Author Topic: Who wrote the Book of Job and when? Is it the Oldest Book of the Bible?  (Read 400 times)

Offline Xavier

  • Eternal Father, through Mary's Immaculate Heart, We Offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in Atonement for our sins and those of the Whole World.
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 5886
  • Thanked: 4376 times
  • Slave of the Risen Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice.
    • Marian Apostolate Life Offering.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic.
I've had this question for a while, Who wrote the Book of Job and when? Is it the Oldest Book of the Bible?

Please join my Rosary Crusade to end Abortion: Pray the 1000 Hail Marys Rosary Frequently. You can Save 1000 Souls!

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen."

"Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us" [Promise: 1000 Souls from Purgatory]"This short prayer, this insistent prayer, every time it is said, sets free from Purgatory 1000 Souls, who reach the Eternal Joy, the Eternal Light"(!).

Offline Alnitak

  • Hellebardier
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Thanked: 45 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Haydock in his introduction to Job:
It is uncertain who was the writer of it. Some attribute it to Job himself; others to Moses, or some one of the prophets... Some have supposed that he was a contemporary with Esther; on which supposition, the work is here placed in its chronological order.  But Job more probably live during the period when the Hebrews groaned under the Egyptian bondage, or sojourned in the wilderness.  Num. xiv. 9.
There is no consensus among the Fathers or the Jews about who wrote Job. St. Isidore (De ecclesiasticis officiis, 2, XI. De libris Testamentorum, PL 83 747A) says:
Iob librum Hebraei Moysen scripsisse putant, alii unum ex prophetis.
The Hebrew book of Job is said to have been written by Moses, or one of the prophets.
St. Rabanus Marus (De clericorum institutione, 2, LII. De lectionibus, PL 107 365C) again lists Job under:
qui diverso apud Hebraeos metro scribuntur
of which there are multiple judgements of authorship from the Hebrews
(Forgive my odd translation)
Hugh of St. Victor (De scripturis et scriptoribus sacris, 1, VI. De ordine, numero et auctoritate librorum sacrae Scripturae, PL 175 16C) similarly says:
Librum Iob, alii Moysen, alii unum ex prophetis, nonnulli ipsum Iob scripsisse credunt.
The book of Job is believed to be written either by Moses, or by one of the prophets, or by some by Job himself.
St. Gregory (Morals, 1, Pref, 1-2) gives a longer explanation of different opinions:
It is often a question with many persons, who should be held for the writer of the Book of the Blessed Job; and some indeed conjecture that Moses was the author of this work, others, some one of the Prophets.  For because it is related in the Book of Genesis [Gen.  36, 33] that Jobab sprung from the stock of Esau, and that he succeeded Bale the son of Beor upon the throne, they have inferred that this Blessed Job lived long before the times of Moses, evidently from ignorance of the manner of Holy Writ, which in the earlier parts is wont to touch slightly upon events that are not to follow till long afterwards, when the object is to proceed without delay to particularize other events with greater exactness.  Whence it happens, that in that case likewise it is mentioned of Jobab, that he was before there arose kings in Israel.  Therefore we clearly see that He never could have lived before the Law, who is marked out as having lived during the time of the Judges of Israel; which being little attended to by some, they suppose that Moses was the writer of his acts, as placing him long before, [ut vide licet] so that in effect the self-same person who was able to deliver the precepts of the Law for our instruction; should be supposed also to have commended to us examples of virtue derived from the life of a man that was a Gentile.  But some, as has been said, suppose some one of the Prophets to have been the Author of this work, maintaining that no man could have knowledge of those words of God, which have such deep mystery, save he whose mind was raised to things above by the spirit of Prophecy.
But who was the writer, it is very superfluous to enquire; since at any rate the Holy Spirit is confidently believed to have been the Author.
St. Thomas (Prologue to Literal Commentary on Job) also declines to deal with the writer of Job, which may be telling:
However, as to the epoch in which he lived, who his parents were or even who the author of the book was, that is whether Job wrote about himself as if speaking about another person, or whether someone else reported these things about him is not the present intention of this discussion.

A work that is sometimes attributed to Alcuin (Disputatio puerorum, 1, VI. De ratione temporum, PL 101 1126A) says:
Scriptor libri Iob qui fuit? Resp. Librum Iob quidam Moysen scripsisse arbitrantur, alii unum ex prophetis; nonnulli vero eundem Iob post plagam suae passionis scriptorem fuisse aestimant, arbitrantes, ut qui certamina spiritalis pugnae sustinuit, ipse narraret quas victorias expedivit.
Who wrote the book of Job? Resp. The book of Job is judged by some to have been written by Moses, others by one of the prophets, or by some estimated and judged to be truly the same Job who after the misfortune, found it expedient to narrate his victories over his sustained spiritual sufferings and fights.
(Loose translation)

So, Job being the oldest book in terms of origin depends on who the author was. However, it is likely that Job is set during the time of Genesis, making it the second oldest book in terms of setting. Some associate Job with Jobab, king of Edom (Gen. 36:3). Uz (Job 1:1) is also mentioned in Genesis 22:21. I think that this view is the most likely.

The Talmud (Bava Batra 15a:11-14) however connects Uz with the time of Moses:
Job lived in the time of Moses. It is written here with regard to Job: “Oh, that my words were written now [eifo]” (Job 19:23), and it is written there in Moses’ words to God: “For in what shall it be known here [eifo]” (Exodus 33:16). The unusual use of the word eifo in these two places indicates that Job and Moses lived in the same generation.

 But if that is the proof, say that Job lived in the time of Isaac, as it is written in connection with Isaac: “Who then [eifo] is he that has taken venison” (Genesis 27:33). Or say that he lived in the time of Jacob, as it is written with respect to Jacob: “If it must be so now [eifo], do this” (Genesis 43:11). Or say that he lived in the time of Joseph, as it is written with respect to Joseph: “Tell me, I pray you, where [eifo] are they feeding their flocks?” (Genesis 37:16).

It could not enter your mind to say this, as it is written in the continuation of the previously mentioned verse: “Oh, that my words were inscribed [veyuḥaku] in a book” (Job 19:23), and it is Moses who is called the inscriber, as it is written with regard to him: “And he provided the first part for himself, for there was the inscriber’s [meḥokek] portion reserved” (Deuteronomy 33:21)

Rava says: Job lived at the time of the spies whom Moses sent to scout the land of Canaan. This is proven by the fact that it is written here: “There was a man in the land of Utz, whose name was Job” (Job 1:1), and it is written there in the account of the spies: “Whether there are trees [eitz] in it” (Numbers 13:20). The Gemara asks: Is it comparable? Here the word that is used is Utz, whereas there the word is eitz. The Gemara answers: This is what Moses said to Israel, i.e., to the spies: Is that man named Job still alive, he whose years are as long as the years of a tree and who protects his generation like a tree? This is why the allusion to him here is through the word eitz, rather than Utz.

Hartley, J. E. (1988). The book of Job. p. 17 ff. is a more modern overview of the time of Job, but unfortunately pp.15-16 which are on the authorship of Job are not available for preview online. It does conclude (p.17) that
the author was a highly educated person and a devout servant of Yahweh; he may be numbered among the great wise men of ancient Israel.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 06:49:57 AM by Alnitak »
The following users thanked this post: Xavier