Job 1-2

Jason Barrett
It is here that we are going to take a detour from Genesis to the book of Job. We are going here because the story of Job is traditionally set in the very ancient world, about 400 years after the flood – according to the classic Christian calendar.

The book of Job falls under what is considered “wisdom literature,” and as the category suggests, the book is meant to give its reader wisdom. Ancient wisdom came through the exercise of thought, not listed absolutes, thus Job is a poetic story that requires mental and prayerful processing. Some of the topics to be contemplated are the struggle of keeping faith in God, enduring suffering, and understanding, “Why do good people suffer bad things?”

In the prologue of the story, we are introduced to God, Satan, and righteous Job.

Some attempt to make grand statements about God based on the prologue, but there is simply not enough material to ensure we can make judgments on God’s actions in the prologue. God and Satan interact in all of about 13 verses out of almost 1100 verses in the book. Given that the Satan-God dynamic only makes up about 1% of the book, it is clear that the author was unconcerned with giving us enough detail to understand the how and why of God’s actions that introduce the story.

The focus of the book is clearly elsewhere, as we will learn, and it would be unfair to draw conclusions where the author never intended to give us enough details for any type of informed deduction.

Before leaving the prologue, there are some points to note from chapters 1 and 2 which will inform our reading of the rest of the book. It is to those points that we will turn in the next post.