Background and Outline (Job)

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

The author of Job is anonymous. Job does not seem to be an Israelite, because he is said to be from the land of Uz (Job 1:1), which most scholars suggest was to the southeast of ancient Israel. Because he is cited in the book of Ezekiel (Ezek. 14:14, 20), it seems best to date his story no later than Ezekiel’s life (6th Century BC). His story, in any case, is timeless.

The book contains a wide variety of literary genres (narrative, poetry, visions, dialogue and others) woven together into a literary masterpiece. The most commonly accepted outline identifies two cycles of lament, dialogue, and revelation, sandwiched between a prologue and an epilogue:

Job 1-2

Prologue - Job's Prosperity Lost

Job 3

Job's First Lament

Job 4-27

Dialogue with the Three Friends

Job 28

Wisdom Revealed

Job 29-31

Job's Second Lament

Job 32-37

Dialogue with Elihu

Job 38-42:6

God Revealed

Job 42:7-17

Epilogue - Job's Prosperity Restored