American Edition

It was further specified by the Old Testament Wisdom as posted at OrthodoxPhotos online that possessing such wisdom is not due to personal merit; it is a gift of God. However, it should not be mistakenly interpreted that “Biblical wisdom is the wisdom of earthly prosperity. The Bible sees true wisdom in humble devotion to God in the most severe sufferings and in recognizing the unfathomable nature of God’s ways when suffering innocently” (OrthodoxPhotos online, 2007), which is concretize in the wisdom of the righteous Job.

“But there is no true wisdom in the dialectical logic of his friends, for the very reason that they self-confidently consider that they understand God’s thoughts. In their arguments there is what could be called rationalism based on a religious foundation. They are told to ask forgiveness of God through Job” (OrthodoxPhotos online, 2007). The book of Job is part of the Old Testament collection of Wisdom Literature, along with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Like the other Wisdom books, Job is primarily composed of poetry and Job 28 consists of a hymn to Wisdom.

Yet Job stands in strong contrast to Proverbs. Many scholars believe that Job was written to correct a possible misunderstanding of the message of Proverbs. Job is different from Proverbs in another important way. Most of Proverbs could be read in one or two verse segments and the full meaning would be clear. To understand the full impact of the book of Job the book must be read and understood as a whole. In fact, some scholars believe that Job requires and understanding of the book as a whole more than any other book of the Old Testament.

JOB WISDOM According to Roger Hahn (2007), the Book of Job is among the Old Testament collection of wisdom literature, along with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. It requires a reader to read the whole book in order to understand the full impact of the book. Most of the readers of the book acknowledge that such a profound book might be difficult to understand, but it is accordingly surprising to note that very few know the historical background of Job.

According to Roger Hahn, there is no book either in the Old or New Testament like the Book of Job that the author, the date, the place of writing, and even the context of writing are not known or confirmed, (Hahn 2007). It is claimed by some people the Book of Job was written during the time of David and Solomon. However, R. Gordis, the author of The Book of God and Man (1965), said that “others argue that it was written by Job himself, or by Elihu, or Isaiah, or perhaps more probably by Moses”, who gained this knowledge from the wisdom of the Egyptians.

It is worthwhile to know deeper the innate meaning of the Wisdom of Job, since it is accordingly “a complex wisdom writing that uses a blend of prose and poetry in dramatic form to explore the perennial problem of innocent suffering and God’s justice” (Gordes, 1965). According to the Holy Bible (p. 553), the Book of Job is the story of a good man who suffers so much disaster; loses all his children and properties, and is afflicted with a repulsive disease”. The book has three series of poetic dialogues that show how Job’s friends and Job himself react to these calamities.

Job’s suffering was interpreted by his friends in traditional religious terms. Their interpretation was based on their own religious outlook that God always rewards good and punishes evil, and therefore, concluded that Job is punished by God because he has sinned. Job was confused why God allow such cruel punishment and let so much evil to happen to a good and righteous man like him, to extent that he boldly challenges God. However, Job does not lose his faith, but he is longing for justification from God why He allowed this to happen and wanted to regain his honor as a good man.

Nevertheless, the Holy Bible American Edition (1978) said that “God does not give an answer to Job’s questions, but respond to Job’s faith by overwhelming him with a poetic picture of his divine power and wisdom. Job then humbly acknowledges God as wise and great, and repents of the wild and angry words he had used”. The book’s conclusive part depicts how Job was healed and how his former condition restored, which was even greater than the prosperity he has before. Job’s friends were reprimanded by God for failing to deeply understand the meaning of Job’s suffering. Job then, acknowledges that God is greater than any traditional religion.