A few weeks ago, I mused that the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) might be best understood as a screenplay of sorts. Reading and meditating on it as such gave me new insights and a deeper appreciation of this often-overlooked book.
It seems that the book of Job is not dissimilar in this regard. It, too, could have been an early version of today’s screenplay.
In the book of Job, there are eight characters:
- Job, the protagonist
- God, Job’s protector and overseer
- Satan, Job’s antagonist
- Job’s unsupportive wife, a bit part, albeit a painful one
- Job’s three “friends:” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, (with friends like these, who needs enemies?)
- Job’s fourth friend, the initially quiet and then verbose, Elihu.
The book of Job opens with a prologue (chapters 1 and 2) that establishes the setting of the story and concludes with an epilogue (chapter 42) that provides for a satisfying ending. In betwixt is all dialogue between Job and his four increasingly critical friends.
Aside from a brief ending summation by Job in the epilogue, the last oration is from God. It is fitting that God has the final word — and that Job listens.