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


By BibleAsk Team

The Book of Job

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

2- The Book of Job introduces the friends of Job as, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (Jb. 2:11). These 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 his children, their activities, and his finances.

It gives details about his family of “seven sons and three daughters” (Jb. 1:2). And it also talks about their activities (Jb. 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” (Jb. 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 (Jb. 1:6-12; 2:1-6).

5- In the Old Testament, Ezekiel 14:14, 20, mentions Noah, Daniel and Job as examples of righteous men.

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

6-In the New Testament, 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 additional 140 years where he saw 4 generations of his children (Jb. 42:12-16). Such details are not found in parables.


Therefore, based on the above, we may conclude that the Book of Job was a true story and not a fictional one. The Lord allowed the devil to literally try Job in order that his tested faith might vindicate God’s judgment of Job’s honesty. God never forsook Job, and when Job showed his faithfulness, God rewarded him many fold (Jb. 42:12, 16).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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