Author: Not stated.
Date: Unclear, but many believe Job is one of the oldest stories in the Bible, perhaps from approximately 2000 BC.
In Ten Words or Less: God allows human suffering for His own purposes.
Details: Head of a large family, Job is a wealthy farmer from a place called Uz. He’s “perfect and upright” (1:1) - so much so, that God calls Satan’s attention to him. The devil, unimpressed, asks and receives God’s permission to attack Job’s possessions - and wipes out thousands of sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, and worst of all, Job’s ten children. Despite Satan’s attack, Job keeps his faith. Satan then receives God’s permission to attack Job’s health - but in spite of terrible physical suffering, Job refuses to “curse God, and die” as his wife suggests (2:9). Before long, though, Job begins to question why God would allow him - a good man - to suffer so severely. Job’s suffering is worsened by the arrival of four “friends” who begin to accuse him of causing his own trouble by secret sin. “Is not thy wickedness great?” asks Eliphaz the Temanite (22:5). In the end, God Himself speaks, vindicating Job before his friends and also addressing the overarching issue of human suffering. God doesn’t explain Job’s suffering but asks a series of questions that shows His vast knowledge - implying that Job should simply trust God’s way. And Job does, telling God, “I know that thou canst do every thing” (42:2). By story’s end, God has restored Job’s health, possessions, and family, giving him ten more children.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.