When Was Job Written?

Q. Again, thank you for a great web site. You help all of us better understand The Word of God. In my spiritual travels I’ve often read that Job may well be one of the oldest books in the Bible and could have been written before the Great Flood. In reading Job 37 this morning I can plainly see that it could not have been written before the Flood, because Elihu talks about rain. I thought it never rained before the flood. What are your thoughts?

A. I have never heard the opinion that Job might have been written before the flood, and don’t believe that’s possible. Job 1:1 says he was from the land of Uz, who was a grandson of Shem and a son of Aram (Genesis 10:22-23). This would confirm Job to be of post flood birth. While no one knows for sure, the most frequent opinion I’ve heard is that the Book of Job was probably written during the time of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob).

Some scholars believe the first time rain fell upon the Earth was during the time of the Great Flood. They draw this conclusion from comparing two verses. Genesis 2:5 says God did not immediately provide rain to water the Earth, but made streams of water come up out of the ground for irrigation purposes. then in Genesis 7:4 He told Noah He was going to make it rain. These are the first two mentions of rain in the Bible.

The absence of rain before the flood is consistent with the view that a water vapor canopy surrounded the Earth (Genesis 1:6-7) which would have given it perfect weather conditions. This canopy collapsed onto Earth at the time of the flood (Genesis 7:11-12) and may have been the first occurrence of rain on Earth.

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