Bible Book Number 18—Job
Place Written: Wilderness
Writing Completed: c. 1473 B.C.E.
Time Covered: Over 140 years between 1657 and 1473 B.C.E.
1. What does Job’s name mean, and what questions does the book of Job answer?
ONE of the oldest books of the inspired Scriptures! A book that is held in the highest esteem and that is often quoted, yet one that is little understood by mankind. Why was this book written, and what value does it have for us today? The answer is indicated in the meaning of Job’s name: “Object of Hostility.” Yes, this book takes up two important questions: Why do the innocent suffer? Why does God permit wickedness in the earth? We have the record of Job’s suffering and his great endurance for our consideration in answering these questions. It has all been written down, just as Job requested.—Job 19:23, 24.
2. What proves that Job was a real person?
2 Job has become synonymous with patience and endurance. But was there such a person as Job? In spite of all the efforts of the Devil to remove this sterling example of integrity from the pages of history, the answer is clear. Job was an actual person! Jehovah names him along with His witnesses Noah and Daniel, whose existence was accepted by Jesus Christ. (Ezek. 14:14, 20; compare Matthew 24:15, 37.) The ancient Hebrew nation regarded Job as a real person. The Christian writer James points to Job’s example of endurance. (Jas. 5:11) Only a true-life example, not a fictitious one, would carry weight, convincing worshipers of God that integrity can be maintained under all circumstances. Moreover, the intensity and feeling of the speeches recorded in Job testify to the reality of the situation.
3. What evidence testifies to the inspiration of the book of Job?
3 That the book of Job is authentic and inspired is also proved in that the ancient Hebrews always included it in their Bible canon, a fact remarkable in that Job himself was not an Israelite. In addition to the references by Ezekiel and James, the book is quoted by the apostle Paul. (Job 5:13; 1 Cor. 3:19) Powerful proof of the book’s inspiration is given in its amazing harmony with the proved facts of the sciences. How could it be known that Jehovah is “hanging the earth upon nothing,” when the ancients had the most fantastic notions as to how the earth was supported? (Job 26:7) One view held in ancient times was that the earth was supported by elephants standing on a large sea turtle. Why does the book of Job not reflect such nonsense? Obviously because Jehovah the Creator supplied the truth by inspiration. The many other descriptions of the earth and its wonders and of the wild animals and birds in their natural habitats are so accurate that only Jehovah God could be the Author and Inspirer of the book of Job.*
4. Where and when was the drama enacted, and by when was the writing of the book of Job completed?
4 Job lived in Uz, located, according to some geographers, in northern Arabia near the land occupied by the Edomites and east of the land promised to Abraham’s offspring. The Sabeans were on the south, the Chaldeans on the east. (1:1, 3, 15, 17) The time of Job’s trial was long after Abraham’s day. It was at a time when there was “no one like [Job] in the earth, a man blameless and upright.” (1:8) This appears to be the period between the death of Joseph (1657 B.C.E.), a man of outstanding faith, and the time that Moses entered upon his course of integrity. Job excelled in pure worship at this period of Israel’s contamination by the demon worship of Egypt. Furthermore, the practices mentioned in the first chapter of Job, and God’s acceptance of Job as a true worshiper, point to patriarchal times rather than to the later period from 1513 B.C.E. on, when God dealt exclusively with Israel under the Law. (Amos 3:2; Eph. 2:12) Thus, allowing for Job’s long life, it appears that the book covers a period between 1657 B.C.E. and 1473 B.C.E., the year of Moses’ death; the book was completed by Moses sometime after Job’s death and while the Israelites were in the wilderness.—Job 1:8; 42:16, 17.
5. What indicates Moses’ writership of Job?
5 Why do we say Moses was the writer? This is according to the oldest tradition, among both Jewish and early Christian scholars. The vigorous authentic style of Hebrew poetry used in the book of Job makes it evident that it was an original composition in Hebrew, the language of Moses. It could not have been a translation from another language such as Arabic. Also, the portions in prose bear stronger resemblance to the Pentateuch than to any other writings in the Bible. The writer must have been an Israelite, as Moses was, because the Jews “were entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God.” (Rom. 3:1, 2) After he had reached maturity, Moses spent 40 years in Midian, not far from Uz, where he could obtain the detailed information recorded in Job. Later, when he passed near Job’s homeland during Israel’s 40-year wilderness journey, Moses could learn of and record the concluding details in the book.
6. In what respects is the book of Job much more than a literary masterpiece?
6 According to The New Encyclopædia Britannica, the book of Job often is “counted among the masterpieces of world literature.”* However, the book is much more than a literary masterpiece. Job is outstanding among the books of the Bible in exalting Jehovah’s power, justice, wisdom, and love. It reveals most clearly the primary issue before the universe. It illuminates much that is said in other books of the Bible, especially Genesis, Exodus, Ecclesiastes, Luke, Romans, and Revelation. (Compare Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7 with Genesis 3:15; Exodus 9:16; Luke 22:31, 32; Romans 9:16-19 and Revelation 12:9; also Job 1:21; 24:15; 21:23-26; 28:28 respectively with Ecclesiastes 5:15; 8:11; 9:2, 3; 12:13.) It provides the answers to many of life’s questions. It is certainly an integral part of the inspired Word of God, to which it contributes much in the way of beneficial understanding.
CONTENTS OF JOB
7. In what situation do we find Job as the book opens?
7 Prologue to the book of Job (1:1-5). This introduces us to Job, a man “blameless and upright, and fearing God and turning aside from bad.” Job is happy, having seven sons and three daughters. He is a materially rich landholder with numerous flocks and herds. He has many servants and is “the greatest of all the Orientals.” (1:1, 3) However, he is not materialistic, for he does not put his trust in his material possessions. He is also rich spiritually, rich in good works, willing at all times to help someone afflicted or in distress, or to give a garment to anyone needing it. (29:12-16; 31:19, 20) All respect him. Job worships the true God, Jehovah. He refuses to bow down to the sun, moon, and stars as did the pagan nations, but he is faithful to Jehovah, keeping integrity to his God and enjoying a close relationship with Him. (29:7, 21-25; 31:26, 27; 29:4) Job serves as priest for his family, offering up burnt sacrifices regularly, in case they have sinned.
8. (a) How does Satan come to challenge Job’s integrity? (b) How does Jehovah accept the challenge?
8 Satan challenges God (1:6–2:13). Marvelously the curtain of invisibility is drawn back so that we can get a view of heavenly things. Jehovah is seen presiding over an assembly of the sons of God. Satan also appears among them. Jehovah calls attention to his faithful servant Job, but Satan challenges Job’s integrity, charging that Job serves God because of material benefits received. If God will allow Satan to take these away, Job will turn away from his integrity. Jehovah accepts the challenge, with the restriction that Satan must not touch Job himself.
9. (a) What severe tests befall Job? (b) What proves that he keeps integrity?
9 Many calamities start to befall the unsuspecting Job. Raids by Sabeans and Chaldeans remove his great riches. A storm kills his sons and daughters. This severe test fails to make Job curse God or turn away from him. Rather, he says, “Let the name of Jehovah continue to be blessed.” (1:21) Satan, defeated and proved a liar on this count, appears again before Jehovah and charges: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul.” (2:4) Satan claims that if he was permitted to touch Job’s body, he could make Job curse God to his face. With permission to do everything short of taking Job’s life, Satan strikes Job with a dreadful disease. His flesh becomes “clothed with maggots and lumps of dust,” and his body and breath become foul-smelling to his wife and relatives. (7:5; 19:13-20) Indicating that Job has not broken his integrity, his wife urges him: “Are you yet holding fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job rebukes her and does not “sin with his lips.”—2:9, 10.
10. What silent “comfort” does Satan provide?
10 Satan now raises up three companions, who come to “comfort” Job. They are Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. At a distance they do not recognize Job, but then they proceed to raise their voices and weep and toss dust on their heads. Next, they sit before him on the earth without speaking a word. After seven days and nights of this silent “comfort,” Job finally breaks silence in opening a lengthy debate with his would-be sympathizers.—2:11.
11-13. How does Job open the debate, what accusation does Eliphaz make, and what is Job’s spirited reply?
11 The debate: round one (3:1–14:22). From this point on, the drama unfolds in sublime Hebrew poetry. Job calls down evil on the day of his birth and wonders why God has permitted him to go on living.
12 In response, Eliphaz accuses Job of lacking integrity. The upright have never perished, he declares. He recalls a night vision in which a voice told him that God has no faith in his servants, especially those of mere clay, the dust of the earth. He indicates that Job’s suffering is a discipline from Almighty God.
13 Job spiritedly replies to Eliphaz. He cries out as any creature would who was undergoing persecution and distress. Death would be a relief. He upbraids his companions for scheming against him and protests: “Instruct me, and I, for my part, shall be silent; and what mistake I have committed make me understand.” (6:24) Job contends for his own righteousness before God, “the Observer of mankind.”—7:20.
14, 15. What is Bildad’s argument, and why does Job fear he will lose his case with God?
14 Bildad now voices his argument, implying that Job’s sons have sinned and that Job himself is not upright, otherwise he would be heard by God. He instructs Job to look to the former generations and to the things searched out by their forefathers as a guide.
15 Job replies, maintaining God is not unjust. Neither does God have to account to man, for He is “doing great things unsearchable, and wonderful things without number.” (9:10) Job cannot win against Jehovah as his opponent-at-law. He can only implore God’s favor. And yet, is there any benefit in seeking to do what is right? “One blameless, also a wicked one, he is bringing to their end.” (9:22) There is no righteous judgment in the earth. Job fears he will lose his case even with God. He needs a mediator. He asks why he is being tried and implores God to remember that he is made “out of clay.” (10:9) He appreciates God’s past kindnesses, but he says God will only be more greatly vexed if he argues, even though he is in the right. Could he but expire!
16, 17. (a) What smug advice does Zophar give? (b) How does Job evaluate his “comforters,” and what strong confidence does he express?
16 Zophar now enters the debate. He says, in effect: Are we children, to listen to empty talk? You say you are really clean, but if only God would speak, he would reveal your guilt. He asks Job: “Can you find out the deep things of God?” (11:7) He advises Job to put away hurtful practices, for blessings will come to those who do this, whereas “the very eyes of the wicked will fail.”—11:20.
17 Job cries out with strong sarcasm: “For a fact you men are the people, and with you wisdom will die out!” (12:2) He may be a laughingstock, but he is not inferior. If his companions would look to the creations of God, even these would teach them something. Strength and practical wisdom belong to God, who controls all things, even to “making the nations grow great, that he may destroy them.” (12:23) Job finds delight in arguing his case with God, but as for his three “comforters”—“you men are smearers of falsehood; all of you are physicians of no value.” (13:4) It would be wisdom on their part to keep silent! He expresses confidence in the justness of his case and calls on God to hear him. He turns to the thought that “man, born of woman, is short-lived and glutted with agitation.” (14:1) Man soon passes, as a blossom or a shadow. You cannot produce someone clean out of someone unclean. In praying that God would keep him secret in Sheol until His anger turns back, Job asks: “If an able-bodied man dies can he live again?” In answer he expresses strong hope: “I shall wait, until my relief comes.”—14:13, 14.
18, 19. (a) With what ridicule does Eliphaz open the second round of debate? (b) How does Job regard his companions’ “comfort,” and for what does he look to Jehovah?
18 The debate: round two (15:1–21:34). In opening the second debate, Eliphaz ridicules Job’s knowledge, saying he has ‘filled his belly with the east wind.’ (15:2) Again he disparages Job’s claim of integrity, holding that neither mortal man nor the holy ones in the heavens can hold faith in Jehovah’s eyes. He indirectly accuses Job of trying to show himself superior to God and of practicing apostasy, bribery, and deceit.
19 Job retorts that his companions are ‘troublesome comforters with windy words.’ (16:2, 3) If they were in his place, he would not revile them. He greatly desires to be justified, and he looks to Jehovah, who has his record and who will decide his case. Job finds no wisdom in his companions. They take away all hope. Their “comfort” is like saying night is day. The only hope is to ‘go down to Sheol.’—17:15, 16.
20, 21. What bitterness does Bildad express, what does Job protest, and where does Job show his trust to be?
20 The argument is becoming heated. Bildad now is bitter, for he feels Job has compared his friends to beasts with no understanding. He asks Job, ‘Will the earth be abandoned for your sake?’ (18:4) He warns that Job will fall into a terrible snare, as an example to others. Job will have no progeny to live after him.
21 Job answers: “How long will you men keep irritating my soul and keep crushing me with words?” (19:2) He has lost family and friends, his wife and household have turned away from him, and he himself has only escaped ‘with the skin of his teeth.’ (19:20) He trusts in the appearance of a redeemer to settle the issue in his behalf, so that he will at last “behold God.”—19:25, 26.
22, 23. (a) Why does Zophar feel hurt, and what does he say about Job’s alleged sins? (b) With what withering argument does Job reply?
22 Zophar, like Bildad, feels hurt at having to listen to Job’s “insulting exhortation.” (20:3) He repeats that Job’s sins have caught up with him. The wicked always receive punishment from God, and they have no rest, says Zophar, even while enjoying prosperity.
23 Job replies with a withering argument: If God always punishes the wicked thus, why is it that the wicked keep living, grow old, become superior in wealth? They spend their days in good times. How often does disaster come upon them? He shows that rich and poor die alike. In fact, a wicked man often dies “carefree and at ease,” while a righteous man may die “with a bitter soul.”—21:23, 25.
24, 25. (a) What lying slander does Eliphaz self-righteously bring against Job? (b) What refutation and challenge does Job make in answer?
24 The debate: round three (22:1–25:6). Eliphaz returns savagely to the attack, ridiculing Job’s claim of blamelessness before the Almighty. He brings lying slander against Job, claiming that he is bad, has exploited the poor, has held back bread from the hungry, and has mistreated widows and fatherless boys. Eliphaz says that Job’s private life is not as pure as he claims and that this explains Job’s bad condition. But “if you return to the Almighty,” intones Eliphaz, “he will hear you.”—22:23, 27.
25 Job in reply refutes Eliphaz’ outrageous charge, saying that he desires a hearing before God, who is aware of his righteous course. There are those who oppress the fatherless, the widow, and the poor and who commit murder, theft, and adultery. They may seem to prosper for a while, but they will get their reward. They will be brought to nothing. “So really now, who will make me out a liar?” Job challenges.—24:25.
26. What more do Bildad and Zophar have to say?
26 Bildad makes a brief retort to this, pressing his argument that no man can be clean before God. Zophar fails to take part in this third round. He has nothing to say.
27. How does Job now extol the Almighty’s greatness?
27 Job’s concluding argument (26:1–31:40). In a final dissertation, Job completely silences his companions. (32:12, 15, 16) With great sarcasm he says: “O how much help you have been to one without power! . . . How much you have advised one that is without wisdom!” (26:2, 3) Nothing, however, not even Sheol, can cover up anything from God’s sight. Job describes God’s wisdom in outer space, the earth, the clouds, the sea, and the wind—all of which man has observed. These are but the fringes of the Almighty’s ways. They are hardly a whisper of the Almighty’s greatness.
28. What forthright statement does Job make on integrity?
28 Convinced of his innocence, he declares: “Until I expire I shall not take away my integrity from myself!” (27:5) No, Job has not done anything to deserve what has befallen him. Contrary to their charges, God will reward integrity by seeing that the things stored up by the wicked in their prosperity will be inherited by the righteous.
29. How does Job describe wisdom?
29 Man knows where the treasures of earth (silver, gold, copper) come from, “but wisdom itself—from where does it come?” (28:20) He has sought for it among the living; he has looked into the sea; it cannot be bought with gold or silver. God is the one who understands wisdom. He sees to the ends of the earth and the heavens, apportions out the wind and the waters, and controls the rain and the storm clouds. Job concludes: “Look! The fear of Jehovah—that is wisdom, and to turn away from bad is understanding.”—28:28.
30. What restoration does Job desire, but what is his present status?
30 The afflicted Job next presents the history of his life. He desires to be restored to his former intimate status with God, when he was respected even by the leaders of the town. He was a rescuer of the afflicted and eyes to the blind ones. His counsel was good, and people waited upon his words. But now, instead of having an honorable standing, he is laughed at even by those younger in days, whose fathers were not even fit to be with the dogs of his flock. They spit on him and oppose him. Now, in his greatest affliction, they give him no rest.
31. In whose judgment does Job express confidence, and what does he say as to the true record of his life?
31 Job describes himself as a dedicated man and asks to be judged by Jehovah. “He will weigh me in accurate scales and God will get to know my integrity.” (31:6) Job defends his past actions. He has not been an adulterer, nor a schemer against others. He has not neglected to help the needy. He has not trusted in material wealth, even though he was rich. He has not worshiped the sun, moon, and stars, for “that too would be an error for attention by the justices, for I should have denied the true God above.” (31:28) Job invites his opponent-at-law to file charges against the true record of his life.
32. (a) Who now speaks? (b) Why does Elihu’s anger blaze against Job and his companions, and what compels him to speak?
32 Elihu speaks (32:1–37:24). Meanwhile, Elihu, a descendant of Buz, a son of Nahor, and hence a distant relative of Abraham, has been listening to the debate. He has waited because of feeling that those of greater age should have greater knowledge. It is not age, however, but God’s spirit that gives understanding. Elihu’s anger blazes at Job’s “declaring his own soul righteous rather than God,” but it gets even hotter at Job’s three companions for their deplorable lack of wisdom in pronouncing God wicked. Elihu has “become full of words,” and God’s spirit compels him to give vent to these but without partiality or ‘bestowing titles on earthling man.’—Job 32:2, 3, 18-22; Gen. 22:20, 21.
33. Wherein has Job erred, yet what favor will God show him?
33 Elihu speaks in sincerity, acknowledging that God is his Creator. He points out that Job has been more concerned with his own vindication than with God’s. It was not necessary for God to answer all of Job’s words, as if He had to justify His actions, and yet Job had contended against God. However, as Job’s soul draws close to death, God favors him with a messenger, saying: “Let him off from going down into the pit! I have found a ransom! Let his flesh become fresher than in youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor.” (Job 33:24, 25) The righteous will be restored!
34. (a) What further reproofs does Elihu give? (b) Instead of magnifying his own righteousness, what should Job do?
34 Elihu calls on the wise ones to listen. He reproves Job for saying there is no profit in being an integrity-keeper: “Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, and the Almighty to act unjustly! For according to the way earthling man acts he will reward him.” (34:10, 11) He can remove the breath of life, and all flesh will expire. God judges without partiality. Job has been putting his own righteousness too much to the fore. He has been rash, not deliberately so, but “without knowledge”; and God has been long-suffering with him. (34:35) More needs to be said for God’s vindication. God will not take his eyes away from the righteous, but he will reprove them. “He will not preserve anyone wicked alive, but the judgment of the afflicted ones he will give.” (36:6) Since God is the supreme Instructor, Job should magnify His activity.
35. (a) To what should Job give attention? (b) To whom will Jehovah show favor?
35 In the awe-inspiring atmosphere of a gathering storm, Elihu speaks of the great things done by God and of His control of natural forces. To Job he says: “Stand still and show yourself attentive to the wonderful works of God.” (37:14) Consider the golden splendor and fear-inspiring dignity of God, far beyond human finding out. “He is exalted in power, and justice and abundance of righteousness he will not belittle.” Yes, Jehovah will regard those who fear him, not those “wise in their own heart.”—37:23, 24.
36. By means of what object lesson and by what series of questions does Jehovah himself now teach Job?
36 Jehovah answers Job (38:1–42:6). Job had asked God to speak to him. Now Jehovah majestically answers out of the windstorm. He sets before Job a series of questions that are in themselves an object lesson in man’s littleness and God’s greatness. “Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? . . . Who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause?” (38:4, 6, 7) That was long before Job’s time! One after another, questions are raised that Job cannot answer, as Jehovah points to earth’s sea, its garment of cloud, the dawn, the gates of death, and light and darkness. “Have you come to know because at that time you were being born, and because in number your days are many?” (38:21) And what about the storehouses of snow and of hail, the storm and the rain and the dewdrops, the ice and the hoarfrost, the mighty heavenly constellations, the lightnings and cloud layers, and the beasts and the birds?
37. What further questions humble Job, and what is he compelled to admit and do?
37 Job humbly admits: “Look! I have become of little account. What shall I reply to you? My hand I have put over my mouth.” (40:4) Jehovah commands Job to face the issue. He poses a further series of challenging questions that exalt his dignity, superiority, and strength, as displayed in his natural creations. Even Behemoth and Leviathan are much more powerful than Job! Completely humbled, Job acknowledges his wrong viewpoint, and he admits that he spoke without knowledge. Seeing God now, not by hearsay but with understanding, he makes a retraction and repents “in dust and ashes.”—42:6.
38. (a) How does Jehovah finish with Eliphaz and his companions? (b) What favor and blessing does he bestow on Job?
38 Jehovah’s judgment and blessing (42:7-17). Jehovah next charges Eliphaz and his two companions with not speaking truthful things about Him. They must provide sacrifices and have Job pray for them. After this, Jehovah turns back the captive condition of Job, blessing him in double amount. His brothers, sisters, and former friends return to him with gifts, and he is blessed with twice as many sheep, camels, cattle, and she-asses as previously. He again has ten children, his three daughters being the prettiest women in all the land. His life is miraculously extended by 140 years, so that he comes to see four generations of his offspring. He dies “old and satisfied with days.”—42:17.
39. In what various ways does the book of Job exalt and extol Jehovah?
39 The book of Job exalts Jehovah and testifies to his unfathomable wisdom and power. (12:12, 13; 37:23) In this one book, God is referred to as the Almighty 31 times, which is more often than in all the rest of the Scriptures. The account extols his eternity and exalted position (10:5; 36:4, 22, 26; 40:2; 42:2) as well as his justice, loving-kindness, and mercy (36:5-7; 10:12; 42:12). It stresses Jehovah’s vindication above man’s salvation. (33:12; 34:10, 12; 35:2; 36:24; 40:8) Jehovah, the God of Israel, is shown to be also the God of Job.
40. (a) How does the book of Job magnify and explain God’s creative works? (b) How does it give a foreglimpse of and harmonize with the teachings of the Christian Greek Scriptures?
40 The record in Job magnifies and explains the creative work of God. (38:4–39:30; 40:15, 19; 41:1; 35:10) It harmonizes with the Genesis statement that man is made from the dust and that he returns to it. (Job 10:8, 9; Gen. 2:7; 3:19) It uses the terms “redeemer,” “ransom,” and “live again,” thus giving a foreglimpse of teachings prominent in the Christian Greek Scriptures. (Job 19:25; 33:24; 14:13, 14) Many of the book’s expressions have been drawn on or paralleled by the prophets and by Christian writers. Compare, for example, Job 7:17—Psalm 8:4; Job 9:24—1 John 5:19; Job 10:8—Psalm 119:73; Job 12:25—Deuteronomy 28:29; Job 24:23—Proverbs 15:3; Job 26:8—Proverbs 30:4; Job 28:12, 13, 15-19—Proverbs 3:13-15; Job 39:30—Matthew 24:28.*
41. (a) What theocratic standards are emphasized in Job? (b) In what is God’s servant Job preeminently a fine example to us today?
41 Jehovah’s righteous standards for living are set forth in many passages. The book strongly condemns materialism (Job 31:24, 25), idolatry (31:26-28), adultery (31:9-12), gloating (31:29), injustice and partiality (31:13; 32:21), selfishness (31:16-21), and dishonesty and lying (31:5), showing that a person who practices these things cannot gain God’s favor and eternal life. Elihu is a fine example of deep respect and modesty, together with boldness, courage, and exaltation of God. (32:2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 18-20; 33:6, 33) Job’s own exercise of headship, consideration of his family, and hospitality also provide a fine lesson. (1:5; 2:9, 10; 31:32) However, Job is remembered most for his integrity-keeping and patient endurance, setting an example that has proved to be a faith-strengthening bulwark for God’s servants throughout the ages and especially in these faith-trying times. “You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful.”—Jas. 5:11.
42. What fundamental Kingdom issue is clarified in Job, and what interesting aspects of this issue are explained?
42 Job was not one of the seed of Abraham to whom the Kingdom promises were given, yet the record concerning his integrity does much to clarify understanding of Jehovah’s Kingdom purposes. The book is an essential part of the divine record, for it reveals the fundamental issue between God and Satan, which involves man’s integrity to Jehovah as his Sovereign. It shows that the angels, who were created before the earth and man, are also spectators and very much interested in this earth and the outcome of the controversy. (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-5; 38:6, 7) It indicates that the controversy existed before Job’s day and that Satan is an actual spirit person. If the book of Job was written by Moses, this is the first appearance of the expression has·Sa·tanʹ in the Hebrew text of the Bible, giving further identity to “the original serpent.” (Job 1:6, footnote; Rev. 12:9) The book also proves that God is not the cause of mankind’s suffering, sickness, and death, and it explains why the righteous are persecuted, while the wicked and wickedness are permitted to continue. It shows that Jehovah is interested in pushing the issue to its final settlement.
43. In harmony with the divine revelations in the book of Job, what course must now be followed by all who seek God’s Kingdom blessings?
43 Now is the time when all who want to live under God’s Kingdom rule must answer Satan, “the accuser,” by their course of integrity. (Rev. 12:10, 11) Even in the midst of ‘puzzling trials,’ integrity-keepers must continue praying for God’s name to be sanctified and for his Kingdom to come and stamp out Satan and all his derisive seed. That will be God’s “day of fight and war,” to be followed by the relief and blessings in which Job hoped to share.—1 Pet. 4:12; Matt. 6:9, 10; Job 38:23; 14:13-15.
1987, Vol. 6, page 562.