Satan and Job & The Poetical Books

Finger Pointing UpIt’s quite clear that if we walk with You that no matter what we may have to go through You’ll turn the bad into good.

Satan and Job

The book of Genesis ends with the death of Joseph and contains the history of the first 2,369 years of the world.  Job more-than-likely lived toward the end of the period of history that was recorded in Genesis.  

1. The land of Uz
The precise location of the Land of Uz is uncertain, although the Bible record does provide some clues.

The land may have originally been named after Uz, who was the son of Aram, and grandson of Shem (Gen 10:23, 1 Chr 1:17).

One of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, came from Teman (Job 4:1), which is in Idumea.

Uz was subject to attacks from Sabeans and chaldeans.

It had to have fertile pastures since Job had many thousands of animals.

It had at least one major city since Job sat at the city gate.

The two most likely locations for the Land of Uz is in Arabia, east of Petra (today, northwestern Saudi Arabia), or more likely, in Basham, east of The Sea of Galilee and south of Damascus (today, western Jordan or southern Syria).

The following account of Job was given by Severus Sulpicius(a Christian writer and native of Aquitania, c. 363 – c. 425):

At this time lived Job, a man embracing the law of nature, and the knowledge of the true God and very righteous and rich in goods.  He was renowned for the fact that neither the enjoyment of those riches corrupted him, nor the loss of them depraved him in any way. 

When he was plundered of all his goods by Satan, bereft of his children and at last tormented with grievous botches and sores in his body, he did not sin.

God said that there was no man alive like him, a truly righteous man of integrity (Job 1:8). 

So it appears that he lived after the death of the godly man Joseph, but before Moses had appeared on the scene as a prophet of God to lead the Israelites out of their captivity in Egypt – see Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7. 

So it seems that Job may have lived somewhere within that time slot.

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before theLord, and Satan came also among them.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

2. Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum, the majestic, moutainous desert located in the far south of Jordan.

The Wadi Rum protected area, which includes more than 275 square miles of sweeping dunes and dramatic, sheer-sided mountains, has become one of Jordan’s top tourist attractions.

It is also home to many of Jordan’s traditional Bedouin tribes, as well as a number of archaeological sites dating from the prehistoric periods to the Islamic ear.

Particularly prominent are inscriptions and carvings dating to the time of the Nabataean kingdom of Petra, which controlled the trade routes that passed through the region more than 2,000 years ago.

Rum is referred to both in the Bible and classical sources, as Aram or Iram, while it may also be the Land of Uz mentioned in the Book of Job.

But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:1-21).

1 There are primarily three different interpretations of who are the sons of God:

1) the ungodly, violent men that came from the blood line of Cain,

2) the giants, or

3) fallen angels. 

I believe it is number 3 mainly because the Pharisees accused Jesus of being in cahoots with the devil since He said He was the Son of God.  Also, as at the beginning of this box it says that Satan was with the sons of God.

The Poetical Books

4. Egyptian Maat Akin to Hebrew Hokmah Wisdom
Egyptian Ma’at Akin to Hebrew Hokmah (Wisdom)
Wisdom literature is a genre of literature common in the Ancient Near East.

This genre is characterized by sayings of wisdom intended to teach about divinity and about virtue.

The key principle of wisdom literature is that while techniques of traditional story telling are used, books also presume to offer insight and wisdom about nature and reality.

The genre of mirrors for princes writings, which has a long history in Islamic and Western Renaissance literature, represents a secular cognate of biblical wisdom literature.

In Classical Antiquity, the advice poetry of Hesiod, particularly his Works and Days has been seen as a like-genre to Near Eastern wisdom literature.

The most famous examples of wisdom literature are found in the Bible.

The following Biblical books are classified as wisdom literature; the Book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.

Wisdom and Sirach are deuterocanonical books, placed in the Apocrypha by Protestant Bible translations.

The philosophy apparent in these texts combines a more semitic emphasis on practical wisdom with a Hellenic/Platonic concept of transcendent wisdom.

The Hebrew wisdom evident in these works is a departure from early Hebraic texts that tell of the decrees of God through prophets and kings to acknowledgment of the plethora of human emotions in daily life and recommendations on how humans can maintain a relationship with God.

In ancient Israel, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, few virtues were more respected and revered than wisdom.

While its exact definition varied from culture to culture, it was nevertheless an ideal in which to aspire to, and those possessing it exhibited either artistic skill, administrative talent, craftiness, powers of divination or sorcery, intelligence, or obedience to God.

Unsurprisingly, there are often parallels between the wisdom literature of the Near East and that of the biblical books traditionally considered the wisdom books: Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes.

3. King James I painting by John de Critz 1606.
King James I, painting by John de Critz, 1606.
Shakespeare and the KJV
Did Shakespeare subliminally insert his name into the Bible? Some believe so.

King James issued a new English translation of the Bible. The new translation was published in 1611.

There are rumors of William Shakespeare helping with the final editing stages of the translation before its publication, though there is no definite historical proof of Shakespeare’s involvement.

But there is a word proof in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.

In 1610, the year of the final editing stages, Shakespeare would have been 46 years old (born April 1564).

Psalms 46 (approximately the middle of the Bible) has a unique subliminal message, or does it?

Counting from the beginning of Psalm 46, the 46th word is shake.

Counting from the end of Psalm 46, the 46th word is spear.

Is it possible for these words to be a mere coincident?

Or is it true that on Shakespeare’s 46th birthday, while editing the King James Version of the Bible, he chose Psalm 46, and made sure that combining the 46th word from the beginning and the 46th word from the end will read “Shake spear”?

There is no doubt that the original language did contain similar words, but did Shakespeare use these specific words (and not other synonyms) and did he make sure that the word order is in such a way so that on his 46th birthday, the 46th words of Psalm 46 would be his name?

The books classed as poetical are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations.  The term “poetical” isn’t to be taken as implying fancifulness or unreality, bus as relating to form only. 

They are the books of the human experiences of the people of God under the various exercises of earthly life; but those experiences are, apart from the mere external setting, wrought in them by the Spirit, interpreted to us by the Spirit, and written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Spirit.  While this is true of all these book, the Psalms included the latter have also a prophetic character.

The Hebrew poetic form is peculiar, and demands a word of explanation.  Rhythm is not achieved by a repetition of similar sounds, as in rhymed verse; nor by rhythmic accent as in blank verse, but by repetition of ideas.  This is called parallelism; e.g.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble (Ps 9:9).

Parallelism is called synonymous when the thought is identical, as in the above instance; antithetic when the primary and the secondary ideas are in contrast; e.g.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: But the way of the ungodly shall perish (PS 1:6).

And synthetic when the thought is developed or enriched by the parallel; e.g.

And thou shalt be secure, because there is no hope; Yeah, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety (Job 11:18).

Under this method of Poetical Books are epic, lyric, and dramatic, and supply examples of literary expression unmatched in uninspired literature.

Wisdom Literature

The Jews sometimes speak of the Old Testament as the Law, the Prophets and the Writings.  Included within the third division are Psalms and wisdom materials such as Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.  These wisdom books are associated with a class of people called “wise men” or “sages” who are listed with priests and prophets as an important force in Israelite society (Jer 18:18).

Wise men were called on to give advice to kings and to instruct the young.  Whereas the priests and prophets dealt more with the religious side of life. Wise men were concerned about practical and philosophical matters.  Some of their writings, like Proverb s, were optimistic, as they showed the young how to behave in order to live prosperous and happy lives. 

Other materials, such as Job and Ecclesiastes, were more pessimistic as they wrestled with difficult philosophical and theological questions such as the problem of evil and the prosperity of the wicked (see Ps 32; 73).  Both viewpoints – the optimistic and the pessimistic – are also found in the literature of other nations in the ancient Near East.

Because of the nature of Proverbs, we must not interpret it as prophecy or its statements about certain effects and results as promises.  For instance, 10:27 says that the years of the wicked are cut short, while the righteous live long and prosperous lives (see 3:2). 

While such verses are generally true, there are enough exceptions to indicate that sometimes the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper.  Normally the righteous and wicked are “recompenses in the earth (11:31), but at other times reward and punishment lie beyond the grave. 

And of course, what happens here on earth is of little value, aside from your walking or not with Jesus.  Our life here on earth is only for a moment compared to eternity.

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