the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Grant's Commentary on the Bible Grant's Commentary
by L.M. Grant
In this book Israel is not mentioned, so that it seems Job lived previous to the time of Israel's history, perhaps about the time of Abraham. This book is poetic and magnificently beautiful in its language. Alfred Lord Tennyson, a renowned poet, called it "the greatest poem whether of ancient or modem literature." The writer is unknown, but it is plainly dictated by God, who knew perfectly all the circumstances, the exact words that Satan spoke as well as the Lord in the first and second chapters, the exact words of Job and of his three friends and of Elihu, then the words God Himself spoke from chapter 38 to 42:6. Considering all that took place, it could be only God who is the Author.
This does not mean that Job's words or those of his three friends were a revelation from God, but rather that God accurately reported what they said, though in some cases they were wrong. In other cases their words were right, but their application of the truth was not correct. Elihu's words were a much more accurate presentation of the truth.
The work of God in dealing with an individual is displayed wonderfully in this book. Even the most upright and commendable character was reduced to a state of poverty and depression, and afterward recovered and blessed beyond his former dignity. What a lesson for all of us! Can we, who cannot claim (as did Job) any self-righteous honour, expect to escape being humbled if we are to learn rightly of God?
There are five major divisions in the book. Chapters 1 and 2 give a historical introduction. Chapters 3 to 31 record the controversies between Job and his three friends. Chapters 32-37 record the testimony of Elihu. Chapters 38-42:6 give the words of the Lord in reference to His great glory in creation; and finally the last section displays "the end of the Lord," that is, the wonderful result of God's dealings in restoring Job to greater blessing than ever before.