Thursday, January 25, 2007

Job Oultine

I apologize for those of you who have been waiting for my Job outline, since we are already at Job 11, but this has been a crazy week. At any rate, I will be posting more frequently on Job because it is a more difficult book. Here is one outline for the book, which I consider to be a content outline.

I. Prologue, chs 1-2
II. Dialogues, chs 3-26
III. Monologues, chs 27-41
IV. Epilogue, ch 42

This quick overview of the book shows the reader the character of the book as a collection of speeches. However, an expanded form of the outline can be even more helpful in following the discussion.

I. Prologue, chs 1-2 Job loses everything, including his health
II. Dialogues, chs 2-26
A. Round One, chs 3-14
1. Job's lament, ch 3
2. Eliphaz responds, chs 4-5
3. Job speaks again, chs 6-7
4. Bildad responds, ch 8
5. Job speaks again, chs 9-10
6. Zophar responds, ch 11
7. Job wraps up the discussion chs 12-14
B. Round Two, chs 15-21
1. Eliphaz speaks, ch 15
2. Job responds, chs 16-17
3. Bildad speaks, ch 18
4. Job responds, ch 19
5. Zophar speaks, ch 20
6. Job responds, ch 21
C. Round Three, chs 22-26
1. Eliphaz speaks, ch 22
2. Job responds, chs 23-24
3. Bildad speaks, ch 25
4. Job responds, ch 26
III. Monologues, chs 27-41
A. Job's final statement, chs 27-31
B. Elihu speaks, chs 32-37
C. God speaks, chs 38-41
IV. Epilogue, ch 42, Job is restored

The best brief study of Job is William Henry Green's work, Conflict and Triumph: The Argument of the Book of Job Unfolded. It was originally published in the 19th century, but has been reprinted by Banner of Truth. It follows the course of the argument of the book through the dialogues and monologues, relating all of it together. Most modern commentaries seem to have assumption that the speeches in the dialogues and monologues have little to do directly with one another, being merely set pieces for the pronouncement of views. But paying careful attention to what is said reveals how the speaker interact with one another. Green helps the modern reader do this.

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