Book of Job

The Book of Job (/dʒoʊb/; Hebrew: אִיוֹב Iyov) is a book in the Ketuvim ("Writings") section of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), and the first poetic book in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.[1] Addressing the problem of theodicy – the vindication of the justice of God in the light of humanity's suffering[2] – it is a rich theological work setting out a variety of perspectives.[3] It has been widely praised for its literary qualities, with Alfred Lord Tennyson calling it "the greatest poem of ancient and modern times".[4]


Job Scroll
Scroll of the Book of Job, in Hebrew

The Book of Job consists of a prose prologue and epilogue narrative framing poetic dialogues and monologues.[5] It is common to view the narrative frame as the original core of the book, enlarged later by the poetic dialogues and discourses, and sections of the book such as the Elihu speeches and the wisdom poem of chapter 28 as late insertions, but recent trends have tended to concentrate on the book's underlying editorial unity.[6]

1. Prologue in two scenes, the first on Earth, the second in Heaven (Job 1–2)

2. Job's opening monologue (Job 3 – seen by some scholars as a bridge between the prologue and the dialogues and by others as the beginning of the dialogues),[7] and three cycles of dialogues between Job and his three friends (Job chapters – the third cycle is not complete, the expected speech of Zophar being replaced by the wisdom poem of chapter 28)[8]

  • First cycle
Eliphaz (Job 4–5) and Job's response (Job 6–7)
Bildad (8) and Job (Job 9–10)
Zophar (11) and Job (Job 12–14)
  • Second cycle
Eliphaz (15) and Job (Job 16–17)
Bildad (18) and Job (Job 19)
Zophar (20) and Job (Job 21)
  • Third cycle
Eliphaz (22) and Job (Job 23–24)
Bildad (25) and Job (Job 26–27)

3. Three monologues:

  • A Poem to Wisdom (chapter 28, previously read as part of the speech of Job, now regarded by most scholars as a separate interlude in the narrator's voice)[7]
  • Job's closing monologue (chapters 29–31)
  • and Elihu's speeches (chapters 32–37)

4. Two speeches by God (chapters 38:1–40:2 and 40:6–41:34, 42:7–8), with Job's responses

5. Epilogue – Job's restoration (chapters 42:9–17).


Prologue on Earth and in Heaven

The prologue on Earth introduces Job as a righteous man, blessed with wealth, sons, and daughters. The scene shifts to Heaven, where God asks Satan (ha-satan, literally "the accuser") for his opinion of Job's piety. Satan answers that Job is pious only because God has blessed him; if God were to take away everything that Job had, then he would surely curse God. God gives Satan permission to take Job's wealth and kill all of his children and servants,[9] but Job nonetheless praises God: "Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return: the Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." God allows Satan to afflict his body with boils. Job sits in ashes, and his wife prompts him to "curse God, and die," but Job answers: "Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?"

Job's opening monologue and dialogues between Job and his three friends

Job laments the day of his birth; he would like to die, but even that is denied to him. His three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, console him. The friends do not waver in their belief that Job's suffering is a punishment for sin, for God causes no one to suffer innocently, and they advise him to repent and seek God's mercy. Job responds with scorn: his interlocutors are "miserable comforters" (Vulgate Latin: consolatores onerosi),[10] since a just God would not treat him so harshly, patience in suffering is impossible, and the Creator should not take his creatures so lightly, to come against them with such force.[11]

Job's responses represent one of the most radical restatements of Israelite theology in the Hebrew Bible.[12] He moves away from the pious attitude as shown in the prologue and began to berate God for the disproportionate wrath against him. He sees God as, among others, intrusive and suffocating (7:17-19); unforgiving and obsessed with destroying a human target (7:20-21); angry (9:13; 14:13; 16:9; 19:11); fixated on punishment (10:13-14); and hostile and destructive (16:11-14). He then shifts his focus from the injustice that he himself suffers to God's governance of the world. He suggests that the wicked have taken advantage of the needy and the helpless, who remain in significant hardship, but God does nothing to punish them (24:1-12).

Three monologues: Poem to Wisdom, Job's closing monologue, and Elihu's speeches

Job and his friends
Job and His Friends by Ilya Repin (1869)

The dialogues of Job and his friends are followed by a poem (the "hymn to wisdom") on the inaccessibility of wisdom: "Where is wisdom to be found?" it asks, and concludes that it has been hidden from man (chapter 28).[13] Job contrasts his previous fortune with his present plight, an outcast, mocked and in pain. He protests his innocence, lists the principles he has lived by, and demands that God answer him.[14] Elihu (a character not previously mentioned) intervenes to state that wisdom comes from God, who reveals it through dreams and visions to those who will then declare their knowledge.[13]

Two speeches by God

God speaks from a whirlwind. His speeches neither explain Job's suffering, nor defend divine justice, nor enter into the courtroom confrontation that Job has demanded, nor respond to his oath of innocence.[15] Instead they contrast Job's weakness with divine wisdom and omnipotence: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Job makes a brief response, but God's monologue resumes, never addressing Job directly.[16] In 42:1–6 Job makes his final response, confessing God's power and his own lack of knowledge "of things beyond me which I did not know". Previously he has only heard, but now his eyes have seen God, and "therefore I retract/ And repent in dust and ashes."[17]


God tells Eliphaz that he and the two other friends "have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has done". The three (Elihu, the fourth friend introduced in chapter 32 is not mentioned here) are told to make a burnt offering with Job as their intercessor, "for only to him will I show favour". Job is restored to health, riches and family, and lives to see his children to the fourth generation.[18]


Anonymous Byzantine illustration.
The pre-incarnate Christ speaks to Job

Authorship, language, texts

Job appears in the 6th-century BCE book of Ezekiel as a man of antiquity renowned for his righteousness, and the author of the Book of Job has apparently chosen this legendary hero for his parable.[19] Rabbinic tradition ascribes it to Moses, but scholars generally agree that it was written between the 7th and 4th centuries BCE, with the 6th century BCE as the most likely period for various reasons.[20] The anonymous author was almost certainly an Israelite, although he has set his story outside Israel, in southern Edom or northern Arabia, and makes allusion to places as far apart as Mesopotamia and Egypt.[21]

The language of Job stands out for its conservative spelling and for its exceptionally large number of words and forms not found elsewhere in the Bible.[22] The 12th century Jewish scholar Ibn Ezra concluded that the book must have been written in some other language and translated into Hebrew,[23] and many later scholars down to the 20th century looked for an Aramaic, Arabic or Edomite original, but a close analysis suggests that the foreign words and foreign-looking forms are literary affectations designed to lend authenticity to the book's distant setting.[24]

Job exists in a number of forms: the Hebrew Masoretic Text, which underlies many modern Bible translations; the Greek Septuagint made in Egypt in the last centuries BCE; and Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.[25]

Job and the wisdom tradition

Job, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Proverbs belong to the genre of wisdom literature, sharing a perspective that they themselves call the "way of wisdom".[26] Wisdom means both a way of thinking and a body of knowledge gained through such thinking, as well as the ability to apply it to life. It is attainable in part through human effort and in part as a gift from God, but never in its entirety – except by God.[27] The three books share attitudes and assumptions but differ in their conclusions: Proverbs makes confident statements about the world and its workings that are flatly contradicted by Job and Ecclesiastes.[28] Wisdom literature from Sumeria and Babylonia can be dated to the second millennium BCE.[29] Several texts from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt offer parallels to Job,[30] and while it is impossible to tell whether the author of Job was influenced by any of them, their existence suggests that he was the recipient of a long tradition of reflection on the existence of inexplicable suffering.[31]


Destruction of Leviathan
The Destruction of Leviathan by Gustave Doré (1865)

Job is an investigation of the problem of divine justice.[32] This problem, known in theology as theodicy, can be rephrased as a question: "Why do the righteous suffer?"[2] The conventional answer in ancient Israel was that God rewards virtue and punishes sin (the principle known as "retributive justice").[33] This assumes a world in which human choices and actions are morally significant, but experience demonstrates that suffering is frequently unmerited.[34]

The biblical concept of righteousness was rooted in the covenant-making God who had ordered creation for communal well-being, and the righteous were those who invested in the community, showing special concern for the poor and needy (see Job's description of his life in chapter 31). Their antithesis were the wicked, who were selfish and greedy.[35] The Satan (or The Adversary) raises the question of whether there is such a thing as disinterested righteousness: if God rewards righteousness with prosperity, will men not act righteously from selfish motives? He asks God to test this by removing the prosperity of Job, the most righteous of all God's servants.[36]

The book begins with the frame narrative, giving the reader an omniscient "God's eye perspective" which introduces Job as a man of exemplary faith and piety, "blameless and upright", who "fears God" and "shuns evil".[37][38] The contrast between the frame and the poetic dialogues and monologues, in which Job never learns of the opening scenes in heaven or of the reason for his suffering, creates a sense of dramatic irony between the divine view of the Adversary's wager, and the human view of Job's suffering "without any reason" (2:3).[38]

In the poetic dialogues Job's friends see his suffering and assume he must be guilty, since God is just. Job, knowing he is innocent, concludes that God must be unjust.[39] He retains his piety throughout the story (belying Satan's suspicion that his righteousness is due to the expectation of reward), but makes clear from his first speech that he agrees with his friends that God should and does reward righteousness.[40] Elihu rejects the arguments of both parties: Job is wrong to accuse God of injustice, as God is greater than human beings, and nor are the friends correct; for suffering, far from being a punishment, may "rescue the afflicted from their affliction" and make them more amenable to revelation – literally, "open their ears" (36:15).[39]

Chapter 28, the Hymn to Wisdom, introduces another theme, divine wisdom. The hymn does not place any emphasis on retributive justice, stressing instead the inaccessibility of wisdom.[41] Wisdom cannot be invented or purchased, it says; God alone knows the meaning of the world, and he grants it only to those who live in reverence before him.[42] God possesses wisdom because he grasps the complexities of the world (28:24–26) – a theme which looks forward to God's speech in chapters 38–41 with its repeated refrain "Where were you when...?"[43]

When God finally speaks he neither explains the reason for Job's suffering (revealed to the reader in the prologue in heaven) nor defends his justice. The first speech focuses on his role in maintaining order in the universe: the list of things that God does and Job cannot do demonstrates divine wisdom because order is the heart of wisdom. Job then confesses his lack of wisdom, meaning his lack of understanding of the workings of the cosmos and of the ability to maintain it. The second speech concerns God's role in controlling behemoth and leviathan, sometimes translated as the hippopotamus and crocodile, but more probably representing primeval cosmic creatures, in either case demonstrating God's wisdom and power.[44] Job's reply to God's final speech is longer than his first and more complicated. The usual view is that he admits to being wrong to challenge God and now repents "in dust and ashes" (42:6), but the Hebrew is difficult, and an alternative understanding is that Job says he was wrong to repent and mourn and does not retract any of his arguments.[45] In the concluding part of the frame narrative God restores and increases his prosperity, indicating that the divine policy on retributive justice remains unchanged.[46]

Later interpretation and influence

Carved wooden figure of Job. Probably from Germany, 1750-1850 CE. The Wellcome Collection, London
Carved wooden figure of Job. Probably from Germany, 1750–1850 CE. The Wellcome Collection, London

History of interpretation

In the Second Temple period (500 BCE – 70 CE) Job began being transformed into something more patient and steadfast, with his suffering a test of virtue and a vindication of righteousness for the glory of God.[47] The process of "sanctifying" Job began with the Greek Septuagint translation (c. 200 BCE) and was furthered in the Testament of Job (1st century BCE – 1st century CE), which makes him the hero of patience.[48] This reading pays little attention to the Job of the dialogue sections of the book,[49] but it was the tradition taken up by the Epistle of James in the New Testament, which presents Job as one whose patience and endurance should be emulated by believers (James 5:7–11).[50] When Christianity began interpreting Job 19:23–29 (verses concerning a "redeemer" whom Job hopes can save him from God) as a prophecy of Christ,[51] the predominant Jewish view became "Job the blasphemer", with some rabbis even saying that he was rightly punished by God because he had stood by while Pharaoh massacred the innocent Jewish infants.[52][53]

Augustine of Hippo recorded that Job had prophesied the coming of Christ, and Gregory the Great offered him as a model of right living worthy of respect. The medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides declared his story a parable, and the medieval Christian Thomas Aquinas wrote a detailed commentary declaring it true history. In the Reformation Martin Luther explained how Job's confession of sinfulness and worthlessness underlay his saintliness, and John Calvin's Job demonstrated the doctrine of the resurrection and the ultimate certainty of divine justice.[54]

The contemporary movement known as creation theology, an ecological theology valuing the needs of all creation, interprets God's speeches in Job 38–41 to imply that his interests and actions are not exclusively focused on humankind.[55]

Liturgical use

Jewish liturgy does not use readings from the Book of Job in the manner of the Pentateuch, Prophets, or Five Megillot, although it is quoted at funerals and times of mourning. However, there are some Jews, particularly the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, who do hold public readings of Job on the Tisha B'Av fast (a day of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples and other tragedies). The cantillation signs for the large poetic section in the middle of the Book of Job differ from those of most of the biblical books, using a system shared with it only by Psalms and Proverbs.

The Eastern Orthodox Church reads from Job and Exodus during Holy Week. Exodus prepares for the understanding of Christ's exodus to his Father, of his fulfillment of the whole history of salvation; Job, the sufferer, is the Old Testament icon of Christ. The Roman Catholic Church reads from Job during Matins in the first two weeks of September and in the Office of the Dead, and in the revised Liturgy of the Hours Job is read during the Eighth and Ninth Weeks in Ordinary Time.

In music, art, literature, and film

Georges de La Tour 044
Georges de La Tour,
Job Mocked by his Wife

The Book of Job has been deeply influential in Western culture, to such an extent that no list could be more than representative. Musical settings from Job include Orlande de Lassus's 1565 cycle of motets, the Sacrae Lectiones Novem ex Propheta Job, and George Frideric Handel's use of Job 19:25 ("I know that my redeemer liveth") as an aria in his 1741 oratorio Messiah. Modern works based on the book include Ralph Vaughan Williams's Job: A Masque for Dancing, French composer Darius Milhaud's Cantata From Job, and Joseph Stein's Broadway interpretation Fiddler on the Roof, based on an earlier Yiddish memoir by Sholem Alchem in 1894. Joni Mitchell composed The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song.) Neil Simon wrote God's Favorite which is a modern retelling of the Book of Job. Breughel and Georges de la Tour depicted Job visited by his wife, and William Blake produced an entire cycle of illustrations for the book. Writers Job has inspired or influenced include John Milton (Samson Agonistes), Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov), Franz Kafka (The Trial), Carl Jung (Answer to Job), Joseph Roth (Job), and Bernard Malamud. Archibald MacLeish's drama, JB, one of the most prominent uses of the Book of Job in modern literature, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1959. Job's influence can also be seen in the Coen brothers' 2009 film, A Serious Man, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. Terrence Malick's 2011 film The Tree of Life, which won the Palme d'Or, is heavily influenced by the themes of the Book of Job, as the film starts with a quote from the beginning of God's speech to Job. A 2014 Malayalam film called "Iyobinte Pusthakam" tells the story of a man who is losing everything in his life and also has parallels with Dostoevsky's (The Brothers Karamazov). The Russian film Leviathan also draws themes from the Book of Job. In 2015 two Ukrainian composers Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko created opera-requiem IYOV. The premiere of the opera was held on 21 September 2015 on the main stage of the international multidisciplinary festival Gogolfest[56]

In Islam and Arab folk tradition

Job (Arabic Ayyub ايوب) is one of the 25 prophets mentioned by name in the Quran, where he is lauded as a steadfast and upright worshiper (Q.38:44). His story has the same basic outline as in the Bible, although the three friends are replaced by his brothers, and his wife stays by his side.[53][57]

In Palestinian folklore Job's place of trial is Al-Joura, a village outside the town of Al Majdal (Ashkelon). It was there that God rewarded him with a Fountain of Youth that removed whatever illnesses he had and restored his youth. Al-Joura was a place of annual festivities (four days in all) when people of many faiths gathered and bathed in a natural spring. In Lebanon the Muwahideen (or Druze) community have a shrine built in the Shouf area that allegedly contains Job's tomb. In Turkey, Job is known as Eyüp, and he is supposed to have lived in Şanlıurfa. There is also a tomb of Job outside the city of Salalah in Oman.

See also



  1. ^ Hartley 1988, p. 3.
  2. ^ a b Lawson 2005, p. 11.
  3. ^ Seow 2013, p. 87.
  4. ^ Seow 2013, p. 74.
  5. ^ Bullock 2007, p. 87.
  6. ^ Walton 2008, p. 343.
  7. ^ a b Walton 2008, p. 333.
  8. ^ Kugler & Hartin 2009, p. 191.
  9. ^ Job 1:12.
  10. ^ Job 16:2.
  11. ^ Kugler & Hartin 2009, p. 190.
  12. ^ Clines, David J.A. (2004). "Job's God". Concilium. 2004 (4): 39-51.
  13. ^ a b Seow 2013, pp. 33–34.
  14. ^ Sawyer 2013, p. 27.
  15. ^ Walton 2008, p. 339.
  16. ^ Sawyer 2013, p. 28.
  17. ^ Habel 1985, p. 575.
  18. ^ Kugler & Hartin 2009, p. 33.
  19. ^ Fokkelman 2012, p. 20.
  20. ^ Kugler & Hartin 2009, p. 193.
  21. ^ Seow 2013, p. 44.
  22. ^ Seow 2013, p. 17.
  23. ^ Ibn Ezra on Job 2:11
  24. ^ Seow 2013, pp. 21–24.
  25. ^ Seow 2013, pp. 1–16.
  26. ^ Farmer 1998, p. 129.
  27. ^ Farmer 1998, pp. 129–30.
  28. ^ Farmer 1998, pp. 130–31.
  29. ^ Bullock 2007, p. 84.
  30. ^ Hartley 2008, p. 346.
  31. ^ Hartley 2008, p. 360.
  32. ^ Bullock 2007, p. 82.
  33. ^ Hooks 2006, p. 58.
  34. ^ Brueggemann 2002, p. 201.
  35. ^ Brueggemann 2002, pp. 177–78.
  36. ^ Walton 2008, pp. 336–37.
  37. ^ Hooks 2006, p. 57.
  38. ^ a b O'Dowd 2008, pp. 242–43.
  39. ^ a b Seow 2013, pp. 97–98.
  40. ^ Kugler & Hartin 2009, p. 194.
  41. ^ Dell 2003, p. 356.
  42. ^ Hooks 2006, pp. 329–30.
  43. ^ Fiddes 1996, p. 174.
  44. ^ Walton 2008, p. 338.
  45. ^ Sawyer 2013, p. 34.
  46. ^ Barton 2008, pp. 338–39.
  47. ^ Seow 2013, p. 111.
  48. ^ Allen 2008, pp. 362–63.
  49. ^ Dell 1991, pp. 6–7.
  50. ^ Allen 2008, p. 362.
  51. ^ Simonetti, Conti & Oden 2006, pp. 105–06.
  52. ^ Allen 2008, pp. 361–62.
  53. ^ a b Noegel & Wheeler 2010, p. 171.
  54. ^ Allen 2008, pp. 368–71.
  55. ^ Farmer 1998, p. 150.
  56. ^ GogolFest. "Program 2015".
  57. ^ Wheeler 2002, p. 8.


Further reading

  • Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr, and Edward Cook, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, (1996), HarperSanFrancisco paperback 1999, ISBN 0-06-069201-4, (contains the non-biblical portion of the scrolls)
  • Stella Papadaki-Oekland, Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts of the Book of Job, ISBN 2-503-53232-2

External links

Book of Job
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Hebrew Bible Succeeded by
Song of Songs
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Old Testament
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Preceded by
2 Maccabees
Roman Catholic
Old Testament
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4 Maccabees
Eastern Orthodox
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Adam's Apples

Adam's Apples (Danish: Adams Æbler) is a 2005 Danish black comedy-drama film directed and written by Anders Thomas Jensen. The film revolves around the theme of the Book of Job. The main roles are played by Ulrich Thomsen and Mads Mikkelsen.

Answer to Job

Answer to Job (German: Antwort auf Hiob) is a 1952 book by Carl Gustav Jung that addresses the moral, mythological and psychological implications of the Book of Job. It was first published in English in 1954.


Behemoth (; Hebrew: בהמות‎, behemot) is a beast mentioned in Job 40:15–24. Suggested identities range from a mythological creature to an elephant, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, or buffalo. Metaphorically, the name has come to be used for any extremely large or powerful entity.


Bildad (Hebrew: בִּלְדַּד‎ Bildaḏ), the Shuhite, was one of Job's three friends who visited the patriarch in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Job. He was a descendant of Shuah, son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1 - 25:2), whose family lived in the deserts of Arabia, or a resident of the district. In speaking with Job, his intent was consolation, but he became an accuser, asking Job what he has done to deserve God's wrath.

Book of Job in Byzantine illuminated manuscripts

There are fourteen known Byzantine manuscripts of the Book of Job dating from the 9th to 14th centuries, as well as a post-Byzantine codex illuminated with cycle of miniatures. The quantity of Job illustrations survived in the fifteen manuscripts exceeds 1800 pictures. The total is aggregated considerably by single images of Job in other manuscripts, frescoes and carvings.

Elihu (Job)

Elihu (Hebrew: אֱלִיהוּא ’Elihu) is a man in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Job. He is said to have descended from Buz who may be from the line of Abraham (Genesis 22:20–21 mentions Buz as a nephew of Abraham).

For a Breath I Tarry

"For a Breath I Tarry" is a 1966 post-apocalyptic novelette by American writer Roger Zelazny. Taking place long after the self-extinction of Man, it recounts the tale of Frost, a sentient machine. Though Man has disappeared, his robotic creations (and their creations in turn) continue to function. It was nominated to the Hugo Award for Best Novelette nominee for 1967.

The novelette has appeared in collections of Zelazny's works and in anthologies.Along the way, the story explores the differences between Man and Machine, the former experiencing the world qualitatively, while the latter do so quantitatively. This is illustrated by a conversation Frost has with another machine named Mordel.

Driving the plot and setting its tone are allusions to other literature, most specifically the first chapter of the Book of Job, both in situation and language, as verses are both quoted directly and paraphrased. Additionally, echoes of the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis appear. Finally, Frost and Mordel enter into a Faustian bargain, with, however, better results than in the original.

The title is from a phrase in A. E. Housman's collection A Shropshire Lad.

God's Favorite

God's Favorite is a play by Neil Simon, loosely based on the Biblical Book of Job. It was produced on Broadway in 1974.

J.B. (play)

J.B. is a 1958 play written in free verse by American playwright and poet Archibald MacLeish and is a modern retelling of the story of the biblical figure Job – hence the title: J.B./Job. The play went through several incarnations before it was finally published. MacLeish began the work in 1953 as a one-act production but within three years had expanded it to a full three-act manuscript.

There are two versions of J.B. available: the original book, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the script which MacLeish revised substantially for Broadway, published by Samuel French Inc.

Job (biblical figure)

Job ( JOHB; Hebrew: אִיּוֹב, Modern: Iyyov, Tiberian: ʾIyyôḇ) is the central figure of the Book of Job in the Bible. In rabbinical literature, Iyov (אִיּוֹב) is called one of the prophets of the Gentiles. In Islam, Job (Arabic: أيّوب‎, romanized: Ayyūb) is also considered a prophet.

Job is presented as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God's permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his offspring, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties.

Job (novel)

Job (German: Hiob) is a 1930 novel by the Austrian writer Joseph Roth. It has the subtitle "The Story of a Simple Man" ("Roman eines einfachen Mannes"). It tells the story of an orthodox Jew whose faith is weakened when he moves from Tsarist Russia to New York City. The story is based on the Book of Job.


Leviathan (; Hebrew: לִוְיָתָן, Livyatan) is a creature with the form of a sea monster from Jewish belief, referenced in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Job, Psalms, the Book of Isaiah, and the Book of Amos.

The Leviathan of the Book of Job is a reflection of the older Canaanite Lotan, a primeval monster defeated by the god Hadad. Parallels to the role of Mesopotamian Tiamat defeated by Marduk have long been drawn in comparative mythology, as have been wider comparisons to dragon and world serpent narratives such as Indra slaying Vrtra or Thor slaying Jörmungandr, but Leviathan already figures in the Hebrew Bible as a metaphor for a powerful enemy, notably Babylon (Isaiah 27:1), and some scholars have pragmatically interpreted it as referring to large aquatic creatures, such as the crocodile. The word later came to be used as a term for "great whale" as well as of sea monsters in general.

Leviathan (2014 film)

Leviathan (Russian: Левиафан, Leviafan) is a 2014 Russian tragedy film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, co-written by Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, and starring Aleksei Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, and Vladimir Vdovichenkov. According to Zvyagintsev, the story of Marvin Heemeyer in the United States inspired him and it was adapted into a Russian setting. The character development of the protagonist parallels a

biblical figure, Job. The producer Alexander Rodnyansky has said: "It deals with some of the most important social issues of contemporary Russia while never becoming an artist's sermon or a public statement; it is a story of love and tragedy experienced by ordinary people". Critics noted the film as being formidable, dealing with quirks of fate, power and money.The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Zvyagintsev and Negin won the award for Best Screenplay. The film was judged the best film of the year at the 2014 BFI London Film Festival and the 45th International Film Festival of India. It won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards. and the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Feature Film in 2014. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. It was picked as the 47th greatest film since 2000 in a 2016 critics' poll by BBC.


Satan, also known as the Devil, is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood. In Christianity and Islam, he is usually seen as either a fallen angel or a jinn, who used to possess great piety and beauty, but rebelled against God, who nevertheless allows him temporary power over the fallen world and a host of demons. In Judaism, Satan is typically regarded as a metaphor for the yetzer hara, or "evil inclination", or as an agent subservient to God.

A figure known as "the satan" first appears in the Tanakh as a heavenly prosecutor, a member of the sons of God subordinate to Yahweh, who prosecutes the nation of Judah in the heavenly court and tests the loyalty of Yahweh's followers by forcing them to suffer. During the intertestamental period, possibly due to influence from the Zoroastrian figure of Angra Mainyu, the satan developed into a malevolent entity with abhorrent qualities in dualistic opposition to God. In the apocryphal Book of Jubilees, Yahweh grants the satan (referred to as Mastema) authority over a group of fallen angels, or their offspring, to tempt humans to sin and punish them. In the Synoptic Gospels, Satan tempts Jesus in the desert and is identified as the cause of illness and temptation. In the Book of Revelation, Satan appears as a Great Red Dragon, who is defeated by Michael the Archangel and cast down from Heaven. He is later bound for one thousand years, but is briefly set free before being ultimately defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire.

In Christianity, Satan is also known as the Devil and, although the Book of Genesis does not mention him, he is often identified as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. In the Middle Ages, Satan played a minimal role in Christian theology and was used as a comic relief figure in mystery plays. During the early modern period, Satan's significance greatly increased as beliefs such as demonic possession and witchcraft became more prevalent. During the Age of Enlightenment, belief in the existence of Satan became harshly criticized. Nonetheless, belief in Satan has persisted, particularly in the Americas. In the Quran, Shaitan, also known as Iblis, is an entity made of fire who was cast out of Heaven because he refused to bow before the newly-created Adam and incites humans to sin by infecting their minds with waswās ("evil suggestions"). Although Satan is generally viewed as evil, some groups have very different beliefs.

In Theistic Satanism, Satan is considered a deity who is either worshipped or revered. In LaVeyan Satanism, Satan is a symbol of virtuous characteristics and liberty. Satan's appearance is never described in the Bible, but, since the ninth century, he has often been shown in Christian art with horns, cloven hooves, unusually hairy legs, and a tail, often naked and holding a pitchfork. These are an amalgam of traits derived from various pagan deities, including Pan, Poseidon, and Bes. Satan appears frequently in Christian literature, most notably in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, variants of the Faust legend, John Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, and the poems of William Blake. He continues to appear in film, television, and music.

The Undying Fire (Wells novel)

The Undying Fire, a 1919 novel by H. G. Wells, is a modern retelling of the story of Job. Like the Book of Job, it consists of a prologue in heaven, an exchange of speeches with four visitors, a dialogue between the protagonist and God, and an epilogue in which the protagonist's fortunes are restored. The novel is dedicated "to All Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses and every Teacher in the World."

William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job

William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job primarily refers to a series of twenty-two engraved prints (published 1826) by Blake illustrating the biblical Book of Job. It also refers to two earlier sets of watercolours by Blake on the same subject (1806 and 1821). The engraved Illustrations are considered to be Blake's greatest masterpieces in the medium of engraving, and were also a rare commercial and critical success for Blake.


In the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Book of Job, Zophar or Tzofar (צוֹפַר "Chirping; rising early", Standard Hebrew Tsofar, Tiberian Hebrew Ṣôp̄ar) the Naamathite is one of the three friends of Job who visits to comfort him during his illness. His comments can be found in Job chapter 11 and 20. He suggests that Job's suffering could be divine punishment, and goes into great detail about the consequences of living a life of sin.

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