Job was humbled by the Lord when He revealed Himself to Job (Job 42:5-6). This name might have been derived from the Hebrew word for “persecution,” thus meaning “persecuted one.”. Job recognizes that he lacks the wisdom to make sense of his suffering but finds comfort in how the Lord’s ways are above his understanding. There is also an Arabic form of the name related to the root ‘wb. If you have any questions related to the Bible, please feel free to email us. Satan accused Job of honoring God only because God had blessed him. A Question about Job's Name. (It should be kept in mind that Job is … In rabbinical literature, Job is called one of the prophets of the Gentiles. Ultimately, the Book of Job and the Old Testament Wisdom Books simply call readers to submit to the Lord humbly. Dallas, TX: Word Publishing. Given the difference between infinite God and finite man, theodicy is not possible. Kristi Walker Author. The second aspect of the speech of the voice from the whirlwind is that it takes the form of a theophany [divine speech]. 17, Job 1-20. pp. Documents from Alalakh (Akkadian) (18th century BCE) and Mari (Sumerian) (16th century BCE) include the name Ayyabum. The Apostle Paul, who endured much evil and suffering, explains the relationship between suffering and character in Romans 5:3, “But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”. What is answered is God has His purposes for His children who are experiencing suffering. There are important and subtle differences between the various modern scholarly views, but they usually revolve around two aspects of God’s speech from the whirlwind. While it is true that suffering is a major theme in the Book of Job, suffering is not the real meaning of Job. Job Overview Chart. We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and bring you ads that might interest you. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”. Even the well-reasoned explanation of his suffering would have been wholly insufficient to Job amid his agony as the concrete problem of evil demands more than an abstract, philosophical answer. The Armana Letters (Akkadian) (14th century BCE) refer to a Prince Ayyab. When Elihu began to answer Job on behalf of God in chapters 32 through 37, he pointed out that Job had been wrongly focused during much of his trial. Most interpreters agree that the ultimate theme of the book is the nature of the righteous man’s faith in God. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar defended God’s justice, often with very logical arguments and rational reasoning, and yet, God said of them in the end, “you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:7). Likewise, the English form of Job’s name is pretty inaccurate. However, even though the name doesn’t exist in Hebrew annals, scholars have found forms of the name in sources outside the Bible. God may use the results of evil and suffering to build the moral and spiritual character of His people or to express fatherly discipline (Romans 5:3; Hebrews 10:35; 12:4-11). Or from an Arabic word meaning “repent,” thus bearing the name “repentant one.”. Christians are indwelt and empowered for the mission of making disciples who make disciples with the full authority of Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20). Could you please clarify this subject (Job) in a footnote from a Bible;  In this case, that could refer to someone who is a thief or a powerful man. The Lord’s answer to Job out of the whirlwind was. Given these various forms, scholars think that the name originally meant, “Where is my father?” They do not think this refers to a human father, but to a divine entity or deity. And he receives an answer from God. (Theodicy is the theological justification of God’s goodness in relation to his omnipotence [i.e. The question Job faces is this: “Will Job serve the Lord for nothing when evil comes upon Him?” Job is never told why he is suffering or going through what he is — even by the Lord when He speaks to Job. If we use this lens to examine the speeches of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, it becomes evident why the Lord accuses them of speaking falsely. How Was the Old Testament God’s Love Letter to His People? All rights reserved. “Title”: As with other books of the Bible, Job bears the name of the narrative’s primary character. Other scholars, however, take the opposite approach. Job was "blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). 28, especially 28:28). The main problem with that view is the book of Job criticizes this position precisely. Vol. Rain falls on the desert, whereas it could have been directed only to the cultivated land where it is needed by men (38:26‑27). For this reason, despite the counsel of his three “friends,” Job cries out to God himself for a suitable explanation (Job 31:35). That word generally means, “return or repent.” It would, therefore, have the meaning of one who is penitent. Job is symbolic of the righteous person; Satan targets Job because of his righteousness and favour with God and wishes to turn Job against God. (It should be kept in mind that Job is not the author, but the principal character.). YHVH [i.e. Even so, the Lord never told him about why he was suffering. Job’s affliction served as a discipline and worked to transform him into an even more righteous man. Longer forms of the name have been found for Egyptian slaves. It is what Job learns about God through his suffering. An overview of the Jewish state and its many accomplishments and challenges. Job’s affliction served as a discipline and worked to transform him into an even more righteous man. The Book of Job is one of the most problematic portions of the Bible and has called forth a variety of interpretations. Can Nothing Really Separate Us from the Love of God? Throughout the book, Job, his wife, and his friends speculate on why he, an upright man, is suffering. In German it would be Hiob, which might be somewhat nearer to the Hebrew, but it is still an imprecise rendering. In that sense, then, the name reflects Job’s condition. It was a Semitic name. Additionally, the Lord’s infinite knowledge is contrasted with Job’s limited human perspective. According to this position, the answer to Job’s dilemma is found in religious experience, not in theological speculation. As the writer of Hebrews declares, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons” (Hebrews 12:7). God expresses more concern for His children than for their comfort. A major difficulty in understanding the meaning of the book is, what insight leads Job to submit so humbly to God at the end. So it would be a reflection of how Job was thinking about God. One widely held view is that the climax of the book teaches that God’s purposes and ways are mysterious and unfathomable, hidden from his creatures. Is this a reference to his father or to his Heavenly Father (LORD)? Therefore, God uses evil and suffering to facilitate the believer’s moral and spiritual maturity. 1 Clines, David J.A. But the story isn’t about what Job had and what he lost. Dave Jenkins is the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and the Host of the Equipping You in Grace Podcast and Warriors of Grace Podcast. The Bible tells us that one day Satan presented himself before God and God asked Satan what he thought of Job. The sun rises on the righteous and sinner alike (28:13, 15). Job was not only righteous, but also wealthy. Several scholars have turned to an earlier chapter of the book for the key to the divine speeches (chap. The tendency here is to reduce evil and suffering to a purely rational problem, especially a problem to which one claims to possess the solution. Accordingly, God’s speech can be construed to imply that material prosperity and misfortune do not constitute divine recompense or chastisement. A major difficulty in understanding the meaning of the book is, what insight leads Job to submit so humbly to God at the end. Noun איבה ( 'eba) means enmity. For faith to grow, it often has to be tested by fire. his all-powerful nature]. Set during an unknown time period in Uz, an obscure land far from Israel, the book of Job focuses on questions about God's justice and why good people suffer. Nothing is explained, nothing adjusted; wrong has not become right, nor cruelty kindness. “What cannot be comprehended through reason must be embraced in love.”. Whether during pain, suffering, or agony, the Lord will sustain His people through it all for His purposes and glory. Categories: Job, Men in the Bible, Old Testament Question. If one agrees that this might apply in this case, then, perhaps the meaning refers to God who is an adversary, the cause of all Job’s suffering. Categories: Job, Men in the Bible, Old Testament. The author of Job may be denying one fundamental assumption of the narrative and prophetic books of the Bible, but his denial is consistent with another, even more fundamental assumption: that it is up to man to carry out God’s commandments and that this primary task must be done in society and actualized in the course of history. ), Walther Eichrodt writes, “In the speeches of God in the book of Job, this God of men’s construction [the traditional theodicy of the friends] is opposed to the incomprehensibly wonderful Creator God, who cannot be caught in a system of reasonable purposes, but escapes all human calculation.”, Also taking note of the preoccupation with the beauties of nature in the speech from the whirl­wind, but drawing a less extreme conclusion, is Robert Gordis, who sug­gests that the author implies that there is an analogy between the harmonious order of the natural world and the moral order. The true answer that Job receives is God’s appearance only, only this, that distance turns into nearness, that ‘his eye sees him,’ that he knows Him again. Renowned theologian Gesenius agrees with Jones and reads "object of enmity". The Egyptian Execration Texts (19th century BCE) mention a Palestinian chieftain whose name is Ay(y)abum. job job ('iyobh, meaning of name doubtful; some conjecturing "object of enmity," others "he who turns," etc., to God; both uncertain guesses; Iob): The titular hero of the Book of Job, represented as a wealthy and pious land-holder who lived in patriarchal times, or at least conditions, in the land of Uz, on the borders of Idumea. Go To Index of Job. As C.S. The book reaffirms Job’s trust in God‑-and God’s trust in Job. He rests in God even in his pain.” If the theophany is made central, then the book of Job can be seen as a large‑scale psalm of lament, like Psalm 73, in which accusation and doubt are resolved by an experience of reaffirmed faith and trust. They argue for a passive meaning. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. The Bible tells us that one day Satan presented himself before God and God asked Satan what he thought of Job. In general, a name oftentimes refers to a profession or a particular characteristic activity. While there may be many Theodicies (from the Greek word Theos (“God”) and the root dik (“just”) found within its pages, Job has more to say about how the problem of evil and suffering are dealt with than the problem itself. Perhaps the etiology of “Job” will never be known for certain, yet he will always be the protagonist of a story that has captivated, inspired, and provoked scholars and readers for eons. Read the full text of the Book of Job in Hebrew and English here. People ridiculed him (30:1, 9) and that can be hard to take. To be fair, most Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias that discuss the etiology of Job’s name include some sort of disclaimer. In H. H. Rowley’s interpretation, “All his past experience of God was as nothing compared with the experience he has now found. Considering the format of the prologue, where God wagers with Satan about Job’s health and response, this is an easier interpretation to accept. A quite different interpretation has been proposed by Matitiahu Tsevat in his essay, “The Meaning of the Book of Job.” Tsevat suggests that the content of God’s speech is intended to convey a picture of the universe deliberately at variance with that held previously by Job and the friends.

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