Dale Appleby

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Bible Resources

Job Reading Guide

Reading Job

These questions may help you think about some of the issues in this book. You will think of other questions yourself as you read it. At this stage read the book as many times as you can in order to form your own picture of what it is about.

Part 1 Overview

1. Reading

1.1. Read Job a number of times. Look for the structure, the recurring themes and main ideas.
1.2. Don’t read any notes, introductions in your Bible, or other books. Try to work out what it is about yourself first.

2. The Book

2.1. What is the broad structure of Job. Can you see any pattern?
2.2. Can you see where poetry and prose are used?
2.3. What references are there to Israel’s history or traditions?

3. The Author

3.1. Who is telling the story?
3.2. Why was it written?
3.3. What was the author’s thesis?
3.4. Do you think the author succeeded in what he or she set out to do?

4. The Content

4.1. Compare the beginning 1.1 – 2.10 with the end 42.10-17
4.2. How does the behind the scenes story (1.6-12; 2.1-6) make a difference to our understanding of Job’s response?
4.3. What is it that characterises Job in Chapters 1-2 and 42?

5. God

5.1. When God spoke to Satan, was it a dare, a challenge, a bet, or …?
5.2. What was at stake in this interaction between God and Satan?
5.3. Why did God do it?
5.4. Why does Satan not feature at the end of the story?
5.5. What is God’s role in job’s suffering?

 

Part 2: The speeches of Job and his Friends  Job 3-31

  1. You may like to make your own analysis of this section without, or before, using this guide.

  2. In 42.7,8 God says the friends have not spoken of God what is right as his servant Job has. What was wrong and what was right in the speeches of the friends?

  3. What are job’s main complaints and accusations against God?

  4. What are Job’s main requests?

  5. What is the theological foundation from which Job is speaking?

  6. Does Job charge God with wrong (1.22)?

  7. The grid below may help identify some of the main ideas in the section.

  8. Does Job have a theory to explain his suffering?

 

CHAPTER SPEAKER FRIENDS' MAIN IDEA WHAT SAID ABOUT GOD THAT IS NOT RIGHT ANSWER TO JOB JOB'S MAIN IDEA WHAT IS SAID ABOUT GOD WHAT IS SAID TO GOD JOB'S COMPLAINT IMPORTANT OTHER THEMES
3 JOB1
4-5 ELIPHAZ 1
6-7 JOB 2
8 BILDAD 1
9-10 JOB 3
11 ZOPHAR 1
12-14 JOB 4
15 ELIPHAZ 2
16-17 JOB 5
18 BILDAD 2
19 JOB 6
20 ZOPHAR 2
21 JOB 7
22 ELIPHAZ 3
23-24 JOB 8
25 BILDAD 3
26-28 JOB 8

29-31

JOB SUMM

 

 

Part 3:   The Final Speeches: Job 32-42

You may like to use these questions to help you think through the last part of Job, and review the book as a whole.

1. The Elihu speeches 32 – 37

1.1 According to Elihu what was wrong with the ideas of
a. the friends
b.  Job
1.2 What main ideas did Elihu put forward to explain Job’s predicament?


2. The LORD’s Answer 38-41
2.1 What are the main ideas the LORD puts forward?
2.2 How do these answer Job?
2.3 Is Satan’s role referred to, or are there any supernatural references such as in chapters 1-2?

3.  Job’s Answer and Restoration 42
3.1 Was Job satisfied?
3.2 What convinced Job to stop complaining?
3.3 Was Job charged with wrong by God?
3.4 What brought about the end of Job’s sufferings?
3.5 Why was Job’s prayer for the friends necessary?

4.   The book as a whole
4.1 What is the main thesis of the book? or
4.2 What is the main story of the book?
4.3 Why do you think it was written?
4.4 What picture does it give of
i.      The LORD
ii.      Satan
iii.      Job
4.5 Why did these things happen to Job?
4.6 Did he learn or benefit from what happened?
4.7 What help does it give to others who are like Job?
4.8 To whom will the “happily ever after” apply?

5. Job in the Bible
5.1 How do the main ideas of the book of Job develop through the Bible?
5.2 Does it find any fulfilment in the NT?
5.3 What help is the book to a follower of Christ?