The Book of Job -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 091:361 (Jan 1934)
Article: The Book of Job
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg

The Book of Job

Charles Lee Feinberg

[Editor’s Note: This article was written as a class paper in the Bible at the Evangelical Theological College last year, having been submitted to the Professor, Dr. Henry A. Ironside, who recommended it for publication. Mr. Feinberg, a Hebrew Christian, took his academic degree at the University of Pittsburgh, and is a candidate for the Th.M. degree in May.]

The Book of Job has been so designated because of its principal character, Job. In the Hebrew canon it stands among the Hagiographa or Holy Writings. In our canon it is placed among the poetic books. Unlike the Pentateuch or the Prophets which are read in the synagogue every Sabbath, or even the Megilloth or rolls (Song of Solomon, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Lamentations) which are read on certain festive occasions, the Book of Job is not read in the synagogue. It is usually the more educated class that reads the book because of the lofty and difficult Hebrew. The authorship of the book has been and still is disputed. Many think it was written by Moses.

The book is set as to time in patriarchal days. There is no indication anywhere that the law or the great social, legislative, ecclesiastical, and judicial system brought in by it, were in existence at the time; the law, as such, is not mentioned. What makes it particularly difficult to place the book in point of time is the fact that there are no references to outside contacts with either political or ecclesiastical events. As to place, the story takes place in the land of Uz, which is southeast of Palestine on the borders of Edom. The Rabbis tell us that it occurred outside of Palestine that it might never be said that God persecuted a righteous man in Israel. It appears, however, that the impression given by its setting in Uz is more of an international, or rather intercommunal, outlook. It is interesting to note, in

fact, that throughout the book the names for God are for the most part Elohim, Eloah, and Shaddai. These are used in God’s dealings with all peoples; Jehovah is more particularly used in God’s redemptive and covenant relations.

There are eight characters in the book: God, Satan, Job, his wife, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the Buzite. God appears as the sovereign Ruler of His creation who delights in His saints and seeks their justification and vindication, whether in the sight of Satan or of Job’s friends. We see “that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (Jas 5:11). Satan is still the accuser of God’s saints before Him. He uses his old tactics as he d...

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