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The book of job and pastoral intervention in crisis, 1. introduction, 2. materials and methods, 2.1. job’s complaints in modern times, 2.1.1. consequences of social engineering.

“The waiting room [Simbirsk railway station], the corridor, every foot thickly covered with people, sprawling, seated, crouched in every imaginable position. If one looks closely, he sees that these filthy rags are swarming with vermin. The typhus stricken grovel and shiver in their fever, their babies with them. Nursing babies have lost their voices and are no longer able to cry. Every day more than twenty dead are carried away, but it is not possible to remove all of them. Sometimes corpses remain among the living for more than five days…” ( Figes 1997, p. 777 ).
“The horrors mount and intensify as the film journeys to the camps at Buchenwald, Dachau, and Bergen-Belsen. The camera lingers upon naked, emaciated bodies strewn upon a barrack floor. Suddenly, one twitches, and we realize that unlike the other mounds of corpses, these people are, in fact, alive. It is a jarring moment, as what appears a ‘still’ turns into a moving image. ‘These are the survivors,’ comments the narrator laconically. The documentary concludes with the now-famous footage of British bulldozers pushing a veritable mountain of bodies into a mass grave. As the dead and dirt cascade down the deep pit, the narrator ends with the flat declaration ‘This was Bergen-Belsen.’ The horrific images render any additional verbal summary or commentary superfluous” ( Douglas 1995, p. 471 ).

2.1.2. The Atomic Age

2.2. the pastoral intervention in the book of job, 2.2.1. the worldview of job’s interlocutors, 2.2.2. worldview and ideology, 3. results: the book of job and existential psychotherapy, 3.1. from method to ideology, 3.2. the failure of ideologies, 3.3. the ineffable encounter, 3.4. from ideologies to transcendence, 4. conclusions, institutional review board statement, informed consent statement, data availability statement, conflicts of interest.

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Hanes P. The Book of Job and Pastoral Intervention in Crisis. Religions . 2023; 14(6):805.

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And Then Job Said Unto the Lord: You Can’t Be Serious

In a new translation of the Book of Job, the famously repentant hero gives God a piece of his mind.

Job looks up at red asterisk.

So God says to Satan, “You there, what have you been up to?” And Satan says, “Oh, you know, just hanging around, minding my own business.” And God says, “Well, take a look at my man Job over there. He worships me. He does exactly what I tell him. He thinks I’m the greatest.” “Job?” says Satan. “The rich, happy, healthy guy? The guy with 3,000 camels? Of course he does. You’ve given him everything. Take it all away from him, and I bet you he’ll curse you to your face.” And God says, “You’re on.”

That—give or take a couple of verses—is how it starts, the Book of Job. What a setup. The Trumplike deity; the shrewd and loitering adversary; the cruelly flippant wager; and the stooge, the cosmic straight man, Job, upon whose oblivious head the sky is about to fall. A classic Old Testament skit, pungent as a piece of absurdist theater or a story by Kafka. Job is going to be immiserated , sealed into sorrow—for a bet. What is life? It’s a bleeping and blooping Manichaean casino: You’re up or you’re down, in God’s hands or the devil’s. Piped-in oxygen, controlled light, keep the drinks coming. We, the readers and inheritors of his book, know this. Job, poor bastard, doesn’t.

After his herds have been finished off by marauders and gushes of heavenly fire, and his children have been flattened by falling masonry, and he himself has been covered in running sores from head to toe—after all this happens to the blameless man, he cracks. He sits on an ash heap, seeping and scratching, and reviles the day he was born. “Let that day be darkness,” as the King James Version has it. “Let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.”

Howls of despair are a biblical staple, but Job’s self-curse—the special physics of it, the suicidal pulse that he sends backwards, like a black rainbow, toward the hour of his own conception—is singular. Dispossessed of everything, he is choosing nothing. That first prickle of my existence, the point of light with my name on it? Turn around, All-Fathering One, and eclipse it. Delete .

Cover of Job, a new translation.

Edward L. Greenstein’s new translation of the Book of Job is a work of erudition with—as we shall see—a revolutionary twist. A professor emeritus of Bible studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, Greenstein is not going for the deep-time sonorities of the Authorized Version. His language is lumpy with scholarly fidelity to the text. But the shock of repudiation is undiminished. “Why couldn’t I die after leaving the womb—Just go out the loins and stop breathing?” his Job demands. “For what did knees have to receive me? For what were the breasts that I sucked?” And later: “Why have you made me your target?” This is where we moderns, we dopes marooned in the universe, love Job and find brotherhood with him. Because he’s been in us since the beginning, since the first germ of our separateness from everything else—a man confronting the mystery, as if there was a strand of our DNA in the shape of a question mark: Why?

Now some friends of Job appear and offer, one after another, the conventional pieties: God is great, Job must have done something wrong, how dare he question the ways of the Lord, etc. They’re hard to take, these friends—Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar, droning away. Job rejects their arguments, and it’s here, as the debate goes windily back and forth, that a 21st-century reader reaches for his phone. The stark, existential lines of the drama have gotten spoiled; the Kafka-voltage has dropped.

But then: enter God. “Up speaks YHWH,” as Greenstein puts it, momentarily folksy—a voice “from the windstorm.” “Bind up your loins like a man,” God warns Job, before stamping on the effects pedal and delivering perhaps the most shattering speech ever recorded. Question after question, power chord after power chord: “Where were you when I laid earth’s foundations? … Can you tie the bands of the Pleiades, Or loosen the cords of Orion? … Do you give the horse its bravery?” No explanation; no answer for Job; no moral or theoretical content whatsoever. It’s the interrogation of consciousness by pure Being, by the Logos, by the unstopping, unmediated act of creation itself. Do not try this at home. “Does the falcon take flight through your wisdom, As it spreads its wings toward the south?” The human intellect shrinks before the onslaught. The language is incomparable. God, it turns out, is the greatest poet; no one can touch him.

Read: A mind-bending translation of the New Testament

And it’s at this point, with Job reduced to a pair of smoking sandals and the divine mega-monologue still ringing in the vaults of the firmament, that Greenstein and centuries of tradition diverge. He has produced his new translation of Job, he tells us in the introduction, to “set the record straight.” Every version of the Bible that you have read puts Job, in the wake of God’s speech, in an attitude of awestruck contrition or reconversion. “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,” he says in the King James. “I’m sorry—forgive me,” he says in Eugene H. Peterson’s million-selling plain-language adaptation, The Message . “I’ll never do that again, I promise!” Greenstein’s Job, however, stays vinegary to the end. “I have heard you,” he tells God, “and now my eye has seen you. That is why I am fed up.” The Hebrew phrase commonly rendered as some form of I repent , Greenstein translates as I take pity on . Dust and ashes , meanwhile, is for Greenstein a biblical epithet meaning humanity in general. So the line becomes “I take pity on ‘dust and ashes.’ ” Job’s last word: What a world you’ve made, God. I feel sorry for everyone .

What does it mean? This newly revealed Job, writes Greenstein, “is expressing defiance, not capitulation … If God is all about power and not morality and justice, Job will not condone it through acceptance.” Upon the scholarly merits of this approach, I am unable to pronounce; as an idea, I’ll consider it. We don’t read the Bible, it’s been said; the Bible reads us. It searches us. And here for us in 2019, right on time, with tyranny back in style and riding its behemoth through the streets, is a middle-finger Job, a Job unreconciled to the despotism of experience. He’s been shattered by life-shocks; then God, like a wall of terrible noise, fills and overfills his mind. His response: Thank you, but no .

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Gloria Dei est vivens homo , wrote Saint Irenaeus: The glory of God is a living man. Might not the Author of Life look with favor upon this brilliantly resistant creature, this unappeasable critical thinker, this supremely lonely and dissenting figure, this Bartleby with boils—unswayed by the sublime, scratching his scabs in the land of Uz? That might be the rankest heresy: Let me know, bishops. But consider what Greenstein’s nonpenitent, polarity-reversed Job has done to the ending of the book. As before, with the experiment over, Job is blandly restored to a state of health and wealth; as before, God upbraids the sententious friends, the Bildads and the Eliphazes and the Zophars, and sends them off to make some burnt offerings, “for you did not speak about me in honesty as did my servant Job.” The quality or valence of this honesty, however, has turned upside down. It has become a kind of white-knuckle existential tenacity, a refusal to disown oneself even in the teeth of the windstorm. Maybe that’s what this God, faced with this Job, is telling us: Bring it all before him, the full grievance of your humanity. Bring him your condition, loudly. Let him have it.

This article appears in the September 2019 print edition with the headline “Sorry, Not Sorry.”

​When you buy a book using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.

The Book of Job in the Bible Essay

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Dialogue between god and satan, the debate in covered in the book of job, significance of god’s speech.

Job is one of the Old Testament books in the Bible. It utilizes a combination of poetry and prose to explore themes of individual suffering and God’ justice. The main character in the book is Job, a staunch believer who loses wealth, friends, and succumbs to severe pain and suffering. He undergoes a dramatic transformation from wealth to poverty. Despite the loss, he does not lose his faith and continues to believe in God. Throughout the book, Job reiterates his innocence and rejects the argument that suffering is caused by sin. He is humble and faithful to God. However, his humility and faithfulness are tested when he loses his wealth and succumbs to suffering. The dialogue between Job and his three friends constitutes the greater portion of the book and covers 28 chapters (from chapter 3 to chapter 31). In the argument, Job’s self-defense, lamentation, and questions are responded to by a speech from God in a whirlwind.

The book of Job begins with a dialogue between God and Satan. Satan is asking permission from God to test Job’s faith. God validates Job’s righteousness by describing him as a righteous servant who is faithful and avoids evil. God challenges Satan by asking whether he has tested the faith of Job in the past. Satan responds by presenting a counterchallenge. He claims that Job will curse and stop believing in him if his wealth is taken away. God responds by telling him that Job’s wealth is under his power and he can do whatever he wants. As such, Satan is granted permission to test Job’s faith. However, God warns him not to touch his soul. He wants to prove to God that Job’s faith is weak and will vanish if he experiences suffering and pain. After being granted permission, Satan walks away from God’s presence.

The debate covered in the book focuses mainly on personal suffering and God’s justice in relation to Job’s life. These themes emerge in the debate that ensues between Job and his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) who visit to comfort him. The debate starts when Job attributes his suffering to God’s injustice and unfairness. The friends are surprised because of his attitude. Traditionally, people suffer because of their sins.

However, Job does not agree with the proposition. His friends advise him to search his conscience to uncover sins he committed to warrant God’s punishment. However, Job declines their advice because he opposes the claim that suffering emanates from sin. He maintains that he is innocent. He accuses God of injustice and argues that he does not deserve to suffer because he is humble, patient, and faithful. Job argues that his suffering is more than he can handle because his friends have abandoned him and God is taking pleasure in his pain and suffering. He prefers death other than a life of misery, pain, and suffering. Job curses life and wishes that he had died the moment he was born.

Eliphaz tells Job that God does not punish righteous people. He argues that Job is wicked and deserves to suffer as a form of punishment. He accuses him of impatience because he accuses God without finding reasons for his suffering. He maintains that Job’s suffering is characteristic of what befalls wicked people who offend God. Eliphaz tries to console him by telling him that nobody is just before God and he thus deserves to suffer. He advises Job to turn to God for help because no one else is available to help him. Job responds and claims that his friends have betrayed him by abandoning him because of his suffering. He accuses God of injustice and wishes that his life would go back to normal. He tells Eliphaz that he is justified to complain because he does not deserve to suffer.

Zophar accuses Job of wickedness and advises him to repent in order to mitigate his suffering. He tells Job that people portray either submissiveness or arrogance before God. He says that Job is arrogant and thus deserves punishment. He tells the job that God’s wisdom cannot be quantified or measured. He says that to show Job that his suffering is proof enough that he has committed sin. He maintains that sinners are rewarded by suffering.

He advises Job to repent in order to reestablish his relationship with God. Job responds by claiming that many other people are suffering and he is not the only one. He pleads with God to come to his aid and have mercy on him. In addition, he rejects the idea of life after death even though he is aware that God controls everything that exists. He rejects Zophar’s arguments and tries to reach out directly to God.

Bildad reiterates Zophar’s accusations by stating that Job is guilty of injustice against God and that is why he is suffering. He reprimands Job for lamenting because he believes that God is just and fair and does not punish good people. He tells Job that God does not make exceptions when punishing wicked people. Therefore, he should not expect God to have mercy on him because suffering is a reward for sin.

He tells Job that God punishes people who argue against him. Zophar states that God’s fairness was the reason why he is suffering because he cannot be exempted from punishment. Job responds by blaming God for his suffering. He is convinced that God has refused to give him reasons for his suffering because it is without reason. He states that he needs a mediator in order to reach God. However, after failing to get one, he begs for mercy and forgiveness from God.

The three friends maintain that God is just and does not punish the righteous, and uses suffering as a way of reminding people to repent. However, Job does not agree with their arguments. He maintains that he is innocent and God is unjust. In his misery and desperation, Job demands an explanation from God for his great suffering. In response, God answers him in a speech through a whirlwind.

In the debate, God’s speech is significant for the position takes by Job because of several reasons. First, it teaches that people should avoid accusing God of injustice and unfairness. God works in his own ways and people should not question them. Job’s suffering was a test of faith and patience. However, he chose to blame and accuse God of injustice. God’s speech proves that he cares for everyone despite the presence of pain and suffering in life. Third, God’s speech is relevant for Job’s position because it reveals God’s mysterious ways, which humans cannot understand. Instead of accepting God’s mysterious ways, Job decides to accuse God.

God’s speech contradicts the stand taken by Job’s friends. They argue that Job is suffering because he has committed sin. However, Job’s suffering is not because of wickedness but God’s will. According to the speech, he is suffering because God is exercising his power and has good reasons for allowing it. Moreover, God does not bring suffering upon Job as a sign of the d for repentance as the three friends claim. With regard to the stand taken by Job’s friends, God’s speech shows that human beings do not understand why God allows some things to happen to people. In addition, they ignore God’s power and control over creation.

The debate presented in the book of Job between Job and his friends focuses on suffering and God’s justice. The debate ensues after job accuses God of bringing suffering and pain upon him despite his innocence. Job argues that God is unjust because he lets him suffer without a proper reason. He accuses God of injustice and unfairness. On their part, Job’s friends maintain that God is just and does not punish righteous people. As such, they maintain that job’s suffering is as a result of his wickedness hence need for repentance.

In his speech that is a response to Job’s complaints, God reveals that he is ruler over all creation and his power surpasses that of all creatures. On the other hand, the speech is relevant to the stand taken by Job’s friends because it shows a lack of understanding of God’s power. They think that Job’s suffering is God’s wrath for his wickedness. The speech reiterates God’s power over creation, and his mysterious ways of doing things.

  • What Is Meant by “Wicked Problems of Design”?
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  • “The Mysterious Stranger” by Mark Twain
  • Religious Teachings of Buddhist Doctrine
  • Religious Teachings: Jainism vs. Buddhism and Hinduism
  • The Acts and the Gospel According to Paul
  • Religious Studies of Prayer: The Books of Luke and Acts
  • Luke-Acts Theological Content
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IvyPanda. (2020, July 6). The Book of Job in the Bible.

"The Book of Job in the Bible." IvyPanda , 6 July 2020,

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A Man Named Job and the Book Where His Name was Carved

The words of Almighty God in the Holy Bible serve as guidance and life-lessons to the readers. The book of Job’s author and the date it was written are not yet unfolded. Most likely, it was written between the seventh and fourth centuries BCE. The assumed exact date of publication is after 586 BCE. 1 It is also one of the oldest contents of the Bible. It was coherently and poetically written and produces a complex, incredibly powerful and daring contents that deliver subtle meaning, allusions, parody, quotations, narrative structure, irony, etc. 2   It is considered as one of the most debated and intriguing books among the Hebrew Scriptures and tells a story about Job, a man who had a reputation of being upright and blameless, one who had great fear in God and refused to accept the evil. 1

There are three theories on the authorship of the Book of Job. The first one is that the book was written by Job, himself. This theory was made because of the line in Job 19: 23-24 NIV, saying, “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!” It entails the desire of Job to have such book written. Second theory is that Moses was the writer of the book. Moses lived during the same period of time and assumed that he had enough knowledge about the happenings for him to compose the book. It is assumed that Moses added the prologue            on second and third chapter and provided a setting and the epilogue on chapter 42. However, this theory is denied because of the proximity of the place where Moses lived and the poetic style of writing which is different from the Pentateuch. Lastly, the third theory is that an anonymous writer during the period of the return from the captivity of Babylonian made the Book of Job. This theory suggests that the book was passed from generation to another through oral discussions and was finally put [1]into writing centuries after the occurrence of the events in Job’s life. The allegorized prologues and vocabulary during this time period were similar to what were written in the Book of Job. 3

The realness of the existence of Job is sometimes questioned by some scholars. Some studies say that he only represented men who were suffering during that time. 4 However, evidence suggests that Job actually existed in the Middle East and that he really experienced the occurrences written in the book. One of the evidences that assume the real existence of Job was written in Ezekiel 14:20 wherein Job, Noah and Daniel were named as epitomes of holiness. In the New Testament, James 5:11 described Job as an epitome of patience. Likewise, archaeologists found out that there were men who existed in the past named Job. This finding supported the fact that Job is a name commonly used before. It is assumed that Job lived during the time of Abraham. The exact location of Job’s life is not known apart from the statement that he lives in Uz. However, some studies suggest that he lived in the north eastern part of the Palestine located in the land of Aram or now known as Syria. This theory is based on Genesis 10:23 saying that Uz was an offspring of Aram. Likewise, Job 1:3 stated that Job was the greatest man among all the men who lived in East. On the other hand, some scholars suggest that Job lived in Edom, the southern part of Palestine. Eliphaz, who was one of his friends, lived in Teman which was part of Edom.

Job was a good and godly individual. He had a strong character and unparalleled righteousness. In 1:18 of the book, Job was described as a servant of God who feared Him, refused evil, blameless and upright. He was like Isaac, Abraham and Jacob who also served as a family priest. In Job 1:3, he was described as the greatest man among all the people who lived in the East. He was prosperous and possessed numerous domesticated animals and owned a big house of servants and worker.

5 The intention of the Book of Job is not to completely provide answers to man’s questions of why he is suffering from great pain and why he needs to feel debilitation and severe terminal diseases. Instead, it narrows down the questions of an individual who has existed with a righteous and honourable life and is experiencing pain and asks the question why? The message of the book is to make the readers realize that all men facing suffering and struggles in their life and ask God the question why would not receive any answer from Him. According to Corinthians 5:7, questions about suffering will not help a man because of the presence of things that will not help him increase his faith. Faith is only present when people believe in God during the days they don’t understand the reasons behind everything. 6 [2]

Reasons for Sufferings

Suffering is considered as a test. It challenges man’s faith, character, values and love for God. These tests will either make or break a man or make someone bitter or better. Bitterness happens when people jump into a wrong conclusion and perspective about God’s purpose for bringing them pain and suffering. On the other hand, suffering can make a person feel better by opening his eyes to the power, wonder, wisdom, love and goodness of God. 8 Sometimes, suffering is given to people as a punishment. It can be traced back during the time when the Israel children failed to go to the Promise Land with faith in God. They had to wander in the wilderness for thirty-eight years because of their committed sin. 3 The deportation of Israeli from the Babylon was a very painful moment in their lives. It served as a great challenge for the people to have covenant relationship with God and understanding and encounter with the evil. It was indeed a normal practice for them to accept evil and embrace suffering as a disciplinary result of their infidelity and disobedience to God. 4

The Deuteronomic view of the covenant between God and Israeli (Deut 30:15-20) implies that people should establish a faithful and righteous relationship with God in order to free themselves from evil of suffering.   In Corinthian 5:5, Paul showed that suffering implies a corrective intention. Paul said that as a disciplinary action, there should be a physical intervention of life’s consequence to bring back well-being with God as well as with the whole body. On the other hand, in John 9, suffering may be a prelude of God’s reversal in the future. A blind man was asked by Jesus who had sinned and he answered none. The blind man and his parents were not sinners which made them undeserving to get punishment from God. Instead, being blind was a way for him to discover the greatness of God when he got his sight after his conversation with Jesus. Likewise, suffering may be due to spiritual agony. It was felt by the son of God, Jesus, who agonized in the Garden of Gethsemene with his sweat of blood. Another reason for suffering is that God wants an individual’s suffering to become an inspiration to other men. Paul, the apostle, suffered and became an inspiration and source of strength of the whole church. 8

On the other hand, people sometimes give wrong answers to their questions of suffering. 5 Some people think that God bring them pain because they have done something wrong. For instance, a woman who realized that she has a cancer may think that she got the disease because she had failures as a mother and God wanted her to suffer. Likewise, some people think that God does not care. These individuals think that they are not deserving of God’s attention and care. They think that if God really cared, there would be no disease and problems to suffer from. Similarly, during moments of suffering, there are people who think that the control is not in God’s hands. They believe that in spite of the fact that God can control some things in life, He cannot manipulate those that cause pain, harm and infliction to the human’s life. People assume that God can only rule the Heavens but definitely not the Earth.

Another explanation that people give is that God is not capable of stopping Satan. People who view this depend on Ephesians 2:2 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 descriptions that Satan is the prince of the air and that he is the god of the present age, respectively. These people believe that God is only for the Heavens and that He cannot stop the evil from harming the creatures in this world. Satan wants people from serving God to stop. Lastly, people believe that there is suffering in their lives because God is not fair. These individuals tend to compare what other people have and that these people are most of the time, do not deserve what they have. This sentiment is similar to Habakkuk (1:13) saying, “Why do You hold Your tongue when the wicked devours one more righteous than he?”

Job’s Sufferings

Job’s suffering was not related to punishment, inspirations, spiritual agony and other reasons that were mentioned above. The reason behind his sufferings is unknown. Job said, “I don’t have the foggiest idea why this has come to me. I can’t see any purpose to it. I don’t know what God is up to. I certainly don’t deserve it”. 8 God declared Job as a righteous man which resulted to the complexity of his sufferings. His friends Elphaz, Bildad and Zophar kept telling him that he had sins of his own however, their argument was not proven. It was Elihu who proved the three friends wrong and said that serving God brings out a profit and that if Job is not receiving any, there should be something wrong with his life. Elihu implied that God’s sovereignty liberates Him from any mistake and that the wrongness was on the side of Job.

On the other hand, some studies say that Job’s suffering was special because it was Satan who chose to attack him. 5 Since God said that Job was righteous, He invited people to companion him so that he could bless the individuals around him and the world where he lived in. Because of Satan’s desire to stop this blessing, he induced great suffering to Job. This is also the reason why the history of Israelis was filled with torment, why Jesus’s life featured his own agony and why true and devoted Christians suffered the most. Therefore, it can be said that Satan attacked Job because he was not like other individuals. Satan wanted to end his righteousness and the blessings provided by God. The Prologue, chapter one to two, depicted Satan as a challenge for Job’s righteousness. Satan removed all Job’s material wealth as well as the lives of his daughters and sons. With these first hardships, Job 1:22 stated “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Continuing the challenge, Satan started to remove the patriarch’s health, induced plagues and tempted Job’s wife to say curses and death wishes towards God. Still, Job remained faithful to God in Job 2:10. 3

However, Job started to curse the moment he was born. He questioned “why” seven times from Job 3:11, 12, 16, 20 and 23. He asked, “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Why did the knees receive me? Why the breasts that I should nurse? Why was I not hidden like a stillborn child? Why is the light given to him who is in misery? Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden?” 6 He started demanding for answers to his questions from God. Job said in Chapter 3:3-9:

Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night which said, ‘a boy is conceived’. May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, nor the light shine on it. Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, let the darkness seize it, Let it not rejoice among the days of the year, Let it not come into the number of the months. Behold, let the night be barren; Let no joyful shout enter it. Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan (the crocodile). Let the stars of its twilight be darkened; Let it wait for light but have none, And let it not see the breaking dawn. 5

God’s Revelations about Himself and His Answers

Job’s ultimate desire is to hear the response of God about his questions of suffering. Finally, God answered him with an imposing from a whirlwind. God’s message to God was in two parts. The first one was a mere introduction of His message which is included in Job 38: 1-3, while the remaining part can be read from Job 38:4, Chapter 41. The second part included the questions God raised towards Job. God’s answer was overwhelming and contained impressions, questions, representations and challenges. 7   God discussed about elements of the design and structure of Creation. He talked about His roles as the Creator and Preserver of everything here on Earth. These statements of God made Job realize how poor his power was to understand things that were happening in his life. God made him realize that His insights and actions go beyond the capabilities and knowledge owned by Job. God’s speech was not merely intended to explain, justify or excuse himself; it was intended to challenge man to put his trust to God. 6

In Chapter 38-39, God had spoken and revealed Himself. In Job 38:2, God asked and referred to Elihu, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” In Job 38:4, God talked about the foundations of the Earth, the continental rocks, the globe’s surfaces and its central core. Job 38:8 talked about God’s speech about Him carefully balancing the planet’s land area and water. Job 38:9 depicted how God provided a greenhouse protective covering, the rings of water and the clouds during the Creation period. He then compared the world’s underground supply of water, depth of the oceans to the moral degradation of demise (Job 38: 16-17). God then talked about the snows and how it served as water reserves for the annual irrigation of the land. God also used these during the moments of battle and trouble just like in the flood that devastated Kishon during the battle of Barak and Deborah against Sisera (Job 38:22). In Job 38: 31, 32, God also spoke about how accurate the astronomical figures are. He described the stellar constellations including the Pleiades, Orion, Arcturus as well as the zodiac signs. Job 38:41 provided an explanation of the sustainability provided by God to the animals and how He balances the food chain. Job 39:1,2 also talked about the diversity on the periods of gestations in all faunas of the earth. God also spoke about the rich selection of plumage given to wild fowls in Job 39:13. The conclusion part was written in the fortieth chapter with God’s statement, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.” 8 God’s point in this statement is that Job should learn how to trust Him even more because He was able to take care of all the other elements existing in this world.

God rejected Job’s desire to let the darkness cover the earth because of his agony and suffering. God told him the He made night and day because every creature in this world needs light from the moon and stars. He rejected darkness because He was on the side of existence and He knows that light is an essential of life. God also talked about how the sea came from a womb and was given birth (Job 38:8) because He knows that the earthlings wound need it. God also questioned if the rain had a father and from whose womb the ice came from. He asked about it because He wanted to tell Job that He put limits on water because He never wants it to overtake and destroy the land. God was also referring to balance with His questions. When Job desired for death, God answered with a question that death is not ease, freedom and rest. He said that Death is something else and that Job had gone wrong. God is definitely a provider of life and that He rejects death as an option for a man’s freedom and ease. 5

Job’s Repentance

God’s exposition was enough for Job to understand that there were more than the things he knew about his life. Job answered yes to the question of servicing God for nothing. Job’s answer was yes because he believed that serving God should not be after His rewards, it should be built with a foundation of heart, loyalty and a desire for the presence of God in a man’s life. This presence can survive loss and chastity – darkness and hardness, which will later on result to love and light. 6


The Book of Job provided a portrayal of God which can be hard for some readers. Some believe that the prologue portrayed a selfish, intervening at will in a man’s life, and arbitrary kind of God. On the other hand, the God of Job’s friends was described as too reacting based on a rigid system of retribution and reward and too mechanical. Likewise, Job’s God during his time of anguish was depicted as harassing humans, too violent and an anarchist. In Jobs 28, people’s commentary on the poet’s God was too inaccessible and remote. However, some commended the speeches of God.  Victor Hugo said that if all literatures would be destroyed and he had to save one work, it would be Job. Some considered the Book as the greatest poem for both ancient and modern era of literature. Daniel Webster thought that the Book was a composition of a literary genius and that it is one of the most outstanding compositions written at any language for any age. 9

During moments of despair and suffering, people often question the happenings in their lives. People believe that God is a God of love and that He treats His creations right. People believe that God only wants health, prosperity and goodness for His people. However, in times of great pain, people tend to ask questions, How could God do this? Why is He inducing such pain? The exposition of God when Job kept on asking Him to answer his questions is a fact that God answers people’s prayers and that He is always around. He is definitely not a silent God (woods). A man’s relationship with God is possible with communication that is why it is always taught to the believers that they should always say their thoughts into prayers to reach God. When God asked Job about the existence of various animals, there are some of them which are not known by Job. God asked about this because He was pointing out that there are animals that may or may not matter to Job, but all of them mattered to Him. Likewise, it is a way of saying that there are sufferings that may not matter to man but it will always matter to God. In addition, since God talked about things that Job didn’t know, Job realized that he’s not worthy to question things because of his limited knowledge. God also talked about Job’s trying to question God’s goodness. God rebutted by saying that if Job questioned Him, then it must mean that he knows more about goodness compared to God.

All these statements from God prove that there are things in life that are beyond the human knowledge. These things may not be learned by a single creature in the span of his life therefore, it is only God who knows everything. Likewise, God’s concern about all the elements of life is evidence that He cares about all the creatures in the world – that God is fair and that He does not choose certain people to get sufferings or blessings in this life. When God talked about the beasts that were described similarly to a hippopotamus and crocodile means that this life is very unpredictable and that people are bound to face both predictable and unpredictable dangers. With this, it is always man’s choice to continue imagining dangers or believe that God is always in control.

All throughout their dialog, God never told Job about His plans of bringing His son Jesus to the world to let people understand about His love and Glory. Still, Job managed and chose to believe that God cares and that He is in control. Today, people have already read great stories and lessons from the Bible and knew about the purpose of the existence of Jesus Christ, and that is to redeem the world from sin. God sacrificed His own son Jesus Christ to take away the sufferings of men. However, men still chose to disbelieve and reject the love and capabilities of God. Likewise, the dialog did not include the answers to Job’s questions. God only talked about random aspects of His creations. But still, Job accepted and believed God. He did not blame God and continued the righteousness in His life. If Job knew the reasons, it would probably not change anything since everything had already occurred. This means to say that God does not want people to question Him because in Faith there is no questioning. He just wanted men to [3]move on and realize that people do not know everything about life and that answered questions would not change a thing about their existence.

The dialog of God with Job is a proof that God is not the reason of man’s suffering. God only talked about His creations and His actions but He never talked about His will to induce pain to humans. Thus, it should be said that men should not blame God for his sufferings. Also, God is suffering with men. God’s sufferings happened in the presence of Jesus. He took away His son Jesus and put his spirit upon men so that God could suffer with humans at the same time. Likewise, God has plans for men’s suffering. In the New Testament, He put Jesus Christ as a redeemer of men’s sins and He also talked about the revelations that await men in the future.

Reading the Book of Job may cause the reader to gain and perceive sixteen truths. 10 These truths include (1) People should not limit the capabilities of God to a predetermined notion of recompense or retribution theology, (2) sin may not always be the reason and cause of man’s suffering, (3) people who accept the false tenets about pain and suffering may cause them to put the blame on God, (4) a recompensive theology destroys the ways of God and make humans set their own standards and interpretations of the actions of God, (5) Satan enjoys the fact that people believe the wrong concept of suffering and use it against the righteousness of men, (6) a strong relationship with God is the only way to get justice from the evil’s injustice, (7) believers see life as God’s way of providing purpose, (8) people do not have all the knowledge in this world, (9) God has the wisdom that men do not have, (10) blessings from God are based on grace, (11) people can face sufferings with their faith, (12) God allows people to feel suffering, pain and even demise if these are for His own purpose, (13) prosperity theology is not included in God’s plan, (14) suffering has its own preventive reason, (15) the greatest saints and true Christians struggle with underserved pain and suffering, (16) suffering is designed to glorify God.


1   N. Wolterstoff. The Silence of God who Speaks. Philosophia. Vol. 30. 2003.

2 M. Grinber. The Book of Job: Approaches, Contexts and Readings. 2011

3 B.T. Arnold & B. Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament, A Christian Survey. 2 nd edition. 2008.

4   H.S. Kushner. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Alfred A. Knopf Inc. 1981.

5 RBC Ministries. Knowing God Through Job. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2002.

6 A.F. Badalamenti. Job’s Story and Family Health. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 48. 2009.

7 F. Johnson. A Phonological Existential Analysis to the Book of Job. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 44. 2005.

8 P.J. Pellach. The Suffering of Job: He is Every Person and No-One. Perspectives of Human Suffering. 2012

9 Mark A. Copeland. The Book of Job: Introduction to the Book. 2006

10 Larry J. Waters. Reflections on Suffering from the Book of Job. Dallas Theological Seminary. 1997

1 N. Wolterstoff. The Silence of God who Speaks. Philosophia. Vol. 30. 2003.

3  B.T. Arnold & B. Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament, A Christian Survey. 2 nd edition. 2008.

4 H.S. Kushner. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Alfred A. Knopf Inc. 1981.

5 RBC Ministries. Knowing God Through Job. 16 July 2012. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002.

6 A.F. Badalamenti. Job’s Story and Family Health. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 48. 2009

9  M.A. Copeland. The Book of Job: Introduction to the Book. 16 July 2012. 2006

10 L.J. Waters. Reflections on Suffering From The Book of Job. 16 July 2012. Bibliotheca Sacra. 436-51. 1997

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Comparing Shared Book Reading Practices in Autistic and Neurotypical Preschoolers

37 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2024

Meredith Pecukonis

Boston University

Prerna Shankar

Keerti daesety, julia cornwall, lauren deboyes, helen tager-flusberg.

Background: While the developmental benefits of shared book reading (SBR) in neurotypical (NT) children are well-established, less research has focused on studying the impact of SBR in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Little is currently known about whether autistic and NT children experience similar SBR practices at home, and whether these SBR practices are associated with autistic children’s language skills. Methods: In well-matched groups of 32 autistic and NT preschoolers, we compared different measures of SBR practices, including parent-reported quantity and quality of SBR at home, parent-reported child engagement and enjoyment during SBR at home, and behaviorally observed parent language use during lab-based parent-child SBR interactions. In a larger sample of 48 preschoolers (23 ASD, 25 NT), we further explored the associations between SBR practices and child language skills. Results: Between groups, parents reported similar quantity and quality of SBR and used similar language during parent-child SBR interactions. Parents of autistic children reported having to work hard to keep their child engaged during SBR more often than parents of NT children. Parents of autistic children also reported lower child enjoyment during SBR. In the ASD group, child language skills, as well as child engagement and enjoyment during SBR, were significantly correlated with quantity and quality of SBR. Conclusions: SBR may have a positive impact on autistic children’s language development, although further longitudinal research is needed. Clinically, findings suggest that autistic children, especially those with lower language skills, may benefit from interventions that support child engagement and enjoyment during SBR.

Note: Funding declaration: This work was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD; F31 DC019562). Conflict of Interests: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Ethical Approval: All study procedures were conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki, including informed consent and assent prior to study inclusion, and approved by the Institutional Review Board at Boston University (protocol #5334).

Keywords: autism, shared book reading, language, literacy, preschool

Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation

Meredith Pecukonis (Contact Author)

Boston university ( email ).

595 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215 United States

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    The Book of Job in Jewish Life and Thought: Critical Essays. Jason Kalman. 2021, HUC Press. Nahum Glatzer once quipped, An author wrote a commentary on Song of Songs and took it to a rabbi for an approbation before presenting the material to the publisher. The rabbi looked at the commentary on Song of Songs and said to the author, "You should ...

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    This masterpiece is written in a poetic style. It is also considered as the first of five poetic books of the Old Testament. These include Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Psalms and Job. Moreover, Paul (Ro 11:35) and James (Jm 5:10-11) have referred to it in the New Testament as an inspiration for patience.

  14. The Book of Job Critical Essays

    Critics divide The Book of Job into three sections: a prose prologue (1:1-2:13), a poetic dialogue (3:1-42:6), and a prose epilogue (42:7-17). The prologue provides an idyllic picture of a semi ...

  15. Research Paper: The Message of Job (Wisdom Literature)

    Research Paper: The Message of Job (Wisdom Literature) Ruth Martin. ·. Follow. 6 min read. ·. Sep 25, 2018. The book of Job takes up a considerable amount of space in the Old Testament. It is an ...

  16. The Book of Job in the Bible

    Job is one of the Old Testament books in the Bible. It utilizes a combination of poetry and prose to explore themes of individual suffering and God' justice. The main character in the book is Job, a staunch believer who loses wealth, friends, and succumbs to severe pain and suffering. He undergoes a dramatic transformation from wealth to poverty.

  17. Research Paper On The Book Of Job

    The book of Job begins with God's boastful bargain with Satan, which subsequently leads God to allow the total destruction of Job's family and livelihood. Job is even attacked physically with "loathsome sores… from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head" (Job 2:7).

  18. The Book of Job, Research Paper Example

    A Phonological Existential Analysis to the Book of Job. Journal of Religion and Health. Vol. 44. 2005. 8 P.J. Pellach. The Suffering of Job: He is Every Person and No-One. Perspectives of Human Suffering. 2012. 9 Mark A. Copeland. The Book of Job: Introduction to the Book. 2006. 10 Larry J. Waters. Reflections on Suffering from the Book of Job.

  19. Research: How does the book of Job explain the problem of evil?

    *This research paper was originally published on my author's website. ... The book of Job shows us the necessity for suffering, for it draws us closer to God in our weakness, and it makes us ...

  20. Book Of Job Essays: Examples, Topics, & Outlines

    Book of Job - Biblical Allegory Job's. Job's tale is one of the most accessible Biblical allegories. An honorable, just, pious man loses everything: his ten children, his wife, his entire estate, and on top of it all is inflicted with a horrendous skin disease that leaves him crippled. All this was done as a challenge and a test of his faith.

  21. Job Seeking: The Process and Experience of Looking for a Job

    This review distills available empirical research about the process and experience of looking for a job. Job search varies according to several dimensions, including intensity, content, and ...

  22. the Book of Job Research Papers

    View the Book of Job Research Papers on for free.

  23. Summary of Book of Job

    JOB (Job 1: 1-5, 13-22) The Book Of Job. I. Background of the story. The story is derived from one of the books of Hebrew Bible, the Book of Job. It relates the story of Job, who was not Jewish, and in Jewish tradition is the son of Utz, who was the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. It tells of his trials at the hands of God, his ...

  24. Comparing Shared Book Reading Practices in Autistic and ...

    Conclusions: SBR may have a positive impact on autistic children's language development, although further longitudinal research is needed. Clinically, findings suggest that autistic children, especially those with lower language skills, may benefit from interventions that support child engagement and enjoyment during SBR.

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