This lesson will look at Job. I will attempt to place Job in his historical context. I will explore the theme of the book of Job: why do bad things happen to “good” people? And, I will show how Job is a prophetic type of the Jew during the great tribulation.
Here are some of the things we know about Job. He is listed as the third son of Issachar in Genesis 46:13 or Jacob’s grandson. Job 15:10 suggests that his father was still alive at the time of his trial. Eliphaz, one of Job’s comforters, is listed as Esau’s (Jacob’s brother) oldest son in Genesis 36:10-11. In Job 1:5, he acted as the chief priest for his family.
With this data in mind, we can confidently say that Job lived during the time of the Patriarchs before the giving of the Law to Moses. In comparing Job’s age to that of other men of this time (Jacob 147, Joseph 110, and Moses 120), we can interpret Job 42:16 to mean that Job lived to be 140 years old and that he was approximately 70 years old when he had his trial. Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, in his book, The Chronology of the Old Testament places Job’s approximate birth year at 1720 BC and the approximate year of his death at 1580 BC. Dr. Jones also has Joseph at 25 when Job is born; Job at 31 when Jacob dies; and Job dies 9 years before Moses is born.
The main theme of the book of Job is to explore the topic of suffering. Many would see the book of Job’s purpose to be to answer the question, “Why do the righteous suffer?” I believe it would be more accurate to say that the book of Job takes a close look at authentic faith. Authentic faith is most clearly seen when the righteous suffer.
In Job, chapter 1, we see that Job was a man who lived to serve God and loved his family. He had been blessed by God in a mighty way. Satan came before God and accused Job. Satan’s main accusation against Job was an attack on the authenticity of his faith. Satan basically said that the only reason that Job loved God was that God had blessed him. Satan said that if God took away the blessings of Job that Job would curse God to his face. Satan was allowed to take away Job’s possessions, his children, and then his health. While Job did not understand this turn of events, he remained faithful to God and actually sought to speak to God.
In addition to losing his possessions, children, and health, Job had 3 friends who initially came to comfort Job but ended up accusing Job of having a secret sin that he needed to confess and repent of. At the end of the book of Job, God rebukes the accusations of Job’s comforters. They had a very simplistic view of God’s greatness, His goodness, and how He interacts with mankind. They believed that God blessed only good people and that He only punished bad people. Job in their mind was suffering because he was guilty of some wickedness. The truth was that Job was a righteous man whose authentic faith remained intact even through the worst kind of suffering. Something to consider for all of us is that if we accuse those who suffer rather than trying to bring true comfort and encouragement, we are more like Satan than our Lord, Jesus Christ. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren in the Bible while one of the names for the Holy Spirit in the Bible is the Comforter.
At the end of the book, Job has a conversation with God and is humbled at God’s greatness, wisdom, and power. Job is in silence as he is questioned by God and considers who he is and who God is. God shows His abundant grace to Job by restoring double of all that he lost. He even received his children back. It is interesting to note that God restored to Job after Job prayed for his accusers. Job returned good to those who had done evil to him and had falsely accused him. He was a true witness to the kindness and forgiveness of Jesus Christ – he prayed for those who had spitefully used him.
Prophetically, Job is a type of the Jew in the great tribulation. The great tribulation is the 2nd 31/2 years of the 7 year period known as the time of Jacob’s trouble, the 70th week of Daniel, or the tribulation. The great tribulation begins with the desolation of abomination described in Matthew 24:15. At the midpoint of the tribulation, the Anti-Christ will sit down in the Temple and declare himself to be god. Job, chapters 1 and 2 describe the spiritual type of this event. Revelation 12 also describes the spiritual background to this.
Job 40 and 41 describe 2 animals, Behemoth and Leviathan which are types of the Anti – Christ and Satan respectively. While these two animals may have been dinosaurs, they also point to the Anti-Christ and dragon described in Revelation 11 and 12.
Job 42:13 mentions his 7 sons and 3 daughters as though they are resurrected. God gave Job twice as many possessions as he had before his trial but the same amount of children. The restoration of Job’s children is most certainly a type of the third part of the resurrection (the gleanings part of the harvest) which is the resurrection of the martyred tribulation saints. This is the third “come up hither” of the Bible (see Revelation 11:12).
Here are a few other ways that the book of Job is a type of the Jew during the great tribulation. Job is the 18th book of the Bible. 18, which is 6+6+6, is used several times in the Bible to point to Anti-Christ. Job has 42 chapters to match with the 42 months of the great tribulation.