Background and Outline (Job)

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project
Background outline job

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 1:1-2:11

Prologue - Job's Prosperity Lost

Job 3:1-26

Job's First Lament

Job 4:1-27:23

Dialogue With the Three Friends

Job 28:1-28

Wisdom Revealed

Job 29:1-31:40

Job's Second Lament

Job 32:1-37:24

Dialogue With Elihu

Job 38:1-42:6

God Revealed

Job 42:7-17

Epilogue - Job's Prosperity Restored