Book of Job

by

Anonymous

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Book of Job: Chapter 42 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Job answers the LORD and says he knows that God can do all these things; God’s purpose can’t be thwarted. He admits that he has spoken things he didn’t understand—things “too wonderful” for him. He had heard of God before, but now he has seen him. Accordingly, he “despises” himself and “repents[] in dust and ashes.”
After God’s speech, Job returns to the worshipful attitude he had at the beginning of the book. Notably, God has not answered Job’s pressing questions about his suffering. However, Job has witnessed God’s “wonderful” power, which seems to preclude the need for answers. Instead, recognizing his utter smallness, Job repents of his arrogance in questioning God.
Themes
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
Related Quotes
After the LORD finishes speaking to Job, he addresses Eliphaz the Temanite and says that his wrath is kindled against Eliphaz and his two friends, because unlike Job, they haven’t spoken rightly about him. Therefore, he orders Eliphaz to sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams as a burnt offering; they must also ask God’s servant Job to pray for them. God will accept Job’s prayer that he not deal with these men “according to [their] folly.” So Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar do this, and God accepts Job’s prayer on their behalf.
God rebukes Job’s friends for not speaking truthfully about him. While Job had to repent of his arrogance is demanding answers from God about his suffering, God implies that Job did not speak falsely of him, while Job’s friends did. This difference suggests that even if Job’s friends correctly understood certain truths about God, suffering, and human behavior, they didn’t apply those truths accurately to Job’s situation—which essentially negated whatever theoretical wisdom they had. In turn, this suggests that from a divine perspective, there’s much more to wisdom than theoretical knowledge, and by wielding such knowledge ineffectively, Job’s friends have sinned. God further vindicates Job’s righteousness by upholding Job, not his friends, as a pinnacle of righteousness to whom his friends should appeal for prayer.
Themes
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
After Job prays for his friends, God restores Job’s fortunes. In fact, God gives Job twice as much as he had before. All of Job’s siblings and acquaintances come to visit, show sympathy, and comfort Job for all that God has put him through. God blesses the latter years of Job’s life more than the beginning of his life.
God ultimately vindicates Job beyond his wildest hopes. In fact, the end of Job’s life outshines the beginning, suggesting that Job passed the tests God imposed on him by refusing to turn away from God. Now, God rewards Job’s faith accordingly. In contrast to their earlier rejection, Job’s family now shows genuine comfort, and Job is restored to the community from which he was alienated in his suffering.
Themes
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
Not only does Job have 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 donkeys, but he also fathers more children: seven sons and three daughters. The daughters are named Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-happuch. They are the most beautiful women in the land, and they receive inheritances just as their brothers do. Job lives 140 years after this, seeing four generations of his offspring. Then Job dies, “old and full of days.”
The vast numbers of livestock Job owns reflect how greatly God has rewarded him—the figures are exactly double those he possessed at the beginning of the book. He is also blessed with the exact numbers of sons and daughters he had before catastrophe struck—which doesn’t mean that his children are replaceable, but shows that a righteous man like Job won’t have his legacy wiped off the earth. Only the daughters are specifically named (respectively, their names mean “dove,” “a type of perfume,” and “a type of eye shadow,” all probably meant to reflect their special beauty). Job is also blessed to live to an improbably advanced age—the number 140 being twice 70, which the Bible elsewhere (Psalm 90) identifies as a typical lifespan. If Job was presented as morally exemplary at the beginning of the book, he is now presented as an example of what God’s richest blessing looks like.
Themes
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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