The name of the book of Job in the Bible comes from its central character. The English name is derived from the Latin Iob, from the Greek Iōb, which was the transliteration of the Hebrew Īyōb. The meaning of the name is uncertain.
The author is uncertain. The name of the author is not indicated in the book. That Job himself could not have written all of it is shown by the inclusion of the record of his death (Job 42:17 KJV). Some have suggested that Moses wrote the account. This hypothesis would explain its inclusion in the canon, but it is mere speculation.
Job was a real person as Ezekiel 14:14–20 (KJV) and James 5:11 (KJV) indicate. He was a native of the land of Uz (Job 1, 19 KJV), which scholars have located either northeast of Palestine near desert land, probably between the city of Damascus and the Euphrates River, or to the southeast in the area of Edom. Job probably lived before or around the time of Abraham (c. 2167–1992 b.c.). Some have suggested that Job was about 70 years old at the time of the events in Job (Job 42:16 KJV). He was very wealthy; he and his sons were homeowners in a large city of the region (Job 4; 29:7 KJV); he was a respected and popular judge and benefactor of his fellow citizens (Job 29:7–25 KJV). He was a righteous man in God’s eyes (Job 1, 5, 8; 2:3 KJV; Ezek. 14:14–20 KJV; James 5:11 KJV). The events related in this book were initiated by God (Job 6–8 KJV), for God did not allow Job’s trials because of any sin in his life (Job 2:3 KJV). Job emerged from the severe testing with a fresh appreciation of God’s sovereignty and sufficiency for the believer’s life (Job 42:1–6 KJV).
Many suggestions have been made as to the purpose of the book of Job. However, the overriding intention seems to be to demonstrate to man the inadequacy of human reason to account for the suffering of the innocent. There is a mystery of divine freedom which does not contradict God’s goodness or sovereignty but remains elusive to man. Therefore, man is resigned to an attitude of trust and dependence on a good God whose workings man cannot fathom.
This article includes material from the King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition from Thomas Nelson. To learn more about this Bible, watch the video!