The Book of Job is obviously connected to ancient history. The period of Job’s life overlaps the 3rd and 4th centuries after the Genesis Flood. What did Job know about the major historical events of early history? Examine his perspective on the worldwide Flood and primeval history.
Primeval History and the Book of Job
“Behold, He withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also He sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth” (Job 12:15).
The great flood of the Bible was such a traumatic global cataclysm, practically all the people groups that developed from its survivors kept its memory alive in their traditions and legends. The Bible itself, of course, has the only completely accurate record (Genesis 6–Genesis 9). In addition, the ancient book of Job, written only a few centuries after the flood, reflects the still-fresh memories of the awful deluge. Job knew, for example, that the flood had literally “overturned the earth,” eroding away the pre-Flood mountains and depositing their debris to form new mountains after the flood.
Job’s friend, Eliphaz, said: “Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood” (Job 22:15-16). Referring to God’s promise after the flood, Job said: “He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end” (Job 26:10). In the climactic 38th chapter of Job, God Himself recalls this promise:
“Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? . . . And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?” (Job 38:8-11).
The general atmosphere of the entire book of Job seems to reflect the conditions shortly after the Flood. Modern skeptics deny that such a flood ever occurred, but it was a real and terrible event to those whose immediate ancestors had gone through it! Today, its testimony is preserved not only in the Bible and ancient traditions, but also in the flood sediments themselves, now seen everywhere as the fossil-bearing rocks of the earth’s crust.
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[Adapted with permission; originally published in ICR’s Days of Praise devotional by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.]
The Primeval History of Job: Facebook Live at First Baptist Dallas
Study Guide: The Primeval History of Job
Free access to all book of Job study guides here: The Remarkable Record of the Ancient World—A Series on the Book of Job
Purchase The Remarkable Record of Job by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
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.