Author: Unknown; probably an Israelite (written shortly after dates given below)

Period: Sometime between 1600 and 1100 B.C.

Title: The English, Hebrew, Greek and Latin versions all name this book after Job, the chief character of the book. The name Job (Hebrew Iyov) means “hated” or “one persecuted.”

Summary: Job is the first poetic book of the Old Testament. This book relates the anguish of a righteous man as he and his friends struggle to explain the affliction that has befallen Job and has stripped him of his wealth, his family and his health. The dialogue continues between Job and his friends as each presents his opinion on the reasons behind such troubles. The purpose of the book of Job is to counter the belief in “exact retribution.”


Affliction of Job: Chapter 1:1 – 2:13

  • Description of Job: 1:1-5
  • Affliction of Job: 1:6 – 2:10
  • Arrival of Job’s three friends: 2:11-13

Debates between Job and his three friends: Chapter 3:1 – 31:40

  • First cycle of debate: 3:1 – 14:22
  • Second cycle of debate: 15:1 – 21:34
  • Third cycle of debate: 22:1 – 31:40

The Speeches of Elihu: Chapter 32:1 – 37:24

Restoration of Job: Chapter 38:1 – 42:17

  • God’s first challenge to Job: 38:1 – 40:5
  • God’s second challenge to Job: 40:6 – 41:34
  • Job’s submission and restoration: 42:1-17