~ The Prophetic Experience of Job ~

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The Prophetic Experience of Job

~ an outline study ~

(Some Scripture references are paraphrased.)

 

"The long years amid desert solitudes were not lost. Not only was Moses gaining a preparation for the great work before him, but during this time, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis and also the book of Job, which would be read with the deepest interest by the people of God until the close of time. (Signs of the Times, Feb. 19, 1880) {Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1140.3}

 

1) Identification of characters and places according to Strong's Concordance.

 

Job,           #347         "hated" (ie. "persecuted")

-Uz,         #5780         "consultation"

 

Eliphaz,         #464         "God of gold" (ie. "his god is gold"), the Temanite.

-Teman,         #8489        "South" (ie. "toward Edom"), a negative connotation.

 

Bil-           #1085-88 "old, loose, worn out, failure"

    -dad        #1717+30 "love, friendship", the Shuhite.

-Shuhite        #7744+45 "dell, valley" (or stronger, "ditch, pit"), a negative connotation.

 

Zophar        #6691        "departing", the Naamathite.

-Naamah        #5279        "pleasantness"

 

Elihu         #453         "God of him (self)" the Buzite.

-Buzite        #937-940        "contempt" (or "disrespectful"), son of Barachel.

 

Barachel        #1292        "blessed of God" from the family of Ram.

-Ram         #7410        "high", a positive connotation.

 

[Editor's Note: It is evident from the meanings of the names of the characters and the places they came from that the story of Job is allegorical rather than literal, and is intended to be instructive "wisdom literature".

 

Also, it is this writer's opinion that Job's experience is prophetic, or a type of, the experience of the 144,000 just before Jesus returns. Like Job, they endure Satan's harshest treatment, but they trust in and justify God, and thereby collectively prove Satan's accusations against God to be false. The crucial difference as far as God and Satan and we are concerned though is that Job is a hypothetical story, and the 144,000 are real people.]

 

2) Chapter-by-chapter outline of the Book of Job (texts are paraphrased).

 

1. Job, Satan, God, calamities.

 

2. Satan, God, three friends.

 

3. Job, curses his birthday.

        v.25-6 The thing he had always feared had finally happened to him. (cp. 31:23)

 

4. Eliphaz (1 of 3) v.6 "Where is your religion now Job?"

        He accuses Job's religious rites to be mere hypocritical outward show.

 

5. Eliphaz continues; "God only curses the wicked and only blesses the righteous." (double retribution)

 

6. Job: v.9 He longs for death from God (v.14 ...and for pity from his friends).

        v.25 He rebukes their arguing with him.

        v.30 "I can tell the difference between good and evil just as well as you guys can!"

 

7. v.1-10 Job mourns over his suffering.

    v.11-21 Job's prayer of complaint to God.

 

8. Bildad (1 of 3) "If you were pure, God would bless you."

 

9. Job: v.22 "God destroys the perfect AND the wicked."

  v.33 He wishes for a "daysman" mediator to communicate between him and God.

 

10. Job continues; his prayer of complaint to God.

        v.7 "Thou knowest that I am not wicked!"

        v.18 He laments, "I wish I had died at birth!"

 

11. Zophar (1 of 2) v.6 "God is punishing you less than you deserve!"

 

12. Job: v.3-4 "I know as much about God as you do, and you are mocking me!"

 

13. Job continues. v.4-5 "You guys are lying, and you would be smart to shut up!"

        v.15 "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

Job prays, v.18 "I have my defense all prepared, and I know I will be justified, so why are You doing this to me God?"

 

14. Job's prayer continues: v.10-12 "Mortal man dies, but (v.14-15) trusting in God's love he awaits the Resurrection Day."

 

15. Eliphaz (2 of 3) He rebukes Job, "The wicked do not prosper!"

 

16. Job: "Miserable comforters are ye all!"

v.17+19 "My hands are just, and my prayer is pure, and I have a pure record in heaven!"

 

17. Job laments, v.2 "My friends are foolish mockers, and (v.15) my hope is all gone!"

 

18. Bildad (2 of 3) He gives a series of proverbs about God destroying the wicked.

 

19. Job: v.4 "Even if I had sinned, you guys wouldn't know what it was!"

v.6 "It is God (not you guys!) who has overthrown me, and all for His own reasons, which you guys know nothing about!"

v.21 "It is God who is doing this to me, and (v.25) God is the One to redeem me, and (v.29) you guys had better watch out because your punishment is next!"

 

20. Zophar (2 of 2) "Departing Pleasantness", He offers a collection of sarcastic proverbs about God always and only punishing the wicked, and gives up.

 

21. Job: v.7-15 "Yes it appears that the wicked do prosper, but (v.16) I am not one of them." v.23-25 "In this life both good and bad happen to both the wicked and the righteous, but (v. 30) God will deal with the wicked later. So (v. 34), your double-retribution theory is false."

 

22. Eliphaz (3 of 3) v.5-11 He accuses Job of sin, but (v.18) claims to be righteous himself. "His God is gold" is his name, so he makes a material comparison between the prosperity of their possessions and the destruction of Job's possessions (v. 20). Therefore, it is evident to him (v.21) that Job must not know God, so he exhorts Job to repent so God can materially prosper him.

 

23. Job: v. 2-3 He wants to put his own case before God and know exactly why God is troubling him. (v.10) Job suspects he is being tested, but (v.11-12) it doesn't seem logical to him because he knows he has been obedient.

 

24. Job continues. "God seems indifferent to the wicked, but (v.22-24) He will repay them, in the end."

 

25. Bildad (3 of 3) "Worn-out Love", His conclusion is that the sin-problem is beyond man to cure, so, "Oh Well!", and he gives up trying to "help" Job see his problem.

 

26. Job: v.1-4 Rebukes Bildad, basically saying, "You have no good deeds to stand before God as I do!" (...and implies, "That's why you can't understand either my self-defense, or God's ways.")

 

27. Job continues. v.1-6 "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live!" (v.12) "But as for you guys, you have all seen God's ways, so why are you still so ignorant?"

 

So, Job tries to teach them more accurately about God's justice, wisdom and love.

 

v.19 "When the wicked wealthy die they are not reckoned as a member of their family tree, and when they open their eyes again at the second resurrection, it is only to see that they are already destined for the second death."

 

28. Job: v.20-23 (he implies, "You guys have claimed to understand wisdom, but what you have said shows you have really failed to understand both wisdom itself, and its Source.") v.23+28 "The Source of wisdom is the God you think you know."

 

29. He recounts the greatness of his past prosperity.

 

30. He mourns over his present misfortune.

 

31. He recounts his obedience, because (v.23) "God really does punish the wicked!"

32.  Elihu finally speaks up, frustrated by the lack of progress of the older men, and (v.9) he rebukes them, and (v.21-22) proclaims his own (false) humility.

 

33. v.6 He then proclaims himself the mediator Job has been wishing for, (v.12) gives Job an introductory rebuke, then (v.23-30) returns to praising his self-appointed role as the mediator of God's wisdom.

 

34. v.7-8 (Like the other men...) He charges Job with sin, because (v.10) obviously it would be wicked of God to punish a just man for any reason, which is just unthinkable of course. So, (v.36-37) he accuses Job of defending the wicked and personal rebellion on top of all his other supposed sins.

 

35. v.2 He accuses Job of putting himself above God, and (v.13-16) therefore asserts that Job is so self-deceived that he doesn't even realize that God is punishing him justly!

 

36. (v.4, Elihu reveals his pride.) v.7-12 "God deals with men according to their works, and (v.15-21) God is dealing with you according to your sins, Job!"

 

37. v.1-14 He describes God's power in the storm, and then (v.15-18) he accuses Job of making himself equal in wisdom with God, and (v.19) sarcastically suggests that since Job is so smart, that he teach them the true ways of God (which he knows is ridiculous because, v.23) neither they (nor Job, he implies) can understand God. Then (in harmony with Job's other friends) he flatly asserts, "He will not afflict (good people)!!!"

 

38. God appears, and addresses Job in the same accusatory way as his friends:

v.4 "Where were you when I made the earth?" (implied: "Do you know what makes it tick?")

 

39. "Did you create animal behavior?"

 

40. Job responds: v.3-5 "I am vile!" (like Isaiah in Isa.6:5, and Daniel in Dan. 10:8)

 

v.8 God continues: "You have upheld your righteousness before men, will you do that before Me too?"

v.14 "If so, then you can save yourself!"

v.15 "Consider Behemoth." (Strong's #930 "mute beasts").

v.19 "He is the chief of the ways of God." (ie. quiet strength and confidence)

 

41. God continues: "Consider Leviathan." (Strong's #3882 "wreathed" animal).

v.10 "No human is so fierce that he dares to stir him up; so how about you stirring Me up Job?"

 

42. Job responds: He confesses his own ignorance of God, and humbly repents.

 

        v.7 God rebukes Eliphaz and his two friends.

(The self-important young Elihu doesn't even merit mention.)

 

v.10 God restores Job's losses twofold.

2010-04-15