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When Is Job On The Bible Timeline?

When Is Job On The Bible Timeline

‘As portrayed by Bonnat’

Job is not on the Amazing Bible Timeline with World History. Why not?

Job is not on the timeline because biblical scholars cannot agree on when he might have lived and the Bible does not give enough direct clues to place him accurately.

Here are three suggested times Job might have lived by the reasoning of Biblical scholars:

1. After the flood and long before Moses (after 2350 BC and before 1750 BC)

a. Eliphaz refers to the flood as being in the past in Job 22:16
b. Job sacrifices to God as head of his family (a practice of patriarchal times that stopped with Moses) Job 1:5
c. Job’s daughters received an inheritance along with his sons Job 42:15 a patriarchal practice that also stopped with Moses
d. Job’s wealth is determined by flocks rather than money which is also consistent with patriarchal times Job 1:3, 42:12
e. The kesitah or piece of money mentioned belongs to patriarchal times
f. The musical instruments (organ, harp, and timbrel) are the instruments of early Genesis
g. Job lived long enough to birth two families of ten children and raise them to adulthood then lived another 140 years. He lived at least 200 years and possibly longer. This is consistent with the ages of patriarchs prior to Abraham.
(Read more on this at apologetics press)

2. Job lived after Joseph but before Moses (after 1650 BC and before 1500 BC)

The reasoning for this time placement is that he must have lived between truly righteous men but not when other righteous patriarchs were alive. Therefore he is placed between Joseph and Moses. Job 1:8 ( Read more at wiki answers )

3. Job lived during Moses’ lifetime.

Job is an associate of Moses’ father-in-law. According to this opinion Moses authored the Book of Job. Some say he was one of Pharaoh’s advisors, together with Jethro and Balaam. (More on this from Rabbi Buchwald )

There’s our problem. Since better Biblical scholars than we are cannot agree we did not put Job on the timeline. (But you could pen him in on your copy!)

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_(biblical_figure)#mediaviewer/File:Bonnat02.jpg

 

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6 comments… add one

  • Agyapong Francis October 25, 2013, 7:23 pm

    I believe Job live after the flood and before Abraham was called.2200-1700BC. He was the only descendant of Ham who do good. Because Job was from Uz in Arab and the descendants of Ham built more of Arabian countries even Egypt,Hawila etc(Genesis 10:8-12)

  • José A. November 28, 2013, 12:15 am

    Maybe the reference to the land of Uz and Eliphaz the Temanite can give some hint, at least about where Job lived.

    Job 1:1
    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.
    Job 2:11
    Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

    Uz: son of Aram, son of Shem ?
    And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. (Genesis 10, 23)
    Tema: son of Dishan, son of Seir (son of Esau) ?
    Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: (Genesis 25, 15)
    Tema, son of Ishmael, son of Abraham ?
    Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema, (1 Chronicles 1, 30)

  • TK December 9, 2013, 9:47 pm

    Uz may refer to the guy in Genesis, which would place it in northern Canaan. However, Uz is also used in Jeremiah to refer to the regions near Edom (which Esau founded) to the southeast. Job is referred to as “the greatest of the men of the east” or some such thing. As the language in Job is closer to that written toward the Babylonian period, I tend to think the Uz is the one in Jeremiah, and not the one in Genesis.

  • Wally May 25, 2014, 1:15 am

    Based on answer 1 and 3, #2 is nonsense and not viable. Job 42:16.

    • Jack June 2, 2014, 3:33 pm

      1. After the flood and long before Moses (after 2350 BC and before 1750 BC)
      This could fit with the Chaldeans, Sabeans, the wind, the origins of Job’s three friends, and one of the more likely places for Uz. This seems plausible.

      2. Job lived after Joseph but before Moses (after 1650 BC and before 1500 BC)
      After Joseph, would have meant the land of Goshen. Goshen doesn’t fit with the Chaldeans and Sabeans, where the 3 friends were from, nor with the wind from the desert, so it doesn’t seem likely we could equate that with Uz. I don’t see how his he could have been robbed of everything, and not have it replaced immediately with retribution on those who robbed him. He would have been a poor risk for anyone to plunder. One could not be that useful to Pharaoh from afar. This does not seem plausible.

      3. Job lived during Moses’ lifetime.
      Like 1, the land of Midian fits better with the Chaldeans, Sabeans, the wind, the origins of Job’s three friends, and one of the more likely places for Uz.

      Thoughts:
      - I would agree with Wally that number 2 has many problems. In my mind, that leaves only 1 and 3.
      - To me, it seems Genesis uses more of a historical style that appears to be compiled from writings over time, which included the important details that shaped history. Except for the very beginning of the book, it could not have been simply passed down by word of mouth. As the book progresses, so does the level of detail. This history must have had some value to them to be preserved.
      - The author of Job writes with great detail of the conversations, as one with first-hand knowledge or experience with Job and his trials. There is little summarization, and God spoke directly into that situation. It might have been Moses’s father-in-law, a book received from him, or Moses himself. His father-in-law was a valuable guide to Moses even during the Exodus. It is certainly possible that he brought the book back with him.
      - I am not a Biblical scholar, but I do not currently ascribe to the position that the earliest recorded scriptures were compiled during the time of Moses. I’m inclined to believe that Genesis was compiled during Joseph’s watch. Exodus begins with a summarization of the time between Joseph and Moses. I’m suggesting that the people had Genesis, and Moses learned it before he turned 12. I’m suggesting that he knew, and felt a sense of destiny from that point forward. This is evident not only from when he killed the Egyptian, but how he responded at the burning bush. He knew full well that Israel’s deliverance was to happen. The record of Genesis was likely the basis of the Israelites accepting him. The time of Moses was one of amazing miracles and deliverance. The scriptures from the time of Abraham would have had heightened value to them because their generation witnessed prophecy being fulfilled. It would make sense that there would be renewed interest in preserving the scriptures, as had not been the case since the time of Joseph. Many people had witnessed the prophecy being fulfilled. This would have engendered the value of the scriptures as trustworthy, a guide for living, and a certainty of their authenticity that everything written in them would be fulfilled. With that would come the desire to formalize their preservation. It is written in Romans 3, “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. “
      - It is plausible that Moses brought the book back from Midian with him. However, what is more certain is that Job seems to have been written by an author who was very close to his circumstances, and not something passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. It seems Job did not have access to the book of Genesis, and thus has origins outside of the formed people of Israel. Somehow it ended up being accepted by Israel, and is referenced elsewhere in Ezekiel and James.

      This is about as far as my thoughts can take me base on what I know. My adding anything more would detract from the discussion.

    • Jack June 11, 2014, 4:37 am

      - I would think that the mention about giving his daughters an inheritance would more likely be included only if it were NOT the norm. I would say the same for the span of Job’s life. Everything else was doubled, Maybe the Lord restored to him the years “that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25)
      - Sacrifices by the patriarch I would refer to a very broad range of time. I don’t see mention of a designated place of worship until after the exodus, and may have gone on a long time after that by believers that were not members of the formed nation of Israel.

      I’m going to go with 1, “After the flood and long before Moses” I’ll go so far as to say Job is from closer to the time of Abraham, and probably earlier. This is my reasoning:
      - There is a widespread belief that Abraham was unique in that he believed in the one true God. I cannot come up with a basis for that from the scriptures. It sounds like is dad moved them away from that. Abraham may have lived around idol-worshiping, polytheistic people, but the belief in one God predates that. I find no reason to believe that the belief in one true God was not widespread. Job’s friends believed in one God. From the scrape Abraham had with the king of Egypt over Sarah, it seems there was a good concept of God in Egypt at that time too.
      - It’s natural to think off Abraham and Sarah traveling together along with a servant Hagar. However, there is something wrong with that picture. Poor people don’t have servants. Notice that Abraham didn’t move until after his father died. Abraham was the oldest boy, and the decisions were not his to make until after his father died. I’m suggesting the Abraham was the leader/king of a tribe, and when the Bible talks about Abraham wanting son, Abraham is thinking about leadership of the tribe. I’m saying it was a lot more than him, Sarah, and Hagar that went to Egypt. When Lot was kidnapped, Abraham went after the king that did it with 700 guys from this tribe, and defeated the king, and freed Lot. 700 guys that can fight means a lot of women and children besides. They must have been bound together by language, beliefs, protection, and their own private economy. So while technically all of those possessions were attributed to Abraham, those “possessions” were supporting a tribe, and determined its growth and size.
      - Chaldeans are definitely a Babylonian tribe. They were one of the groups to sack Nineveh after the death of Ashurbanipal, and the Chaldeans were around for quite a while before that. Genesis 11:28, 11:31 has “Ur of the Chaldees” In that case it would not make sense to place the Job story before the Flood.
      - As with Abraham, Job must have led quite an organization/tribe to take care of that much livestock. Gen 13:2 says, “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Egypt was already a nation by the time of Abraham. Thus, in Abraham’s time, sliver and gold must have been used as portable wealth in trade. Silver and gold are not mentioned as a measure of Job’s wealth. Perhaps gold and silver had no usefulness to Job.
      - From reading Genesis, it is obvious that there had been a growing dearth of personal relationships with God between the fall and the flood. This pattern repeated after the flood, and we have little outside of begats until the time of Abraham about a relationship between God and a man. Romans 3:1&2 say, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” Perhaps the book of Job was from the time of Abraham’s ancestors, and the earliest, written, first-hand account.The Chaldean language was a Semitic language. Perhaps what is meant by the text is a lot simpler than we make it out to be. God used Abraham and the Jews to maintain the scriptures and knowledge of the one true God. Through Abraham would all of the nations of the earth be blessed, not only through Jesus, but also with a book that teaches how to get the most out of life.

      This is all just a theory of course, but to me option 1 is the only one that fits geographically, and possibly linguistically, where Job and his friends lived.