God’s great majesty shines forth in poetic language in chs. 38–39. These are some of the Bible’s most awe-inspiring passages about God.
Snow from Mount Hermon
The snow from Mount Hermon is an important water source for the Jordan River, but the climate in much of Israel is too mild for regular snowfall. In Job, snow is a symbol of purity (37:6).
Songs in the night
Songs in the night. Without the conveniences of modern streetlights or flashlights, nights in the ancient world were very dark and often frightening. People could easily hurt themselves at night or fall prey to animals or criminals. Songs of worship… Read More »Songs in the night
Pits were used for everything from water collection and food storage to animal traps and prisons. Pits were often seen as signs of danger, representing the final destination of the wicked (33:18). Often the wicked are described as falling into… Read More »Pits
Rocks pouring out streams of oil
Rocks pouring out streams of oil (29:6) is a reference to olive trees. They are one of the few trees that thrive in rocky soil. It can be 10 years or more before an olive tree yields fruit, but then… Read More »Rocks pouring out streams of oil
Those who rebel against the light
Those who rebel against the light is how Job describes people who oppose wisdom and righteousness (24:13). They sleep during the day and do their evil deeds at night.
A pledge (22:6) was an object of worth given as a down payment on a debt. Israelites were not to take in pledge essential items such as clothing (Ex. 22:26) or tools a person needed for their work (Deut. 24:6).
Honey is mentioned often in the Bible (see 20:17). People probably gathered the honey from wild bees. The gathering of wild honey led to an interesting episode in the life of Samson (Judg. 14:8–20).
Proverbs in Job
Proverbs in Job. In 17:5, Job may have been quoting a proverb to warn his friends not to make false accusations against him. Proverbs are an effective and memorable way of stating a truth. The book of Proverbs is a… Read More »Proverbs in Job
Sackcloth (16:15) was an outward sign of grieving. It was a coarse fabric used for grain sacks. It was very uncomfortable to wear and thus showed that the person was truly grieving. It was also worn to show repentance.
Three cycles of conversations
The book of Job includes three cycles of conversations in which the friends of Job offer their comfort and advice, and then listen as Job responds. The first cycle covers chs. 4–14.
Clay was one of the most readily available materials in ancient times. It was used to construct buildings and to make everyday household items. Job describes himself as having been made “like clay” (10:9) and says that he will someday… Read More »Clay
In the literature of the ancient Near East, the sea (9:8) is often seen as a threat to the order of nature. People looked upon the sea as something that could not be contained or conquered.
What is Sheol
What is Sheol? In the OT, Sheol (7:9–10) is where the dead reside. It is a place of rest for believers (1 Sam. 28:14), but a place of punishment for the wicked (Isa. 14:3–23).
Was Job a real person?
Was Job a real person? It is not known exactly when Job lived, but he was a real person. Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and James 5:11 refer to him as a historical figure.
Seven days and seven nights
Seven days and seven nights was a traditional period for mourning in the ancient Near East (2:13).
Comfort is a key word in the book of Job. When faced with personal tragedies, Job receives no comfort from his friends (16:2). But when God answers him (see chs. 38–41), he finds the comfort he needs.
Hanging on nothing?
Hanging on nothing? Although he didn’t have all the tools of modern science, Job understood that God “hangs the earth on nothing” (26:7). His infinite power keeps every planet, moon, and star in its appointed place (Col. 1:15–17).