The book of Job is one of the oldest ever recorded. Traditionally ascribed to Moses—who edited the book of Genesis—it may well have been authored by Job himself. There are internal references and allusions to the creation, specific judgments given at the Fall of Man, references to the great Flood of Noah’s day, and events recorded about the disbursement of the nations at Babel. Begin your study of the book of Job with this devotional and study guide.
The Book of Job and Adam
“If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom.” (Job 31:33)
The patriarch Job lived long before Moses and the writing of the Pentateuch, yet he knew about Adam and his fall and likewise about God’s curse on the world because of Adam’s sin.
Note the following references in the book of Job to death and the curse: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1; compare Genesis 3:16). “All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:15; note Genesis 3:19).
Evidently Job still had access to the records of primeval history, either by verbal tradition from his ancestors or perhaps through actual written records of the ancient patriarchs handed down from Adam to Moses.
There are also a number of references in Job to man’s original creation. After speaking first of the beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, Job asks: “Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:9-10). Note also Elihu’s testimony: “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).
The book of Job was almost certainly the first written of all the books of the Bible, and it testifies abundantly that the knowledge of the true God and His creation was still the common heritage of mankind at that time. Job knew the Lord, and never tried to hide anything from Him, as Adam had done. His ancient testimony is still true today. Quoting what must have been an early revelation from God, he wrote: “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
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[Adapted with permission; originally published in ICR’s Days of Praise devotional by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.]
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Far from being an engaging fable, the account of Job in the Bible is one of the most historically and scientifically accurate records of the ancient world. Perhaps the oldest book in the Bible, the Book of Job touches on many subjects of science and history: an ice age and hydrologic processes in the oceans, to accounts of cave-dwelling people.
This commentary on the controversial Book of Job is very different from most of the seminary and Church teachings so prevalent today, for it attests to the historicity of a man named Job who understood at the end of his life that God cannot be “figured out,” but He can most certainly be trusted.