Is the book of Job a real story or an allegory?

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There are several reasons that point that the book of Job was a true story and not an allegory:

1-In Chapter one, Job is introduced as man living in the known country of Uz.

According to Lam. 4:21, “the land of Uz” in Jeremiah’s day was equated with Edom.

2- Job’s companions, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (Job 2:11) also came from known places in the vicinity of Edom.

For example, Eliphaz was a Temanite. Edom and Teman are listed in a way that closely connects the two (Jeremiah 49:7, 20; Ezekiel 25:13; Amos 1:11, 2; Obadiah 8, 9). Bildad’s tribe, comprising the Shuhites, probably sprang from Keturah, Abraham’s concubine (Genesis 25:2). Buz, the home of Job’s fourth companion, Elihu (Job 32:2), is also connected with Tema, Eliphaz’ home town (Jeremiah 25:23).

3- The book of Job gives specific details about Job’s children, their activities, and Job’s finances.

It gives details about his family of “seven sons and three daughters” (Job 1:2). And it also talks about their activities (Job 1:4,5). Such details were not common in ancient allegorical writings. It also records that “his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East” (Job 1:3).

4-There is an actual dialogue between Satan and God in heaven.

This dialogue is witnessed by all of God’s sons which makes it a real story and not a fictional one (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6).

5- In the OT, Ezekiel 14:14, 20, mentions Noah, Daniel and Job as example of righteous men.

This presents Job as a real historical person and not a fictual figure.

6-In the NT, James 5:11 mentions Job as a figure of spiritual perseverance just like Abraham, Rahab and Elijah.

And all these characters were identified as real factual historical figures.

7-The ending of the story of Job gives detailed information about his life after his trial.

The Lord gave him 10 other children and he lived 140 years where he saw 4 generations of his children (Job 42:12-16). Such detail is not found in parables.

Therefore, based on the above we can conclude that Job was a true character and not a fictional figure.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

 

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