Tuesday, November 14, 2023


  No 29  What was Job's Job?
Clearly, the last study (No 28) demonstrated the influence and impact Job had on others and his community. From the youth to the aged, from the poor to princes and kings, from the innocent victim to the perpetrator of evil, Job’s life affected deeply those around him. Just what was Job’s work? What was his position and office?
Job did obviously have many responsibilities―for his family, for the public, and for his community. Civil duties may have consumed a considerable bulk of his time and energy. While there is only a scant amount of information in the Book of Job itself, we may still have some sense of his work and office in his community and the region round about him. 

The Bible indicates Job followed the usual paradigm of being being a priest for his family. As Abraham was the patriarchal-priest in his family, so Job in his. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (Job 1:5). His religious duties may have extended beyond his immediate family.

Job was certainly a □ wealthy landowner. Check that box. He was a □ farmer and a □ rancher. We know about the sheep, camels, oxen and she asses. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east (Job 1:3). Check those boxes. His wealth extended beyond land and livestock to gold, silver, precious metals and stones. Job was well-informed of the mining process of these valuable gems and minerals. Notice:

Job 28:1,2 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.
Job 28:5,6 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire. The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.
Job 28:15 As valuable as these gems and minerals were, Job knew they could not purchase wisdom and understanding. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
Job 28:16 Wealth is no comparison for wisdom, he continues: It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
Job 31:24 Job was spiritually grounded and knew wealth had nothing to do with salvation: He had not made gold his hope or confidence.
So we can probably check the boxes for □ miner, □ merchant and □ philanthropist as well.  We know from last week’s study that Job used his wealth to care for and help others. These responsibilities would have put him him the class of □ nobleman. Might as well check that box.

I am not so inclined to check the boxes for □ governor, □ mayor, □ prime minister, □ prince, □ president or □ king. Some do, and that’s OK. However, Job did come close to functions filled by the typical □ county judge executive and □ magistrate. More boxes to check.

I have purposefully structured the study thus far to highlight that Job was, in fact, a very busy man. But having said all this, I will yet suggest two more responsibilities that climb to the top of his chores and duties: □ judge and □ prophet. Let’s consider the first ( □ judge) today and save □ prophet for next week.

A responsibility Job did command is indicated in Job 29:7: When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street! Gates were, of course, passageways in and out of the city-towns. A city almost always had two, and sometimes many more.

The city gate was
1) public; like the “public square” used to be in most of our towns in former days
2) the most frequented place in town
3) where people met and socialized
4) where public announcements were made
5) where politicians campaigned (one can be sure of this)
6) busy with civil events
7) where city officials met, deliberated and administrated
8) commercial and city business was transacted; hence, the marketplace 
9) where legal matters were settled and justice was served. Job served in the city gate and regularly took his seat there. 
Here are Scriptures which indicate the importance of the city gate:
Prov 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. To be known in the gates, and to sit among the elders of the land was a position of high honor. It signified one’s prominence in the community. To sit in the gate was to have a voice in setting policy for the community.

Gen 19:1 Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.

Dan 2:49 The king set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

2 Sam 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king.

Ex 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me. Moses designated the city gate as the place of legal justice. Legal activity, thus, occurred in the gate.

Psa 127:5 They shall speak with the enemies in the gate. It is where one contended with one’s enemies.

Ruth 4:1 When Boaz insisted on carrying out his desire to marry Ruth (with complete adherence to established rule), he negotiates with his rival at the town gate. 

The gate was where punishment was meted out and where the practice of stoning took place.

Deut 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

Josh 8:29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city.

Prov 22:22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. The gate was like a hospital.

Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate.

Jer 17:21 Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem.

Jer 17:24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein;

Jer 17:27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

One could apprise the spiritual condition of the people of a city by what occurred at the gate on the Sabbath. Certainly, Sabbathkeeping, as observed at the gate into the city, did speak well of the hearts of the people―good or bad.

With Job serving in the work of judgment, it is no surprise that this theme pervades the Book of Job. A quick concordance review indicates that the occurrence of the word

            judge―4 times

            judges―3 times

            judgeth―2 times

            judgment―19 times

                        Total of 29 times.

            justice―3 times

            justified―4 times

            just―6 times

                        Total of 13 times.

We shall see in a later post Job’s heartfelt cry for justice for himself. He cries loudly for the help of a Mediator for himself. Knowing well the process of judgment, Job could appeal to the established rules for fairness, consideration and equality for himself. We, likewise, have the aid of a Prominent Advocator for ourselves. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1,2).

One day, yet future, we shall know the comfort of having Jesus Christ as our Advocate. To experience that comfort then, we practice experiencing that comfort now. Jesus mediates the propitiation for our sins today―and the sins of the whole world.

Won’t you be certain you are in right relation to God today? I am.


Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.




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