forsaken him, but he also knew that his Kinsman in Heaven, the living One would ultimately prove Himself to be good and faithful. There were some things Job did not know. He knew not the reason why he had been so suddenly stripped of every earthly comfort, and crushed down to the dust with a load of sorrow, but he knew and believed that "my Redeemer lives," and lives to make all things work together for good to them that love Him. He could scarcely talk now of my brethren, my kinsfolk, my friends, my servant, for they had all forsaken him, but he could say "my Redeemer." When heart and flesh fail, God will be the portion of the believing soul. It will still be sweet to say, "my Redeemer," when all the joys and friendships of this world have to be left behind.

III. The Prospect of His Appearing. "I know... that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." All that this meant to Job we cannot say, but he surely believed in the personal appearing of his great Kinsman-Redeemer on the earth. Now we know that this prophecy has been fulfilled, and that the Redeemer has come, and by the sacrifice of Himself has put away sin—the seed of the woman has bruised the serpent's head—and by His own blood has provided a ransom price for the souls of men. The earth needed Him, and He has identified Himself with its sins and sorrows by standing on it and dying for it. To us these words are still prophetic, and we look for the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who shall yet as King of kings stand in the latter day upon the earth.

IV. The Hope of a Beatific Vision. "Though worms destroy this body, yet without my flesh shall I see God" (R. V. margin). The flesh is the veil that hides the vision of God from the spirit of man. Even the Redeemer's flesh had to be rent asunder as a veil, before the new way of entrance could be made for us (Hebrews 10:20). Paul's way of putting it is, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). When He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. "The pure in heart shall see God." If there be no God to see, why should the purest of hearts have this longing and hope strongest within them? It surely does not follow, that because a man is good and upright, he is in greater danger of being deluded and deceived in the most important of all questions—that of future hope.

V. The Confidence of Final Satisfaction. "Whom I shall see on my side.. and not as a stranger" (Job 19:27, R. V., margin). God's present dealings with Job are to him full of mystery and contradictions. All things seem to be against him, but when apart from his flesh he sees God, he knows that he will find that God all along has been on His side, making all things work together for his good. He will not see Him as a stranger, but as a faithful Kinsman-Redeemer. Here "we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face." What we know not now we shall know hereafter. Our present circumstances may be as perplexing to human reason as Job's was to him; but with the vision of our Divine Kinsman before us, we are assured that in love He is doing all things well. "I shall be satisfied when I awake" (Psalm 17:15) in the presence of His likeness.


Zophar winds up this speech, which is full of the horrors which belong to a life of ungodliness, with these words: "This is the portion of a wicked man from God" (Job 20:29). It is interesting to find that this is the view of wickedness held by these wisest of men, away back in times before the law was given. The word "wicked" here is lawless, and refers to those who are not restrained in any way through the knowledge or fear of God. The description still holds good of the man that obeys not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I. His Triumph shall be Short (Job 20:5-7). He does triumph in a way; he has "joy," he has "excellency," and his head seems to "reach unto the clouds." His success is of such a nature that failure and ruin looks like an impossibility. But his triumph is short, his joy is but for a moment, his excellency shall perish like his own dung. Like the Egyptians, these lawless ones say, "I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide, my lust shall be satisfied; but God shall blow upon them, and they shall sink like lead in the mighty waters of death and destruction" (Exod. 15:9, 10). Permanent victory only belongs to those who "Overcome by the blood of the Lamb."

II. His Sin shall Abide with Him. "His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust" (Job 20:11). David dreaded this terrible experience when he prayed, "Remember not the sins of my youth" (Psalm 25:7). Sin is a most uncomfortable bedfellow to lie down with in the grave. No human power can shake it off. It seeks to cling to the soul in death, in resurrection, in judgment, and in eternity. To die in sin is to die out of Christ, and to meet Him with a sin-stained resurrection body.

III. His Moral Appetite shall be Vitiated. "Wickedness sweet in his mouth... yet the gall of asps within him" (Job 20:12-14). He finds that sweet to his taste which he knows shall prove bitter to his conscience. Through practice and force of habit he now clings to the things which, in his innermost nature he condemns. His moral senses are so blunted and perverted that he calls bitter sweet, and sweet bitter. The lie of Satan is more pleasant to him than the truth of God. He loves darkness rather than light, and prefers the broken cisterns to the Fountain of living water.

IV. His Precious Things shall all be Disgorged. "He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again" (v15). Many a valuable thing he has swallowed for the satisfaction of his own lust and passion. Much goods have been laid up for the future, as a gourmand would stuff his stomach against coming want, but he shall vomit them up again, as one who is sickened by them, and finds himself unable longer to keep them. The things which formerly delighted him, and in which he trusted for future strength and support, will suddenly become, soul-sickening and turned into a vomit. The riches of Christ will never be so parted with.

V. His Abundance shall not Satisfy. "In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits" (Job 20:22). No matter how much a man may have of the world's riches and honors, he shall still be in straits if the "one thing needful" is lacking—personal acquaintance with God. Sufficiency of perishing things cannot meet all the needs of an imperishable spirit. The rich man mentioned in Luke 12 was in straits when he said: "What shall I do?" But he was in a greater strait when God said unto him: "This night your soul shall be required of you; then whose shall these things be?"

VI. His Treasures shall be Found to be Darkness. "All darkness is laid up for his treasures" (Job 20:26, R. V. ). What an inheritance this is, reserved for those who die rebels against the grace of God. Darkness laid up for him—all darkness, nothing but darkness—as the reward of his earthly life and labors. Complete disaster is secretly lurking in the future for him. His treasures are not in Heaven, and outside the light of God's presence there is nothing but the blackness of darkness. He loved the darkness of a godless life rather than the light of a godly life. Now all is darkness! The seed sown has brought forth its harvest of blackness.

VII. His Iniquity shall be Revealed. "The Heavens shall reveal his iniquity" (Job 20:27). Even "the earth shall rise up against him." The heavens and the earth shall combine to carry out the unerring word of God. "The Lord will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts" (1 Corinthians 4:5). "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed" (Luke 12:2). Every unforgiven sin and crooked thing shall be made manifest by the searchlight of Heaven; then who that Have died without Christ shall be able to stand when He appears as the Judge of the quick and the dead? No Achan will ever be able to bury his sins deep enough that the eye of God will not see them. The portion of the wicked (lawless) is indeed a miserable portion, but, thank God, it may be exchanged for a better portion, if, like Mary, he will choose now the "better part" (Luke 10:42).


In Job's reply to Zophar's last speech, he shows that material prosperity is not sufficient evidence that a man is morally righteous, for the wicked "become old and are mighty in power." But in these verses he lays bare the secret thoughts of the ungodly and lawless soul by putting this prayer into their mouth. The godless man of the world would not perhaps audibly dare to use these words, but nevertheless they are practically the sentiments of his every-day life. Look at—

I. The Meaning of It. It reveals a—

1. DREAD OF GOD'S PRESENCE. "They say unto God, Depart from us." Their carnal mind is enmity against God. They fear His presence as the owl does the approach of the sun, or as the thief dreads the daylight. As a gracious Savior, they may say to Him, "Depart," and He may leave their coast, but, as a Judge, they will yet hear Him say, "Depart from Me."

2. DISLIKE AT GOD'S WAYS. "We desire not the knowledge of Your ways." They are wedded to their own ways, and are not willing to forsake them (Isaiah 55:7). The knowledge of God's ways would make them more miserable in their own sinful ways. They cover their heads with the mantle of ignorance, and say darkness is better than light. Though His ways are pleasantness and His paths peace, their minds are so blinded by the God of this world, and their spiritual appetite so vitiated, that they have no desire for them.

3. DENIAL OF GOD'S CLAIMS. "What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?" They do not even say, "Who," as Pharaoh did, but "What," as if He were a creation of man, instead of the Creator of all. The Almightiness in their estimation is in the "we." What is He who we should serve Him. This exalting of self above all that is called God is the essence of Satanic opposition. Those who make it their business to serve themselves are morally unfit for the service of God. "You cannot serve two masters."

4. DISBELIEF IN GOD'S LOVE. "What profit shall we have if we pray unto Him?" They have no faith in God as a loving Father ready and willing to answer the cry of the needy. They have no consciousness of real need, and so have no faith in prayer. Like the Laodiceans, they have "need of nothing," not even of Him who stands knocking outside their door. They also said in their own way, "Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Your ways," by keeping the door closed against His entrance. "You have not because you ask not." Men ought always to pray and not to faint.

II. The Cause of It. "Therefore they say unto God," etc. The occasion of it is found in the foregoing verses. In their worldly prosperity they had many marks of the goodness of God, yet they said unto God, "Depart from us," etc. (R. V. ). This lawless spirit manifests itself in the grossest ingratitude and thanklessness. The prosperity of the wicked is a mystery to those who know not that "the wicked have their portion in this life." Observe the nature of that prosperity as it appeared to the afflicted patriarch.

1. THEIR INFLUENCE IS GREAT. "The wicked become old, yes, are mighty in power" (Job 21:7). Long years after this the Psalmist said the same thing, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree" (Psalm 37 35). The godly man seeks to spread the knowledge of God, but the godless, selfish worldling spreads himself. The world loves its own, and admires the man who is able to spread himself like a green bay tree, although he should starve to death all the lesser plants that seek an existence beneath his shade.

2. THEIR AFFLICTIONS ARE FEW. "Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them" (Job 21:9). They don't seem to be afflicted as other men. Grey hairs don't seem to come so quickly upon their heads. They are quite unaccustomed to the yoke of discipline. The rod of Divine chastisement does not visit them because they are not harnessed to the will of God, but are, like the wild donkeys, doing their own pleasure. They have a liberty, but it is the liberty of the lawless, the freedom of the rebel. The rod and staff of the Great Shepherd does not guide them, so they rush on comfortably to destruction. "Whom the Lord loves He chastens."

3. THEIR POSSESSIONS ARE MULTIPLIED. "Their bull genders, and fails not; their cow calves, and casts not her calf " (Job 21:10). "Behold the ungodly... they increase in riches" (Psalm 73:12). They add house to house, and land to land, and offer sacrifices to their own genius (Habakkuk 1:16). The rich fool had not where to bestow his goods. The meek shall yet inherit the earth, but meanwhile it seems to be largely the portion of the godless.

4. THEIR CHILDREN ARE HAPPY. "Their children dance... and rejoice at the sound of the organ" (Job 21:11, 12). Well, God bless the "little ones," why should they not be happy? They have not yet become positively lawless by actual transgression. They are in ignorance of the enmity that lurks in the heart of that father to the being and grace of God. But they are in great danger of following in the steps of their world-deluded parents, by setting their affections on the things of earth and neglecting the eternal treasure. This picture of the ungodly is very attractive to many. No wonder the Psalmist said, "I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (they are not in trouble as other men... their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than heart could wish)... Until I went into the sanctuary of God and saw them in the light of His presence; then understood I their end" (Psalm 73:3-17). They who said, "Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him!" "shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty" (v. 20). What an awful cup awaits those who refuse the cup of salvation. The rich man died, and in Hell he lifted up his eyes. Better far to lift them up now.


In closing his third speech, Eliphaz talks like a New Testament prophet. The phraseology is, of course, old, but the teaching is up-to-date, and the moral order in which the truths are presented are almost apostolic. His words suggest—

I. A Great Need. "Acquaint now yourself with Him, and be at peace" (Job. 22:21). Acquaintanceship with God is the first step toward peace. A theoretical knowledge of God cannot satisfy the heart. Acquaintanceship implies a personal intimacy. After Adam, through sin, had separated himself from God, a new acquaintanceship had to be formed. Divine friendship had to be set up on a new basis (Genesis 3:15). Sin implies separation and enmity; acquaintanceship implies reconciliation and peace. No man now can be said to be acquainted with God who is a stranger to the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore the combined image of God and of man. He who was God manifest in the flesh, has made peace by the blood of His cross. Kiss the Son lest He be angry with you, and you perish in the way. "This is life eternal that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3).

II. A Plain Way. The way back into the favor and fellowship of God is very simple and easy to the willing heart. It is stated here in two words: "Receive!" "Return!" "Receive the law from His mouth... and return to the Almighty" (Job. 22:22, 23). Receive into your heart the word that has come from His mouth, believe what He has said about sin and salvation, and return to God by yielding your will to Him, and resting your soul upon His finished redemption. We can now read into the words of Eliphaz a much deeper meaning than he could at that time understand. Receive the word of the Gospel and return, not to a creed or a church, but to the living God.

III. A Manifold Result. To be closely acquainted with any great personality will certainly affect our manner of thinking and acting; how much more when we are acquainted with God. There will be—

1. A RENEWAL OF THE NATURE. "You shall be built up" (Job. 22:23). The spiritual nature of man has been so broken down by sin that it is a complete ruin. Apart from the knowledge and grace of God, he can never build himself up as a temple of God. It is when we come into the light of His presence that we get rebuilt, and made new creatures. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature." "We are His workmanship, created (anew) in Christ Jesus." Return unto Him just as you are, and He shall build you up.

2. GREAT RICHES. "The Almighty shall be your treasure" (Job. 22:25, R. V. ). The gold of Ophir is but the dust of the earth compared with the riches that are in Him. Material things cannot meet the needs of an immaterial spirit. Our eternal spirits need the adorning of the eternal God. Your little life shall be filled up out of His infinite fullness. When you get truly acquainted with Him, you will find that Himself is sufficient for you. To know God is to be a spiritual millionaire. "My God shall supply all your need," (Philippians 4:19), not only with His gifts, but with Himself. We have this treasure in the earthen vessel when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

3. UNFAILING JOY. "Then shall you have your delight in the Almighty" (Job. 22:26). Only the pure in heart who see God can find their delight in Him. The unrenewed in nature will still seek after the world's broken cisterns, which cannot hold water enough to quench the thirst of the soul. Those who find their delight in God have the purest of all pleasures from a source which can never fail. "We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the reconciliation."

4. BOLDNESS OF ACCESS. "And shall lift up your face unto God." When we become the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, it is but natural that we should lift up our faces unto our Father. The consciousness of unforgiven sin hinders many from lifting up their faces unto God (Luke 18:13). Those who see no beauty in Him who was the Man of Sorrows, hide, as it were, their faces from Him. The open face turned to God is the evidence of a soul at peace with Him. "Our fellowship is with the Father."

5. ANSWERED PRAYER. "You shall make your prayer unto Him, and He shall hear you" (Job. 22:27). What a privilege! The ear of the Almighty God always at your lips to hear you when you speak unto Him. Speak out the desires of your soul, and wait patiently on Him. "If we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:15).

6. FRUITFUL TESTIMONY. "You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you" (v. 28). The word of your testimony in His Name shall be made to stand firm. His word shall not return unto Him void. New eyes will be given you to see wondrous things, and your tongue shall speak forth things which God will make to come to pass (Jeremiah 23:28).

7. WALKING IN THE LIGHT. "The light shall shine upon your ways." You shall not walk in darkness, for the guiding light of His presence shall be with you. His Holy Spirit will guide you into the truth, which always illumines the heart and mind. Just now Job was enveloped in thick darkness, but, by yielding Himself unreservedly to God, light would arise, and he would yet walk with a light step in the sunny paths of peace.

8. ABILITY TO HELP OTHERS. "When men are cast down, then you shall say, There is lifting up" (Job. 22:29). We must be lifted up ourselves before we attempt to lift up others. There be many who are "cast down" through sin and shortcoming, disappointment and failure, many who need this cheering message, "There is lifting up." When crushed and broken spirits are saying, "Who will show us any good?" it is the privilege of those whose faces have been lifted up to God to carry the uplifting Gospel of Jesus Christ, who was "lifted up," that He might draw men to Himself. The man of God is the only man that has the real message of hope for fallen humanity.


Job's three comforters said much, and did the best they could, but their remedies never touched the disease. They were as blind men seeking to lead a blind man. In the previous chapter, Bildad, whose great arguments have all been already spent in vain, has his last little say which closes the whole case for him and his friends. Now when they have exhausted themselves, Job begins his great and final oration, which occupies the following six chapters. These wonderful words bear ample proof that although Satan had brought such ruin and desolation upon Job, he had no power to touch his living spirit within. His mind remained clear, which doubtless made his anguish all the more keen. In brief but striking language we have here parts of His ways set before us. If these are but the "outskirts." (r. v. )—the ripple on the shore of the Divine doings, what must it be to get into the center of the operations of God. What, then, are these merely out-lying acts of the great Creator of all? Here they are-

I. "Hell is naked before Him" (Job 26:6). Sheol, or the shady world of spirits, lies uncovered before His gaze. His eyes pierce the gloom of that awful abyss called "the bottomless pit." If I make my bed in Hell (Sheol) You are there—there in justice and judgment. No darkness, no matter how dense, can cover a human soul from the holy eye of God (Psalm 139:8-11). If Hell is naked before Him, so is your heart and mine. There is many a human heart that is little else than a miniature Hell, yet it, with all other things, is naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

II. "He Hangs the Earth upon Nothing" (Job 26:7). Some seem to be afraid lest we should read into these words more than was meant by the afflicted patriarch, lest we credit Job with knowing more about astronomy than he really did. He surely meant what he said when he said, "He hangs the earth upon nothing." He could not mean that He hangs the earth on something. The statement is scientifically accurate, although made thousands of years before the fact was discovered by science. But the point is, this wonderful balancing of worlds in space is but one of the outworks of this wonder-working God. Job may not know anything about the law of gravitation, but, if moved by the Spirit of God, he speaks worthy of God. The Spirit of truth is always in advance of the discoveries of men.

III. "He Binds up the Waters in His Thick Clouds" (Job 26:8). The seemingly fickle clouds are God's. He binds them together with invisible bands so that they cannot be rent to pour out their treasures until He unties them. How often have we seen those great water-carriers rolling along the heavens, and piled up at times like huge bales of wool. "Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord."

IV. "He Closes in the Face of His Throne" (Job 26:9. R. V. ). Behind all the laws and forces of nature, Job sees the throne of God. The whole visible creation is as a veil spread over the face of His eternal throne, but the glory and majesty of the Divine Personality, who rules over all, shines through this cloudy covering. The material world is like the pillar of cloud in the wilderness. God is in the midst of it. Clouds and darkness are round about Him (Psalm 97:2).

V. "He Describes a Boundary upon the Face of the Waters" (Job 26:10, R. V. ). The waters of the great deep are in the hollow of His hand, and by His infinite wisdom He has marked out that line which we call the horizon, where the sea and sky seem to meet and kiss each other. God sets His limitations to every earthly thing. So far, but no farther; but the Spirit-taught soul looks beyond to the things which are eternal and lie hidden in the depths of eternity.

VI. "He Stirs up the Sea with His Power" (Job 26:12, R. V. ). The same mighty hand that pushed back the rolling flood and made "dry land" that the Israelites might pass over, still controls the restless billows (Psalm 74:13).

VII. "He Smites through Rahab" (Job 26:12, R. V. ). Rahab stands for pride and arrogance. By His understanding is human pride smitten through. The wisdom and power of God, even as seen in the visible creation, ought to pierce the arrogance of man. But how much more ought the wisdom and love of God, as seen in the Cross of Christ, stay the enmity of the carnal mind. Rahab is condemned already.

VIII. "He has Garnished the Heavens by His Spirit" (Job 26:13). The same Spirit who beautified the heavens now beautifies the soul in whom He dwells. "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." His moving is always for the glory of God, whether it be in the heart or in the heavens. Bildad said, "Yes, the stars are not pure in His sight." But Job takes a different view of that work which at the beginning was pronounced "good." When the beauty of the Lord our God is put upon us, we are clean and beautiful in His sight. The Spirit of God is a wonderful artist. He who beautified the heavens can beautify your life.

IX. He has Subdued the Swift Serpent (v. 13, R. V. ). Whether this swift fleeing serpent is the Devil, or the forked lightning-flash, it matters not, both are under His control. Neither of them can fly so fast that God cannot at any time pierce them through with His arrow. The forked lightning is an apt emblem of the movements and terrible character of Satan, but he is a conquered foe.

What a mighty God our God is, when these are but the outskirts of His ways, part of the fringe of the great garment of His works. In these parts of His ways, Job adds, we hear but "a small whisper of Him" (v. 14, r. v. ). From the visible creation there comes an unmistakable "whisper of Him," which any attentive ear may hear. The voice may be "small," but it is the voice of God. In creation, we hear the small whisper of the goodness of God; but in Christ, the loud cry of an agonizing heart of love. This God who in times past whispered into the dull ears of men, through the marvelous works of His hands, now speaks with a loud voice through the death of His Son. "God in these last days has spoken unto us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:2). "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Consider the two cries of Christ: John 7:37; Matthew 27:46.


In this chapter Job continues his wonderful parable. He has just been showing that there is a place where gold and silver and precious stones can be found (Job 28:1-6), and how that men by searching and digging and overturning (Job 28:9, 10) bring these hidden treasures to light, but as these can never meet all the needs of a human heart, he goes on to ask this great question of world-wide interest, "But where shall wisdom be found?" (Job 28:12). A man may be loaded with the treasures of earth and yet be a fool (Luke 12:19, 20). The soul of man cannot find its perfect satisfaction even in the very best that this world can yield it. Wisdom is the chief thing; with all your getting, get wisdom.

I. Its Nature. Wisdom is not something we can put on like a garment. Wisdom is character; it is the quality of being wise; it is a condition of heart, and has to do with our relationship to God. It begins with fearing the Lord (Job 28:28), and grows as the knowledge of God increases. If Job had not "Christ, the wisdom of God" in his mind when he spoke these beautiful and far-reaching words, doubtless the guiding Spirit of God had, for they are brimful of New Testament meaning to all who are wise in Christ. Men have no difficulty in finding the wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with God, but a man is not truly wise until he becomes a partaker of the wisdom of God.

II. Its Unearthliness. "Where is wisdom to be found? and where is the place of understanding?" Where is this knowledge of God to be got? this wisdom of heart that enables a man so to act before God and men that it will bring satisfaction to his own soul, good to his fellows, and glory to God. Where? It is not found "in the land of the living" (Job 28:13). This barren wilderness of human beings cannot produce it. "The depth says, It is not in me; and the sea says, It is not with me" (Job 28:14). No created thing, or one, can offer to a thirsty soul this satisfying gift. Out of the land, and the depths, and the sea, men have brought multitudes of valuable things, but the wisdom that makes wise unto eternal life has never yet been found there, although generation after generation have followed in diligent search. These are all as broken cisterns which cannot hold this heavenly water. Is there no answer to this cry of Job, "Where is the place?" Yes, that place is called Calvary, where Christ the wisdom of God is offered to a world perishing for lack of knowledge.

III. Its Preciousness. The language here concerning wisdom is sublimely graphic, if we read it with our eye on Him who is the wisdom of God.

1. IT CANNOT BE PRICED. "Man knows not the price thereof" (Job 28:13). What man on earth would dare to attempt to reckon up the value of the Lord Jesus Christ? "In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3)—"unsearchable riches."

2. IT CANNOT BE BOUGHT. "It cannot be gotten for gold" (Job 28:15). All the wealth of the world could never purchase the wisdom of God. It would be an insult to God, even if man had the power, to offer Him a whole world of gold as a price for His Son. Even the gold of man's righteousness is as filthy rags when offered as a recompense to God.

3. IT CANNOT BE EQUALED. "The gold and the crystal cannot equal it" (Job 28:17). "The price of wisdom is above rubies; the topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it" (Job 28:18, 19). The world's best cannot be compared with this gift of God. The joy of finding rubies and diamonds cannot equal the joy of finding the wisdom of God in Christ Jesus.

4. IT CANNOT BE EXCHANGED. "The exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold" (Job 28:17). Nothing can take its place. There is no substitute or equivalent for heavenly wisdom. Nothing will ever stand in Christ's stead.

5. ITS POWER CANNOT BE DOUBTED. "Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof" (Job 28:22). We have here the testimony of wisdom's enemies. The fame of this wisdom is that it saves from "destruction and death." They have heard the tidings to their cost.

IV. Its Discovery. Another question is asked, "Whence then comes wisdom?" (Job 28:20), and the answer is, "God understands the way thereof, and He knows the place" (Job 28:23). The way is the way of love and mercy, the place is the place where Christ was crucified. Only God could understand how the deep eternal need of man can be fully met. He only could unveil the secret of everlasting bliss. He alone knew where this soul-satisfying treasure could be found. Deliver from going down to the pit, I have found the Ransom. It will put a new meaning into verse 27 if you read "Him" instead of "it." "He did see Him, and declare Him; He prepared Him, yes, He searched Him out." Then "unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding" (Job 28:28). To be made a recipient of this wisdom, we must so fear the Lord that we shall submit ourselves entirely to Him, and so hate evil that we shall depart from it. Foolishness and evil go together; wisdom and holiness are twin sisters. "Whence then comes wisdom?" Christ is made of God unto us wisdom, which is accompanied with righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. "With all your getting, get wisdom" (Proverbs 4:7).


After the words of Job were ended, and the three men had ceased to answer him, Elihu—God is He—broke forth in holy wrath at the manner, or spirit, in which the great controversy had been carried on. Job had been more inclined to justify himself than God, and his three friends had condemned him without discovering a cause (Job 32:1-3). Elihu had evidently been a silent listener during the whole debate; but now, though young, he would unburden his soul before them all. This young man was not one of the "three friends" who came to comfort Job; he is an independent witness—an outsider, so to speak—specially fitted by God to throw fresh light upon the mystery of the whole case, or, at least, to put a new emphasis into some of the phrases commonly used. This is what the "man of God" always does. He does not speak a new language; he does not coin ear-tickling sentences, he speaks plain words with a new power. Elihu, then, comes before us as a typical Spirit-filled man, and as such we shall look at—

I. His Character. This apostle of the Old Testament will compare favorably in many ways with the great apostle of the New Testament. Of course, in judging Elihu by the light of New Testament teaching, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are putting a meaning into his words that perhaps Job or his friends or himself could not understand. But it is a wonderful evidence of the consistency of the Holy Spirit's work and words all down through the ages. He never contradicts Himself. If the Spirit of God fashioned and taught Elihu, He must, in some measure, reveal the same features of a Spirit-filled life today. Light is light, although it is 3000 years old. What are some of these features?

1. HE IS A SPIRIT-MADE MAN. "The Spirit of God has made me" (Job 33:4). This may be true, in a general sense, of all men, but it is true, in a very special and unique sense, of the real "man of God." He is born by the Spirit— quickened by the Spirit into a new life. He is a new creation after the image of God by the Holy Spirit. God needs new vessels for the new wine of His Gospel.

2. HE IS A SPIRIT-INSPIRED MAN. "The breath of the Almighty has given me life." This also may be true, in a measure, of every man, but it is a marvelous description of the new life in God. Those dead in sin need the breath of God to put new life into them (Ezekiel 37:9). Those quickened by the Spirit of God are possessed by Him and inspired, as by the very warmth of the breath of the living God dwelling in them. They can say: "I live, yet not I, but Christ, who is the life of God, lives in me; the breath that I now breathe is the breath of the Almighty; the spirit that I now have is animated by the Spirit of God." Christ breathed on them and said: "Receive you the Holy Spirit."

II. His Position. Job longed for a "Daysman" (Job 9:33). Elihu is bold enough to say: "I am according to your wish in God's stead" (Job 33:6). It was a great statement to make, but the man who is appointed by God to stand in His stead ought surely to know it, and should not be ashamed to confess it before men. Did not the Apostle of the Gentiles say: "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled unto God?" The man in God's stead is "an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man what is right for him" (Job 33:23 R. V. ). He himself is an example and interpretation of the invisible God. His business is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and to exhort others to seek these first. He knows nothing about flattering men with self-pleasing titles (Job 32:22), the claims and character of Him whose he is and whom he serves are ever before him. An interpreter of God's mind and will must first be a partaker of that mind and will. We must drink deeply of this water of life, if we would become springs of living water for others. Every spirit-possessed man is an interpreter for God, and such interpreters are needed, for "the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11). A man may have all the wisdom of the world, and yet be unable to interpret the things of God. "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

III. His Message. He it is who can say with the utmost confidence, "God speaks" (Job 33:14). He knows in his own soul that God has spoken to him, and that He can still speak in divers ways to the slumbering spirits of men, that He may draw man away from his evil and delusive purpose (vv. 15-17). This is a comforting truth to those who seek the salvation of others, that God in answer to prayer can speak to men "in dreams and visions of the night." Even then He can open the ear, and seal instruction in their hearts. So, the man of God is a man of faith and hope. But he has also a very definite message to deliver. What is that message? There is in it—

1. REDEMPTION. "Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom" (Job 33:24). God has found the ransom—the atoning sacrifice in the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5, 6), so He calls upon all those who stand in His stead to say to that man going down to the pit of darkness and death, "There is deliverance." He, as it were, commands His servant and interpreter to "deliver him" who is on the way to the pit, on the ground that He has found and provided the Ransom. Apart from the power and virtue of the Cross of Christ, there is no message of salvation from the pit to give. "The Son of Man came.... to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

2. REGENERATION. "His flesh shall be fresher than a child's" (Job 33:25). This may be figurative language, but it expresses most forcibly the radical change which is wrought by God's redeeming power. Like Naaman—after he had dipped himself seven times in Jordan—he was made a new creature. What the waters did for the famous Syrian captain, the atoning blood of Christ now does for those who believe Him—makes clean. The redemption that is in Christ Jesus not only "satisfies your mouth with good," but also "your youth is renewed like the eagle's" (Psalm 103:5).

3. FELLOWSHIP. "He shall pray unto God, and He shall be favorable unto him; and he shall see His face with joy" (Job 33:26). After redemption and regeneration comes the privilege of praying and rejoicing in the favor of God. Yes, the pure in heart shall see God's face and rejoice— that face of love and mercy which has been unveiled to us in Jesus. "We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." "Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son" (1 John 1:3).

4. TESTIMONY. They who would preach redemption to others should themselves be examples of its regenerating power. The words here are full of evangelical fervor and personal experience. "He sings before men, and says, I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He has redeemed my soul from going into the pit, and my life shall behold the light" (Job 33:27, 28, R. V.). His past life was profitless, because it was one of perversion; but now, being redeemed, he lives in the light of the truth. This man who is as one in "God's stead" was once a sinner like others, but by grace was he saved. "Such were some of you, but you are washed." The personal element must have a place in the preaching of the Gospel.

THE LORD ANSWERED. Job 38:1; 40:1-5.

"Man's extremity is God's opportunity." It was when the words of Job and his friends were ended that the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. God's answer is always final. There is no appeal. The book of Job, like the books of the Old Testament, closes with the Theophany —the appearance of God. Here, as when He sent His Son, Gods last plea was the manifestation of His own character. Although God answered Job out of the whirlwind, we need not infer that the voice was like a roaring, uprooting tempest, but that the arguments used had a whirlwind effect upon the spirit of Job, completely lifting him out of his present condition of mind into a better way of thinking.

I. Job's Prayer. "Answer You me. How many are mine iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression" (chapter 13:22, 23). He was set on maintaining his own way. He had lived, no doubt, in all good conscience before God, but there was now a tendency to boast of his integrity, as if it were something independent of the grace of God. If I have sinned, he says, make me to know the number and nature of my transgressions. God's answer to Job reveals the fact that his iniquities lay in a different direction than what he supposed. He is not charged with actual transgression, but he is overwhelmed with a sense of his own ignorance and impotency. His self-confidence has been rebuked and withered up.

II. God's Answer. "Then the Lord answered Job" (chap: 38:1). God's answer comes in the form of an avalanche of questions. There are fifty-seven in chapters 38 and 39 alone. Every question seems to bring with it a flash of self-blinding light. Each interrogation is in itself a revelation and an education to the wavering patriarch. All His "have thous" and "can thous" are evidences of what He has done and can do. These questions are so many revelations of God's wisdom and power—of His perfect control of "the ordinances of Heaven" (chapter 38:33), or of what we call natural phenomena. Those who would find fault with the providence of God should study this divine declaration. The Lord's first question is enough to take Job's breath away: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (v. 4). His word is truly as a "hammer and a fire." Think of these burning inquiries: "Have you commanded the morning?" "Have you entered into the springs of the sea?" "Have you walked in the secret of the depth?" "Have you entered into the treasures of the snow?" "Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?" "Know you the ordinances of Heaven?" "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds?" "Can you send lightnings, that they may go and say unto you, Here we are?" The wisdom of man is but foolishness with God, as the brightest of earth's lights is but a black spot in the face of the sun. So man at his best is but a vile speck in the presence of the glory of God.

III. Job's Confession. "Behold, I am vile: what shall I answer You? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth Once have I spoken; yes, twice; but I will proceed no further" (Job 40:4, 5). Job's boasted greatness, like the tower of Babel, ended in utter confusion when God appeared. As long as we compare ourselves with men like ourselves there may be occasion for glorying, but let God speak, then the hand is laid upon the mouth. "Behold, I am vile," for this mouth of mine has been speaking the God-dishonoring thoughts of my mind, but I will "proceed no further" along this way of self-confidence and self-assertiveness. I will lay mine hand upon my mouth, and bow in silent submission to the word and will of the Lord my God. The Lord is in nature as in a holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him. God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, and to Job through the whirlwind of natural phenomena, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. The voice is the same, but the revelation is vastly different. What have we to say for ourselves in the presence of the Cross of Christ? Here every boastful mouth must be stopped. Although in self justification, I have spoken once, yes, fifty times, "but I will proceed no further" when I see sin in the light of the sufferings and death of the only begotten Son of God. "Behold, I am vile;" my righteousness, in the glare of His light, has turned out to be but "filthy rags." "God be merciful to me a sinner."


The storm-tossed soul of Job has got anchored at last in the harbor of God's manifest goodness. As a traveler he has been passing through a dark and dreary desert, hearing anon the howling of ravenous beasts, but is now entered into the light and joys of home. Through much tribulation he entered into this new kingdom of honor and blessing. All great spiritual attainments are reached through suffering. It was so with Moses, Abraham, Joseph, David, Daniel, and Christ. The disciple is not greater here than his Master. "If we suffer, we shall also reign." Now the great climax of Job's history has been reached, but there is about it more of the quietness of a birth than the shock of a revolution. The storm of words is over; the calm of His "Peace be still" has settled upon the troubled waters. In the closing act of this powerful drama there is

I. Confession. Job began his brief answer to the Divine appeal by saying, "I know that You can do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from You." You can do everything, and You do see everything. You are omnipotent and omniscient. The whole universe, visible and invisible, is under Your control, and naked and bare before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. As man is to be judged by his works, so may the Lord be judged by His. By His works you shall know Him. "The heavens declare His glory, and the firmament shows forth His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). But what does the Cross of His Christ declare? What handiwork does the firmament of His infinite love and mercy show forth? In the matter of salvation, as well as creation and government, "I know that you can do everything."

II. Revelation. "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye sees You" (Job 42:5). It is one thing to hear another speak about God; it is a very different thing to see Him by the revelation of His own word, spoken personally to the heart, as Job had now seen Him. The sum of the Lord's answer to Job was a manifestation of Himself through His word. The voice of God brought the vision of God to the patriarch's faith. He saw God by the hearing of faith. "Believe, and you shall see" (John 11:40). "The Word of God is quick and powerful,...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" of man, and is also a revealer of the thoughts and intents of the heart of God. This is the mystery of the incarnation. "The Word which was God was made flesh and dwelt among us,...full of grace and truth." Christ, the Word of God, was to a suffering world the revelation of God. You may have often heard of Him, but has your eye yet seen Him?

III. Humiliation. "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:6). Self-abhorrence is the natural consequence of coming face to face with God. When Isaiah saw the Lord upon a throne high and lifted up, he also abhorred himself, saying, "Woe is me!... because I am a man of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5). Oh, these lips! It was Job's lips that had been acting as traitors in the cause of God. But the lips are only the instruments of the heart and will. Where is boasting when the truth of God comes home to the heart? It is excluded. Saul of Tarsus found this out when the light of the exalted Son of God fell upon him on the way to Damascus. Then he abhorred himself and repented.

IV. Intercession. "My servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept" (Job 42:8). Job's friends did all that human wisdom and eloquence could do for a man overwhelmed by the power of the Devil, and that was nothing. This kind goes not out but by prayer and sacrifice. "My servant," sweet words to the perplexed and bruised sufferer. It is easy for us to thrash others with our scourge of words, whose prayers we need to save us from our sins. What a privilege and responsibility rests upon the servant of the Lord: "Him will I accept." What an encouragement to those who have found favor with God, to plead for others. This ministry belongs to every one who has been reconciled to God. In this Job is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, who makes intercession for us, and whom God hears always, and in whom we are accepted (Hebrews 10:10-14).

V. Emancipation. "The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends" (Job 42:10). To Job's "miserable comforters," and to himself, praying was much more effectual than arguing. Is it not always so? His friends had misjudged him, but he had all the more need to pray for them. In so doing, the Lord loosed him from the bondage and power of Satan, and made him once more a free man. The Devil had him chained as with iron bands, but God honored prayer as the means of deliverance. Praying for his friends implied a willingness to forgive them and a readiness to return blessing for cursing. Such an attitude of soul, and such a work of grace, cannot but bring greater liberty and blessing into the life of the suppliant. "First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:24),

VI. Satisfaction. "The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. The Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning" (Job 42:10-17). Satan has been defeated, and the mercy and truth of God has triumphed. James said, "You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy" (James 5:11). Yes, the the end of all God's dealings with us is mercy. While the number of Job's sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys was doubled, it was not so with his sons and daughters. He had but the same number that he had before, perhaps implying that his former family were not lost, but only "gone before"—still his, although on the other side of the Jordan of death. If Job was seventy years old when he lost all, his years were also doubled, for he lived after this "an hundred and forty years" (Job 42:16). The Lord's measure is always "heaped up and running over." Those to whom He shows His salvation will be satisfied with long life, yes, eternal life (Psalm 91:16). No one would covet Job's sufferings, but who would not say, "Let my last end be like his." Judge not before the time. If God has begun a good work in you, He will carry it on until the day of perfection. Comfort one another with these words.








THOMAS WEMYSS In this volume, scholar Wemyss focuses exclusively on the person of Job, using the time and history as a lens. Wemyss dismisses popular notions of Job, and goes straight to the text itself as well as historical documentation of patriarchal individuals. He goes into great detail on religion, art, science, and social norms of the time to give the reader a full context and idea of the probable character of Job. Wemyss also includes a new translation of the text.

Verse by Verse














Job 1:11 - The family of John Paton a missionary to the New Hebrides was threatened one night by natives (and they were cannibals!) who were determined to kill them. The Patons went to their Protector pleading in prayer and miraculously survived the night. When day broke they were surprised to see that the natives had withdrawn. A year later when Paton ask the now friendly chief why they did not eat him and his family that night, the chief explained that it was because of the band of armed men that surrounded the house! God's angelic host (cp Heb 1:14 Ps 91:11 and Ps 34:7 where Angel of the Lord is probably pre-incarnate Christ).

Satan's "Theology" -

a) IF Job is blessed by God, THEN he will be faithful.


b) IF job is not blessed by God, THEN he will be unfaithful.

In essence, Satan accused God of bribing His followers!

Friend's "Theology" -

a) IF Job is faithful, THEN he will be blessed.


b) IF Job is unfaithful, THEN he will be punished.








Job 1:20 Remember that the real test of our worship is not how well we sing or how closely we listen on Sunday morning. The test is how we react when the world hits on Monday morning and begins to deprive our lives of the peace, security, and joy God gives to His own. When that happens we need to remember Job's example and that it is just as possible for us to worship on Monday as it is on Sunday!







Job 2:10 Job's response reinforces a principle of spiritual warfare that we talked about earlier. Satan has only the influence in our lives that we allow him to have. He cannot force us to do anything. When we resist him, he must leave (James 4:7).

Job 2:13 Don't miss the powerful principle in this passage - Job’s friends’ silence could seem cold and heartless. After all, aren’t friends supposed to speak words of comfort? Well, not always. Sometimes there really isn’t anything that can be said. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to sit silently with those who suffer and allow ourselves to enter into their pain. Sometimes our silent presence is our best and most caring ministry.











  • God being a Father, if He hide His face from His child, it is in love. Desertion is sad in itself, a short hell (Job 6:9). When the light is withdrawn, dew falls. Yet we may see a rainbow in the cloud, the love of a Father in all this.

























































We must not trust our heart at any time; even when it speaks most fair, we must call it liar; and when it pretends to the most good, still we must remember its nature, for it is evil, and that continually. When a man is saved by divine grace, he is not wholly cleansed from the corruption of his heart. When we believe in Jesus Christ all our sins are pardoned; yet the power of sin, albeit that it is weakened and kept under by the dominion of the new-born nature which God doth infuse into our souls, doth not cease, but still tarrieth in us, and will do so to our dying day.











1. Afflictions

2. Afflictions Sanctified

3. An Appeal to God

4. Confession and Restoration


Job W.F. Adeney Job 1:1
A Good Man in Great Prosperity Homilist Job 1:1-3
A Great Estate J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
Children a Blessing J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
God's Servants in Unfavourable Surroundings J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
Grace the Best of Blessings J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
Hatred of Evil J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
Holy Fear J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
Job G. M. Grant, B. D. Job 1:1-3
Job, the Model of Piety R. Newton, D. D. Job 1:1-3
Job's Life of Prosperity Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 1:1-3
The Character of Job Robert Tuck, B. A. Job 1:1-3
The Character of Job Daniel Moore, M. A. Job 1:1-3
The Perfection of the Saints J. Caryl. Job 1:1-3
The Upright Eschew All Evil Baxter, Richard Job 1:1-3
Job's Life and Character E. Johnson Job 1:1-5
The Typical Conditions of Domestic Happiness R. Green Job 1:1-5
The Dangers of Prosperity W.F. Adeney Job 1:2-5
A Merry Christmas Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:4-5
Counteractions of Excitement C. J. Vaughan, D. D. Job 1:4-5
Job's Fears for His Children T. Horton, D. D. Job 1:4-5
Moderate Recreation Lawful J. Caryl. Job 1:4-5
On Family Worship Bishop Dehon. Job 1:4-5
Parental Solicitude J. Caryl. Job 1:4-5
Regard for Children's Spiritual Welfare Alexander Whyte, D. D. Job 1:4-5
Religion Presiding Over Hospitality and Social Enjoyment H. Gray, D. D. Job 1:4-5
The Banquet of Job's Children H. Smith. Job 1:4-5
The Early Morning the Best Praying Time J. Caryl. Job 1:4-5
The Family Meeting and the Family Sacrifice D. Moore, M. A. Job 1:4-5
The Patriarch Job and His Children J. Bromley. Job 1:4-5
The Priest-Like Father Samuel Gregory. Job 1:4-5
The Sanctification of the Home; Or, Parental Priesthood R. Green Job 1:4, 5
The Village Feast Rowland P. Hills, M. A. Job 1:4-5
Unconscious Sin F. B. Meyer, B. A. Job 1:4-5
A Fatal Day J. Caryl. Job 1:6-12
A Three-Fold Estimate of a Good Man's Character Joseph S. Exell, M. A. Job 1:6-12
Counsels in Heaven Concerning Man's Life on Earth E. Johnson Job 1:6-12
God's Servant J. Caryl. Job 1:6-12
God's Testimony to the Good J. Caryl. Job 1:6-12
Satan Homilist Job 1:6-12
Satan Among the Angels E. P. Hood. Job 1:6-12
Satan Compassing the Earth H. Smith. Job 1:6-12
Satan Considering the Saints Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:6-12
Satan Deserves His Name Henry Smith. Job 1:6-12
Satanic Excursions T. De Witt Talmage. Job 1:6-12
Satanic Temptation J. Caryl. Job 1:6-12
Sin Eschewed Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:6-12
Temptation E. Monte. Job 1:6-12
The Satan Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 1:6-12
The Trial of the Righteous Man R. Green Job 1:6-19
Satan's Wanderings W.F. Adeney Job 1:7
Satan Considering the Saints Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 1:8
The Righteous Man R. Green Job 1:8
Disinterested Goodness Dean Bradley. Job 1:9
Disinterested Piety W.F. Adeney Job 1:9
Disinterestedness C. Beard, B. A. Job 1:9
Doth Job Fear God for Nought Homilist Job 1:9
Is it Selfish to be Religious Thomas Spurgeon. Job 1:9
Is Man Entirely Selfish John Ker, D. D. Job 1:9
Is Piety Mercenary J. Caryl. Job 1:9
Religious Selfishness T. Teignmouth Shore, M. A. Job 1:9
Satanic Selfishness S. Cox, D. D. Job 1:9
The Devil's Sneer F. A. Noble, D. D. Job 1:9
The Satanic Insinuation David Davies. Job 1:9
God Protects His People J. Caryl. Job 1:10
Hedges David Davies. Job 1:10
Success the Outcome of the Divine Blessing J. Caryl. Job 1:10
Conscious and Unconscious Hypocrisy Alfred Bowen Evans. Job 1:11
Temptations of the Afflicted G. Swinnock. Job 1:11
The Ease with Which God Can Destroy Man's Estate J. Caryl. Job 1:11
Trial the Touchstone J. Caryl. Job 1:11
In Satan's Power W.F. Adeney Job 1:12
God Sets Bounds to the Afflictions of His People J. Caryl. Job 1:12-22
The Foe of Foes Homilist Job 1:12-22
Job's Unparalleled Calamities W.F. Adeney Job 1:13-19
The Invasion of Trouble, and its First Effect on Job E. Johnson Job 1:13-22
The Calamities of Job John Clayton. Job 1:16
The Design of Affliction A. S. Cannon. Job 1:16
The Mystery of Pleasure and Pain Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 1:16
The Severest Temptation Last J. Caryl. Job 1:16
The Testing of Job Homilist Job 1:16
The Tests to Which God Puts His People Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:16
The Three-Fold Calamity Robert Tuck, B. A. Job 1:16
Usually Where God Gives Much Grace, He Tries Grace Much J. Caryl. Job 1:16
Whom He Loveth He Chasteneth Bishop Perowne. Job 1:16
Afflictions Turned into Prayers J. Caryl. Job 1:20
Right Behaviour in Times of Affliction J. Caryl. Job 1:20
The Grand Victory Homilist Job 1:20
The Humble Saint Under an Awful Rod S. Wilson. Job 1:20
The Triumph of Faith R. Green Job 1:20-22
Blessed Adversity J. Hudson Taylor Job 1:21
Empty-Handed Departure from Life Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:21
God Giving and Taking Homiletic Review Job 1:21
God the Subtractor T. H. Darlow, M. A. Job 1:21
God's Dealing with Job H. Harris Davies, M. A. Job 1:21
In Everything Give Thanks Gurnall, William Job 1:21
Infancy and After Life Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:21
Job Recognising God's Hand T. Judkin, A. M. Job 1:21
Job's Gracious Words G. Hill, D. D. Job 1:21
Job's Resignation Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:21
Music from the Heart   Job 1:21
Praise for Resignation   Job 1:21
Right Conduct Under the Smiles and Frowns of God N. Emmons, D. D. Job 1:21
Sorrow that Worships Alexander Maclaren Job 1:21
Submission to Bereaving Providences J. Haman. Job 1:21
Submission with Praise to God on the Death of Hopeful Children Joseph Pitts. Job 1:21
The Entrance and Exit of Life J. Caryl. Job 1:21
The Life of the True Homilist Job 1:21
The Lord Hath Taken Away S. A. Tipple. Job 1:21
The Mourner's Song Joseph Parker, D. D. Job 1:21
The Right Attitude in Time of Trouble Edward Meade, M. A. Job 1:21
True Resignation Homilist Job 1:21
The Triumph of Faith R. Green Job 1:20-22
Job's Resignation W.F. Adeney Job 1:21, 22
Charging God Foolishly S. Johnson, LL. D. Job 1:22
Job's First Victory George Hutcheson. Job 1:22
Patient Job and the Baffled Enemy Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 1:22
Pious Resignation C. de Coetlogon. Job 1:22
Standing Fire W.F. Adeney Job 1:22
Renewed Assaults and Temptations of the Adversary E. Johnson Job 2:1-10
Spiritual Agencies, Good and Evil, in Sickness J. C. Boyce, M. A. Job 2:1-10
The Afflictions of Job D. J. Burrell, D. D. Job 2:1-10
The Afflictions of Job T. J. Holmes. Job 2:1-10
The Severer Tests of Faith R. Green Job 2:1-10
A Commendation of Job's Integrity George Hutcheson. Job 2:3
God Unchangeable Toward the Afflicted Servant H. E. Stone. Job 2:3
Graces Held Fast in Trial J. Caryl. Job 2:3
Satanic Importunity J. Caryl. Job 2:3
Satan's Malicious Incitements R. A. Watson. Job 2:3
The Moral Law and its Observance Dean Farrar, D. D. Job 2:3
Satan's Estimate of Human Nature W. M. Taylor, D. D. Job 2:4
Satan's Old Saw W.F. Adeney Job 2:4
Satan's Proverb Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 2:4
Satan's Proverb Robert Tuck, B. A. Job 2:4
The Fear of Death The Pulpit Job 2:4
The Love of Life R. Hall, M. A. Job 2:4
The Love of Life H. W. Beecher. Job 2:4
The Value of Life William Jay. Job 2:4
To Love Life a Christian Duty Henry Melvill, B. D. Job 2:4
Man in the Hands of Satan J. Clifford, D. D. Job 2:6-10
Satan Malevolently Dealing with Job's Personality Homilist Job 2:6-10
The Worth of a Good Man J. S. Exell, M. A. Job 2:6-10
Job's Leprosy W.F. Adeney Job 2:7, 8
A Despairing Cry C. H. Buckley, D. D. Job 2:9
Husband and Wife W.F. Adeney Job 2:9
Job's Wife Dean Bradley. Job 2:9
Job's Wife R. A. Watson, D. D. Job 2:9
The Blasphemy of Despair George Sexton, M. A. , LL. D. Job 2:9
A Right View of Life L. Adamson. Job 2:10
Evil from the Hand of God Anon. Job 2:10
God's Gifts of Good and Evil W. J. Dawson. Job 2:10
Good and Evil W. Covington, M. A. Job 2:10
Good in Evil Capel Molyneux, B. A. Job 2:10
Making Friends with the Inevitable   Job 2:10
On Submission to the Divine Will Hugh Blair, D. D. Job 2:10
On the Duty of Resignation J. Seed, M. A. Job 2:10
On the Mixture of Good and Evil in Human Life C. Moore, D. D. Job 2:10
Patience as Simple Resignation Dean Bradley. Job 2:10
Relative Good and Evil in Human Life Robert Bogg, D. D. Job 2:10
Submission Brookes, Thomas Job 2:10
Submission Under Affliction M. J. Wynyard, B. D. Job 2:10
Submission Under Afflictive Dispensations of Providence Henry H. Chettle. Job 2:10
The Evils of Life W. Shiels. Job 2:10
The Result of a Partial Test John Fry, B. A. Job 2:10
Genuine Friendship Homilist Job 2:11
Interview of Job and His Three Friends C. Moore, M. A. Job 2:11
Job's Friends J. J. S. Bird. Job 2:11
Sympathy Homilist Job 2:11
The Mistaken Friends Robert Tuck, B. A. Job 2:11
A Picture of Friendship E. Johnson Job 2:11-13
Human Impotence in Presence of Great Sorrow R. Green Job 2:11-13
Job's Comforters W.F. Adeney Job 2:11-13
Silence, not Speech, the Best Service of Friendship in Sorrow Homilist Job 2:13
Silent Sympathy Victor Hugo. Job 2:13
The Calamity Richard Clover. Job 2:13
The Trials of Job, and His Consolations Under Them A. Bonar. Job 2:13
The Curse of Despair R. Green Job 3:1
Human Infirmity Revealed in Deep Affliction R. Green Job 3:1-12
Birth Deplored T. T. Munger. Job 3:1-26
Defect in the Best of Men Dean Farrar. Job 3:1-26
Good Men not Always At Their Best J. Caryl. Job 3:1-26
Good Men Weakened by Calamities H. E. Stone. Job 3:1-26
Infirmity Appearing Footsteps of Truth. Job 3:1-26
Job Cursing His Day Joseph Caryl. Job 3:1-26
Job's Distemper George Hutcheson. Job 3:1-26
Mistaken Speech J. Parker, D. D. Job 3:1-26
The Cry from the Depths Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 3:1-26
The Eloquence of Grief E. Johnson Job 3:1-26
The Maddening Force of Suffering Homilist Job 3:1-26
The Peril of Impulsive Speech Albert Barnes. Job 3:1-26
The Speech of Job and its Misapprehensions Joseph Parker, D. D. Job 3:1-26
The Grave a Rest R. Green Job 3:13-19
The Pyramids R. Green Job 3:14
Departed Trouble, and Welcome Rest A. K. H. Boyd. Job 3:17
Desire to Depart J. Trapp. Job 3:17
The Peace of the Grave R. Green Job 3:17
The Rest of the Grave Albert Barnes. Job 3:17
Wicked Men Trouble the World J. Caryl. Job 3:17
Death, the Leveller R. Green Job 3:19
Small and Great in Death J. Caryl. Job 3:19
The Common Lot H. M. Villiers, M. A. Job 3:19
Christian Posture of the Problem of Evil in Life C. A. Barrel. Job 3:20
Reasons for Life's Continuance A. Barnes. Job 3:20
The Will of God a Sufficient Reason for Existence J. Caryl. Job 3:20
Why is the Miserable Man Kept Alive Homilist Job 3:20
The Unanswered Question R. Green Job 3:20-26
Hedged In Homilist Job 3:23
Light and Life Charles Williams. Job 3:23
Light on a Hidden Way Robert Collyer. Job 3:23
The Light Given -- the Way Hidden E. Paxton Hood. Job 3:23
The Mystery of Limitations R. Green Job 3:23
The Sorrowful Man's Question Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 3:23
The Sorrowful Man's Question Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 3:23
Fears Confirmed by Facts R. Green Job 3:25, 26
Trouble and Usefulness Alfred Bowen Evans. Job 3:26
Eliphaz the Visionary W.F. Adeney Job 4:1
The Teacher Tested E. Johnson Job 4:1-6
Eliphaz and Job: Forgotten Truths Called to Mind E. Johnson Job 4:1-11
Eliphaz as a Natural Religionist Homilist Job 4:1-21
The Error of Eliphaz D. J. Burrell, D. D. Job 4:1-21
The First Colloquy Samuel Cox, D. D. Job 4:1-21
The Message of the Three Friends Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 4:1-21
Irrepressible Speech W.F. Adeney Job 4:2
But Now it is Come Upon Thee, and Thou Faintest J. Caryl. Job 4:3-5
Job's Usefulness in the Past J. Caryl. Job 4:3-5
Preaching Easier than Practising J. Trapp. Job 4:3-5
The Teacher At Fault W.F. Adeney Job 4:3-5
The Confidence of a Godly Fear Joseph Caryl. Job 4:6
Times of Trouble are Special Times for the Use of Our Graces Joseph Caryl. Job 4:6
Divine Retributions John Fry, B. A. Job 4:7
A True Principle Falsely Applied W.F. Adeney Job 4:8
An Old Axiom Alfred Bowen Evans. Job 4:8-9
Is the Old Axiom True Still Alfred Bowen Evans. Job 4:8-9
Sinful Sowing and Penal Reaping J. Caryl. Job 4:8-9
Sowing and Reaping George Wagner. Job 4:8-9
The Life of the Sinner a Foolish Agriculture Homilist Job 4:8-9
The Oracle in a Dream of the Night E. Johnson Job 4:12-5:7
An Apparition W.F. Adeney Job 4:12-16
The Condemnation of Man in Presence of the Divine Holiness E. Johnson Job 4:12-21
Super Sensuous Phenomena T. T. Waterman. Job 4:13-17
The Discourse of the Apparition Henry Melvill, B. D. Job 4:13-17
The Spectre F. J. Austin. Job 4:13-17
The Spectre's Question E. Paxton Hood. Job 4:13-17
Man Compared with God George Hutcheson. Job 4:17
On Humility A. Stifling, L. L. D. Job 4:17
A Message from the Unseen W.F. Adeney Job 4:17-21
Folly in Angels Thomas M'Crie, D. D. Job 4:18-21
On Easter Day John Donne. Job 4:18-21
The Imperfect Angel Thomas G. Selby. Job 4:18-21
The Frailty and Mortality of Man Essex Remembrancer Job 4:19
Dying in Ignorance Carlyle. Job 4:21
Unpreparedness for Death   Job 4:21
The Lot of the Foolish R. Green Job 5:1-5
Moral Evil as Viewed by an Enlightened Natural Religionist Homilist Job 5:1-7
Wrath and Envy Homilist Job 5:2
The Foolish Taking Root R. Green Job 5:3
Human Suffering W. Craig. Job 5:6-7
Inevitable Trouble R. Green Job 5:6, 7
Is Affliction Reasonable S. O'Sullivan, A. M. Job 5:6-7
On Affliction T. Laurie, D. D. Job 5:6-7
On Afflictions G. Gaff. Job 5:6-7
Preparation for and Improvement of Our Afflictions M. Hale. Job 5:6-7
The Common Lot R. Green Job 5:6, 7
The Shortness and Vanity of Human Life S. Clarke, D. D. Job 5:6-7
The Troubles of Life Divinely Appointed N. Emmons, D. D. Job 5:6-7
The Uses of Suffering T. W. Maya, M. A. Job 5:6-7
Trouble a Part of Human Life Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 5:6-7
God a Great Worker J. Caryl. Job 5:8-9
Marvels and Prayer J. Leckie, D. D. Job 5:8-9
Refer All to God Quiver. Job 5:8-9
The Great God as Viewed by an Enlightened Natural Religionist Homilist Job 5:8-9
The Works of God Unsearchable J. Caryl. Job 5:8-9
God the True Refuge in Affliction R. Green Job 5:8-16
Seeking unto God R. Green Job 5:8-16
Refuge from Trouble in the Thought of God E. Johnson Job 5:8-27
The Exaltation and Safety of the Penitent Stephen Bridge, M. A. Job 5:11
The Designing Projects of Ambitious Men Defeated Tho. Whincop, D. D. Job 5:12
The Disappointment of the Crafty Sir Wm. Dawes, Bart. , D. D. Job 5:12
The Expediency of Preventive Wisdom Lord Bishop of Worcester Job 5:16
The Happiness of Chastisement R. Green Job 5:17
The Peaceable Fruits of Sorrows Rightly Borne Alexander Maclaren Job 5:17
Afflictions Sanctified Albert H. Currier. Job 5:17-18
Afflictions Sanctified D. J. Burrell, D. D. Job 5:17-18
Benefits of Afflictions   Job 5:17-18
Chastening not to be Despised J. Caryl. Job 5:17-18
Divine Chastisement Conducive to Happiness W. Mudge. Job 5:17-18
God's Merciful Chastening of His Children J. H. Evans. Job 5:17-18
Happiness J. M'Cann, D. D. Job 5:17-18
Happy Under Divine Corrections J. Caryl. Job 5:17-18
The Afflictions of the Good Homilist Job 5:17-18
The Blessedness of the Divine Correction R. Green Job 5:17-23
The Scourge of the Tongue J. J. S. Bird. Job 5:21
The Scourge of the Tongue H. O. Mackey. Job 5:21
In League with Nature R. Green Job 5:23
Returning from a Journey William Jay. Job 5:24
The Final Consequences of the Divine Chastisement R. Green Job 5:24-27
A Pious Old Age S. Lavington. Job 5:26
A Ripe Old Age F. W. Brown. Job 5:26
Christian Maturity J. Riddell. Job 5:26
Consolations in the Death of Aged Christians W. Harris, D. D. Job 5:26
Corn Husking Time T. De Witt Talmage, D. D. Job 5:26
Death in a Ripe Old Age R. Ainslie. Job 5:26
God's Harvest Home R. Green Job 5:26
How to Grow Old Gracefully J. Hawes, D. D. Job 5:26
Preparation for Death George Anthony Moore. Job 5:26
Ripe for the Harvest Daniel Katterns. Job 5:26
The Christian Ripe for the Garner H. Woodcock. Job 5:26
The Death of the Christian Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 5:26
The Death of the Christian Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 5:26
The Good Man's Grave W. Lindsay Alexander, D. D. Job 5:26
The Grave Relieved of its Terror Homilist Job 5:26
The Parable of Harvest G. W. Dawson. Job 5:26
The Ripe Christian J. Thain Davidson, D. D. Job 5:26
The Ripened Life Garnered W. P. Tiddy. Job 5:26
A True Estimate of Grief Under the Severities of Affliction R. Green Job 6:1-13
The Sufferer's Self-Justification E. Johnson Job 6:1-13
Job's Answer to Eliphaz J. Parker, D. D. Job 6:1-30
Job's First Reply Robert A. Watson, D. D. Job 6:1-30
Job's Great Suffering Homilist Job 6:1-30
Afflictions Weighed J. Caryl. Job 6:2
Heaping Up One Scale J. D. Watters, M. A. Job 6:2
Scales for Misery W.F. Adeney Job 6:2
Of Religious Melancholy S. Clarke, D. D. Job 6:4
Sharp Arrows J. Caryl. Job 6:4
The Arrows of the Almighty W.F. Adeney Job 6:4
The Poisoned Arrows of the Almighty George Hutcheson. Job 6:4
The Satisfied Ass J. J. S. Bird. Job 6:5
A Cure for Unsavoury Meats Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 6:6
Seasoning for Christianity J. J. S. Bird. Job 6:6
The Treatment of the Unsavoury Albert Barnes. Job 6:6
The Prayer of Despair W.F. Adeney Job 6:8, 9
Concealing the Words of God J. Caryl. Job 6:10
Concealing the Words of God Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 6:10
God, the Holy One Joseph Caryl. Job 6:10
The Claims of the Suffering on the Pity of Friends R. Green Job 6:14
The Redeeming Power of Sympathy W.F. Adeney Job 6:14
The Illusions of Friendship E. Johnson Job 6:14-21
A Message to Doubters G. Jackson, B. A. Job 6:14-30
Mistaken Friendship Homilist Job 6:14-30
Brethren as Brooks J. L. Lafferty. Job 6:15-20
Friends Jail in Adversity   Job 6:15-20
The Uses and Lessons of Disappointment Albert Barnes. Job 6:15-20
Friendship: its Rights and its Disclaimers E. Johnson Job 6:22-27
Man Liable to Error J. Caryl. Job 6:24
The Virtue of Silence H. P. Young. Job 6:24
Right Words J. Caryl. Job 6:25
The Force of Right Words Bishop Percival. Job 6:25
The Force of Right Words W.F. Adeney Job 6:25
The Potency of Language A. T. Pierson, D. D. Job 6:25
The Power of Right Words; Or, Complaining Stayed by Instruction R. Green Job 6:25
An Appointed Time James Parsons. Job 7:1
Life as a Clock J. Holmes. Job 7:1
The Hand of God in the History of a Man Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 7:1
The Days of a Hireling W.F. Adeney Job 7:1-3
The Days of the Hireling R. Green Job 7:1-6
The Weariness of Sorrow R. Green Job 7:1-6
The Weakness of Man's Appeal to the Clemency of God E. Johnson Job 7:1-10
Longing for Sunset W. H. Corning. Job 7:2-3
On Sickness S. Lavington. Job 7:3-5
The Design and Improvement of Useless Days and Wearisome Nights Job Orton. Job 7:3-5
The Wasted Weeks of Sickness A. Mackennal, D. D. Job 7:3-5
Life's Brevity T. Guthrie. Job 7:6
The Weaver's Shuttle W.F. Adeney Job 7:6
The Web of Life E. Blencowe, M. A. Job 7:6
The Web of Life Homiletic Review Job 7:6
The Web of Life H. W. Beecher. Job 7:6
The Speedy Flight of Life R. Green Job 7:6-9
The Vanishing Cloud W.F. Adeney Job 7:9, 10
Fresh Recourse to the Relief of Words E. Johnson Job 7:11-16
The Cry of Despair R. Green Job 7:11-16
Am I a Sea, or a Whale? Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 7:12
Am I a Sea, or a Whale? Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 7:12
Man Magnified in View of God's Providence R. A. Hallam, D. D. Job 7:12
Man Marked and Watched Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 7:12
Watch and Ward Good Company Job 7:12
Scared with Dreams W.F. Adeney Job 7:14
A Reasonable Desire D. Wilcox. Job 7:16
Continuance on Earth not Desired by the Believer Essex Remembrancer Job 7:16
Death Better than Life W. Ramsay. Job 7:16
Death Preferable to Life S. Fuller. Job 7:16
I Would not Live Alway A. A. Livermore. Job 7:16
Living Alway S. Charters. Job 7:16
On Death Bishop Dehon. Job 7:16
Reasons Why Good Men May Look Forward with Desire to the Termination of Life James Grant. Job 7:16
The Advantage of not Living Alway Christian Endeavour Times Job 7:16
Why the Believer Does not Wish to Live Always Evangelical Preacher Job 7:16
Continual Trial J. Caryl. Job 7:17
Divine Condescension T. Hannam. Job 7:17
God's Dealings with Insignificant Man J. H. Evans, M. A. Job 7:17
God's Perpetual Providence in Life E. L. Hull, B. A. Job 7:17
Man Magnified by the Divine Regard R. Watson. Job 7:17
Measured by the Shadow W. L. Watkinson. Job 7:17
On the Nature and Character of Man W. Jones, M. A. Job 7:17
The Dignity and Possibility of Manhood Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 7:17
The Philosophy of Human Worth Jabez Cole. Job 7:17
The Tragedy of Life T. Campbell Finlayson. Job 7:17
What is Man? R. Green Job 7:17
The Littleness of Man W.F. Adeney Job 7:17, 18
Complaining to God Dean Bradley. Job 7:20
The Sinner's Surrender to His Preserver Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 7:20
What to Do in Case of Sin J. Caryl. Job 7:20
Limits to Forgiveness W.F. Adeney Job 7:21
Why Some Sinners are not Pardoned Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 7:21
Bildad the Pedant W.F. Adeney Job 8:1
Bildad's First Speech Homilist Job 8:1-3
Bildad's Unsympathetic Speech Dean Bradley. Job 8:1-3
The Divine Justice R. Green Job 8:1-7
The Unimpeachable Character of the Divine Judgment R. Green Job 8:1-7
Shall not the Judge of All... Do Right? E. Johnson Job 8:1-22
Judgment and Justice George Hutcheson. Job 8:3
The Justice of God W.F. Adeney Job 8:3
The Sinful Man's Search H. Smith. Job 8:5-7
Prayer Awaking God Joseph Caryl. Job 8:6
A Small Beginning a Great Increase W.F. Adeney Job 8:7
Beginning to be Interpreted by the End H. Drummond. Job 8:7
The Beginning, Increase, and End of the Divine Life Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 8:7
The Beginning, Increase, and End of the Divine Life Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 8:7
The Day of Small Things Mathematicus, M. A. Job 8:7
Lessons from History W.F. Adeney Job 8:8
The Hypocrite's Hope R. Green Job 8:8-19
Life a Shadow T. R. Stevenson. Job 8:9
Life as a Shadow   Job 8:9
On the Ignorance of Man, and the Proper Improvement of It R. Price, D. D. Job 8:9
The Intellectual Poverty of Life Homilist Job 8:9
A Sermon from a Rush Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 8:11
The Rush and the Papryus W.F. Adeney Job 8:11, 12
Forgetfulness of God J. Caryl. Job 8:13
The Hope of the Hypocrite J. L. Adamson. Job 8:13
The Hope of the Hypocrite Delusive R. South, D. D. Job 8:13
The Hypocrite -- His Character, Hope, and End George Wagner. Job 8:13
The Sin of Hypocrisy C. O. Pratt, M. A. Job 8:13
Withering Paths W. Osborne Lilley. Job 8:13
False and True Hope George John Allen, B. A. Job 8:14
Hope as a Spider's Web R. South. Job 8:14
The Hope of the Hypocrite T. Hannam. Job 8:14
The Spider and the Hypocrite W. G. Jones. Job 8:14
The Spider's Web W.F. Adeney Job 8:14
Two Kinds of Hope Alexander Maclaren Job 8:14
God's Care of the Perfect Man R. Green Job 8:20-22
Moral Character Determines a Man's Destiny Homilist Job 8:20-22
Second Reply of Job. the Fearfulness of God's Power E. Johnson Job 9:1-10:22
Atonement and Modern Thought John Smith, M. A. Job 9:1-4
Job's Answer to Bildad J. Parker, D. D. Job 9:1-4
Job's Idea of God Homilist Job 9:1-4
Man Unable to Answer to God R. Green Job 9:1-4
On Justification George Jeans, M. A. Job 9:1-4
The Demand of Human Nature for the Atonement J. C. Jackson, D. D. Job 9:1-4
The Mode of the Sinner's Justification Before God W. Sparrow, D. D. Job 9:1-4
The Problem of Justification W.F. Adeney Job 9:2
God Viewed as Absolute and Arbitrary Power E. Johnson Job 9:2-20
Contenders with God W. Hay M. H. Aitken, M. A. Job 9:4
Fatal Issue of Final Impenitence T. Hannam. Job 9:4
Hardened Against God James Parsons. Job 9:4
Man Hardening Himself Against God J. Caryl. Job 9:4
The Cause and Cure of Earthquakes John Wesley Job 9:5
God in Nature Homilist Job 9:5-9
Religious Interest in Nature R. Venting. Job 9:5-9
Job's Idea of What God is to Mankind Homilist Job 9:10-24
God Passing By James Carmichael, D. D. Job 9:11
Man's Ignorance of God J. Caryl. Job 9:11
Present Though Invisible Homiletic Review Job 9:11
Divine Providence C. Clayton, M. A. Job 9:12
Submission to Divine Sovereignty N. Emmons, D. D. Job 9:12
The Conduct to Which Adverse Dispensations Should Lead A. Jack, D. D. Job 9:12
The Divine Dispensations not to be Questioned C. Lowell. Job 9:12
The True Attitude of the Afflicted R. Green Job 9:15, 16
Prerequisites to Belief T. G. Selby. Job 9:16
A Blow At Self-Righteousness Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 9:20
Self-Justification W.F. Adeney Job 9:20
A Blow At Self-Righteousness Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 9:20-21
Not Quite Perfect Quiver. Job 9:20-21
Our Exact Worth   Job 9:20-21
The Folly of Self-Justification   Job 9:20-21
Rebellion of the Conscience Against This Picture of Terror E. Johnson Job 9:21-24
The Injustice of Equality W.F. Adeney Job 9:22
Illustrations of Life H. J. Bevis. Job 9:25-26
The Fleetness of Life Homilist Job 9:25-26
The Swift Days W.F. Adeney Job 9:25, 26
Melancholy Reflections E. Johnson Job 9:25-35
Concerning Job's Sufferings Homilist Job 9:27-35
Washed to Greater Foulness Charles Haddon Spurgeon Job 9:30
Despair of Purification W.F. Adeney Job 9:30, 31
An Estimate of the Morality that is Without Godliness T. Chalmers, D. D. Job 9:30-32
Washed to Greater Foulness Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 9:30-32
A Mediator Between God and Man T. Chalmers, D. D. Job 9:33
The Daysman Marvin R. Vincent, D. D. Job 9:33
The Daysman J. Elder Cumming, D. D. Job 9:33
The Daysman Robert Maguire, M. A. Job 9:33
The Daysman W.F. Adeney Job 9:33
The Great Arbitration Case Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Job 9:33
The Mediator R. Green Job 9:33
The Need of a Daysman George Wagner. Job 9:33
The Sinner's Daysman G. Hadley. Job 9:33

Because of the length of these sermons, the following are links to the beginning of each chapter Job 10-42

The Book of Job in "The Analyzed Bible"
Job - The Problem of Pain

Rosscup - This is a good synthesis which helps to trace the developing thought of the book of Job. A detailed outline is given. (Commentaries For Biblical Expositors)

Another Source of the same material with active links and pop ups…

The Donelson Fellowship

Messages Include Many Illustrations

Study Notes on Job
Defender's Study Bible

Brief but Excellent Notes

Listen to Dr Henry Morris' message on The Remarkable Record of Job

The Remarkable Record of Job- Henry M. Morris (reviews) - This book gives special emphasis to the scientific truths revealed in the book of Job.

The Puzzles of Job
Back to the Bible

Note: These are more general and are not Verse by Verse

Living Water Commentary

Book of Job

Church Pulpit Commentary
Book of Job

Devotional Illustrations
Book of Job

RBC Ministries - Updated December 28, 2017

See also - More Devotionals on Job - Our Daily Bread

The People's Bible
Commentary on Job



Joseph Parker

Sermons on Job

Will A Man Serve God For Nothing? Job Faithfulness; Suffering; Dedication; Faith Ron Dunn
Rebuilding After Tragedy Job Recovery; New Start; Renewal; Second Chance Paul E. Brown
Thanksgiving Living Job Salvation; Gratitude; Thanksgiving; Praise; God, Greatness of Steve Wagers
The Giant of Suffering Job 1:1-22 Suffering Denis Lyle
Tears are a Language God Understands Job 16:20 Tears; Sorrow; Love, God's Sammy Burgess
My Redeemer Lives Job 19:21-27 Lord's Supper; Resurrection James William Mercer
Pure Gold Job 23:10 Trials; Christian Growth; Victory Alan Stewart
When You Can't Find God Job 23:1-10 God, Presence of Jerry N. Watts
Life in the Rearview Mirror Job 29 Time; Past; Remembrance Alan Stewart
Some Things Never Change Job 33:12-30 Change; Weariness; Suffering; Salvation; Peace, Jesus, Unchanging J. Mike Minnix

Sermons on Job

Desiring God Fall, 2008 Conference - Recommended (Transcripts listed below but I also recommend listening to the Audio)

Commentary on Job
Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The Book of Job
Exposition, Homiletics and Illustrations

343 Page Resource Worth Checking

Exposition of the Book of Job
Scroll Down Page for Homilies

Sermons on the
Book of Job

Notes On
Book of Job

Table of Contents - Reformation Study Bible - Bible Gateway


Book of Job

Sermons on the Book of Job
Horae Homileticae

Sermon Notes on Job

Through the Bible (C2000 Series)


All of Spurgeon's Sermons on Job Including His Sermon Notes

Devotionals on Job
Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

Expositions on Job

Let God Be God - Studies in Job
Peninsula Bible Church

Click here for Mp3 and Pdf formats

Devotionals on Book of Job - Ray Stedman

Sermons in Job

Studies in Job


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Sermons on Job


Devotionals on the Book of Job
Moody Bible Institute

Book of Job

Book of Job
Exposition of the Bible Commentary Series

Editor: Marcus Dods

Book of Job
Lange's Commentary Series

Spurgeon's review: "Contains a large collection of available material and if within a minister's means, should be a foundation book in his library. We are far from endorsing all Zockler's remarks, but the volume is an important one." (Commenting and commentaries)



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).