Our new preaching series: Wisdom of Job, will be starting on April 24, 2022.
The Book of Job has been widely recognized as a brilliant piece of writing. Here are a couple of quotes: One is from Victor Hugo, the man who wrote “Les Miserables.” He says, “Tomorrow, if all literature were to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I would save Job.” The poet, Lord Tennyson said, “The greatest poem, whether of ancient or modern literature, is the book of Job.”
In the Hebrew Bible the book has been classified as poetry, together with Psalms and Proverbs. Wikipedia explains it nicely:
In Masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth").
These three books are also the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system. ·
Təhīllīm (תְהִלִּים) – Psalms ·
Mīšlē (מִשְׁלֵי) – Book of Proverbs · ’
Īyyōḇ (אִיּוֹב) – Book of Job
It is interesting that the Hebrew word for truth is also used to describe these three books. This fits the modern classification of these as wisdom books, like a glove. There is great truth about life, and therefore wisdom for life, to be learned here. The great themes woven through the book are God’s sovereignty, God’s nature, righteousness, suffering, friendship, blessing and prosperity.
I know that God has a blessing in store for us as we study this book. So, let me encourage you to read the book of Job – maybe even in two different translations – before we start our series on the wisdom of Job.