Job is the author and at the same time protagonist of the poetry section of the oldest book in existence - The Book of Job.
The poetry part of this book has two additions - prologue and epilogue which are written in prose; these are attributed to Moses, author of Pentateuch - the first five books of the Old Testament.
Reading the Book of Job is the best way to get acquainted with Job; the time of his prosperity, his trial and restoration.
Although the setting of the book is very ancient - Middle Bronze Era (1700 - 1500 BC.), Job was well known over the ages; except the Old Testament, the story of his life was recorded and discussed in the New Testament, Quran, the Book of Jasher, Talmud, Testament of Job and many other ancient/modern books as well as countless articles.
The oldest of the Book of Job manuscript fragments, found between the Dead Sea Scrolls, are over 2200 years old; these are the oldest survived manuscript of the entire Bible.
Job is a famous figure from ancient history traditionally regarded as a model of virtue and patience.
In the introduction/prologue to the poetry section of the Book of Job, Moses wrote that God praised Job as the best human being and an example for humanity. The Book of Job - chapter 1 verse 8 reads:
"Did you notice my servant Job?" the LORD asked, "there is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil."
In the prologue, Moses also noted that Job was living in the land of Uz, and that he was the richest man of the East (east of Egypt); he - "...owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants ".
The Land of Uz, known nowadays as Wadi Rum, was located on the intersection of ancient major trade roads. His 3000 camels and 500 donkeys were used to form several caravans trading goods between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
The best historical description of Job came from The Book of Job in Septuagint - LXX.
This ancient version of the Book of Job, chapter 42 verse 17, provides us with detailed genealogical information and social position of Job. However, this verse has been removed from the present Bible.
The Septuagint, LXX is the most ancient translation of Old Testament books to Greek, and consequently is invaluable to critics for understanding and correcting the Hebrew text (Massorah).
The Septuagint was translated into Konya Greek for the newly established library of Alexandria during the reign of King Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 BC.). Its oldest existing manuscript (Codex Vaticanus) was written in the fourth century AD.
In the Septuagint translation of the Book of Job, there is a long subscription; similar subscription is found in Arabic and Coptic version of the Bible.
Link to SEPTUAGINT - LXX
The missing verse from the Book of Job, preserved in the Septuagint - LXX, Arabic and Coptic Bible reads as followed:
" 17 And Job died, an old man and full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up.
This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis, on the borders of Idumea and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abraam.
And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim.
And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans."
The Septuagint version of the Bible tells us that Job, also called Jobab, was the second king of Edom.
The Septuagint provides us with the list of the kings who ruled Edom.
It is a very similar list to the kings of Edom as in Genesis - chapter 36:31 and 1 Chronicles - chapter 1:43 of the Bible, and it reads as followed:
"And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim".
From the Department of Anthropology of Brown University, which was conducting archaeological excavation in southern Jordan, came a statement regarding Edom, the ancient kingdom of Job.
According to tradition, the area of Trans-Jordan was populated by Edomites and the area was known as Edom.
Before Israelite incursion, in the eleventh century BC., the Edomites controlled the trade routes from Arabia in the south to Damascus in the north. Little is known about the Edomites at Petra itself, but as people they were known for their wisdom, writing, textile industry, the excellence and fineness of their ceramics, and skilled metal working.
New archaeological research from modern-day Jordan such as the 2002-2004 UCSD dig at Khirbat an-Nahas have shed new light on Job's kingdom history, unearthing artefacts and evidence of settled state society as early as thirteen to tenth century BC.
In Septuagint, The Book of Job chapter 42 : 17, we read that Job's - "name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon".
From the previous verses in chapter 42 we also know that his Arabian wife born to Job seven sons and three daughters.
"14 And he called the first Day, and the second Casia, and the third Amalthaea's horn.
15 And there were not found in comparison with the daughters of Job, fairer [women] than they in all the world: and their father gave them an inheritance among their brethren".
Those children born to King Job and his Arabian wife, were the first Arabian Princess and Princesses; as the book says, the fairer princesses in the entire world.
We will trace genealogy of Job in the next chapter - Geneaology of Job.