Job's Friends, and their Contribution to the Message of Job

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Religion and Theology
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Institution The Role of Job’s Friends Student’s Name Religion and theology Instructor Date Introduction The story of Job is one of the most famous in the Bible. The story is in The Book of Job which is one of the oldest books in the Bible. Modern scholarship places the authorship of the book between 6th and 4th century BC.


Resultantly, Satan is allowed to destroy Job’s wealth, family and health. Stripped of all his wealth, children and smitten with a malignant boil that covers him head-to-toe, three of Job’s friends Bildad, Zophar and Eliphaz come to comfort him. Their company opens a lengthy dialogue that covers four-fifths of the book. The dialogue among these four friends is interrupted by Elihu and ultimately, God. As shall be seen forthwith, it is not in doubt that the friends play critical roles in the Book of Job- that they fail miserably to comfort Job, notwithstanding.1 In the discourse, Job’s friends attributed Job’s great suffering to sin. Among many other instances, this can be seen in Job 4:1 and 7 where Eliphaz tells Job that those who are innocent cannot suffer harm. Again, in Job 5:17-18, Eliphaz exhorts Job to appreciate the chastising discipline of God. The import of Eliphaz’s reasoning is that misfortunes overtake the evildoers while good things happen to the upright in conduct. Therefore, the conclusion that Eliphaz is making is that the misfortunes that have befallen Job are as a result of Job’s sins.2 The flipside of the three friends’ rationale is that so-called bad people cannot get good things. This line of thought is seen in the same book’s references such as 5:5, 15:29 and 18:9. ...
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