Why Are We Reading Job after Genesis 11?

If you are part of the “Rebichron Initiative,” then you may be wondering why we jumped from Genesis 11 to Job 1 in our Bible reading.  Let me try to give you a brief answer to that question.

 

Many Bible scholars, if not most, think that Job is one of the oldest books of the Bible and describes the life of a man who lived sometime after the flood and before Abraham.  And since God calls Abraham in Genesis 12, most chronological reading plans place Job between Genesis 11 and Genesis 12.  Here are a few reasons why people think this way.

 

First, not many people are sure where the land of Uz is, and it seems that the earlier the book was written, the more opportunities existed to either forget where it was or for the name to be changed by later settlers.  Lamentations 4:21 defines the land of Uz with Edom. In that case, since Job was from the East (Job 1:3), somebody West of Edom or writing from a perspective West of Edom would have either written the book or edited that phrase.  Jewish tradition ascribes that to Moses who possibly came upon the book while he was in Midian and wrote as an Egyptian, Egypt being West of Edom/Uz. 

 

Second, the book of Job has more references to creation, the flood, and the universal conflict between God and Satan than any other book in the Bible besides Genesis.  It seems as if Job spoke of the flood as an event in the past but not the too distant past. Uz was the name of Noah’s great grandson, Shem’s grandson.  It’s possible that both Noah and Shem had the chance to discuss the events of the great flood with Job at some point.

 

It seems that Job lived at or before the time of Abraham based on a few events that Job mentions that are peculiar to patriarchal times.  There are no mention of Levitical laws, the tabernacle, the people of Israel, etc.  Instead, Job functioned as a father/priest, similar to the patriarchs.  He also lived an unnaturally long life, probably over 200 years old when he died, except when compared with the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Biblical authors Ezekiel, James, and Paul all thought Job was a real person regardless of the “fairytale-like” drama that unfolded in his life.

 

Some people think Solomon may have written Job because the insights are so keen.  For sure, somebody wise had to have written the book.  Personally, I have no problem with Job being the original author and Moses securing the book during his time in Midian. Regardless, Jesus considered it part of the authoritative Hebrew Scriptures, and that’s good enough for me to do so as well.

 

I hope you’re enjoying our traipse through the Bible in chronological fashion. I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying it!