The Book of Job - Lesson 7

The Prologue of Job (Job 1-2)

Satan appears before God with an accusation against Job. Even though Job is described as, “upright and blameless,” Satan accuses Job of serving God only because Job is prosperous. God allows Satan to take away Job’s possessions, children and health. The remainder of the book is the dialogue of Job and his friends attempting to determine why this is happening.

Duane Garrett
The Book of Job
Lesson 7
Watching Now
The Prologue of Job (Job 1-2)

I. Summary of the Structure

II. Main Points in the Prologue

A. Job is declared to be upright and blameless

B. Appearance of Satan

1. His malevolence is clear

2. The Hebrew term, “ha satan” is a proper name and it does mean Satan

C. Job loses all his wealth and children in the first affliction and his health in the second

D. Satan's proverb, "skin for skin" appears nowhere else in the Bible

1. Similar to, "eye for an eye," Exodus 21:24

2. Satan means that Job values nothing as much as his own skin

E. Job won't curse God and die. The rest of the book is Job and his friends trying to figure out why

F. Job's three friends show up

1. Job's friends come to comfort him

2. The three friends are like Job

3. Job's friends are concerned about orthodoxy but end up acting like hateful people

  • When you see what you would describe as evil and injustice in the world, how does that affect your view of God? When someone is suffering, do you assume that it’s because they are getting what they deserve? This lecture gives you an overview of book of Job by describing his situation, how he interacts with his friends and God, and what we can learn about how God is managing the world.

  • Because there is nothing specific in the text that tells you when the book of Job was written, the sections in Job that allude to other passages of scripture give you some helpful clues. The structure of the book of Job focuses your attention on the main subject of the book which is God’s wisdom.

  • Other cultures in the ancient near east created literature with themes that are similar to the book of Job. The book of Job is unique because of his character and the answer that the book provides for the situation he is in.

  • Job is one of the wisdom books of the Old Testament. It covers more “advanced” topics than Proverbs and uses a variety of literary genres and allusions to other Biblical passages to explain and illustrate profound truths about God’s nature and his involvement in the world.

  • There is limited information in the book of Job about its geographical and historical background. However, it can be helpful to understand general information about the geography and history of the area to give you a context for reading and studying the book of Job. The author of the book of Job was a Hebrew poet who had an extensive vocabulary. Being uncertain about history and geography is good because the message is timeless.

  • Job contains literary elements that are similar to what you find in other Biblical books that are Apocalyptic. These elements include depictions of events in heaven and on earth, the emphasis on specific numbers and persevering in your faith in God, the references to mythological animals and God’s supernatural control of all events. 

  • Satan appears before God with an accusation against Job. Even though Job is described as, “upright and blameless,” Satan accuses Job of serving God only because Job is prosperous. God allows Satan to take away Job’s possessions, children and health. The remainder of the book is the dialogue of Job and his friends attempting to determine why this is happening.

  • Job curses the day he was born. When you carefully examine what he is saying, you realize that it is more intense than just saying that he wished he had never lived.

  • Eliphaz begins tactfully in his remarks to Job. He did not intend to do harm. However, he thinks God is causing Job to suffer because of a sin Job committed. He speaks accurately of the justice of God, but in Job’s case he misapplies it. He also gives a message he received from the, “night spirit.”

  • Eliphaz considers the message of the, “night spirit” a revelation from God. However, at it’s core, this message is inconsistent with God’s attitude toward Job, and creation in general.

  • Job’s theological worldview has fallen apart because he knows he doesn’t deserve to suffer. Eliphaz calls Job to repent. Job responds questioning why he is suffering, because according to his worldview, he hasn’t done anything to deserve it.   

  • Bildad is direct is his rebuke and admonition of Job. He uses metaphors to get his point across.

  • When Job’s friends describe God as all powerful in an attempt to comfort Job, he becomes terrified because he sees God as causing his suffering and there is nothing that can stop it.

  • Zophar assumes that Job is being punished because he sinned and accuses him of mocking God. Job's three friends move from tactful suggestions to open hostility. As Job is searching for answers, he becomes disappointed in his friends.

  • Job agrees with his friends that God is causing his suffering, but disagrees with them about why it’s happening. Job believes that God will eventually vindicate him.

  • Eliphaz appeals to the night spirit and the tradition of the elders to tell Job that he is a babbling and blaspheming fool.

  • Job begins by criticizing what his friends are saying to him and then professes his faith in God. Bildad responds harshly to Job.

  • Even though Job’s friends have criticized him, he has grown in his faith in God. Job is worn out and begs for compassion. When he gets nothing but contempt and hostility instead, he confesses his faith and hope in God. The messianic theology of Job is different from any other book of the Bible.  

  • Zophar uses metaphors that are found in other passages of scripture as well as Job’s own words to accuse Job of being wicked. However, Zophar made a serious error, which we need to avoid in our lives.

  • Job continues to wrestle with the presence of evil in the world and the apparent injustice of God. 

  • Eliphaz attacks Job as being wicked by twisting the meaning of what Job has said previously. The irony is that Job will be reconciled to God and will pray for Eliphaz.

  • Job wants to lay out his case before God by claiming his innocence. Job says that God is hidden and does as he chooses, but that God neither judges the guilty nor helps the righteous. Bildad responds by contrasting God’s holiness and human lowliness.

  • Job sarcastically thanks the friends for their wise words, which he doesn’t think were wise at all.

  • This is a poem about wisdom that divides the content of the book and points to a deep truth. It is inserted by the author of the book and is not attributed to Job or the friends.

  • The crisis that Job is experiencing is not just the material losses and physical suffering, but also his crisis of faith. He thought he understood what his relationship with God is all about but he feels that God has abandoned him for no apparent reason. Job laments the pain he feels from being disgraced and humiliated.

  • This is the last major statement that Job makes, other than his responses to God that come later. Job is taking a series of oaths that he has not committed any of the sins he mentions. The Bible is distinctive in declaring that all people are created equally, in the image of God. In ancient cultures, some people intrinsically have more value than others because of heritage, wealth, gender, race, etc. God looks on everyone impartially.  

  • Elihu is not mentioned either before or after his speech. He claims to be perfect in knowledge. Elihu thinks that the other three did not convince Job because they did not give a satisfactory answer, but Elihu ends up repeating what they have already said. He thinks that the doctrine of retribution is the answer to Job’s situation. Elihu is a warning to us that we don’t have all the answers.

  • The questions of the book of Job are, “How does God address the problem of evil and why do we serve God? God created a world that is stable and not chaotic. Where there was chaos, God brought in light, shape and beauty. Chaotic forces are necessary for life and God controls them.

  • People in ancient Mesopotamia lived in constant fear of the chaos, danger, ferocity of nature and they valued subduing, controlling and pushing back nature. Wilderness was something to be tamed and pushed back by civilization. In the Gilgamesh epic poem, Enkidu is transformed into a civilized man who protects the domestic animals from the wild animals. In Egypt, there were gods of the Black Land and gods of the Red Land. God sees everything in the world as entirely under his control.

  • God’s care for the animals and how this relates to the problem of Job. All of the things that we see as chaos, and out of control depend on God and thrive because he provides for them and things that he manages and glories in. God describes nature as good, unlike the night spirit that describes it with contempt and loathing. God knows how to manage the chaotic elements of creation.

  • The societies of the Ancient Near East had a high concept of justice. It was the duty of the rulers to uphold justice and protect the powerless. If you are a man who leads, you need to make sure that evil is held in check. Listen to people who come to you with a grievance. God is asking Job if he comprehends what it means to bring justice to the world. It involves both power and wisdom.

  • Behemoth is the plural form of a Hebrew word that refers to animals in general also specifically to wild animals. In Job, it’s also used as a metaphor representing the composite forces of the powers of the earth that are against God.

  • Behemoth is a dangerous power that God must reckon with. Some people think this is an allusion to animals that God created in Genesis 1:24. “Lady Wisdom” is the wisdom that God built into creation. Behemoth is dangerous and a force to be reckoned with, not the embodiment of good behavior. One aspect of principalities and powers is forces outside of the world we can see. In Revelation, God protects people from the fury and wrath of the beast, which is an oppressive power that seeks to take the place of God.  

  • Job 41 describes Leviathan. Leviathan is not a natural animal like a crocodile. Sometimes Leviathan refers to a large sea creature, and sometimes death, chaos and the embodiment of evil. Satan is present at the first of the book but he is never mentioned again. In order for God to deal with evil in the world, he must defeat Leviathan.

  • Leviathan is a ferocious creature that no human can subdue. God is saying that he is willing to oppose Leviathan and  is not frightened of Leviathan or intimidated by his boasting. God is the one who will defeat this enemy who seems unbeatable to humans. God tells Job that he will deal with Leviathan but God doesn’t tell him how he will do it. Job embraced God’s answer even though Job didn’t know how God would deal with evil.

  • Job announces that he has changed his outlook on evil, God’s governance of the world and his own suffering. Job knew that God is all-powerful. Now Job knows something more about how God uses his power. Should God be merciful to people who will still be evil? Eschatological is an event that can only happen by a work of God. Emergence of divine power within the historical context. Job admits that he didn’t understand the complexity that is involved in God conquering evil. God forgives Job’s three friends because Job interceded for them. God is showing his approval with job by publicly restoring him.

  • Job’s suffering brought him to a new understanding of who God is and what God is doing in the world. Job’s hope, and our hope, is in a heavenly redeemer that rose from the dead. Legalism comes about often when people hold to essential teachings but they don’t know God. They substitute the rules for relationship.

  • Job mentions composite animals similar to those described in other apocalyptic passages. Job had faith that God would do a work of salvation but didn’t understand everything that Jesus would do. There is a hidden plan of God to redeem people and conquer evil that is a major theme in apocryphal books and also in Job.

  • Job tells us about the heavenly mediator. Prior to his afflictions, Job’s life was almost god-like because he was relatively free of suffering. Job through his affliction, faces the problem of evil and the enormity of suffering in the human race. Even though some people commit evil and violent acts, Job describes them in pitiful terms.

  • Should virtue, or piety, be disinterested? If it’s not done for it’s own sake, is it real? Job’s love for God is not disinterested, but it is real.

If God is good and powerful, why do you see suffering in the world? Why do you serve God even when you experience suffering? How do you respond to others when they ask these questions? How have you answered them for yourself? These are such important questions that the entire book of Job is devoted discussing only these issues in the context of the perspective of the experiences of one person. 

The theme of the book of Job is timeless and singular. There are clues about its geographical and historical setting but nothing in the book itself that identifies the place or time of its writing. However, the setting is irrelevant because the questions that are addressed in the Book of Job are ones that people have asked in all cultures, throughout time. It would be distracting and even limiting to frame the dialogue in a specific time or culture. There are enough clues in the text to give you a general idea of the culture and time it was written in to help you understand the logic and metaphors used by the main characters in their dialogue. 

The complete book of Job is composed of the dialogue of Job, his friends and God regarding the issues of God's goodness, his power, and evil in the world. No historical events. No other personal, corporate or theological issues. Since these questions are central to your understanding of God's character and how he works in the world around us throughout history, the book of Job compels you to consider this question deeply and exhaustively. The point is that by the end of the book, you can understand and articulate who God is and how he works in your life and in the world. 

The value of this class is that Dr. Garrett helps you understand what the text means, the historical and theological implications, and how you apply it to your life. Dr. Garrett's knowledge of the Bible, understanding of the Hebrew language and background in Ancient Near Eastern history and culture inform his insights into the message of the book and what it means to you. He is skilled at explaining technical linguistic and theological issues in a way that helps you comprehend them and see how they apply to your life. Whether you are just beginning in your study of the Bible or you have had training at an advanced academic level, studying the Book of Job with Dr. Garrett has the potential change the way you understand God and also how you live each day. 

Recommended Books

The Book of Job: A Biblical Answer to Pain - Student Guide

The Book of Job: A Biblical Answer to Pain - Student Guide

This Student's Guide is for the class on The Book of Job in BiblicalTraining.org. It contains the outlines to the lectures, a summary of each point, and reflection...

The Book of Job: A Biblical Answer to Pain - Student Guide


We have done a lot of preliminary work. We have looked at the background of Job, issues regarding the geography and the language, parallels in ancient and Near Eastern literature; and we are finally ready to begin to look at the book of Job itself. We begin with the prologue, chapters 1 and 2.

I. Summary of the Structure

Let’s take a look quickly at the structure of the book of Job. It has as its beginning the background of the story, chapter 1: 1-5; then at the end of chapter 2, the background of the dialogue. Of course, in chapter 3 and following we will have the dialogue between Job and his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. So you have first the background of the whole story and then the background specifically of the dialogue.

These two sections, A and A-prime, are kind of like bookends. They are structured, as scholars call, “an inclusion structure.” This basically just means they
are the two bookends in which everything else is included. Between these two bookends we have a parallel structure. First, there is dialogue in heaven, that is B, chapter 1, verses 6-12. Then there is the affliction of Job, C, chapter 1:13-19. Finally, there is Job’s response to his first affliction, chapter 1:20-22. Then 2:1-6 there is another dialogue in heaven. Then C-prime, the affliction of Job again, 2:7-8. Then B-prime, Job’s second response, 2:9-10. So you can see in B, C, D and then B-prime, C-prime, D-prime, we have these two parallel sections that are inserted between A and A-prime.

II. Main Points in the Prologue

A. Job is declared to be upright and blameless

So, what is going on in this passage? We begin Job chapter 1, verse 1: “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” I have talked about this already, but let’s make sure we get the point. The very first verse of the book tells us Job is not guilty of something that caused God to give him the afflictions. The book could not possibly be more clear. It uses repetitive language to make sure you get it. He is blameless. He is upright. He fears God and he shuns evil.

So we read this and we understand from the very outset, this is what we are dealing with. This is the premise of the whole book. To put it simply, Job suffers because of his righteousness, not because of any sin.

The book then tells us more details of his life, that he was very wealthy. He had seven sons, three daughters, all these thousands of sheep and camel and oxen and donkeys. These were of course ways of accumulating wealth in the ancient world. So he was among the greatest men of the people of the East. He was a very great and very powerful man, and righteous. So we read an account of how Job lived in verses 4 and 5. He was so concerned about the need to be careful before God, to not offend God, to be sure that he and his family were right before God that whenever his sons would hold feasts, which they would do frequently, he would offer the sacrifice, saying, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God In their hearts.” So, even though he didn’t see them doing anything, he was so scrupulous, that he would give all of these sacrifices to be sure that if any offense was given to God, sacrifice had been made for atonement. That is the opening of the book.

B. Appearance of Satan

Then we get to the appearance of Satan. Satan shows up in chapter 1, verse 6. “One day the angels came to present them before the Lord and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.’” Satan says he has been going to and fro across the face of the earth.

God then asks him if he has considered his servant, Job. Notice how God describes Job. “There is no-one on earth like him. He is blameless and upright, a
man who fears God and shuns evil.” Exactly what verse 1 said. So God Himself affirms, yes, Job is totally righteous. Notice that Satan does not contest the idea that Job is righteous, but he says, ”Does Job fear God for nothing?” So even in Satan’s own words, out of his own mouth, Job is righteous, but he thinks Job is only righteous because in effect, God is paying him to be righteous.

There is an issue we need to deal with in this passage and that is, the identity of this figure called Satan. There is a very common debate among scholars over the meaning of the term. In Hebrew it says, “ha satan.” Now ha satan can be taken as a common noun with a definite article, meaning “the adversary.” So many people will say it is not a proper name. It is not Satan, the figure, the person, the Devil. It is rather someone who is simply described as “the adversary.” Many people in turn will say, “Well, not only is this not Satan as we think of the term, but he is not even evil. He is actually there just doing a job. He is like a state prosecutor. The attorney of the state is not an evil man, he is just a man who has the job of prosecution and if someone he thinks committed this crime, it is his job to go before a judge and jury and say, ‘Look, I think this man is guilty of such-and-such a crime and you have to punish him.’” Many people will say,”This figure in Job chapter 1 is not the Devil, not Satan. He is ha satan the adversary, who is simply doing his job and declaring that God needs to be real careful before he says that Job is righteous.”

Is that correct? I do not think it is. I think there are a couple of things we can say about ha satan in Job. First of all, his malevolence is very clear. When you read what he says to God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” He really wants Job to be evil. When he afflicts Job with the most severe possible pain, the killing of all of his children, taking all of his wealth, covering his body with agonizing sores, it is an attempt to coerce him, to force him to sin against God, to curse God and die. That is not the job of a prosecutor. That is not what someone does who has no malevolence. So I think the figure of Job chapter 1 is clearly a malevolent, evil figure.

Furthermore, the term “ha satan” is a proper name and it does mean “Satan.” It could have left off the definite article, “the.” In Hebrew the word for “the” is (ההשּׂמשּׂשּׂמטן) and if that had been left off, it would just say, “satan” and we would say, “Okay, it is the proper name Satan.” Why does it say “ha satan?”
Because sometimes his proper name includes the definite article “the.” How do we know that? Because it appears in Zechariah chapter 3, verse 2. The malevolent figure in this vision in Zechariah chapter 3, who by the way again is accusing and in this case he is accusing Joshua the High Priest, he is clearly saying in Zechariah he is understood to be a specific individual, Satan. The Angel of the Lord rebukes him and says, “May the Lord (Yahweh) rebuke you, Satan.” In Hebrew (יִגְעַר יְהוָה בְּךָ הַשָּׂטָן). May he rebuke Adoni ha satan, The Lord. May the Lord rebuke you, ha satan, which means Satan. So he is simply calling him by his name, ha satan. Again, it could be translated “the adversary;” but it is in this case, and I think also in Job chapter 1, it is functioning as a proper name. He is not just “the adversary,” he is Satan. This is an actual evil figure who is presented as a person who is malevolent, who desires to destroy Job and desires to bring him down. 

C. Job loses all his wealth and children in the first affliction and his health in the second

We go through the story and it is all pretty familiar to you. We don’t need to recount everything that happened. Satan tells God, “You have to take away all of his stuff and then he’ll curse you.” God says, “Okay, you can take away all his possessions, but don’t harm him.” Satan does that. All of Job’s properties are lost. All of his children die. The Sabeans and Chaldeans come sweeping in and kill everybody. When Job is mourning and grieving, he says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord has given and taken away. May the Name of the Lord be praised.” In all of this, Job did not sin by charging God with any wrongdoing.

So we know the story at that point. Then Satan comes back and he says, “Well, here is what is going on. He didn’t get hurt himself. If he was bodily harmed
himself, in his own flesh, then he would curse you. But I guess he can stand losing all of his possessions.”

The key comes in verses 3 and 4, chapter 2, verse 3 and following: “Then The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one on earth like him. He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.’”

D. Satan’s proverb, “skin for skin” appears nowhere else in the Bible

“Skin for skin” Satan replied. A man will give all he has for his own life. What in the world does that mean – skin for skin. Let’s try to figure it out. Satan’s proverb, skin for skin, is in Hebrew [reading Hebrew], “skin or flesh for the sake of, for the price of skin.” This idiom doesn’t appear anywhere else in the Hebrew Bible. So we are left trying to figure out, what in the world did he mean when he said, “skin for skin, skin for the sake of skin,” or perhaps, “skin for the price of skin.”

We don’t have this idiom anywhere else in the Hebrew Bible, but we do have an idiom that is kind of similar to it. You know it very well. It is the idiom, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.” It appears for example in Exodus chapter 21, verse 24. The Hebrew is (עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן), eye instead of or for the sake of, again eye. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life. So the Hebrew is not actually completely identical. There is a slight difference in “skin for skin” it is (עוֹר בְּעַד־עוֹר). In Exodus 21 it is (עוֹר בְּעַד־עוֹר). It is not exactly the same, but it is a close parallel. What does it mean? When you say, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life,” that means when it comes to punishing someone for wrongdoing, the only appropriate punishment is something that is of the same value. The only thing that is of the same value as knocking out someone’s tooth is to knock out their tooth. If someone strikes out someone’s eye, the only penalty that is completely equivalent is to strike out his eye. If someone murders another person and takes his life, the only thing that is equal to it is his own life. So that is the idea in Exodus 21. It is trying to find what is equal punishment for a crime.

Skin for skin would then seem to mean, there is nothing of equal value to one’s skin except the skin itself. There is nothing else that a person will value the way he values his own skin. There is nothing you can give in exchange for his skin. The idea then is, the one thing he will value above everything else is his body, his health. If his body is afflicted with suffering, that is something he won’t be able to take. So when Satan says “skin for skin” I think he means there is nothing Job values so much as his own skin. There is nothing of equivalent value to skin; and the way to make Job break is to take away his health.

The passage goes on, of course. God says, “Okay, you can take away his health, but don’t take away his life. He is to remain alive.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, verse 7, afflicted Job with painful sores from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head and Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. Scraping with pottery apparently is just kind of a counter irritant. He is in great pain. Boils can be very itchy and he seems to be using the pottery to scrape himself to give himself a little bit of relief.

His own wife tells him to curse God and die; and I don’t think she is to be thought of as an especially evil person. She just says there is no point in just going on; all you are going to do is suffer.

E. Job won’t curse God and die. The rest of the book is Job and his friends trying to figure out why

Job will not curse God and die. That part of the story kind of ends right there. Job has suffered the most severe possible affliction. He has been tempted to curse God and put it all to an end, but he refuses to curse God. To put it simply, in terms of passing a test, the test is over. Job has passed. So what follows is not a continuation of the test. What follows is Job and his three friends trying to figure out what it all means. When you read the rest of the book of Job, chapter 3 and all this lengthy debate, don’t think, Is Job going to curse God? What is going on here? That has already been settled. Job did not curse God. Now the question is, how can what happened to Job possibly be right? That is what the book is going to be all about.

F. Job’s three friends show up

So we have the three friends show up, chapter 2, verse 11. This will set the stage for everything else. Going back to our outline, this is A-prime, this is preparation for all the basic follows.

“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort with him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him. They began to weep aloud and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No-one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was.”

The point here is, when Job’s three friends come, they do not come to afflict him. They come to comfort him. The friends begin as sympathetic characters. They don’t come as his enemies. They don’t come to gloat. They don’t have joy over his suffering. They come and they are so thunderstruck by what they see, they can’t even speak. So they sit there for seven days, the text says. I guess they stare at each other. They are so dumbfounded, they are so struck by it all, no-one knows what to say. No-one knows what to do.

Why is this important? It is important to realize, the three friends are very like Job. They are people who care a great deal about righteousness. They are people who believe that if you do what is right, God will watch over you, God will protect you. They understand that it is their duty for them to come to Job in compassion and help him through his suffering. What that means is, when the three friends speak, they don’t speak as what we would call enemies of the faith. They are orthodox to the core; and a great deal of what they say will be true. Yet, by the end of the book, God Himself will make it clear, they were wrong in what they said to Job.

We need to balance the fact that some of the things that friends will say will be Biblically correct, will be right; and yet in the context of Job, they will get it all wrong. We need to understand because they start from compassion and they move toward, as we will see, terrific, ferocious anger at Job, just really speaking to Job in the cruelest, meanest possible way, that their misapplication of their doctrine has led them to become, to be blunt, hateful people, people who started out filled with compassion, people who journeyed, made these immense, long journeys to find him and to speak to him and to comfort him, wind up furiously angry at him because he represents a contradiction to what they believe to be orthodox truth and they don’t know what to do with it. 

Let me close by reminding you of something about the Pharisees, who confronted Jesus and finally crucified Jesus. When we read the Gospels, we often have the sense that the Pharisees were just evil people. In fact, that is not true. The Pharisees had great desire to live pure lives before God. They were very concerned with orthodoxy and with avoiding the kinds of sins that had gotten Israel destroyed. And much of what they believed and much of what they said was right. Even Jesus would say, teaching his disciples, “Listen to their teachings, do what they teach, but don’t do what they do.”

But the Pharisees on a very fundamental level, missed something about the righteousness of God and about the plan of God and about the will of God. That led them to hate Jesus, even as they were defending what they believed to be orthodoxy. That is what we are going to see in the three friends. They do not come as heretics, although some of what they say will be false. But they are people who are defending what they believe to be the truth; but out of their frustration and out of their misapplication of their orthodoxy, they will be led to become hateful, angry people.

That is the prologue to the book of Job. Next time we will look at Job’s opening speech.