Biblical People

Biblical People: Job

We don’t know when Job lived, but many Bible scholars consider him a contemporary of Abraham. This places Job several generations after Noah in our biblical timeline. 

Job lives in the land of Uz. We know four key things about him:

First, he is a righteous man, acting justly in all he does and conducting himself with blame-free confidence. He puts God first and avoids evil. 

Next, Job is a family man. He and his wife have ten children, a quiver full (Psalm 127:5), which people see as a sign of God’s favor.

Third, Job is concerned for his kids and their future. After they have a party, he offers a burnt offering sacrifice for each one of them to purify them of any sin or careless thought. He wants to help make them right with God.

Last, Job is rich. He owns over 10,000 animals, with a large staff to oversee his herds. He is the wealthiest man in the area and esteemed by all.

As such, Job enjoys an idyllic life of ease with favor from God. Everyone looks up to him, and Job’s life seems perfect.

Yet Satan seeks to torment Job. Though God gives Satan permission to act, God isn’t the cause of Job’s suffering, Satan is. Don’t forget that. 

Satan strips away Job’s wealth and kills his children. Then Satan attacks Job’s health, leaving him clinging to life with an unsupportive wife. But in all this Job remains faithful to God.

Job perseveres through these afflictions and doesn’t buckle under his friends’ less-than-helpful advice, as we’ll see in the following four chapters. 

Eventually, God rewards Job for his faithfulness by restoring his health, returning his wealth times two, and giving him ten more children. Job lives another 140 years, celebrating life with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

When unthinkable hardship afflicts us, how can we remain steadfast in our devotion to God? When it seems everyone and everything is against us, will we continue to put God first?

[Read Job’s story in the book of Job, especially Job 1, 2, and 42. Discover more in Ezekiel 14:13–14 and 9–20.]

Learn even more about Job and his friends in the devotional Bible study I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job, which explores this classic story as a modern-day screenplay.

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at