The books of the Bible are the most studied of all ancient writings. We’ve discussed the Book of Job and how it is believed to be the oldest in the Bible and contains hints of the past. Usually Job is only referred to in passing concerning suffering and faith. However, this unique and old writing is full of insights into questions of the natural world. Its details on origins predate the writing of Genesis and add much more depth while showing understanding predating future science discoveries. From the sequence of life’s appearance to the nature of the heavens, how does such an old book contain so much fact while contemporary cultures were steeped in myth?
The new book Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job is a fascinating study of Job’s story from antiquity. It explores and uncovers what few studies of Job have.
If you have never read Job, this book will compel you to do so.
The Book of Job is a most intriguing part of the Bible. The story of Job doesn’t fit into the sequence of Old Testament books and it seems Job is outside of the primary ancient Jewish world, perhaps not even Jewish. Difficult to date because of its lack of references to other history in the region, its date of writing could be anywhere from 700BC to 2000BC. It does seem that Job is well-traveled and educated. Job is full of references to older times and traditions or at least knowledge of them. As far back as Genesis, we see the establishment of stars for use in tracking time and the seasons. This was important in the millenia before clocks and calendars. Job mentions some of these stars in Job 38:31-32:
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? (KJV)
This may not mean much at first glance, but consider the following. After Job implies God is not in control, God responds (Job 38:31-32) with a series of questions concerning the star cluster Pleiades, the constellation Orion and the star Arcturus. He asks Job if he can keep the stars of Pleiades together or break apart Orion or guide Arcturus and his sons. These questions appear to reveal the actual movements of these stellar bodies. How would the writer of Job know centuries ago that Arcturus is a runaway star traveling at immense speeds or that the stars of Orion’s famous belt are moving in such a way that someday it will no longer be a straight line or that the stars of the Pleiades cluster are moving together as one unit?
[Note: Arcturus comes from a Greek word that means “Guardian of the Bear” which is why some translations use “Bear with its cubs” (or something similar) instead of the star name. Arcturus is in the constellation Boötes (the herdsman) which is near Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the bears/dippers).]
Blind luck? Coincidence? Lost ancient knowledge? Or something else?