persecuted, an Arabian patriarch who resided in the land of Uz (q.v.). While living in the midst of great prosperity, he was suddenly overwhelmed by a series of sore trials that fell upon him. Amid all his sufferings he maintained his integrity. Once more God visited him with the rich tokens of his goodness and even greater prosperity than he had enjoyed before. He survived the period of trial for one hundred and forty years, and died in a good old age, an example to succeeding generations of integrity ( Ezekiel 14:14 Ezekiel 14:20 ) and of submissive patience under the sorest calamities ( James 5:11 ). His history, so far as it is known, is recorded in his book.
he that weeps or cries
the patriarch, from whom one of the books of the Old Testament is named. His residence in the land of Uz marks him as belonging to a branch of the Aramean race, which had settled in the lower part of Mesopatamia (Probably to the south or southeast of Palestine, in Idumean Arabia), adjacent to the Sabeans and Chaldeans. The opinions of Job and his friends are thus peculiarly interesting as exhibiting an aspect of the patriarchal religion outside of the family of Abraham, and as yet uninfluenced by the legislation of Moses. The form of worship belongs essentially to the early patriarchal type; with little of ceremonial ritual, without a separate priesthood, it is thoroughly domestic in form and spirit. Job is represented as a chieftain of immense wealth and high rank, blameless in all the relations of life. What we know of his history is given in the book that bears his name.
job ('iyobh, meaning of name doubtful; some conjecturing "object of enmity," others "he who turns," etc., to God; both uncertain guesses; Iob):
The titular hero of the Book of Job, represented as a wealthy and pious land-holder who lived in patriarchal times, or at least conditions, in the land of Uz, on the borders of Idumea. Outside of the Book of Job he is mentioned by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14,20) as one of 3 great personages whose representative righteousness would presumably avail, if that of any individuals could, to redeem the nation; the other two being Noah, an ancient patriarch, and Daniel, a contemporary of the prophet. It is difficult to determine whether Job was an actual personage or not. If known through legend, it must have been on account of some such experience as is narrated in the book, an experience unique enough to have become a potent household word; still, the power and influence of it is due to the masterly vigor and exposition of the story. It was the Job of literature, rather than the Job of legend, who lived in the hearts of men; a character so commanding that, albeit fictitious, it could be referred to as real, just as we refer to Hamlet or Othello. It is not the way of Hebrew writers, however, to evolve literary heroes from pure imagination; they crave an authentic basis of fact. It is probable that such a basis, in its essential outlines, existed under the story of Job. It is not necessary to suppose, however, that the legend or the name was known to Israel from ancient times. Job is introduced (Job 1:1) as if he had not been known before. The writer, who throughout the book shows a wide acquaintance with the world, doubtless found the legend somewhere, and drew its meanings together for an undying message to his and all times.
John Franklin Genung
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