Job is faced with adversity

A wealthy man’s faith is tested by adversity

The story of Job is set in the second millennium BC, probably around 1100BC during the Philistine domination of Israel at the time of the Judges.

Job 1:1-3    Job was a wealthy man living to the south east of Israel in the semi-arid land of Uz (located in the south western part of modern-day Jordan, between Edom and Arabia) (see Lamentations 4:21). He owned 7000 sheep, 3000 camels and 500 teams of oxen, together with a large number of servants.


Wadi Musa near Petra (Mappo)

Semi-arid land bordering the Wadi Musa near Petra in Jordan  (Mappo)


Job 1:4-5    Job’s sons lived a life of luxury. Their parties were renowned for all-night eating, drinking and sex.

Job 1:6-22    Job’s faith is tested when Sabean Bedouins from Arabia carry off his oxen and donkeys, and his sheep are struck by lightning. Matters get worse when Chaldean raiders from Mesopotamia carry off his camels, and his sons and daughters are killed by a tornado.

Job 2:1-10    Job’s faith is further tested when he is afflicted with painful sores, but still he is faithful and does not turn away from God.

Job 2:11-13    Job’s three friends from the areas near the eastern borders of Edom come to offer him sympathy.

Job 3-37    Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar discuss the calamities that have fallen on Job. They try to equate Job’s suffering with a God who rewards goodness and punishes wrongdoing. Job himself cannot understand how God can let so much evil happen to a good man.

Job 38-42    Eventually God speaks personally to Job. Job acknowledges God’s divine power and majesty and is sorry for questioning God’s wisdom. God rebukes Job’s friends for failing to understand the message behind Job’s suffering. He restores Job to his former position with twice as much wealth as before. Job has another ten children and lives to a ripe old age.

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