Job Chapter Summary Job Chapter Summary Job Chapter Summary Job Chapter Summary

The following is taken from the Book of Old Testament Summaries

  1. (1520 B.C.?) Job, a man from Uz, perfect and upright, who feared God and hated evil, who had seven sons and three daughters, with many possessions, was the greatest man of the east. He offered sacrifices continually for his children after their merrymaking for fear they had sinned. Satan presents himself before God with the host in heaven, challenging God to test Job. God agrees, but Job himself is not to be touched. Four separate messengers come to Job with the sad news of the loss of his possessions, servants, flocks, and children by four separate calamities (2 by sword, 1 by fire, and 1 by wind). Upon receiving the devastating news of the loss of his children, he arises, rents his clothes, prepares himself, and falls to the ground in worship, accepting the judgment of God without sin.
  2. Again Satan goes before God and this time is allowed to smite Job but cannot take his life. Job is smitten by Satan with boils from head to foot (complete), scrapes himself with a potsherd and sits in ashes. He rebukes his wife's attempt to get him to curse God and die, escaping his misery. Job's integrity remains. Three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come together to mourn with and comfort Job. Because of the greatness of Job's grief, they sit in silence with Job seven days and nights.
  3. Finally Job speaks, cursing the day he was born: better he had gone from the womb to the grave not seeing the light of day, and be at rest than endure his present suffering. What he expected all his life has finally happened; and he was not surprised in the least when this trouble came.
  4. Eliphaz speaks to encourage him. That which befell others whom Job had encouraged and strengthened has now come to him. He reminds Job that the innocent nor righteous is cast away or cut off by God, only the wicked. None is greater than God! All are made of clay, from the dust, and many die even without wisdom.
  5. Eliphaz continues his speech. There is none righteous for Job to turn to for help. God's correction will bring a happy end, therefore, his chastening should not be despised by Job. God will deliver man from every kind of trouble known to him, even from the touch of evil; and his days will be prolonged with his house much blessed.
  6. Job answers. His grief is too much for his soul to bear. His sorrow is complete. God's arrows have found their mark. He wishes to die! Job accuses his friends of dealing deceitfully with him, reminding them he did not seek their help in counseling him for his deliverance. He challenges them to examine his words and actions (his life) and to look upon him and tell him what his sin is, if their words be true, then he won't oppose them. (They had yet to tell him of his sin.) Job declares he has no knowledge of any sin responsible for bringing on this great calamity.
  7. Job is reminded of the brevity and frailty of life. He finds no rest for his soul, not even in sleep. He will not keep quiet! Even in his dreams and visions he is terrified. He wonders who man is to God that He would desire him and then turn from him in such a way, delaying His pardon. He reminds God of his few days on earth, and some morning He will seek him and he will not be there, having departed keeping his appointment with the grave.
  8. Bildad, his second friend, rebukes Job's strong words of denial of wrongdoing. Surely God would have pardoned by now if Job was upright, having sought Him after His punishment upon his children who may have sinned bringing His judgment upon them; he would be restored manifold over. He instructs Job to remember the teachings of the lives of the fathers. God will not cast away the perfect man nor will He help evil doers.
  9. Job answers Bildad, agreeing with the truth of his words and the justice of God, but he knows God destroys both the perfect and the wicked and that he is afflicted without cause. Again he acknowledges the brevity and frailty of life and that there is no one just enough to mediate his case with God. He appeals directly for God to remove His rod of correction.
  10. Job, weary of life, seeks to know why God is dealing with him so. Certainly God is not as man, made of flesh, unable to see his sin, having to search first to know it before pardoning him! God knows he is not wicked and has no other deliverer than He. He reminds God that he is as He made him, from the dust, short of days. Job is confused. Why did He give him life, visit him in such a way, and then hide Himself from him? Job declares his state would have been better if carried from the womb to the tomb. He pleads with God, because of his few days on earth, to cease and desist that he may finish his days in rest before going to the grave forever.
  11. Zophar harshly reproves Job's multitude of words and lies, wishing God would open His lips against Job to instruct him. Job should be so lucky, for God is only dealing with him half as harshly as his sin deserves! God knows and will consider the wickedness of man. Better for Job to acknowledge his sin, put it away, forget his misery, take his rest in safety, and be renewed in life because of hope in God. Hope for the wicked will perish, as do they.
  12. Job answers Zophar's conceited, know-it-all attitude, who when they die, all wisdom will perish with them! Job has as much understanding as they, but is mocked by all his friends. Know that God's ways, wisdom, and power is greater than man's. He creates and sustains all things—every living soul. In Him is wisdom, strength, and counsel; He has all power and control over every living thing, able to give life and take it away, light and retract it, leaving man in utter darkness.
  13. Job continues his defense. He sees, hears, and understands everything they are saying, yet they haven't told him anything he doesn't already know; besides, they are no smarter than he. If what they say concerning him is true, and he knew it to be so, then he would reason with God as they suggest, but they speak lies and are of no help to him as counselors; therefore, he pleads with them to cease. They give false counsel of God; God will judge them. He is no respector of persons! Job says even if God would slay him, he still would not curse Him, for He is his only Deliverer. He desires two things from God: (1) For Him to withdraw His rod of correction that he may be heard by him, and (2) To reveal to him why He has hidden Himself from him, treating him as His enemy. (What are his sins?) Why keep kicking him when he is already down? Doesn't He see he is smitten to rottenness, ready to be consumed?
  14. Job sums up the life of man, born of woman (unclean coming from the unclean), with few days to live, and those being full of trouble. He asks why does God, knowing the brevity and frailty of man, not give man rest in his labor here on earth rather than suffering in his few days. Even a tree, if it is cut off, will sprout new and strong again, but man will return to the dust from whence he came, to rise no more; therefore, let him be at peace now, for soon he will be no more. Job pleads: Would to God that I could be as the tree, for I would wait throughout eternity until His works and judgment become complete and then would answer His call if He would appoint me a set time to be remembered. But for now, my steps are numbered, my sin is sealed, and God will do with me according to my ways as He will. I am mortal; He is immortal!
  15. Eliphaz now strongly condemns Job for justifying himself. He says Job is blowing in the wind if he thinks what he says is true; his own words condemn him. He should be in fearful prayer rather than in constant complaint. Who knows the mind of God? He is much younger than they; how can he know so much? He instructs Job from the wisdom of the fathers the course and end of the wicked. He warns Job that, with his attitude, he is in danger of God's judgment as the hypocrite who vainly stretches his hand out against God thus provoking Him to swift and sure justice.
  16. Job responds by saying they haven't told him anything he didn't already know! If they were in his shoes, though he could, he would not trouble them with all these discouraging words, but would speak more sympathetically to them. Job is now even more weary of life. Even his friends, in turn, reproachfully, have smitten him on the cheek. Whereas he was at peace, in solitude, now he is lifted up as a mark for the arrows of God. He maintains his innocence and wishes for an advocate before God, before he goes to his end.
  17. Job's mortality is now embraced. All that he lived for is gone. All hope has vanished. He is ready for the grave. The righteous perish and who knows why? There is not one wise man among them that can answer him. They are without understanding, and God will not exalt them. As for him, he knows his days are now past and corruption and the worm are now ready to prepare him for the dust.
  18. Bildad, now feeling insulted, asks Job if he is through that he might in turn answer these beastly charges. He informs Job that his own words and attitude will be his snare, leading to his own undoing; his sin be upon his own head! All destruction that has come and will follow is of his own making; moreover, that which comes to the wicked will surely come to him. And when it is done, his place will be with those who do not know God.
  19. Job, tired of their now ten reproaches, tells them that their friendship is sorely strained, evidenced in their lack of shame in dealing with him. Job tells them there is nothing else he can do; he has approached God in every way, seeking to know the reason for his suffering, even to show him his sin, if there be any, that he might confess it, but God does not answer. What more do they expect of him? He asks for their mercy and to cease vexing his spirit with their unkind words. He has no one. All have forsaken Him. His friends and family have become strangers. He desires their pity but no one will give it. Job now begins to realize and believe there is justice in God, if not in this life, then surely there is another season of living that it might be so. He will be redeemed, if not now, certainly there must be a future day of redemption. This, Job declares, and he will see it for himself. God will redeem him, if not now, then beyond the grave. This know also: because of the way of the wicked, there is a judgment by God to come! The unjust will not go unpunished.
  20. Zophar defends his rejected reproach to Job by telling him what is on his mind and what he is going to tell him is as old as man, and Job should know it! He begins with the summation of all that will follow in a thesis statement: "the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment..." Although he is wise above all, he will fly away as a dream. God will cut him off quickly in his fullness, and his house shall depart, with all his goods flowing away. This is the wicked's portion from God.
  21. Job says to wait a minute, he's got something to say, and then they can mock on! What he is about to say my surprise them, but know that the wicked sometimes prosper and go to the grave in old age in their fullness, thumbing their nose at God. God's rod is never upon them; and sometimes the children are punished for their father's sins. One dies with fullness and another without ever tasting any pleasure in life, but they equally go to the grave. All things are common in the dust, and the worm is no respector of persons. Job tells them he knows their thoughts and they can't put anything over on him, so why do they attempt vain comfort and continue to lie?
  22. Eliphaz now accuses Job of being conceited and perfect in his own eyes. He now falsely levels a serious charge against Job: That which God is most concerned about, Job has abused and oppressed: the stranger (the naked, hungry, and thirsty), the widows, and the fatherless. God will surely judge him for this; and don't think that He doesn't see it either. Nothing can hide it from Him. He reminds Job that the state of man was good before the flood when all men were wicked, despising God, but God cut them down with the flood in due time. He challenges Job to repent and prosper in God's forgiveness.
  23. Job says to tell him where he might find God and he will plead his case; don't they understand he can't find Him even just to talk with Him? No matter which way he turns, He is not there; so God knows where he is and which way he goes, thus he will just keep on keeping on, being refined as gold in His fire, and when God is through he will still be there.
  24. Job continues his dissertation on the prosperity of the wicked. They afflict the fatherless, widow, and the poor and God still does not make folly of them! The wicked man is a murderer by day and a thief by night, hating light, perverse in every way. God will bring him low, cutting him off from the earth secretly. Who can dispute this?
  25. Bildad declares the sovereignty of God. His ways are so much higher than man's; His armies are innumerable. Who among men is justified, clean of himself? Not even His creation is perfect any longer. Man is nothing but a worm!
  26. Job is dismayed at the impotence of Bildad's words to heal him. He declares the omnipotence and omniscience of God, and that which man sees and knows of His creation is only a minuscule part of His ways. His riches and ways are unsearchable.
  27. Job will not give in to their counsel. He will not justify their false words. He will keep his integrity. He declares this to be hypocrisy and the hypocrite is without hope. It is illogical. Job further instructs them in the portion of the wicked: he will be made fatherless, his widows mournless, and others will take his clothing; in his terror he will be carried away and all will despise the wicked.
  28. One may possess natural knowledge, but there is a path which no living creature knows. That path leads to wisdom and it cannot be found in the land of the natural, nor bought with the price of precious stones. Only God has searched it out in establishing His natural laws. It is found only through this: To fear the Lord is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding.
  29. Job wishes he was as before in his youth, when men revered him, because he concerned himself continually with the concerns of God: he delivered the poor who cried out, the fatherless, the stranger, and made the widow's heart to sing with joy! Job had pure religion. (See James 1:27.) He thought he would live in security and honor all the days of his life, having both wisdom and understanding of God. (See also: Jer.9:24.)
  30. Job continues. Now the children of fools, whom he would not have hired to tend his flocks, mock and deride him. All hold him in contempt. Their attacks have melted his soul. His disease (boils and skin condition) has overwhelmed him. God does not hear his prayer and has become cruel to him, setting him up for certain destruction. He reminds God that he (Job) showed mercy to the poor and destitute, but when he now looks for help, no one, not even He offers a hand! His sickness has taken away his portion with the living.
  31. Job protests his innocence. He has kept his heart from following after his eye. He has despised no one. He knows all are born equal of God. If he had done all the ways of the wicked he would know his judgment was just, but he declares he has kept his heart and soul pure before God. He pleads for God to show Himself and answer him, then he would approach Him as a prince. If he had dealt unjustly with any, he would accept whatever has befallen him. These are his last words on the matter.
  32. Elihu, son of Barachel, a Buzite, kin of Ram, younger than Job and his three friends, has held his peace out of respect for their age. But now, seeing Job is finished and his three friends have no answer for him, expresses his anger at Job's self-justification and his friends condemnation of Job without finding his fault. Though age and experience should make one wiser than the young, sometimes this is not always so. Because all men, regardless of age, possess God's Spirit (breath), God, at times, instructs and gives wisdom freely to the young, and they should be heard. So listen up; he has something to say on the matter. He has held it long enough; in fact, he is about to explode! He will speak only what he sees as the truth, without respect of persons, lest God be his judge.
  33. Elihu has given much thought to what he is now about to say, and again it is the truth, as he knows it. If any can refute it, then set their defense in order and speak up. He identifies himself with them as man, born of dust, and will speak sincerely, without harshness. He summarizes Job's defense and statements of his innocence and his opinion of God's dealing with him as His enemy, but he declares to Job that he is not just. God is the only just one, not man, so why strive against Him? He doesn't have to give an account to us in His matters! This is arrogance! Often times, in many ways (dreams, visions, etc.), He does speak, but man is so dull of hearing he fails to hear. He, at times, visits man to save his soul from destruction. If man has a mediator to convince God of man's uprightness, then God would hear and restore him. Conversely, if man is convicted of his sin and repents, then God will forgive and save his soul. Either way, God will hear man and respond!
  34. Elihu says to come, let us reason together whether Job be righteous, as he says, or a sinner. God is righteous and He does not commit evil deeds such as Job claims is being done to him! Man reaps what he sows (vs.11). God's judgment is not perverse! He is just, incapable of dealing unjustly with man. Know this Job: that he who hates right cannot govern, nor the governed accuse the governor of being wicked! God will not put on man more than he deserves, therefore, has no reason to complain (vs.23). God will cut off the wicked who complains at judgment, failing to acknowledge his evil ways. It is better for Job to ask God to teach him his ways, and if there be any wicked way in him, then surely he should repent and live. Undoubtedly Job's words of self-righteousness have been in ignorance, and now to top it off, he adds rebellion to his sin?
  35. Elihu asks Job if he thinks his righteousness is more than God's, seeing that he thinks he is innocent and God's dealings unjust; therefore, having no profit to confess sin he thinks he is innocent of? He asks Job to look up and consider what he does to God if he sin, and what does he give to God if righteous. Wickedness hurts fellowman and righteousness helps him. The wicked is wise in his own eyes, but God will not hear vanity. (Pride in an evil heart.) Job, he says, speaks in vain, without knowledge, wise in his own eyes.
  36. Elihu requests further liberty to speak that which he feels God has instructed him in. God does not preserve the wicked—only the poor. He establishes kings for justice, but if they become evil and repent not, they will die by the sword. Hypocrites are unclean and die young. Job's judgment is that of the wicked, therefore, he should turn to the right judgment and justice before God cuts him off, unrepentant, with no one to ransom him. God is great and His works are too wonderful to know! Who is any man that he can accuse God of any evil? God cares for all His creation with loving kindness.
  37. Elihu continues his instruction of God's ways. Man's heart melts at the awesome display of God's power and ways. He knows how to give both the gentle rain when needed and the heavy. All His ways are ordered, and His ways have purpose, whether for correction for His land, or for mercy. Elihu asks Job if he has the mind and knowledge of God to know what is just or unjust? Who can instruct God? All men should fear Him, for He respects none who are wise in his own heart.
  38. God finally answers—from the whirlwind! He first addresses Job for his misconceptions, challenging the source and extent of his knowledge. He asks if he was there at the formation of creation to know the balance, barriers, and anchors of the worlds to see who did this? Has he knowledge of the span of the universe, depths of the sea, gates of death, doors of the shadow of death? No! He has been alive only a short while; how can he know so much? Who knows the ordinances of heaven, or has dominion over the natural laws to change them? Who, by his own searching, has found understanding and wisdom? Who provides for all living creatures, great and small?
  39. God continues to contrast His knowledge, power, and works to man. What man has ordered the ways of nature and all its living things?
  40. God answers Job again. He asks him who is he to contend with the Almighty, reproving Him? He demands an answer! Job is humbled. He realizes he can say nothing to his defense in the presence of the Holy and Almighty God! He acknowledges himself to be vile. God demands from the whirlwind (in His fury) that Job will answer; furthermore, he may as well prepare himself to do so as a man! God wants to know if Job is as just as He, then prove it and act like God! Do the work of God and let's see, if he thinks His judgment has been unjust! Let's see what Job's will be and compare them with His. Prove to Him he is as just and powerful; then, God Himself will confess to Job he is right! RIDICULOUS! Consider the large beast (hippopotamus): he is the chief (example) of the ways of God.
  41. Or consider the water creature (crocodile?). Will either of these submit to Job's authority? If man can't exercise control over these, unable to stand them down, then who does he think he is to stand before God to reprove Him? All that is under heaven, including man, belongs to God! Know this: the nature and power of the leviathan is like unto God, having great power and fearing no one!
  42. Job must answer, now with repentance, for he acknowledges he has spoken from his ignorance because he knew only what he had been told about God, but now he knows Him personally, having seen Him for himself! Job abhors himself for this, repenting in dust and ashes. God judges Job's three errant friends, accusing them of false counsel. He demands from them burnt offerings to Him through Job, for him alone will He receive. So done, God accepting and returning to Job twice his previous blessings. His friends and family return with gifts and encouragement. Job is again given seven sons and three daughters, who are the fairest in the land: Jemima = handsome as the day, Kezia = Cassia, and Keren-pappuch = child of beauty. Job gives them an inheritance, with his sons, and lives another 140 years, seeing his fourth generation grandsons, and finally dies old and full of days.
- Author: Ken Livingston
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